Monday, April 15, 2013

When Are You Having Children?

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Some people keep saying how surprised they were, and still are that I came out about my infertility. For some, it's the whole religious "confess positively", which I actually understand, but by putting it out there, I believe I' getting even more positive thoughts and prayers from you guys, right? And for the others I have this following answer. It is easier to say it than to try to avoid the question and comments that almost always come when people  know you're married for up to a year.

"When are you going to have kids?"

"Are you pregnant, you look pregnant?"

"You like ice cream and chocolate? You must be pregnant!"

Atala and I celebrated four years of marriage last February, and we do not have kids. My infertility story is on this blog [read here], but on this post, I'll like to look at how  people's attitudes about marriage, pregnancy and infertility may affect women and couples trying to concieve via ART, IVF, or building their family through adoption

I want to talk about the unrelenting questions and insinuations childless women receive and how much it can hurt, confuse and pressure their marriages and the decisions they make.


For those of you who are married, you probably also had family and friends, and even the chairman at the wedding reception praying for twins 9 months hence. After those initial months elapse with no bulging tummy, it can become like saying hello for people to ask when you're planning to take in. And God forbid you have a heavy breakfast, you'll be getting congratulations all day long.

This is fine when you’re really pregnant. But what about other women?

Women who may have taken in and lost it after a few weeks or months? Women who are working through some gynecological problems that are preventing them from having babies? Women who desperately want to be pregnant but just cannot? What of those who even do not, or are not ready yet to have children?

These questions and wisecracks and insinuations don't help. They can quickly make infertile women feel like they’re not good enough or that they’ve failed.

Sometimes, this actually comes from a good, and kind place. Family and friends ask these questions because they want to rejoice with you. They care for you and can't wait for you to enjoy being a parent, especially for those who are parents already. Some of us have been conditioned that these are things married women talk about, and they have no other things to discuss because that is what their own live revolves around.

It is hard for such people to understand what the women without kids is going through, or the fact that she and her husband have decided to not make their lives revolve around the infertility.

Every married woman without a child or children has her own reasons and her own stories. Each of us is different, and as much as you want  to be understanding, be careful not to input one person's perspective to others. Most importantly, before you open your mouth to speak, think twice. Also, learn to listen more to the other person than you speak, believe me, she knows more about her situation than you do.






34 comments:

  1. Very important write up! I'll share this.

    I know people are curious but they need to think before asking these questions. And they're usually done in an insensitive manner... "Don't wait too long o". Without any knowledge of what people are going through!

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  2. Good post. My cousin couldn't concieve after 4 years of marriage and she was like 37 already so the doctors were already telling her the risk involved in late births. My mum always prayed for her but always avoided asking her about it. I know it usually comes from a kind place but I believe the person doesn't want to be reminded about it.
    I'll remember you in my prayers. God bless

    P.s My cousin ended up adopting 3 kids. I am also planning on adopting 1 myself when the time is right. Sometimes, God wants to use us to help others. Who says your kids have to be your actual biological kids anyway?

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    1. Thank you Maya, and yes, adoption is definitely one of our options. I'm so happy for your cousin.

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  3. Ugh! As a newlywed I can sort of relate to the slightest things being interpreted as pregnancy. I have to agree sometimes it comes as pressure but also I have to remind myself its coming from a good place.

    I just keeps saying we are not ready...

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    1. That is what keeps me from rme at such questions :)

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  4. Myne, I am really tired of this same question from everyone around me...... can't people just mind their business exasperating at times.

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    1. I had to tell some people straight up to mind their business o, and it has worked, LOL...

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    2. Sykik, after that stuff your sis in law told you, i realized i had not heard it all. Hang on dear God will do it !

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  5. I really struggled to read this post because it brought back some sad memories for me............I also have been open that I went through three miscarriages before I had my sons.

    Despite the fact that I now have 3 lovely boys, I still shed tears for those I lost....and the horrible experience of having to deliver two still born sons .....The pain is best imagined

    Like you said...' ....before you open your mouth to speak, think twice'

    I cannot tell you how many times I had to deal with 'tact-less' comments. I recall one particularly insensitive comment:
    I had just suffered another miscarriage and I decided to cheer myself up by dressing up, putting on a brave face and accompanying my hubby to a friend's gathering.

    A fellow guest approached me and asked whether I had a baby yet.....my answer no...His reply:
    'You look good sha....but you need to hurry up and have kids. That's the purpose behind marriage'

    I had to stop my hubby from confronting him.

    Some people are tactless and ignorant. Unfortunately, we cant change that. What we can change is how we let those comments affect us.

    The comments never stop. Now I have kids, its insensitive comments about raising a family I have to deal with OR That I should 'try for a girl' etc etc

    As a true Edo girl, my 'sharp mouth' leaves any tactless person with a clear idea of how stupid they must be to even approach me *rapid eye-rolling accompanied with long hisssssss*

    Take care Myne. Stay strong
    xxxxx

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    1. E -Hugs!!
      Try for a girl after 3boys?Ozuo pple!!!!

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    2. wow, that is the heart breaking story, i can't imagine what you went through, and after 3 boys, you should try for a girl too ..smh

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    3. NIL, Hmmmm... some comments sha, so insensitive and ignorant. Thank you so much!

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    4. Bless you! People will always find something to complain about.

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    5. If I born one and any person born of a woman abi na CS come and yarn me to ask when baby number two is coming...God help me if I don't bite and kick the person. People should learn to be sensitive especially when it concerns issues like children, marriage...etc.

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  6. PS - sorry for the epistle. Happy B-day also to grandpa.
    xxxxx

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  7. this dose not only come with delay in child birth after marriage,it also come in delay marriage,ones you are 30+ seems like the whole world is on your neck,all you get to hear is"when are you getting married?why not settle down?when is the wedding bell ringing?"haba!na me go marry my self?at times i ask if they just want me to get married to anything "man" just to answer married woman?my brothers wont let me be,in fact i stopped taking my younger brothers call till he repents from asking me that annoying question,so i do also understand the questions of childbirth,its so heart aching and annoying.God's time is the best!

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    1. God's time is indeed the best, and yes, these kind of comments come from all quarters at different points in life. If only some people will just learn to let other live their own lives than always comparing.

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    2. I can identify with u galfriend. Should one marry any thing called 'man'? I have learned to make myself happy and i reply all the 'when are u getting married?' with rude answers. I'll keep all my sisters here in prayers too.

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  8. i recently told a close friend in church "congratulations"

    I honestly thought she was preggers. She's a thick girl, i am too.

    Short of the long story, she isn't pregnant. I apologized on the day of and i apologized again this past weekend. I really meant no harm.

    Funny thing is that i know better, maybe it was the cloth that she wore on this particular day plus she's a very nice chic and she LOVES children... so maybe i couldn't wait to see her pregnant.

    May God complete us all. Amen.



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    1. Amen. I'm not even there myself yet, so don't beat yourself up too much.

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    2. I tend not to comment about things even when they are obvious. But I don't know where to draw the line apparently. A friend accused me of not being concerned when I saw that she wasn't pregnant after about 1 year of marriage. My reply was "I don't share your bedroom, I don't know if you are doing family planning but all the same I meant no harm".

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  9. Aww Myne, its tough, but God will make all things beautiful in his time ....i do understand a bit of what you are going through, My son is five and i hear he is a spoilt brat because he does not have a sibling, i am apparently choosing my career over having another child, or the worst one is why are we waiting so long, didn't i know my biological clock was ticking??...yikes! i am not one o mince words, i usually just say, 'we are trusting God and they should keep praying for us' , most people just say 'it is well' at this point and move on, but for the 'die-hards' i have a standard answer , i just say with a smile of course " we have tried all the sex positions and it has not entered' , it is guaranteed to embarrass the most obnoxious aunt, the response is usually shock, embarrassment or a graceful ' don't worry it will enter in Jesus name' ...people should learn to be sensitive , i can't shout ha!

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    1. LOL...that got me laughing, I should try that one of these days. LOL...thanks Jemima :)

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    2. @jemima, that your response is classic. I am going to use that for those "I-know-how-you-can-have-babies" ITKs in my office.

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    3. Lol....it's eight months now and my own mum keeps asking if my flow has not stopped. I keep telling her I don't know but now I'll use that line with her. I'm sure if she hears 'sex-positions' from a very conservative me,she'll leave me alone. It's so embarrasing even at work,some women look at me and say my boobs have gotten bigger and it's my hijab that's hiding my baby bump. I wonder how they knew the size of my boobs before! Hmph!

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  10. My hubby and his friend(who has been trying for a baby with his wife for a while now. She has had 4 miscarriages) were at a wedding weeks ago. A relative of the guy walks up to them greets them and asks about his wife and kids. He replied that his wife was fine and that they didnt have kids yet. This is what she said to him 'ah better tell her to hurry up oo. There is not much time left for her. You're a man you can have kids when ever but she doesnt have much time'
    Hubby was shocked at the impunity.

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  11. Hmmn...dear Myne.sore spot u hit evrytime this topic or related topics are brought up.I salute ur courage,honesty and openness truly.I read ur own story n I'm liKe she stole my story!cos I'm in the exact same place ryt nw,never being pregnant, married at 26yrs in 2010, DH n I were the couple who wanted to get preggers onn the wedding night but alas! 3yrs onn,2 IVFs later,our kids aint here yet.so I totally understand the whole drama associated with being unable to conceive especially in Nig.Puttn it mildly, its not being easy, psychologically, emotionally,physically, even spiritually. Hubby is literally a moving body of positivity and I must say tapping into dat energy plus the abundant grace of God gets me thru the days. But 4 naija pple ehn n their mouth ehn,chai. Talk about cluelessness n insensitivity.most times I undstand their comments r comn from a good place,especially friends n fam.It doesn't make it easier to deal with all the same. Other times, pple see dat u pick urself up evryday, ure wearing a brave smile and shiny disposition and they take you onn with comments that literally tear ur heart,its almost like they r askn wat right uve got to be happy when u don't av a kid.I got dis colleague in the office who doesn't even undstand that a man or woman could be havn sex n not get pregnant. Sometimes he says(yes,its a guy)tins like 'all these modern day couples sef, una never finish una honeymoon, na when una don old una wan train pikin? lol...dude actually does think its deliberate that we havnt strtd bearn kids...I just laff at his ignorance most times n dat seems to infuriate him the more.Nevertheless, man abi na woman must go onn jare. I can't let infertility win na.I pray for u myne n evry1 out there havn issues in this dept, and indeed any type of challenge at all. God grant our hearts' desires. Amen.ps:sorry bout the long epistle guys...lol

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  12. I have close family and friends going through infertility right now...due to age, medical and a host of other reasons. I have learnt to be supportive without putting my foot in it. But that is just me. I cant imagine how they parry curious and insensitive dolts around them. Or the 'how are the children' greetings they get from even market women who dont know you from Adam.

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  13. "Most importantly, before you open your mouth to speak, think twice" #Gbam

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  14. Hi Myne.I read this yesterday and i have been intending to comment since but i didnt want to post from my phone.Sorry about the epistle i ll be posting.I married in september 2011 and we are still TTC and i must say Nigerians are very insensitive.I live in the UK with my husband and I am glad am out of the prying and roving eyes eyes.7 months after our wedding my MIL called me and asked me that se o ti n expect?meaning are you pregnant.I was shocked because where i come from we dont ask people if they are pregnant.We wait for the pregancy to announce itself.I said no and laughed but i was dazed and since then she keeps calling to ask and now i dont answer her calls anymore.I have friends too that ask me what size are you wearing now since they keep asking me if i am pregnant and i just fob them off by changing the topic now i smartly say it depends.I wear 12,14,16,18 depending on the make.I have migrated off bb now cos of all sorts of insensitive comments i have had to put up with and everyday i thank God i dont live in Nigeria.My husband is my bestfriend now and save for my siblings and mum i have cut off from almost everybody because of all the comments and questioning i have had to put up with.The day you posted this a friend called my sister to ask that she has tried pinging me on BB that its not delivering and that she tried calling my number its not going through and that she wanted to tell me someone gave birth to twins.A guy i havent spoken to in years that we only went to secondary school together and i was like hmmmmm whats my business if he has twins are we friends?Is that why you want to speak to me and i just forgot about it but tried to think what were her real intentions.I think most of people that actually ask at times dont really care.They just want to know whats up with you and also have fodder to gossip about.That maybe shes got this problem or that.So to all of us TTC i pray all our dreams come true very soon and i would say once again thumbs uo to you for posting all about your journey.Take care.XXXXXXX.sorry about the epistle and pardon my typos too.I typed in a hurry

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