childlessness

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

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LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM

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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.

 

Childlessness is not what defines me

‘It takes a village to a raise a child.’ – African Proverb

I think a lot of kids grow up playing house and dreaming that someday they will have children of their own.  As a child, I believed the same.  The oldest of eight children, I grew up in a religion that is very family oriented. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I, of course, said a mom.

In 1999, I married a wonderful man. We decided to wait a bit before children. But a few years later I found out my lower back was broken, and I would never be able to carry a child. I was heartbroken, and became angry and bitter, crying when people told me they were pregnant. Mother’s Day was very hard, and I dreaded the question ‘when are you having children?’ I was frustrated with God for giving me a broken body.

One day I prayed and asked God to provide me the opportunity to influence a child. I knew I would have been a good mother and had so much to offer children. Be careful what you pray for. At the time, I was so focused on me and my sadness I did not stop to think how many children I was already helping.

Looking back on who influenced who I am today, yes, my parents did. But it was also church leaders, teachers, aunts, and uncles. I decided I wanted to be that person in someone else’s life. That decision lead me to start a small business teaching children to sew. I am a 5th-grade teachers aide and I also help in the after school 4-H program teaching sewing. 

I help in my local church groups. And I know I make a difference in the children’s lives. They have taught me that helping any child is a huge blessing, and doing so has filled that void for me.

It does take a village to raise a child. There was a choice to be made. I could either spend my life angry or be part of that village. I believe it is a blessing to help any child we encounter.
And I also realized being angry at others who have children, or angry at children isn’t how I wanted to live.  Just because I can’t have children does not mean others should not.  A child that I bare does not define me. How I treat other people and children does define me.

Today, I have a good life with my husband and two fur babies. Is every day easy? No, but I am learning to love me and the life that I have.

Living with Endometriosis

Click the link below for details on living with Endometriosis.

10 Tips for living with Endometriosis

 

http://Be sure it is indeed Endometriosis. Get a second opinion as it has sometimes been diagnosed as IBS—irritable bowel syndrome, among other things.

I am posting the following links so that you can do additional research if you would like. These links can also be found in the show notes of Episode 59—Endometriosis:

 

Civilla M. Morgan

civilla@civillamorgan.com

www.childlessnotbychoice.net

Podcast: Childless not by Choice

Copyright 2017©

(Please do not share or make changes to this information.)

August/September 2017

Tips For Coping With Miscarriage

Click the link below for tips on coping with miscarriage.

10 Tips for Coping with Miscarriage

 

 

Visit these websites for further research: (these links and more information is also available in the show notes of Episode 60—Miscarriage) 

https://www.verywell.com/making-sense-of-miscarriage-statistics-2371721

https://search.cdc.gov/search?query=miscarriage&utf8=%E2%9C%93&affiliate=cdc-main

These podcast episodes may help as you navigate through miscarriage:  

http://childlessnotbychoice.net/mental-health-in-the-childless-not-by-choice-community-my-interview-with-psychologist-dr-shari-ann-james/

 http://childlessnotbychoice.net/menopause-infertility-childlessness-my-interview-with-dr-emine-cay-masters/

 

Civilla M. Morgan

civilla@civillamorgan.com

www.childlessnotbychoice.net

Podcast: Childless not by Choice

Copyright 2017©

(Please do not share or make changes to this information.)

August/September 2017

Facebook.com/childlessnotbychoice
Twitter=@civilla1
Instagram= @joyand relevance
Pinterest=Civilla M. Morgan

 

Tips for coping with Fibroids:

Click here for more information on how to cope with Fibroids! 

 

 

Civilla M. Morgan

civilla@civillamorgan.com

www.childlessnotbychoice.net

Podcast: Childless not by Choice

Copyright 2017©

(Please do not share or make changes to this information.)

August/September 2017

Facebook.com/childlessnotbychoice
Twitter=@civilla1
Instagram= @joyand relevance
Pinterest=Civilla M. Morgan

 

 

Is Childlessness a Crisis?

What does crisis mode mean to you? I believe it means something bad has happened or is about to happen to an individual or group of people.

I Googled the word Crisis, and this is what I found:

  • a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.
  • “a crisis point of history”a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.
  • The turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death.

That last point is intense.  ‘…indicating either recovery or death.’ Death is not always literal. Do you think a woman who finds out she will never have a child could go into crisis mode? Do you think she could die without dying, just checking out of the rest of her life?

I asked that question on Reddit, ‘could finding out you will not be able to have children send you into crisis mode?’ I got one response: ‘humbly, no.’

I respect that opinion. But I believe we are all guilty of the fact that we do not think deeply enough about most issues or most questions we are asked.  To be fair, I did not ask this on Reddit, but what if the woman’s marriage, livelihood, even her safety, depends on whether she had a child or not? Could it be a crisis then? 

Consider this: A landslide in a faraway land killing hundreds of people is sad. We feel bad for the survivors who lost loved ones and now must rebuild. But unless we were in the middle of that landslide, feeling bad about the situation is about all we can do. Jumping on a plane and going to help any way we could, might be a bit much and most likely unaffordable for most of us.  Besides, isn’t that what organizations like The Red Cross is for?

If we think about all the very sad and scary situations going on in the world right now, we could become overwhelmed, maybe even immobilized or depressed, right? Don’t we have enough to deal with in our own lives?

By now you are probably asking ‘what does she want me to do about any of the world’s situations, or about the woman who cannot have children? Good question, because really, what can you do. It is her problem. We can feel sorry for her, but that would be about all we could do. And besides, how is a woman in danger because she cannot have children, why would she be in danger just from being childless?

Most of us do not realize that in 2017, it could be dangerous for a woman to not be able to bear a child.  Living in the Western world, a childless woman can, for the most part, go through life unscathed by the shame, fear, and stigma of being childless.  She would most likely not be beaten by her husband, divorced, or shamed by her husband’s family.  

Sometimes we miss what is going on in the rest of the world because we are just too busy with our own lives. And to be fair, that is a worldwide phenomenon.  We think the rest of the world operates like our world, our country.  And honestly, most times we just cannot be concerned with an issue that does not resonate with us.  That may be viewed as selfish, but I do not think that is the case. Life is short, and we just cannot pick up the sword for every cause.

But may I suggest that though we cannot pay attention to every issue, every cause, that we can at least be aware. We can put ourselves in that person’s shoes even as we go about our day and about our lives.  We could at least empathize. I believe awareness and empathy make us more human.  And being more human makes us less mean, less hateful, and even less scornful.

Scorn. Not a word we hear very often. But it tends to happen when we look down on someone who does not could not have the thing or things we have, with contempt.  The thing about contempt is that life has a way of taking turns.  We could end up in the very situation for which we had contempt.

May I suggest that as we make our way through life, let us remember to be kind, empathetic, and aware.

I Feel Like a Fraud

‘I feel like a fraud.’ That’s what I told my brother. And that’s what I told a very good friend of mine. It was a few days after Mother’s Day here in the US. I had been afraid to verbalize it to anyone because I wasn’t sure what reaction I would get.

How could I possibly be two years into building a platform created to help women who are childless not by choice feel better about themselves? Feel better about their lives? Many of you know, my byline: ‘Living a joyful and relevant life although childless not by choice.’

It all started a few days before Mother’s Day. It always does. I thought I had gotten over the feelings of loss enough to make it through Mother’s Day without feeling like a second-class citizen when the pastor asked all the mothers to stand, as I remained seated. It’s a feeling only childless not by choice women could understand. At least the ones who are not over the pain. Because I hear tell there are childless not by choice women who are ‘over it’.

My brother said, ‘maybe one day you will realize how many people you have helped.’ He just could not understand how I could feel this way after telling him how the platform was finally taking a hold and growing.

My good friend said ‘you are not a fraud. Your primary audience is the women who feel the way you do. How could you talk to them if you did not understand how they feel?’ Then she recounted the multiple organizations and platforms that were created out of someone’s grief. I understood what she was saying. I understood what they both were saying. But will there ever come a Mother’s Day when my heart will be OK with remaining seated while all around me mothers stand up and accept their due recognition? 

How could I possibly encourage childless not by choice people when my heart still breaks on Mother’s Day. It’s not too bad the other 364 days of the year. And I do not want to dim the light of recognition for mothers. After all, I have a mother. And every day I am thankful for her. But the fact is, the way God answered my prayers, my begging, my deal-making, was to not answer. Healing did not come. The adoption did not come. Honestly, I would have been more than OK with never marrying if I had had the child. But to hit a brick wall every turn I took was hard. 

How am I supposed to convince other women that we can live relevant and joyful lives when I still battle sadness and a broken heart? How could I not be a fraud? But  I am not. I am not because I battle those feelings and I help the childless not by choice anyway demographic anyway. When I battle and help, I am being transparent. And there is no such thing as a transparent fraud.

 

Childless not by Choice? Fight The Urge!

It can sometimes be difficult to watch others so easily get what you have begged, prayed, even bargained with God for.  Negative thoughts and feelings can start to creep in, and start to overstay their welcome.  And before you know it, the wrong comment at the wrong time could create an unwanted firestorm!

Allowing negative thoughts and feelings such as jealousy, envy, bitterness, and even hate; can create an emptiness inside.  Life is too short to allow this negativity to live inside you.

 Good news! You have all the control within you to fight those thoughts and feelings. You must fight them! But please know it boils down to choice. To live your best, most relevant and joyful life, you have to choose to deal with and manage your emotions and feelings.

These feelings are real. Every emotion and feeling is real. There have been many moments in my life when I had to fight back the tears. But I did not get envious or jealous. I never wanted what the other person had, I just wanted what I thought I deserved.  What I did do was to question God a lot. ‘Why not me?’ ‘What did I do to deserve this childlessness?’ ‘What is so wrong with wanting a child?’ ‘Why was it so difficult for my prayers to be answered?’

I finally decided that entertaining negative emotions and feelings would not help in the long run. I realized that having children is something that is typically taken for granted. But I could not allow how easily children came to others, to affect my heart and my mind. I had to choose.   

Choose instead, to entertain good, positive, self-affirming thoughts instead of the negative ones.  Choose instead to manage your thoughts and feelings. Choose instead, to think about the good in your life although you did not get the children you wanted. Life did not work out the way you expected, but there is some amount of good happening for you. If there isn’t, create it! You have the power to do so!

Creating and living your best, most joyful life is your role. No one else can do that for you. Observing or envying the life of another woman is not healthy or good.  And you do not need to live a negative, subpar life. Fight the negativity. Choose life.

Menopause, Infertility, Childlessness, My Interview with Dr. Emine Cay Masters

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by! In this episode I have the great opportunity to interview Board Certified OB-Gyn Doctor Emine Cay Masters. Dr. Masters is Georgetown educated and brings her extensive knowledge and experience to this interview. But this interview is just the tip of the iceberg. To get the full gamut of her knowledge, I strongly suggest buying her book, Mastering Menopause. Her book is available on Amazon in hard copy and on Kindle. So no matter where in the world you are, you may order the hard copy or download the book electronically. I truly believe this book is a must have, a desk reference.

As you listen to this episode, you will hear how we naturally progress from one subject-matter to the next, answering questions that run the full gamut from menopause, to childlessness, to women’s social issues worldwide.  See below for information on how to contact Dr. Masters. And below her information, I will post my contact information!

I know you will find value in this interview, and I hope you will share it with others.

Thank you!

Dr. Masters’ contact information:      

http://www.masteringmenopause.com

Book: Mastering Menopause, by Dr. Emine Cay Masters (can be found on http://www.amazon.com in hard copy or Kindle format.)

My contact information:

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

Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan

Twitter: @civilla1

Instagram: @civilla1

Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM

LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM

Blab: @civilla1

 

Childless not by Choice? Conversations

Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by! In this episode, I talk about the conversations I have had with various people about their journey through the world of childlessness. In particular I discuss, in general terms, a recent conversation I had.

I also thank my sponsors and supporters in this episode. This will be the first episode where their logos/links will appear at the footer of my website, http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net. I am so excited to be able to promote them on my website, and thankful that they trust and believe in my platform, my dream.

I also discuss the fact that it is important to seek assistance when we have been through trauma. And childlessness not by choice is trauma.  Trauma is anything bad that was unexpected and unwanted. Bottom line.  Speak to someone you trust, do not keep your thoughts and feelings bottled up. It will hurt you from the inside out.

Contact information:

Email: civilla@civillamorgan.com

Website: childlessnotbychoice.net

Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan

Twitter: @civilla1

Instagram: @civilla1

Childless not by Choice? Go Straight to the Source

Hello listeners! Thank you for tuning in once again! It is truly appreciated! 

Today’s episode is right around 25 minutes, and I believe it will be a word of encouragement for everyone who listens.  It is all about choice. You all know I talk about choice quite a bit.  As women childless not by choice, we have to choose to have a good day no matter what we may run into. Decide, choose.

EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK. EVERYTHING IS OK. ALL IS WELL! ALL IS WELL!

I really like this episode. I mean, I like all of my episodes. They were all created for someone, to help someone. But honestly, I believe I am growing, and that’s what we should be doing right? I’m growing, my episodes are growing, and I am glad!

What is your source of comfort? Who is your source of comfort? Go to the source. 

About you! What would you like to hear in my podcast episodes? What subject matters should we discuss? Would you be interested in being interviewed? Let me know. You can now leave a voicemail on my website, and of course feel free to drop me an email.

Thanks again for listening, and look below for my contact info! See you soon!

HERE IS MY CONTACT INFO:

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