As told to Brandi Lytle
As with so many warriors, I first connected with Missy via social media—Instagram, to be exact. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. If you haven’t checked out the childless not by choice / childfree after infertility community on IG, you should! It is a vibrant space with warriors who truly know how to look at life with a different perspective, who truly know how to find joy despite… But I digress.
Missy’s blogsite, “The Infertility Chronicles,” is (in her words), “…a blog about the stories, struggles and celebration of our infertility warriors.” Personally, I love to share my story on infertility sites, as I believe it is extremely important to show that life after infertility does NOT always include a little… Missy graciously shared my story. And now, I am sharing hers…
How Missy Found Joy Despite…
Trigger Warning: Missy discusses infertility, childlessness, grief, trauma, suicide, and more…
Why had you lost your joy? What struggle and/or difficulty were you struggling with?
I think, as with anyone in our infertility community, this defeating label of “infertility” is hard to struggle with. Disenfranchised grief is not often talked about in society, and it’s something that needs to be recognized. I’ve had people tell me that I should feel lucky I didn’t lose a child. But, I did.
I lost the feeling of having a child inside me growing. I lost the ability to have my own. I lost my dreams of having a family the way that looks so easy for everyone else. So, I had to deal with that grief. And that came with some very dark days of crying in corners, telling my husband he needed to leave me to be with someone who could give him his dream of a child and, as tough as it is to admit, I had even thought about committing suicide.
I’m not going to lie and say I’m not still struggling sometimes. Because I think when you go through trauma, the grief will always stay with you. I will always feel a sense of sadness, guilt, and anger that I didn’t get to be a mother. But at the same time, I’ve learned to accept those feelings—to love them and accept them. The people I’ve met in this community–specifically the childfree after infertility couples and women–are some of the strongest people I know. They have made me, and others coming out the other side, less alone.
How did you find joy despite this struggle?
I couldn’t pinpoint a time in our journey when I suddenly no longer felt the overbearing weight of grief from infertility. So, I’m not sure exactly why I found my joy. Maybe I never lost it. Maybe it was just hidden behind all the darkness of my infertility diagnosis, and I had to wade through to get here. I swam hard to keep my head above water, and now I’m making sure to be thankful for every day. Stupid moments, bad days, etc.–they all add up and accumulate to the sum of our lives. And you only get one. So, make sure you make it a good one despite your struggles. Make sure to be thankful for waking up each morning and for those around you.
What would you like to say to others who are going through the same struggle that you have overcome (or are in the process of overcoming)?
Keep going. I know yesterday and today were hard, but you have no idea what’s waiting for you on the other side. Tomorrow could bring a new, amazing light and opportunity for you that you never thought possible. This community is one no one ever wants to be a part of, but once you’re here, you’re family. Talk to us, to someone who’s going through your stage of grief. Find a group on Facebook or in your local community and just let yourself cry.
It’s so important to let yourself grieve during this process. Remember: You are allowed to grieve.
My message to you, Missy…
Thank you, Missy, for being bravely vulnerable and sharing your truth! And your final thought…
Remember: You are allowed to grieve. – Missy Desiree, of The Infertility Chronicles
What a powerful and true statement! THANK YOU for reminding us that no matter how we arrived at a childless not by choice / childfree after infertility life, we ARE allowed to grieve our loss.
A bit more about Missy…
Missy Desiree lives in Orlando, FL. She and her husband, Christian, found out about her infertility diagnosis in 2017 and after a year and a half of doctor’s visits, tests, and discussion concluded with her doctors that remaining childfree or adopting was their only option. With that in mind, they decided to take a step back and focus on seeking new adventures and finding a deeper purpose. In 2020, Missy founded The Infertility Chronicles, a blog dedicated to sharing her story with infertility, as well as the stories of infertility warriors. Through this blog, Missy has been able to not only share the benefits of a childfree life after infertility, but also raise awareness on all the aspects of infertility.
*Note: “The Infertility Chronicles” does contain possible triggers, as stories of adoption, surrogacy, IVF, IUI, secondary infertility, miscarriage, and more are shared.
Read “Infertility Warrior: Brandi” (my story) at The Infertility Chronicles by clicking here.
If anything Missy wrote resonates with you, please tell her about it in the comments.
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Featured Photo: Provided by Missy & shared with permission; Edited by me, using Canva