I read a comment made a few weeks ago by a celebrity that she would now be a “real woman” having been able to give birth to her child.
It felt like a slap to my face reading the article and I sent my phone sailing across the room in temper. Shouting – “So what does that make me?” after it!
It’s a thought that my cruel inner voice often shares with me in those quiet moments. I often lay in the darkness trying so hard to sleep. I listen to my husband’s steady breathing and I cry silent tears. That voice sometimes whispers to me many cruel things, of all of them this is the worst;
“It’s you, you are defective and you are not a real woman you can’t even keep a pregnancy!”
By the next morning all such thoughts are banished, my eyes show no signs of the tears shed in the night. I put on my make-up, straighten my shoulders and face the world. After all, the world does not stop for you, no matter how terrible you are feeling.
That comment echoed by someone of influence, someone that I have always respected as a role model to young girls everywhere, it stung! I know that those comments were not meant as an attack on all the women out there struggling with infertility simply how she was feeling, but does that make it ok?
There are still so many pressures even now for women to conform get married and have children. It’s one of the first questions often asked without any regret of tact of a newlywed couple or of a woman of “advancing” age. And god forbid that a women or couple should choose to not want to have a child! Imagine that?!
The dreaded question of “When are you expanding you family?” or “When can we expect a little one??” becomes a constant pain, one where I often find myself being flippant or worse lying to cover the clear pain in those questions.
“I’m too selfish to have children”,
“We love to travel too much”
Until one day I just stopped! I started to share our heartache and so many other couples in our situation shared with me theirs. I could no longer keep silent.
Am I less of a woman because I have never given birth? NO! I am not. I have held myself together through some the most invasive, intrusive and painful examinations. I have endured the physical pain that comes along with having PCOS, month after month of excruciating pain that has seen me pass out and vomit. No baby to show for it.
I have got up and gone to work after learning that we have lost yet another pregnancy, my heart breaking into a million pieces. I have smiled and continued moving forward even though all I wanted to do was take to my bed and forget the world existed.
I have congratulated and held my composure through many friends and relatives getting their families before me, some at times when I have lost pregnancies. I have smiled and supported them while inside my silent screaming grief would be enough to rip some people to pieces.
I have sat in waiting room, after waiting room of the scanning departments at hospitals surrounded by beautiful baby bumps while our dream was lost.
I am every inch a real woman, as is every other woman out there struggling to have a family or indeed those women that have simply decided that motherhood is not for them. I am honoured to help others through my blog pages, when they feel at their lowest points to say – you are not alone. You matter and what you feeling deserves to be heard!
We are real women. I hope that anyone that hears these sorts of comments from high profile celebrities, friends or even sometimes family members that you remember how strong you actually are! We fight every day for what we want no matter the pain we endure both mental and physical. We are freaking warriors, I hope that we never forget that!