As told to Brandi Lytle
I had the pleasure of meeting Nicci Fletcher, of The Childless Not By Choice Magazine and creator of CANBACE, at the end of 2017. In April 2018, she asked me to be the virtual assistant for the first “We Are Worthy” Summit and since then, we have supported each other in our blogs, childless walk, and life in general. Nicci has become a very good friend in a short period of time. Actually, I say that God brought her to me, knowing that he was going to have to take Jennifer home. But I digress…
Let me turn it over to Nicci to share her CNBC story…
How did you become childless not by choice? (Infertility, Chance, Circumstance?)
Whilst in the Bahamas celebrating my birthday, I woke up in screaming agony the morning I turned 40. For about eight months, I’d been getting some pain in my left ovary. These pain levels were something new, though.
When we returned to the UK, I visited my doctor who immediately referred me to a gynaecologist. Less than three months later, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis. My endo was so extensive that I needed specialist surgery. That happened less than 10 months after my birthday.
Seven months after my surgery, Andrew and I started our one and only cycle of IVF. Initial results were good–20 follicles had matured, 12 eggs were harvested and 8 were of high enough quality to be mixed with Andrew’s little soldier.
We left the clinic to wait by the phone for the call to say the transfer would be tomorrow. That call never happened. Instead, we had an appointment to discuss our options because none of my eggs had fertilised.
You are so much more than childless not by choice. Tell us about yourself!
For me, the most important part of who I am is that I am a writer. I wrote my first book (The Adventures of PigDog) when I not quite five years old. I wrote prolifically until I was 16 and then, everything stopped. My career’s advisor told me that I would never make any money from writing and I should stop being stupid and get a proper job. Her comments were backed up by my father who started to return the letters I wrote to him, red-penned to highlight my spelling mistakes. (No one thought to test me for dyslexia.)
I’ve now overcome what I call my WritingDragons, and I’ve also forgiven my father because I know that he was doing what he thought would make me buck my ideas up. I started writing again about 18 months after our failed IVF cycle. A girlfriend suggested that I take up creative writing again, as she’d heard it could be very cathartic. I followed her advice and it was. At that time, I didn’t write about my situation. Instead, I started writing children’s stories and poetry for my god-daughter. Go figure that one!
All my writing ideas are saved in what Andrew and I call “The Niccisphere.” They are added to my “Writing Bucket List” and kept safe until I have the chance to start working on them. Currently, there are over 45 ideas on the list, and I have four books which I am actively working on–two are self-help books for the CNBC community and the other two are novels.
As I wrote before … I am a writer!
Have you figured out your Plan B? If so, what is it?!
Our Plan B … so close and yet so far. Plan B involves moving to Great Exuma, which is one of the Family Islands of The Bahamas. We bought a plot of land there about 12 years ago and it has always been our end game. Not only is the island beautiful, the people are lovely and friendly.
We’d move there tomorrow if we could. Unfortunately, we have to sell this house first so that we have the money for the building work. So, if anyone would like to buy a beautifully renovated Girondine Style farmhouse in SW France, please let me know!
What emojis represent the “. . .” part of your Not So Mommy… story?
It would have to be a flamingo. (Not that there is currently a flamingo emoji. We’re working on that!) My first record was “Pretty Flamingo” by Manfred Mann. I’ve always loved the song and wanted to be that “pretty flamingo” who “brightened by the neighbourhood.” I’ve recently looked into the symbolism of flamingos and so much resonates with me. The flamingo animal spirit is all about balance, healing, inner truth and nurturing, which are all core values for me.
Do you consider yourself to be CANBACE? Why?
Most definitely! Well, as the person who came up with CANBACE, you would expect me to say that really. What has surprised me though is that I had been CANBACING for several years before I created the word.
Since qualifying as a Life Coach, I’ve always been self-aware. So, it really surprised me that for many years I didn’t realise that I was in denial and needed to grieve. There were other factors that accounted for my depression, which hid the real reason. I’d also suffered multiple bereavements in my mid to late 20s, so I wasn’t a stranger to grief. I simply didn’t think it applied to my situation.
As soon as I made the connection, my healing started. That was a little over four years ago now. I think that is when I started to CANBACE because finding a new purpose in my life has always been a key element of my acceptance and healing.
Thank you for sharing your story and allowing us to get to know you a bit better, Nicci! As always, I find your positive attitude and ability to overcome difficulties an inspiration!
Fabulous ones, if anything Nicci wrote resonates with you, please tell her about it in the comments.
If you’d like to learn more about Nicci’s work, click on the following: