I had a great weekend, although I was strongly reminded of my childless status at a party where everyone was talking about their children and grandchildren. At such times, I can either smile and nod or hit the buffet table again. “Five grandkids, huh? And the new one is due in September? Nice.” You know how it goes. I’ve been dealing with it for years.
But some women are in the throes of such deep pain they don’t know what to do. I received messages from two such women this weekend.
The first is Jennifer, who writes:
“I’m now 37, husband is 40. We have been married for almost 13 years. I always wanted children. He wanted to wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, 3 years ago I ‘made’ him go to a fertility doctor with me. The doctor immediately thought it was me, put me on Clomid, etc. He tested my husband ‘just in case.’ On Halloween (my favorite holiday in the world, or it used to be)…I went for my checkup to see how the Clomid was working. He examined me, told me I was responding “wonderfully” and told me to have sex that weekend. I was SO thrilled!!!! Then, before he left, I asked him if he had the results of my husband’s exam. He looked worried, and said “I’ll be right back.” He came back a few minutes later, and simply said “There was a big problem. Your husband has no sperm.” I must have said “are you sure?” about ten times. I was shocked. He said, “Don’t worry, we can use donor sperm and you’ll be pregnant within a month or two.” My husband, however, did not want to use donor sperm. My husband doesn’t want to adopt. He’s happy with his life. He likes his job and has his stupid band. I, on the other hand, am miserable. I feel left out. I don’t have any friends anymore because all of my friends have children and that’s all they talk about. I don’t have family, so my having a child meant everything in the world to me. I feel so isolated and SO lonely…I honestly don’t know how I am going to survive another day let alone a lifetime. Do you have any words of wisdom for me? I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m at the end of my rope.” 😦
This morning, I got a message from Iris:
“I don’t know where to turn. I don’t know how to deal with the pain of
being childless. My heart never felt so broken. I am married now and
my husband has four children. None of those experiences were good. Now,
between layoffs, strikes, and circumstances, I think I will never have
children. I am 45 going on 46. If the window of opportunity is not
already closed, it is fast approaching. I don’t want to feel this
pain. I don’t want to be bitter. I don’t know what to do.”
Friends, we’re all in the same leaky boat. I think the hardest time to be childless is when you’re in your 30s and 40s and feel your chances slipping away. When you get older, I promise you will find ways to make peace with the situation. Meanwhile, I think it’s essential to talk first with your partner. Try to make him or her understand how you feel, how very important it is to have children NOW. I was guilty of not speaking up enough. I think if I had, I would have children now. If your mate will not listen, find someone else to talk to, a friend,a counselor, anyone who will listen. Don’t keep it bottled up. You also need to consider whether this partner is worth the sacrifice. If you had to choose between losing him or her and losing your potential children, which would you pick?
I welcome your comments and your advice.