Whatever the reason, some women have to live with the fact that they will never have children. Like any sorrow, the path to acceptance can be long and chaotic.
After taking various approaches at the fertility clinic, Cynthia (fictitious name) finally put her dream in her dream of having a child one day. “For years, even though I knew that the chances were slim, I sparked hope,” said the 35-year-old woman who prefers to remain anonymous. That’s difficult. I received it very, very badly. The situation was so painful that Cynthia had to take time to rebuild herself: she temporarily distanced herself from her family and some friends who had children.
Mourning, for real
That should not be minimized: biological loss of the mother is important. This is indeed a very painful psychological condition, the duration and intensity of which varies according to women. There are several things that play a role: personality, personal history, relationships, psychological structure and, of course, what is represented by the child and the desire for a child. Cynthia, for example, claimed to regard the news as a failure: “Without children, I don’t feel like a real woman, or I don’t feel like it.”
In addition to this feeling of failure, it is not uncommon for depression to accompany mourning. It is important to recognize the feelings of people who have to deal with it.
The importance of talking
“It’s hard to talk about the pain of being a mother,” said Catherine-Emmanuelle Delisle, author and founder of the Femme sans enfant blog. “This is difficult for us, but also for loved ones. It creates discomfort in the family and we don’t dare to talk about it. That becomes a taboo. According to Brené Brown, a professor and humanities researcher at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work and speaker famously, mourning a mother is indeed one of the most difficult to do. People often tend to underestimate her, which has the effect of embarrassing those who live it, she argues.
“You have to understand that people who mourn as mothers are faced with their reality every day,” said Catherine-Emmanuelle. The family model is everywhere in our society; it explains why it is so difficult to give up the dream of starting a family, for some men and women.
The story of Catherine-Emmanuelle is not trivial: at the age of 14, she enters early menopause and knows that she will never have children. Shock! At the age of 35, reality really hit him. “I realized that all this time, I had suppressed everything. I refused to accept it,” he said. Facing a lack of resources and support in Quebec, Catherine-Emmanuelle found entertainment with an American support group, Life without baby, which offers workshops designed by writer and blogger Lisa Manterfield. He also decided to say goodbye to his dream of having a child at a ceremony he had invited his family to: a step towards acceptance.
Then, in writing Catherine-Emmanuelle sought refuge. Creation becomes a real driver of healing. “Talking about it, expressing yourself, helping to get rid of negative things,” he said, “is like meeting a woman who lives the same way I do.” This is why Catherine-Emmanuelle was founded, four years ago, Femme sans enfant. He wanted to break the isolation some people might experience and “raise women without children because of living conditions or by choice.” According to Catherine-Emanuelle, this is one of the best ways to calm the feelings of injustice and shame that often accompany maternal sorrow.
Because talking about his pain helped heal and finally accepted the situation, Catherine-Emmanuelle tried for several years to gather women without children. “Today, we are a global community on Facebook,” he said. We help each other and relaunch information. “Meetings were also held in Montreal, Quebec City and Paris.