#WorldChildlessWeek Day 4 WORDS THAT HURT

WORLD

CHILDLESS

WEEK

#WorldChildlessWeek Day 4 WORDS THAT HURT

20% of our female population over age 45 worldwide does not parent.

As many as 90% of the world’s child free population has been found to be child free NOT by choice.

One in eight couples of childbearing age seek medical treatment for infertility.

AND YET, The following responses to infertility and childlessness are still considered appropriate:

“It just wasn’t meant to be”

“At least you can travel now”

“Maybe God doesn’t want you to be a mother”

“You can ALWAYS foster or adopt” (so NOT true) (more…)

Emotional Labor Misconceptions

In the face of involuntary childlessness, grief and recovery

How am I going to live THIS life in THIS world?

It’s one of the questions that has adhered itself to every aspect of my being since stopping fertility treatments three years ago. It’s a question that has become only more throbbing as I make my way back out into the world and initiate my life rebuilding process. It’s a question that is unavoidable. And how could it not be? My experiences trying to conceive, the physical absence of my children and our loss of parenthood colors everything.

I’m not alone in this. When one has come through and out of the wanting of parenthood in any way shape or form, finding themselves on the other side of their dream or pursuit or hard work without the desired children in tow, we are all in some version of a related boat.

Thoughts, feelings and instincts on this question percolate in our systems. We organically, if not subconsciously, become silent, unseen coping skill factories, working overtime to generate a new life that makes sense to us, a new social normal and perhaps most of all, self-preservation.

I was recently made more consciously aware of part of my process when I read Cathy’s latest post, Are You Doing More Than Your Fair Share of Emotional Labor? over at Slow Swimmers and Fried Eggs (Thanks, Cathy!). Realizations rising to the surface were of course prompted by the writing and investigating of fellow infertility survivors because where else would they come from? There’s no context out in the wider world acknowledging the plight forward for those of us who wanted children but couldn’t have them, even most if not all infertility support groups are tone-deaf towards this journey. (more…)

Truth, Death and Mother’s Day

“It’s a pronatalist world and we’re just living in it……”

I knew entering a nail salon the afternoon before Mother’s Day was not the brightest of moves.  It’s about as smart as adopting an indoor porcupine, actually.  I live in permanent mockery of my “poor little first world problem”, as I’ve been known to call it – yet my trips to the nail salon have turned fodder for many a blog post.  For the involuntarily childless infertility survivor, women + mindlessness is never good.  And so off I went, in part because my sweet cousin had just passed away, I was a little shell shocked and knew I’d be on a plane in a couple of days, and in part to treat myself. (more…)

Mother’s Day Through the Eyes of an Infertility Survivor

“Happy Mother’s Day!” my spin class instructor called out.

I lurched to attention, having been yanked from my “spinning zone”.  This weeks’ class had given me time to think and engorge my lungs with prana after a week of little physical activity.  Visions for my future, for this life I didn’t chose, had finally started to creep in and I used the class to focus on them.  And I was feeling GOOD.

“Happy Mother’s Day to you all!” she called out again.  It was only Wednesday. (more…)

#Startasking Eight Reasons Why Asking is Hard

I’ve done my share of speaking out on my trip through infertility and now involuntary childlessness.  I’ve asked my family and friends for support.

I insert my truths in conversation when I’m able.  I educate when I can.  In doing these things I’m habitually asking people for acknowledgement and to be informed themselves. (more…)

“CELEBRATION”

This, and all posts this week are in loving acknowledgement of our children that never got to be and of the dream and life we had to start to let go of on January 31, 2014.

The flickering candle light bounced off the twilit room as sounds of festive chatter surfed through the air. Just as I sat down again at “my” table, my behavior voice beckoned. “Come on S, you’ve got to get to ALL of your guests.” I rose up and dragged myself through the warm, celebratory party space.

As is common with someone who has been traumatized, the gut instinctively pulls you to where you are safe and away from where you may not be. And as is common for someone with such prolonged visceral experiences, remembering to think at all is your version of an afterthought. (more…)

I LIKE MONDAYS

When you layer the holidays over grieving and healing from trauma, life can seem pretty absurd……

It was a Sunday. January 3rd, 2016, to be precise. Sarah Chamberin, 43, sat in her Long Island living room, gratefully absorbing the post – holiday shift. “Ahh, there, THAT’S better,” Chamberlin, an infertility survivor who had just gotten through her second holiday season without her children, said as she inhaled the open space now free from the holiday bombardment of forced splendor. With all Christmas paraphernalia removed, Chamberlin looks ahead. “You know what I like? Mondays. That’s what.” (more…)