Dear Aunty on National Infertility Awareness Week

So, it’s National Infertility Awareness Week in the U.S.

I don’t live in the U.S…

But infertility is an international problem, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon, from the perspective of a Nigerian. I know many Nigerian women who are battling primary or secondary infertility. Some (not all) of these women are ridiculed by outsiders, and some unfortunately are made to feel incomplete by members of their own family, not on purpose, but culturally in the way we show love. I write this, not to offend anyone or to say that this is everyone’s experience, but to give a perspective.


Dear Aunty,

I don’t want to be rude, and this is the nicest way for me to tell you how I feel.

Yes, I know I’ve been married for six years. Yes, I’m fully aware that I’m not getting any younger. Yes, I’m also aware that my mum would love to see her grandchildren before she dies. But what exactly are you trying to achieve by bombarding me with all these questions in front of everyone at a family event. Do you think that by the sheer fact that you have addressed this with me, I’m miraculously going to give birth tomorrow?

Did it occur to you that maybe it just hasn’t happened yet. That maybe my husband and I have been trying for five out of those six years but haven’t been successful. Are you aware that I will probably go home and cry into my husband’s shoulder counting myself a failure?I think No, because if you did know, you would be more sensitive. You would tell me that you were praying for me as opposed to reminding me to pray. You would shut down anyone else that dared to question why I was without child. You would reassure me.

Nope, I don’t think the enemy has closed the entry to my womb. Neither do I remember anyone touching my tummy on my wedding day. My ancestors are not unhappy with me… I don’t think!

Please don’t compare me to Ronke, Dami or Lara. Yes they are younger than me with 5 kids between them. But they’re not me. It just doesn’t seem to be happening. I can’t help it. If I could, I would. We’d planned to have had 3 little ones by now. Do you think I enjoy being in this place? I know your friends judge me and that’s probably why you question me… But unfortunately our society has made it hard to acknowledge and share when there is a fertility setback. 

My mother-in-law doesn’t stress me out as much as you do. Isn’t she supposed to care that I haven’t birthed her grandchild? I know she does, but she’s aware that pressuring or stressing me is not going to help the cause.

And I understand, you love me and want the best for me. I understand that this is you showing love. But we Nigerians are a tad insensitive. You think that infertility could not possibly be the issue because my mum has 6 kids and my mother in law has 5. But you are aware that Infertility exists and it knows no race, age or sex.

Again, I understand that you love me and have my best interest at heart, but right now I need you to show it differently. Think about how I might feel and treat me accordingly. Don’t barrage me with questions in front of everyone Don’t offer to take me to every womb healing pastor you know. Send me a message of prayer. Give me another slice of cake. Dance with me. Treat me normally.

I don’t want to be rude, and this is the nicest way for me to tell you how I feel.

Your neice 


Please be sensitive. Please be a listening, non-judgmental ear, Please be supportive. check out the National Infertility Awareness Week Website




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