At the cry of a new born salt is being sprinkled at the wound of a barren woman
The men and women of faith claim a child is a blessing from God,but say nothing about not having the blessing. All we have are stories of those who did not have kids but were later blessed with a child yet they had to struggle to deal with not having one.
This is the same with our modern day African society. Once a woman is married what people are expectant of is seeing her with a bulge and later holding a precious little thing in her arms. What then happens to the one who can not have a child , whose womb is tagged “barren”.
I will tell you what will happen. The barren woman has to live a life of stigmatisation where her worth and her being “a woman” is quantified by her ability to bring forth life out of her genitals.
What is sad is rather the fact that most of the people are always ready to conclude that of the two parties involved in having a child, the woman is at fault. The pressure that comes from society and even family , cultural misconceptions and the emotional burden, especially for the woman is unbearable.
Hence everyday , though some stories go untold , there is always a woman or a couple seeking help from fertility clinics, herbalists, spiritualists, traditional healers and so forth.
In Africa, the woman’s place in marriage remains precarious till confirmed through child bearing. A woman has to prove her womanhood through motherhood. The man also has to confirm his manhood in being able to get his woman pregnant . Children are viewed as a source of pride, strength and economic fortune for the family.
I have seen couples divorce due to fertility problems. I have seen men marry a second woman because the first has failed to bear children.In countries where dowry or bride price is paid you can find a man questioning why he paid the amount he paid to the woman’s family if she is failing to bear him children for the continuity of his family name.
Even after his wife bears him children if say they are all daughters, you will find one in need of a son who will further the family name. So tell me if really owning a womb is not a curse.
Infertility, therefore, entails a loss of something that though previously non-existent, is thought to be tangible and therefore impacts negatively on a couple’s mental and social well-being.
The expectations placed on any married couple, on any woman are just too much to handle. It has even become a crisis whereby couples can even be isolated and self esteem lost.But who then is to blame for anyone’s childlessness?It is said to bring forth blessings, but when the womb decides to not deliver then it might just become a curse.
When you lose a child, you grieve once because you have lost her, when you are barren, you grieve every day because of the child you could have had.