When Are You Gonna Have Kids?
If you are a single adult female without children, you’ve probably been asked this question often. If you are a married woman without children, you’ve undoubtedly been asked this question more times than you can count!
INFERTILITY. These Scarlet Letter(s) carry burdens that would make the knees of a strong man buckle. Feelings of inadequacy sometimes leave women who are labeled as BARREN bound in the grips of shame and/or guilt.
Early in marriage, my gynecologist told me I wouldn’t have children except through him. He sent me to an INFERTILITY specialist. The place was so cold and quiet! There was a waiting room, but I rarely saw anyone waiting in it. And if, by chance, there was another woman in the waiting room, no one made eye contact. The entire interaction kinda perpetuated the whole “hush hush” stigma associated with infertility. Upon arrival, we were whisked off to the nearest office where we waited to speak with whatever doctor, nurse, or tech that was in our rotation. I often wondered why this was the case. Perhaps they wanted to give each patient privacy? However, the name of the facility was plastered on the side of the building. So that didn’t make sense. In the words of Marshawn Lynch, “you know why I’m here.” They took so much of my blood. They ran all kinds of tests. They ruled out PCOS. They ruled out this, and they ruled out that. However, they could not determine what it was that had kept me from conceiving. I kept asking myself, “ why am I here?” Week after week, month after month I was subject to all manner of poking and prodding. I began to feel like a pin cushion. A lab rat so to speak. The whole process was physically and emotionally taxing. After a talk with hubby, I decided to stop going. I felt worse emotionally having gone then I ever had before.
DOUBT My mind was bombarded with all kinds of doubt. Was I being punished for putting my child up for adoption? Was this what I get for having done so? Was this my karma? My comeuppance?
GUILT The level of guilt I waded through was absolutely ridiculous! I watched friends and family having children while truly being happy for them, but at the same time experiencing a yearning so deep. I was throwing close friends baby showers to celebrate their latest additions while hoping that soon, one day, it would be my turn. Then, I’d have to deal with the guilt for even having had the thought! After all, this was their time, and I don’t do pity parties!
EXPECTATIONS People often ask, “Do you have kids? Why not?!? Don’t you want kids?” People question as if me not having kids had personally offended THEM in some way. And let’s not forget about the husbands that stand by their wives during this process. They have hopes and dreams as well. How do we answer the question in a manner that lets people know that they are ripping band aids off of sometimes deep, fresh wounds? How do we answer these invasive questions in a polite manner? Why do we have to worry about remaining polite even though you are ALL UP in our PERSONAL business???
FAMILY listen carefully. Next time you have the urge to go rifling through someone’s bedroom affairs by asking why they don’t have children, do yourselves a favor and DON’T!!!
For my sisters in the struggle, I offer you some encouragement given to me by my mama, Deborah Ann Mays, aka Mother Love. When I was praying for a husband, mama used to say “ when you place a special order (at a bakery) it takes a little while longer than your average order because you have requested specifics, and the maker is responsible for getting everything just right! Well baby, it may take a little longer, but you will get your order.” Ladies, and the husbands that stand by our side, keep your heads held high. You are not lesser than. You are not second class. You were fearfully and wonderfully made, and loved beyond compare! BeENCOURAGED loves.
Feel free to share your story of struggle and/or triumph. You have a voice that deserves to be heard, and you never know just how empowering sharing your experience with others can be for all involved.