Ann’s Story: Feeling sorry for myself for not having children has never been an option

I was 23 in 1968 when I had my first child, unfortunately he was stillborn. I then miscarried at 5 months aged 26. At 27, it was discovered that I had a hole in my womb and so my husband and I knew from then on that we were not going to have children. We were both understandably shocked as having children had been part of our life plan together. However, nothing prepared me for what was to come, which made not being able to have children pale in comparison.

Indeed, we had planned to move to Australia in 1973 to start a new life and my husband found a job there as a lorry driver. Things were looking up and we felt very positive and were very much looking forward to this new chapter in our life. Unfortunately, it was never to be, for my husband died that same year in a car crash, while on duty and so the permanent move to Australia never materialised.

I am from a generation that does not believe in making too much fuss about these things and so I found the strength within to move on. Even so, looking back, I do believe that had I had my first child today, chances are that he would have survived, since medical science is far more advanced today.

I have found happiness again with a new partner and although I do sometimes wish that I had children, I refuse to let these misfortunes determine who I am. I have nephews and nieces and they are an active part of my life. I live a very happy and fulfilled life and spend a great deal of my time volunteering and working on our allotment. I am now retired and have been for 10 years.

I had a full and enjoyable career working for 3 different companies including 25 years working for a well-known motorcycle retail company. My career kept me very busy most of the time and even when I had to have my womb removed at 40, I still managed to focus on the positive.

I firmly believe that whether we are miserable or happy is ultimately up to us as individuals. And maybe it is a generational thing, but feeling sorry for myself has never been an option. I have been with my partner for over 30 years, and not having children means that our relationship is our main focus and we intend to carry on enjoying life to the full.

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  1. Hi Ann,
    Thanks for sharing your story. You are an inspiration and I hope that anyone struggling to come to terms with not having children can find some comfort and be inspired by reading this. Like you, I also firmly believe that it is up to us as individuals whether we are happy or miserable and not having children should definitely not prevent anyone from living a happy and fulfilled life as your example shows.
    Best wishes

  2. Lucy Burrows says

    Reading this was very inspiring, and I am so glad that you have managed to find happiness with your new partner. It just shows that you can come out of these things with additional strength, and hopefully your story will help other people to get through it. I wish you the very best for the future.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about what you have been through. You sound like a very strong person, and I admire the thought that you are not letting this take over your life. It sounds like you know exactly what you want now, and I hope that other people are very inspired when they read your story, because they could learn a number of valuable lessons from you.

  4. Julez Fitzmond says

    Sorry for the loss of your husband. Things like that really make us think about life and where we’re going from here, so it must have been very confusing indeed to have been put in that kind of position. I do hope that you find peace with your life and manage to carry on enjoying your life with your current partner!

    • The reason why Ann’s story touched so many people and you can see this from the number of likes it received on facebook (73 at the time of writing) is because of the way Ann has dealt with so many issues that most people would have felt overwhelmed with. Not only does she try to rebuild her life after realising at 27 that she will never have children but that she was also able at such a young age to find the strength to carry on after losing the very husband she was planning to rebuild her life with is just remarkable. She seems to have a strength of character that is lacking in many people in our society today. As Ann herself puts it, it is a generational thing. Back then, people were more resilient, unlike many today.

      • You’re right, she has coped with so much, and it definitely takes a very strong and special kind of person to be able to do that. Many people would have just given up, but Ann still is so strong and determined, and that is a brilliant way to be.

    • Ann’s story suddenly makes you realise how insignificant some issues are compared to others. When you are caught up in the drama of trying for a child, you think that this is so important that everything else does not matter, until something as major as losing someone very close or other major upheavals come along and then you realise that not having children is not the end of the world that you thought it was.

      • Dawn Kells says

        I have a few friends who were trying for children, and all of them admitted just how much it can take over your life. Other things get forgotten about in the excitement/stress/worry (depending on where you’re up to) and eventually most people realise that they do have to take a step back!

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