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I am a 27 year old happily married woman, me and my husband own our home which we share with 2 cats and a dog, no children. In February 2016 my husband and I decided to stop all fertility treatments and embrace a child-free life. I can easily say it was the hardest decision I have ever made but after 5 years we had reached a fork in our road and decided to take a different path to the one we had been traveling down.

The time after  ‘the decision’ was rocky, through all the testing, treatment and operations we had gone through I never felt as lost as I did then. It was the lacking that I think I found the hardest; before the decision, no matter how hard it got, how many toilets I hid in to cry, or how shit I felt I always managed to carry on because we were aiming for what we wanted, we were aiming for a family, so to suddenly have a vast emptiness ahead, I felt very lost.

I’m not a career driven woman, I applaud the ambition in those that are but that had never been my thing, I had always wanted to be a stay at home mum. I know, how very anti-feminist of me, but that’s what I wanted, to have a large family to take care of a husband, 4 children and cats and dogs. This vision I painted in my head slowly disappeared over the years of fertility treatment and with it so did how I viewed my self.
If I wasn’t ‘mum’, who was I? If I couldn’t have the future I had pictured, what future would I have? What would I do now? Of course I was not alone in this, my husband is and will always be my rock, he is the most supportive, loving man and I know how lucky I am to have him by my side. Together, we pulled me out of the the horrid depression spiral I had slipped into and we faced the blank future together.

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We tried to envision what we wanted from life now, how we wanted to proceed, where we saw ourselves in 10 years time. I began picking up hobbies left right and center to fill my days, I brought a new camera and played with the idea of being a photographer, I got all crafty making gifts and bits for the house ( I am not good at this, most lay unfinished, I have the ideas but not the creative talent to bring them to life), we started a travel blog together (which lasted a couple of months before fizzling out), we even started to buy a coffee shop and most recently, I enrolled at the Open University. I’m pretty sure I will continue to find things to fill my time, its a learning curve though, to find things I will stick at and enjoy instead of just grabbing anything.

Fast forward to November and I was made redundant from a job that I had been in since I was 19, a total shock! So in summary, 2016 has been a shitty year but one I intend to end on a good note, happy and surrounded by people I love. This year I have thrown myself into the festive spirit, in a pre-emptive move in case I found myself falling into any spirals like the beginning of the year. I dragged my slightly bah humbug of a husband with me (he had a good time) and we went to light switch on’s and Christmas carnivals, we walked around Christmas displays in shops and strolled London’s beautiful Christmassy streets, joining in the festive sprite at Winter Wonderland with me singing Christmas songs at my poor husband at every opportunity (I am seriously bad at singing) and next week we are going to Christmas at Blenheim with some friends.

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