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Dealing with Being Childless-Not-By-Choice

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

As we go through life there are expected rites of passage: going to school, starting a career, buying a home, meeting the one and perhaps starting a family of our own. But life isn’t always that simple and can throw a curveball at any time.

Yet if you’re suddenly made redundant there’s the chance to look for another job or establish a business of your own. If you buy a home but you’re unable to keep up repayments and lose it, there’s always the option to regroup yourself and perhaps find another home. It’s often possible to bounce back from the curveballs.

But when it comes to having a family of your own, discovering you have infertility problems can mean years of visits to doctors, endless procedures and various treatments, often with nothing at the end of it. Just shattered hopes, unfulfilled dreams and the emotional pain of dealing with being childless-not-by-choice.

Being Childless-Not-By-Choice is a Private Pain

It’s an extremely private pain that often remains unacknowledged by others. A pain that is hidden while you try to go about the routine of daily living and work. A heartache that’s not recognised by others, unless they’ve been through the experience.

That pain is compounded by the pressure to ‘keep on trying’ with the dream, in the hope of the ‘miracle baby’ at the end. Not helped by the media stories of ‘miracle babies,’ born to women, often after years of trying and after vast sums of money have been paid.

Enough is Enough

When you’ve finally decided that enough is enough, then perhaps there’s the guilt of thinking perhaps you should’ve tried just one more time. Eventually time passes and it’s too late – the baby boat has sailed – and all you’re left with is the fallout of your feelings. And nobody around you understands.

Being Childless-Not-By-Choice is a Trauma

Discovering you’re unexpectedly childless-not-by-choice is a trauma. It’s not just a ‘difficult experience’ as others might label it. It leads to a myriad of negative thinking patterns and beliefs about yourself, horribly impacts your sense of self, and often your relationships with your partner, loved one and friends. It can lead to anxiety, depression, anger, and a sense of isolation from others.

Being childless-not-by-choice is a form of grief for the unborn child and for the life you hoped for, for the existence that should have been different.

It’s something I understand deeply because I’ve been through it. I tried for a child for nearly 25 years and nearly died in the process after an IVF procedure went horribly wrong.

My own journey was physically and emotionally painful, fraught with anxiety and constant worry. My life was an emotional roller-coaster of infertility treatments and when it was all over, I felt totally shattered.

Letting go of the dream, difficult as it is, is the beginning of healing

To recover from the aftermath of infertility, I set about learning how to heal myself. This led to years of study and training in hypnotherapy and other cutting-edge mind tools, meridian/energy psychology and a host of therapies, which brought about a transformation in myself. More importantly, I developed the ability to help others through the process of coming to terms with being childless-not-by-choice.

If you have decided that ‘enough is enough’ and you want to move forward from being childless-not-by-choice, then please join my Facebook page - see details below.

And there’s more…

There are some fantastic resources that can help you to learn to come to terms with your ‘life unexpected.’

This book is addresses the experience of involuntary childlessness and provides a powerful, practical guide to help those negotiating a future without children come to terms with their grief; a grief that is only just beginning to be recognized by society. Living the Life Unexpected: How to find hope, meaning and a fulfilling future without children – Jody Day:

Lesley Pyne uses her life experience as a childless woman, the experiences of other childless women from all over the world—who she calls her storytellers – and her skills as a coach and NLP Master Practitioner to gently guide readers through their pain to help them get to the other side to find their joy. Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness – Lesley Pyne:

If you’re interested in self-help, why not take a look at another blog: Write with Mindfulness (

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© Ruthy Baker 2020


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