Disclaimer: In Real Life is a platform for everyday people to share their experiences and voices. All articles are personal stories and do not necessarily echo In Real Life\u2019s sentiments. Get updated on fresh new IRL stories by following us on our Facebook & Instagram. I have been married for nearly 15 years to a loving husband. I work in a stable job, my parents are well taken care of, and I paid off my house loan ahead of time. Everything seemed to have gone according to plan. Well, except for the fact that for the first 10 years, I was childless. And every year, as if to remind me of my failure, my relatives would ask me: \u201cWong, when are you having kids?\u201d I had a miscarriage when I was in my third year In my 3rd year of marriage, I got pregnant. I was ecstatic! I couldn\u2019t hold in my joy and expectation. We went to see a gynecologist and get the ultrasound pictures. The doctor gave me some medication for morning sickness and a list of foods to avoid. But I was simply reeling from the news that I was going to be a mother. I told my relatives about the news, and they were very happy to hear the news. My husband started buying baby products. We researched articles, listened to talks, and had long conversations with our gyne. We were so ready to welcome our little one into the world. One day, I was getting ready to go to work when I felt something wrong move in my uterus. I phoned the doctor and my husband rushed me to the hospital. I had a sinking feeling that it was worse than a simple bout of nausea. I just knew, even before the doctor gave me the shattering news, that my baby was gone. When they confirmed it, I could feel my world become unbalanced. It felt like the floor had crumbled under my feet. I couldn\u2019t walk, I couldn\u2019t breathe. My baby is gone, my inner voice screamed, everything else fading into a greyed out filter. From amidst the chaos, a small voice piped up, how will I break the news to my relatives now? I had suffered a miscarriage, and I had to pick up my life as if nothing had happened. The baby products we were planning to buy, the talks we attended, the late night pillow-talks we had with each other about how we would raise our child from birth to adulthood \u2014 all of that disappeared in an instant, and we had to pretend to be married, childless, and happy again. After that day, I had trouble conceiving again for 7 years. Emotionally, that decade had taken a heavy toll on me. But none of my in-laws or family members could understand my pain and desperation. Every CNY, I would be asked, \u201cWhen are you going to have kids? You\u2019re not young anymore.\u201d I would answer through gritted teeth, \u201cWe\u2019re trying our best.\u201d Whenever I opened up about my condition, suddenly each aunt and uncle became the World\u2019s No. 1 Fertility Expert, promoting some special tonic, pills or methods that their so-and-so had tried. But instead of taking my soft \u201cno\u201d for an answer, they would barrage me with links to some herbal website claiming to solve women\u2019s childbearing problems with a few dried herbs and spices. At one point, I became so frustrated that I refused to go CNY visiting one year. This outright refusal, mentioned two weeks before CNY came around, led to a huge argument within my family. \u201cWhy don\u2019t you want to come back?\u201d They asked me, incredulous. The way they were reacting, it was like I had publicly disowned them. I wanted to fire back, \u201cBecause everytime I do, I\u2019m reminded of the time my baby died inside me.\u201d But of course I didn\u2019t, because I\u2019m Chinese and we don\u2019t say things like that. So instead, I just told them I needed space. They still didn\u2019t quite understand, and things soured between me and them for a while. That year was the year I became depressed and had terrible mood swings. On the one hand, I hated that it was my personal issue that caused such misunderstanding in the family. On the other, I resented them for not being more understanding. I had made countless visits to gynaecologists, fertility clinics and even prayer groups all in the name of trying to have a child. Having family members pester me about them, was only reminding me of my failure. Then in my 9th year, I became pregnant with twins. That particular CNY stood out as a very happy one for me. I was overcome with relief. At last, I was able to meet relatives and show them my baby bump! \u201cThis will shut everyone up,\u201d I thought, with no small amount of satisfaction. But after my children were born, I found that the prying questions I got about having kids never really go away \u2014 they just evolved. \u201cWhy have you gained so much weight?\u201d They asked. Duh, because I gave birth! The next few CNYs after that, I asked, \u201cWhen are your kids going to be able to read?\u201d or \u201cWhen are your daughters going to be more ladylike?\u201d This will never end, not until I\u2019m the oldest person in the room. There\u2019s a unacknowledged toxicity in Asian families that many don't realise\u00a0 Let\u2019s face it \u2014 these pesky questions about one\u2019s childbearing and marital status have always been part of our Chinese culture. Some might say I am being oversensitive, that I should just develop a \u2018thick skin\u2019. But why should the responsibility be on me to manage my emotions to unwanted questions? Why can\u2019t the people asking them be more considerate to begin with? Do we really need to suck it up every year when we get drilled by our nosy relatives? How do you save yourselves from all the agony? But I\u2019ve learnt that no response can be a good response. Even though not coming round for CNY was a drastic move that ruffled some feathers, I felt the need to do that to preserve my own mental health. One thing the older generation needs to understand is that there\u2019s no \u201cright\u201d time to get married, have kids, or settle down - especially when a pandemic delays life plans for so many. And ultimately, the culture should change so that we bear our children because we want them, not for the sake of others. For more stories like this, read: 8 Things Your Relatives Always Ask During Chinese New Year Reunion. To get new stories from IRL, follow us on\u00a0Facebook &\u00a0Instagram. Edited by Gabriel Gan with permission by the author.