If you’re asking this question then you’re probably having problems conceiving. Perhaps you’ve been trying for a few months too many, maybe some medical issue in your past has made your suspicious of your own fertility.
It’s not the best question to ask. It just confuses things – after all conception, pregnancy, giving birth – they’re all just means to an end. A brief and fleeting beginning to that thing essential to all of us: family.
So the question you want to ask is: will I ever have a family?
This blog is really about that; having a family. Being a mum or a dad. Martha and I had to struggle, more than most, less than some, to get ours. Nowadays we look almost traditional. A father, a mother, two kids.
Yet underneath, like all families, we’re a little different. It’s not that our first child was born through the magic of IVF, it was that he arrived out of a struggle. He was the result of our commitment to having a family. By the time science worked its miracle, Martha and I were facing the prospect of never getting pregnant, of never having a child of our own.
We’d asked ourselves those fundamental questions: will it break us? Will it stop us having a family? And, thankfully, we found the right answers. This is amazing as communicating is not my strongest asset. In fact I’m a liability on that front.
Anyway, perhaps you’re having that first, sideways look at these issues. Will I stay with my partner? What am I prepared to accept as ‘a family’? These are big questions and just thinking about them is like clubbing puffins (really unpleasant and harder than you’d imagine); but if you can, and answer honestly, I believe nothing, no amount of lazy sperm or uterinal malfunctioning , will stop you finding your own family.
It might not be what you expected; it might take a long time to happen, it might not be all your flesh and blood (it might be none). You may go through heart ache, insecurity and anguish to get there, but if you want a family bad enough, it will come.
And when it does, I’ll let you in on a secret: you’ll be the strongest. You’ll be the best mum and dad, mum and mum, dad and dad, just mum, just dad, combo out there.You’ll be ready to take on all the risks and hardships that a family brings, because you will have already been there. The experiences that overwhelms any new parent will land a kick into that six pack of resilience that you never even knew you were building up and you’ll be more fantastic parent for it. Of course, you’ll suffer the same sleep deprivation, the same frustration of arguing with a toddler; that won’t change. But inside you will know who you are. So take heart at that next ‘negative’ test result, it’s not the universe rejecting you, it’s just one more step on the journey towards your own family, waiting out there in the future, just for you.