Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

I am Exactly Where I Want to Be May 24, 2012

by Tofy

So I’m outside enjoying what is going to be the start of a stunningly beautiful spring morning. As I look all around me, at my home, the beautiful pond with the ducks quacking away, and my dog by my side…  it dawns on me – I AM EXACTLY WHERE I WANT TO BE.  I am experiencing a moment in life when all my successes and all my failures are coming together to afford me this wonderfully serene spring morning.  And I wonder – would I have experienced this moment had I chosen to have children? Could it be that my life is “right” without children?

In the past, I used to wonder; what went wrong in my life, why me? Why did God decide I shouldn’t have children?  

As a rule I am a simple person. I have a very nonchalant laissez faire type personality.  I never truly longed for children, never fretted when at the peak of my fertility I chose to divorce a man I didn’t love, drive across the country to attend university to take up a new career in design. Then when most of my friends were popping out babies, I was popping out logos and print ads for design agencies.  Why?  Because at that specific moment in my life, I was right where I wanted to be.

I can’t say I entered my late thirties without a little angst about being childless.  I had finally found a man that I loved, that had the same outlook on life that I had. And for one short moment in life…we tried.  We tried to get pregnant that is.  But at forty-three, (yes, we started a little late) it was not to be.  There was no reason to look into why we weren’t getting pregnant; after all, I was premenopausal.  Looking back it was probably just because it was the right outcome for both of us.

I can’t recall exactly when it was that I chose to let go, but what I do recall is what it was that I said to myself that sealed the deal.  “What was it about being pregnant that I really wanted?”  And in that very question came the answer.  BEING PREGNANT.  I didn’t want the months of morning sickness, the sore backs and irritable moods.  I didn’t want to change a million diapers, watch my children grow out of all those designer kid clothes, or see them when they had their first heart broken by an unworthy girlfriend or boyfriend.  It wasn’t all that that I wanted, awful as that may sound.  What I wanted, at the ripe ol’ age of 44, was that moment you realize you are pregnant.  I’ve taken numerous pregnancy tests in my lifetime, just once I wanted that darn thing-a-ma-jig stick to have a plus sign!  I wanted it so badly that I even photographed the one single “ovulation stick” I ever peed on. It was so unreal to see a stick that I peed on have a big red plus sign.  It was the closest feeling I ever had to being pregnant.  But as I said, it was not to be. That’s when I realized having children was probably not for me.

So here I sit, writing this article, the ducks are still quacking in the pond and yes, my dog is still lying by my side.  Life is pretty good today. And yes, I can honestly say – I AM EXACTLY WHERE I WANT TO BE.

Tofy is a Freelance Graphic Designer. You can read more about Tofy where she writes about her passion for dogs and design.

 

Transformations January 19, 2012

I’ve been following La Belette Rouge on and off for a while now. It’s been interesting to watch her progress.

In the early days, she blogged frequently about her infertility. As she began coming to terms with being childless-not-by-choice, she talked more about her run-ins with her therapist, and the cracks that began to appear in her marriage.

I haven’t checked in on her for a while, so when she blipped onto my radar last week, I was taken aback, but pleased to see this post, Not the Mama/ You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

What a transformation. Here’s a woman who tried almost everything imaginable to get the child she so desperately wanted, and here she is now, standing up and having the courage to say this:

“I feel crazy grateful for how everything worked out so very perfectly. And I think about how if I had gotten what I hoped and prayed and paid Reproductive Endocrinologists for that I would now be a very unhappy gal who likely would not have had the courage to do what I did in March (leave) and how I certainly would not be in this new relationship with this wonderful man who makes me ridiculously happy.”

I know how long it took her to get to this point, and she is the first to admit that there are still days when she is “punched in the ovaries” by a reminder of what she doesn’t have. But, oh, the progress she’s made.

She includes a quote from Truman Capote in her post:

“More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.”

I know for me, there are days, that I can see clearly how my life is better just the way it turned out. And those days are increasing in number all the time.

 

Free to be Happy July 29, 2011

It came as no great surprise when friends announced recently that they were getting a divorce. They’d been emotionally separated for years and a new job for one had made them physically separated, too. It was hard to see why they’d ever gotten together in the first place, as they always seemed mismatched. But they had kids, and the kids were the reason they’d stayed together.

Fifteen years ago, when I told friends I was leaving my first husband, no one was surprised, and more than one said, “Thank goodness you didn’t have kids together.”

Even now I’m unable to have children with Mr. Fab, I’m still grateful that I didn’t have to drag kids through what would have been a much messier divorce than it was. But how many people do you know who’ve stayed in unhappy marriages because of the kids?

I’m not suggesting being childfree makes it easy to flit around relationships without having to commit, but not having the responsibility for other young lives offers a kind of freedom to find happiness for ourselves.