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

Did You Know We Have a Magazine??

Slowly some things seems to be coming into focus for our childless not by choice tribe.  

One of them being our very own online magazine, created and run by Nicci and Andrew Fletcher.  

While we still need and deserve many more things out in the world that reflect our lives and experiences, this is a positive step in the right direction.

You can check out the magazine here.  The current issue includes a piece from yours truly on the subject of needing a tribe, aptly headlined “Hiding Behind the Curtains, Sarah Chamberlin avoids the local block party.”  

 

 

 

World Childless Week is next Week!!

 

Hello Dear Readers,

A reminder the second annual World Childless Week from September 10 – 16 is just around the corner.

You can visit their site here to read more about the daily events and find out how you can get involved.

Be sure to check out their #IAMME campaign and participate if the spirit moves you.

On Friday the 14th the people at WCW will be kindly sharing a piece from me addressing comments that hurt.  This year’s pronatalist feature is the ever  scintillating “You’ll never know true love until you have a child”, so as you can imagine I was more than happy to offer my rebuttal.

Am also pleased to have a piece featured in the upcoming edition of the Childless Not By Choice Magazine, due to come out in a few days.  Will let you know when it’s available.

 

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

Childless Voices Resound on IVF’s 40th Anniversary

The experience of not being able to have children when you wanted them will always be life altering.  And it has the capacity to inflict a level of grief that is, among other things, transformative.

The experience of wanting children and not being able to have them does not always have to be so inhumane, however.

What do we do when evolution is so clearly needed?  When we are driven by the common thread of leaving this experience more truthful and less pulverizing than we found it?  One doesn’t need to have their own children to have a vested interest in improving things for the next generation, that’s for sure.

We start talking. Read more