May 20, 2012

Now here’s another post that has been hard to write. It’s funny that when I discuss people I know and love, it becomes difficult to ensure I get it right – to respect them.

I feel a little ashamed about my last post – carrying on about the difficulties of motherhood – when there are SOOO many women who would give anything and everything (and financially, they generally do) to be able to have a baby.

A very close and dear friend of mine, is in a horrible, heart-wrenching, never-ending roundabout – desperately trying to fall pregnant and it’s getting towards the end of ‘trying’ through IVF…and she’s so very, very sad.

She used the word barren.

It’s such a confronting word – like a slap – and it pained me to hear her say it about herself, with such anguish. I didn’t know how to console her. How could I? When I know that if I were in her place, I’d be devastated…just like she is.

My friend is not someone who ‘left it too late’ – although she is 40+ – she just met the perfect, love of her life in her mid-30s. They are a beautiful couple who are so blessed to have found each other; it’s such a cruel irony that they seem unable to conceive and take that natural next step.

In her place, I’d be wallowing in a murky sea of, “Why?” As she put it, on paper everything looks right – but it just isn’t happening and in this day and age of advanced technology – they can’t tell her why.

To add salt to the wound – she is friends with a couple (two males) who have two children, through surrogacy. They are close and my friend is not only delighted for them but is also God Mother to one of the children – but the surrogacy door is closed for her because here in NSW, it’s a criminal act (as of last November) to pay someone to have your child:

“It will impose penalties of two years’ jail, a $110,000 fine, or both on parents who pay for a surrogate here or abroad to carry their child.” *

…unless my friend moves to Victoria – where it’s legal. So we are a divided nation on the topic of surrogacy, it seems.

And what does the future hold for women in this situation? Well, they see a bleak and lonely one – one where they can’t pass on their lessons on life to their child, wrapped in unconditional love. Worse still, they wonder whether they’ll be enough for their partner – not being able to ‘give’ them a child.

Question #45: Are there any of you out there who can bestow some wisdom and support on this matter?

I’ve known quite a few women throughout my life, who have found pregnancy – such a natural and seemingly easy thing to do – skip past them. They’ve had to go through the pain of seeing their period arrive, over and over again, and get that sinking feeling – a hole where hope was bubbling only a moment ago. I felt that stomach plummet sensation twice – once before each one of my girls decided to join me. Each time I thought, “Oh no.”

But if I multiply those two nothing moments in my life, by the countless times these women see their period arrive, before they decide to try IVF and suffer egg extractions, needles, pills…and STILL see their period arrive…well, I can’t know what sort of grief that brings – but I did hear it in my friend’s voice.

It’s an understatement to say that I feel fickle and ungrateful, complaining about my children…simply being children. I know that many women would swap with me in a heartbeat.

My heart goes out to all the women who experience these soul-destroying months.

… and I send out my deepest love to you, dear friend.

Deep Breath.



8 Responses to “Barren.”

  1. I am now in my early 40’s and was unable to have children. In some ways I have found it easier as I have moved into my 40’s to accept that it is not going to happen now, but there are days when it still feels like a raw tangible pain inside. What makes it harder is that in a day and age of so many fertility treatments many people assume that I did not want children or that I dislike children. Neither of which is true. Mother’s day is always a particularly tough day. I’m hoping that over time it will get easier. I can’t offer anything to your friend other than compassion and empathy and a hope that she is able to find some peace.

    • questionsforwomen said

      I think she mentioned how hard Mothers’ Day was too. Thank you so much for sharing and for your kind words.

  2. ashasuparna said

    I’m 26 and the doctors say I’m not fine. I’m highly diabetic and have various other health problems. Even when I did get pregnant, it didn’t follow through. It’s not the same as barren, but close enough. I’m looking at adoption now.

    • questionsforwomen said

      It’s funny how when you’re growing up, you’re made to believe that ANY sexual contact will end up in an unwanted pregnancy…that it’s that easy. I’m sorry to hear that you are finding it hard to fall. I hope it all turns out well for you. x

      • ashasuparna said

        I know. Tell me about it. But I’m hoping age is on my side. And I’m willing to try everything in the book and otherwise.

        Thanks. 🙂

  3. lamehousewife said

    Would she consider adoption?

    • questionsforwomen said

      I think age plays a part and she is (I think) passed the age of doing it. Overseas adoption is next to impossible with the amount it costs and the time it takes.

      • lamehousewife said

        I didn’t realize there was an age requirement. I will pray for her. It is sad to see when some want children so badly and others throw them away so nonchalantly. God bless…

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