I have been promoting my book these past few days, which has been meet with some positive reactions. Its been great to see that there are women out there who are just as excited as I am to see my book come to life. I realise that we still have a long way to go with changing people’s mind-sets. We childless women seem to be placed into some category by society because people don’t seem to know how to respond to us.
One response that surprised me was from a group of young women in their twenties, possibly their early thirties, who responded by anxiously saying that they want to have a baby soon so that they are not in my position when they are 45. They are single and actively trying for a baby. It was strange sitting there hearing these women not want to be like me when they are my age because as hard as this grief process is, I would not have wanted to be them at their age either. As much as I am sad that I couldn’t conceive with my husband the prospect of bringing up a baby alone was also not an option for me. During this encounter I was asked why I hadn’t met anyone in my twenties to have a baby with. It was a surprise that they thought it shouldn’t matter who I had a baby with just as long as I had one. They just couldn’t stand in my shoes and that, also made me question: why do women want children in the first place? And what price are they willing to pay to have them? I wouldn’t have said it’s an option that I readily chose but I wanted the best for me and my children and in some ways realised that this just became my reality.
As much as I have been met with excitement and admiration regarding my book I also see the difficulties that are still to come. Whilst I was sharing with a different group of women, telling that, as much as it hurts to be here, women grieving the loss of their unborn children do not need others to fix us, we are simply looking for love, support and understanding. Some women still told me ‘not to give up the hope of having a child’ with one whispering ‘just keep praying’ into my ear. As I breathed to contain my anger I realised that there are going to be those people that are so uncomfortable with the idea that I am grieving, that the only thing that they can do is to keep me in a world of false hope so that they do not have to see my pain. Why can’t they just allow this pain to be what it is, why can’t they just hug me (some women did which was so amazing), why can’t they just silently hold my hand through it?
Though all of the difficulties I also saw women who found the courage to own their stories, women who hadn’t even told their families of their struggles of navigating their way through not becoming a mum, which really touched my heart. I am very apprehensive about how I will be received, not only when I speak at International Women’s Day, but also when my book is published and my story is out there in all its glory, but I also see this as such a special part of my journey. My book may allow other women to have a voice, and this is such an honour for me.