A few months ago during a class’ coffee break, an acquaintance asked me about my dog (what can I say, he is that popular). While I was telling her about his past adventures, a woman who didn’t know me and was listening to our conversation, interrupted us and asked me: “Wouldn’t it be best that rather than having a dog, you had a son?” I felt as if she had slapped me. I didn’t know what to answer. I had to apologize and go to the restroom with my heart broken.
I am a 39-year-old woman, independent, professional, happily married, enterprising, warrior, healthy, who doesn’t have a child and not by choice … or is it?
According to the latest statistics, in Mexico there are 2.6 million cases of infertility and each year there are 180 thousand more, together in men and women. (INE, 2018). Despite this, in our society, the issue remains a taboo. In some cases, living ashamed and above all with huge loneliness, as both men and women avoid talking about the subject.
That’s why today I speak to you as a human being, like that woman who perceived as independent, people have assumed she doesn’t want to have a child and prefers to have a dog. Like a woman who’s heard the typical “If you don’t hurry, that train will be gone”.” The same one that has had to smile falsely when in a meeting where there’s a baby, and someone asks her “What about you, when?”
And at this time of humanity, regardless of infertility problems that some couples face, treatment options are so many that it seems that if you haven’t put hands into the business is mere because you really don’t want to have a child. So, in addition to the couple going through the emotional wound of not being able to conceive naturally, a more difficult question arises: How far are we willing to go?
My great aunt couldn’t have children. However, she had the most loving relationship I can remember in my family. The reason she couldn’t do it was because “God didn’t send them.” Today, those times in which the duel for not being able to conceive and have that magical explanation, have definitely come to an end. Then, maybe, there was the decision to adopt.
Today the menu is extensive and the internal conflict for many couples is also greater. Within the support offer, there are hormonal help, artificial insemination, (there can be several, therefore you have to be prepared psychologically in case it doesn’t work) in vitro fertilization, sperm donors, ovules, adoption of embryos… Pfff!
And you are there, looking at the ‘menu’, asking what your limit is, what health risks are involved, what will happen to your emotions in case it doesn’t work. Given this display of options, how far I´m willing to go is equivalent to how much do I want to be a mother?
Making these kinds of decisions isn’t easy. Everyone has their own limits and needs. All are respectable and above all very intimate. In the same way, the decision not to want children, out of conviction and will, is very respectable too.
Personally, I’ve found my limit. While it’s true that my professional practice and my own personal work, my perspective could tend to other directions, in those moments of vulnerability when the feelings emerge, I’ve felt guilty of not wanting to go further. It’s as if there being the option, and I “decided” not to take it and therefore I’m not being congruent with my desire to be a mother.
Every day I work with women who are in search of healing their physical pains, their emotional pains, their spirit. Women who face maternity in different ways and who, in a way, create, promote and contribute to life every day.
Today I write on behalf of those women who are mothers, women who are not because they don’t want to be one, women who are not because they can’t, women who make the decision to repeatedly try , women who are professionals and mothers whom sometimes sacrifice time with their children to keep going, women housewives, women who like to travel and have fun, successful women, women who want to become nuns, women who want to adopt children from all over the world, and also have their own children like Angelina Jolie, women who with their work to take care of more than one, women who with their associations give love and opportunities, women taking care of other women, who will stop for a second and will think twice before asking: “What about you, when?”
Shelsy Diaz is an Ayurvedic Practitioner by the STED Council, Government of India, specializing in Ayurveda Life Impressions Body Work; Certified Spirit Guide Coach by Deborah King. She likes animals and works with textile art as part of her meditation practices.