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.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Where I am...

I’m struggling. There’s no other way to put it. Every day I think about my life and how second rate it is, how I have done nothing, how I am nothing. I cry one or two times a day. I do feel sort of happy if I don’t think too much. I feel like the day is mine – at least before I get out of bed.

I look at my friends and family and I think about my life.

I never thought I would be in the situation that I am in now. When I was a kid I thought life had a certain trajectory and that I would follow that. I learnt in my twenties (through having serious illnesses) that this trajectory is not accurate – life doesn’t go from A to B to C etc. for most people. Still, I thought there were aspects of life that would be mine.

This expectation was amplified when I met Kirby. I had met my soul mate and I was in a job that I loved. So from then on I foresaw that I would have a career and my children would come along very soon.

That was almost ten years ago and life, at least in those two aspects, couldn’t be more different. I watch my friends and family having children and/or succeeding in their careers. I have neither. I have no children and I have no career.

What am I then? Who am I?

Honestly, I feel like I am nothing.

I know life isn’t perfect for anyone and that everyone goes through times when they feel like they aren’t worth anything – even if they have a career and/or children.

I also know that comparing my life to others is pointless as nobody knows the reality of another’s experiences and feelings. I know this, but I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I am not good enough, and I don’t even know where to start to try and find some meaning and purpose for me in the way that I can.

I’ve just turned 40, but I really don’t think my feelings have anything to do with this. I think it is more to do with Minerva (my fifteen year old cat) dying in May. It doesn’t seem like that long since I brought her home as a nine week old kitten and now she is gone. Fifteen years of my life with her and now she isn’t with me anymore. Maybe much of what I’m feeling right now is my grief for her.

It’s also because there is a possibility that she could still be alive today. I took her to a vet last year who didn’t diagnose her kidney condition, and should have, and also prescribed Minerva with a medication that should not be given to cats with kidney problems. Minerva, if diagnosed then, might have been put on medication that could have helped her live a longer and healthier life. I feel like that is my fault. I didn’t research what was happening to her. I didn’t find out for myself what her symptoms could mean. I let her down. At least I feel like I did.
Ten years ago...

The tenth anniversary of when Kirby and I met is coming up in October. I think this has a great deal to do with how I am feeling as well.  There was so much excitement about our children. But, they’re not here. They’ll never be here.

Dreams coming true...
I don’t have a career and I don’t have children. What am I doing with my life? What is the point of it? I am so confused right now. I get up and I think about what I could do and then I feel like a car that starts, but then just keeps on stalling on the driveway. And even if I got onto the road – I have no idea what direction I would, could, or should drive in.

I am utterly and completely lost. Am I not moving because I don’t know what direction to take, or am I not acknowledging or taking the direction I know is for me because I am afraid?

I’m in a pit. But damn it if I’m going to stay here. I’m going to find footholds, no matter how tiny they are, and I’m going to reach for the love and hands of other people to help me climb out again. I don’t know when, but I have to hold onto the hope that it will happen.


Illanare said...

I am so sorry to hear how you are stuggling right now. I sympathise and empathise - and I think you are right when you say that a lot of this stems from the pain of losing your precious Minerva. I haven't been in my right mind since I said goodbye to Mouse; like you and Minerva it had been Mouse and me for half my life. The loss is huge.

But I am sure that you didn't fail Minerva in any way. You loved her so much, she loved you back and you would have done anything for her - and you did.

Sending you so many warm thoughts and hugs.

Kate Bettison said...

Thank you so much Illanare. I really appreciate your comment. You're right - I didn't fail her...but I guess with grief we get those guilty feelings! I loved her (and love her) so very much. I used to call Minerva "Mouse" - you know..Minerva...Minnie..Minnie Mouse...Mouse...Thanks again x

Anonymous said...

Kate - I'm so sorry that you feel this way. As I read your post I felt like I could have written it myself. Like you, I'm now 40 and don't believe I'll ever be a mother. Five rounds of unsuccessful IVF have left me completely hopeless, and I've sacrificed any chance of a career in order to focus on having a child. So now I don't see any future for myself.
It seems so unfair, especially when my husband is such a good, kind man and would make such a great dad.
I'm not sure where to start at building a life for myself as I feel completely worthless and see no point to life if I can't be a mother.
I guess this isn't a very helpful comment for you. I suppose it's good to know that we're not alone maybe...?

Kate Bettison said...

Your comment is very helpful - it is good to know we are not alone...It is so hard to find that something that makes us feel worthwhile again. Sometimes I think I've got the point where I'm okay with a life where I am not a mother, and then I am suddenly in a pit where nothing but being a mother is worthwhile. I think this cycle of feelings will never completely go away...unfortunately. I hope that you do find that something that helps you to feel worthwhile and those footholds to get you there. And sometimes it isn't the great big achievements, but rather the everyday things such as being able to tend to a plant that you love, or being the type of person that your friends trust, or being loved by your husband, that matter. xx

Anonymous said...

I happened upon your blog when I was looking up "trying to be happy without children." I can relate to you...I feel exactly the same way. However, the grass is always greener on the other side. You have a husband, I have the career (no husband). So, when we have one thing we always want another. I want a husband AND baby and I will never have the baby for sure. Cancer last year made that definite, plus the fact that I am now 45 yrs old. I wish and regret and I want to stop doing that. I guess we just have to keep going on and realize that our worth is what we make it and we need to just be and make OURSELVES happy. Nobody else can do that for us. Keep on going and keep on trying to move forward. I think as we get older, this will be easier for us.

Kate Bettison said...

That is so beautifully and perfectly said. I'm so sorry to hear about your cancer and I hope that any treatment you are having is successful. Thank you for your comment.