An old friend from grade school and his
wife were in town and stayed with us for a few days. We’ve known each
other since we were 15 years old and we have fun childhood stories to
tell. It is great to look back at the old days and see where we are now.
I married my college sweetheart about 10 years ago; we have 2 boys and
enjoy every moment. My friend got married a few years ago to a young
pretty gal from his hometown. Like many happily married couples,
starting a family and new life together is their dream; unfortunately
this has not come easy for them. They recently learned that having a
baby would require the assistance of a fertility specialist. His wife,
who is in her early 20’s, never imagined this could happen to them. She
assumed that infertility only happened to older couples.
My kids especially enjoyed their stay. They always like having guests around because they get extra attention. The oldest who is eight loves to participate in our game night. My three year old on the other hand is quite an interesting little guy. He is very independent and doesn’t always need a playmate to have fun. When we have company, he usually plays on his tablet and listens in to the sound of competitive people trying to win a game without a prize. At least that is how he sees it. One morning, he woke up and decided to check in on our guests. He didn’t see my friend, so he asked his wife as to where her father was. She chuckled and explained that he was not her father, he was her husband. His response was, “like my dad and mom”. She nodded and he stayed quiet for a moment, as if he was processing the thought. He moved on to the next question, “Where are your children?” She explained that they did not have any. He raised both hands and questioned, “You don’t want children?” She simply replied, “Yes, I do want children”. I think the dream or thought of having children may come at a very young age for many. Some grow up seeing one or perhaps both parents and in a child’s view they assume that having children is the norm. I personally always dreamed of having kids. Feeling nurtured and loved during your childhood is an awesome experience and I wanted to feel this in the reversed role of being a mom.
My friends stayed with us for less than a week, but we had several mutual friends come over and visit them too. It's shocking how many times people ask: “When are you having kids?” I swear, I was not trying to tally each time I heard that question, but people kept asking them. Working in the fertility industry and having experienced secondary infertility made me sensitive to the question. I am sure this was hurtful to the couple too; however I do understand that not many know that infertility is a non-discriminating disease. Many make the same innocent assumption my son did, not knowing that not having children is not always one's choice.
Like my friend, I am also one of the one in eight who experience infertility. Share my story or perhaps yours and raise infertility awareness.