Recently, routine questions during a smear test led to me mentioning the possible hysterectomy. (I was diagnosed with Adenomyosis in November 2021). The nurse gently asked if I’d been able to complete my family before having to face such a big, life-changing surgery.
I haven’t even been able to start my family*.
I simply answered that my husband and I aren’t having children because of the impact my health has on all areas of our life. Her response was refreshingly kind and she did not try to fix the situation to alleviate her own discomfort.
I had the smear test and my husband took me home. I didn’t think anymore of it.
But I felt really off the rest of the day and I couldn’t work out why.
After some thought I assumed it was due to my eldest nephew’s upcoming birthday. He was born in 2019 and was the first baby in the next generation of our family. My sister’s pregnancy and his arrival made 2019 the hardest mental health year of my life, as it was the first time I had had to really acknowledge, aloud, that I will not know pregnancy or parenthood.
But as I went to bed that night I suddenly remembered the nurse’s question about completing my family and it made perfect sense why I had felt quite unsettled all day.
It ebbs and flows now, but the grief is always there.
It’s both absolutely fine, and definitely not okay.
When people of think of those without children, they assume infertility or maybe even that some people do not want children. But there are a vast number of reasons why someone might not become a parent, and the impact that chronic illness can have on someone’s life is one of them.
So when I feel able to, I will continue to talk about, if only to remind myself and others that there are so many people going through the same thing.
OF VITAL IMPORTANCE – I do not accept unsolicited advice on this topic. Please be mindful if leaving a comment, that we each have different circumstances that may lead to a different conclusion on this topic. Blanket statements or judgemental remarks about whether people should or not should become parents with chronic illness will be removed.
*We are infact a family, as just the two of us.