Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

What have you done for you lately? June 14, 2010

On my street, Sunday mornings bring a steady parade of dad’s with their offspring. I imagine the mom’s tucked under fluffy down comforters, sipping freshly squeezed orange juice and enjoying a couple of hours with a good book and a bottle of nail polish.

Granted, this is an image from my fantasy of motherhood, but it reminds me that mothers (at least the lucky ones) sometimes get special credit in the form of a Sunday morning in bed, an afternoon at the spa, or even a whole day once a year devoted to them.

So, as non-mom’s I ask you: what have you done for you lately? If you haven’t treated yourself for a while, maybe this should be the week. I’ve booked an afternoon off for a massage and facial this week. What are you going to do for yourself?


A Beautiful Essay About Infertility June 3, 2010

Every Sunday, The New York Times publishes essays in its Style section, under the heading Modern Love. They’re always worth a read. I recently stumbled across this gorgeous essay about infertility, Alone on a Path Shared By Many, by Allison Amend.

Here is a woman who dealt with the blow of infertility long before she was ready to have children, but she expresses the loss and grief beautifully, and her brother’s well-meaning comments need to be added to our list of the amazing things people say.

Kudos to Allison for her frankness.


NY Times: India Nurtures Business of Surrogate Motherhood June 1, 2010

This story makes my head spin. I need to pick a corner and say something about this, but there are so many corners to choose from, I’m going in circles.

On the one hand, I keep trying to convince myself that these women in India are happily carrying babies for wealthy Westerners because the $7,500 they’ll receive will give their own families a better life. The latter is true. It could take these women three years to earn $7,500 in a normal job. But “exploitation” is a word that won’t stay out of my mind. Would these women do this job if they weren’t desperate? There’s a whole list of exploitive ways for women to make money when they’re up against a wall. Is this job anything more than prostitution?

And of the people who use the service. Some claim they are ordinary people who couldn’t afford the $75,000 it would cost to use a U.S. surrogate; some are getting around their own country’s laws; others are just looking for a bargain. They’re all buying babies.

But I understand that maniac desire for a child; I can see how someone could see this as perfectly acceptable.

OK, I’m picking my corner now.

This is madness, utter insanity. This unbridled quest for motherhood is totally out of control. We live on an overpopulated planet; we have unwanted children all over the place, so why are we going to such extremes to create more? This has become absolute mania and at some point this bubble is going to pop. Just as the stock market had a meltdown and just as the real estate market blew itself up, I predict that somewhere down the line, the baby market is going to self-destruct. And it’s going to be a horrible unhappy mess when it does.

OK, I’m done. Going back to my room now.


How Old is Too Old To Give Birth? May 21, 2010

Kelly Preston and John Travolta are expecting. She is 47 and the media is already talking about her “miracle baby.” While Ms. Preston is nowhere near to being the oldest woman to give birth (that honor goes to a 70-year-old Indian woman who gave birth to twins in 2008) it does raise the question: How old is too old?

Last year a Spanish woman who lied about her age to obtain IVF treatments died at aged 69. She left behind two-year-old twins who are now orphans.

These stories are extreme, of course, but how old is too old to have a baby? Just because the technology is available, should we use it? What do you think?


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.


Do We Have a Responsibility to Reproduce? April 27, 2010

I’m sure if you’ve ever told anyone of your intentions regarding motherhood, you’ve heard a response something along the lines of: “Oh, but you’d be such a great mother,” or “The world needs people like you to reproduce.” It comes with the suggestion that if you’re intelligent, law-abiding, relatively sane, and wouldn’t be seen dead on Jerry Springer, you have some kind of obligation to society to contribute your genes to the world. But what is your obligation really?

As women of the 21st century, we still fight the battles our mothers and grandmothers fought. We may not be fighting for the right to vote or for women’s liberation, but we’re still fighting for equality in pay, for the right to marry who we want, and to have full control over what we do to our own bodies. And we still tussle with the wife/mother roles we’ve had passed down to us. Many of us still take on the majority of the household chores and make sure all the family birthday cards go out on time. And yet we’re striving to succeed on our own terms, trying to make a difference, and trying not to be labeled simply Wife/Mother/Grandmother.

But the fact remains that there can never really be equality in motherhood. Women bear children. We feed them. We are naturally the nurturers. Motherhood isn’t a task we can trade with a male partner: “I’ll install the new sprinkler system if you birth the babies.”

So as women, do we have a responsibility to reproduce? The world is overpopulated, polluted, and crowded, but if we all stop reproducing, the human race can’t go on? So what is our responsibility to the continuation of mankind. Tell us your thoughts on this subject.


Birth Control Comparison April 22, 2010

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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It’s been at least 10 years since I had or needed to have a discussion with my doctor about birth control. Prior to that, I’d more or less stuck with the same method for almost 15 years, so it was something of an education when I found this chart from Women’s Health comparing all the current methods of birth control available. From the descriptions, I interpreted that the Pill is considered temporary birth control for women who plan to get pregnant within 5 years. I don’t recall ever having that discussion with my doctor, but that’s all water under the bridge now.

If you’re reconsidering your current birth control method, this chart might be useful.