Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

National Infertility Awareness Week News April 26, 2012

The Huffington Post is running a series on infertility for National Infertility Awareness Week and I’m very pleased to be included among their guest bloggers. You can find my post on the topic of compassion here. (Regular readers may recognize the topic from a post I wrote here a couple of weeks ago.) If you’re comfortable, please feel free to share the post.

In other news, we are gearing up for Saturday’s Life Without Baby Live! event. I’ve really enjoyed conducting the interviews and I think you’ll enjoy hearing from these wonderful, dynamic – and childfree – women about their experiences.

The fun starts here at noon (Pacific time) Saturday April 28. (You can find your time zone here using America/Los Angeles.) If you can’t make it live, fear not, the event with be recorded and available here shortly afterwards.

Thanks for your support and I look forward to chatting with you on Saturday.


Out With the Old January 16, 2012

I write a regular blog called The Plan B Life for Although the theme of the blog dealing with life when Plan A doesn’t work out, I’ve always got my own Plan A Life – the one that included children – in my mind when I write.

This week’s post was Out With the Old, about the importance of rituals in marking the end of Plan A and preparing to embark on Plan B. I know I’ve talked about this topic before on this blog, but for me, it was the key to starting along the path to coming to terms with a life without children.

If you’re struggling to get forward motion right now, a little symbolic ritual can go a long way. First, you need to acknowledge what it is you need to let go. It could be as big as the dream of motherhood, or it could be bitterness towards a family member or coworker who you feel flaunts her fertility, or it could be facing a fear and taking the next step forward.

Whatever your sticking point, acknowledge it first, then decide to let it go. Find a ritual or something symbolic that means something to you, and try it. It might be a prayer, or lighting a candle, or some kind of cleansing ceremony. Whatever you choose, you’ll be amazed at how freeing and how positive a simple ritual can be.

If you try this, (or if you’ve done something like this in the past) please report in on how it went.


The Plan B Life July 22, 2011

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what to do when your plans don’t work out. I’ve had some experience with this, having made a couple of major career changes (engineering to marketing to writing), made commitments to the wrong relationships, and more recently and more significantly, had my plans for motherhood thwarted.

Recently I’ve written some articles on the subject and now I’m very excited to present my new weekly blog on Psychology Today. It’s called The Plan B Life: Redesigning your world when “Plan A” fails.

Although these articles are aimed at a wider audience, moving on to Plan B when Plan A was motherhood is always at the forefront of my mind.

Last week I wrote about Letting Go of the Dream, and tapped into my personal experience when I talked about losing sight of why I wanted that dream (children) in the first place and realizing that other areas of my life were starting to suffer because of my determination to become a mother.

This week the topic was tapping into childhood memories to find your life’s passion again. I don’t know if you had this experience, but I know that I had planned my little world around someday becoming a mother, so when I finally realized it wasn’t going to happen, I saw that my life was full of holes and I had no idea what I was going to fill them with. As I wrote in the article, I did the childhood memory exercise ten years ago and recently revisited my journal to remember some of the things that had once given me joy. It’s a really great exercise (and I can recommend Barbara Sher’s book if you’re feeling lost) and I’ll be including a variation of it in the “Finding Your Identity” workshop I’ll be leading in November. More about that soon.

I’d be thrilled if you’d take a look at the Psychology Today blog, over the moon if you’d click a couple of the share buttons at the bottom, and beside myself with excitement if you decided to subscribe.

I don’t know where all of this is going yet, but I do feel as if I am stepping out into the start of my own Plan B life. And I can promise you I’ll be sending postcards from my travels.


Announcing the Official Release of My New Book January 6, 2011

Drum roll please!

It’s official. My new book is finally available in print!

It feels like this has been a long time coming and I think I’ve sprouted one or two extra grey hairs along the way, but finally it’s here. I’m very excited to be able to share this story and it’s my hope that it will help to shed a little more light on what it means to be childless-(not-exactly)-by-choice.

If you’d like to buy a copy, you can get one here. If you’re an shopper, it will be in stock there sometime next week. I’ll keep the links updated as it makes it way into other outlets.

In the meantime, thank you for your continued support, for dropping in on this site, reading my ramblings, and sharing your own. I really appreciate knowing you’re out there.

As a small thank you and bit of a celebration, I thought I’d have a contest to win a copy of the book. Just leave a comment on this post and I’ll randomly select a winner at the end of the day tomorrow.

Thanks again for your support.



Announcing the Official Release of My New Book November 22, 2010

I am very excited indeed to announce the official release of my new book I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood.

It’s currently available in e-book format from and, and next month it will also be available in the good old-fashioned printed version. You can be sure I’ll let you know when that happens.

If you’re an e-reader type or just can’t wait for the printed version, I’m offering the book at a special price for Life Without Baby readers. Download the book from Smashwords and use the code FB35D to get it half price – $4.95 instead of $9.95.

If you do read it, and love it, please tell everyone. If you read and don’t love it, please just tell me.

We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow, but for today, it’s all about the book.


My Book November 20, 2010

This week I received the final cover design for my upcoming book, and next week the e-reader version of the book will be released.

It’s hard to describe all the emotions I’m riding through right now – excitement, pride, anxiety, second-guessing, and something else, some kind of melancholy.

I’m excited because this project has been a long time in the works. I’ve written it, added to it, edited it, and then last year I scrapped the entire manuscript (I mean every word of it) and started again with a blank page. (I’m getting a stomach ache just thinking about that!)  It had to be done and I’m glad I did it, but it was hard.

I’m proud because I stuck to it, I finished it, I didn’t let it collect dust in the bottom drawer of my desk, and I have fought to get it published and out into the world.

Which is where the anxiety comes in.

I’m anxious about putting such a personal story out there for everyone to see. Not so much the people who will hopefully benefit from reading it, but the lookie-loos, people who know me, or my husband, and want to get the gossip. I’m also anxious about the people in the book – my family and friends, my husband’s family – people who said or did the wrong thing without ever knowing it, and unwittingly gave me material. But everything in the story happened, and (as my friend Jeff says) it’s not mean if it’s true. But I still worry about what they’ll think.

I can’t quite figure out the melancholy. Maybe it comes from the feeling of something coming to an end (even though I know that many new things are just beginning), I’m not sure. An acquaintance asked me how I came to choose the topic and I explained that this is my story and that the topic chose me. And maybe that’s where the melancholy comes from. I’m very glad I wrote this book, but there’s still a part of me that wishes the topic had chosen someone else instead.


Waiting for Baby – DivineCaroline July 29, 2010

Filed under: Infertility and Loss,Published Articles by Lisa — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Several years ago I wrote this article for the online magazine Divine Caroline. As proof that whatever you put out there on the internet never really goes away, I just got a notification that the article has cycled its way back to the top of the featured articles list.

For a writer, this is great news, but for me, the personal me, not so much. It’s a harsh reminder of a chapter of my life I’ve tried to close the door on (and done a pretty good job of, thank you very much.) Looking back now, my words seems so naive. I have to ask myself: Would I give the same advice to a hopeful mother-to-be now?

You know what? I think I would. Despite my own experience, I don’t want to be the voice of doom and gloom. Ever. “Bitter” and “childless” so often get strung together in descriptions, and that person is not me. So, I hope that maybe this article will still bring comfort to a hopeful woman, and maybe she’ll get lucky. And if not, I hope she finds support and acceptance, as I have.

via Waiting for Baby – DivineCaroline.


The Next Family: Two’s a Family June 8, 2010

By: Lisa J. Manterfield My husband and I were at a major crossroads in our lives and in our relationship. Behind us were five years of trying to start

via Two’s a Family.


My Los Angeles Times article about accepting infertility May 10, 2010

My article about accepting infertility appeared in the Los Angeles Times Health section this morning. They also included a very nice mention for this site. You can read the article here.

I’m very pleased that this discussion is making it out into the mainstream media. It’s time has come.