I came across Hayley when she wrote another post and asked her to write her inspirational story for us. Reading her story brought up mixed emotions in me, and I’m sure it will do for you too.
She’s our youngest writer so far and at just 22 and it saddens me that she’s had to deal with so much. Her positivity shines through her story and having a loving and supportive husband has undoubtedly helped her to say that ‘we don’t feel like we need children to complete us.’
It’s so positive that Hayley can say that she’s ‘realised my own strength as a woman’ and not being able to have children ‘makes me no less of a woman’ and I’m sure this strength will help her in the years ahead.
Like many of us, Hayley wonders whether those with children wish they’d chosen not to have them, and I admire her courage in asking her mother the question. You’ll have to read on to find out the answer.
Infertility comes to us in many different ways, and I wonder whether it’s helpful (or not) to know at such a young age that you can’t have children?
1. Where are you on your journey now?
Right now I’m 22 and my husband, Antonio is 30. We’ve been married for 2 years and struggled with fertility from the start. We are madly in love and have a bond like no other. We’re happy enjoying each other’s company, saving our money to travel and being able to go out, go away and do what we like when we like. This has made us even closer and we don’t feel like we need children to complete us.
2. What’s your story?
When I met Antonio it was love at first sight for both of us, I knew from the start that I wanted to spend my life with him. I wasn’t looking for love but it found me. We longed for children and after being married for almost a year and trying every remedy under the sun, watching everyone else happily announce their pregnancies we knew something was wrong. We made an appointment and both got tested.
Sitting in the doctor’s office, I could tell by the look on her face that our worst fears were being confirmed. There was 1 percent chance that we could ever conceive naturally. We both broke down and held each other. We cried for days and had to tell our family the news. Now as much as we love our parents they are probably the worst people to get help from because they have us. They don’t know how it feels.
We saw fertility doctors, went for a round of IVF and, considering I’m terrified of needles I knew it was too much for me. I hated the thought of someone else controlling my whole body but if I didn’t try I would forever think what if. So we went for it.
It was terrifying, draining and we vowed we would never do it again. He saw the pain in my eyes and felt the pain in my heart. We had baby names lined up and every month when my period started it was another agonising month I wasn’t pregnant. I would cry every single cycle, every time I saw a baby. I couldn’t even watch a film with babies in it. Every month I was grieving and crying for a loss I never had.
3. What helped you to heal/how did you deal with your grief?
Instead of looking at all the positives of people with children; the miracle, the creation, the love, I started looking at the difficulties of having children. The sleepless nights, life revolving around them, the costs and constant worry they cause. You ask someone with children would they ever take it back and of course they will always say no.
So I asked the one woman who would give me a real answer, my own mother. I was a difficult teenager and caused them a lot of heartache. Plus my parents would have been way better off financially without me. I asked her honestly, and she said, as much as she loves me, that she wishes she could go back and have a better quality of life which would mean never having me. She sees the life I and my husband have and she is jealous that she never got that selfish life with her husband and instead everything was done for me.
I knew she was the only person who would answer me honestly about whether she would take having children back. It gave me all the clarification I needed because as a mother she envied the life I had which showed me that being able to live my life to the fullest was going to be far more fulfilling than motherhood.
Time and focusing on other things helped us grieve, setting realistic goals. Okay so having a baby is beyond our reach, but what isn’t.. getting into shape, planning trips, enjoying time together. Also, having a gorgeous dog, use your potential baby name on him and watch him grow and love you, little Thiago my miniature Jack Russell has helped us so much.
4. What are the positives (gifts) for you of not having children?
Not having children means we get to be selfish! Selfish with our money, our time, our energy. We are in control, not the fertility doctors. We work hard and can play harder, looking after each other and no one else.
5. What has not having children made possible for you?
We’ve started travelling the world as I can work so much harder with no children and the possibilities are endless. It doesn’t have to be child safe, we can explore anywhere. Instead of buying an ovulation map, we have bought a world map and plan to have a pin in every country!
6. Is there anything missing in your life? (and what do you plan to do about it?)
The only thing missing is the bonds I had with friends, I can’t relate to them and do things with them like I used to but that’s their loss. I’m still the woman I’ve always been and if the only thing we’d have in common is taking our kids to then soft play its fine.
7. How are you different now (who are you now)?
I’ve realised my own strength as a woman. I can’t do what every woman is naturally meant to be able to do and I’m okay with it because it makes me no less of a woman. They have their battle wounds in the outside from giving birth. Well I carry mine on the inside in my heart and we are both powerful but in different ways.
8. What advice would you give to women who are not as far down the road as you are?
Don’t give up on your dream but don’t let it consume you please. You are the same woman you were before this and if you can’t carry on your family name, make sure you’re unforgettable! Stay strong, stay positive and if all else fails stay sane. Don’t push your husband away, you are both going through pain and need each other, decide together the best route and journey it together hand in hand.
9. What brings you joy/what’s your passion?
My passion is to be a writer, to help people and both of these things bring me joy. My husband and my dog bring me joy when I walk through the door and they’re so happy to see me. Planning holidays and nights out brings me joy. Sitting at home, lying in bed on my day off with not a care in the world brings me joy.
10. What’s your 6 word memoir?
Infertile and in control
You can read Hayley’s blog here .
What do you think?
How did this story resonate with you?
Would you have liked to know about your infertility at 22?
Please share your comments below to help other women.
Taking control of my story and really owning it changed my life. If you’d like to do that but it’s too much of a challenge right now, check out the Let Go and Move On Programme and see how it can help you.
And if you’re ready to share your inspirational story, please drop me a line.