The Meaning of Life, Without Children

April 16, 2013

How special it feels to open your eyes and know that everything is okay. That you’re okay, that you’re healthy and that you’re loved. The past two months have been draining and stressful. Very few people know just how stressful it has been – though in all honesty, I don’t think I realized how much of an impact the whole infertility news has had on me. There were times when the answer to my morning question was no but they were few and far between.

I am constantly asked how I managed to get through all of this on my own. It’s easy to be alone when you’re so loved. When you’re so supported and cared for. My blog friends, my blog friends turned in real life friends, my in real life friends and family – I didn’t tell you a lot, perhaps in my silence you saw need, perhaps you saw an emptiness. You forced your way in and made me talk. Sometimes you were annoying, sometimes I just wanted to cry but wanted you to tell me not to (and you didn’t – which made you more annoying!) but sometimes, sometimes you were the shoulder I so desperately needed.

I have had the last of my tests and the doctors have arrived at the conclusion that I am a healthy 26 year old (minus the being able to have a baby thing). Monday was my last appointment and with that came a lot of emotions. Relief. No more appointments. This is it. Finality. We’ve made our decisions and it’s time to move on. There will be an amazing life to live. One that I now get to re-think.

For 26 years the only two things I’ve seen in my future have been a PhD and a child, a husband was always an added bonus. Almost everything has come second to those. It’s scary thinking about the future and not being able to envision children. Many of you will ask about adoption – we haven’t ruled it out, it’s still a possibility but it’s something that will take time. For the moment, I’m enjoying myself again. I’m getting to know me again. I’m figuring out what I want. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I will make my life meaningful without being a mother. I don’t have the answers. But I’m happy. And I’m content. And for the moment, that is enough.

I haven’t blogged a lot in the past two weeks. I don’t want this blog to become all about loss and infertility. These things have been a big part of my life for the past two months. But it’s only a part. There have been so many other amazing things happening and now that I have my life and time back I can’t wait to share it all with you.

Give me a few days to get myself together. And then we’ll get back to all the things that we love. We might talk about this again, we might not. The one thing I’ve tried to do on this blog is to remain honest. And I’m honestly ready to talk about shoes, clothes, books, romance and blogs!

Leaving your children, what brings meaning to your life? 

If you don’t have children, the same, what brings meaning to your life?

31 comments

  • Katrin

    You are so strong, Vanisha! I can imagine how hard this is for you and I wish I could help in any way. I am glad to hear that you are doing fine and that you have so much support. I guess you know that all your blog friends are always there for you!

  • Rekita Nicole | Her and Nicole

    Wow, powerful post. First, I want to say that I commend you on sharing your infertility issues…sometimes I find myself complaining about having children..I ask my self "What am I doing with all these kids?" or "Man, I wonder what life would be like without kids." But when, I look at them while they sleep, i just cannot imagine my life without them and I feel grateful that I have the opportunity to have them in my life.

    Second: What brings meaning to my life without kids? I would have to say my ability help others by listening to them, my ability to write things to encourage others, and my ability to make others laugh and smile.

    -Rekita

  • Connie

    I love your honesty, and I'm happy to hear that you are healthy, which honestly is more important that children, right?
    I sometimes long for the days before we had Jonas, we were more impulsive, if we wanted to go out, we went, we didn't have to plan weeks in advance to get a babysitter etc.
    My husband and I used to go to see our local soccer team play, I haven't been to a game since I was pregnant.
    The times my husband and I have been out to dinner after we had Jonas, well it's not as many as before… don't get me wrong I love Jonas, but sometimes I miss the ability to be impulsive and just hang out with friends without kids.

  • Laura @ Chaotic Domestic

    Family and friends bring meaning to my life. Having a wonderful husband and a great support system is what I need.

  • Tyne Swedish

    V: I admire your strength and brains. I love this blog and that blogging has brought us to one another against distance and all odds. My only question is if we can skype soon? Hopefully the answer is yes and I can say by May 5th I am completely free and able to be a normal (normal for me anyway) person again.

    Chao
    poppie
    http://thepoppie.com

  • The Life of Clare

    V, you're inspiring! You're so strong. As you know, there's not kids here. My life's meaning comes from our backyard, our tiny seedlings popping out through the soil, watching the miracle of a tiny seed turning into something providing nutritions. We find the meaning in everything, you just need to refocus.

  • Deidre

    Oh, Vanisha! This makes my heart break and then come back together again if that makes any sense. I'm so relieved for you that the tests are over, the answers are there.

    I've never really wanted children. I've never been able to imagine my life with a baby.

    xo

  • Life etc...

    I'm so glad and amazed that you are dealing with this with such strength. You must have had a shattering last few months, but it looks like you are putting yourself back together even stronger than before. Keep your chin up, you never know what the future will hold 🙂

    life-etcblog.blogspot.com.au

  • Iliska Dreams

    Thank you for your honesty, not enough people are honest and open when it comes to this topic. Myself included. I have written journals on my fertility struggles, but have not got the strength to blog about it.
    To have meaning in my life I need to be making/creating stuff. As simple as baking, sewing, or complex as photo shoots. When I am depressed I make nothing. When I am happy I make

  • kayleigh maryon

    I will be honest with you Vanisha. I actually do not plan on having children, so for me to hear that someone who really wants them cannot have them breaks my heart. Especially someone as loving as you. I think that you are handling the situation gracefully and it takes time to sort things out.
    On another not I will be down in Adelaide starting on the 20th for a week so if you happen to be in the area let me know. I would love to meet up with you.

  • Samara

    What brings meaning to my life? My faith. My faith helps me to answer the whole "what is the purpose of life' question, gives me a community to belong to and a hope for the future. xx

  • Svenja

    Dear Vanisha, first of all I feel very sad that such an amazing woman as you are has to face a fact in life which hits her hard and cannot be changed.
    Your approach to life is admirable, taking things as they come, making the best of it, now, live in the present, not the past or too far ahead in the future. I believe you are a source of inspiration for many other women – at least you are one for me.

    Things which make me happy in life — are not things. It 's small things, friends calling to check on me while i settle into my new job and new life, a dog coming to me with a wiggling tail and friendly eyes saying all I want is that you stroke me over my head ( and give me some treats, ha ha) or the first warm day after a long and cold winter. A smiling cashier at the super market greeting me after a long working day. Yet there are things in life which give it a structure, of happiness so to say. Friends, movement (not immediatly something I love, but in the end it adds certainly on to my overall well being) and giving to others: Being there for others, give a helping hand, lend my ear, give advice etc.

    Love,
    Svenja

  • La Maman Heureuse

    The dignity and the strength of your words make you an amazing woman. I can only imagine how you must feel but you just keep going. Whatever you decide or comes on your way, I'm sure you'll be allright.

    I thought about your question: what brings meaning to my life without my daughter? The ability to create and design from scratch and make something that touches people. Connecting with other people, strangers from across the pond and find soulmates when you least expect it.

    love,

    Cindy

  • Colleen Cornelius

    I'm a new follower from the blog hop. I hope you will follow me back at
    http://butterflyintheattic.blogspot.com/2013/04/im-going-to-soak-up-sun-upcycled.html
    Have a great day!
    Colleen

  • Aloted Omoba

    You are such a strong woman…this touching post brought tears to my eyes even though this is my first time here.
    I pray you find peace and contentment.

    To answer you question leaving aside my children what brings meaning to my life is my faith in God, love, friendship and my passions.

    Thanks for cohosting the thursday hop…now following on twitter and rss…hope to get a follow back…www.superworkingmum.com

  • Judy Haughton-James

    This is a touching post Vanisha. I wish you strength and courage to face the future. I have never been married and have no children. My life has been filled with a lot of pain – the loss of an identical twin sister and brother over a 3 year period. It has demanded a lot of strength and prayer and I am fighting on. I am a new Follower of your Blog. Thanks for co-hosting. All the very best to you.

  • Angelique Ouellette-Tower

    You have a wonderful blog!! I'm your newest GFC follower from the “Lovely blog hop” – this is my blog if you wanted to follow back: godsgrowinggarden.com
    Thanks
    Angie

  • Jessica Dy

    Hi Vanisha,

    I love your article. My children bring me joy as I see them grow up everyday. My older one is 19 and my younger one is 2. Go for the PhD! It's worth it. I'm doing it now too :). I'm a new fan from the lovely blog hop 🙂

    Jessica
    The Wondering Brain

  • Lynn Huntley

    Thanks for co-hosting~ now following on GFC Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  • Amanda Nipper

    Hi Vanisha,
    I am also 26. Your post really grabbed my heart… I have 3 children, but only gave birth to 2 of them. The other is mt step son, who I like to call my bonus son. Truly, I am not sure who I would be w/out them. But my husband and I have talked about it before and imagine ourselves with a LOT more money and probably living a more frugal life, traveling the country in an RV. But, who knows. That's not my reality right now. If I was not able to have children, I would most likely adopt.. I love children too much to not be around them! But you have your niece. 🙂 And she is lucky to have you.
    I'm so happy to meet you and would love to be your bloggy friend. 🙂
    Following you now!
    Peace & Love to you.
    Amanda*
    http://modernhippiemomma.blogspot.com/

  • Cropped Stories

    Hey there! Here from the Blog Hop! Just wanted to let you know I'm following you via GFC and bloglovin'! Hope you'll get a chance to visit me :o) You can find me here:

    Blog url
    http://www.croppedstories.blogspot.com

    Bloglovin'
    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3718883

  • Sara Louise

    Focusing on the positives and what you do have is definitely the way to go! Sending you lots of love from Provence 🙂 xo

  • Mandi

    Dear dear Vanisha! Sending you a big hug from Melbourne! Huuuuuuuuuuug! You are such a vibrant, beautiful, thoughtful and loving person and I know you have a lot of love to give. This is obvioulsy an unexpected hurdle but I know you will find your own perfect way to have the meaning in your life that you seek. I wish this for you with all my heart.

    xx Mandi
    Find Me A Muse

  • Louise

    I'm so sorry to hear that 🙁 I'm glad that you're feeling okay about it and looking at the positives – you are so strong. If you need anyone to talk to, I'm always here for you (even if I've been absent from the blogging world lately) xxxx

  • Brittany Kyte

    I know first hand what you are going through. Terrible emotions to face. Answering your question, what brings meaning to my life is who I am in Christ. I picture my life including children and I believe that it is God's plan as well, but if it is not then I have to find comfort knowing that the steps in my life are appointed by Him. Regardless of what I measure the worth of my life with, the Lord measures on a different scale. At the end of the day, I want my life to bring Glory to Him. That is true success.

  • Catriona Munnik

    Hey Vanisha, sending prayers and hugs your way. News like this cannot be easy to process. I admire you for being so strong. Thinking of you.

    Catriona
    xx

  • Chocolate Cookies & Candies

    Vanisha, sometimes I wonder God's plans for all of us. It would be revealed in later years as things start to fall into place. You have such a big heart which shines through the blog despite the fact that I've never had the privilege to meet you (that's one of my goals). Few bloggers take the time to connect, promote others and just reach out which you do in abundance.

  • Anonymous

    Glad you are able to deal with it so well. After being told constantly that there is nothing wrong with either partner and it is simply a matter of time going the IVF route it has come to an end. It has been a hard 10 years and 12+ cycles whilst still being told the same thing by doctors – 'its only a matter of time'. Indeed it is only a matter of time that you can continue going through all the pain and still not being able to suceed. Having tried so much after wanting our own child (and still hoping) you question what you have done wrong and its very difficult to deal with. It may have been easier if the tests said we couldn't have a family because of X. Not sure what to do now – just trying to be strong and carry on….

  • Jenny Dsouza

    The life without child is very tough..
    consult to good infertility clinic for success

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