We are 1 in 6: putting assumptions aside

I’m baffled, yet not surprised by how many people in this day and age make judgement towards the choices made by new parents and those TTC. It seems like EVERYTHING has to be up for debate. Obviously I’m yet to face most of this but I can tell you of many friends who have.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) vs ‘natural’ conception, public vs private care, caesarean vs vaginal birth, breast vs bottle fed.

Strong opinions left, right and centre. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be on the receiving end of this. But for now, instead of engaging in these debates, we’re confronted by something that 1 in 6 couples will understand.

The thoughts of going to places that are buzzing with families – breakfast at our local café, walking through the park, doing our weekly grocery shop, going to the beach for a day in the sun. Baby boosters are out, monkey bars are in use, prams are being pushed and children are playing in the bay.

And there we see them. The couples just like us who could fit into the statistic of 1 in 6.

The mother who is feeding eggs and soldiers to her fussy toddler while being sure to pay attention to her five year old could have had secondary infertility, the mum with her baby in one arm and pushing the trolley with the other could have gone down the path of surrogacy, the family kicking the footy at the park and cheering as the little ones kick the winning goal could have adopted their children, the parents in competition as to who can build the best sandcastle could be foster parents. And you can’t forget the couple who are sitting quietly at a family gathering coming to terms with their recent miscarriage.

The reality is this. 1 in 6 Australian couples are struggling with infertility. You don’t know someone’s story until you’ve stepped in their shoes. Please don’t make judgement and assumptions based on face value – you just never know what’s going on behind closed doors and how someone got to where they are today.

Be happy for first time parents and the fourth time parents. Be happy for the couple who are finally pregnant after years of TTC. Be happy that in this day and age we are all free to make our own choices. So let them make theirs…

Image: IVF Australia

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