Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

When Will the Childless Find a True Champion? May 29, 2010

In her wonderful blog The Road Less Traveled this week, Loribeth posted a great piece about former First Lady, Laura Bush and her new memoir, Spoken from the Heart. In the book, Mrs. Bush reveals her own battle with infertility as well as her mother’s pregnancy losses and how those affected the whole family. Loribeth included a very insightful excerpt from the book, which I now share here.

“The English language lacks the words ‘to mourn an absence.’ For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful, some not. Still, we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only ‘I am sorry for your loss.’ But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent, ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?”

It’s a beautiful quote and a sentiment I share.

I am always pleased when well-known figures step up and admit to infertility, just as I am equally infuriated when glowing celebs parade their miracle offspring and deny any dealings with the “sordid” world of fertility treatments. But, I wonder: when are we going to get a true champion? What will it take to make infertility a suitable subject for polite company, and who is going to use their fame and power to stand up for the childless and help lift that taboo? I guess, sisters, we’re just going to have to do it ourselves.

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One Response to “When Will the Childless Find a True Champion?”

  1. loribeth Says:

    I’m behind on my blog reading after being on vacation, & just found this post now. Thank you for your nice words about my blog! I so agree about how nice it would be to have our own “celebrity” champion/spokesperson. I’m always heartened when people like Laura Bush and Celine Dion speak up honestly & frankly about their experiences with infertility and pregnancy loss, but I think we are still waiting for our Lance Armstrong.


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