There is a certain kind of awkwardness that sometimes arises in conversations when asked whether I have children – a family. ‘I am married’, is my standard response, hoping this closes off further enquiry. Nonetheless, many will continue to probe, asking: ‘kids?’
Of course there is nothing truly intrusive with this question. A simple ‘no’ and moving onto a new topic is often the most natural route for such conversations. Some do take the hint, and carry forth with a different subject, realising that perhaps this is not something I wish to discuss further.
Others however follow the conversation with persistence. Perhaps it is curiosity, or even misreading the signals; whichever, the subject stays focused as I am further questioned, ‘any plans to start a family?’ There is no option to divert now, and as I hesitate in response, as I see the conversation starting to fail.
Should I just be honest? Or do I say what most want to hear? Help the conversation get back to a comfortable stance?
Of course I want kids and would love to plan for them. However, at this point in my life, I’m starting to accept that it may never be my reality. The problem is that I haven’t truly accepted this fate myself. Yes, I’m still hopeful.
I also have to be realistic, and this particular subject consistently circles around my consciousness. Nevertheless, it is not my intention to bring others into my own inner turmoil, and starting a conversation around infertility and experiences with miscarriage just makes everyone uncomfortable, right?
Uncomfortable because it’s something we still don’t fully understand, and of course because it is a dream I may never fulfil.
Maybe I am the awkward one, and perhaps it is my own feelings of discomfort with my personal situation that creates this unease? To be completely truthful, I don’t know what to say when some ask me these questions. My answer is that I have always ‘planned for kids’ but those plans went astray with four miscarriages and now problems with my cycle returning to normal. The fact is I cannot get pregnant today, and it is likely that I will struggle to carry and retain a pregnancy to full term.
Now that’s a conversation killer!
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