Renunciate

We Are Worthy

Dear Readers, 

I miss you!  Life has been demanding a lot from me lately, leaving little time for reflection and expression.  There are positive resolutions to some of my challenges and obstacles on the horizon though, so I’ll take it.  I know I’m late to the party, but I just had to jump in on today’s World Childless Week theme in spite of my personal constraints.  And even though it’s already yesterday in the UK.  Hope you have or will get to check out WCW’s many offerings.  More from me soon, I hope.

XO Sarah

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For those of us acclimating to living without the children we expected, certain unyielding realities become abundantly clear amid the implosion of our formerly held world views.  

As we relearn the world through our involuntarily childless lens, we are brought face to face with the universally stringent conversational patterns that thoroughly omit our experiences and viewpoints. 

*****

It was a golden, crisper than usual mid September day as I made my way to my periodic neurology appointment.  I chuckled as I found the office, a drastically cozier and quieter place than the bustling hub where I had always seen my doctor prior.  This other location provided a much more cooperative environment for someone in the first part of an autonomic nervous system disorder, as I was now discovering two years and nine months in and approaching its merciful resolution.

I relayed as much to the friendly receptionist as succinctly as I could.  “It’s funny what we don’t realize as we’re coping, isn’t it?” Read more

How Not to Talk to a Childless Person

Credit: John Hain

Fertiles Behaving Badly

“Do you know the date?”  A woman to the left of me queried as I signed in at the office window.

“Uhhhhh, I’m usually the last person to know.  The 7th?  But don’t fully trust me on that.”

(Her) “The 7th?”

(Me) “Yeah, how does that sound?”

“Good enough I suppose” she said as we acknowledged each other with a knowing shrug and giggle.

Confirming it was indeed the seventh, she then pushed her phone into my line of vision.

“This is my husband” she stated.

I nodded and responded “Oh, okay”, leaving some space for what I sensed was to come.   Read more

WHAT I GIVE

As an involuntarily childless infertility and IVF survivor, the best Mother’s Day gift I can offer my Mom is my own well being

I know it has been awhile, dear readers.  More on my unexpected hiatus from blogging and the pieces above later.  

For now, I‘m happy to report that I made it through my end of the week travels relatively unscathed by any Mother’s Day hoopla.  A few people with whom I’m in regular contact even remembered to not bid me a “Happy Mother’s Day” and upgraded to the somewhat inaccurate but much more welcome “Have a nice weekend” instead.  

Or at least I’d like to think so.  I regularly check myself as I’ve been prone to fantasizing about people giving a shit over the past five or so years, often to find out they were not even dipping their big toenail into my shoes.  But assuming it was intended, these seemingly micro considerations render a difference in one’s well being for the better. Read more

12 Ways I’m Showing the Holidays Who’s Boss

The surprising benefits of themes, nuts and bolts

I haven’t been playing coy.  At least totally not on purpose anyway.  I’m well aware of what time of year it is.

The often bargain basement notion of “focusing on something else” has functioned as a dismissive annoyance for the better part of my healing process.  “Focus on the life you DO have” – when that was thrown my way for many years people may as well have been poking me with a fire iron.  So disparaging and unintelligent in its simplicity, isn’t it?  While ultimately that was what I wanted to move towards coming out of treatments (because really, who HASN’T thought of that), the trip from point a to point b is nothing short of a brutal, painstaking labyrinth.  And that’s putting it nicely.  

Not to mention that when you are putting yourself through the wringer to try to have a child, and when you are coming to terms with the fact you will never be a parent, these things ARE major parts of the life you do have.  This is not a trip to Vegas, people.  What happens in baby making and involuntary childlessness land does not merely STAY in baby making and involuntary childlessness land.

And there are always those people around you hyped to find you a “distraction”, especially when your pain reaches its peaks and needs to be felt and expressed most.  A distraction deemed for you when it is really for them, as if it’s possible to focus on anything else but trying to comprehend your missing children and make sense of this new life you didn’t ask for.

It seems though, I’ve finally figured out an application for the peripheral “focus on something else” modus operandi (perhaps there is a time and a place and a grain of truth to almost everything).  Yes boys and girls, so far this year I’ve found that “focusing on something else” during the Christmas season may be my way to go for now.

Please do let me explain. Read more

I Said Something

Pronatalism in Politics

The carefully orchestrated campaign material came in the form of a gut punching drizzle.  

First, a leaflet listing the candidate’s attributes – mom, community leader and South Shore native.  Yes, in that order.  Then a greeting card layout splattered with pictures of her children that introduced them to us – ready or not!  Followed by a brochure featuring her and her children who were holding up a handmade “Mama for Congress” sign (which they clearly did not fashion themselves).  Of the five pictures inside, two featured her children, one of which was her campaigning with one of them.  Some people may view this as going above and beyond, as an obstacle to overcome.  I view it as an opportunity I and so many like me will never have.

Two slightly more informative brochures followed.  One donned with her lifting her son out of a car seat on the cover.  With the last, a dash of hope things were heading to the realm of more substantive and relevant.  Until I flipped it over to be greeted by her speaking in front of a group while cradling her son on her hip.

I wanted to support her, I wanted to help remove the incumbent in my congressional district, but through all the parenthood drool how was I supposed to determine if she’s a good candidate?  Read more

I’ll Admit I Did Not Take It Well

Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixaby Images

Royal baby news surprisingly strikes me sideways

I awoke rested and peaceful, cradled by a soggy morning filled with a delicious sense of pause.  

As I made our coffee I reveled in having a day with my husband – a lazy morning and a day off, rare for him lately, where I felt good enough to go with him to get some much needed and long awaited clothes shopping done.  

Delightfully anticipating dinner at our favorite authentic hole in the wall Japanese restaurant, I cracked open my laptop.

“Well god damnit!” I barked, as the latest royal family pregnancy news smacked me in the face.  “Megan and Harry are pregnant already – they just got married like five minutes ago.  I guess THAT was easy” I spewed to my husband.   Read more

Where Have All the Triggers Gone?

Healing’s Inherent Discombobulation  

For the longest time, I have seen my children in other people’s children.  For years, perhaps as many as seven, I have seen what I kept losing and then finally lost for good in other people’s children.  There was no even imagining a day when this wouldn’t be.

And now, for the past couple of months, peculiar things have been happening.  More and more, images of children seem to be computing as simply children instead of registering in every last cell as an unsolicited cannonball of all that I lost. Read more