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Nicole the Fertile Chick: Nothing to Celebrate



A close friend’s father-in-law recently turned 70. When I excitedly asked what the party plans were, she sighed heavily and responded “Daddy says there is nothing to celebrate oh!” I immediately realized what she meant, and my heart went out to her. Her husband is one of three sons, and none of them, though all married, have any children yet. My friend has only been married two years, but her husband’s brothers have been married for five and eight years respectively. Whilst I understand why that might be a grave cause of concern for their parents, surely reaching the age of 70 should be enough reason to thank God! Celebrating a marriage of over 40 years, having three healthy and successful children should be reasons enough to be grateful, right?! I couldn’t contain myself, and I had to prod further, asking my friend if all members of the family felt that way. She gave a defeated shrug, and told me that even though the sons were eager to throw a big soirée, the overriding sentiment of most family members was that people would laugh at them for celebrating when they were yet to be grandparents. Talk about putting the sons, and their wives of course, on the spot.

I was still pondering this situation when I saw pictures in some of the blogs of the 40th birthday celebration of the beautiful wife of a popular musician. I happen to know this lady personally, and she is the sweetest and loveliest person you could meet. I had barely finished admiring the lovely pictures from what looked to be a fun party, when I read some of the blog comments, and I felt sick to my stomach. Some of these nameless, faceless people were attacking her for dancing and celebrating when she is yet to have any kids. I mean, who does that? So, basically, everything else about this person’s life needs to shut down because she is still in God’s waiting room! The incident made me remember seeing pictures of a popular Nollywood actress out and about at a beach party with friends, a few years ago. The blog comments were extremely vicious. One of these, and I paraphrase, basically implied that she was as good as single because she didn’t have a child. It made me wonder just how low, and mean, people could go!

I’m not pretending not to understand the sentiment. I understand how a person battling infertility could feel consumed by everything, and not be able to see the silver lining in anything. I get it. What I don’t get is why everyone else feels they have must have an opinion about how you choose to cope with this predicament. How you are not sad enough, not happy enough, not prayerful enough, not social enough, for your situation. It was the fear of what people would say that made my friend’s father-in-law cancel any plans for his 70th birthday party, and it will be fear of the blogs that will prevent the next fertility challenged celebrity from celebrating a milestone birthday. Why can’t society just give people having issues a free pass just for once?! Infertility is hard enough without having to live under a microscope, monitored and observed by people with hardly anything positive or constructive to say.

I spent a long time pondering all this, and I asked my husband if he would have been eager to celebrate his 40th birthday two years ago, if we didn’t already have our twins. I was expecting a quick and emphatic “Of course” from him, but was surprised when he paused for a long while, thinking about it. I was even more surprised when he answered he might not have been as enthusiastic about a party if we were still trying for a baby. I would have expected that answer from me, and not him the strong, positive one. I like to think that I would have gone ahead with any celebration, but if I’m to be honest, it’s unlikely I would have. Which is why I am so much in awe of that musician’s wife who celebrated her 40th! Not only did she look drop dead gorgeous, it looked like she had a fantastic time! If there’s any way to shut up the haters, that’s it right there.

Of course, not all the talk and comments are driven by malice and gossip. A lot of people, especially extended family members, are driven by concern. This I also understand. But if you are suffering from indirect infertility, i.e. you are related to, or are friends with, the infertile party, this is one situation where it is the absolute worst idea to grieve more than the bereaved. If your moans and lamentations are as loud as, or even louder than, the infertile party’s, pray tell what good is that to them? Not only will you end up offering no consolation or support whatsoever, you inadvertently add to the pressure they are already feeling. In our TTC days, whenever we visited one of my very distant in-laws, she would always let out a loud sigh about how the other couple from their hometown, who had married the same day as us, were expecting their 1st, and then subsequently 2nd, child. After a while, I stopped accompanying my husband to see this relative. I didn’t need that additional pressure, abeg!

I think my friend’s father-in-law should have gone ahead to have a lavish birthday party, regardless of what people would have said. He should have proceeded to have a talk-of-the-town party where, even if only for that day, their family would not have had to think of anything else. He could have used the opportunity of the party to thank God for his life, and pray for his children. This would have been better than leaving 3 couples dejected and burdened with the responsibility of being the cause of the cancelled birthday celebration.

I guess it’s easy for me to say because I am no longer TTC. True. But I also have the advantage of speaking from both sides of the fence, without any tunnel vision. No matter what our conditions are, no matter how long we have been TTC, there is always, always something to be thankful for. If you are worried about being a certain age, just remember that there are many people who would have loved to, but didn’t, attain that age. Everywhere around you are blessings! Your family, your health, your career, your business, there are so many things we can be thankful for. Every day is a blessing, and if you can remember that, it just might make the TTC journey that much easier.
So….have a wonderful week, and baby dust to all!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime |  Scott Griessel

Nicole is a woman in her late 30s, with a passion for all things fertility related. She suffered infertility for the first 3 years of her marriage, and found it extremely isolating. After she had her kids, she started The Fertile Chick ( to create a community and happy-place for all women, in various stages of the fertility journey.


  1. xxx

    April 6, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I can’t even imagine how your friend and her brother in laws are feeling. Most Nigerians tend to butt in or offer an opinion where it is not needed. Some don’t even understand boundaries or respect other people’s privacy. I’ve been married for a little over a year and I’m not even TTC. My husband and I decided we weren’t ready to have children just yet, and the other day some random person on hearing I had no children decided to tell me they will put me in their prayers and I was like “errrrrrrrrr”.

    • nicolefertilechick

      April 6, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      xxx, you are very correct. To the average Nigerian, there is nothing like waiting to try for a baby! Couples are immediately put on baby watch the day after the wedding! Quite annoying!

  2. Anonymous

    April 6, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I love this writeup. Pple are just depressed and like to put others down in a bid to feel better abt themselves. If you have issues, solve them nd stop making pple feel bad. All those TTC, baby dust to you

  3. child-free

    April 6, 2015 at 8:57 am

    It is so sad that one’s worth is measured by their reproductive prowess. A man who has hit a milestone age and in rude health feels there is nothing to celebrate! How about a low-key celebration , like a thanksgiving in church and reception there too. Surely, him still being on planet earth when a lot of his contemporaries have passed on must count for something? If not, then priorities are grossly misplaced. I, myself, have no kids and I’m way passed my fruitful years, but I will NEVER let my child-free status define me, no matter what anyone else thinks, says or does..

    • bruno

      April 6, 2015 at 9:55 am

      @child free

      go and adopt, not baby factory, proper legal adoption from an orphanage. you will love it. adoption should be every woman’s next option. if u have passed ur fruitful years.

      I have seen many nigerian women who can’t conceive, they have passed their fruitful years, there is this pain in their eyes and hearts always. they feel unhappy and unfulfilled. pls life shouldn’t be like that.

      nicole the fertility chic, I love what u do.
      but can u start another column where u can talk about adoption not baby factory, proper, legal adoption, the process of adopting a child in nigeria, interviews with women who could not conceive and had to go the orphanage to adopt. etc.

      there are so many babies who need homes.
      orphans are not witches neither are they blood suckers. these children didn’t choose to be in that situation. they are the unlucky ones.

      go to a nigerian orphanage and see how these babies are fighting each other for scraps of bread.

      nigerians don’t know the meaning of adoption. paying school fees or clothing or feeding ur nephews and nieces who’s parents are dead is not adoption. adopting a child is different from getting a house help. pls if u adopt a child the child is not ur house help for u to over work to death.

      proper adoption, that child u adopted is ur heir, u and that child are one , that child is not going to call u uncle or aunty or sir or oga , the child is going to call u daddy or mum.

      bellanaija, nicole the fertility chic pls think about this adoption column.

    • nicolefertilechick

      April 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Thanks bruno. I do agree that adoption is another great option, whether you are trying for children or not. There are so many kids in need of a good home, so if we are able to open our hearts to them, all the better. However, I don’t think it’s a crime for a woman to want a child of her own, and try all she can to get this child. With respect to the article on Adoption, whilst I totally agree with it, I don’t have enough subject matter expertise to be able to do this, so I’ll leave it for the experts.

    • Yamaha

      April 6, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      Bruno don’t waste your fingers typing. Nigerians would not listen. I once heard somebody ask a friend saying “Nawa this woman don get two already? God is good”. The other friend replied “no be her get the pickins ooo, she buy dem”. Imagine!!!!!!!!! Trust me this mentality is prevalent in Nig. They believe couples who adopt are not actual parents, but unfortunate people taking care of another person’s property. Smh for us.

    • Angel

      April 6, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      Lol @bruno, I love u now, just for this ur comment..

    • Isoken

      April 6, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      I went to the FCT social welfare office last week to inquire about adoption. The officer first asked if I knew that it might be God punishing me for marrying a man of a different faith and then he implied that my husband was not a “real man’ and offered to ‘help me’. No part of this process is easy. Even after making a formal complaint about the officer I feel sick to my stomach every time I see the form and I have been unable to fill it. The system doesn’t make it easy either. Don’t assume a person has not explored all the availanle options.

    • nicolefertilechick

      April 6, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Child-free, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE your attitude! That is exactly the way it is supposed to be. Whether or not a woman has a child should be no measure of her worth. I pray we get to a point when people always remember that!

  4. Really want to be a mom

    April 6, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Thanks for the write up….its never easy….being TTC for about 2 years now and I am gradually withdrawing from friends…they keep asking questions I wish I could answer.

    • nicolefertilechick

      April 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Really want to be a mom….I feel you 100%. It’s not easy. But try not to withdraw too much. If you can, define boundaries they can not cross especially when it comes to unwanted questions. But cutting off from society is the absolutely worst thing you can do. Good luck dear!

  5. Jay

    April 6, 2015 at 9:19 am

    It’s just the normal reaction you get in such circumstances in this clime, and the sad thing is that with time you,the concerned party start thinking that way too. I could start siting instances and I won’t finish till tomorrow. People look at you like you are crazy if you dare celebrate anything when you are trying to conceive. I vividly remember my sister in law telling me that I should thank my stars that I was pregnant when we were moving into our house back then, she was like if not people would be wondering why I am happy when I am moving into such a big house without a child ( been married for just four years then ).

    • nicolefertilechick

      April 6, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Jay, you are so spot on! So in short, childless couples are not allowed to progress with their lives or what?! I get so mad when I hear things like this, and really wonder if we will ever get to a place where people can process some of these things before they actually spew them out!

  6. Tess

    April 6, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I will never understand what people gain from putting others down. over sabi people. ,my mum said she told someone she was coming to visit me and the woman asked if i had a baby,when my mum answered no,she said ‘so why are you visiting her’. (so she cant visit if its not omoguo ehn abi) It used to get to me so bad that i closed facebook account and stopped uploading pics on bb,cos i only got comments like ‘you stomach is still flat,God will do it’ ‘your cheeks aare fuller,has it happened’ ‘this one you went on holiday what are you celebrating’. laawd ve mercy…pls if someone hasnt cried to you about ttc issue,leave them alone,everyone in my life has turned to Joseph, dreaming i am pregnant….forgive my rants. baby dust to everyone.and i think we should live our lives to the fullest while waiting. my friend once joked that the way i cry everyday,the baby might say ‘this woman is too sad,i cant come here’.

    • ara

      April 6, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      Tess, i totally totally completely feel you! I was in your shoes too.People will stop my mom at work and ask her if i was now pregnant.others who i had not been in touch with and were never really friends will send fb messages of dreams, and will be “praying” for me. it was sooooo annoying!i however learnt to ignore such messages and trust me, they were mom who has a sharp mouth found apt responses for ppl.hahahaaaa and when God was ready, he did pregnancy came as a complete surprise. i had stopped going to doctors, i decided to play hard and really enjoy myself and voila!
      Please stay will all end in thanksgiving and joy.don’t take what people say to heart, turn those silly comments into jokes and stay happy!

    • nicolefertilechick

      April 6, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      LOL, Tess! On the contrary, the baby will say “I need to hurry up so I can wrap my arms around this lovely woman” :-).

  7. sampy

    April 6, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Love the write up. A lot of people are frustrated, the only way they know how to let out steam is to say stupid things and offer unsolicited opinions. I do feel For your friend, God will bless them soon.

  8. Ifunanya Chukwu

    April 6, 2015 at 9:42 am

    @Really want to be a mom….All i can do for you to pray for you and my sister who is also facing the same problem. Heavenly father, please answer their prayers. Just wipe away the tears from their faces and take away the burden in their hearts in Jesus name.

    • really want to be a mom

      April 6, 2015 at 10:54 am

      Thank you so much Ify…

    • African Salon Dubai

      April 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      What PROBLEM??

  9. ivie

    April 6, 2015 at 9:54 am

    wondering how to celebrate my one yr wifout an issue yet or a protrudin tummy. #sighs

    • Ellen

      April 6, 2015 at 10:48 am

      You don’t have to wonder…just celebrate and be have every reason to be thankful, ur marriage is one year old, there re singles who would love to be in ur shoes right now…..A baby will surely come,enjoy ur marriage and keep faith alive..

    • Blessmyheart

      April 6, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      I know the feeling dear. I felt sad celebrating my second wedding anniversary without a baby or pregnancy and my husband decided to make a production out of it. I just told myself to be grateful to God and not let anything dampen my spirit.

    • nicolefertilechick

      April 6, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      My dear Ivie, you absolutely must celebrate it with your husband! Not only do a lot of couples not make it to their 1st anniversary, one year is far too soon to worry. Be happy my dear, and by God’s grace, it will happen soon for you!

  10. Ellen

    April 6, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I just feel nothing is worth brooding all things give thanks…people will always talk and try to get u depressed….you waiting for admission into school and people keep asking what’s happening, u finally get into school and they ask why u not done yet, like sm magic is supposed to happen. You graduate n start job hunting, which cn be very depressing and d world feels it’s your fault ure still jobless. for d ladies, if ure still single after a year of graduating wow, family,friends,world wouldn’t let u be, then she finally gets married and then the pressures begin(emotionally,physically,mentally etc) people make it look like ure supposed to manufacture babies immediately,they keep asking like u not aware and like its their business…Babies will come when they re supposed to. If a couple feels comfy to adopt then fine..i just get sickened with the way Nigerians put pressure on people for everything…hate statements,mockery and all sorts..i think people should always sit back and think about the emotional pain most people go through and sieve their words…..And everyone has the right to be happy n celebrate no matter the circumstance they find themselves and people should learn to mind their business and stop being too nosey….

    • nicolefertilechick

      April 6, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Ellen, you hit the nail right on the head! Very well said!

  11. ivie

    April 6, 2015 at 11:04 am

    *wedding anniversary*

  12. Shopperoflife

    April 6, 2015 at 11:54 am

    @Tess, good comment ur friends friend made. I was an only child for a long time. My mum had my brother twelve years after having me. She was never pregnant once in between. I almost died of shock when she recently told me in the course of gisting that a frenemy once called her “Barren woman” Biko, how do u call any woman barren not to talk of a woman who already had a child? In my “fighting Cock” mode, I said didn’t U tell her back that all her three could perish in one day? My mum shook her and said no I didn’t BeCos, she only help remind God that l was waiting. But guess what? My mum took in that same month. The things we do out of spite, anger, concern etc. May God forgive all loose tongues.

    • nicolefertilechick

      April 6, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Shopperoflife, I had a similar experience. I was an only child for 10 years, and I know quite a lot of snide comments were passed. When I was 8 years old and at a party, one of my Mom’s “friends” pulled me aside and wagged her finger in my face, accusing me of “not allowing my Mom have more kids”. Imagine! To an 8 year old child. Thankfully, my brother came 2 years after that. May God really forgive all those loose tongues!

  13. lll

    April 6, 2015 at 11:54 am

    You better don’t let what the society thinks stop you from celebrating your 1st anniversary. As long as you and your partner are happy

  14. Anonymous

    April 6, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Bella Naija,
    Please I want to send an article/post, how can I do that?

  15. Yamaha

    April 6, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    That’s Nigerians for you. Women and men seem to feel accomplished only when they have kids. Even if the so called “kids” are nothing to write home about. Even if they do not have means to take care of the kids. Even if they are horrible parents and are not psychologically ready to train another human being(s) and make he/she responsible. Rubbish! Having kids is a choice, NIGERIANS. Some couples people think are battling “infertility” have actually chosen not to have kids yet or at all. It’s only in Nigeria that if a woman is not a breeding machine, she has failed in her role to contribute to society. She’s useless. Same goes for men too.As far as Yamaha is concerned if you like have 100 kids and cultivate the earth, if they amount to nothing or turn out to reck havoc in the society, you’re as good as barren or infertile. Ask the parents that have their kids behind bars.If your only role in society is to breed to. You have failed in life, as far as Yamaha is concerned. In Nigeria a couple with 10 malnourished children, feels better and more accomplished than a childless couple who has been married longer with successful careers. Nonsense! NIGERIANS need to mind their business and leave couples assumed to be TTC alone. If they do not confide in you, then you have no business with them! This fulfilled man did not celebrate 70 because his children are yet to have kids. SAD. It’s this mentality that makes people to breed and breed rubbish into the society. Chill people! NOT EVERYONE WANTS KIDS! Even if they want kids, nobody has a right to tell them when to start or have!

    • African Salon Dubai

      April 9, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Yamaha you just made my day – the best comment on the world wide web. They are so stuck on multiply and fill the earth, they forgot to fill the earth with QUALITY and SUBSTANCE!

  16. Joke

    April 6, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    You can “think” anything you want till you are faced with the situation, you have no clue. He who wears the shoe, knows where it hurts and adjusts accordingly. The man said he had nothing to celebrate and didn’t. So he should have a party for others to jubilate when he is crying inside? To satisfy party goers abi? I agree with him. It’s his life and his feelings. If he is not in a celebratory mood, he shouldn’t celebrate. Also, you don’t know what he is being told or even perhaps accused of. If he can afford a lavish party, he is probably rich or at least comfortable. Do you know how many times he may have been asked by family members to confess in confidence if he used his future grand kids for wealth voodoo etc? We are talking not 1, not 2, but 3 sons oh!!! If I was the man eh, Jerusalem will be my new home. The 40 year old lady wanted to celebrate and she did and you don’t even know the back story of her celebration, so don’t assume and if you think she only got negative comments in social media, I guarantee that she would have been told some choice words to her face disguised as prayers. So, please let people sort their lives out as they see fit.

  17. Same

    April 6, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Hmnnn….. I read this section always but I have never been so touched. I have been TTC for 5 years after losing a pregnancy in the early stage of marriage. The society we live in makes it difficult to want to celebrate anything when you are in God’s waiting room. I am already dreading my anniversary next month… Do you know that already I was wondering if I will be celebrating my 40th birthday (even though it is still abt 5 yrs away) if I am still waiting? I was really in shock when my husband few yeras back said he wanted to have a party to mark his 40th bday? I was ehn…. what will people say, is it necessary…? he had the party and I thank God he did bit even with that I cannot seem to care less abt what pple say. Friends, families and even amebos keep sending you broadcast of church programmes for those TTC,, prayer points, dreams, prophesies and it can be quite overwhelming. This article has given me a new perspective! I choose to be happy, if anyone has a problem with it, they can jump into the Being alive is enough reason to be thankful.

  18. Miss M

    April 7, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Excellent right up! This is very encouraging! Thanks Nicole! Society puts so much pressure on new, young and married couples about child birth. People just open their mouths and give unsolicited annoying opinions and advise! My husband and I are 6months into our marriage, and we decided not to TTC at least the first 6-9 months of our marriage until we are abit more stable. But Gosh, every one is breathing down our necks with prayers of twins, and questions like have you taken in, every time I put up a picture on bbm, it’s like ” you look pregnant” why can’t people just mind their business! It gets really hard! God help us!

  19. o ma ga

    April 7, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I have a divergent view – Call me superstitious if you want but why are the only 3 sons of a man having issues with reproduction?Hope the man never use their fertility do jazz oh!!!!

    I am more curious as to the reason…..It doesn’t seem normal abeg and the man did it to protect tongues wagging at him not even his kids.Every woman should look before they leap abeg,i wan marry i wan marry but if 2boys never born for the family,na to tread with caution!

  20. Meeeee

    April 7, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Your write up brought back so many…
    especially when we wld enter a new year and all i would do was cry at the cross over service and not be truly happy to see a new year…about how i never wanted to celebrate my birthdays because i didnt want ayone to think “AH! she has been married for so-so number of years and she never born, but she dey do party…misplaced priorities”. i think it is only natural to hold back when you are in God’s waiting room…..
    Re: Adoption
    It is easier for some than for others..i know quite a number of people who have adopted here in Nigeria and they are happy and doing well.
    i tried for 4 years before i had my son and 5 years down the lane i am still waiting. i have my moments…but above all i am happy to be alive and well and healthy. We would keep trying naturally and via IVF.
    i am thinking of adopting my 2nd and 3rd babies but my husband is struggling…knowing how my inlaws are..particularly my Mother-in-law, my husband says i would constantly have to fight anyone to the ground for careless statements and body language…we would fight for that/those child(ren) every step of the way.

    God help us all..
    Weldone Nicole.

  21. wobia

    May 11, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Sad …..My dad was 70….11 years ago and none of his kids had kids fact we were all single ….he had a bash and thank God he had us ……what ever we did was for ourselves not him …attitude is everything… .now he has 6grandchildren and he s 81 …so my dear we must learn to count our blessings …and leave things we cannot change right now alone …adopt a baby ..if u most…enjoy ur husband now and create bonds and memories no one can take away……and ps it s still ok to cry into ur pillow sometimes .

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