October 28 – Shhhhhhhh Don’t Tell

I spent last night with expectant moms.  One woman who is actually expecting and the others who are expecting to be expecting.  While this blog is my first public reflection on wanting to become a mom, I don’t really talk to very many people about it.  In fact, I have kept my path towards fertility pretty close to the vest, as I do the rest of my personal life.

Yet last night at dinner, I realized that there is no harm in sharing and hearing other people’s struggles and triumph with this issue. But for some reason, unlike sharing dating stories when single, wedding planning stories when engaged or newlywed stories once you get married, I find women talk far less about their path to pregnancy than any other issue facing their lives.

What makes fertility feel like such a deeply personal issue? Perhaps it cuts at the core of what makes us a woman.  Having a baby is arguably the purpose of being a woman.  We are supposed to be able to do it (if we want to that is), and if we can’t do it naturally, easy and without scientific intervention then we suddenly feel, like I did, a little less of woman.  Yet struggles to conceive are common.  As women hold off on childbirth because they are getting married later or focusing on their careers, the challenges to have a baby increase.  Which means so many of us are fixated on trying to have a baby yet not talking much about the challenges we face.

Perhaps the issue is we don’t want to share our failures, if in fact we are not able to conceive. We just want to appear with a big belly or a baby in arms, post photos of all the happiness and pretend that it was all so simple.  I suppose not talking about it saves us from extended explanations if things don’t work out. I guess that has been my approach.  We all need an outlet though and it would be nice to share more about it.  This blog is my first attempt  at doing so.

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