Home Designing a Childfree Life Designing an Unexpectedly Childfree Life

Designing an Unexpectedly Childfree Life

by Katy

There are moments so life-altering that as you experience them you know you will never be the same again. That forever after, you think of your life as pre and post the experience. Birth, death, marriage, heartbreak, can change who you are so completely that it alters your identity. These moments are so powerful because of the gain or loss we experience as a result. A birth or marriage expands families and relationships. Death and heartbreak sever them.

Throughout my life, I assumed that having a baby would be one of those life-altering experiences for me. That I would have clearly defined chapters labeled “before I was a mom” and “after I was a mom”. In 2013, I started trying to get pregnant. Four years later that journey ended, not with the ever elusive yet longed for miracle baby, but with a hysterectomy.

I was wildly unprepared for this and it knocked me into a lonely, dark place. I had planned on a beautiful, life-altering event and experienced the opposite: loss and grief that consumed me to the core. So I did what I always do when my anxiety-ridden brain feels a loss of control. I researched. I read everything I could find on living an unexpectedly childfree life, found supportive online communities, went to therapy, read memoirs, talked to friends and family, tapped into spirituality, you name it.

I was looking for a road map. Instructions on how to move forward when just getting out of bed felt impossible. Unfortunately, there isn’t an aisle in the bookstore for this situation. The path feels lonely and untrodden. Slowly though, I’ve been gathering resources that, cobbled together, are helping me design an unexpectedly childfree life. Giving me a path forward through the grief and anger.

I’m at the beginning of my journey and I don’t have all the answers, but I have found hope through the wisdom and stories of women who started this journey long before me. Who have cleared the brush and left footprints for me to follow. Through Chasing Creation, I hope to share the resources I find along my journey, to add a bit of light for my sisters that will follow on this path.

Maybe together we can answer the question that plagues me: can a life defining moment that feels so devastating and full of loss eventually be redesigned into something beautiful?

For those of you on this journey with me, I hope we can connect through this project. That together we can share our wisdom, move forward on the path, and get to a place in our journey where we can yell a resounding “YES” to those just starting out.

How about you? Where have you gone to build community and healing?

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4 comments

loribeth61 03 . 14 . 2019 - 10:46 pm

Hi Katy! I am enjoying your blog, & I look forward to reading more from you! My own blog has links to a lot of different blogs & sites in the sidebar. Some great places to start that I would recommend include Gateway Women, Life Without Baby and Silent Sorority. There is, thankfully, SO much more support out there now than there was when I first left infertility treatment 18 years ago. I was lucky enough to find a message board for childless women then… it’s gone now, but I am still in touch with some of the wonderful women I “met” there, both in a private forum we created for ourselves, and social media. 🙂

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Katy 03 . 14 . 2019 - 11:01 pm

Hi! Thanks so much for the suggestions! I am familiar with all of those blogs and have read the authors books as well. They helped me a ton when I was making the decision to stop TTC. I plan to make a “resources” page in the future and will add these and yours as well. Thanks for the feedback!

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Tracey 02 . 20 . 2019 - 8:24 pm

I absolutely love the description of designing an unexpectedly childfree life. I feel this is the path I’m walking too, and despite all those who have walked before me, it is such uncharted territory. So much silence and shame still surrounds this life I find myself living. I’m sorry you’re here too, but I’m glad to have someone to walk with.

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Katy 03 . 02 . 2019 - 4:59 pm

Hi Tracey, it’s great to meet you! I agree, there is so much silence and shame attached to being childless. Hopefully, more individuals in our community will start sharing their stories so we have a stronger voice so people have a better understanding of our experience. Happy to walk with you too! xo

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