I’ve realised that I’ve truly come to a space of acceptance about never producing a child from my body, it’s been a long road, but I am at peace. I know this because given the choice right now, I would choose adoption over pregnancy. Yes, you read that correctly, if someone gave me the choice, I would rather adopt than bear a child who is biologically related to me. It just feels like a choice that is meant to be and I actually don’t have any other words for it than that.
But there is something that I am still struggling with terribly, and that is other people’s determination for me to be the miracle infertility poster child, the one who fell pregnant, the one that urban legends are made of. Not anyone near me, my family and friends are thrilled and excited, I’m talking about people in the distant periphery. But there are many of them, and often you come into a group of people you don’t know or barely know, and before you know it, there it is again, that complete and utter refusal to accept someone else’s infertility diagnosis as the truth. The determination for you to simply accept that it’s your fear, and not your adhesions/missing fallopian tube/premature ovarian failure/azoospermia/endometriosis that are the reason for your consistently empty uterus. The doctors, very simply, have made a mistake.
Now I’m actually extremely open to other people’s point of view, and I’m just clear that that is what it is, their point of view. They are entitled to it. Actually, I could probably have a very enjoyable conversation with a senile person who was telling me the grass is purple, I wouldn’t try to change their opinion on it. I love that everyone sees the world differently and I don’t believe that anyone is ever wrong.
But conversations on fertility, well, they border on political. It’s close to people’s hearts, their opinions on the subject are more than just opinions, they are crucial points that the listener absolutely must be convinced of. The listener’s opinion must change for the conversation to be successful. It cannot end before then.
And those conversations, they border on bizarre. If I was for instance, a breast cancer survivor, would they be telling me that it wasn’t really breast cancer? That my mastectomy had come about as a mistake on the doctor’s behalf? That it was my fear that caused me to imagine a diagnosis by a doctor to be correct?
For the most part, I am able to navigate the conversational landmines of life quite well, but this one still floors me, and I will not capitulate. I will not require someone to accept into their belief system that some people will just never, ever “fall” pregnant, despite the stats to back up the fact that more than 9 out of 10 infertile women will remain infertile without medical assistance. But I will not smile gracefully as they force feed me my inevitable future “accidental” pregnancy. I just. can’t. do. it. I respect your understanding of the world, respect mine.
Respect the years of research, the thousands of Rands in medical fees, the rivers of tears, the millions of moments of wondering how it could be different. Respect the long and painful journey down an endless road, that no woman thinks they themselves will ever have to take. Respect the hard earned peace that you eventually come to, one way or another. And pray young woman, pray. Get on your knees every night until they are raw, and pray that you will be spared this.