Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Who Are You? July 7, 2011

It’s interesting to look back on my journey and see all the people I’ve been over the past seven or so years.

I’ve been a woman who expected to be a mother and wanted a baby with the man I loved; then I became a crazed mama-wannabe, desperately trying to solve the mystery of my infertility and looking for a way to get what I wanted.

I’ve been through a phase of realizing that children weren’t going to be a part of my future, but not being able to quite let go of that dream. After that, I entered a phase of acceptance, where I knew I had to get through this and move on, but I didn’t know how.

There was a period of wondering what I was going to do and who I was going to be if I wasn’t going to be a mom, and finally, I came to the phase I’m in now. I am a childfree woman, accepting and even embracing this new life, not apologizing for my infertility or my choices, and moving on to enjoy a life I couldn’t have had if I’d had children to care for.

I never imagined I would get to this place, mainly because I never expected I’d need to, but here I am, and do you know what? It’s not bad here. In fact, I think this childfree life is growing on me.

I know that some of you are at or near this place, but others are still struggling to come to terms with not having the children you always dreamed of. So, I’m curious to know: Who are you?

Are you a newbie, trying to reconcile the idea that you won’t have children and maybe not even sure you’ll ever come to terms? Maybe news of a new treatment, or a friend’s new baby triggers all the old desires and keeps that “what if?” hope alive.

Are you coming-to terms? Have you accepted the idea of being childfree, but just need to figure out how to be okay with that decision? Are you making progress some days, and taking several steps back others? Are you still struggling with other people’s babies and finding your place in your family and community?

Are you moving on? Have you reconciled your loss, accepted your lot in life, and are ready to start a new chapter of your life? Maybe you don’t know what that is yet, but you know (at least most days) that you’re going to be okay not having children?

Please take a second to tell me who you are in the poll below. Let me know in the comments if you think these categories are accurate or if you fit into an entirely different category all together. My goal in doing this is to make sure I post information that covers all the categories, so that this blog is useful, whoever you are.

 

Infertility’s Cruel Joke April 16, 2011

In an earlier post this week, I talked about hope and moving on. The post generated a lot of great comments and a number of people mentioned how hope is like carrying around a bowling ball and that it is impossible to move on as long as you hold onto it. I couldn’t agree more.

I have definitely let go of my “bowling ball.” I am no longer hoping for a miracle pregnancy. Given my condition, it would be virtually impossible. The problem is the “virtually” bit.

Recently, after talking to someone about moving on, she reminded me that it could still happen and that her friend, who had been told she’d never have children, got pregnant at 48!

She was trying to make me feel better, in that “hopey” way, but it didn’t work, and now I can’t get this thought out of my head.

What if I got pregnant now? Hormones do wild things and as menopause approaches (which I’ve been told it is) those hormones have been known to misbehave. What if my body suddenly kicked out that one juicy egg? What if I got pregnant at 48?

Even overlooking all the health risks of being pregnant at 48, my husband is 15 years my senior, which means he’d be in his 80s by the time our child made it out of high school!! My father-in-law is currently 81 and he is no condition to be taking care of a teenager, nor would he want to.

But there’s an even bigger factor at play here. The bowling ball. I’ve let mine go and I don’t want to pick it up again. I can’t say that I no longer want children, because that’s not the entire truth, but I don’t want to live with the hope or the worry that I might get unexpectedly pregnant. I want to keep moving on with the life I’m creating now.

So, I now find myself in the ironic position of being diagnosed infertile but having to consider contraceptive options.

Sometimes I wonder if life isn’t just one big April Fool’s joke.

 

Spring Cleaning My Past August 9, 2010

I know it’s a bit late in the year, but I’m spring cleaning.

Over the years I’ve been added to mailing lists and e-mail subscriptions based on my plans to be a mother. Even though I’ve moved on to a new chapter in my life, every now and then a reminder from my past pops up to haunt me.

It’s been a while since I’ve received free samples of diapers and formula in the mail, but I still get plenty of postcards for children’s portrait photographers, baby fairs, and parenting classes.

I’ll be unsubscribing myself from the e-mail lists of Babies R Us, Adoptive Families, and my former acupuncturist. It’s not that these reminders send me into any kind of emotional turmoil; I just don’t have a use for their products and they’re cluttering up my Inbox. So it’s time to say “Goodbye.”

Have you done a spring cleaning on your past? Or are you still not ready?