Single, falling in love with a childless future……

Single, falling in love with a childless future……

As it is fertility awareness week starting tomorrow (31st October – 6th November) I felt inspired to write about falling in love with a childless future.

I’m aware that not everybody wants children. And if two people meet who do not want children, then surely that’s great right?

And if two people meet who do want children and go on to have them, then surely that’s great too. But what happens if two people meet, one wants a child and one doesn’t? Or, you both want children but find out you cannot conceive due to one reason or another. And what happens if you are single and know you have a childless future?……

If I am honest, I am not quite sure there is an answer, but I wanted to share some thoughts and feelings with you, as I am sure I am not the only one in this situation…..although it can feel like it at times.

I have always been more than comfortable being single, I love my independence. But since finding out I have early menopause and premature ovarian failure (POF), suddenly the future seems more daunting than usual.

How do you tell someone you may be dating you cannot have children? When should you tell them? When is the right time that you should even embark on a potential relationship after learning you cannot have children?

The answer, is entirely down to you. Only you will know when the right time is to seek or accept a relationship even though it may be an incredibly scary experience. Only you will know when the appropriate time is to tell a potential partner that you cannot have children, although advice from others suggests the earlier we are honest about this the better. I feel that it is important to be honest early on but perhaps keep the emotional, psychological and physical experience private until you know and trust that person, therefore avoid any vulnerable situations you may put yourself in. Some women I have spoken to have had fantastic relationships since diagnosis, I believe this is mostly down to meeting someone who is empathetic and supportive. This is someone I hope to find.

I remember one of the first things I thought when I was told I had POF; ‘How will I ever meet someone now? Who is going to want me? What can I offer a man?’

It was an extremely upsetting time and I did/do worry about my future when it comes to ‘Love’. I know for some women they accept this is their life now and some women may be relieved as they don’t want children anyway.

After speaking to another woman in a similar situation it was brought up whether it was better to find a partner who doesn’t want children, then it’s almost OK to be going through what you’re going through. But let’s face it, every woman who is told they cannot have children naturally thinks about IVF, Adoption and other ways of having a child. So, if this option could one day be a reality, is meeting a man who doesn’t want children actually a bad idea and not a good one?  I guess there are so many questions that unfortunately we won’t find the answers to until the time comes to face them. I am sure that many women, whether in a relationship or not will find this time a very lonely experience.

Fortunately, there is support out there. Unfortunately there isn’t always enough knowledge or awareness of it. This is where I feel it is SO important for fertility issues to be spoken about more, awareness needs to be raised. Women (and men) should not feel alone during some of the darkest days of our lives. If anything, we should all come together, share our experiences and stories to support one another and hope that there will always be a rainbow after rain. Although every experience is individual and personal, our stories can offer advice, guidance and inspiration. Sometimes, it’s even nice just to hear someone else say ‘I know what that’s like and it’s awful’ or ‘I don’t know what to say but I am here’.

One place I have recently found support is the Dovecote community. It is an organisation and community set up around 2 years ago by a very dedicated individual, Kelly. It is a safe haven for individuals to feel supported through their involuntary childlessness, share stories of our own childlessness and encourage one another with our renewed life and purpose.

The organisation also offers everything from workshops, courses and retreats. The community page can be found on social media (links posted below) and is a comfortable place to be able to share our deepest, darkest experiences and inspire others. After a short time of joining the community, I have been in contact with other women who have felt the same or have been through the same experience as I and we have supported each other offering advice and more importantly sympathy and empathy.

Please do take a look, let’s give strength and encouragement to this fantastic organisation and community.

The Dovecote organisation – http://www.thedovecote.org

The Dovecote Facebook community – https://m.facebook.com/thedovecote.org/

Headline pic is thanks to the founder of Dovecote, Kelly.

Much love all

Steph x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What now?……Menopause for life?

What now?……Menopause for life?

Firstly, special thanks to my amazing house mate for making my logo (featured image). It so simple but I love it.

Well, it’s been a crazy few months to say the least. Apologies for being so pathetic at keeping on top of this, the truth is I have struggled to keep on top of myself at times.

I have had some requests to do some facts, questions and answers about menopause which I will crack on with soon. Problem is, there are so many contradicting facts about menopause, that I will have to do a lot of research.

Anyway, update is, I have been discharged from hospital now because I have menopause and that’s that. Even that sentence feels so final. What I really mean is, now they have 100% informed me I have early menopause, my womb is a prolapsed prune and my ovaries have shrivelled into dried out grapes, there is nothing else they can do for me other than prescribe me HRT. The specialist sent me on my way to get on with my life.

HOW SCARY IS THIS? – How am I meant to live my life now? What is my life now? What If something happens but I am discharged? Why doesn’t he want to do another scan in a years time? How will I know if the HRT enlarges my womb like he said?

So many questions with so many uncertain times ahead. Truth is, nothing could happen. I could actually lead a good life, take HRT and be fine. But leaving the specialists care was just so unexpected and felt very final, even though this experience right now and my future will never be final, not for me anyway.

Thankfully, I have recently joined a menopause circle group, which I already feel will be a fantastic experience for me. It is so important to share how you feel and your history with the RIGHT people.

I am certainly learning a lot about myself through this menopause, I have also realised that the psychological symptoms are much harder to process than the physical. The physical symptoms seem to be more comprehendible, but when you start questioning your actions, thoughts and feelings it suddenly becomes a whole different ball game. Some days, I literally hate people, I hate myself, I feel angry, I don’t recognise the person I am and I feel like telling the whole world to F off and literally not care about the consequences. Other days I feel very isolated, lonely and misunderstood. Sometimes I see glimpses of my old self, like a nostalgic feeling. Who knew hormones could have such an effect?! I certainly didn’t.

I plan to use this next year to collate as much information as I can about menopause, whether it’s early, induced medically for example from operations, or whether it comes completely naturally at the ‘average’ age like it ‘should’. Then I shall produce a power point, website or whatever I chose to do, in order to travel around spreading awareness and sharing my knowledge at schools, colleges, universities, well being centres and anywhere really!

I am determined not to allow menopause to take over completely.

This is just the beginning.

Much love

Steph x