But, what if I can’t?

There’s a lot to unpack here.

Parenthood is a loaded subject. Whether you’ve had kids, chose not to, are planning to and so on, questions around being a parent always come with a lot of baggage.

I don’t have kids. I don’t know if I’ll have kids.

I’ve been with my partner for almost seven years. Like a lot of couples do, we sometimes think about the future and how kids could fit in our life together. Without fail, there’s always a thought nagging in the back of my mind: but, what if I can’t?

See, I live with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – otherwise known as PCOS – which is a hormonal condition that severely affects fertility (among many other things). PCOS is not treatable and considerably under researched. I’ve known since I was a young teenager that pregnancy might not be in the books for me. And for a long time, I was okay with that.

But people ask questions. “When will you have children?”, “Is your biological clock ticking?”, “How many kids do you want?”. Well, I don’t know! I don’t know when and I don’t know if or how. And yes, being a biological parent is not the only way of becoming a parent, but more often than not, the pressure is on.  

I’m not sure what it is that I’m trying to say here. As I said, there’s a lot to unpack. But if there’s one takeaway let it be this. You never know what someone is going through, you never know if someone is struggling. Even an innocent and well-intended question can cause pain.

by Danai Petropoulou Ionescu

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