Let’s change the narrative

This is typical of me-I am about to blog my thoughts on a topic I have not a huge depth of knowledge about but have had lots of conversations about, have shed tears over and felt utterly lost around the issue.

Well kids what a fun start that is!!

But yes, as clearly stated in the previous comment…today’s topic is FERTILITY!!!

And how ultimately this like lots of other things in life is not fair. But we can still expect it to be.

It is not about starting a family, or parenting because although they are obviously all linked, but if you haven’t already noticed from previous posts I strongly believe that family and fertility are not the same thing.

A friend of mine just told me that fertility is no longer part of the RE syllabus. If I am honest, I didn’t realise it ever was (I didn’t do RE for very long at my school).

But then it kinda makes sense not only from understanding differing opinions on the debate of when life begins but  I would suggest that fertility is a pretty important thing to think through, and maybe even start processing early.

At 14 I was pretty certain I never wanted kids. So I just wanted to know how to avoid that scenario, but I guess in part I had formed my ideas about what I thought about when life begins and what I found an acceptable idea of preventing that situation from happening.

At 24 I felt the same, but also I started taking pregnancy tests-which was weird due to the lack of sex in my life?!

At 30 I felt the same, but wanted to know what my options were and to talk seriously about the effects of the hormonal pill.

At 32 I had changed my mind and found myself pregnant pretty quickly, which had both its pros and cons.

But so began a weird dialogue around ‘why hadn’t we waited until things were more settled/I had a job’…the answer was fairly predictably ‘we didn’t think we would get pregnant so quickly’.

And that reveals the problem I have found…the illusion of control.

Because in my experience fertility does not play by any set rules.

And those of us who are fortunate to make a decision as to whether we want a child and then that scenario plays out pretty smoothly, we need to be careful about how we tell our story.

Because it can sound like we controlled it, we worked out a plan and it happened.

I don’t think that can be true…because you know, look around…unless we are the anomaly…unplanned pregnancies, miscarriages, desperately wanted babies that never come into being or those that did whose parents weren’t ready they all tell a different tale. And these are people’s lives. It is so painful when we ignore these stories as if they were not the norm.

Obviously that doesn’t mean that planning never works, or is futile, of course not but maybe its a luxury some can’t afford or a hand that is not dealt to them.

Let us not assume our experience is everyone’s. We can all be guilty of that, I know I have been. Asking about whether people want children, or want more…which presumes that the desire is what decides. We are endorsing a narrative that is harmful to ourselves as well as others-the assumption that we control all this.

Having a plan/a partner/the vitamins/ovulation charts/the medical assistance where necessary/the money for that assistance…all of that helps…but it doesn’t guarantee anything.

For those of you hurting because one way or another things haven’t worked out in this area I am sorry. And I am sorry for the times I have implied, or even said, that you got to choose this.

There’s a lot of not easy things about this life and fertility is often one of them.



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