Barren Myths #1 – if you don’t have a child then you’ve never been pregnant
When that friend is swooning with hormones and gives you the pitying look or the mock sincerity of “oh lucky you, you wouldn’t know what this is like” - she is often wrong. Miscarriage, abortion, foetal death, still birth and relinquishing children for adoption amounts to many unaccounted for pregnancies.
Just how many pregnancies end this way for Australian women, we don’t know. Not all States are required to keep such comprehensive data. Early miscarriage alone is almost impossible to track as not all require medical intervention.
Not all women want to talk about their miscarriages; especially repeated ones when well meaning acquaintances didn’t even know they were trying to conceive. Recovering from an abortion is a bit of a party stopper; such information is usually shared only with those who are trustworthy.
But giving a child up for adoption, particularly in an era of being removed from the public, family and friends (usually to a state or church run institution) and go to full term, then hand over a child after birth is something else. In many cases women never get to see or hold their child removed from them at birth. Then it is back out in the world before the breast milk has dried or ligaments shrunk back into place. While such homes for "unmarried mothers" tended to close by the early 1970's, some families still choose to seclude pregnant teenage daughters. I have met more “relinquishing mothers” than I ever suspected.
Good reading on this subject includes Merryl Moor’s PhD thesis “Silent Violence: Australia's White Stolen Children” (which can be read online).
Try not to make assumptions about your seemingly barren friends. They might just know even more than you do.