I know you don’t want to be here and before you click away let me tell you three things that just might help;
- I’m childless myself and I’ve stood where you’re standing now, telling myself that I’ll never be happy,
- Despite that, my life is richer and more fulfilling than I ever thought possible,
- It took me over ten years to come to terms with my life as a childless woman and I don’t want that for you.
I know that life didn’t work out as you hoped, but if you take one thing away with you, please let it be that it IS possible to be happy again.
I’m married to Roger, and when I was 35 we decided the time was right to have children. After a few months nothing had happened and we were referred for IVF.
If we’d known that my fertility had started falling when I was 27 and at 36 was now dropping off a cliff, our lives may have turned out differently.
Before we started IVF we had made the decision to stop when I was 40 because success rates drop dramatically at that age and the chances of having a disabled child increase. Over the next three years we went through six rounds of IVF.
We knew we needed to draw a line in the sand but it was so hard. We were never offered support or help of any kind and felt as if we were the only people in the world who couldn’t have children. Only our parents knew and talking to friends about it felt impossible.
I know now that I was grieving, but I didn’t know then. I just assumed I felt sad.
We hibernated for about a year and didn’t see friends because we couldn’t cope with children. Then we joined MTL (More to Life) and met some couples who went on to become our closest friends.
I slowly started to get my life back together, but still felt sad. Then my life fell apart again when Roger’s dad died, followed a few months later by my mum.
At the age of 47 I resigned from my job. I had no idea who I was and what I wanted, but I knew it wasn’t this. It was a partial release, and at the same time a step back into my cocoon.
Then I decided to train as a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner, and two things happened:
- The inner work I did replaced my grief, sadness and other negative emotions with self-confidence, self-acceptance, inner peace and happiness.
- I learned how to use the techniques to help others to heal and to live a fulfilling life.
I decided to set up a coaching business to help women in midlife. I wanted to support childless women but didn’t feel strong enough to do it because it meant being really open about my story and myself.
In the end I reached out and worked with a coach who believed in me and the difference I wanted to make in the world. She supported me in changing my business to support childless women.
In 2014 my dad died after a short illness. For a while I told myself that this was new and different grief and not linked to the past. Then I realised that all those things I’d boxed away were holding me back from the authentic life I wanted so, with help I’ve been slowly and gently bringing them to the light.
Who I am now
I believe that it’s impossible to go through the challenge of infertility and not be changed by the process. I’ve used those changes to create meaning in my life.
There’s no doubt that I’m different now. I’m stronger than I thought, I know myself a lot better and I’m a lot more empathic. I’ve learned so many new skills and have reclaimed my creativity.
I want to show other women that they can have a positive life. I want to show them that they don’t have to hide, and if they take action to find support they can become the beautiful butterfly that’s inside them.
My previous career was in procurement in both the public and charity sectors. For many years I’ve been an active member of More to Life, including representing the charity as a trustee sitting on the board of the Infertility Network (UK). I live in south-east London with my husband Roger.
What brings me joy
Singing brings a lot of joy into my life as does travel, cooking and getting out into the countryside especially the Yorkshire Dales where I grew up.
I enjoy photography and (apart from my headshots) all the images you see here are mine. American country music is my genre of choice. I’ve also recently started yoga and meditation.
I’m passionate about continuing to learn and add new skills, taking courses in coaching techniques around grief, shame and self-compassion and reading widely.
A word about story
Life is lived through story and the story you tell yourself is the biggest of all because it determines the life you have.
I know so many childless women who tell themselves that their life has no meaning and will be miserable, so, surprise, surprise that’s what it becomes. That’s why I started publishing the Inspirational Stories, stories of women who wanted the gifts that come with a childless life and were prepared to do the work to make it happen.
I know how much reading stories helps you, and that’s also why I’m taking time out to write a book, the basis of which will be these stories.
There are a lot of resources here and knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. There’s plenty of time to take a look around and I suggest you start by getting a flavour of what I do and how I can support you. The best way to do that is to read some of my blogs.
And if you take just one thing away let it be this:
You can become the beautiful butterfly that’s inside you.
And remember to pop your details in the box below and get the e-book and regular helpful tips and Inspirational Stories emailed to you.