Women Who Can’t Have Children Share Their Feelings About It In A Courageous And Honest Interview — VIDEO

According to the CDC, 6.7 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the U.S. struggle with infertility, and yet many feel hesitant to discuss their difficulties with conceiving and carrying babies to term, fearing embarrassment, judgment from others, or simply other people’s awkward or inappropriate responses. In this video from BuzzFeed Yellow, three women talk honestly about their inability to have children, opening up an important and necessary discussion about what it’s like for the many women who discover at some point in their lives that having biological children isn’t an option.

At the beginning of the video, Lynn Chen, Lara Parker, and Ana Lydia Ochoa-Monaco explain that, growing up, having kids was something that they all simply assumed would happen. Chen remarks, “It just was never even a question. I always knew that one day I would be a mom.” Ochoa-Monaco suggests that having kids seemed like a natural step in becoming an adult, saying, “Growing up, my thoughts were that you meet someone, you get married, and you eventually have children.”

However, life didn’t work out that way. Chen, Parker, and Ochoa-Monaco explain why they can’t have children (or why having children would be very difficult for them): Parker has endometriosis; Ochoa-Monaco suffers from hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); and Chen’s infertility is simply “unexplained.” Ochoa-Monaco explains that finding out that you won’t have biological children is devastating, whether you ever saw yourself having kids or not.

One of the most frustrating aspects of infertility for these women is the feeling that they’ve lost control over their own futures, that they no longer get to make a choice about having kids.

At the end of the video, the women discuss how not being able to have children has changed their lives and their ways of thinking about the world. Chen, for example, who had been determined to have children her whole life, remarks, “Now I’m 38, and I don’t want kids, which is such a weird thing to say out loud.” Parker says that she’s realized that the word “mother” means more than being a parent to a biological child.

She goes on to explain why she felt compelled to be open about her own struggles: “I’m going to talk about it because it’s my life, … and I want everyone to be able to talk about it, and not feel ashamed that something happened to them that they cannot control.”