I work with a lot of women who are struggling with fertility. It can be difficult to appreciate the impact on a woman’s life. Sometimes the issue is with her, other times with her husband.
I saw a client yesterday. She has been trying to conceive her second child for 6 years. That is 12 cycles a year for 6 years that her dreams have been dashed. 72 times that she has held her breath, waiting, hoping her bleed doesn’t come. Will this be the month? Waiting, dreaming; not daring to hope. Trying to be positive. The sense of loss for what isn’t each time her blood flows. The grieving, the tears, the prayers. The holding on, because you never know when that miracle will happen.
This client is self conscious about her body; some foods make her bloated and her belly round. She’s started to keep a food diary but in the meantime she doesn’t know what foods to avoid. It’s a work in progress.
In the month since I last saw her….
THREE people have asked her if she’s pregnant;
ONE person asked when the baby is due;
TWO people asked why she’s stopped at one child;
ONE person berated her for not looking after herself….for her husband!
This is one client that I saw on one day. She is not alone in dealing with such hurtful comments and questions.
Please, please, please.
Don’t assume women are trying to become pregnant
Don’t assume women are trying to avoid pregnancy
Don’t comment on their size or weight – whether they are slim and lithe, or round and curvy.
And do not, ever, ever, ever ask when they are going to start a family or if they are planning more children. You never know what heartbreak lies behind the smile.