As told to Brandi Lytle
In July, I introduced you to Missy Desiree when she shared her “Finding Joy Despite…” story. This month, she has graciously offered to share a bit more of her story, telling us how she became childless and how she is redefining. So, let me turn it over to Missy…
The Story of Missy Desiree . . .
How did you become childless not by choice? (Infertility, chance, circumstance?)
Low Ovarian Reserve…
When we began our journey to becoming parents, we never thought we would end up childless. The day the doctor said that I had a low ovarian reserve, it had felt as if the world came crashing down around us. Then, it seemed like a thousand different options and medical terms were piled onto our lap and we were told that we needed to make an informed decision quickly. With my low ovarian reserve, IVF was an option. But one where the doctor told us would be not only risky but highly unlikely to succeed.
Our next and only option given was to use donor eggs. This would mean that while the child would not genetically be mine, he would be born from my womb. After long talks, we decided that having a biological child from one of us and getting the experience to be pregnant was enough. We signed up for websites, awkwardly viewed profiles of women who were going to potentially be having a baby with my husband and got all the pricing information. We were ready.
Let’s step back in time a little to the beginning of our relationship. I was having horrible migraines and sensations of vertigo almost daily. Having no idea what was going on with my body and I did the very thing they tell you not to do–I googled my symptoms. The thing I worst feared loomed on the scream in front of me screaming, “It’s a brain tumor. You’re going to die.”
This was only heightened when I visited my doctor and after listening to my symptoms said kindly, “I’m going to send you to get an MRI of your brain this afternoon.” Then proceeded to tell me she feared someone serious was going on. The results came back, and it turned out I had what was called a Chiari Malformation. I had this since birth, but sometimes the symptoms don’t begin to show until later in your life. For me, it was my early twenties.
During the Battle…
Now, fast forward back to the moment we decided to use an egg donor to conceive a child, and were told by our doctor that unfortunately in order to birth a child, I could not use an epidural or push because of the pressure it would build up in my brain due to my Chiari. So, my only option was to be put under and have a c-section. Being put under for anything is dangerous, and it was maybe more during the birth of your child. Plus, I wanted to experience welcoming him or her into the world, not hours later when I awoke.
The End of TTC…
So that was it. The earth-shattering moment when all our options had been wiped off the table in a violent sweeping motion, as if someone was trying to pull the table cover out from the delicate dishes like a magic trick.
Adoption & Childfree…
For a while, we spoke and considered adoption. I took classes, I spoke to birth moms and did my research on open adoption. We tried to save money, but the costs associated with adoption were too high for us. As a year passed and then another, we settled into our childfree life and started to enjoy it. We embraced where we were and decided that in this moment, we loved how our lives looked and the freedoms associated with it.
You are so much more than childless not by choice. Tell us about yourself!
I am a wife, a fur mom, a photographer, and an avid world wanderer. I am a storyteller and devourerer of books. I am a human resources manager by day and a blogger of The Wandering Rebels by night. I am a sage smudging, crystal healing, meditating master. I am a tattooed badass. I am a lover of interior design, true crime tv, and podcasts. I am so many of these things and more, but most of all I am a strong infertile woman.
What roles are you redefining for yourself? and How are you redefining those roles?
Since I was a child, I wanted to be a mother. When that dream didn’t come true, I devalued myself as a woman and devalued my worth. Since taking a step back, I’ve come to redefine what it means to be a woman and the way that I view mothering. I am a mother in the way that I mother my friends, the way I mother my dogs, the way I mother the children around me–from my godson, my friends’ children, and my nieces & nephews. I don’t have to be a mother to be motherly.
Now as a woman who is childless not by choice, I’ve chosen to live in the moment. This isn’t to say I don’t have time where I feel the pangs of sadness, jealousy, or anger when I see other women getting pregnant, raising children, or getting to have the very thing my body was deprived of. I still question why some women get to be mothers, while the some of us that so desperately longed for it were denied. I wonder what our life will look like as we grow older. But I’ve also learned to take it day by day and take what comes when it’s here.
How are you Creating a New plan Bravely and Courageously?
We are taking the time to enjoy our life. Currently fur parents to a one-year old dog named Storm, who takes up a lot of our joy and time. And we are enjoying the freedoms of living a childfree life. We have plans to travel back to Europe and see the countryside of France and revisit Paris. Also, we have made a bucket list of travel destinations over the next five years that include Peru, Iceland, Ireland, and beyond.
When feelings of regret, guilt, or sadness come up, we take the time to talk them through, sit with them, and let ourselves feel them. We welcome the feelings as a reflection on our journey.
Have you figured out your Plan B? If so, what is it?!
After our experiences with infertility, we learned that not having a plan was better than having one and being disappointed. So right now, we don’t have any plan b. We are instead focusing on ourselves, our mental and physical health, and taking it day by day. We are using our new future to relax, breath, travel, and enjoy all that life has to offer with the thankfulness of being alive.
Missy Desiree, THANK YOU for sharing your journey with the Not So Mommy… community! I adore your description of yourself and find such strength in your honest responses… You truly are FABULOUS!
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Featured Photo: Created by me, using Canva