Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Hope vs. Acceptence August 13, 2012

Life Without Baby is taking a short hiatus. Please enjoy some favorite posts from the last two-and-a-half years.

This post was originally published on April 12, 2011. You might also enjoy the follow-up post from April 16.

In the past week two different people have made comments to me that have amounted to the same message: Don’t give up hope; there’s still a chance you could have a baby.

Whether you’re childless-by-choice, or by circumstance, I’m willing to bet you’ve had someone say something similar to you.

“It could still happen.”

“You’ll change your mind.”

“Don’t give up hope.”

The “don’t give up hope” type of comment is the one that hits me closest to the core. While I think that hope is key to human survival, I think it can be dangerous if it isn’t backed by action. Just hoping something will happen someday is how potential and lives get frittered away.

While I was trying to get pregnant, I was full of hope, but I was also doing everything I possibly could to make it happen. Now that I am no longer trying, I am no longer holding out hope.

But this doesn’t mean I feel hopeless. And this is what I want to be able to explain to people who still carry hope for me.

Losing hope of having children is very different from accepting and coming-to-terms with the fact that I won’t. I am not hopeless; I haven’t thrown in the towel; I haven’t rolled over and surrendered to my childlessness. I have made a conscious decision to stop my quest to conceive and for the past two years I’ve been working on coming-to-terms with that decision. I haven’t lost hope; I’ve just changed my outcome. I haven’t simply given up on the idea of having children; I’ve made a decision to live childfree.

I know that many of these comments are said with the best of intentions. People who care about us can’t bear to see us not get something we want, or not get something that they think we should want. There is still a pervading idea that people who don’t have children do, or eventually will, want them. But some of us just don’t, or won’t, or did once, but don’t anymore. For the latter group, it’s not about giving up hope; it’s about accepting what is and building a life from there.


6 Responses to “Hope vs. Acceptence”

  1. Nicole Says:

    What a fantastic post. I am exactly where you are, except that for me it was a choice from the beginning. I used to feel 100% confident about my choice until it hit me 2 years ago that I was married and that my decision had to be for real not just words from a precocious teenager who take impulsive baggage to the future. So I decided to revaluate the whole thing to make sure I was doing what was right for ME. Diving deep into me and learning more about what made me say I had chosen what I know now it was, indeed, my choice and final decision. I will not have children.

    There is hope for a good life, with or without children, and this is the only hope I like to think of and hold on to.

    I already have a link for your blog in my blog and also the cover of your book in my suggested reading page.

    I hope you will have a beautiful life!

    Best regards,


  2. Maria Says:

    Never truer words spoken. I sometimes think that the people around me are holding out hope and it hurts them just as much to see it never happenned for me. When I came to accept it would not, they were despondent because they weren’t ready to accept it too. They saw my acceptance as giving up when they were holding out hope. But I couldn’t keep my life on hold forever hoping for something when the odds indicated there was a 99% chance it would not happen. I needed to move on with my life. I suppose you could say I never really stopped trying because I continue to have sex with my husband without protection and continue to not get pregnant. The difference now is that I don’t put so much mental energy into hoping, expecting and feeling crushed and defeated every 28 days. Focusing your energy on the hope of it happenning canot make it happen any more than if you let go of hope. Once you realize you have no control over this aspect of your life, that whatever is going to happen will happen, is very healing. The people around us need to realize that too.

    • Jen Says:

      Maria, I so agree with you. My hubby and I needed to move on with our lives too because like you said “focusing our energies on the hope of it happening cannot make it happen any more than if you let go of hope” – so so true! We too have never really stopped trying in a way cause we as well continue to have sex without protection and no pregnancy – this is something that I think others don’t give much thought too…we have no control over this aspect of our life. So, when we say we have moved on to a childless life – I believe people think we haven’t really tested all waters like we aren’t have enough sex and haven’t look at all our options. No, that isn’t the case – we are continuing to have sex and not getting pregnant and have looked at all our options. This is the reality of it and I would so like others to want for us to focus our energy now on aspects of our lives we can control and find happiness in whatever form that is.

      • Maria Says:

        Yes! Thank you for your reply. Oddly enough, I received an e-mail today from HR about the grief process because we suddenly lost 2 employees. The process is shock/denial; anger; guilt; depression; acceptance; growth. Growth is defined as a state of readiness to move ahead with one’s life. The people that come to this site are at different stages of grief but it is helpful to know that it a natural end of our process to want to move on and not be stuck in hope. The people around us just need to understand that too.

  3. Meghan Says:

    Thank you for the post.
    I’ve just discovered this blog and am so glad. I have decided to move on out of the state of hope that made me anxious and crushed every month. I feel empowerment that I’m ready to move on but have been searching for any common ground with literature or other people.
    The bookstores seem to group infertility topics right next to pregnancy sections which was almost comical to but hurtful too.
    Every book I found also had all the lists if things that are supposed to help in conception. I’ve tried that and am ready to lay it to rest.
    Thanks again!

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