For The Lost Dreams - Amanda

I don’t know the degree to which each of the things I see did influence the situation, actually affected the outcome.

In telling my story of being childless not by choice, the first thing to say is that it's not obvious why exactly, for sure, I don't have children. I always thought I'd have children and it hasn't happened. 

It's easy to want to take full responsibility, which fast turns to self blame - I failed, that's why it didn't happen. It's easier to conclude that than bearing the unknowing. For example, I can think that the ambivalence and fears I felt, sometimes, was the problem that stopped me conceiving. People said "you're thinking about it too much, just do it". Like it's simply a choice; we really tried to conceive, assumed it would happen. At times my ambivalence did have concrete behavioural affects, but my attempts to conceive outweighed that, at least for the first 4 years. So, I can't take on that my ambivalence ruined it for me, after all conception and the holding of a pregnancy happens in all sorts of ways, some of which are awful where there is a huge no from the mother, not just ambivalence. It feels very important not to take on too much responsibility.  

I don't know the degree to which each of the things I see did influence the situation, actually affected the outcome. There's biology. I was 36 when I met my partner. That's over the cliff edge of fertility drop that happens for women at 35. I am healthy,  have had easy menstruation, and a grand mother that gave birth at 42. But it's possible that the whole reason I didnt get pregnant is unfortunate timing. The story might be biology, timing, let alone fate or destiny.

Then there's the more personal stuff. Both of us brought our family and cultural influences and wounding to the relationship; our self worth, ability to trust, relational skills, ability to self care in healthy ways, who we chose etc. Our relationship seems to be about a connection that brings the potential of growth and healing, but that's done through re-experiencing pain as much as through the love that presumably made it safe for it to surface. It's often stressful, not very sexy and doesn't feel stable. I sometimes see it as a sign of strength and resilience, but it doesn't always feel like that and might just be unhealthy. Whilst we both value growth, the draw of 'normal', which of course doesn’t really exist yet that pull to belong is deep in the psyche, was in us both - we wanted to be normal, to be parents, happy and fulfilled in that way.

I feel terribly sad that it didn't work out for us, that lovely couple who fell completely in love. We thought 'this is it'. I grieve for them, for me, for that heart melting oneness of my own newborn on my chest that will never happen, for the lost dreams and ordinary beauty of that mother child relationship.