Yet another month has passed, and the dreaded monthly cycle has decided to show its ugly face. Again.
My tears have now dried up; they don’t fall as easily anymore. Five years down the line, and I’m drained. How many times can you cry for a miscarried baby and for all those failed attempts at conceiving? I’m sure my husband feels the same way, but he tries to play it down just to make me feel better, even though I know he’s suffering just as much as I am and feeling helpless for seeing me depressed every month.
All the fantasies – what to name our children, which school to send them to, whom they would resemble, if they’ll have my stubbornness or my husband’s calmness, the joy of our loved ones when we pop the news – fly out of the window as soon as our infertility was confirmed.
Everywhere you go, you hear about people getting pregnant. Friends and family try their luck, and they conceive within months. I don’t know if it’s rare, but I’m honestly overjoyed whenever someone close to me delivers the good news. I’d start counting the days till the baby’s due and look forward to shopping for presents whenever their birthday or Christmas is approaching or whenever we go abroad. Being an only child from both families leaves us with no nephews or nieces, so our friends’ children are our greatest blessings, and we cherish the time spent with them with all our heart.
The worst part of being infertile or having difficulty in conceiving is when you hear certain comments, or hear a pregnant person complaining about trivial matters. You start to dread seeing comments on Facebook from certain individuals, because you know they’re going to be riddled with self-pity about cosmetic changes to her body. I don’t want to play down pregnancy in any way, as I’m sure it’s anything but easy, but some remarks are just ridiculous.
The amount of physical trauma we go through every month is immense, but we never complain in public. Somehow, the subject’s still a taboo, and there’s so much stigma attached to it that you just don’t want anyone to know. When you’re at your lowest, you start seeing yourself as a failure because you fail to conceive month after month. You have a successful career, a loving family and a beautiful life for all to see, but deep down you know that an integral part of you is still missing and might never come.
The suffering we go through has to remain closeted. Have you ever actually heard or seen anyone post on Facebook about the side effects of the pills we have to take? How much our breasts hurt after we take the HCG shot? Or all the similar symptoms to pregnancy it has, making you hope even more that this is your lucky month, only for that hope to be shattered. You have to hide the pain from the world because you can’t appear vulnerable. Acting becomes your strongest talent. You start trying to convince yourself that you don’t care, but in your heart of hearts, you know you’re lying. The hurt never goes away.
So this Mother’s Day, and any other day for that matter, before you post something or start complaining that your children are sapping the life out of you, please think of childless couples before you speak. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are extremely hard for us, and the numerous adverts and text messages continue to put salt into the wound which never heals.
‘When are you going to have a baby?’
‘How come you’ve been married for X years and still haven’t got any children?’
‘You should have a baby – the joy they bring is immense.’
‘Mela you’re travelling again? Why don’t you settle down and have kids like normal couples do.’
We’d appreciate if you could refrain from asking us the same old personal questions on repeat. This year as you plan to go out to lunch, or when you open the gifts your children give you, cherish the moment and thank God and your good reproductive organs for blessing you with the greatest gift you could ever long for.
Wishing a great Mother’s Day to all the mums out there and to all those who are in our boat. Good luck and never give up. You are not alone.