I met Jarrold* at an industry function. We work in the same field and were attending a glitzy awards ceremony that, honestly, neither of us had any interest in. We joke now that fate brought us together because we were somehow seated on the same table and were the only two who didn’t know anyone else at the table.
And so began our courtship. When we met on subsequent dates, we hardly spoke about work and were just like any other regular couple in Singapore: going on dates to the movies; checking out the latest bars and restaurants; and, of course, hanging out at our favourite hawker centres when we had an attack of the late-night munchies.
All was well – until it wasn’t.
Here’s the big issue: Jarrold really loves children. His older sister just had a baby and Jarrold loved wearing his ‘uncle’ hat (and did so proudly). As he reported to me every single little adorable thing she did – there were so many, I found it hard to show enthusiasm and astonishment after a while! – the worse I felt. I had a secret related to my fertility and I wasn’t ready to share it with Jarrold. Not yet anyway.
I can’t remember when exactly it started happening but there was a point when I noticed that my periods were irregular and I would sometimes go for months without getting a period. I didn’t think much about it as I was young then and didn’t want to worry unnecessarily. After all, who in their right mind would miss the cramps, acne and mood swings, right?
It was, in fact, only a couple of months before I met Jarrold that I went to see a doctor about it. An older cousin and her husband were going through fertility treatments – which was when I realised that perhaps there might be something seriously wrong with me, too.
My doctor did some tests and determined that I had indeed a couple of ovulation issues, and that was why my period was so irregular. She did warn me that this would probably affect my ability to conceive, but I was so emotionally unprepared that I shut her out.
Jarrold and I dated for just over two years before deciding to get married. Our wedding took place five months ago and, of course, the thing I was dreading most happened – he broached the topic of having children.
He wants a few – and as soon as possible, too – but I haven’t had the heart to tell him that this might not happen for us. In fact, I told him (with a wink in my eye) that we should get to work on that, stat.
Separately, my doctor did tell me that if she did further tests on me, she might have a better picture of what was going on with my body. But I haven’t had the courage to proceed – the idea of needles and constant probing in my nether regions terrifies me.
I feel like a fraud lying to Jarrold, but a part of me also knows that I am just not ready to be a mum. I know it’s dishonest of me to ‘buy time’ from the man who loves me so very much, but when it comes to such a crucial part of our marriage I can’t face having this conversation with him just yet.
One day, I will be ready to confess to Jarrold and, hopefully, he will accept me as I am. But, whatever happens, I’ll just have to deal with the consequences because I was the one who wasn’t forthright with him from the start.
Text: Balvinder Sandhu/HerWorldPlus