We Need To Talk

Photography: Katherine Heise


Over the past few weeks I’ve had a number of conversations with friends about things, goings-ons in their lives that are upsetting or bothering them. Things that I’ve, by and large, been through myself. And the resounding theme seems to be that they are feeling like they are failing, and that they are the only person going through this, because they don’t know anyone else who has.

They feel like they aren’t cutting it as a woman.

The things is, these are things that *do* happen to other people, but that we opt not to talk about.

So, this is me, talking.

We, as women, generally plan to have kids. Now, I know that not everyone wants kids, and those who don’t have my full admiration. But for the most part, we think about it, we plan for it, and then we wait for it to happen. We spend a large part of our adult life trying *not* to get pregnant, but when we actually want to, it doesn’t always happen.

It’s hard. It’s our job to get pregnant. It’s what our bodies are designed to do. Everyone around us seems to just look at another person to get pregnant. So why not me?

We think that the obstacle is pregnancy. As soon as that test says positive, we are sorted, right?

We think that the obstacle is pregnancy. As soon as that test says positive, we are sorted, right?

I had two miscarriages before I had my eldest child. And I once had a doctor say to me, “don’t worry about the miscarriages, at least it’s proof you can get pregnant”. Thanks, Doc.

And so, my subsequent pregnancies were wrought with worry and concern.

Then there are the trials and tribulations of pregnancy itself. Some people LOVE pregnancy, some people feel like they are at one with the baby, with their partner, with the earth, with the blimmin moon. I don’t know. I, clearly, was not this person. I enjoyed some elements of pregnancy (the kicks are awesome) but I didn’t enjoy other elements (vomiting till 5 months? No thanks).

But once the baby is born, it’ll be all roses and cuddles.

Wrong. The finish line just moved again. Some babies sleep really well until they are two and then never ever sleep again for the rest of their lives. Ever. EVER. Some babies never sleep and you look at them and want them to please stop crying and then you feel horrible for wanting them to stop because you wanted this baby and you tried for this baby and why doesn’t any one else seem to ever want their baby to please stop crying just for a minute or two.

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