The moment my husband and I were engaged the questions started. ‘When will you have kids?’ ‘Are you going to start trying soon?’ ‘You better give me grand-babies, nieces, nephews, etc.’ I brushed it off with a laugh and a half-hearted ‘We’ll see!’ or ‘You’ll be the first to know!’
You see, I have never been the girl who dreamt about her wedding day or how many children she would have. I dreamt about having a career and being successful. When I got married, I’ll admit, the idea of a family became very enticing. After a couple years we decided to start trying to get pregnant.
After going off birth control and starting the process, a few issues came up. Mainly, I started having some real debilitating issues related to my monthly cycles. I was having massive cramping, heavy bleeding during and after my period (think about going through a super tampon and a maxi pad in less than 15 minutes… not cool). I was constantly in pain, to the point I would be physically ill and unable to work or attend classes.
I saw three gynecologists before one of them believed me and told me that what I was experiencing was 100% not normal and also 100% not in my head (yes, one of the doctors told me that). I underwent surgery and was diagnosed with endometriosis. Mind you, this was after only three years of pain and struggle; the average woman waits for ten years before getting a diagnosis.
So, here I was at 25, having finally gotten to a point where I wanted, and I mean truly wanted, a family with my husband. Now, I was experiencing this news after three years of negative tests and broken hopes. I’d done the research; endometriosis is one of the leading causes of female infertility. However, my doctors assured me I should be able to get pregnant, no problem.
Today, it’s another three years later, a total of six years and 72 horrible visits from Aunt Flo. I have had blood work, tests, cysts, hospital visits, pain, and still no baby. After a few recent tests my husband and I were told to see a fertility specialist as none of our other doctors or specialists could figure out why we couldn’t get pregnant.
So this brings me to the point. My fertility is my business to share with whomever I choose. I need people to stop asking me when I’m going to have kids. Stop pointing out that I’m not getting any younger. Stop telling me that my husband would be a great father, as if I’m just some insensitive bitch who is denying him what he truly wants. I’m tired of being nice about it, smiling and laughing it off as if I don’t care.
I have had disappointment after disappointment every single month for the past six years. When people ask these questions or state the fucking obvious, my anger and sadness gets just a little closer to boiling over. Think about it before you speak. The woman who you are giving ‘sage’ advice to may be silently suffering, from infertility, from the loss of a child or they may not want kids at all – and that’s alright too. “When are you having kids?” is a bigger question than you may realize, and a woman’s fertility or anything about her reproductive health is NOT everyone’s business.
To learn more about endometriosis, which 1 in 10 American women suffers from, visit the Endometriosis Foundation of America’s web page here. And, become an endo warrior!