Baby on board? Spare a thought for the childless

A throwaway remark, a picture posted, a passing stranger, they strike us without warning, and deep. Try as we might, it can be hard, at first, to think of anything other than our own remembered grief; that heavy punch of sadness which drags the spirits down. Perhaps we wonder if we are about to cry.

We do not wish to deny you your joy. We don’t presume that life for you is simple or easy; you may have been through things which we have not. Of course you deserve this just as much as anyone.

We just need to have that same conversation with ourselves and remember:

  1. We will not be taken in by appearances: however perfect someone’s life may look, everyone has their struggles and their stories. If we open up to others, we might even find that they have wisdoms we did not account for.
  2. We will let go of feelings of failure and shame. What has happened is nothing personal about us. We could just have easily been the lucky ones. Life and death, two sides of the same coin, both occur at random. And if we have life, we already have something to be grateful for.
  3. We will not ask ‘why me?’ We should be careful not to think we deserve everything. Coping with infertility is so tough but learning to appreciate the small things could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to us.
  4. We will live life with no regrets. Each decision made complete sense at the time and without mistakes, we receive no wisdom.
  5. We will be proud of the strength and insight we have gained. We will use it to be kind and understanding towards others and recognise that even if they say the wrong thing, their heart was in the right place.
  6. Life keeps moving on. It can be particularly painful to watch other people become pregnant and have a baby but those babies grow and become just a memory. As years go by, we must all face love and loss. Who can say what is in store for any of us? Death has a funny way of making everything else seem so small.
  7. If needs be, we can build an alternative future. Though we must be sad for what could not be – and nothing can ever take that away, family is what you make it.

And then we can be happy for you.

Looking on, the ability to procreate can seem like a fundamental rite of passage from which we are excluded; the miracle we may only gaze from afar. No doubt, you don’t necessarily feel that way when you get there. It quickly becomes ‘normal’ and has its own challenges. But all we ask is please, just remember us.