Single & NOT Pregnant

This holiday, not only was I surrounded by my immediate family, as most are, but also by my work family. They care deeply about me and I’m grateful for that. But one thing that bothers me is being asked when and if I will have children. Repeatedly, day after day. Most of my coworkers know my diagnosis and still like to badger me about it anyway, because they think it’s funny. I’ll be very blunt and tell you all, it’s not.

When are you going to settle down and start a family? You’re so good at caring for others.”

A very loaded question, especially when they don’t see beyond the mask I often wear that would unveil how sick I truly am on most days.

The truth is, many women who live with IBD may have a hard time with the decision to have children. For some, it’s not a decision, as other parts of their health may factor into things. If someone has endometriosis and is unable to bear children, hearing the question “When are you going to start a family?” can be daunting to dance around lightly, especially without letting it get to you. Even though genetically, IBD can be passed down, the likelihood of it occurring in offspring is actually very small.

I noticed when I turned 30 that all different types of people had a say in what I should be doing with my body now that I’ve reached a certain age. Apparently, they think it’s very simple to find a mate who would take all of my “baggage” and own it like it was his own. Let me tell you that life doesn’t always go according to plan and for the last 10 years, if you would have asked me if I wanted children, I would have laughed and said: “heck no”!

But now, things have changed.

I know that I AM getting older, don’t have a partner and right now with my illness, taking care of myself is hard enough to do and I don’t have children. It’s hard to get people to realize that and it’s hard to say out loud when you, yourself don’t want to hear it.

I would be so blessed if God had bigger plans for me and gave me the opportunity for a more structured life.. with a husband, and some dogs and a stable living environment…. and maybe some kids. But at this point in my life, it’s hard telling people (and also myself), that I have a harder time taking care of myself when I am ill and it would be selfish of me to try and change that and add another person into that equation.

Be gentle with your words.

When it comes to pregnancy, many people think they can just ask any question they’d like and offer any advice they seem to think they deserve to be handing out. Many women struggle with infertility and I wish that was more talked about, but I also wish that the topic of motherhood and illness was a more talked about situation as well.

I want to have a family. I want to have a place I call home the rest of my life. But when people continue to nose into my business and ask extremely personal questions to answers I may not ever have, acceptance is that much harder to achieve.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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