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Sandrine’s Story: I am finally free!

Sandrine NGatchouMy name is Sandrine NGatchou. I created the Facebook Page Ovocytemoi. You have read my story about my struggles to become a mom. I tried for four years to have a child. Now I am childless, but I prefer to say I am childfree. I decided to stop IVF treatment with donor eggs. I spent a lot of money, 15.000€ for 4 attempts with the man who currently shares my daily life.

I was in an abusive relationship when I first embarked on my journey to become a mother. My ex-partner severely beat me up 10 days before I was scheduled to have surgery to remove my fibroids. 48 hours after my myomectomy in 2016, I tried to kill myself. By that point, I was having panic attacks all the time.

The doctor advised me to see a psychologist. It was the best advice someone had ever given me. My sessions with the psychologist went quite well. In one session, she asked me why I wanted a child? I didn’t know how to answer that question. What I knew for sure was that I never wanted children with men I didn’t feel safe with.

I always wondered why bring a child into this world when we don’t have the stable resources (emotional and financial) to take care of them properly. I turned to people close to me for answers. I asked those with children why they had them. No one was able to answer that question. They thought the question was ridiculous. So I went fishing for information. I have some answers. I personally wanted children because of social pressures. It took me a while to understand that.

My experience has made me think a lot about this desire to have a child. Why are so many women obsessed with having a child? As a black feminist, it was important for me to understand this issue. I read a lot of books and articles, among them: “De Mâle en père: À la recherche de l’instinct paternel” by Frank Cézilly, “Mothering under capitalism”, “Want to Dismantle Capitalism? Abolish the Family”, “Selling hope: how wellness cashed in on fertility”. The list goes on.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that motherhood is a social construct. Very few people give parenthood much thought. It is simply something that people do. After 4 Attempts at IVF, in 2018, I decided to stop. I am finally free! I was in some kind of prison, trying to live a life that wasn’t mine. Today I am grateful to life for making me an infertile woman. It has led me to think about motherhood and make my own choices.

For any support issues you may have, you can contact the Samaritans for free on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or go to www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch. If you are in the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. If in Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

Would you like to share your story? Send it to: [email protected]

Sandrine NGatchou

Comments

  1. Dear Sandrine, thank you for this update. It is almost 3 years ago that I shared your original story on this website. Even though by then your opinion on motherhood was starting to change, you had not fully given up. So it is heartening that after years of trying, you have found the courage to say enough is enough. May your resolve to live your life as a childfree woman continue to grow. I wish you the very best.

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