Choosing love over children
GENEVIEVE VAN EDEN
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My partner and I have a fantastic relationship and I can say I truly love him with all my heart.
I have always loved children and dreamt of becoming a mother, but deep down I knew it wasn't going to be easy.
I met my partner when I was 23. I had been in relationships and they were with men who seemed to like to play games, but with this guy, what he said he meant, and I loved the feeling, the security.
As the years went on I broached the subject of children and explained that I had Kallmann syndrome which meant I would need to seek fertility treatment.
His reaction often fluctuated. He wanted children and then he didn't, but I always wanted children so I pursued fertility treatment.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm modest and the fertility treatment meant I needed to have physical examinations and sometimes students would be present.
I always said it was OK for them to be present because it was my hang-up and they were going to become medical professionals, but the checkups still upset me.
But I had a goal in mind - children.
As the months went on and my partner needed to be involved, it became apparent he didn't really want to have children.
This left me absolutely devastated. I would often get tearful when Christmas came and I would see young families, and sometimes it seemed everyone else was pregnant, not to mention family and friends, who said we would be perfect parents.
I finally realised that I needed to make a decision: Did I want to have children? Yes.
But could I leave my partner who I was and still am in love with?
Would I find a man who could go through this fertility process?
I decided that I would choose my love. It has honestly been the hardest decision ever.
I have also come to the realisation that I can't blame or treat my partner poorly because of a conscious decision I made.
There have been people in my life who have had to make incredibly hard decisions as well regarding pregnancies and children, and I need to remember that these are their decisions and to put my personal anguish aside.
Life is not perfect and my relationship has its ups and downs, but I truly believe that once I accepted that I would never have children, the pain went from every day to occasional.
It's strange, because sometimes I have these amazing dreams of having children and I wake up crying, not because I don't have any, but because it was beautiful.