We always thought we would have kids. We started trying when we believed we were ready. A month went by, then two months, six months, a year. Nothing happened.

Something was wrong, but nobody could tell us what - and they still can't to this day. We tried IVF three times but our results were not good. We were devastated.

Eighteen months after our last IVF cycle, we knew we would not be having our own children. And, somehow, we have moved to a life that is much different to the one we thought we'd have.

This blog is about what we do now we know we won't be having children - the thoughts, dreams, realities, sorrows, and joys that have become our new life path.

I hope you will enjoy what I will be sharing, and I hope that if you are at the point where life without children is a reality for you, that you might find some hope and inspiration here.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Apologies again!

I’ve had a few health issues this past month, plus a work project that I’ve had to focus on, so the blog has gone on the back burner for a while.

I’m not sure if you heard about the storm that happened in South Australia a few weeks back. It was one of the biggest we’ve seen and ended up with the entire state losing power – some areas for more than 24 hours.

Hospitals and other emergency services generally have backup generators, and so do IVF clinics. After all – they have frozen embryos that need to be looked after.

Unfortunately one of the IVF clinics in South Australia lost all power and couldn’t get it back before they lost all of the frozen embryos. All of them.

They have offered free cycles of IVF for all affected clients.

I cried for the clients and the embryos when I heard this news. I was also very angry. I was angry at the loss of the embryos, but also because to most people the offer of another cycle was an acceptable way to make amends.

But, the loss of those embryos, at least to me, is much more than a free cycle could ever compensate for.

When we did our IVF cycles we got to take home photos of our embryos. We have two photos and I’ve kept them. I won’t ever part with them. Because they are our children. Had we lost any embryos in an incident where power failed I would have felt that our children had died – not just that embryos had been lost that can simply be replaced.

Does that sound weird? I would have felt that the clinic was being flippant about the loss of our babies.

What do embryos mean? How early is it in the cycle to say “they are our children”? For me, our embryos were our children – especially given they were as close as we ever got to holding our babies in our arms.

They were never just embryos to me. In those tiny little beings there were already so many things that were set – their eye colour, their hair colour, whether they would have had Kirby’s eyes. Would they have been interested in computers or writing? Would they have loved animals like I do? We’ll never know, but we’ll always wonder.

Our babies...

No doubt the different clients of the clinic would be experiencing so many different emotions and thoughts. For those whom IVF does not work for, will they forever wonder if one of the embryos that was lost could have been the one? I often wonder about an embryo that was not put in me because it was not judged as strong enough – could that have been the one that made it? Again – we’ll never know.

All I can say is that our embryos were the closest to our children that we ever got, and they were a part of Kirby and a part of me. They were more than simply embryos – so much more.


Felicia Evans said...

Thank you sharing your thoughts and being so honest and forthright with feelings about not being able to have children. I finally read something that were very similar to how I feel. Our stories are different but the end result is the same, I could. It have children. I am still healing although I am further along than I was. Now, I am at the point of acceptance. I also don't feel as bad when I see a child, hear a child say mommy, see a pregnant lady, or hear of someone who just found out they're expecting.
It still hurts but some how I have managed to believe I still have a life without children of my own...and can have a good life too. I have lots of niece's and nephews and even grand nieces and nephews and I am so happy to have themin my life. This is not to say this makes up for not having my own children but it does eases some of the pain and sadness. They bring me great joy.

Kate Bettison said...

Hi Felicia - thanks for your comment. It isn't easy to come to a point where you realise you won't have children. I was asked once how I knew when it was time to let go - and it was when I could see a life without children that would be okay and fulfilling. I say to people, I enjoy my life and I'm happy (mostly!), but it's not better or worse than if we'd had children - it's just different. And we try to engage and embrace it for what it is. It seems we have similar views! xx

Christine Bleck said...

Thank you for writing your book about not being able to have children. My story is similar to yours as we have been trying for over two years with no explanation of why we are infertile from our doctors. I grew up being told i am so good with babies and young children and that I would make a great mother, but like you said sometimes life itself writes parts of the journey we can't control. I think young women need to hear these stories and be more prepared to handle both sides of this topic, because we as women have no idea how hard it actually is until we are in the thick of trying to make a baby.

Mothers need to be real with their daughters and tell the truth that life is different for everyone and nothing is guaranteed.

I am struggling myself to accept this possibility of not having children, but I appreciate hearing your story and your journey to accepting it. I think right now I still get jealous of other people and find facebook hard to look at. I am working on giving my feelings the space and time they deserve because holding it in isn't going to allow me to heal, but a sincere thank you for your book you are an inspiration for women everywhere.

Kate Bettison said...

Hello Christine,

I am so sorry I haven't replied to your comment. I've been a bit out of action lately - a few different difficult things going on.

You are very welcome re the book and I'm so glad it provides inspiration to others.

Give your feelings that space and honour them - they, and you, deserve that. It is important, though, to know that those feelings and thoughts won't eventually go away for all time. Recently I've been struggling again with not have children - it surprised me, even though I knew it would happen every now and then.

Please keep in touch - and any time you need a virtual hug, I'm right here.


Joy Michele Timmons said...

Hi, Kate,

You need to trust God and let it naturally happened. I believe you can still be a mother. Do not give up. Just eat healthy, exercise, take care of yourself.

God Bless,

Kate Bettison said...

Hello Joy,

Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate and respect your belief that I should trust God, but the truth is I cannot, physically, have children - it won't happen for me.

The best thing I can do, and have done, is to look to a life that is without children but has many blessings and amazing things to look forward to.

Once again, thank you for your comment. It does mean a lot to me when people believe that I can still have children - your faith is to be respected.

Kate x