I always thought I’d be a mum.
We’d designed our married life around becoming parents – we moved across the country to be closer to my family #supportnetwork, bought a 4-bedroomed house, and we even bought a car with four doors “to easily get the baby car seat in and out”.
Eighteen months of trying and no baby. Time was marching on as we weren’t exactly spring chickens when we started trying to conceive.
Another couple of years and two disastrous rounds of IVF later – still no baby. And according to our fertility consultancy, little to no chance of ever having our own biological children (official diagnosis: premature ovarian failure. I was 34).
We were broken. We had nothing left in our emotional tanks to pursue other options (egg donation or adoption).
At that point, we made the decision to “not have children”.
It was the right decision.
We’d lost 5 years of our lives to trying to have a baby – I wasn’t about to lose any more of my life chasing a dream that was unlikely to come true.
Of course, there was a huge emotional fallout from the years of trying to get pregnant and then the decision to stop.
I suffered from depression, but after a few years, 2 rounds of therapy and some Prozac, I finally came out the other side and was ready to design my life the way I wanted it to look.
And how was that?
Well, when I discovered that having children wasn’t an option for us, I made a very clear decision – that my life wasn’t going to be “less than” because I couldn’t be a parent.
I decided that I was going to live my very best life, full of joy, excitement and freedom. I was going to make the very best of everything that was available to me.
The realisation that we could design our lives exactly how we wanted them to be – rather than what society had told us they should look like – was a big one!
But having #alltheoptions available to us was overwhelming – and still is, at times.
Both my husband and I work from home so we can live anywhere in the world we want – but where?
We could live in a tiny city centre flat or buy a remote farmhouse – but which did we really want?
We don’t have to worry about feeding children or buying school shoes or paying for university, so we can reconsider our careers – but do we go back to university ourselves? Or change our profession?
These all sound like “first-world problems” – and they are. But set against the backdrop of the crushing devastation that we wouldn’t be able to have the children we wanted, these choices felt a little sad and empty at times.
Truth be told, from the outside, not a lot about our lives has actually changed. But our feelings about it, and the intention behind how we are now designing our lives have massively changed.
We have finally decided to stay in the house we bought for our “family” – but now we’re renovating it for our family of two.
I was made redundant and decided to build my own business, rather than go back to the “security” of the corporate world. And a few years later my husband also left his corporate job to pursue his own ventures.
We’re planning trips and travel and spending time with our friends and family – we both have siblings and nieces and nephews.
Yes, from time to time I get upset and pissed off about the fact that I couldn’t have a baby. I don’t imagine that that’s ever going to completely go away.
But I made the decision that if I couldn’t have what I wanted that the alternative was going to be just as good, if not better.
So here I am – and now I’ve decided that I want to help other women who don’t have children (by choice or circumstance) to live their very best lives too.
And you don’t necessarily even need to know exactly what it is that you want. The chances are, if you’re here reading this website, you know that you want something more and/or different – and if you don’t quite know what that is, we can uncover it as part of our coaching journey together.
To discover more about coaching with me, click here…