Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

The Fertility Planit Show December 17, 2012

plan_photo_1350546426Next month I’ll be attending The Fertility Planit Show in Los Angeles. This weekend-long event brings together “world class experts, therapists and inspirational leaders” to help people “find everything you need to build your family.”

Now before you think I’ve gone off my rocker or back to the dark side, I’ll explain that I’m going because I’ve been asked to speak on a panel about letting go and coming to terms with not becoming a parent (official panel title is still under discussion.)

I’ll admit I was wary at first about throwing myself back into the melee of the infertility world, especially when I noticed one of my former doctors on the list of speakers. I was concerned about the emotions that might be dredged up for me and I even considered the danger of exposing myself to new family-building options and starting again on that “what-if…” cycle.

I was also unsure about speaking on this topic. To my mind, people who have bought a ticket to learn about how to get a baby won’t want to listen to someone telling them it’s okay if they don’t. I could almost imagine the headline: “Happy childless woman tarred and feathered by furious infertiles.”

I know that most of the people there won’t want to consider the possibility of not having children. When I was in the thick of my own parenthood quest, I know I didn’t. But a friend gave me that message anyway, based on her own experience, and although I didn’t want to hear her then, when I reached the end of my infertility rope, her story gave me comfort and hope for my future.

So I’ve accepted the invitation to speak. I’m impressed with the show’s organizers for including this important, but deeply neglected topic. I hope that the attendees will never need to hear about coming-to-terms with a life without children, but some of them will, and when they’ll do, I hope they’ll recall a panel of women who told them once that the road ahead might be rocky, but they won’t be alone and everything will someday be okay.


11 Responses to “The Fertility Planit Show”

  1. Maria Says:

    I commend you for speaking on this issue. When I was being diagnosed and treated for infertility, no one prepared me for the possibility it might never happen. I think it’s great that the organizers of your event are including this as a possibility and preparing their attendees. To alleviate your concerns, I also wanted to let you know that I attended a Resolve support group a few months ago in the hope that I would find people who were attempting to move on after failed infertility. The organizer told me all the attendees were people actively trying to get pregnant through fertility treatment but she said I could attend if I wanted to. I had reservations but I went away. As they spoke about their treatment and failures to get pregnant, women started to ask how do you know when it’s time to stop, what do you do after that to feel better, how do you repair your marriage, etc. The organizer asked me to speak and everyone appreciated what I had to say and were relieved to see that I was happy and there was a future without children. So don’t be afraid, you won’t be tarred and feathered. You are an inspiration to me and you will be to them.

  2. Catherine-Emmanuelle Delisle Says:

    I think it’s great you participate in this event. I think its time to speak out about that subject and I feel like you are a great ambassador of that “cause” because you know exactly what you are talking about! Good luck Lisa!

  3. jthorne Says:

    This is for sure a deeply neglected topic. I think it is wonderful that you are willing to speak about it. Doing so may bring some much needed awareness to this issue. People need to hear from those of us on this side of infertility – the pain, the grief, the acceptance and most importantly, that we are ok and we continue to live meaningful and happy lives even without children.

  4. bubli Says:

    I definitely had questions about when and how to stop. I think that this is a fabulous topic and you will be a great speaker.

  5. IrisD Says:

    You’ll be great, and this is something that needs to be heard. We all know how much pressure society puts on us to have children, and how much more isolated and hurt we feel because of all that pressure. People need to know that there are plenty of us who went through infertility and ended up without kids, that are lives are meaningful and valuable, and that people whose lives turn out like ours also need support and understanding.

  6. Amel Says:

    BRAVOOOOO!!!! It’s a wonderful idea and I’m also sure you’ll do a great job (after watching the video clip of yours on Motherhood). I agree totally with what Iris wrote. 🙂

  7. That is FANTASTIC that they’re including a panel about moving past motherhood. Hopefully other organizations will start talking about this as well. It’s just as valid an option as IVF! Proud of you for participating 🙂 I know you’ll be great!

  8. Wendy Wallace Says:

    Lisa, I am glad you are going to speak at the conference. Even among those struggling with fertility issues, there is this nagging thought of “what if I never have kids?” People need to know there is support out there if that winds up being the path they travel.

  9. Kaymet Says:

    Lisa, I am still TTC, but I have been reading your blog for a year now because I need to know that whatever happens, there is a life ahead of us. And I can tell you that in the French blogging world, where I roam most of the time, there are quite a few bloggers who feel lost when it comes to ‘what next’ (well, don’t we all?), and would certainly be more than open to a speech on this topic, even if they are still hoping to be parents one day.

  10. Victory Says:

    Good luck on the The Fertility Planit Show. Just like everyone here, I think it’s a good idea to have someone inform us the possibilities of not having a child after exhausting their options. It will give people suffering from fertility problems the realities of their situation, the challenges and and how they can cope with it. I believe that an informed person makes a wise decision and knowing all sides of fertility issues should be considered. Thanks.

  11. Rhianna Says:

    Lisa, I think it’s great you are speaking at this conference. The possibility and possibilities of a childfree life didn’t occur to me until I stumbled across a book by another childfree-after-infertility lady. It was such a revelation and a huge relief. Just hearing other women speak about it makes it more okay, somehow. Sending good thoughts for a great conference.

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