There are few living beings that I have unconditional love for like my nieces and nephews. They are little wonders and their presence makes me endlessly happy. I take so much joy in their existence and prod my married siblings to have their own babies because I am quite certain I won't. It's not that I don't want kids. It's just that with my medical issues, pregnancy - and even living with the microbial adventures that are children - is at very least a dangerous prospect and more likely a fatal one.
Which brings me to my point: I feel in the realm of the reproductive arts, we are lone soles. We're afraid of the stigma of infertility; of people judging us because for whatever reason, our bodies aren't able, ready or willing to have a baby. We're similarly afraid to say that even if we're happily married that we might not feel ready for kids just yet. We're afraid of the tradeoffs of work and life. We're afraid to talk about the reality of a clock -- that not everyone can get pregnant at 35 or 40, even with IVF. We're afraid to bring up the prospect of adoption with friends who are trying. We're afraid we'll never find someone who we want to have a baby with - or who wants to have a baby with us. It's just too personal an issue. There are too many feelings to be hurt - too much damage to be done.
But our unwillingness to engage our sisters and friends and mothers in a meaningful conversation about babies is stifling our ability to experience happiness and peace. It's blocking primary sources for valuable information and robbing us of the comfort we owe one another. I have seen our inability to communicate let resentments fester and depressions take root. I have also seen the blatant disregard for obvious sensitivities destroy wonderful relationships between families and friends. Finally, from my experience as one of 11, motherhood is often an entirely overwhelming process. It can be lonely and isolating. These beautiful burdens of life should not be borne alone.
So friends, my question is this: why can't we talk about babies? I'm not saying fertility is something we have to discuss with guests over dinner. But too often, we don't talk to our closest friends and family about it. Is this a topic that we need to endure in silence? Is it better that way? Or is it something which is alright to talk about? If it is, how is it alright? What signs do you send that you want to talk? These aren't rhetorical questions. I'd love to hear your input. I feel a whole lot of women are hurting over this issue and we're not doing much to improve the situation. Because whether you have a dozen babies or two or none and never will, we all have a part to play in shaping a future that is inevitably shaped by what and who we bring into this world.