How can we prepare our children for the heartbreak that is infertility? It doesn’t have to be a sit down conversation. Like many of life’s twists and turns it’s best explained in the context of unconditional love.
“I’m going to have a baby soon, Mummy.”
As we are sat reading our bedtime story my Miss F (3) came out with this typical toddler statement. “oh really?” I reply in my amused-yet-listening tone.
“my tummy is big and one day I’ll have a baby.”
So many of my female friends who have dealt with infertility speak about how they assumed that one day they’d have a baby. Isn’t that what girls do? Aren’t we all meant to grow up and have babies? My friend’s assumptions were not challenged as they grew up. And so they start out on their fairytale. They meet the boy, wear the dress and wait for their baby to come to complete the story. But their babies either don’t come or come but have to leave too soon. No one prepared my friends for this not-so fairytale ending.
This has challenged me on how I should raise my daughters. Nothing could reduce the pain of being unable to have a child but perhaps I need to equip my children with the awareness that becoming a parent isn’t a given and give them a vocabulary for if that is their experience.
And so I replied,
‘Will you? Well, you might not have a baby but that would be okay, you’d still be my squidge’
If this is your story, the folks at saltwaterandhoney.org are a great community. Do check them out.