1. When are you giving the good news?
2. You must start trying now.
3. You both will cross 30 soon, don’t delay now.
4. You may not be successful in first time. Trying few times will again engulf few months.
5. Even after conceiving, it’s good if all goes smooth and well, but god forbids, we must see the other side also.
6. That So-and-so sister had 2-3 abortions and even with the final live birth she had so much complications.
7. Don’t use contraceptives etc. They affect future chances of pregnancy.
With all such and many more questions Misha tranced 2 years back while staring at “those two lines” . There is a small dark corner growing in Misha’s mind. She started asking herself “Despite of my confidence and gut feeling, what if even a slightest thing goes wrong. Everyone will blame me only”
She started thinking of the times before her marriage. She was a bit horrified by the thought of having a kid. She had seen her sister-in-law and many girls in relation and is very well aware of the problems arising in a family after the new member arrives. She also realize it’s not necessary every bad experience will occur with everyone.
Misha was an independent girl who wish to live her life, enjoy the fullest out of the life given once.
She was not in preference of having a kid. (Ok, call her selfish) Not Because she don’t like kids but is in a favor of living her own life with her lover-cum-husband. She don’t want to share the love and care, even be it with their own kid.
But then again as our society calls for. It needs a great deal of self confidence and strength to continue stick to this thought . Well she knew she will succumb and she did. Reason be any.
To her it seems to be yesterday, when, she married to a boy of her own choice. It was a perfect love story for her. Finally, her dreams came true.
Soon after 3-4 months after the marriage everyone started saying “now you should plan”. What hurts her, that included her husband also. They talked and sensed each other’s feelings and opinion. She feels very much lucky to have him as her husband. One who understands and supports her at every turn of life. She loves him more than anything. She didn’t wanted a child, at least, not this soon. She wants to live with and love her man only. No third one.
Soon her MIL’s words echoed in her ears. “agar rakhi tak kuch nahi hua to iska test karwaungi” (if we don’t get good news by rakhshabandhan, I will take her for tests”). Even Misha’s own mother had asked many times “tum log try kar rahe ho Kya? Ya kuch problem he” (are you not trying or is there any problem?”) initially those words hurt her more than anything. But Misha is not blaming them. She understands they were right in their places. It was just care and in their words.
Both Misha and her husband were in their late twenties. And according to the Indian myths, one should not delay much, as after a certain age, problems persists. She understands this very well, but she didn’t want to have a child under pressure and not as per her choice and decision. She knew she can’t live a childless life in Indian culture. Or even if she initiates, she might not sustain that strongness. She started preparing her mindset
Until the day she can not stand any longer, to those taunts, questions and concerns, she succumbed. They planned happily. She was confident in conceiving with the very first try.
Now, in her third trimester she still has her fingers crossed and hopes everything goes right and smooth.
She was not “labelled ” as infertile though, but still she was experiencing the sufferings of being one or getting the blame of any complications (god forbid). She lived with the fear. Fear of the society. Fear of being blamed. Fear of standing guilty. Fear of getting the punishment without her fault or any mistake.
There are many more stories like Misha’s. Mostly with the “not-so-good” end will take our attention. This has become so natural in today’s world where things, specially pregnancy and delivery has become such a big issue of concern. Yes there are complications with few cases, but that doesn’t mean every girls will have it.
Initially I was reluctant to talk about this topic, Thanks to Corinne Rodriques of Write Tribe for encouraging me to write on the topic and to #BreakTaboos and #BreakSilence around infertility, to #Inspire #BringChange #EmpowerWomen. I was reluctant since I don’t know what to write or share. Never had any experience about this in friends and relatives. Even don’t have much information. Then I did some research about the topic.
There are many definitions of infertility vis-a-vis Clinical, Demographic, Epidemiological, Primary and secondary. In simple words what I understood from short study is this :
“Infertility is the inability of a sexually active, non-contracepting couple to achieve pregnancy in one year. The male partner can be evaluated for infertility or subfertility using a variety of clinical interventions, and also from a laboratory evaluation of semen.”
In this definition, the male partner is equally treated. If science mentions both genders equally then why we are not seeing it.
Some more data I discovered is :
Estimates from a study suggest that worldwide “between three and seven per cent of all couples or women have an unresolved problem of infertility. 20-30% of infertility cases are due to male infertility , 20-35% are due to female infertility, and 25-40% are due to combined problems in both parts. In 10-20% of cases, no cause is found. Again here, stats shows equal ratio among male and female infertility.
One thing I heard much about and even had experienced is, our Indian culture asks for a “good news” within an year of marriage. As soon as a newly wed girl enters the home : ” jaldi se ab agle saal do se teen ho jao”.
Point here is, it is mostly our Indian culture and traditional views that having a child is so so important. Yes it is, but let not blame the girls (yes specially girls are only blamed) for not having kids, reason may differ.
“shadi ko 5 saal hogae he, wo log try kar rahe he par bacha ho nahi raha” (it’s been 5 years of their marriage, but they aren’t getting successful, having a kid) this type of conversation should literally be “banned”. Arey, who are you and I to talk about that, who we meant, to gossip about their personal life.
Not a shame
Infertility is not anything to be ashamed of. It’s not something which people go and talk about others suffering from it. People who gossip about topics like this, I want to ask : ” do you talk or gossip about anyone suffering from fever or cold or any other medical problem.” No right? Then why about infertility? Or any such taboo. It is not more than a medical condition.
Couples going through this are more disturbed and under pressure, by society and such people, than their own state of mind. Even somehow they manage to cope up but the taunts and indirect expressions hurt them deeper than anyone knows.
Let us not talk and just increase their problems. Let us not make them feel any bad or regret for their life. Let us support them in whatever their decision is. Let us stand with them and not against them. Love and Happiness is the solution to most of our problems. Happiness is more important, be it with kid of without kid. It lies within. We are proud of those who are taking the bull by the horns and let us all join hands and voices to say #InfertilityNotATaboo.
This blog is to #SpreadAwareness about Infertility through Infertility Dost, India’s first website that facilitates couples to brave infertility with support and knowledge. You can find other links on Write Tribe.