Women discuss what it's like to be told you can't have kids
Three courageous women sat down with Buzzed to discuss their struggles of infertility. By sharing their stories, they enabled women experiencing similar situations to resonate and empathize with them. According to the CDC, 12% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have trouble getting pregnant or carrying pregnancies to term.
Women typically feel like part of life inevitably involves having children someday. Whether they always dreamed of having children or not, finding out they're unable can be a devastating blow. One woman said, "I wanted kids really badly when I was growing up." She described what it was like to be told she couldn't get pregnant:
"The definitive reason was unexplained. There were a few times when I thought I was pregnant and then I wasn't. It started to feel like I was cursed."
She goes on to describe the feeling of exclusion her situation brought on:
"I feel like I'm missing out on this club. I wanted to be a part of that club and I still couldn't get in. It sucks sometimes. I don't know how else to describe it. It just felt like my life was at the whim of this thing that didn't even exist."
However, after spending time focusing on herself and what else she wants in this life, she came out stronger and more sure of what she wants. She said:
"Now I'm 38 and I don't want kids which is such a weird thing to say out loud, especially considering who I was."
Another woman explained why she felt she couldn't share her story at first:
"I kind of didn't tell anybody for many, many, many years because it's not something that you tell people, 'oh by the way, I have issues.'"
This woman did get pregnant but was unable to carry the pregnancy to term. She said:
"When I got married, within a year I got pregnant. It was like 'yay God is sending me this child, so I'm supposed to be a mom and this is a sign.' Within three months I started having problems. I started bleeding and eventually I had a miscarriage."
She then explained what it feels like to find out you can't have a biological child:
"Whether or not you want to have children, receiving that piece of news is really hard and can change your life."
However, after facing her situation and considering other options, she realized that there's more to being a mom than having a biological child. She said:
"We may in the future adopt a child or even foster for a child. There are more ways to leave a legacy than a biological child."
A third woman explained that she was diagnosed with endometriosis, one of the leading causes on infertility in women, in 2012. She said:
"When I would talk about it people would either change the subject or just awkwardly talk to me about it because they felt like it was something I was really upset about and they didn't want to upset me further."
She explained the torture of losing the choice to have a child:
"It was never my choice whether or not I would be able to have children easily. I was seeing the face of the unborn child that I would never have. I felt really lost and I felt like I couldn't offer what I needed to offer in order to be someone that someone wanted to be with for the long term."
However, she eventually realized that she can influence people without being their biological mother. She said:
"You don't have to give birth to someone to be their mother. I think that was the turning point for me. Think about all the motherly characters in your life and the influences. Not all of them gave birth to you."
She explained that she no longer feels like she can't offer something that other women can. She said:
"I'm going to talk about it because it's my life...I want everyone to be able to talk about it and not feel ashamed that something happened to them that they cannot control. We have so much more going for us than just producing children. I wish everyone could see it the way that I see it."