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My husband and I finally got around to having a big celebration for our son. If you’ve been following me and my journey for a while, you know I never had any othe topic of f the traditional parties women typically host during my pregnancy. To finally be able to have a party to celebrate my son with my family and friends 4 months after his birth was a truly special occasion. Some who were in attendance I hadn’t seen in years because life just got so busy throughout my infertility struggles and high-risk pregnancy, so everyone celebrating and meeting my son for the first time was a great excuse to reunite and catch up.

We had some interesting conversations throughout our Sunday brunch, my friends and I. There was obviously a lot to catch up on. It was inevitable that we’d talk about children and the concept of having them. Specifically, we talked about the concept of so many people in this day and age NOT to have children. We had a very interesting group of couples at our table. My husband and I went through years worth of infertility struggles and had a child thereafter. We had a couple who started dating less than a year ago. We had a married couple who has firmly decided they’ll never have children. And then, there was a couple who was common-law. She desperately wants to, but he’s sure in his ways that he doesn’t. She stayed with him for years as she thought he’d change his mind, but he’s not the type to ever oblige.

Us women were the ones that were doing most, if not all, the talking. My friend wo’s been in a relationship with her boyfriend for less than a year is the type of person really LOVES children. And I’m not exaggerating by the capital letters. That’s at least by what I’ve seen from her; how she talks about my son and her other friends’ children. Whenever she’s in the company of my son, she fully takes over baby duties, and when she’s not with him, she always asks me to send her pictures of him and asks about him and his milestones all the time. She’s the mere definition of someone who’s your friend taking on the aunt role to your child when they really don’t have to.

With that being said, as we talked about children, and how many people choose to live child-free lives, When most of us agreed that having children in this day and age is a choice and a privilege, that same friend who’s taken the aunt role to my son firmly and without any hesitation in her mind that everyone, specifically all women, needs to experience, in her own words, the beauty and the love a child brings into the world. I immediately had something to say, and I wasn’t afraid to disagree.

Yes, I have a child, and I feel extremely lucky and grateful that I do, especially considering all that I’d endured to have a child of my own. Nowadays, going through fertility treatments just as much of a guarantee that a couple would have a child as they would if they were to conceive naturally. Many end up not having children due to them not being able to conceive even with the help of science. When I was going through my IVF cycle and was getting ready for the egg retrieval and then the embryo transfer that followed the next month, there was barely any place move around in the waiting area at each ultrasound appointment I had to go to throughout each cycle as there were so many women waiting for their turn. Once I did get pregnant, I remember vividly that there was only one with me in the waiting area at each appointment. At one of my appointments, the technician herself said that not many women ended up getting pregnant or with a baby in their hands after going through fertility treatments. It really showed, considering at each ultrasound appointment I had at the fertility treatment during my pregnancy, it was only that same woman at the waiting room with me.

I know a lot of, too many even, women who’d gone through infertility and went through fertility treatments, specifically IUI and IVF. Some ended up in healthy pregnancies that lasted full term and saw a baby, in some cases even multiple babies, come into the world in the end. Some end up in pregnancies that end due to miscarriages. Some end in pregnancies where an embryo is carried by a surrogate. And some don’t end up in pregnancies at all. It’s a sad reality, but a reality nonetheless. Science is just not a guarantee anymore. Just from my own personal experience, I know not one, not two, but THREE women who’d gone through fertility treatments and didn’t get the results they wanted.

First, there’s a friend of mine. We instantly connected through our mutual infertility struggles. We talked endlessly about our experiences for a while. In her words, she’s a woman in her early 30’s who has a body of a 50 year old. She went through a very difficult process of having two egg retrievals due to her complications with her reproducer area. Her first egg retrieval produced two unhealthy embryos, and her second didn’t produce any at all. She didn’t lose hope, though. She was very optimistic that she’d have her dream baby, and that’s what I liked about her. I know that she had one IVF round last year, but I’m assuming it failed as I didn’t see any sight of pregnancy based on her social media platform. Since she found out about my pregnancy last year, our communication has been pretty much none-existent. I don’t even blame her because from my own personal experience with infertility struggles, it’s extremely hard to talk to someone who’s expecting a baby when all you ever want is to have a baby of your own. No matter what the state of our friendship is, I wish her the very best in her journey to motherhood.

Secondly, a family friend of mine started IVF treatments without even trying for a baby because she knew she’d have trouble conceiving right from the start due to her family history. She got pregnant following her first IVF round, but ended up having a misarrange at 5 weeks. She immediately called me to ask for my fertility doctor’s contact information. In her mind, her fertility doctor was the one to blame for her miscarriage. Truth be told, though, it wasn’t. It was science. Science isn’t math. In math, there’s only one answer, but there’s more than one way to get the answer. In science, there’s only one way to get the desired answer, but the end result might not be the desired answer. Women suffer miscarriages even if they conceive naturally. A woman suffering a miscarriage after getting pregnant via IVF is absolutely no different. I gave her my fertility doctor’s contact information even though I knew her argument didn’t make any sense whatsoever. Changing doctors would just be a waste of her time. And just like I do with my friend, I wish her all the best in her journey to motherhood.

And lastly, this isn’t about anyone I know personally but rather a friend of a friend. My friend who, along with her husband, decided she’d never have children told me about her friend who went through 10 IVF rounds. After the 10th round failed, they made the brave decision not to continue fertility treatments. They decided for themselves that they could be happy while living a child-free life. Not only were they brave enough to make this decision for themselves, but they were brave to share their story online. When people, women specifically, read that they chose to live a child-free life, they were bullied and called selfish for making that decision for themselves.

The thing with making a decision on whether or not one should have children, it’s okay to be brave. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s brave. It’s brave to go against society and say to yourself that maybe, just maybe, you’re more than okay by not having children, no matter what your reasoning might be.


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