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Sandra's Story of Becoming Childless

Our losses are so layered

One of my earliest memories is that I 'wanted to be a mum.' However, being born in the seventies, women were expected to 'do it all': be independent, pursue careers, travel, and have families. My first relationship, from 16 to 29 years old, was a co-dependent mess. It took infidelity, lies, and theft for me to find the self-esteem to break free. Three years later and newly heartbroken, I had an early midlife crisis. I threw in my successful career as a VP in a bank and went traveling around South America to start discovering myself and my needs. At the beginning of the journey, I attended a coaching retreat. There, at 32 years old, I took ownership and voiced my long cherished dream—'I wanted to be a mum'. I moved countries and settled in Spain, having a clearer idea of what I wanted in a life partner, but he was nowhere to be found. By the time I was 36, my obsession with becoming a mother was growing. I decided to freeze my eggs at 36 to 'guarantee' my future as a mother. Undergoing IVF and being subjected to the hormones while being single, in a foreign country, and recently made redundant was a recipe for an emotional breakdown. Anxiety and panic attacks followed. Being single not by choice for me at this time was soul destroying...  I decided to take some time out and heal. ​At 39, reenergised, I got really lucky and found my husband. He adapted to the idea of having children. At 41 and 42, we experienced two heartbreaking baby losses (miscarriages). I never thought my body would let me down in this way. I felt a huge sense of failure and emptiness. I threw myself into work to avoid the pain. After an emotional explosion and getting help, 18 months later, we decided to use the frozen eggs. We were not successful in our pursuit to become parents. Adoption was not an option available to us.  We became permanently childless, not by choice, and this was when the existential crisis started. "Who the hell am I if I am not a mum?"


We all heal at the speed of safety

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