Do I want the label of Childless? by Elizabeth Broadhurst

It’s taken me many weeks to reconcile with myself that it’s ok to take part in World Childless Week ..... many arguments have played out in my mind.

Do I want the label of Childless?

Why are labels so important in today’s world?

If I don’t have children not by choice do I have to have this label of look at me I am childless not by choice?  

Am I over the years of pain?

Is this a stage of acceptance?

My response is I guess it’s in part a mixture of above.  I guess I chose a long time ago to use social media as a medium for talking about endometriosis and the challenges with infertility.  As I grow older and Endo is still present but less of a challenge and many peers become menopausal I wonder if the rite of passage has changed. 

My beautiful husband and I married when I was 23, this week we celebrated 17 years together, for over 10 of those years we experienced countless fertility appointments, miscarriages and gyne appointments in a quest to find out what was going on with my body.  From first symptom to diagnosis of Endometriosis was 21 years, 7 miscarriages, 38 different referrals, 2 laparoscopies and ultimately a radical hysterectomy and bowel resection. 

Grieving for the loss of motherhood hasn’t been a linear line for me, is it for any one? It has been complicated and at times all consuming, yet I pray that together we did it with dignity and respect.  We will always continue to love those we lost, and they are part of our story, yet as time moves on we divert our love and time in to other things. We have stunning nieces, nephews, god children and those children of our wider family and friends - all of whom give us joy.  We are not jealous people, pangs of sadness will always be there on an announcement of a new pregnancy, birth, and even an adoption journey but we allow ourselves to feel this as our souls require. 

So yes we are childless but we are also far more than a label can define. 

Finding my tribe, talking and spending time with others who are experiencing their own journey with childlessness has been a valuable part of where we find ourselves now. 

To that end I am proud to be part of World Childless Week, it’s time to break the taboo and celebrate all differences. 

Elizabeth Broadhurst