Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Speaking Up January 24, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie

I finished reading Lisa’s book, I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home, within 3 days of receiving it. It’s so good, I almost missed my train stop—twice. It’s so good, it made me laugh out loud and it made me choke up (also while still on the train). I could relate, it helped me heal, it inspired me to listen to my sister-friends and their stories with more compassion.

And it made me want to stand up and shout something like, “Hey, world! Infertility sucks, and we shouldn’t have to feel ashamed about it and keep quiet any longer!”

But here’s the thing: I was taught to be a good girl. A polite, respectful, look pretty and don’t-rock-the-boat kind of girl. Don’t talk back when someone suggests you must hate children because you don’t have any. Don’t be a smartass when someone asks why you’re waiting so long to make babies. Watch your tongue and don’t get lippy with me, missy!

Enough. I will no longer be shushed simply because I’m not a baby-maker. Lisa speaks for us through her raw, funny, emotional, controversial, honest, and page-turner of a story. Let’s follow her lead. Let’s hold our heads and the cover of this book up high to show family and friends—as well as marketers, advertisers, publishers, producers, and retailers—that we, the childfree women of the world, have voices, and we will be heard!

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Since she’s childfree, she can stay up till all hours of the night reading a great book.

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11 Responses to “It Got Me Thinking…About Speaking Up”

  1. Sonja Lewis Says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    Based in UK, have snagged Lisa’s e-book (Smashwords) and after ditching a faulty Sony e-booker reader for a Kindle, I am well on the way. Definitely, a page turner. It excites me greatly that Lisa speaks so openly and fluently on a matter that renders me speechless sometimes. .

    Looking forward to holding her book up to family, friends, colleagues, readers, etc… in the UK via my blog. Plan to review it soon

    Thanks Lisa, for opening a door that has been shut. Now let’s keep it open.

  2. loribeth Says:

    This is funny. I just blogged about how I left my new e-reader on the bus — with Lisa’s book cover splashed out on the screen. Some kind soul did turn it into the lost & found, & it is now back in my possession — but I was cringing as I called, because I knew they had probably taken a look & seen what was on it. I felt like I’d been caught reading porn between the pages of my textbook in class. ; ) I KNOW I shouldn’t feel that way, but the message has been drummed so thorougly into my head that infertility is a private matter, & if I’m uncomfortable talking about it, others are probably even more uncomfortable hearing about it. Yet how are things going to change unless we start speaking up??

    • Kathleen Guthrie Says:

      OMG, Loribeth, that is hilarious, and I know exactly how you feel! Reminds me of the days when we felt we couldn’t say “tampon” or “period” out loud (“Um, I can’t go swimming today because my aunt is coming to visit….” WTF?).

      Sonja–Yes! Let’s stick our foot in that door and hold it open! There’s room for all of us inside. 🙂

      Cheers, ladies!

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Sorry, I’m late here. Just catching up on my own blog!

      loribeth, I love your story. When the cover was being designed, I toyed with the idea of making it look like plain brown paper so that people could read it on the bus. Then a friend said, “But isn’t that just perpetuating the stigma? And then for those who don’t really feel a stigma or shame, won’t it suggest that they should?” Thank goodnees I have smart friends, because she’s absolutely right.

  3. Nicole Says:

    I agree! We need to stand up for ourselves and be heard.

    One night at a party, a guy was saying to me “oh one day when you have kids, you’ll feel different” – about something to do with children.

    And I didn’t say anything. My boyfriend turned and looked him dead in the eye and said “She can’t have kids.”

    The guy was fumbling all over himself after that. I was proud of my boyfriend for standing up for me, when I couldn’t. And I know the guy meant no harm by it, but I’m tired of people assuming every woman will & can be breed. My choice of having natural children was taken away by cancer. I’m figuring out my life path. I think next time it comes up, I will say that. Because those comments hurt, even when not intentional.

    So, I agree! Let’s all get on board. I can’t wait to read this book!

  4. Mali Says:

    I totally agree. The book is great. I gobbled it up (on my Kobo) over Christmas, having laughed and cried, and recognised so much of my own story in it. In light of your resolution to speak up, I will review this both on Goodreads and my bookclub. It’s time others (the fertiles) read these books too, to understand what we go through.

    • Kathleen Guthrie Says:

      Mali — I keep telling friends that it’s not just a story about infertility, it’s a universal story about a woman trying to find her place in the world. If I can relate to all the books about women who happen to be mothers, can’t all women find something of themselves in this/our story?

  5. Rach Says:

    I’ve just found your blog after a lovely commentator on my blog suggested I hunt you down. What a refreshing blog! It’s hard to find blogs written by those of us who have chosen to stop ttc and move forward, so you have a new follower!

    I’m on the hunt for Lisa’s book but living in OZ I think I may have to order it internationally.

    Last weekend I made the decision to stop ttc after 11 years and countless miscarriages, I’m looking forward to what the future holds!

    ~x~

  6. lmanterfield Says:

    Ladies,
    Thank you for all your tremendous support. It really means a lot to know that my story is resonating with you. Thanks for all your kind words and encouragement.


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