When we first had “that conversation” about making a baby together almost six years ago, looking back on it, I can’t believe how ridiculously naive we were. I remember thinking – well, having a baby is the most natural thing in the world, so how hard can it be? And for us – the lucky ones – it was. I fell pregnant after two months of trying, and had a pregnancy that went full term, with the delivery of a healthy baby at the end.
However, over the last five years of motherhood I have realised just how lucky we were, and how much I had taken my fertility for granted.
The conversations, confessions and hurt of so many women who have not had such an easy journey into motherhood, who have struggled to conceive – many for years, who have miscarried, who have had still births, who have had complications in birth and thereafter race through my mind as I write this.
I think about all the women who take every vitamin in the land, who cut out the caffeine, sugar and who are wracked with worries because for them – fertility is not something they can take for granted. Those who riddled with anxieties about whether they will conceive, whether they will make it into the safe zone…and past it, those who have daggers in their heart every time one of their friends posts a picture of a positive pregnancy test on social media, or a picture of their bonny new baby. Those who might make it to 30 weeks yet still not feel safe.
All those years ago, I had no idea about the collective heartache of these women, of the perpetual worry, of their devastating losses which hangs over them every single day.
Perhaps it because I had never experienced loss like this, but having heard the words and felt the pain of my sisters time and time again, and had the hurtful well meaning words that they have heard from those who just couldn’t possibly understand recounted to me, my plea to everyone reading this who hasn’t been through the heartache of trying to conceive when your body won’t co-operate, who hasn’t miscarried, who hasn’t lost their baby is to please – never take your fertility for granted.
Because there are women EVERYWHERE who would give anything for their pregnancies to make it, to not feel anxious with every single day their pregnancy progressions, to know that they can bank on the fact they will hold their baby in their arms safely at the end of it.
With one in eight women in the UK experiencing infertility, one in four women experiencing miscarriage and one in every 225 births ending in stillbirth, let’s not take life, or fertility for granted. I know I won’t.
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