Infertility Made Me Realize I Am Worth More Than Just The Ability To Reproduce

infertility

By Annabelle Ramos

I love my mother. She’s done an amazing job raising me and my siblings. She is one of the many mothers I know who has worked hard, sacrificed much and deserves the utmost respect and recognition. That said, the topic of motherhood is a sensitive one in my life, because I am currently not a mother and I have a handful of women in my social circle who make me feel awkward because of it.

Questions like, “When are you having kids?” or “What methods have you tried?” open a Pandora’s box full of dreadful feelings for me (and a half dozen other women I personally know who are also currently childless.)

Although I’ve been married for over five years, my husband and I aren’t parents yet, for many personal reasons (some of them health-related.) Because of this, we are viewed by some people in our social circle as “strange and unusual,” as though we’re alien creatures that hailed from the deep Amazon jungles or the planet of Mars.

I have a particular neighbor who always asks when she sees me, “How’s the baby-making going?” or “Have you been timing your ovulation?” or “Have you been keeping up with your fertility research?” I have notified her time and time again that I’d rather discuss a different topic, yet the pressurizing has not stopped. “Clock is ticking” she reminds me each time we meet. “Prioritize this. You don’t want to miss out on the fertile window.”

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I have another woman in my life who is not as straightforward and prefers to drop subtle hints about my “inadequacy,” with statements like, “Kids are a handful, but they’re worth it. They teach you about the meaning of life.”

And each time this woman hears about my next big travel adventure with my husband, (we travel frequently and we’ve been to a lot of amazing places) she responds with,  “Oh wow. Bob and I don’t travel much but at least we have kids, which are more important.”

It all used to irk me. But I soon realized that these women can’t help it, because they are only operating under the primitive way of thinking that “the purpose of life is to reproduce.”

I know that these women are generally good people and maybe they genuinely just want me to be happy;  yet these intentions and quips seem to be fueled by the hideous and ignorant view that a woman’s life is incomplete without children. In essence they are trying to “fix” me by encouraging me to become a mother, like the rest of the “normal” women.

This view is the outcome of society’s conditioning to make us subconsciously believe that the ultimate role of women in life is to bear children. That is, if a woman is incapable of fulfilling that purpose, then she’s failed or that she’s broken. On the other hand, if she chooses not to become a mother then she’s selfish. There is virtually no win situation for being childless.

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Why do we do this? Why, after all the obstacles women have overcome, does this small-minded way of thinking linger?  Women are good for more than just popping out babies. Women are capable of so much more than just nurturing and executing wifely or domestic duties.

Motherhood is an important accolade in a woman’s life, and an absolute profound experience. But motherhood isn’t the only path to a fulfilling life, it isn’t the ultimate answer to the question: why am I here? What is my purpose?

I admit I once fell into this backward way of thinking. I come from a fertile family, with a mother who’s had four children, a grandmother who also had four children and a sister with two of her own. The fact that I couldn’t easily get pregnant after I got married frustrated me and made me resent my own body. It made me fear that I was missing out on an important experience of womanhood, therefore making me inadequate.

My uncompassionate male fertility doctor made these emotions worse. He made me feel terrible and broken and for a while I pitied myself. Then I realized that I am actually not broken. I’m generally healthy, I have a solid and thriving marriage, I have a good education, a solid career, a set of genuine and supportive friends, and a handful of accolades. Just because my fertility isn’t at optimum, did that diminish the quality of the rest of my life? Absolutely not!

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I have since snapped out of that negative way of thinking, and decided to channel my energies into creativity to serve my community better. I really believe that a renewed sense of thinking and attitude toward this matter could empower women and young girls, especially.

With our renewed views and attitudes, we can instill in our young girls that they call the shots, that they can build any future they want,  and that there are multiple paths they can pursue in life that would  lead to a fulfilling existence. The ultimate goal in life for girls shouldn’t be limited to “snagging a husband and creating a family.”

We don’t need another person to complete our lives. Maybe if we emphasized this concept the amount of female insecurity and unhealthy co-dependent relationships in our society would decrease. It would also lessen the amount of women who give up on their ambitions for the sake of starting a family.

As I’ve stated, motherhood is an important role in life; but if some women don’t want to pursue that path, then they shouldn’t be made to feel like social pariahs. It would benefit us as a society to allow all girls and women to feel confident in their life choices of being independent, self-sufficient, and unapologetically successful. We are capable of and worth so much more than what the history books and this patriarchal society expects from us.

 

annabelle-ramos

Annabelle M. Ramos is a writer, wife, globetrotter and social activist. Her debut novel, ‘Lost in the Echo’, is a New Adult fiction that’s set to be released in October 2016. She loves going on adventures with her husband and volunteering with organizations that focus on improving the lives and well-being of women from all walks of life.

Website: www.annabellemramos.com

Instagram: @annabellemramos

Twitter: @annabellemramos

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  1. Pingback: Fertility, Sex Drive, And Fitness: How Smoking Affects Your Health In More Ways Than One - GirlTalkHQ

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