Unkind speculation about being childless

Unkind speculation about being childless
Madam Norasidah Jamali (left) lives a life full of children, even though she has none. She and her husband have been trying for a child for five years without success. Photo: The New Paper
PHOTO: The New Paper

Madam Norasidah Jamali, 40, lives a life full of children, even though she has none.

An English teacher of special needs children, she tells The New Paper on Sunday that she treats the children in her class as if they were her own.

She also has eight nieces and nephews who visit her often, and is as close to them as she is to her 30 students.

While we were speaking on Friday afternoon, she received a phone call from a former student calling to see if she was free to have a casual chat.

"Oh yes, they call me quite often to update me about their lives, to ask for advice or even to meet up for a drink," she says.

Madam Norasidah and her husband didn't intend to remain childless.

She and Mr Zaidi Hussein, 45, married 11 years ago and have been trying for a child for the last five years.

They had put off having children for the first five years of their marriage for Madam Norasidah to focus on her studies and career.

Mr Zaidi was busy with his business at the time and didn't have time for children either. Five years ago, they started trying for a child but have been unsuccessful.

They have tried all means - from in-vitro fertilisation to traditional Chinese and Malay medicines - but nothing has worked.

See also: More couples going for IVF treatments as costs fall

Madam Norasidah says: "I told my husband maybe we should stop trying and accept our childless life."

She says she is no longer the young woman she once was, and is worried about her asthma problems acting up should she get pregnant.

The couple has had to deal with unkind speculation from people they know.

"Some people want to know if I am sick, or claim that we aren't trying hard enough," she says.

But they take no heed. Most of their relatives understand their predicament.

She says: "My mother-in-law, for example, understood that we weren't ready early in our marriage, and now she accepts that maybe we just aren't fated for it."


Madam Norasidah says they stay positive.

When asked if she had any regrets, she says she has none. "Even though I have no children, I'm lucky that I have so many children to take care of in my work," she says.

Looking on the bright side, she adds: "Well, my nieces and nephews tell me, 'Maybe not having children is a good thing, so now you can spend all your time loving us instead'."

She laughs at the thought of this, then nods and says: "Well, they might be right!"

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