As told to Brandi Lytle
Shortly after sharing the “Our Stories” page on social media, Katie* emailed me with her CNBC story. I am always amazed at how childless women turn a difficulty into a triumph, and Katie is no exception. She has dealt with mental illness and surgery, yet she still lovingly supports others on their journeys, is redefining what family looks like to her, and is embracing the term “childfree.” Her story inspired me, and I’m sure it will inspire you, too.
How did you become childless not by choice? (Infertility, chance, circumstance?)
My husband, Joe*, and I got married at 23. We were planning on waiting for financial stability and for me to get mentally stable before having kids. I have bipolar, and it’s hereditary in my family. We just weren’t sure…
Having children of our own got taken off the proverbial table when I got diagnosed with uterine fibroids in April 2017 and was told in May that I would need a hysterectomy. I had the hysterectomy surgery June 20th (my sister’s birthday).
While I was physically prepared, no one prepares you for the grief that comes with this surgery. But I have an amazing husband who, I swear, is actually Batman! He loves me regardless and says we can adopt or have more fur babies! Even when you weren’t 100% sure if you wanted kids, having that possibility forever taken away does leave a hole in the heart…
You are so much more than childless not by choice. Tell us about yourself!
I make baby quilts for my husband’s co-workers whose wives are expecting. He works in a close-knit group, and we all do stuff together. I also offer support on being childfree to my childfree friends (especially since where we live, having kids is the norm) and to my sister, who isn’t planning on kids either. Plus, I talk openly about my hysterectomy and how we got through it. I help on a forum, too!
How are you Creating a New plan Bravely and Courageously?
By redefining what it means to have a family: 4 legs, a tail, fur = baby to me. So, our pets are our children and that’s fine with us.
Have you figured out your Plan B? If so, what is it?!
Eventually we may look at adoption, but for now it’s just adjusting to 2.
What emojis represent the “. . .” part of your Not So Mommy… story?
Childfree, that’s me.
Thank you, Katie, for so bravely sharing your story! You are most definitely CNBC – Creating a New plan Bravely & Courageously!
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.
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