Integration

On questioning ritual and getting different

Around four years ago, in the fourth year coming out of treatments, I found myself in a vehement phase of mourning.  The pull towards expressing my love and losses through gardening continued to grow more fervent.  It was then I created our candle and flower ritual to mark the conclusion of our final failed attempt – and to chauffeur me through winter in the absence of gardening.  I was pulsing on a regular basis with the need for physical symbols that could mark, prove and memorialize.   Read more

Childless Not By Choice Myth #237

Lockdown – and everything else – must be easy without children

Hello everyone – you can find my post for WCW Comments That Hurt Day HERE.

If there were ever a childless myth I’m motivated to tackle, it’s that our lives are somehow easier.  Grrrrr…..I can’t even.

So, glad I got to do it with this year’s WCW theme “Lockdown must be easy without children”.

I wrote this one in an outward facing voice, so it’s meant to share with the outside world.

Also, check out the World Childless Week Facebook page for all of the other interesting posts on this topic. #worldchildlessweek

 

PHASES

SpaceX-Imagry, Pixaby

The psychological trajectory of non parenthood is not a flatline

Over the past year plus now, I’ve been on an expedition with my body.  I enlisted in physical therapy due to a shoulder injury, which then spanned, at my urging, to a fuller body physical therapy program to address scoliosis.  Between that and osteopathic manipulation therapy sessions, I notice slow but steady improvements.  It’s hard, consistent work.  And even though my present musculoskeletal issues would likely qualify as minor, I’m choosing for now to keep trekking.  

Characteristics that shaped my infertility experiences have resurfaced and this puts me on alert.  My persistence, ability to commit, need to see what’s under every rock and general fire – the very things that screwed me in baby making land – have re-emerged within this plight.  A scoliosis body carries with it a whiff of mystery, it’s conceptually akin to a Rubik’s cube that never quite gets solved.  I remind myself that I am now also equipped with a much softened expectation of cause and effect, an awareness of persistence’s dark side and an honorary PhD in that which we don’t control.  With all that, I think I’m ok to keep going. 

I’ve gotten the idea along the way that I’m not your average patient.  Much of this is due to my alignment based yoga practice and training, and the heightened body awareness that renders.  But underneath the surface I feel there’s something else. Read more

Childless woman announces her life not filled with freedom, money, travel, never-ending ease

Onlookers stunned and baffled, sources say

Credit – FeaturePics.com

In a parallel universe not yet known to man, childless not by choice infertility survivor Sarah Chamberlin decided to hold a press conference following the six year milestone of her last failed fertility treatment.  Actual humans attended.

AS a childless not by choice infertility survivor, Chamberlin knew she was going to be told – not asked – how things are for her.  So as she looked upon the starry eyed crowd who came expecting all themes resolution, uplifting, and most of all peripheral, she knew she’d need to exercise some control. 

“Ok, ok”, Chamberlin, who didn’t just become childless yesterday, bellowed as she tried to chorale the crowd.   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

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

In a National Women’s Magazine

A piece researched and written by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos over at Silent Sorority went live recently in this month’s online edition of Marie Claire magazine.  You can find the piece, The Wild World of IVF, Explained here.  You’ll also recognize the lede – I’m committed to lending my voice and story to more truthful and realistic portrayals of infertility and the CNBC experience.

There were plenty of other valuable personal accounts and hard-hitting research on the fertility industry that didn’t make it into the piece, as Pamela attests to in her most recent post.  It’s crucial that mainstream media grant readers access to in-depth, accurate reporting on the emotional fallout and mental health ramifications including PTSD that result from multiple failed (and sometimes not failed!) fertility treatments, as well as the current lack of palliative care.  Just to name a few.  The “How to have a baby” subtitle, one of which landed right next to the brief account of my plight, gave me and will give others a bit of a lurch.

That said, what did make it into this piece results in what I feel to be a very straight-forward, non sugar-coated overview of the IVF process, from which even I, quite the IVF veteran as are many of you, learned a few things.  Hats off to Pamela for her persistence and astute reporting.

Overall a strong step in the right direction of not glossing over the IVF experience.  All I ever caught wind of via the media in my years leading up to trying to start a family with children were people getting pregnant naturally in their late thirties and early forties, rare live births of high number multiples, or miracle baby “just keep trying” stories resulting from IVF.  What do you think? 

On another note, it has worked out that I’ve been collaborating with others and putting my work on broader platforms lately.  Not sure how it feels from your vantage point, my valued readers, but I rather miss the intimacy of pouring my heart out and writing just for your eyes (plus whoever you care to share it with) and this blog.  I’m looking forward to getting back to that soon.