Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sharing Words: No need to kid around by Maria Rochelle

Do you have any children? That is a question that every woman has been asked I am sure at least once in their lifetime if not more than once. It's a question that at times can bring up pain especially for someone who is childless... especially when you’ve tried. Now, I know it is a common question among women to ask other women whether or not they have children. As a matter of fact, I know sometimes it can spark a friendship because talking about family and children go hand in hand. Just like with guys, talking about sports and their favorite team can spark a friendship as well.

Well, what if you don't have any children and it was beyond your control? Well I’m one of many women who have been asked that question. Let me first say, I don't get offended when others inquire if I have children because I recognize it is a way to start a conversation and to get to know people. I will also say that instead of my typical answer, I truly wish I could answer that question with something like this: “Yes, I have children, their names are Liam and Lauren and I am such a proud parent. They're my babies! Do you want see their pictures??”

I couldn't have children, and it has been a painful journey. Some friends and family thought that it was a decision to not have children, and it may have seemed that way. In the beginning of my marriage, I didn't want them because I grew up without many things and came from a large family with its own sets of challenges. So, I thought, we are going to wait. Well, the mothering bug bit me and I had to scratch it! I wanted a baby so bad and I even wanted twins. Crazy, huh? I dreamt about twins: two baby girls. I wanted to be a Mother so intensely that I could see the pretty baby bibs and taste the baby food and imagine all the comments like: "Oh, she is so cute and she looks just like her dad." I mean I was serious about some baby making! And that was the fun part. Hmm, the memories...

Although there are many details I could go into, the simple reality was that I couldn't conceive and consequently I do admit, I felt less of a woman because of that reality. And to top it all off, I was the only daughter of my parents that didn't have children. Oh, and did I mention that I have 4 brothers and 4 sisters? I thought ignorantly because I came from such a large family that I would be able to have at least one child. By the way, that has nothing to do with it. And I was taught that one of the reasons you marry is to have children… So many reasons as to why I felt less of a woman.

During the time we were trying to conceive, every time I saw a negative pregnancy test, I would be very sad. It was as if with each test I was grieving the loss of a loved one. That's the best way I can explain how it felt. You don't understand how it feels unless you have experienced it or you are actually going through it. The emptiness and heartbreak that I experienced caused me to go into depression.
I had to finally accept that I wouldn't have children of my own which is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to accept, especially since I am the type of person that likes to see things through and succeed. I was angry… so angry… and trust me when I say I definitely didn't want to hear remarks like, "It's God's will", "God didn't want you to have children" or "it wasn't meant to be". My question to them such comments would start with “How do you know it was God's will?”

Now, I know, when individuals say this, they are not trying to be mean or offensive. They have no idea that their idea of comforting fails miserably in its intentions and instead leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of a woman who goes through this. The best thing you can do for someone who is childless and in this kind of pain is to LISTEN, and tell them that even if you don't understand what they are going through, you care and you’re there for them.

I share this story to let you know what I have learned from the pain of being childless. I have gone through a process that has taken me from being bitter to being thankful for all that I have and to cease complaining about what I don't have. I have learned to enjoy life more because I have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for my husband, Eric, and I am thankful for my family and my friends who are very dear to me and who have been there for me in good times and bad. Finally, I am thankful that I am writer who can share my thoughts with you, because if my process can help at least one person heal, there is purpose in my words, and I can give thanks for that too.

I want you to understand, I decided after this whole experience to be happy. I choose to live a life of happiness. I choose to be the cool aunt to all 23 of my nieces and nephews. Life is about choices, and it is also about learning to be grateful in spite of what you don’t have, because in reality you still have so much.

As for adopting any children… well, that’s another story for another day.
Thank you for reading.
You can read more from Maria at: http://mariarochelle.com/


  1. Thank you for sharing such a personal story, for giving people with children, myself included, an opportunity to have a little understanding. For the people who do not have children, for whatever reason and perhaps do not feel able to openly discuss, reading this post could just be that little something they needed to help them. I wholeheartedly agree, life is about choices, choosing to look forward and to be grateful for what we have is a message that truly resonates.

  2. Thank you Cate Evans for your kind words. I thought I replied to this back in 2014. I just hopes it helped one lady to know that they are not alone.