Voices from the "WE ARE WORTHY SUMMIT" Introducing Nicci Fletcher
Introducing Nicci Fletcher
My name is Nicci Fletcher and I am the co-founder of “The Childless Not By Choice Magazine” and the “We Are Worthy! Summit”.
My Lifelong Desire to Become a Mother
When I was about five years old one of my father’s cousins became pregnant. I was fascinated by the changes to Auntie Val’s body and even more fascinated with James when he was born. For a while I had wanted to have a younger brother and sister yet knew this was never going to happen, so James was the next best thing. Not only that, by the time he could walk and talk I was totally in love, wanted to marry him and for us to have children.
The next time my desire to have children became really strong was soon after my father died. He passed away whilst I was on honeymoon with my first husband. It shocked me to the core: Dad was supposed to be invincible! It made my need to have children become a priority, which I believe is a fairly normal occurrence following the death of a parent: it brings our own mortality into sharp relief. The only problem was that I realized that my first husband was a control freak and that I couldn’t have children with him because I KNEW the marriage wasn’t going to last for very long.
The third time my desire for children really became prominent was after my miscarriage in February 2003. Andrew and I had only been “courting” for a few months and we had got pregnant due to a split condom. We had only really got used to the idea of us having a baby when I had my miscarriage. We knew by this stage that we were going to get married in a few years and we decided to wait until after the wedding before starting our family: however, the desire was there together with the false sense of security that my eggs only need to smell sperm in order for me to conceive.
My Trying to Conceive Journey
I didn’t think I was going to struggle to conceive. My periods were so regular you could almost set your watch by them. Not only where they regular, they were very “normal” of average duration, heaviness and pain. There was nothing to suggest that there was anything wrong. Until 3am on the morning of my 40th birthday whilst on holiday in The Bahamas. I woke up in screaming agony as a herd of elephants “played” football with my left ovary. When we returned home, investigations soon uncovered that I had very aggressive Stage 4 endometriosis. That was 10 years ago. Since then I’ve had two extensive surgeries carried out by Endo specialists to remove the adhesions from my abdomen. We also had one cycle of IVF which resulted in none of my eight eggs being fertilized.
Accepting our CNBC Lives
Andrew and I are now at the stage of beginning to realise that we will never be parents. We have made huge strides forward in our emotional healing over the past few years. We’ve gone from hardly existing to signs that we are going to start thriving very soon. We are a “work in progress” and don’t have all the answers yet: however, we know that if we have wobbles in the future that we WILL survive them.
Writing as a Form of Healing
I started my blog about four years ago when I decided that I was going to write a book about dealing with being childless not by choice. I wanted to share the process of writing and document how writing was helping me to heal. Although I haven’t finished my CNBC book yet, I have published four other books including, ironically, an A to Z of poetry for children called “Bottom Biting Bears and Other Bedtime Beasties”. In October 2017 the blog morphed into the magazine and the “We Are Worthy! Summit” is a spin-off from the magazine.
Thoughts to Share with the Childless Not By Choice Community
No matter where you are in your journey I want you to know that “You ARE worthy”. The hand that the universe had dealt you is c*** and you are not to blame. You have membership to a club that none of you wanted to join. Yet, when you are in the thick of things it is hard to remember this as you become overwhelmed by a sea of negative emotions. Despite the feelings of isolation, you are not alone and should seek out the support of other people who are in the same situation. Like me they won’t have all the answers, yet knowing that you are not alone can be a great comfort.
You will have wobbles and triggers will catch you unawares: however, it is important to remember that each wobble you survive makes you a little stronger. You will probably always have a child-shaped hole in your heart, yet as healing takes place, the edges of that hole won’t be as sharp or raw.
You are not alone,
Feel free to contact Nicci via email: firstname.lastname@example.org