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Episode 101 IVF versus PTSD

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Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to 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 did not have the children we so wanted. I am also reaching out to everyone who recognizes that we are not all living the same type of life.

Welcome to episode 101!

 

Well, I have some VIP’s I need to give a shout out to!

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 monthly basis to help maintain our platform and podcast. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

https://www.patreon.com/Childlessnotbychoice

  • Jordan Morgan
  • Ivy Calhoun
  • Your Name Here

Well, I would like to give a special shout-out to Dr. Cristina Archetti, Oslo, Norway, for suggesting an episode on the connection between IVF and PTSD. I have put a link to her YouTube video in the show notes. We connected after I watched her video on YouTube, entranced that someone created a video all about the childless not by choice experience. Thank you, Dr. Cristina!

 

Content:

For people with PTSD, it is very common for their memories to be triggered by sights, sounds, smells, or even feelings that they experience. These triggers can bring back memories of the trauma and cause intense emotional and physical reactions, such as raised heart rate, sweating and muscle tension.–Google

So, what is PTSD–post-traumatic stress syndrome? I think we generally believe we know what it is, whether we have experienced it ourselves due to direct experience, know someone who has it, or watched a movie where someone exhibited it. As with most issues, diseases, experiences these days; we are familiar with it on some level.

But here is a clinical definition:

‘Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) describes a series of predictable symptoms that take hold once a patient has survived – or in some cases witnessed – a severely traumatic or life-threatening event. Because the brain becomes overwhelmed by the pain and fear of the trauma, memories of the event do not fully process, causing the individual to re-experience the trauma as if it were occurring in the present.’–theoakstreatment.com.

They go on to say that ‘Signs of PTSD can range from flashbacks to nightmares, panic attacks to eating disorders and cognitive delays to lowered verbal memory capacity. Many trauma survivors also encounter substance abuse issues, as they attempt to self-medicate the negative effects of PTSD. Most mental health professionals and diagnostic manuals agree on 17 major signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Just as not every trauma survivor will develop PTSD, not every individual with PTSD will develop the same signs – and rarely do all 17 exist in one individual.’ Wow, 17 signs of PTSD, I did not know that!   

Also discussed on the website are:

Signs of Re-experiencing Trauma in PTSD
Trauma Avoidance Signs of PTSD
Hyperarousal Signs of PTSD–i.e. One PTSD symptom associated with hyperarousal is insomnia.
The Importance of PTSD Treatment
PTSD Medication–as I read up on the PTSD Medications, I recognized one. Most people would probably recognize it if I mentioned it. It never occurred to me that anyone experiencing childlessness not by choice could possibly be experiencing or have experienced PTSD.
Well, my OB/GYN had wanted to prescribe this medication to me for the longest time, but I always said no because of the negative perception attached to that medication. However one day I went for a follow-up visit and out of the clear blue started crying.
He seemed surprised and said that he knew I had turned down the prescription before but that he had never seen me cry throughout my entire ordeal. He wrote the prescription, I held onto it for a week or so, trying to figure out what to do. And then I filled it. There. I think you may be the first person I had ever told.
But what does PTSD have to do with IVF? Well, first let’s make sure we are all on the same page with what IVF is, exactly, and for the purposes of this episode, I will not go into causes of childlessness not by choice except to say in a nutshell, it is when a couple just cannot conceive naturally for any number of reasons.
I want to talk more along the lines of what goes into the action of IVF, and how it relates to PTSD. So here, In a nutshell, according to a Google search is the definition of IVF: a medical procedure whereby an egg is fertilized by sperm in a test tube or elsewhere outside the body.’

But back to PTSD for a moment:

As I did my research, I had a burning question: Can PTSD be cured? We all want a cure, right? We don’t necessarily want to live with negativity or the results of a negative experience for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, there are some instances where we will have to live with the effects or after-effects of a life event. In the case of PTSD,  research says ‘As with most mental illnesses, no cure exists for PTSD, but the symptoms can be effectively managed to restore the affected individual to normal functioning. The best hope for treating PTSD is a combination of medication and therapy.’

Two similar therapies I found to help people with PTSD are CBT–cognitive behavioral therapy, ‘a type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought about the self and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns or treat mood disorders such as depression.’ And CPT–’Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a manualized therapy used by clinicians to help people recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related conditions. It includes elements of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatments.’

Slight differences in the two. Clinicians may find the differences a little more than slight, but they seem very similar to me.  

So, IVF, how can it cause PTSD?

General knowledge is that only 25% of attempts at IVF is successful. 25%! According to a 2017 article in theconversation.com, that success rate is actually 33%. That’s still a relatively low number. In this same article, they say that there is now a way for women using IVF to get pregnant to know the likelihood of success. Quote: ‘Overall, for women starting IVF, 33% have a baby as a result of their first cycle, increasing to 54-77% by the eighth cycle.’  The eighth cycle?! Many insurance plans do not cover IVF on the first cycle nevermind the eight. Eight. I have a question for you: Is there a point where it becomes too many tries, whether you have the money or not?

OK, IVF:

‘In Vitro Fertilization is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) commonly referred to as IVF. IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. Other forms of ART include gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT).’–Americanpregnancy.org

 

 Some side effects after IVF may include:

  • Passing a small amount of fluid (may be clear or blood-tinged) after the procedure
  • Mild cramping
  • Mild bloating
  • Constipation
  • Breast tenderness

‘Women who undergo fertility treatments may find the situation so distressing that they develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new study says.

In the study, close to 50 percent of participants met the official criteria for PTSD, meaning they could be diagnosed with the condition.

That’s about six times higher than the percentage of people in the general population who suffer from PTSD (8 percent.)’https://www.livescience.com/22194-fertility-treatment-ptsd.html

Additional information I found out about the possible dangers of IVF:

  1. Possibly linked to cancer

2) Multiple births. …
3) Premature delivery and low birth weight. …
4) Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome:
Rapid weight gain — such as 33 to 44 pounds (15 to 20 kilograms) in five to 10 days.
5) Severe abdominal pain.
6) Severe, persistent nausea and vomiting.
7) Blood clots in legs.
8) Decreased urination.
9) Shortness of breath.
10) Tight or enlarged abdomen.
11) Miscarriage. …
12) Egg-retrieval procedure complications. …
13) Ectopic pregnancy. …
14) Birth defects. …
15) Ovarian cancer.

Links used for research:

PTSD:

https://theoakstreatment.com/ptsd/signs-and-symptoms/


http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/08/13184349-fertility-treatments-may-put-women-at-risk-for-ptsd-symptoms-study-suggests?lite

https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/641243?journalCode=ssr

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-are-treatments-for-posttraumatic-stress-disorder#1

(https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa040603

IVF:

http://theconversation.com/women-now-have-clearer-statistics-on-whether-ivf-is-likely-to-work-81256

http://americanpregnancy.org/infertility/in-vitro-fertilization/

https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/ivf-treatment-cambridge-nhs-13465755

https://www.livescience.com/22194-fertility-treatment-ptsd.html

https://www.winfertility.com/risks-ivf-six-rare-complications-ivf-treatment/

https://www.infertilitytexas.com/blog/is-there-a-link-between-ivf-and-cancer

 

Articles and podcast episodes mentioned in this episode:

https://childlessnotbychoice.net/triggers-how-to-recognize-them-face-them-and-deal-with-them/

https://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-68-is-childlessness-a-crisis-caplans-theory-of-crisis/

https://reprotechtruths.org/ivf-trauma/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XcAzx0jlhI&t=9s

Special thank you to:

Morgan Air Conditioning. Morgan Air can be reached by calling

813 500 7765. Their email address is www. Morganair.net.

Along with a stellar business reputation in the Tampa, FL area, Morgan Air is also known and well received for giving back to the Tampa, FL community whether it is back to school drives or donating services to the less fortunate. Thank you Morgan Air for recognizing the vision of Childless not by Choice, and being a part of it!

Devoted, the musical duo who created my theme music. Thank you Devoted, for the beautiful theme music we use here at Childless not by Choice. Devoted has had the opportunity to sing and play in many countries. To learn more about Devoted, visit their website at http://www.devotedministry.org.

My contact information:
info@civillamorgan.com
Websites: https://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.


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’.

 

image courtesy of Google Images

Episode 100 Let’s Celebrate!

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless, not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to 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 did not have the children we so wanted.

We are not all living the same type of life, and sometimes there is no one more painfully aware of that fact than the childless not by choice person. And that’s why this platform, this podcast, was created. But the great news is people of all demographics listen to this podcast! That means the awareness and conversation are taking place! When that happens globally, the childless not by choice are no longer stigmatized, bullied, or ignored. How awesome is that?! Well…

Welcome to episode 100!

I have some VIP’s I need to give a shout out to:

  • 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 monthly basis to help maintain our platform and podcast. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

    https://www.patreon.com/Childlessnotbychoice
  • Jordan Morgan
  • Ivy Calhoun
  • Your Name Here 

Today we celebrate episode 100! I cannot begin to tell you what it has taken to get here! The podcast turned three this past July, and the platform turns four in this very month. This has been a celebration year on many levels! Looking back on when I started to build this platform in November of 2014, thinking on the people who came alongside to help me build it, and seeing where it is now is just amazing.

My podcast producer told me recently that episode 100 puts me in the top 20% of podcasts that are at 100 and above in episodes! Wow! I am truly humbled!

Thank you to everyone who has listened to the episodes, given feedback, requested that I cover certain topics, and let me know via email, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and Instagram, how much this podcast has helped you!     

To help celebrate this momentous occasion, I have a few guests! They are members of the platform, and I am so excited to introduce them!

Welcome everyone:

Group contributors:

Joanna H.

Temika G.

Sherry F.

Joanna M.

And  Myself

  1. How did everyone find out about the platform?
  2. How long has each person been on the platform/listening to the podcast?
  3. How has the platform helped with dealing with your childlessness?
  4. What was your road to acceptance like? Or are you still trying to get to acceptance?
  5. What would you say to the childless not by choice woman or man listening who is still struggling with childlessness?
  6. Have you discussed your childless not by choice journey with anyone since joining the group?
  7. How do you deal with the times you feel down about your childless not by choice journey? I want you to encourage the childless not by choice woman or man who is listening.
  8. Closing comments


If you would like to become a one time or ongoing sponsor, or if you would like to advertise your business or an upcoming event, contact me at info@civillamorgan.com
for details.

Remember, subscription to the podcast is free. Simply go to Apple Podcast, or your favorite podcast player located on your smart device, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, Overcast, etc, and search for Childless not by Choice. Tap the subscribe button and you will receive notifications every time a new episode posts!  

Articles, episodes, and sites mentioned in this episode:

https://honey.nine.com.au/2018/10/02/09/13/shelly-horton-defends-her-decision-not-to-have-children

My contact information:

Website: https://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! 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 99–Childless not by Choice woman gets raw and real

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to 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 did not have the children we so wanted. I am also reaching out to everyone who recognizes that we are not all living the same type of life.

Welcome to episode 99!

I would like to thank my sponsor Morgan Air Conditioning. Morgan Air can be reached by calling 813 500 7765.  Their email address is

www. Morganair.net

Along with a stellar business reputation in the Tampa, FL area, Morgan Air is also known and well received for giving back to the Tampa, FL community whether it is back to school drives or donating services to the less fortunate.

Thank you Morgan Air for recognizing the vision of Childless not by Choice, and being a part of it.

I have some VIP’s I need to give a shout out to!

  • 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 monthly basis to help maintain our platform and podcast. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

    https://www.patreon.com/Childlessnotbychoice

  • Jordan Morgan
  • Ivy Calhoun
  • Your Name Here


Episodes mentioned:

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

https://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-88-finding-hope-today-my-interview-with-licensed-therapist-christy-jordan/

Special thank you to:

Devoted, the musical duo who created my theme music. Thank you Devoted, for the beautiful theme music we use here at Childless not by Choice. Devoted has had the opportunity to sing and play in many countries. To learn more about Devoted, visit their website at http://www.devotedministry.org.

My contact information:

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


If you would like to become a one time or ongoing sponsor, or if you would like to advertise your business or an upcoming event, contact me at info@civillamorgan.com
for details.

Remember, subscription to the podcast is free. Simply go to Apple Podcast, or any of the following apps: Stitcher, Spotify, Overcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Search for Childless not by Choice, and hit the subscribe button. It’s that easy!


Well, thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice! 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’.

Finding comfort through Sadey

 

Yes, my dogs have birthday parties and get ice cream cones in the drive through!  My dogs are my babies. I do not pretend that they are human, but I love them and care for them the best way I can.  They are not spoiled. They are just very well taken care of. You see, I did not choose to be childless. I did not choose to be a dog mom.  It just happened.

One day I went to a pet adoption event and there she was.  A black fur ball who had just been spayed. Our eyes locked and I knew she was mine.  I had found a soul mate. Sadey was 3 at the time and lived 15 more years with us.

At a family Christmas party early in December 2001, I watched her tail go faster and faster as my husband helped my niece open a talking Care Bear.  I saw her disappointment when she realized it was not for her.

On another Christmas Eve, I ran around to several Walmart stores, searching for a talking Care Bear for my baby.  I found one on my third Walmart stop. I took the last one on the shelf and honestly, I would have fought anyone who tried to take it from me. She loved that bear and she deserved that bear.  To me, she deserved anything as I could never repay her for all she gave to me.

We had many more adventures together; cabin trips, camping, parks, and just being together.  In 2008 my depression was bad and Sadey comforted me. She was an angel here on this earth. 

One day in 2016 she looked at us and we both knew it was time.  She wanted to go home. We had the doctor come to our home and she locked eyes with me one more time and took her last breath.  I believe she is in heaven waiting for us.

Sadey gave me a purpose.  I was able to take care of her and in return, I found the most selfless love I have ever found.  I know that animals are here to comfort us. That is why they are used as therapy animals. They break down the toughest barriers with their unconditional love. Studies show that the hormone released when breastfeeding is the same hormone released when petting a dog.  Not only in the human but also in the dog. That hormone helps in the bonding process. It helps with depression. But I do not need science to prove to me that pets make a difference. Sadey had such a special spirit that she filled the void of being childless. I did not even realize I was missing something.  

When she died it was hands down the hardest time for me because I not only grieved the loss of my fur baby but I grieved never having a human child.  I did not think anything could help me. I did not think I could love another dog like Sadey.

Then we found Madi and she helped heal a lot of my loss.  She will never be Sadey but she is helpful in different ways.  Life is hard without Sadey but I can’t imagine it without Madi.  I actually did not even look for this group until after we found Madi.  

We are not meant to go through this life alone.  If it is a bird, rabbit, cat, or pig; whatever animal you connect with; your heart needs that unconditional love connection.  Allow your pets to help you heal. 

 

 

 

Featured image by http://paintingbyrebeccacooper.com

 

Episode 97–Can Childless Women Bond?

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to 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 did not have the children we so wanted. I am also reaching out to everyone who recognizes that we are not all living the same type of life.

Welcome to episode 97!

I would like to thank my sponsor Morgan Air Conditioning. Morgan Air can be reached by calling 813 500 7765.  Their email address is www.Morganair.net.

Along with a stellar business reputation in the Tampa, FL area, Morgan Air is also known and well received for giving back to the Tampa, FL community whether it is back to school drives or donating services to the less fortunate.

Thank you Morgan Air for recognizing the vision of Childless not by Choice, and being a part of it.

I would also like to thank Devoted, the musical duo who created my theme music. Thank you Devoted, for the beautiful theme music we use here at Childless not by Choice. Devoted has had the opportunity to sing and play in many countries. To learn more about Devoted, visit their website at http://www.devotedministry.org.

Well, I have some VIP’s I need to give a shout out to!

  • 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 monthly basis to help maintain our platform and podcast. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

https://www.patreon.com/Childlessnotbychoice

  • Jordan Morgan
  • Ivy Calhoun
  • Your Name Here

Content:

In the month of October, I am highlighting the importance of maintaining mental health in the childless not by choice community through therapy dogs, and through pets in general.

Those of us who are childless not by choice and have or had pets are often chided for having pets instead of having children. Many times those who do not know our story or understand our journey find it easier to make fun of childless women with pets, reminding us that a pet is not the same as a child.

I believe that as childless not by choice women we are well aware of the difference between a human and an animal, but it is difficult for most people to understand that everyone has a story, and that everyone’s story is different. Unbelievably, some people still believe that a childless woman or couple just did not want children. It is still difficult for many to understand that life just dealt some us a different set of cards.

What we, whether childless not by choice or not, do with the cards we have been dealt proves to ourselves and to the world, that we are strong, or on our way to gaining strength through and for our journey.

Deciding to have a pet and to spoil that pet is just one way we as childless not by choice women decide to manage the life we have been given. Notice, I did not say handle or cope with, I said manage. Because we must manage our lives no matter how that life turned out, and not allow life to manage us.

So this month, I am posting a guest blog written by one of our childless not by choice members. It will post on the 15th. Our guest blogger will take us on a journey, showing us how having pets helped her come to terms with childlessness.

And on the 22nd, you will get to hear episode 98, where I interview Michelle Link and her beautiful therapy dog Murphy. That was such a wonderful interview! I learned quite a bit as we discussed the differences between therapy dogs and emotional support dogs; and how important they both are to mental health.

The bottom line is this, whether you are childless not by choice or not, the need and the ability to care for another being helps heal the soul.  And when caring for this being as a childless not by choice woman or man, the healing process can help fill your mind with love instead of dwelling on a  life that did not happen as expected.

We can choose to dwell on what did not happen for us, or we can reach out and help others. We can reach out and adopt a dog or cat from a shelter, or buy a fish tank and fill it with our version of beauty. We can reach out to the beauty the world has to offer, or we can go within and live with the hurt of what could have been. What is not, and in many cases will not be.

We have choices even when we did not get to choose whether or not we would have children. That is not the only choice we get in life.

And life is short. Choose and then live that choice out loud.

When you do that, if you are chided for being a pet mom, you will not even hear the commentary because  chances are you already made the decision to live the life you have been given. How strong are you!?

so come with us on our journey through the month of October. It’s going to be beautiful!  

https://positivelywoof.com/pet-calendar-year-at-a-glance/

Also highlighted in October is Miscarriage Awareness. If your journey includes miscarriage, please accept my deepest condolences. Be sure to visit the Resource tab on the website for an article I wrote on dealing with the grief of miscarriage. To be transparent, miscarriage is not a part of my journey. But I wrote the article to encourage you with hope for your journey even through your loss. I hope you will take a moment to read the article.      

Articles of note and interest:

https://positivelywoof.com/pet-calendar-year-at-a-glance/

https://resolve.org/what-are-my-options/living-childfree/navigating-living-your-life-childlessness-and-child-free-after-infertility/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/06/world/asia/afghanistan-rasool-landay-childless-women-scam.html

https://thegrio.com/2018/10/06/tracee-ellis-ross-says-shes-good-with-being-45-single-and-childless/

PLEASE NOTE: in the previous episode I mentioned that my old title was showing up on the Podcast section of iHeart Radio. That has been corrected. You will now find the title Childless not by Choice on iHeart Radio’s Podcast section.

My contact information:

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


If you would like to become a one time or ongoing sponsor, or if you would like to advertise your business or an upcoming event, contact me at info@civillamorgan.com
for details.

Remember, subscription to the podcast is free. Simply go to Apple Podcast, or anyone of following apps in your app store: Stitcher Radio, Overcast, Castro, Podbean, etc; or the radio apps such as Spotify, iHeart Radio, and Google Play Radio. Search for Childless not by Choice, and hit the subscribe button. It’s that easy!


Well, thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice! 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’.

Childless not by Choice and Finding Joy as a Youth Camp Counselor

 

This year I was asked to oversee a church youth girls camp.  The girls ranged from 12-18. I almost laughed out loud and then I realized they were serious.  I went home to think about it and started crying and laughing at the same time as I asked God, “Is this for real?”  “I have a broken back. I am not a mother. I am not a camping person. I am struggling right now!” 

I decided I would do it.  After finding out that only five of the girls on a list of 27 came to church on Sundays, I went to work trying to get these girls to be motivated about coming to camp with me.  And I started working with the other ladies in our group. It was overwhelming. But I was finding purpose. I was asked to help them, but they were helping me.

Because I teach sewing, I asked the girls over to sew matching pillowcases.  They talked and laughed with me like I was someone they wanted to be around. I was learning to love these girls.  And the other adult leaders never once questioned my capability even though I am childless. This debunked my belief that because I am childless I could not have good relationships with those that did.  I had never given them a chance. 

Teenagers see through the masks we adults put up and I found myself dealing with my childlessness in a real way.  I began to accept that I could have a happy fulfilled life by helping these girls and other children. I had helped children before, so why was this different?  

This experience broke me down.  Managing my back and dealing with 100-degree weather, I was putting up tents and telling the girls not to give up.  Telling them they could do this. One of the leaders also encouraged the girls, continually saying to them that she knew they could do hard things.  

I made it through camp with 15 girls and God’s help, finding an internal strength I never knew I had.  I realized I could do hard things. This was one of the hardest situations physically and mentally for me but when it ended I had faith in myself.  I realized I was going to be OK. 

This is not the future I planned.  But I am strong. I can handle childlessness and be happy towards this situation, I just have to want to.

I realized if I want people to believe in me, I first need to believe in myself and then give others the chance to be a good friend.  No more allowing fear to rule the outcome of my life.

You know, not once during this summer did I feel sad about being childless. I even went to a family reunion with all my nieces and nephews and allowed myself to be happy with them.  What I got in return was a love that no one can ever take away!

Episode 96–Childless not by Choice Woman Plants 8000 Trees! The story of Saalumarada Thimmakka

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.

Welcome to episode 96!

 

This podcast was created for and about the childless not by choice community on a global level, as well as for everyone who recognizes that not everyone is living the same type of life. Thank you for tuning in!

 

Sponsors:

I would like to thank my sponsor Morgan Air Conditioning. Along with a stellar business reputation in the Tampa, FL area, Morgan Air is also known and well received for giving back to the Tampa, FL community whether it is back to school drives or donating services to the less fortunate. Morgan Air can be reached by calling 813 500 7765, (repeat), or via email at www. Morganair.net, that’s http://www.morganair.net.

Thank you Morgan Air for recognizing the vision of Childless not by Choice, and being a part of it.

I would also like to thank Devoted, the musical duo who created my theme music. Thank you Devoted, for the beautiful theme music we use here at Childless not by Choice. Devoted has had the opportunity to sing and play in many countries. To learn more about Devoted, visit their website at http://www.devotedministry.org.


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
  • Ivy Calhoun
  • Your Name Here 

Childless Mother of Trees–Saalumarada Thimmakka

According to Wikipedia, Saalumarada Thimmakka was born in Hulikal, India. She is purported to have been born in 1908, making her more than 100 years old! With no formal education, she became a self-taught environmentalist. She and her late husband started planting Banyan trees along a stretch of highway from her town to the next.

It is said they started planting trees when they realized they were not going to be able to have children. I searched but did not find any information on her husband attempting to put her aside or divorce her which tends to happen in many societies where children are expected and if they are not produced, shame on the woman.

But I found no such information. In my research, I did find out that his family gave her a very hard time, but he appears to have stuck with and even helped her plant trees until he passed on. Kudos to him!

As I researched and read articles about this self-taught environmentalist,

I counted 15 awards!

The author of the article on the Karnataka website ended the article by saying:

‘Saalumarada Thimmakka at the age of 105 lives with her foster son Umesh. She is an inspiration to every woman the society labeled as barren.  The green crusader bestowed the society and mankind with hard work, patience, and undying love for the environment.’

 

Imagine what you can do when you turn your pain into purpose!

Early in the creation of this platform, a wonderful gentleman reminded me that people like to quote the Bible where God told Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply.  He mentioned that multiply does not mean just having children. There are many ways for humankind to multiply.

You see, as childless not by choice women and men,  we have journeyed through the trauma of not being able to have children, no matter the path that got us to the point of childlessness. As we make our way on this journey, we will run into people who misunderstand and or misinterpret the Bible in an attempt to have an answer for every negative in life.

We humans tend to want to have an answer to everything. We want to be able to plug every issue into a box, and we want to advise people on why something did or did not happen to or for us.

So we say things like childlessness means we did not multiply. Hmmm, we must have done something to make God angry.

Childlessness means our quiver of arrows is empty, and we will have no one to care for us when we become old.  For those of you who are Christians, who have a true grasp on the Words in the Bible, we know better than to limit God’s words to such simplicity.

If you are childless not by choice, your life is not over. You can replenish the earth in many other ways. You can pour into the life of a child that does not belong to you, however that happens: through being a teacher, through being a mentor, through being an encourager to a struggling mother.

You can contribute to back to school backpack drives through work, church, or a local organization. You can plant trees like Saalumarada Thimmakka did. You can sponsor a child in a far away land.

Don’t listen to those who tell you your quiver has no arrows, or that you are fruitless because you are childless. Lift your chin from shame, and ignore the narrow minded understanding from such words. Trust your journey. Walk your journey. Do the absolute best you can on your journey. That is your job. Your journey, your job.

Well, thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice. Remember, subscription to the podcast is free. Simply go to Apple Podcast, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Overcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Search for Childless not by Choice, and hit the subscribe button. It’s that easy!

If you would like to become a one time or ongoing sponsor, or if you would like to advertise your business or an upcoming event, contact me at info@civillamorgan.com for details.

Information on India:

‘United States is about 3 times bigger than India. India is approximately 3,287,263 sq km, while the United States is approximately 9,833,517 sq km. Meanwhile, the population of India is ~1 billion people (943 million fewer people live in the United States).’–Google Search

Childlessness in India:

 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/soul-curry/being-childless-by-choice-in-the-indian-society/articleshow/58695326.cms

https://www.scoopwhoop.com/Heres-Why-More-And-More-Married-Indian-Women-Are-Choosing-To-Remain-ChildFree/#.thc55rxjr

Articles used for research in this episode:

http://kalamfanclub.com/saalumarada-thimmakka-the-106-year-old-woman-who-planted-over-8000-trees-in-65-years/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saalumarada_Thimmakka

https://www.karnataka.com/personalities/saalumarada-thimmakka/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY4yzEZ9uc8&vl=en

 

My contact information:

info@civillamorgan.com
Website: https://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com

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

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 Question, An Answer, and Lots of Love!

 

My parents married with the intention of having a large family together, which is how I’m the firstborn of seven: five girls, two boys. Of all my parents’ daughters, I’m the only one diagnosed at 15 with polycystic ovarian syndrome and informed I’d never bear a child. While one of my sisters has chosen to remain single and childless so that she can achieve her dreams of international travel, each of my other sisters has married and had children. 

It hurts to be the only married, childless woman among my fertile, married sisters. It hurts when I see two of them pregnant at the same time, especially when they pose together for pictures. It hurts to be at family gatherings, and their conversation turns to motherhood, and I cannot participate. Not knowing what else to do, I stopped going to family gatherings. I was hurting too much, and I wanted something I did not know how to communicate.

One time, I texted my sister, Sarah, volunteering to babysit for her.  She replied, “Okay.” But due to lack of communication, I felt like she preferred that only women with children babysit for her. From that thought, I jumped to the conclusion that Sarah did not consider me qualified to babysit her children because I am not a mother.

My reproductive disability had me feeling “less than” my sisters because of how I desperately wanted children. 

I felt that babysitting my sisters’ children was a privilege I desperately coveted, but how could I ask for it? I was like a beggar at a king’s banquet table, stomach rumbling with hunger, staring at heaps of delicious food, but unable to take part.

Many days I cried because all I wanted was to spend time with my nieces and nephews, but because I did not ask, I did not communicate; my sisters had no idea how much I hurt, or how to help. Even so, my mom and sisters told me they consider me a vital part of the family – a phrase which felt so meaningless to me. I thought, “If that’s true, then why can’t I babysit my sisters’ kids? I love them, too.”

I arrived at the bottom of my pit of despair when my oldest sister Sarah began mentoring our youngest sister April, who had her firstborn some months ago. April lives in another state, and she needed Sarah’s help in adjusting to the pressures of motherhood. I grieved over what my infertility cost me just on the sisterly level, and I felt just enough anger over my loss to finally verbalize what I had buried deep inside for too long.

 

I called my Mom and cried as I explained how one time, lots of months previously, I had offered to babysit for Sarah, and she had rejected my offer. I sobbed as I told her how that made me feel that I wasn’t qualified to babysit her children because I’m not a mom. I said that whenever I’m with my sisters’ children, I don’t feel the weight of my infertility grief because I’m focused on how blessed I am to be their aunt. Mom let me cry, and she listened, and then she said that she would approach both Sarah, and my other sister Laura, and ask them whether they would mind letting me babysit for them. Sarah has four children, and so does Laura.

Weeks passed, and silence prevailed. I didn’t get an update from Mom. But I felt so much relief from having expressed my desire to babysit, I didn’t despair. Instead, I made the choice that I would not place the burden of whether I could be happy upon my sisters. I knew that for the sake of my sanity, I had to choose to be content no matter what.

The next time my Mom saw me, she gave me a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses, and a greeting card congratulating me on my new job. Then she told me that she had spoken to my sisters, and she asked them if either of them would mind letting me babysit for them. They both enthusiastically embraced the idea. Each of them had thought that if they asked me to babysit for them, they would be burdening me, they had not felt comfortable asking me.

Their conversation had occurred weeks back, and Mom had forgotten to tell me about it, and she apologized for taking so long to get back with me. I cried again, but this time, feeling so loved! That phrase about me being a vital member of my family didn’t feel so meaningless anymore. My Mom hugged me and told me she loved me, and that she was thankful for how I dared to be vulnerable with her in the middle of my pain.

I visited with Sarah, and she said that she would be delighted to let me watch her children, as often as I ask. She said that she knew I was hurting, but she didn’t know a practical way she could help until our Mom asked her if I could babysit for her. I advised her that children were no burden, but my infertility grief is. Sarah told me she loves me so much.

We planned a babysitting day and she allowed me to keep her oldest two for a few hours. It happened! And their behavior was perfect – I enjoyed every moment with them, watching cartoons and eating snacks. Sarah used the time to get a massage. We both felt loved–her for getting her ‘me time’, and me for getting to spend time with her kids. The kids felt loved because they got to watch cartoons and eat snacks.

Soon, I have plans to visit Laura and her children. They are good at loving on me, too.

The beggar was given favor and allowed to take part in the feast. And now the beggar feels like royalty, too.

Loved royalty.

Episode 95–Seamonster, my interview with Recording Artist Chiara Berardelli

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.

Welcome to episode 95!

This podcast was created for and about the childless not by choice community on a global level, as well as for everyone who recognizes that not everyone is living the same type of life.

I would like to thank my sponsor Morgan Air Conditioning. Morgan Air can be reached by calling (813) 500-7765. Their email address is http://www.Morganair.net.

Along with a stellar business reputation in the Tampa, FL area, Morgan Air is also known and well received for giving back to the Tampa, FL community whether it is back to school drives or donating services to the less fortunate.

Thank you Morgan Air for recognizing the vision of Childless not by Choice, and being a part of it.

I would also like to thank Devoted, the musical duo who created my theme music. Thank you Devoted, for the beautiful theme music we use here at Childless not by Choice.

Devoted has had the opportunity to sing and play in many countries. To learn more about Devoted, visit their website at http://www.devotedministry.org.

Well, I have some VIP’s I need to give a shout out to!

  • 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
  • Ivy Calhoun


About/Intro:

Chiara Berardelli is an Italian Scottish singer-songwriter living in Glasgow, Scotland. She grew up playing classical piano but spent most of her time playing along to any songs that made it over the airwaves to the Highlands of Scotland.

Chiara left her job as a doctor to follow her passion and studied music and songwriting in London and Bath. A lover of words, chords, and honesty she writes confessional pop songs about life and how it affects her.

In 2010 she recorded her debut album ‘Don’t Be So Lovely’ with Mark Freegard (Eddi Reader, Del Amitri) at Kyoti studio, Glasgow and self-released a further EP,  ‘My Big Mouth’ in 2014.

Her new album, Seamonster, released on March 2nd, 2018, is her most personal project to date, inspired by the loss of her dream of becoming a mother. The songs depict a journey, from the crashing realisation that something so longed for is permanently out of reach in the title track to the tentative beginnings of finding joy again in the song Somewhere New.

Deep Space Hibernation, the lead single from the album, was chosen by Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth as her single of the week on the Afternoon Show and has also won an International Songwriting Award. Chiara will be launching the album in Scotland at the end of March and is planning a UK wide tour in the Autumn.

Questions:

I really like the ‘Another Planet’ track, tell us the back story.

Tell us about your album Seamonster?

How has the music helped you process childlessness?  How do you want it to help those of us who are listening to your music?

 

How long were you a practicing GP–general practitioner?

In our initial conversation, you mentioned you never wanted to be a doctor, but is there any aspect of it that you miss?

What kind of response do you get at your gigs, to the songs? Do you tell the audience the reason behind the album?

What does your family think about your new life calling?

When is your next gig?

Is there anything else you would like to tell us before we wrap up?

Chiara’s contact information:

https://www.chiaraberardelli.com

 

Articles and episodes mentioned in this episode:

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

My contact information:

Email: info@civillamorgan.com
Website: https://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.  Remember, subscription to the podcast is free. Simply go to Apple Podcast, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, Overcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Search for Childless not by Choice, and hit subscribe. It’s that easy!

Also, if you would like to become a one time or ongoing sponsor, or if you would like to advertise your business or an upcoming event, contact me at info@civillamorgan.com for details.



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’.

Triggers: how to recognize them, face, them, and deal with them!

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.

Welcome to episode 94!

•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
  • Ivy Calhoun
  • Your Name Here

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Episode content:

As I did the research for this episode, I realized there are quite a few types of triggers! Of course, because our podcast concentrates on childlessness not by choice, I am always concentrating on the triggers that affect us. The negative things people say and do to highlight our childlessness, whether unknowingly or on purpose.

But research showed that there are of course sexual assault triggers, there are PTSD triggers, there are emotional triggers, and the list goes on. But then there are also what I call individual triggers. For instance if as a child, you were abandoned by your parents whether literally or figuratively; as an adult, you can have abandonment triggers where if you are stood up for a date or someone does not return your phone calls or no longer wants to be your friend, you may not handle the separation or feelings of separation very well.  

Another ‘individual’ trigger might be having to endure the silent treatment as a child. If a parent were mad at you they would stop talking to you for a certain amount of time. As an adult, this silent treatment by a spouse or co-worker can create a triggering event.

What I noticed with many of these examples were that they were created in childhood.

This is where I believe our triggers as childless not by choice women may be different.  Our triggers happen once we are adults and hoping to be able to start a family, only to find out that we will never have the family we desired. We find out typically after a doctor’s appointment where we hear the bad news that we have been diagnosed with–insert diagnosis here–.

We then start to navigate a new journey, one we did not expect to have to. We slowly come to the realization that having children was never a guarantee. It took me a long time to come to that realization!

Yes, I know there are some women who knew when they were children that they would not be having any of their own. Typically because of something that happened to them as children or something they witnessed. Again, there is that common denominator: a childhood event.

But I still believe childless not by choice triggers are an adult event. So what are examples of childless not by choice triggers?

These are based on personal experience as well as the experiences childless not by choice women have advised in our group, that they have experienced:

  • Family members call out your childlessness in public by asking when you will be having children, advising you they are waiting for the next baby.
  • Family and friends who allowed you to have a relationship with their children, and then out of the clear blue stopped the relationship from continuing.
  • Family and friends who make passive aggressive comments about your childlessness.
  • Strangers who ask if you have children and then prolong your response with their heartless or thoughtless commentary.

These are just a few examples.  But the fact is, when any of these things happen, depending on where a childless not by choice woman or man may be in their journey, this type of commentary can send someone into a tailspin lasting a day or more.  

Those of us who have decided to deal with our triggers may not be sent into such a tailspin. We recognize the commentary as a pinprick to the heart versus a horse kick to the heart, as Jody Day so eloquently put it in episode 90: https://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-90-my-interview-with-jody-day-founder-of-gateway-women/

So how does one get from a days-long tailspin to a temporary pin prick when dealing with triggers? I have said it in previous episodes, but here it is in a nutshell, based on a Google search:

       

‘First step is to beware of your triggers. Next, recognize when the wave is beginning. Take some simple steps like stopping what you are doing breathe deeply for 5–10 breaths to regain some emotional control. You can teach yourself to limit your emotions.’–Google.

Three questions to consider as you begin to face your triggers:

What are your triggers?

How do you feel when they take place?

How long do these feelings last?

   

This is an important step. In fact, think about these three question above before a triggering event, when you are in a calm place.  When you do this, you have faced the monster!

Next step: Remember, there is no way to avoid the triggers. In fact, it is not healthy. If you feel you cannot face the trigger or triggers alone, please see a therapist. Once you make the decision to face these triggers, you will feel a weight lift off of your shoulders. You are basically admitting to yourself that you have triggers surrounding your childlessness, and what those triggers are.  

When you admit these things to yourself, they are actually a strengthener to your psyche and even to your character. Remember, you cannot control how someone else treats you, but you can control your reaction to that treatment. When someone says or does something that could trigger you, and you have taken steps toward facing, recognizing, and dealing with said triggers; there is no way those triggers can affect you the same way as if you had not begun to deal with your triggers.

Can you see how important it is to face and deal with your triggers? It is very important. It will take time for you to get from days long tailspins to minutes long pinpricks, but it can happen. It all starts with you.  Isn’t that usually the case?

    

Be sure to check out the links I listed below.  They were used as research for this episode. I especially liked the article on the Psych Central website, ‘What is a Trigger? By U. of Alberta, Sexual Assault Centre’.

Articles and sites used for the research of this episode:

https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-a-trigger/

https://www.wikihow.com/Handle-Unavoidable-Anxiety-Triggers

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18348/what-are-emotional-triggers-why-you-need-to-understand-them.html

My contact information:

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

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

‘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’.

Sculptor of image used for this episode is called Mélancolie” by Albert Gyorgy Geneva, Switzerland

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back: The first year of my childless not by choice journey

 

 

My husband and I sat in the waiting room of the fertility doctor’s office waiting to get the results of the extensive testing we had endured just a few weeks before. Every single test was still fresh in my mind and I had still not recuperated from the trauma of the rounds of bloodwork and the multiple ultrasounds I had done in the weeks leading up to this day. It should not have been a surprise that we would get bad news that morning, but I still held on to hope.

We were called into the doctor’s office. For the next 45 minutes, he explained to us all the health factors that were most likely contributing to us not being able to conceive naturally. I was a complicated case. As he talked, I found myself holding back the tears and with each new medical condition he brought up, I felt my heart breaking just a little more. Endometriosis, Adenomyosis and a blocked tube meant that his only recommendation was IVF. By now, I was crumbling, and I could tell by the look of concern on the doctor’s face that my pain was starting to show. The nurse gave us a packet of paperwork and told us to go home and think about it and call back if and when we were ready to get the IVF process started. I felt all my hope leave me that morning. 

That was a year ago. I did go home to process it and pray about it… but I never called back. I decided instead to face this journey of childlessness. In the first year of my journey, I’ve learned some valuable lessons that are worth reflecting on and sharing with other women who may be walking their own path of childlessness.

Give yourself the time you need

Two days after our doctor’s visit, I made the huge mistake of hosting a barbecue for a group of our closest friends – four of them, couples who had just recently had babies. For a few hours that afternoon, my house became a nursery full of crying babies and nursing moms. I was in total denial at that point. As soon as the company left, I crashed physically and emotionally and it took me days to get myself back together. What I had not yet learned that day was that I was starting my grieving process and that I needed to give myself time to acknowledge my loss. This is crucial but incredibly difficult. As women, we tend to want to quickly move on to the solution or to the part where we are “better”.  Sometimes we want the world to think that we are fine in spite of our wounds and we put on a mask of “all is good”, when it is clearly not. It is okay to not be okay all the time. And it is certainly okay to give yourself the time and permission you need to deal with your pain. For me, that meant spending time by myself, journaling, reading, crying, meditating, listening to music, etc. Healing requires that you devote time to yourself and make yourself a priority. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

 

Hold on to your decisions 

Before the infertility roller coaster, my husband and I made the decision that IVF was beyond our limits. We were convinced that IVF was too invasive and I was unwilling to subject my body to the strong medications and the high level of stress that come with it. 

 

So when IVF was suddenly the ONLY option, many well-meaning people assumed that we would be going down that path. No one seemed to understand our choice to refuse IVF as an option for us. Few have been able to accept that childlessness can be an option too. I learned that even in the middle of chaos, you must make the choices that are right for you, even if those choices are not understood or accepted by others. It has been a big relief to know that although I’m still childless, I have stood by my values and made the decisions that are right for me. Childlessness is tough enough and you do not have to let your choices be swayed by the opinions of others.

Make peace with your body

In the months following my diagnosis, I felt like a complete failure. Being made aware of all the many things that were “wrong” with my body, left me feeling like damaged goods. I started believing that my body had betrayed me by not functioning properly and doing the one thing that it was supposed to do naturally.  It wasn’t until recently that I started realizing that my body has been housing me for 38 whole years! For the length of my life so far, it has awakened every morning. It has seen, tasted, touched, moved, breathed…. My body is a miracle. It is far from perfect, but it is still a temple.  So I’ve started to practice mindfulness and gratitude for it. Infertility makes it so easy to get hung up on the parts of us that are “not working” that we fail to see all the many wonderful parts that are. Being present and grateful for what is working in your life (and your body) is what helps to get us through the tough times.

Be kind

It is true what they say that everyone on this planet is dealing with their own type of battle. We may see other people’s lives and think they have it so much better, but we never know what they are facing. It is important to treat others with kindness and respect, even while in the middle of our own storms. It is just as important to extend that same kindness and love to Ourselves.

My first year was not easy, but even through the many ups and downs, I’ve noticed myself growing as a person. I believe that a positive and kind attitude is what determines whether we thrive or wither through this childless journey. I have hope that life can and will be much better.

 

My Childlessness Is Not My Fault

It may seem that way, as I am using the possessive adjective to describe the fact that I am childless. That my life did not turn out the way I expected it would. But the more important issue is that human beings tend to blame each other for things we cannot control. My childlessness is not my fault.

If you are a Bible reader, you may recall the story of the man with the shriveled or withered hand. The Disciples asked Jesus if it was his parent’s fault or his, why his hand was withered. Jesus’ answer was ‘it’s nobody’s fault.’

Be honest, have you never wondered to yourself ‘what in the world did he/she do to deserve that?’ when you see something bad, horrible, or horrific happen to someone. You may have even heard someone verbalize it as ‘karma’, or ‘what goes around comes around’. As human beings, we figure it’s just payback.

But isn’t it possible that stuff just happens? Don’t we live in a world where stuff really just happens? I believe we do. Yes, I believe to an extent that what goes around comes around. That we should treat people the way we would want to be treated. But we all know that it rains on the just and the unjust. The difference though is how we manage the cards we have been dealt. In fact, having or obtaining the tools for managing the cards we have been dealt.   

three women

I believe one of those tools for any problem or issue you or I have, is community. I strongly believe that when we belong to a community of strong, positive, people who want to get better and not wallow in the self-pity of what happened to us or what did not happen for us.  Community protects us from those who secretly or passive-aggressively nicely tell us that we did not pray hard enough for a child. Some of us are told not to give up even though we no longer have a uterus. Indeed, some are told so even when they were born without one. I especially like the ‘well, it was not meant to be’. It is one of my favorites. Right up there with ‘you should be happy you don’t have kids, they are a lot of work’. These are the same people who tell you that ‘you don’t have kids, so you would not understand.’

And sometimes these remarks come from the lips of the same person. ‘Be glad you don’t have kids, they are a lot of work’, and ‘you wouldn’t understand, you don’t have kids.’  Which one of us seems unhinged? Because unhinged, among other things, is what many childless women are called. And God forbid if we are also single. Then we are weird, overzealous with our nieces and nephews, lonely, clingy, needy, or mean.

Society says that’s why we did not get married or have children: We chose the career over the kid, or as a friend of my mom once told her, I was too picky. Mind you, this woman couldn’t pick me out in a crowd. She knew nothing about me, but she knew I was being too picky and that is why I never married. 

Well, regardless of the cards we have been dealt, I believe we can all be weird, overzealous with the children in our lives, clingy, needy, picky, or mean! After all, we are all human beings first, and none of us are what has happened to us or what did not happen for us, however.  

 

So the next time your initial response is to blame someone for their ‘condition’, do a quick self-check and remind yourself ‘it’s not my fault it’s not your fault. Stuff happens.’  How we deal our cards is what sets us apart.