Featured News

Video conversations with Trailblazers in the Childless not by Choice Demographic

Jody Day, Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos, Sarah Chamberlin, Loribeth Kohut Bianco, Lesley Pyne, Nicci and Andrew Fletcher, and myself.   We got together and discussed the 40th Anniversary of IVF–because it is.   We also discussed childlessness and the different paths that lead childless not by choice women to the realization and acceptance of our childlessness.  If you are childless not by choice, or you know someone who is, this is a wonderful eye-opening discussion that should be heard by all demographics, not just the childless not by choice. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Episode 91–Celebrating Three Years of Podcasting!

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.  Civilla Morgan here. I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.

• Patreon Contributors: (Patreon contributors are those who have taken an interest in my platform whether they fit the childless not by choice demographic or not. They have decided to contribute a certain dollar amount on a regular basis to help fund my dream of creating awareness and conversation for the childless not by choice community globally. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

https://www.patreon.com/Childlessnotbychoice

  • Jordan Morgan

Well, when I set out three years ago to do this thing called podcasting, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Fortunately, some awesome people came alongside me along the way. The first few episodes reflect my fear, or my effort to hide my fear.

The newer episodes still make me cringe when I hear them, or if I see someone going through and listening to the entire library. I pray they don’t judge me, lol. But as I just surpassed episode 90, I can honestly say things have gotten much better. There are fewer nightmare scenarios. They happen, but they are less.

I will admit that I actually cried for the first time over an episode not too long ago. I will not tell you which one of course. I mean the tears just streamed down my face almost without notice. Suddenly they were just there and would not stop! I would have done anything not to have cried in front of my poor podcast producer. He was very stoic about the whole thing and worked so hard to fix the issue. It actually turned out really well. I continue to be eternally grateful for him. Talk about an answer to prayer three years ago!

As the months and years have gone by, I have received more and more emails and Direct Messages. People are slowly coming out of the woodwork and reaching out. I want to tell you that I know how tough it is and that I will probably not hear from many of you. And that is OK, but just keep listening and allow your heart to heal.

And for those of you who do reach out, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is your notes and letters that keep me going.

Like this recently received email: Dr. Cristina.

When I saw her video on YouTube, I was speechless. I will be putting the link to said video in the show notes.

And I will be working on and researching for this episode soon. I am actually really looking forward to it as I would never have put PTSD and infertility together. Our mind and body are amazing, aren’t they? Intricate and basic at the same time.

Thank you, Dr. Cristina, for your wonderful email.       

Or this Facebook DM that I received from Diana, and for which I created episode 89. I will put the link to that episode in the show notes.

http://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-89-unexplained-infertility-aka-idiopathic-infertility/

 

Or this May 2018 message from Carol where she referenced my interview with Chelsea Patterson Sobolik in episode 86.

Every episode I mention there will be a link to that episode in the show notes.

 

http://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-86-longing-for-motherhood-holding-onto-hope-in-the-midst-of-childlessness-my-interview-with-chelsea-patterson-sobolik/

I am so thankful for that timely episode so that Carol and so many other women who sit in church probably feeling less than, can realize that not all prayers are answered the same way. As Chelsea said in episode 86, not every story ends with a neat bow.

Well, the platform continues to grow. There are now well over 300 women in the Facebook group, and we are continuing to grow the Community over on the website. The Community set up is similar to Facebook except it allows for more conversation, groups, and forums. You simply have to log in and join the conversation. The community is on the website, http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net. See my contact info in the show notes.

This is year three of podcasting, but November will mark year four of the creation of this platform. As I mentioned earlier, some wonderful people have come alongside and helped me in the back end. My Podcast Producer Kevin Scullion of Alba Digital Media. He also maintains my website. My theme music created by Devoted, and Morgan Air who sponsors this podcast.  I have been asked what airconditioning has to do with a childless not by choice podcast. And my response is, What does air conditioning have to do with donating backpacks to kids who would not otherwise be able to afford them?

If you see a need fill it. When you know there are hurting hearts all over the globe and you feel lead to help whomever you can, branding is not necessarily a deterrent. Having said that, I would love more sponsors.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for as short as one month, for example, if you have an upcoming event. You may also sponsor the show for three months, six months, one year, or more.  

Email me or DM me and I will send you the application.  

Sponsorship money and Patreon contributions are reinvested into the podcast and the entire platform. I want to build courses directly into my website, and the platform for those courses are not cheap. I also plan to upgrade my podcast system, including building or buying a portable sound booth. Every penny will be put to use.

Enough about money…for now.

 

Well, here’s to many, many more years of Podcasting, creating conversation and awareness, and watching hearts heal.

My sincerest thanks to you for listening, conversing, and sharing this platform.

Before I sign off, I would love for you to hear this wonderful message that was left on my website:

Message from Mareshah.         

Episodes/articles mentioned in today’s episode:

Episode 86–see link above

Episode 89–see link above

Dr. Cristina Archetti’s YouTube video: ‘Embodied’:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XcAzx0jlhI&t=4s

Blog: The 40th Anniversary of-of IVF:

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/ivf-infertility-treatment-how-change-louise-brown-motherhood-a8332241.html

My contact information:

Website: http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com
Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan
Twitter: @civilla1
Instagram: @joyandrelevance
Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM
LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM


Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice. I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!

‘To recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.’

 

‘Spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life’.

Episode 90–My interview with Jody Day, founder of Gateway Women

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.  Civilla Morgan here! I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.

 

  • Patreon Contributors: (Patreon contributors are those who have taken an interest in my platform whether they fit the childless not by choice demographic or not. They have decided to contribute a certain dollar amount on a regular basis to help fund my dream of creating awareness and conversation for the childless not by choice community globally. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

 

https://www.patreon.com/21stcenturyhannah

 

  • Jordan Morgan

Just a reminder, visit the website where you can join the community group, check out all podcast episodes, blogs, and resources  http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net, the website is where the conversation is happening.

Well, we have a special guest today!

Intro Jody:

Jody Day, founder of Gateway Women, is author of the best-selling book ‘Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children’, and the best selling book ‘Rocking The Life Unexpected–.  She is a founding member and former board member at http://www.awoc.org (Ageing Without Children).

Her TEDx talk, ‘The Lost Tribe of Childless Women’ was given at TEDxHull in March 2017 and has had more than 27K views.

Jody was honoured in BBC’S 100 Women in 2013. And she is a trainee psychotherapist, and a former fellow in Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School, Cambridge University.

She runs workshops, online courses, a global online community and global social events for women coming to terms with a life that doesn’t include motherhood, and is currently training other women to lead her workshops in the UK, Ireland, Europe, The USA & Canada. She plans to train more in Australia and New Zealand in the near future.

Gateway Women has an aggregated social reach of over 2-million, between the website, various social media platforms, and its global public and private communities.

Jody was partnered/married for 16 years in her 20s and 30s, during which she experienced unexplained infertility after an abortion in her very early 20s. She was single for many years before meeting her current partner. They divide their time between Ireland and Ibiza.

Welcome, Jody:

I’m going to start out by going way back in time:

Your article ‘I may not be a mother – but I’m still a person’–written in The Guardian Newspaper, –Friday, February 24, 2012…

  1. As I read the article, I could feel my heart breaking for the way you were treated at the party. I know the article was written so long ago, and it is not healthy to dwell on things, but what comes to mind when or if you think back to those times and events?  

 

2) Why did you name your platform Gateway Women?

3) I read a quote recently: ‘When our broken dreams have cost us so dear, dreaming a new dream takes great courage’.–It was attributed to Gateway Women. Was that your quote? Either way, how do you grasp the courage to dream a new dream?

4) As I read through your intro in ‘Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children’, I stopped short at the section where you considered doing volunteer work in Kabul, but reconsidered because you did not think you could deal with the Kabul winter. You weren’t even considering the fact that Kabul was in the middle of a war and that you could become a casualty. I definitely understand the level of grief where we do not even consider our safety. How do you get people outside of the childless not by choice demographic to understand that level of grief. Do you even bother?     

5) In chapter one, you talk about the ‘universe of pain, heartbreak, surprise, dashed hopes, shock and grief…’ and the word shock jumped out at me. Shock for me was delayed…and then it came and went in waves. Which one of those nouns jumps out at you, if any? How did you overcome?

6) I’ve been questioned about how I am childless not by choice because I did not meet Mr. Right. It wasn’t an infertility issue, it was a social issue (no Mr. Right) plus biology (fibroids) equals no children. I read your list of 50 ways to be childless not by choice. My reason was number one! I got a little chuckle as it always amazes me how people can see you but not see you.  Do you ever get tired of telling your story, explaining your childless? Or does it make a difference who the audience is?

7) (Ch. 3) Life can be tough. Motherhood can be tough. Childlessness can be tough. Well, we all know life can be tough. How do we get the motherhood camp and the childless camp that life is indeed tough no matter which camp we belong to, that being childless is not a free ride?       

8) In chapter 3 I believe, you say:

‘Ideology is that which everyone believes to be ‘true’, but it’s actually a mixture of accepted prevalent beliefs that serve to support the dominant power group. Up until 500 years ago everyone thought the world was flat. That was an idea, not a truth, and around it was created a powerful ideology of Western Europe being at the centre of the world. So perhaps the ‘belief’ that a woman can only have a meaningful life if she is a mother may prove to be an ideological one and not the purely biological one that many of us have come to believe.’  Do you think society can really get past this ‘biological’ process we have utilized since the dawn of time?

Is it just a matter of society learning to embrace empathy?

9) Chapter 4, ‘Grief is a dialogue not a monologue’ —

‘Just as one of the most painful romantic experiences is ‘unrequited love’, I think that disenfranchised grief is a form of ‘unrequited grief’–a grief that is not allowed to be expressed, not allowed to be in a relationship.  But grief cannot move into its active state, ‘grieving’, without a relationship because grief is a dialogue not a monologue. And until we find a place to have that dialogue, either face to face, online, or with a skilled therapist, it stays wedged in our hearts like a splinter.  And it festers as it waits, infecting our life and our soul with sadness.’ (Location 1215 in Kindle).

Not only do we need to dialogue, but it is important to dialogue with someone who understands our pain. This is why community is so important isn’t it?

10) I never thought of the term ‘double whammy’ as possibly patriarchal until I read your book. It made me take a look at the way I use the term to describe what has happened in my life–no husband, no children. The last thing I want is to be pitied.  What an eye opener!

 

I had so many more questions, but I had to cut it off somewhere. I do need to mention that as I read about how families treat the childless not by choice family members among them. I have experienced this to some level, as I am sure almost all childless not by choice women have.

11) I read about the one woman who was forced out of her own bedroom to sleep in a tent in the garden to make room for her young niece! I was like, ‘are you kidding me???’  

I love your suggestion that the time to negotiate proper treatment during family get togethers is not right before the get together.

I talk about kind but firm boundaries quite a bit on my platform. The bottom line is, we need to as childless not by choice women, condition or train the people around us, as to how we expect to be treated. But at the same time, we have to believe we deserve respect, and it can be hard depending on where we are in our journey. If we are feeling shame and then our family and friends shame us, we will probably just allow the shame to continue at least for a time.  

Oh my goodness, there is so much more: The Spinster stereotype, the doting aunt stereotype, the older childless woman being a witch or the mean Cruella de Ville…my mom got married at age 28, and on her marriage certificate it says her previous status was Spinster. She was 28!

I have always been offended with that language. But my mom always said those were the days. It doesn’t seem like much has changed.

 

Is there anything you would like to add, anything you would like to say before we close out?

NOTE: Read more about the fetishism of motherhood in chapter 3. It is deep! Chapters 8-10 pressed all types of buttons for me. Please do take the opportunity to read this book. I think you will thoroughly enjoy it!

Books by Jody Day:

‘Living the Life Unexpected, 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children’

Articles/Blogs written by Jody Day:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/25/child-free-women-jody-day

Jody’s contact information:

https://gateway-women.com/

Twitter: @GatewayWomen

Instagram: @GatewayWomen

Facebook: @GatewayWomenUK

Email: Jody@gateway-women.com

http://www.awoc.org

‘It’s not a when, it’s an if.’–Jody Day.

Articles of note/episodes mentioned in this episode:

http://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-72-male-and-childless-not-by-choice-my-interview-with-dr-robin-hadley/

http://allafrica.com/stories/201806050128.html

My contact information:

Website: http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com
Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan
Twitter: @civilla1
Instagram: @joyandrelevance
Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM
LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM


Please help me out by taking this very short survey!
https://survey.libsyn.com/21stcenturyhannah


Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice. I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!

‘To recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless, not by choice women, and men, around the world.’

‘Spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life’.

 

A Brave New Ending

Our long and bumpy road of infertility began 9 years ago. After numerous tests and failed treatments, IVF was our only hope of conceiving. In 2015, the procedure was successful. Early in the twin pregnancy, one of our embryos stopped developing, however, subsequent ultrasounds revealed a strong heartbeat with the second.  Our prayers had finally been answered and our dream of having a child was becoming a reality. At nearly 10 weeks, the doctor uttered the words no one ever wants to hear, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”

 

Overwhelmed with grief, and so many other unnamed emotions, the months and years that have followed haven’t been easy. No one is ever really prepared for how to cope with loss. It’s not something that is taught in school and in most families, not discussed openly. Men and women grieve differently and we would soon learn, these strong emotions began to manifest in different ways.  

In the months prior to IVF, I made it my mission to prepare my body for pregnancy the best I could. It was almost like training for a marathon. My regimen included an anti-inflammatory diet and numerous vitamins and supplements. I felt strong and hopeful and started a blog to share my journey and encourage others struggling to conceive. 

Soon after the loss, that feeling of hope began to fade. Between the IVF medications and miscarriage, the hormonal roller coaster was unrelenting. I no longer felt I had a reason to focus on my health. There was nothing to look forward to and feelings of apathy set in. Not sure how to help me through this emotional struggle, my husband did the best he could to be supportive and loving, while dealing with his own feelings of grief. He often found solace in lone fishing trips and spending time with nature.

Three years later, drawing strength from our faith in God and each other, the healing process continues to be a work in progress. Anyone who has experienced loss will tell you it changes you. We soon realized this life-changing event was stressful on our marriage. Communication has been key and we are both learning how to lean into the pain and allow ourselves to be vulnerable and honest about our emotions with one another.

By reading and studying emotional resilience, grief, and loss, we have started on a new path of healing by embracing and reckoning with the painful scars that infertility has left behind. Facing a lifetime of childlessness, we are rumbling through the middle of the messy emotions. Grief has no timeline and no one really knows how long the rumble will last.

While life hasn’t turn out the way we had planned, our story isn’t over and we are hopeful for the future. We are learning to flip the script and write a brave new ending. One where it’s okay to be sad and joyful, to grieve a painful loss and embrace the wonders of life with gratitude and most importantly, together.

Episode 89–Unexplained infertility, aka idiopathic infertility

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.  Civilla Morgan here! I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.

 

  • Patreon Contributors: (Patreon contributors are those who have taken an interest in my platform whether they fit the childless not by choice demographic or not. They have decided to contribute a certain dollar amount on a regular basis to help fund my dream of creating awareness and conversation for the childless not by choice community globally. Click the Patreon and become a Patron!)

 

https://www.patreon.com/21stcenturyhannah

 

  • Jordan Morgan

I’ve done episodes on various types of infertility disease states such as Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, PCOS, MRKH, Fibroids, to name a few. In the case of these diagnoses, you have just that, a diagnosis. Indeed, you have the proof that comes along with or proves the diagnosis. There’s the scar tissue of endometriosis, the constant not taking a baby to term in miscarriage, the cysts, the tumors. The ugly proof truth is there constantly. The side effects are there, and the surgery suggestions that come with some of these diagnoses. But what about when no one knows why you are not getting pregnant?     

Welcome to episode 89–Unexplained infertility

I received the following message back in April:

‘While listening to your PCOS segment, I wondered if you have ever done an unexplained infertility seg. If you haven’t I would like to ask you to think about doing one because it is something that isn’t talked about often enough. I have unexplained fertility and I feel it is the greatest struggle of my life. It is a mystery disease that makes doctors shrug as there is no cure if there is no disease other than lack of pregnancy. I am currently fighting it by following a strict keto diet of low carb high fiber veggies, no sugars or processed carbs and fatty meats. I listen to your podcasts while at the gym because they make me feel less alone, and that you are fighting my disease with me. Thank you for your time.’—Diana.’

So, let’s talk about unexplained infertility…

Unexplained infertility, aka idiopathic infertility

According to a CDC article on Womenshealth.gov,

Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (or six months if a woman is 35 or older). Women who can get pregnant but are unable to stay pregnant may also be infertile. About 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant’.

Unexplained infertility and female age

And…

According to https://www.advancedfertility.com/unexplai.htm

The likelihood of a diagnosis of unexplained infertility is increased substantially in women 35 and over – and greatly increased in women over 38. The reason for this is that there are more likely to be egg quantity and quality problems as women age. Since we do not have a “standard category” called egg factor infertility, these couples sometimes get lumped into the “unexplained” infertility category.

Most women over 40 who try to get pregnant will have difficulty, and fertility over age 44 is rare – even in women who are ovulating regularly every month. The point is that the older the female partner, the more likely that there is an egg-related issue causing the fertility problem. Unfortunately, there is currently no specific test for “egg quality”. (I did not know there was not a test for egg quality.)

Also mentioned on the same website…

Chance for getting pregnant on own – without fertility treatment – for couples with unexplained infertility

The duration of infertility is important. The longer the infertility, the less likely the couple is to conceive on their own. After 5 years of infertility, a couple with unexplained infertility has less than a 10% chance for success on their own.

One study showed that for couples with unexplained infertility and over 3 years of trying on their own, the cumulative pregnancy rate after 24 months of attempting conception without any treatment was 28%. This number was found to be reduced by 10% for each year that the female is over 31.

(Reference: Collins, JA, and Rowe, TC. Fertility and Sterility 1989;[52:15]-20.)

According to verywellfamily.com.

I found the following quite interesting, and I would strongly suggest you check out the site, but listen to this: they seem to believe there is a fundamental difference between two terms that seem to be used interchangeably:

Unexplained Infertility vs. Idiopathic Female or Male Infertility

They say,

It’s important to clarify that unexplained infertility is not the same as idiopathic female or male infertility.

Idiopathic means unexplained. But when a doctor talks about idiopathic male infertility, for example, they have already determined the man is infertile. His semen analysis results were not normal.

Why are the semen analysis results not normal? That may not be known. If the doctor can’t determine the cause, they may say he has idiopathic male infertile.

Idiopathic female infertility may occur when a woman isn’t ovulating regularly or normally, but it’s unclear why ovulation isn’t happening when it should.

In both of the examples above, it’s known why the couple can’t conceive—she isn’t ovulating, or his semen isn’t in the fertile range.

With unexplained infertility, the eggs are coming, the sperm are fine, but the couple still isn’t getting pregnant.

So that’s the bottom line with regards to the term or terms: unexplained infertility and idiopathic infertility. But as I researched whichever term you want to use, I will call it unexplained infertility to keep it simple, I started reading about secondary diseases that can cause infertility. Like Celiac Disease for instance!  The link to that article is in the show notes.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/celiac-disease-and-infertility-562998

So, if you are dealing with any other disease, or think you may be, it may be a great idea to speak with your doctor about the possibility of a secondary disease interfering with your fertility. And remember, get a second opinion.

The issue of Celiac Disease also came up in Heather Huhman’s HuffPost article. I put the link in the show notes.  I am not going into detail on Celiac Disease here because the episode is not about that, but about unexplained infertility. But I strongly suggest you read up on it if you have been diagnosed or suspect you have the condition.  

I’m listing the episode link below because some of my research for this episode included information from Heather Huhman:

http://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-58-pcos-polycystic-ovarian-syndrome/

Some other interesting things I found out in my research: Google

‘Not enough water, not drinking enough water — or drinking too many unhealthy beverages like sodas, coffee or alcohol — can lead to dehydration and negative effects upon your fertility… –Apr 21, 2015’

‘Ginger Ginger is an incredible food that reduces inflammatory responses in the body (good for fertility) and encourages healthy, gentle, detoxification (good for fertility). It also helps in overall digestion, which increases your ability to nourish yourself. Mar 28, 2017’

There were more suggestions on foods, herbs, and nutrition in general. I will let you do the research on that as we are all different and different things work for different people.  And I do not want to get bogged down in sounding like I am suggesting a cure for infertility.

Articles of note:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201806050128.html

Articles on idiopathic infertility:

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/infertility

https://www.thebump.com/a/celiac-disease-during-pregnancy

http://www.winfertility.com/a-success-story-pregnant-after-unexplained-infertility/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252824.php

https://www.advancedfertility.com/unexplai.htm

https://www.verywellfamily.com/explanations-for-unexplained-infertility-4081776

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-huhman/5-frustrating-facts-about_b_7632640.html

https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/what-is-celiac-disease/

My contact information:

Website: http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com

Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan
Twitter: @civilla1
Instagram: @joyandrelevance
Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM
LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM


Please help me out by taking this very short survey!
https://survey.libsyn.com/21stcenturyhannah


Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice. I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!

‘To recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.’

 

‘Spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life’.

Episode 88–Finding Hope Today, My interview with Licensed Therapist Christy Jordan

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.  Civilla Morgan here! I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.

   

  • Patreon Contributors: (Patreon contributors are those who have taken an interest in my platform whether they fit the childless not by choice demographic or not. They have decided to contribute a certain dollar amount on a regular basis to help fund my dream of creating awareness and conversation for the childless not by choice community globally. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

 

https://www.patreon.com/21stcenturyhannah

 

  • Jordan Morgan

Well, we have a special guest today!

Introduce Christy:

Christy Jordan is a certified addictions professional and mental health counselor with over 10 years experiencing working with individuals, families, and couples.  Her focus is helping others find hope to overcome life’s obstacles and creating a life without bondage whether that is in their relationships or as individuals. She provided office and online sessions based on clients needs working with clients internationally and locally.  Her website is http://www.findinghopetoday.com where you may contact her directly, or find more information on her experience and expertise.

 

Welcome, Christy:

Well, let’s jump into the questions!  

1)My question for the therapist is about intimacy in marriage.  Now that my husband and I are working on accepting our childlessness, it feels like intimacy is no longer a priority.  I sometimes feel like he finds other things (work, hobbies) to keep himself occupied. I understand that this may be part of the grief process but my question is… as a couple, how do we keep the intimacy and communication alive in the marriage while we adjust/ accept our CNBC status?

2a) Is when as a couple you get to the point of realizing it really is not going to happen and “you are an empty nester without ever being a nester” how do you keep it all alive?  

2b) How does a couple transition into the “new and different dreams”?  Is it just easier said than done?


3) How do you let go of any resentment towards yourself because you are the reason as a couple there are no kids.

4) Another question from one of the group members: Can you talk to us about how legacy looks for the childless not by choice woman, man, couple?

4a) Can you talk about the consideration for divorce when a spouse refuses to consider adoption?

5a) How do you stop thinking if there will be anyone to take care of you?

5b) Will you ever find lasting peace with your CNBC journey?

Christy’s contact information:

http://www.findinghopetoday.com

Books and other resources recommended by Christy:

‘The Bondage Breaker’, by Neil T. Anderson

‘Communication, Sex, Money’-Edwin Louis Cole

‘Boundaries in Marriage–(great for communication strategies), by Dr. Henry Cloud

Also…

Dale Partridge has a great blog and teachings on purpose and legacy

 

Thought Redirection Techniques (these are third party websites, and in no way connected with the Childless not by Choice platform. These sites are listed here solely to help you find additional assistance in mindset and thought process on  your childless not by choice journey.)  

https://mrsmindfulness.com/the-four-keys-to-overcoming-negative-thinkingfor-good/

 

https://learnevolveandthrive.com/how-to-redirect-your-thoughts-when-you-experience-emotional-pain/

 

https://chopra.com/articles/the-art-of-redirecting-negative-thoughts

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.’–Philippians 4:8.

 

My contact information:

Website: http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com
Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan
Twitter: @civilla1
Instagram: @joyandrelevance
Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM
LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM


Please help me out by taking this very short survey!
https://survey.libsyn.com/21stcenturyhannah


Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice.

I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!

 

‘To recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.’

Spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life’.

Episode 87–Post-Mother’s Day Monologue, How did you do?

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.  Civilla Morgan here! I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.

 

  • Patreon Contributors: (Patreon contributors are those who have taken an interest in my platform whether they fit the childless not by choice demographic or not. They have decided to contribute a certain dollar amount on a regular basis to help fund my dream of creating awareness and conversation for the childless not by choice community globally. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

 

https://www.patreon.com/21stcenturyhannah

 

  • Jordan Morgan

Well, this is a short post-Mother’s Day episode where I stop by to catch up with you. How did you do? I hope all went well. 

We are always thankful that our moms are recognized. But there is that dread because there is no one to call us mommy. That elephant in the room!

Be sure to check out the tips, ‘ Self-care tips for the childless not by choice woman on Mother’s Day’.

Other episodes mentioned in this episode:

http://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-65-my-interview-with-mrs-maureen-hornstein/

http://childlessnotbychoice.net/childless-not-by-choice-shame/

http://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-86-longing-for-motherhood-holding-onto-hope-in-the-midst-of-childlessness-my-interview-with-chelsea-patterson-sobolik/

We have that internal battle going on, negative thoughts and feelings, society’s norms, how others feel about us, other people imposing their opinions on us.

If Mother’s Day didn’t go so well this year, there is always next year!

There are so many childless not by choice platforms.  I don’t want you to feel like there are no resources out there like I felt when I first realized I would not be having any children.

Global conversation for and about the of the childless not by choice demographic is taking place!

My contact information:

Website: http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com

Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan
Twitter: @civilla1
Instagram: @joyandrelevance
Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM
LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM


Please help me out by taking this very short survey!


https://survey.libsyn.com/21stcenturyhannah


Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice.

I appreciate it!

 

‘To recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.’

Spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life’.

Until next time! Bye!

Episode 86–‘Longing for Motherhood, Holding onto hope in the midst of childlessness’, My Interview with Chelsea Patterson Sobolik

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.  Civilla Morgan here! I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.

  • Patreon Contributors: (Patreon contributors are those who have taken an interest in my platform whether they fit the childless not by choice demographic or not. They have decided to contribute a certain dollar amount on a regular basis to help fund my dream of creating awareness and conversation for the childless not by choice community globally. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

https://www.patreon.com/21stcenturyhannah

  • Jordan Morgan

Well, today we have a special guest!

Intro: Chelsea Patterson Sobolik says about herself, ‘There are many ways I could describe myself – wife, author, Congressional staffer, daughter, friend, lover of coffee, fresh flowers, and acoustic music, but the most important thing to know about me is that my heart, mind, and soul belong to my Savior, Jesus Christ. He saved my soul from the eternal separation that I rightly deserve due to my sin, adopted me, redeemed me and calls me His own.

When I’m not writing, I’m working my full-time job, as a Legislative Assistant on child welfare policy on Capitol Hill – basically, I get to help work on policies that would make adoption and foster care better, and help improve the lives of children.

My heart lights on fire whenever I get to write or talk about adoption! A large part of that stems from the fact that I was adopted from Bucharest, Romania as a child. Apart from my salvation, being adopted is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. I grew up in North Carolina, with five adopted siblings from Eastern Europe!  I am a graduate of Liberty University.

My husband Michael and I call Washington D.C. home as of a couple of years ago, and it’s been the adventure of a lifetime. While I do miss parts of the south – for instance, people smiling at me and being generally more kind, D.C. quickly became home. I live on Capitol Hill, just a few blocks away from the Capitol, and  I work for one of my heroes. DC stole my heart, and I love getting to do life here.

Welcome, Chelsea!

Well, I think I wrote down 20 questions and points that stood out to me as I read your book. It was so hard to pull out just a few. But let’s get started!

  1. The Gospel Coalition website has a blog post you wrote back in January 2017.  I’ve put the link to that post in the show notes under your contact information. But some of us were not able to adopt.

In fact ‘why don’t you just adopt’ is a question every childless not by choice woman I know has been asked.

It’s actually a pet peeve in the childless not by choice community, because if we had wanted to or were able to adopt, we would have.

The average adoption these days is about $30k. Your job description is to work ‘as a Legislative Assistant on child welfare policy on Capitol Hill – basically, I get to help work on policies that would make adoption and foster care better, and help improve the lives of children.’

Was that on purpose? Do you ever have moments when you feel left out?

2) As I read the foreword to your book ‘Longing for Motherhood, the author of the foreword said, he ‘fully expects that sometime after this book is published and in your hands, Chelsea will, in fact, find herself a mother of children…but if not, she is not deprived.’ I had to read that a couple of times…but I was a little confused, especially after reading the reason for your childlessness–Mayer–Rokitansky–Küster–Hauser syndrome (MRKH). I even wondered if he referred to your job of helping to make the adoption process easier?  

3) I recognized so many parallels between your experience and mine as I read your book. Grief is truly a globally felt and understood, or maybe I should say misunderstood, language; regardless of anything else that may differentiate us.  I begged and bargained with God. I told my mom she has five children of her own, and that she did not really understand my pain. Grief made me angry. Would you speak to the woman who is currently in the midst of the anger phase of her grief?  

4) In the chapter, ‘Equipping the church to care for the childless’,  Thank you by the way, for highlighting the fact that some women are not only childless, we are husbandless. It’s what I like to call the double whammy. What do you think it will take to get the church to realize that the congregation is now more than ever, made up of more than mom, dad, and kids, but that there are single never married people, there are widowed people, there are childless people?

5)  In chapter two, you talked about redeeming the dead time in the day. It is so important to protect our thought life, isn’t it?

6) You mention that it is OK not to be OK. Can you encourage the woman or man out there, that is not feeling OK and wonders how to get through those feelings?

7) Well, as I mentioned in the beginning, I had so many notes, but as we wrap up, would you leave us with a word of encouragement with something you said in chapter 3: ‘your trials have an expiration date?

8) Chelsea, thank you so much for your time today. You are speaking to women and men who listen all around the world. You have a global audience. Is there anything else you would like to add that we should have covered?  

Thank you for your time today Chelsea!

Chelsea’s contact information:

Website: http://www.chelseapattersonsobolik.com

Book: ‘Longing for Motherhood, Holding onto Hope in the Midst of Childlessness’

Blog posts:

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/today-is-my-birthday-because-my-mom-chose-life/

(January 2017)

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/profile/chelsea-patterson/

“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.” Elisabeth Elliot

Books suggested by Chelsea:

‘The Broken Way’, by Ann Voskamp

‘Spiritual Depression’, by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Articles and links of note:

If you have not listened yet, below is a link to my episode ‘Adopt for the Right Reasons’

http://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-82-adopt-for-the-right-reasons/

My contact information:

Website: http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com

Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan

Twitter: @civilla1

Instagram: @joyandrelevance

Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM

LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM

Please help me out by taking this very short survey!

https://survey.libsyn.com/21stcenturyhannah

Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice.

I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!

I have infertility, but infertility does not have me!

During one of Civilla Morgan’s podcast episodes, I listened as she described writing a list in 2016 of goals she wanted to accomplish in 2017. I like listening to her podcast, the sound of her joyful laughter; and her assurance that a childless not by choice woman can certainly choose to live a relevant and joyful life. There is something special about making a willful choice to be happy, even when there isn’t much to be happy about. 

It caused me to think, and a flash of brilliance lit up my face with a smile! I must tell you what made me smile!

I’ve got infertility, but infertility doesn’t have me – I saw a glimpse of myself in the future, winning the struggle against infertility. NO, I am not going to have a child, adopt, or stop being childless. My triumph is available another way. Before today, I hadn’t seen it.

I have an Aunt, my father’s sister, who suffered PCOS every bit as much as I do. She was able to bear 2 sons with her husband, before their divorce. Eighteen years ago, when I was diagnosed, I reached out to her for advice, but rather than offering me love and guidance, she turned away. Her answer was silence.

Of all my family members, she completely understood the excruciating abdominal cramps, the heavy blood loss tormenting me, but she chose not to use her own experience to help me in any fashion. Even today, my efforts to reach out to her are in vain. I have come to accept her decision. 

My triumph over infertility is to become a loved, trusted, Aunt. I will respond far differently than my aunt did if any of my nieces develop any form of infertility, or my nephews marry women suffering from infertility. I want to live my life so joyfully, that if my nieces must be infertile, they can watch me with admiration and think to themselves, ‘It didn’t break Aunt Carol, and I won’t let it break me, either!’

I am thinking long-term. A decade from now, my nieces will be young teenagers experiencing puberty. Whatever changes are necessary to achieve my goal of meeting this challenge – I will do, and with determination and perseverance.

My Aunt had a golden opportunity to become my heroine, my role model. Her choice to pass up the chance means I get to be the heroine of the story, ladies! I get to create the list of ways I wish she had been available to me and to tailor my behavior to achieve every item on that list, as regards my nieces and nephews.

As I said . . . I have infertility, but as of today, infertility DOES NOT have me!

Rubbing salt into the wound

Years ago, when I was still trying to hang onto hope, I did everything my OB/GYN suggested. One of those things was to take an injection that was available in a monthly or 90-day dose. I tried both doses. The medication was used to dissolve fibroids.  It didn’t do much for me. And unfortunately, one of the side effects of this medication was menopausal symptoms. I called it man-made menopause.

I had hot flashes, mood swings, depression, and sadness. But I believe the depression and sadness were mostly due to the drama of hanging on, buying time, while waiting to meet Mr. Right. I had considered IVF and I made two attempts at adoption. But I decided against IVF because it was too expensive and because my mom compelled me not to take that avenue.

But I was desperate.  God was not answering my prayers. The prayers I sent up to him for more than a decade. I became so desperate that I begged him to forgive me for whatever sins I had committed.  I asked him to forgive my family for any generational curses that were causing these cursed fibroids. I bargained with him. I begged him for a husband, I begged him for a child.

Silence.

The silence was deafening. Sometimes I would feel Him impressing upon my heart that everything would be alright. But as far as I was concerned, it was not. I wanted a child. Nothing would ever be alright without a child.

Mr. Right never showed up, I never had the baby, and I ended up having to have a hysterectomy.

Silence.

Now I am going through natural menopause. It is nowhere near as bad as the man-made menopause. I am not depressed and I am not having mood swings, but the incessant flushing is almost impossible to bear. It feels like salt is being rubbed into the wound. The wound of everything I endured. How many people do you know who have gone through menopause twice?   

They say God will not give us any more than we can bear, but honestly, I believe that is just a saying.

I am not whining, because many people around the world, children, and adults alike, are enduring unbelievable grief and sadness. As a fellow human being, I think about people around the world on a regular basis. I think about childless women, I think about abandoned and enslaved children, and I wonder what I can do to make things better for them, for others.

The fact is, although my heart is broken, it is healing. Although nothing that breaks will ever be the same again; whether we are talking about broken china, a broken leg, or a broken heart. They will never be completely brand new. But they will be functional. And the level of functionality depends on use. We can walk on a leg that was broken after it is healed, and we should.  Using the leg increases its functionality. We can use broken china after it is glued if only to put or keep it on display.  We can function with a broken heart if we push through the hurt and help others.  In each of those cases, a choice had to be made.  

We have to choose to function with the broken heart. There is a lot to be done in this world. And I believe we can do our part broken and healed.      

Episode 83–Infertility and STD’s

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless, not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.  Civilla Morgan here!

I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.

I would like to thank my Patreon contributor.

  • Patreon Contributors: (Patreon contributors are those who have taken an interest in my platform whether they fit the childless not by choice demographic or not. They have decided to contribute a certain dollar amount on a regular basis to help fund my dream of creating awareness and conversation for the childless not by choice community globally. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

https://www.patreon.com/21stcenturyhannah

  • Jordan Morgan

 

Please note: this episode contains mature content.

Well, I decided to do an episode on this subject matter after hearing about this issue on one of my favorite podcasts. I was shocked to find out that a historical figure they mentioned had contracted a sexually transmitted disease and that his wife had several pregnancy losses before eventually having multiple healthy children.

I will not mention the names of these people because this episode is not about them. This episode is for and about the families affected by and most probably not even aware that, STD’s are why the miscarriages and other physical issues are happening.

Please know that I am not condemning anyone. I am simply creating awareness. I want you to know the facts so that you know how to take next steps, how to speak with your spouse and to your doctors in an educated manner. In fact, I am discussing this issue so that you are not possibly spinning your wheels.

Honestly, my heart broke as I heard about this family. And my heart broke as I did the research for this episode. The statistics were earth-shattering.  Can you imagine a woman not realizing the reason she may not be conceiving, or the reason she may be miscarrying could be due to an STD? How very, very sad.

Yet another possible speed bump on the journey towards the chance of having a child, for those of you, still trying. But as the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power.’ When you obtain the knowledge, then there is the possibility of a fix, an adjustment; to zig instead of zag.

OK, let’s jump right into the subject at hand:

After hearing of the plight of the aforementioned family, I started researching the possibility of STD’s creating problems for those attempting to get pregnant. And this is the first thing I found in my Google search:

Quote, ‘Chlamydia and gonorrhea are important preventable causes of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility. Untreated, about 10-15% of women with chlamydia will develop PID. Chlamydia can also cause fallopian tube infection without any symptoms. … Most women infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea have no symptoms.’ —Google, October 6, 2017.

As I continued my research, I went to the WHO website, and

According to the WHO, here are some key facts from their Media Centre site:

WHO—World Health Organization Key facts: (From the Media Centre site)

  • More than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide.
  • Each year, there are an estimated 357 million new infections with 1 of 4 STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis (pronounced trekomoniasis).
  • More than 500 million people are estimated to have genital infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV).
  • More than 290 million women have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection1.
  • The majority of STIs have no symptoms or only mild symptoms that may not be recognized as an STI. (I believe that is why many women do not realize this is why they keep miscarrying)
  • STIs such as HSV type 2 and syphilis can increase the risk of HIV acquisition.
  • Over 900 000 pregnant women were infected with syphilis resulting in approximately 350 000 adverse birth outcomes including stillbirth in 20122.
  • In some cases, STIs can have serious reproductive health consequences beyond the immediate impact of the infection itself (e.g., infertility or mother-to-child transmission)
  • Drug resistance, especially for gonorrhea, is a major threat to reducing the impact of STIs worldwide.

What can you do personally to protect yourself from being a part of these statistics?

  • Your sexual health is important—just as important as any other aspect of your health. I know that depending on where in the world you are, some of you have more management over your lives than others, but whatever you can do to protect yourself, please do so.

Next:

  • Have a heart to heart with your spouse—whether it is on this subject matter or infertility in general. Make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to next steps. Being able to do this protects both of you from false expectations. Communication is key. And it does not make sense for only one of you to get checked if that is what you decide to do.
  • Finally, continue your own research. Only you can decide what your final decision will be. Now that you have the knowledge, use it in wisdom.

Media Centre fact sheet site:

‘What are sexually transmitted infections and how are they transmitted?’

‘Prevention of STIs’

‘Diagnosis of STIs’

Treatment of STIs

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPRH/Resources/STINoteFINAL26Feb08.pdf–See page five of this World Bank PDF to see the global map of how STD’s present.

Research links used for this episode:

https://www.cdc.gov/std/infertility/default.htm

Check out this CDC PDF for details on the CDC’s spotlight on STD’s:

https://www.cdc.gov/std/dstdp/dstdp-stakeholder-report-design_web.pdf

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs110/en/

http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/statistics/

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPRH/Resources/STINoteFINAL26Feb08.pdf

Articles of interest:

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/article/2001273738/outspoken-mp-millie-odhiambo-opens-up-on-not-having-a-child-her-wish-to-have-one-by-55

 

My contact information:

Website: http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com

Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan

Twitter: @civilla1

Instagram: @joyandrelevance

Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM

LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM

Please help me out by taking this very short survey!

https://survey.libsyn.com/21stcenturyhannah

Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice. I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!

You are not alone!

When I sought out an online support group to help me with my emotions, I had been dealing with them a very long time.  It was long overdue, and I had not been honest with myself about how I truly felt inside. Here is a bit of my story.

At the start of my adulthood, I spent 10 years with a very good man.  We were together from the ages of 20 to 30. We were both very career oriented, had great social lives, and were not thinking about children.  When I graduated from University, I wanted to invest in my work and my future. I felt if I had children young, it could interfere. In a way, it was a good decision, because after 10 years the relationship ended.  It was not an easy time, but it was the right choice. When a couple grows up together, sometimes their paths diverge. We parted ways.

After the split, I spent several years alone before I met my husband who has two sons to whom I am a step-mother.  I have a good relationship with them thankfully, of course with normal family ups and downs. They love me and accept me as family.  At the end of the day, however, I am not their mom and I will never expect to cultivate that type of attachment with them.  I am grateful that they are in my life, and I will always love them.

Despite having my husband’s sons in my life, my husband and I tried to have a child together.  It was a difficult decision for him as his kids were older, but he knew how important this was for me, and so he agreed. 

I could take you through a long story of miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy, and emergency surgery. For those who find themselves interested in this content, you have probably gone through these experiences yourselves, but for the reader who has not had to deal with childlessness, l will spare you the difficult details.

At first, I was very pragmatic about it all.  The body has a way of eliminating pregnancies that have complications.  I rationalized it. Miscarriage was nature’s way of fixing things. I could intellectualize and accept these facts, so we kept trying.  After all, miscarriages are common, even if women do not seem to talk about them much. I have a great OB/GYN who was very supportive and encouraging.  As time went on, however, and as my age advanced, it became clear that perhaps this wasn’t in the cards for us.

After the final loss, which came with middle of the night life-saving surgery, I made the decision that I was done trying.  Between my age, health, and emotional response, it was time to accept things and move forward. It was not a hard decision. It was the right one for me as it came easily because I knew it was time to stop trying.  At least I told myself that I was good and forged ahead with life.

What I did not realize was that in my bid to be strong, positive, and constructive with my life – as my own mother had always taught me to be through strife – a grief sat inside me that I ignored.  I had feelings of fear, envy, disappointment, and sometimes anger. I pushed that all down inside. I would not accept self-pity. I have a wonderful husband, a fabulous career doing what I love, friends and family around me…there was NO reason for me to dwell.  While I told myself I was moving forward, those emotions stood still inside me, like an airplane in a holding pattern waiting to land. 

Eventually, those emotions started to make themselves known more easily.  If I saw a commercial for baby food or diapers, I would start to cry, sometimes even sob.  Commercials about healthy eating and being role models to children would make me change the channel immediately.  Anything that had to do with parenting suddenly brought those emotions to the surface and they were intense. Because I ignored them for so long, the emotions were almost explosive.  I was alone at home one night watching a movie about a woman who had a miscarriage. I broke down and realized, the feelings weren’t going away. As hard as I tried to accept and to be strong, I had to give these feelings their space and to deal with them.

That’s when I started to look for a support group. 

I needed to connect with others in order validate that this was not just me dwelling on things or feeling sorry for myself.  As I began my search for people sharing similar experiences of childlessness, I quickly found Childless not by Choice with Civilla Morgan. Immediately, I realized how many women go through this very challenging life outcome.  I read story after story of women feeling EXACTLY like I did! I was not alone, and I had felt completely alone for so long – by my own doing I might add, as I refused to even discuss my journey with anyone. Reading the posts of other women as they shared the very emotions that I was struggling with was incredibly impactful.  It lightened the burden somehow.

These emotions, the loss, the mourning, it’s all very personal.  But that does not mean that there isn’t a group out there that cannot at least share, even if indirectly, with your pain.  That is the point of this very short blog. If you are reading this, and continue to keep those emotions to yourself, being strong, being an Island…stop.  Reach out, even if just to read about others, and to support them too. Helping others helps us heal, and others want to do the same by supporting us. There are no circumstances in the world that are so unique that someone isn’t there to share or want you to share and empathize.

If you have ever flown on a plane, the flight attendants always say that if the oxygen mask comes down out of the panel above you, that you should always put your mask on first, before helping others.  This is true when it comes to problems in life. You cannot help others if you do not help yourself first. I’ve learned that now, and I am so much better for it. Still sad, and some days still struggle, but never again alone.

 

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