CW: Childlessness, Pregnancy, Infertility.
There are 6 babies being born to my nearest & dearest this year. And we now know that it is not the babies or children that prove such a challenge, but pregnancy and motherhood. My friends/family enter a new stage of life with new milestones, all of which centre around a child. Catch-ups take place at soft play areas where I am the only adult there without a child. Conversations are had that I cannot contribute to and as someone already in a different lane to my peers, I feel further removed.
I’m learning that it is not selfish to opt out of baby showers or birthday parties, but a form of self-preservation. (This little nugget of knowledge was pointed out to me by my best friend. I’ll need to revisit this in a separate post.)
To be childless due to the impact M.E. has on my life seems to be quite a unique situation. The conversation around childless women, although still not prominent, is centred around infertility, choosing not to have children, or finding that children didn’t come within child bearing years. I don’t fit those categories.
But while it might be unique, it isn’t uncommon. I know there are so many of you in the same, or a similar, boat. So when I can I will talk about it.
My childlessness is absolute; an unwavering conclusion, despite no known fertility issues. There will be no adoption, no surrogacy, no full-time carers to raise the child. No solution. People love to try to find a solution. The solution, in my eyes, would be to not be as restricted as I am by my illhealth.
Others with the same diagnosis reach a different conclusion. Each circumstance is different & only we can know which conclusion is right for us. But each time they come to that different conclusion, my heart challenges my head on whether I might possibly maybe, be able to become a mother like they have. And each time my head has to gently console my heart that life is often unfair & that having children is not a right; it is a privilege and a gift not given to all.
“If you really want them as much as you say, I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just do it?!” It’s okay if you don’t understand. You are not me. I am under no obligation to convince you of what is right for me.