If I had had children, I would have learned new things about myself. But I’ve learned and changed so much as a result of my infertility, it makes me wonder how different I would have been as a mother?
For example, I find now that I’m much more accepting of failure, and my own flaws, but I better recognise my talents and skills too. This has helped me understand others more deeply, and I find I’m kinder to myself too – beating myself up less for my failings.
A few years after learning I would be childless, I discovered an enormous feeling of contentment; a feeling I’d not experienced before, one that resulted in acceptance of my life. I couldn’t change things, so I had no choice but to accept. It was calming, and liberating at the same time. I was happy. I was not searching for fulfilment through something else. I found it within myself.
I’m not sure that I would have had the time and space to learn this if I had been running after a toddler. I suspect I’d now be judging myself against different standards, and I suspect I’d be afraid of not measuring up. I’m not afraid of not measuring up any more. Is this a result of my infertility? Or is it just a result of the years passing, of aging?