Thankful For Those That Understand

I am childless - not by choice.  These are new words to me and I am grateful for them because they help to explain and sidestep some unfortunate assumptions about those without children.

I have not had much support during the 10 years that my infertility ran my life.  I have just recently realized that I must find a way to let go of this dream and find a way to live.  It has seemed impossible to fathom letting go of the dream that helped me hold on for so long - I am beginning to see that there is life on the other side. 

I have a combination of fertility related disorders that have made having children beyond our grasp.  We got married after many years together, I was 27 and we were ready to start a family so that became my mission.  I researched and read, quit my bad habits, quit sports, quit some undesirable people and began "nesting".  When we had not become pregnant within a few cycles I spoke to my doctor and asked for a referral to a specialist - it was early, but the process happened quickly and within a few months we were patients at a fertility clinic 4 hours south of our city, trying to investigate the problems and create a plan of attack.  The staff at the clinic was a highlight ... I did not have support that really understood what I was going through ... but they did - and their empathy and professionalism was a huge blessing, perhaps the only one in reality.  The treatments did not work, we tried for many years, many ways, many drugs etc to no avail.  I was obese by now - puffy, exhausted, emotionally devastated, in total denial, numb ... etc etc -(it is nice to not have to tell all the details because I know the people here relate...).  My marriage was difficult, mostly because of my guilt and disbelief that my husband would not want to go elsewhere to have a family ... to top off all of this confusion I held it inside so that when i went to work everyday to work with children no one would notice and think I was unbalanced !! duh ...

We thought adoption would be a good option for us - we pursued both public and private adoption at the same time as wrapping up some fertility treatment attempt - glutton for punishment I am ...  The home studies went very well - it was actually another positive experience.  I did not have the ability to recognize then that I had grieved no part of what was happening - and as I had learned as a child I stuffed my zillions of feelings as I kept a 'stiff upper lip' and plowed ahead !  The adoption option was positive - though no appropriate matches were made.  In retrospect I see that in my heart I wanted to look into the face of my biological child ... retrospect is 20/20, and things work out as they should.

It has taken a very long time to begin to unravel the emotions and grieving that I put off while I was pursuing my motherhood dream.  I was single-minded, to the detriment of my life, health, relationships and mental health.  I have worked very hard and will need to continue to do so.  I see now that I need to spend time mothering myself.  I tend to sacrifice my "self" for goals that I thought could fill the ache.

I realize I need to be in contact with others that 'get' my story, and get the roller coaster of grief.  I hope I can make some connections and find some inspiring stories to help me as I heal.  It is surprising to me to know how helpful it is to know that others have lived well after these experiences, and to hear their words of encouragement .

I look forward to learning more about living Childfree, and getting to know other women that have lived through this process.

Thankfully yours,


beingboo beingboo
36-40, F
6 Responses Nov 23, 2009

Thank you for your sharing your story and where you are in your journey. I am feeling the EXACT same way right now. Reading the other stories helps to feel less alone and I am hoping you all are feeling better as it has been a few years. We have been trying for 6 1/2 years and have tried everything but my immune issues can't be corrected. We need to accept we will not have kids but my heart aches, literally. Feel free to message me to let me know how you are.

We are nearing the end of our finances to continue IVF and I am facing the ocean of grief I've only had glimpses of thus far. Where do you begin with all the grief?<br />
<br />
Grieving the inability to create a life.<br />
Grieving the loss of pregnancy and birth.<br />
Grieving the loss of motherhood.<br />
Grieving the loss of ever having and being a family.<br />
Grieving the loss of all the family experiences, traditions and holidays.<br />
Grieving the right of passage into society.<br />
Grieving the exclusive membership into the parent club.<br />
Grieving the friendships and bonding with other parent couples.<br />
Grieving the loss of the opportunity of grandchildren.<br />
Grieving the the loss of being a grandparent.<br />
<br />
Grieving the loss of your little child's arms wrapping around you in a hug and hearing, "I love you, mommy."<br />

Wow - that is a lot of grieving. I hope you are OK now. What a difficult challenge this is!

I feel what all of you are saying. My heart goes out to all of you. I too am trying to learn to live childless. However, I don't want to live like this. I wish I could wake up and this would all go away. My husband is doing very well with our news and I feel that I am just sinking deeper and deeper into lonliness. I know one day I will feel better but it doesn't seem like that days is close. My heart again goes out to all of you and hope you are doing well.

I tend to struggle with sharing how I am feeling with my closest friends, because they have kids and although they are empathetic and care, they just can't understand how this feels. <br />
Writing your thoughts here gives you freedom because everyone has this shared pain and can put their hand on their heart and say 'I know how you feel'<br />
I guess I am a little earlier in the journey, at the given up all hope end :-( I just sit here and think, will I ever get over this? Can I get over this? Can my hubby get over this? I'm fine when I'm at work, but sitting at home I have all this time to think and sometimes it gets to me.<br />
I still can't share all of my story - I've given snippets in my comments, but with time I feel that this is a 'safe' environment to share...

opks - <br />
are you as amazed as I am at how similar the stories are from people in our position? i went from wondering if what i was going through was all in my head or trying to find reasons for the ups and downs i was going through ... to reading stories that told me it was OK, and normal in this situation even! I feel very relieved though it is sad to realize that some of these ups and downs will go on my whole life as i will always miss the children i dreamed of.<br />
I am really glad to hear from you, thank you for contacted me. I hope you are able to find some balance with the sadness and life after, if you know what i mean.<br />
That is what i am hoping for - <br />
Take care and feel free to keep in touch.

I am deeply touched by what you have written in your post because it mirrors everything that is happening to me right now. I too am childless and not by choice. The worst part of all of this is not being able, to come to terms with why you are singled out for a life that has to be so different and painful from everyone else. The isolation that this has brought to my life has changed me in ways i cannot describe.