There’s no coincidence over the timing of when I decided that I needed to try for a baby. That we needed to try to overcome our infertility and become parents. For so long I thought it was pure jealousy over my SIL and best friend getting pregnant. But the truth is that it was after coming back to South Africa.
You see we lived in the UK for over ten years. Away from family. Then about three and a half years ago we moved home, to Cape Town. We now live about five minutes away from Hopelessly’s parents who are simply the best in-laws any girl could ever hope for. And I got to see how a normal family behaves, how a normal family loves each other and how amazing the family unit can really be.
Now you probably think I must come from a crazy family who are totally ‘abnormal’ and I can hear Hopelessly saying “ and they wouldn’t be wrong”. You see any day now Hopelessly and I will have been married longer than any of my parents marriages lasted. My folks got divorced after six years, my Dad and Step-Mon lasted twelve years and that only by splitting up twice during that time. While I was my Mother’s only child, I have a brother and sister from my step mom who I love and adore, but we’ve never lived together. And so my upbringing didn’t exactly show me a ‘normal’ family unit.
Enter the In-Laws. Here is a family who love each other like crazy (not that mine doesn’t), but they have stuck together through thick and thin. My parents in-law have been married over 40 years! Now that’s an achievement. At my MILs birthday on Friday my FIL stood up to propose a toast to her and said that while reaching the ripe old age of 60 was a milestone it was made all the better by them doing it together. Now there’s what I want and I think it influenced my decision to start a family of our own.
I woke up on Saturday morning crying. I had had a dream Hopelessly and I were walking through the bush and suddenly noticed a lion, so we slipped into a bird hide so we were safe and could watch. Two women came into the hide, they were identical twins and one of them was hugely pregnant. They started chatting to us about why they had chosen to come back to South Africa and were saying that it’s because South Africa is all about families. South African’s ‘do’ family so well and having a family is what defines being a South African. In the dream I started to get quite angry and said that by that definition people who were struggling with infertility weren’t South African’s and these two b!tches in my dream said I was right. I said “so if some god out there gave me a broken body then I have to change my nationality?” and they said yes. At which point I started crying and woke up with tears running down my face.
South African’s do do families so well. We lead lifestyles which are about spending time with family around the braai (bbq), about playing with kids in the pool. The South African family unit is as a whole (a generalisation I know) a close knit unit. And it’s all part of this that makes being an infertile in South Africa so hard and yet it’s being in South Africa that made me realise for the first time in over ten years that I am an infertile and I want to beat this diagnosis.