Monday, 30 September 2013


Today I find myself in a strange place of befuddlement.  I'm finding myself confused by the shifting direction of my life and the many changes that have occurred not just in my lifestyle but in who I am and what I do in my life.  My interests have changed, my activities have changed.  They are all really good things.  But the suddenness of these changes is leaving me dizzy.

And then there is the complete turnaround of my desires.  Just last year, nothing mattered more to me than being a mother.  I was determined to achieve our goal, doing everything necessary to try and get there.  Nothing else mattered.  And just a few months ago, I was pregnant and looking forward to finally achieving our dreams. 

Now all of a sudden I find myself childless, I don't want to be pregnant ever again, I never want hormone injections again and thought of starting a new life with a baby is something I'm finding that I don't want.  I'm 44 and I just can't imagine dealing with a pregnancy, being up all night and having my life consumed by a baby, then a non-stop toddler when I'm in my late 40's, and then being a mother to a teenager when I'm 60 years old!  My life has been flipped over and around and I'm freaking out just a little bit.

If we had gotten pregnant not long after we started, things would be a completely different story.  I was ready for that life, I wanted that life, I longed for that life. 

Now, with all the experiences of the last four years, in particular the last four months, everything is different.

I don't know whether to be terribly upset or terribly relieved.  I'm both all at the same time and how dizzying is that????!!!!

I think about a large portion of my work and my work colleagues and I don't want to go back to that world.  It just isn't me anymore.  How confusing is that?  I've been doing it for 25 years.  Part of me feels like I should stay involved, stay part of the community, stay connected to that.  But most of me is glad.  I had been drifting away for a while and these last few months have just solidified it. There is only one area of that work that I have chosen to keep and in that area I have actually put feelers out to get more involved, but in a different capacity.  Go figure!

Even in just this last week, my thoughts and feelings are shifting quickly.  I think of a comment I left just a few days ago to another bloggers post, and already my thoughts have changed.  As I read more and more of others experiences and as I experience more things and feel more emotions myself, my understandings and viewpoints are evolving.  It's overwhelming and befuddling.

DH and I have come to one decision.  There will be no more IVF treatments.  The chances of us succeeding are only 5% and to go through all that, spend all that, and then have to go through the emotions again of probably not succeeding, is just too much.  Not to mention the fact that we are both feeling the issue of us just beginning to raise a child at our age.  It's all crazy.

Of course, then I think of all the grandparents out there raising their grandchildren.  It's hard but they do it.  But then they also have experience behind them.  We are going in blind and tired and defeated from all that has happened.

So today there are no words of wisdom or lists of positivity, no continued efforts to try and understand what is happening, there is just one whirling brain who wants to get off the ride.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Babysitting mode

My niece called me this morning.  It was babysitting afternoon.  I had forgotten.  I love my great nephew to bits and I love spending time with him.  Babysitting day has always been an absolute blessing.  Today however, I found myself becoming really annoyed and irritated that I had to shift into baby mode.

I didn't want to go there.  I had others things I wanted to do.  Things that were on the positive childfree list as well as paperwork that needed to be finished.  It hurt too much to think of being in baby mode.  I've spent the last week actively adjusting to being childfree and trying to be okay with it.  I've been actively seeking to see the freedom of childlessness as a blessing.  Now I had to shift back to joyful baby mode.

As the time drifted around to leave, I was feeling better.  I had completed a large portion of the paperwork and I had successfully baked my first loaf of spelt bread in the breadmaker without it collapsing!  I was excited by that and a little less stressed having done some paperwork.  I still wasn't wanting to shift into baby mode.  But it presented with a sigh rather than with annoyance.

Upon arriving on the doorstep, I could hear my niece doing the excited baby talk "who's at the door, L?" and the annoyance came back.  I wasn't annoyed at being there per se, I was just annoyed at the situation. 

Then my niece proceeded to tell me all about her sister-in-laws pregnancy and how she is about to give birth.  A brief history is needed to tell you that her SIL got pregnant two weeks before I did.  She had a similar story in that it was also her 4th IVF round.  So, to hear about her about to receive her child is probably the biggest stab in the heart ever.  It is simply a reminder that I would have been about to be a mother as well if we had not lost our child at 12 weeks pregnant.

It's awful to say, but I think her baby will always be a reminder of our loss.  I sincerely hope that feeling passes but really, will it??

My annoyance stayed until my niece left and then it became time for play.  L and I had a great time playing with his toys.  He is a great kid!  There were times though when I felt gratitude that not every day of my life had to be spent with kiddy play!  After a while, he wanted to eat and then it was time for a nap.  He fell asleep on my chest while having his bottle.

This experience brought the tears.  I feel so much love for that boy and having him curled up asleep on my chest was just too much.  We will never experience that with our own child.  I will never have that mother/child bond that is so strong and heartwarming.  Instead I will feel it from time to time without it truly being mine.  And then have to walk away from it.

Even now that I am home, the tears are still there.  The sadness is deep.  While I am so grateful to be a great aunt to him, to be able to spend time with him and to be developing a fantastic bond, there is no way to spin how I am feeling into a positive thing.  I just hope that this feeling soon passes because what I don't want, is for this to be a block in my relationship with him as he gets older.

It's been a difficult afternoon.  I'm glad to be able to blog about it to a compassionate community who truly understand what it feels like.  Thank you.

To help with my emotions now - I am off to bake!!!

Love and Light

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Bringing infertility into the public forum

Just 5 minutes after writing my last post, I popped on over to Loribeths blog The Road Less Travelled, to an amazing post sharing Aisha Tyler's public revealing of her unsuccessful infertility struggles on The Talk.  I couldn't believe that just after I wrote a post on the lack of available unsuccessful IF stories, there was one on public television.  If I still believed in signs (that's another post!), I would say that this was one sign leading me back on to the path of acceptance of being childfree.

After being really excited about the video, I then watched it to tears streaming down my face.  This was OUR story, right where we are right now.  The devastation at making the choice to not continue with the treatments, the open wound that needs healing before any other decisions can be made, the heartache at not being able to see the man you love being the wonderful father that you know he would be.

It is so important to me to share this story.  The first initial links that I clicked on have opened up to me a world of women who are braving the stigma of childlessness and bringing this hidden issue out of isolation and into the public forum.  I have great admiration for these women and look forward to exploring their missions and their words.

I did a search for Aisha and there was a follow up video to this conversation.  She received such an outpouring of support and twitters to her story that she was overwhelmed with it all.  The biggest thing was how many people wrote to her saying that they were going through the exact same thing - both men and women - and how grateful they were to her for putting a voice to their struggles.  The men were particularly grateful to her for putting their voice out there, for her expression of the males side of things as well.

Thank you Aisha for sharing your personal story to the world.


Infertility stories and the world of childlessness

Today I started a word document listing the infertility books that have been recommended reads by many of my fellow bloggers.

I went to save it and realised I don't have an infertility folder.  I have a parenting folder and a pregnancy folder but not one was labelled "infertility".

I spent 5 minutes pondering over this.  How can I have gotten through 4 and a half years of infertility and not have a folder.  Then I realised.  All my IF information is in my pregnancy folder.  Why?  Because I never once doubted that we would succeed.  I never once doubted all those success stories regarding over 40 women. 

Can I just say? - I hate not being one of the success stories.  I hate it.  To work so hard at a dream and not achieve.  To realise that you aren't going to be one of the success stories that you read about everywhere.  "You can get pregnant over 40".  NOT.

[Please forgive the mild anger I feel brewing as I write these words.  I work so hard at seeing the positive, anger is not a comfortable emotion for me.  Yet, I know it is to be expected and is in fact probably a healthy emotion to go through in a situation like this.  I also know how important it is to let it out in order to let it go.  So, as much as I dislike it, I won't back off from it.  Lets see where it goes...]

The stories that I hate the most - the magazine articles with a big flashy covers saying 'my big infertility struggles'.  You turn to the article expecting to find someone who has truly struggled to conceive.  Only to read that it only took them a year to get pregnant or that they had to endure one IVF round and then they were pregnant.  And the article is surrounded with photos of the couple and their beautiful bouncing baby.

One IVF round and one year is no struggle.  After our first year of infertility, I was still comfortably hopeful and positive.  Yes, we had gone through one upsetting miscarriage but I wasn't worried.  Most women go through a miscarriage at some stage.  "So, it will take a bit longer" I thought.   It wasn't until after the second and then the third year that the true struggles really began.   When the third early miscarriage and finally a 'beginning of second trimester' miscarriage wring you dry.  The heartache setting in, the body wearing out, the guilt beginning to plague, the torment of seeing those around you fall pregnant (some for a second and third time).

This is when the struggles begin.  This is where the true stories are.

So, where are all the failure to conceive over 40 stories?  Not publicly displayed that is for sure!

I did a google search on "unsuccessful fertility stories over 40".  Talk about demoralising.  The search was full of all the success stories.  There was only one link on that page related to my search.  One.  With great interest I clicked on the link.  What do I see?  A picture of an older women holding her baby.  A success story.  What the?!  And worse still, a collection of accidental pregnancy stories of women over 40 with the author negating the need for IVF saying that there is no reason women in their 40's can't get pregnant.

No reason?  For goodness sake.  There is every reason.  How about the main factor for me - not being able to find an egg that isn't age damaged in some way?  Or an aging womb that is not quite able to recognise the natural signs or the women whose older wombs just can't carry to term.

With both DH and I being into natural remedies, we trod that path first without success.  Natural remedies does not change the biological aging facts.  IVF was the only option for us.  Upon reflection, I wish we had skipped the natural remedies and gotten straight down to the IVF while I was still 40. 

The chances of pregnancy success at 40 is only 10% dropping down to 5% at 44, and 2% at 45.  My fertility doctors stats show that.  This is a doctor who does not give up hope, who looks for every possible reason and finds them, who works hard to find the good eggs.  But not even she can change the fact.  She has only one story of complete success to share with us.  A women who failed in IVF rounds but eventually fell pregnant naturally and gave birth at 47!

Now consider the amount of over 40 women she sees.  The odds are, that eventually one will work.  Now consider the amount of over 40 women around the world who are trying to get pregnant.  Millions?  If only 5% of them are successful, then that is a LOT of stories.  But 95% more are unsuccessful stories.  Where are they?

People don't want to read about the failures.  Especially women who are still holding the dream.  I know that I didn't want to read stories of failure when I so desperately wanted to succeed.  It is only now, as I begin to walk the path of childlessness, that I am finding amazing women who are living their lives having lost the battle.  Who have picked themselves up and moved on.  Who are finding a joyful life without children.

The world of childlessness may be a hidden world for now, but I believe that it is a good world.  It may be a world that the majority of the population don't understand, but it is a world of many rewards.  It's a world of self-exploration and freedom in so many ways.

For me, it is currently a world that is also dotted with waring emotions.  The anger I felt earlier has now filtered down into sadness.  Sadness for our lost dreams, sadness for the loss of hope and purpose.  Right at this minute, I need to live with that sadness, but I look forward to finding once more the joy and wonder of life that will come with all the positives of being childfree.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The positives of being childfree

One of the biggest issues keeping me feeling good about being on the childfree path is all the positives associated with not having children.  While occasionally we can get a metaphoric stab in the heart from the circumstances surrounding us, more often than not, I am being reminded of the blessings of not having children.

For me, it began with being able to return to my normal habits and many of the simple pleasures that I enjoy. 
  • While trying to get pregnant, there was no alcohol in the last two weeks of my cycle and limited alcohol for the rest of the time.  As a wine lover, with my husband in the wine industry sometimes bringing home top quality wines that his customers have given him, this has been particularly cruel!!
  • There was abstaining from soft cheeses, cold meats and worst of all, my herbal teas!  
  • I've never been a tea or coffee drinker but I love drinking herbal teas.  And when we bought our fantastic teapot it was even worse not to be able to use it when there was a chance that I was pregnant.
  • And I am looking forward, with great anticipation and excitement, to buying my next shampoo, where I will not just buy the organic base but add all my gorgeous essential oils!  I had eliminated essential oils from topical and internal use just in case it caused any problems.  (Same as with herbal teas).  I love my oils in the shampoo and conditioner!!  I can't wait for the aromas to assail me and the benefits to my hair be seen once more!
  • I'm loving having no restrictions placed on my activities.  I can be as active as I want - climbing the hills and letting my body temperature get high, pulling weeds and activating, to the full extent, all my core muscles, moving furniture and picking up heavy items.
  • Spas!
  • There is that one negative though, of having to go to back to cleaning up the cat poo!!!!  :)  DH has been doing it for the last 4 and a half years!!  :)

There have been many times over the last few weeks when I have said "We couldn't do that if we had children" or "Thank goodness we don't have to deal with that!" or on some evenings "Gosh, I'm so tired tonight.  Imagine if we had kids to look after as well"
  • Peacefulness.  Today at the pool, I was changing into my bathers and two mothers were showering with their children.  Arguments, tears, flashes of anger at children not following instructions and the resulting consequences of injuring themselves.  I was so enjoying not having to deal with all of that.
  • Sanity.  No endless reruns of the Wiggles!  - and other such child entertainment!!!  :) :)
  • Less worry.  There are so many worries with being responsible for taking care of those little bundles and still so many (or more!) when they are big bundles.
  • Mobility.  Running errands.  I love being able to slip down to the shops to pick up some groceries or buy an outfit.  No stress, no major preparation of toys and diaper bags etc etc, none of the other issues that need to be dealt with when children are involved.  A quick decision, lock the house and I'm gone.  No screaming kids, no can I have this, can I have that, no running off, no taking an hour to do what can be done in 10 minutes!!
  • Holidays.  Relaxed cruising, weekends away, peaceful nature, just the two of us.
  • Home improvement.  Being able to put a water feature in the backyard.  We have been avoiding this one because we didn't want to have one if there was a possibility of children falling in.  We can do that now!
  • Time to relax.  Coming home from a big day at work and sitting down and relaxing for a while.  Aaahhh...
    One of my friends, a school teacher, is currently going mad with her boys fighting from the moment she drives them home.  She just wants some quiet and some down time to recover from the day before starting on the cooking, and the homework etc. etc.  Just 10 minutes to herself would be lovely, she says.
    I so treasure the time I have to myself and the time that we are able to spend together whether it be just chilling out, having fun, going bushwalking or activities such as building raised garden beds and fencing.
  • Time.  For so many things.  For self-improvement, time to work on relationships, to clean the house, to just dilly dally!
  • Freedom.  The freedom to pursue all sorts of hobbies and interests and dreams.  Baking whenever I want, gardening, blogging, researching.
  • Finances.  Greater financial freedom!
  • Flexibility.  The ability to make decisions on a whim, to change your plans and timetable, to work non-standard hours
  • Sleeping in.  No more needs to be said!!
I know I could probably write an equally long list of the joys of children.  Except that you can't have the joys of children, without also having the above difficulties!

The thought of the life of freedom that we may have ahead of us is peaceful and exciting and a really good reason for taking the path of being childfree.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Keeping the peacefulness

Yesterday I wrote about how, at the moment, I am feeling peaceful about where we are in our IF journey.  I still feel that way and I am so grateful.

I wonder though, are we ever truly at peace with it?
Is our sense of peace constantly interrupted by the dreams and expectations of those around us?
Of societies standards?
Or does the dream of children never truly leave us?
Is it a biological need that we can't remove?

Kathleen Guthrie Woods over at Life Without Baby describes herself as "mostly at peace with her childfree status"

Right now, I feel that I am at peace.  But I expect that may change just as surely as the days change and our emotions shift and flow through their neverending evolution.

How can it not? The childfree blogging world is filled with stories and comments on how the world around us doesn't accept the childfree status.  "Keep trying", "Don't give up", "Miracles do happen", "Having children was the best thing I ever did".

I would expect that it would be difficult to remain peaceful when we are surrounded by societies expectations.  Yet, I must admit, I don't really feel that too much.

I think with my friends, that once we reach the end of our IF journey, our friends will reach the same acceptance as well.  Their hopes and dreams for us have been a reflection and support of our own hopes and dreams.  They have children, they know we want children, they have the same hopes and dreams for us.  At least on the surface, I don't believe they will continue to put that expectation upon us.

Some of my family members may be a bit different.  With my friends, their dreams are for us.  With some family members, their dreams of us having children are for them as well.  Some may not be able to give up on their own dream of our potential children.  I think that has the possibility  to continue to be a stab in the heart.

I was talking to one of my closest friends the other night.  She is the one friend who would have done anything to help us get pregnant.  She wanted that for us so much.  Her depth of friendship was incredible - to the point of not only offering her eggs but also offering to carry our child for us, if necessary with her egg and DH sperm.  She was incredible.  However, she is also my age and it was not a possibility.  But her offering was one of the most heartwarming and loving things that I have ever experienced.

Her thoughts were that everyone has something completely profound and painful in their life that they have to live with.  Something that also constantly stabs them in the heart throughout their life.  Whether it be losing a child, or losing a loved one.  It may be the end of marriage that they never recover from, or a tragic accident that changes their lives forever.  And each of these "somethings" have triggers that see them reliving that pain.  Some triggers also societal, just as much as childlessness can be.

Her thoughts were that my childlessness was my "something".  Not really any different than someone elses "something".  Just as painful and just as permanent.  It does not have to halt my life.  It does not have to stop me being happy.  Their are so many ways to be happy in life.   And their are so many positives in not having children.

So I guess that is where the "mostly at peace" feelings come in.  There will always be some moments.  The one emotion that pops out at me, is feeling a sense of emptiness, like something is missing in my life.  But it is in the distance for the moment.  And I have learnt over the years, not to put all that much stock in the judgement of others, or what society thinks.  You can't completely avoid it, but you can put it in perspective.

What is important is my journey through life, my own unique experiences, my own loves and passions, my life with my husband, family and friends and my contentment in the day to day living.  

This is where my peace lays.

Thursday, 19 September 2013


This week has come to the end so quickly.  It's amazing how the days fly by sometimes!

There has been no change in the situation here in limbo-land.  But I am feeling much more peaceful with things. 

It's been three weeks now and I am starting to get good thoughts emerging in my brain.  I'm starting to want to get back to the pool and to walk again.  I'm starting to move back to the 'busyness' that I love so much.  I had a great day baking today, amongst other things, with a new technique on the way to being mastered!!  The exercise hasn't started again yet, but just wanting to do it, is a big step forward.

More importantly is the sense I have of being content in whichever path we take.  If we choose to continue with fertility treatments, I will enter it with willingness and patience.  To be honest though, I feel a much stronger sense of peace when I think of living childfree.  Yes, there is a lot to deal with and there will be stabs in the heart from trigger situations for the rest of our lives, but I find myself breathing a sigh of relief at the thought of stopping fertility treatments, the endless waiting and the fruitless hopes and dreams of wanting to be a mother.

We are both seeing the fertility counselor and there is a lot to work through both individually and together.  There is a big road ahead whatever path we take.  I know there will big continual ups and downs.

I am just grateful, that for the time being, I am feeling at peace.

Love and Light

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Words of wisdom

I've spent the last couple of days hiding out at home, retreating from the world and taking the first steps to rejuvenating.

Tonight, I was finally ready to sit down and reply to all the amazing comments I have received over the last week.  As they have come in, it has been wonderful and reassuring to read them.  Sitting down tonight though, I hadn't realised just how many there were!!!

Thank you all so much for your support and words of wisdom.  I am overwhelmed with your generosity and your welcoming of me into this community.  I've said already how I feel about this amazing community.  There is like no other blogging community like it, that I have come across.  I am so grateful.

I have now replied to every single one of you.  Do you all subscribe to comments and receive the replies and further comments? 

As I was catching up on them through my email client, I found myself creating a new folder and saving them.  There are so many wonderful words of advice and experience that will help me for some time to come.  I thought I would do a summary of some of the things that you have shared, that I have learnt, been reminded of, and had brought to my attention.  There are sparks of awareness and healing that have begun to work there way into my system already!

You may recognise your words in amongst the mix - I hope that's okay.  Links to all the women who contributed to these understandings are on the right.  Please go and visit them!

While I've created this list for me, it's also for anyone else out there who will also find some healing or guidance from it.  May our journeys be fruitful ones, peaceful, kind and loving.

  • When faced with moving away from the IF journey, you suddenly feel that you have lost your focus in life.  For years, getting pregnant has been the goal.  What do you do know?  If you are not a mother, then what are you?  What is your self-worth?  What is life all about?  Who ARE you?
  • Take the time and space to help bring things into focus before deciding on the next steps.  It's okay to 'float' for a while.  Do a lot of soul searching, sort through your feelings, find out what it is you really want to do and how far you want to travel along the IF journey.
  • This time can be a profound period of personal growth.  Allow yourself to unearth all sorts of interesting sides to who you are.  What do you enjoy?  Is there something new you want to try? 
  • Don't expect too much from yourself. You don't need to have a big "purpose" in life.  Being a mother is not what makes you worthwhile.  Discover who you are just as you, not with any role or title, simply who YOU are.
  • Be Kind To Yourself.

I'd like to finish with one quote from a comment Aurora Bordeaux from Baby Off Board left me.  I keep coming back to it time and time again with big smiles, warmth, gratitude and, most importantly, laughter in my heart. 
"Laughter is important. Fun is essential. Healing can be so difficult, but as you emerge and form a revised perspective on your chosen path, I wish you gobs of giddiness, rivers of hilarity, fountains of cleansing laughter, and memorably outrageous adventure. Most of all, I wish you joy."

Monday, 9 September 2013

Facing difficult decisions

The last week has been difficult.  I haven't known how to express what has been going on for me, at least for a blogging format.  How do I write, firstly about something so personal and secondly, about things that aren't necessarily in the living childfree direction which is what this blog is about?

We saw our fertility doctor on Thursday for a follow up appointment after not succeeding with our embryo transfer.  It opened up a whole door of pain and anguish and decision making for both of us.  I need to talk about it, DH just can't talk about it.  It's hard for both of us and, as usual with men and women, we need to deal with it in different ways.

I feel stalled.  I don't know where I am and I don't know what to do.
I need to go in one direction or the other.
For the most part, I'm ready to go in the childfree direction.  I'm ready to let go of the dream and get on with life.  But we need to be in that place together in order for it to work.  We need to have, with absolute conviction, made that mutual decision.

We have both been living a life of baby making struggles for 4 and a half years.  It has consumed us.  We are both strained and exhausted and need a break from it.  But there are decisions to be made and, as a couple, we aren't ready to make them.

So, where does that leave me?  In no-mans land.  Not knowing what to do.

It's so hard to let go of the dream.  But it's also hard not to be moving on from the dream.  It would be so much easier if the decisions were taken out of our hands, if we had no options left to us.  But we still have some choices.  One choice is so low percentage it almost isn't worth doing.  The other choice sets us on a whole new and difficult road to which we need to be absolutely committed.  Neither of us are sure about this path.

I come back again to trying to live in the moment.  Trying to accept this time of waiting as a grace period, a resting period, a rejuvenating period.  But I am finding it impossible to do that.

I write this for two reasons....
  • Maybe someone out there has some advice for me.  Maybe someone knows what I'm going through and is going through it as well or has been there.  (even though I've been rather vague about what is actually going on, you might get an idea!)
  • Secondly, maybe someday in the future, someone else will come across this and relate to it and feel supported and not alone anymore in their own struggles.  
Supportive connections can be made across the internet that aren't always available to us in our own little world.  Oftentimes, we are the only "real world" people we know who have gone through infertilty, or who have come to this point of facing being childless/free.

It's a really awful, difficult place to be in, this time of making the decisions.  While I can see all the positives that will appear further down the road, they are not here yet.  And somehow, we need to get through these moments as best as we can.

PS.  Please forgive me for not responding to all comments and also for not commenting on your blogs this week.  I appreciate every comment I receive.  Thank you so much.  And I still am reading your blogs through my reader.  My head is just not in any decent place right now.  But I'm working on it. 

Love and Light

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Baby Off Board blog and other links

After writing my last post on loss of purpose, I decided to do a little blog exploring.  I came across the best site that just brought a huge smile to my face and threw me head first into the fun of being childfree.

Aurora Bordeaux from Baby Off Board takes a really unique look at the whole childfree subject.  She is childfree by choice and had me laughing and feeling so much better about life with her fresh and funny look on life situations as a childfree woman.  There is so much to read you just need to head over there and have a look. 

The thing that struck me most though was how much she fun she has in life.  Her childfree status gives her so much freedom in life and she enjoys it.  This post here was a great read for that!  So head on over.  You won't be sorry!

All of a sudden I feel better about life than I did an hour ago.  I know that those feelings of loss of purpose will return and I will have to look at them again, but then again, maybe they won't!  You never know.  Right now I'm feeling lighter and peaceful with a spring in my step.  And right now is where it's at. Thanks Aurora!

Some other blogs I've come across recently are:
Life as Two
Serenity in Chaos
LDS Married Without Children
Baptism By Fire

Signing off with a smile

Loss of purpose

My plan today was to talk about the positive sides of being childfree that constantly come to my attention.  That will have to go on hold for a little while because what struck me most last night was a new feeling - a loss of purpose in my life.

For years, my focus has been on trying to conceive and all that it entails.  Before that, it was years of waiting for the moment that I could begin to try to conceive.  The dream of motherhood is with us all for so long before we get to the point of no return.  It's understandable that once it is gone, we begin to feel lost, with no purpose in life, with no meaning.

Even my job was partly about the day I will become a mother.  I burnt out on my work a long time ago, but I didn't want to move on to another job because this one was perfect for "when I become a mother".  Flexible hours, school holidays, the ability to take a year off with no problems.  It was ideal!  So, I stayed with it.

As it turns out, the difficulties of fertility treatments saw me cutting back another day of work almost every year, until now I only work 2 days a week.  (Next year will be different, but for now, I need the time to recover).  As a result, and largely because of the support of my wonderful husband, I am looking at different work and a different lifestyle.  I'm looking for more fulfillment and satisfaction in my daily living.

Thank goodness I began this process a few months ago, because now it stands alongside the loss of purpose I feel with no more babymaking goals.  I feel lost.  I feel restless.  What do I do?

In part, it comes back to what I talked about in my first post "Moving Beyond The Dream of Motherhood"
"Step by step.  Little by little.
Searching for the things that make us happy.
Searching for what we find fulfiilling.
Searching for the things that we enjoy....
But there is more to it than that.  Because amongst doing all the things that I enjoy doing and living in the present moment, is an emptiness, a big gaping hole.  I can't produce anything profound or wise to help me move beyond it. 

I just need to somehow accept that the emptyness is there. 
As awful as it feels, I need to absorb it as a natural part of the healing process. 
Allow it to be.
So that sometime in the future, things will become clear and meaningful and purposeful in an even better way than before.

Have you experienced this loss of purpose after coming to a place of living childfree?  How did you find purpose again?

Monday, 2 September 2013

The Childfree Childless Blog Community

I've been doing a lot of browsing on 'childfree not by choice' blogs today.  I am feeling completely overwhelmed by two areas:

1.  All the incredible life experiences people have gone through to either get to the point of having to make the heartwrenching decision to be childfree, or to have that decision forced upon them by their circumstances.

2.  And the many issues that people experience in dealing with being childless/free.

I had started to record stories and was going to link to them, but there are just too many and all of them deeply touched my heart.  The best I could do was to add these incredible women to my blog list for others to also be able to share their in their journeys.

The difference I am finding in the childless/free community is how much we all connect with each other.  Our hearts recognise each other and we relate to everything that we have gone through.  It doesn't matter that the stories are different.  They have all led us to the place - trying to live happy and fulfilling lives having lost the profound fight of trying to be mothers.

And then there are those who are childfree by choice.  They have a whole other set of society based issues to contend with.  "How can someone possibly choose not to have children?" say all the parents.

We understand each other.

I found good support in the fertility treatment community.  I met some incredible women with whom I was able to share my journey.  But in the end, our stories are always different and everyone is in different places in their journey.  Mostly though I found that women come and go in that community.  It is constantly rotating.  Often it is because many women "graduate" to mommy blogs.  Don't get me wrong.  I am still reading these womens blogs.  I am so happy for them that they were able to fulfill their dreams.  But, except for the few women I really bonded with, the connection is no longer there.  We are in different places.

My first day of childfree blog reading led me to Silent Sorority's blog and the following quote on her front page:
…when a path wasn’t clear, the natural instinct was to go with the herd. Only trouble was finding the right one. I was slowly separating from the ‘Trying to Conceive Tribe’ and from the looks of it I wasn’t ever going to be part of the ‘Mother Tribe’ – the working mother or the stay-at-home mother set. The schism between the two camps was now so whatever. I didn’t even fit into the ‘Childfree by Choice Tribe.’ I learned a new term. I was ‘involuntarily childless.’ How the hell was I going to locate that motley crew?”

Obviously since the time she wrote that, things have evolved and there are many of us so grateful that Pamela has been a forerunner in this area.  Of course, that it bittersweet.  The joy of being able to find a place in the blogging world versus the sadness we feel that there has to be this place.

I have only been in the childfree community for a week, but already I feel a connection.  Already I feel supported by women who know exactly what I am going through.  Already I can reach out and support others who are on the same journey that I am experiencing.  Already I can see a better future that is described by the women who have been living childfree for many years.  It's really an amazing community and I am so glad I found it.

The thing that I connect to most of all is how we are all searching for the positive in the childless/free situation to which life has led us. All my life I have searched for the positive and I've had blogs devoted to that very thing.  I am so grateful that through this community I am meeting many incredible, like-minded women who have found that, who are sharing that, and who continue to seek greater positivity, joy and happiness in their lives.

Post Happy Husband's Day

So, Fathers Day has passed and it was a good day.  I'm not completely sure how Dave felt about Happy Husbands Day, but I think we have our new tradition.  Thank you Jen.

Upon receiving his card, I got one of those "I'm not going to let you go" hugs.  I also think it may have upset him - brought to his attention that he's not a Dad.  But I didn't push him on the subject.  I just wanted to let it be what it was.  Me showing him how much I loved him and wanting to celebrate how much I treasure having him as my husband.  The presents were great fun though!!  I love giving him gifts!

We had a full day with gardening and a bushwalk with friends.  Then in the evening, my family all came around to celebrate with my Father.  My nieces and nephews are all older now - 16 and above,  so it doesn't pull at the heartstrings as much as it would if they were toddlers.  I can relate to them as adults and hear about what they are up to in their lives. Yet, it is hard to see the strong family unit that my brother has and not be a part of it.  To know that we won't have that in our lives.

One of my nieces wasn't able to be there.  And she is the one with a toddler herself now.  I love my great nephew to bits and have enjoyed babysitting him on a regular basis.  At the moment, though, I am finding it difficult to be near him.  I know this will pass, and I will endeavour to get there soon, because I love being with both of them.  But right now, even seeing her Facebook status updates about him distress me.

This is such a difficult phase to go through.  It is helpful reading other women's blogs who have been through this and have been able to find the light at the end of the tunnel.  Seeing their strength and their lives moving on in leaps and bounds is heartwarming.  It is not something we will ever be "healed" from, but it is good to see the joy in these womens lives.

A few new blogs that I have found are:

Altered Type
The Barreness
Childless by Marriage
The Next 15000  Days
Words Fly Up

If you haven't already done so, go and visit these amazing women!