It’s easy to look at pregnant women and seemingly perfect nuclear families and think, ‘Wow, don’t they have it all!’ If you are in the zone of desperately wanting a child and it being out of reach, almost everyone around you seems to hold what you are missing.
But what you don’t see is their journey. You can’t see years of fertility treatment, failed attempts at IVF, miscarriages or the tiny babies lost. If you are lucky you will have experienced none of these things; in the worst situations some couples experience them all.
But often we just don’t know because we don’t talk about it. Or even if we do, we then quickly sweep it under the carpet because people, myself included, get all awkward when they have to discuss sad stuff. Serious stuff. Let’s just have a cup of tea and call it ‘one of those things’.
Have you ever had a conversation with a friend who told you that she’s miscarried and then quickly brushed it away because ‘It happens all the time’ – you can see that her eyes have started to water and she’s struggling to make eye contact because it doesn’t really matter how long she was pregnant for or how big or small the baby got – it was a life, there was so much excitement, so much potential and then suddenly it’s all gone, to be treated like a common cold: grow up, get over it, everyone has them! Except a couple of paracetamol doesn’t provide a quick fix when it comes to miscarriages.
Years later, when hopefully those couples have a child or children of their own, they may still feel like they are not allowed to mention their journey any more because ultimately they got their dream. But you are still allowed to feel that loss aren’t you?