Losing Naïveté and Minding Manners
For some, the decision to have children to actually having those children is an easy process. For others, there is nothing easy about it.
I always think about how before one is ready for children, the idea of getting pregnant accidentally would be a huge uh-oh moment and the monthly period comes with relief. From the minute a couple decides they are ready to have a family, the coin flips. Negative pregnancy tests and the first sign of a period bring disappointment and tears, no relief.
If you have struggled even slightly to get pregnant, you know how ovulation works and that there are ovulation predictor tests to take so that you don’t miss that very small window of ovulation, that only comes (best case scenario) 12 times a year. You know that you can take your Basal Body Temperature every morning to track ovulation coming and if it occurred. You know that you cervical mucus changes around the time of ovulation, and you know that your luteal phase = the long dreaded wait between ovulation and the joy of a positive pregnancy test or the devastation of the return of your period.
If you got pregnant on the first try, it is very possible you don’t know most of that. It is a strange thing that there are so many women who do not know the intricate details of how our body works to create a child. There are so so many things that need to go right all at the same time for there to be success and yet many of us take it for granted.
I came across the story of Chrissy Teigen on Tyra’s talk show and she had a strong and powerful message:
I will say honestly, John and I are having trouble. We would have kids five, six years ago if it’d happened. But my gosh, it’s been a process! We’ve seen fertility doctors, and then once you open up about those things to other people, you start learning that a lot of other people in your life are seeing these people, and they have this shame about it.
So, anytime somebody asks me if I’m going to have kids, I’m like, “One day, you’re going to ask that to the wrong girl who’s really struggling, and it’s going to be really hurtful to them.” And I hate that. So, I hate it. Stop asking me!
We all need to be more conscious when talking about children. I know that as a mom when I get together with friends the conversation more often than not turns to something child related – what our kids are up to, pregnancy talk etc. There could be people in the discussion who want to crawl away and cry in a corner but instead they put on a smiling face. We need to be more sensitive and more empathetic.
Beyond the struggle of getting pregnant, so many have suffered miscarriages or stillbirth. More and more I find people are writing and sharing their experiences and are helping to remove the shame surrounding it, as Chrissy said. My best friend contributed to the New York Times feature on stillbirth. Her words are comforting, heartbreaking and inspiring all at the same time.