#WhatIWantYouToKnow is that I have always wanted to have children, to have a family. As a child I remember my Aunt Dottie, who did not have children. I felt sorry for her. I never thought that I would be 49 years old without children of my own, but here I am. For some reading this, I know you feel sorry for me and sometimes I do too. However, I am starting to feel less and less that way.

After not finding a life partner yet at age 39, I decided to try to do it on my own. After testing the vitality of my eggs, they coldly told me that I was not able to conceive. It was devastating. However, I came to realize that I had been so focused on finding a partner to have a child and getting down on myself for not having a family, that I was missing out on all the great things in my life. For instance, my nephew and nieces. I have been able to have such wonderful relationships with them that I would not have been able to do if I had a child of my own. My loss has also created a space for me to grow spiritually. I truly believe that if I had children, I would feel like my mission was accomplished/focused on my kids that I would not have done any soul searching. I have also had other life experiences that would have been difficult to foster if I had children—traveling, mountain biking, and even doing nothing, just to name a few.

When my grandmother reached the end of her life, she stated that she only had one regret-that she did not have more children (she had two). I have thought about this statement and wondered if I would have regrets not having children of my own. Maybe but I know, with confidence, that it would be fleeting. My only regret I feel like I would have is if I continued on the path of feeling sorry for myself and continued to feel like there was something missing if I did not have children. The most important thing to me is to be at peace and enjoy what I do have.

There are still some struggles with this when it comes to social situations. I am often the only woman in a room where everyone else is talking about their children. However, there is power in recognizing areas where you still have room to grow, appreciate the moment and move on. Now, I know that I could adopt or try infertility options, but I feel like it is a desire of the past. I have my husband and my little dog Cooper to have the best of times with. With the love of my friends and family I will do just that—grow, appreciate the moment and move on.

Carolyn P.
Washington