I’m participating in the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge through October and will be following the prompts suggested. I’ve also decided to focus on the theme of Anonymously Me – stories that people have shared with me and that we could all learn lessons from. Today’s Anonymously Me story, An Empty Womb was shared with me by 30-something woman from urban India. I’ve tried to be faithful to what I was told.
If you have a story you’d like to share anonymously on Everyday Gyaan, do contact me. You can be assured that I will keep your name and details confidential.
An Arranged Marriage
Married at age 24 to a man of my parent’s choice in a typical arranged marriage. Why did I not resist an arranged marriage? Because I thought that my parents knew best, and I was excited to get married!
I found it hard to adjust to my husband and his parents. I was the daughter of an Army Officer and was used to a lot more freedom and yes, even house help. At my in-laws place, I was expected to do all the household work. I was not allowed to make phone calls, without letting my husband or mother-in-law know who I was calling and why. I could eat only after the men of the house had eaten and having friends seemed like a forgotten luxury! Why did my parents choose to get me married to this man? I realized that they were given to understand that my husband was planning to move to his own place. He never did.
An Empty Womb
Then came the all important test I had to pass. Give birth to a son and heir. When month after month passed and I didn’t get pregnant, the pressure began to mount. Then after a year, it seemed like I was pregnant. My mother-in-law seemed to keep a diary of my cycle! She marched me off to a get a test done. I waited with bated breath for the results, hoping I was pregnant and could get her off my case. When it was confirmed that I was pregnant, they couldn’t wait to have a gender test done. I too hoped that I was having a boy, because I shuddered to think of what would happen if the baby was a girl. It was a boy, and over the next two months, I was treated like a queen. Until that sad day, when I had a miscarriage and lost my baby. Life never was the same after that. My husband and his parents were never physically violent, but their pressure tactics, slights and insults began to kill me.
The End of Marriage #1
Six months after I lost my first baby, I was pregnant again, but had another miscarriage. That’s when all hell broke loose. One morning I woke up to find my husband and his parents huddled around the dining room. They informed me that a decision had been made. My husband was going to divorce me on the grounds that I was not able to give him a child, and get married again. I was shocked, yet relieved. I called my parents who came in the next day and took me to their home.
Back at my parent’s place, it seemed that I could breathe again. I decided to finish that MBA I started. That over, I began to work. I began to enjoy the life of a single, working woman. That was until I reached 30. My parents began to look out for another husband for me. They worried that being an only child, I would have no one to ‘look after me’ after they had passed.
This time, I promised myself that I would have more say in the choice of a husband. After meeting several guys, I met husband #2. Suave, well-educated and open to dating before we were engaged, this guy had been married before too. I shared with him all the details of my previous marriage and told him not to expect me to give birth to a child. He promised he was fine with that. A year after we were married, he began to put pressure on me to go the IVF route. He was much more convincing and loving about it, so I obliged. I allowed myself to go through all the pain, the waiting, the disappointment for nothing. Two years later, when he has realized that I am definitely not going to get pregnant, he has started to talk of divorce too…….
Never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) could I have guessed that I’d end being just another statistic. Another woman cast aside for no fault of her own. Another victim of society and its archaic set of rules – so different for men and women. I never dreamed that I would pay the price not once, but twice because my body couldn’t oblige. Because my womb couldn’t bring a baby to term. Because I could never make a man a father, or incidentally be a mother! I am the victim of an empty womb!
If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away.
Sanch Vee and yours truly give you one writing prompt a week to blog about and link to every Friday. The link will be open till the Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked in too.
Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar!
The prompt for this week is ‘bated breath’.