So, what is worse than being seventeen years old and rumors circulating your home town you are expecting a baby? I will tell you. Being twenty-nine years old and realising you never will.
When you finally reach the decision that you cannot face another pill, needle or probe inside your body, it takes your breath away. It is over. And for my husband and I, many things changed with that decision.
Fortunately, our marriage was not one of them. Almost twenty-four years we have been together, twenty-one of them married (so yes, he was the father of that mythical baby).
Anyway, what changed for us? Location. Living in a town where “everybody knows your name” was getting claustrophobic. People were probably not saying anything, but it felt as though I had a huge target on my back saying “barren”. No, I tell a lie, one woman did say, in a very loud booming voice in the middle of the High Street
“You can’t have children then? Is it your fault or your husbands?” After mumbling a reply I scuttled away and proceeded to dodge her whenever I spotted her again.
We moved from the south of England to the north of Scotland, about 600 miles… give or take a few. From a modern 3 bedroom house on a cramped estate to a draughty little cottage by a river.
And new neighbours. Neighbours who by the sheer fact of meeting them sent us on a path we thought forever blocked to us. They were foster carers in the process of helping a little boy on the way to his permanent, forever family. Where a door slammed in our faces in England…. here in Scotland, it opened wide and welcoming, so we stepped on through.