From ‘too many’ to ‘childlessness is a gift’.

I’ve recently re-written My Story and I realise how much I’ve changed since I last wrote it two years ago.

childlessness is my biggest gift Previously I wrote that we had’ too many’ rounds of IVF because being honest felt too vulnerable. I was ashamed to say six because I thought it was too many and I would be judged for not stopping sooner. So I only told part of my story.

I’m much stronger now, not only do I write that we had 6 rounds of IVF but also that ‘Childlessness has proved to be my biggest gift because without it I wouldn’t be who I am now and be enjoying the wonderful life that I have.’

Now before you panic, I know that viewing childlessness as a gift is a BIG THING and I only say it after a lot of thought. You can breathe a sigh of relief as I promise you that you don’t ever have to say it, imagine it, or even want it.

So now we’ve got that out of the way, I ask that you read what I did with an open mind and then decide for yourself whether you might want to do some or all of it. I know you’ll do that because you wouldn’t have read so far if you weren’t curious and open to the possibility of learning and change.


What’s helped me.

Owning and telling my story.

Let’s be honest, having a website with your name on it and stating openly that you’re childless is a BIG STEP and it felt okay to do that, well it felt more than okay, it was a relief to stop hiding who I was and what I’d been through. And… at the same time that felt enough to write.

Over the intervening two years my boundaries have changed because I’ve been sharing my story. And the more I own it, the more confident I become, and I control it instead of letting people make assumptions.

I’ve been asked whether there was any occasion when I wouldn’t be prepared to say that I was childless. My answer? That I feel sufficiently confident in myself to be open at all times. I may chose not to speak sometimes, and it will be my choice.

I’ve been working with a story telling coach and she’s helped me to reframe what happened, and to understand and deepen the meaning I’ve gained from what I’ve been through.

Someone recently said that I’ve walked through fire, and yes I got burned and I tell my story from the scars not the wounds.

In the early days this wasn’t always easy, and pretending or ‘acting as if’ I was confident helped to convince me that I was and now I am comfortable and confident when I talk about my life.

Doing the inner work

When you read My Story you’ll see that learning NLP and working with a coach who believed in me were fundamental in being able to take the first step. This was just the start and I’ve continued to learn and grow so that I can help clients in new ways.

What have I learned? Well I know a lot more about grief and how to work through it (both the theory and practice following the death of my dad), I’ve learned about self-compassion, how to develop shame resilience, and the importance of reclaiming creativity.

Finding cheerleaders and role models

When I started in business I didn’t know what to expect from other business owners and it took a while to find a community where I could be authentic and feel that I belonged. And once I did, wow! the friendship, support and love has been amazing. A big thank you to my coaches, Business Club colleagues and Mastermind ladies who provide unwavering support and cheerleading.

Childlessness was like this too and joining MTL helped us so much and now I am blessed to be part of a fabulous group who believe in each other and the difference we want to make in the world.

Seeing those who are further down the road both in business and in life has also been pivotal because I can tell myself that if they can do it (whatever ‘it’ is), so can I. That’s why my Inspirational Stories are so helpful.

And now?

the hottest fireI understand how childlessness has changed me, how I’m stronger now, and can now understand the meaning of what I’ve been through.

I was recently asked whether, if I could go back to my 35yr old self would I advise her not to go through IVF?

My answer?

No. I firmly believe that it was the fire that made me who I am now and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Where are you in my story?

I’d love to hear in the comments below how this resonated with you, and where you see yourself in my story. (you don’t have to use your own name).

Maybe you want to be able to say that childlessness is a gift for you, or perhaps that’s out of the question for now. And whatever you feel, it’s okay. A few years ago I would never imagined that I could say this too.

11 thoughts on “From ‘too many’ to ‘childlessness is a gift’.”

  1. Thank you for your website. I was told at seventeen. I am only just coming through twenty years of expectations, mine and others, that I would become a mother. Daisynetwork informs that as more women live through surgeries and life threatening diseases, the numbers of childless women will only increase. They will be standing on the shoulders of giants such as Lesley Pyne.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Lisa, It seems like we’re both on an authenticity theme this week, how fabulous is that!

  2. Such a beautifully written post, I feel huge respect when you say you wouldn’t change the IVF route as it’s got you to where you are in your life now! Amazing lady :0)

  3. Lesley, this is so inspirational – what really resonated with me was you being honest about the number of IVFs you went through. I often lie about the number I went through- and hadn’t thought before about the reasons behind it. At the moment, I don’t at all feel like my childlessness has been a gift but you have given me hope that someday that feeling will change. Thank you so much!

    • Thanks for your comment R. I didn’t used to tell the truth, as I said it takes effort, and I know you’re willing to do the work. That feeling will change, I can promise you 🙂

  4. Lesley this is so beautifully written. We didn’t get as far as IVF – our infertility was caused by premature ovarian failure and an ‘incompetent’ womb. I now realise that I was in denial about it for some time and hadn’t allowed myself to properly grieve . It’s difficult because you want to move on and find a renewed optimism with your life, but are bombarded with people getting pregnant, social media is full of parents posting photos and comments about their amazing family and beautiful children, and there are stories in the newspapers of ‘miracle babies’ . Our reality isn’t like that and it can be a lonely place if you let it get to you. I have good days and bad days now, but I’m determined to get my life back and I want to be happy. It’s great to know I’m not alone

    • Thank you so much Amanda,
      Being in denial and not allowing yourself to grieve (or even knowing that you’re grieving) is common.
      As you say the media bombards us with exactly what we don;t want to see, and the reality is that you are absolutely NOT alone.
      I’m so glad that you have determination on your side, with that you’re sure to make great progress.

  5. I experienced relief in your story. I am 37 years old and 11 years married to a seafarer and still childless. We went through artificial insemenation twice because we cant afford the ivf yet. Obviously it didnt work. But I and my husband got tired of going to a doctor for further consultation. We both decided to stop stressing ourselves and just enjoy the situation. We instead go on travel everytime he is on vacation. But recently I felt some emptiness inside because of the pressure coming from our family and relatives. I am tired and sometimes annoyed everytime we encountered questions why we dont have a baby. I was a municipal councilor then and now a highschool teacher… I am hoping and praying that if fate wont really be good to us and be childless for lifetime,, we still be able to accept it with grace and contentment. I hope you could help us get through it. Thank you very much


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