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

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Jordan Morgan

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

Well, we have a special guest today!

Intro Jody:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome, Jody:

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

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

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

 

2) Why did you name your platform Gateway Women?

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

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

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

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

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

8) In chapter 3 I believe, you say:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Books by Jody Day:

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

Articles/Blogs written by Jody Day:

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

Jody’s contact information:

https://gateway-women.com/

Twitter: @GatewayWomen

Instagram: @GatewayWomen

Facebook: @GatewayWomenUK

Email: Jody@gateway-women.com

http://www.awoc.org

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

Articles of note/episodes mentioned in this episode:

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

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

My contact information:

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


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


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

Until next time! Bye!

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

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

 

A Brave New Ending

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 89–Unexplained infertility, aka idiopathic infertility

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Jordan Morgan

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

Welcome to episode 89–Unexplained infertility

I received the following message back in April:

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

So, let’s talk about unexplained infertility…

Unexplained infertility, aka idiopathic infertility

According to a CDC article on Womenshealth.gov,

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

Unexplained infertility and female age

And…

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

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

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

Also mentioned on the same website…

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

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

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

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

According to verywellfamily.com.

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

Unexplained Infertility vs. Idiopathic Female or Male Infertility

They say,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Articles of note:

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

Articles on idiopathic infertility:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My contact information:

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

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


Please help me out by taking this very short survey!
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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’.

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

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

   

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

 

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

 

  • Jordan Morgan

Well, we have a special guest today!

Introduce Christy:

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

 

Welcome, Christy:

Well, let’s jump into the questions!  

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Christy’s contact information:

http://www.findinghopetoday.com

Books and other resources recommended by Christy:

‘The Bondage Breaker’, by Neil T. Anderson

‘Communication, Sex, Money’-Edwin Louis Cole

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

Also…

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

My contact information:

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


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


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

I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Jordan Morgan

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

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

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

Other episodes mentioned in this episode:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My contact information:

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

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


Please help me out by taking this very short survey!


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


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

I appreciate it!

 

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

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

Until next time! Bye!

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

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

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

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

  • Jordan Morgan

Well, today we have a special guest!

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

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

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

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

Welcome, Chelsea!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your time today Chelsea!

Chelsea’s contact information:

Website: http://www.chelseapattersonsobolik.com

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

Blog posts:

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

(January 2017)

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

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

Books suggested by Chelsea:

‘The Broken Way’, by Ann Voskamp

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

Articles and links of note:

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

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

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

Please help me out by taking this very short survey!

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

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

I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!

I have infertility, but infertility does not have me!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan

Twitter: @civilla1

Instagram: @joyandrelevance

Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM

LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM

Please help me out by taking this very short survey!

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

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

Until next time! Bye!

You are not alone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Episode 82–Adopt for the right reasons

Thank you for visiting Childless not by Choice.

Remember to help me get the word out by telling your friends about the show. Feel free to share with your social media followers!

Well, my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world. I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.

 

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

 

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

 

  • Jordan Morgan

 

As I conducted the research for this episode, I got to thinking, you know, the decision to adopt is like just about any other decision that you make with forethought, common sense, and planning.

I mean what to have for lunch does not take much planning at least for the most part unless you are planning a special lunch.

Planning what route to take to get to a special event may take some research and then some planning, but it should be figured out quickly.

Then decisions can become gradually more difficult. Where to live, should you buy or rent, date this person, marry that person. Those take much more research and planning. At least they should.

But bringing a child into your life via adoption, how much thought should you put into that?

Did you think about the child during the process, the child’s personality, the child’s racial or ethnic background; or were you thinking about getting the funding together to complete the adoption?

Did you think about whether you would tell the child he or she was adopted if he or she was the same race as you?

What if you ended up having a biological baby, would you still love the adopted child the same way?

How would your family treat the adopted child?

Did you think about behavioral issues as the child matured?

Would you feel guilt over regretting that you adopted the child?

 

When you think about it, it’s much like getting engaged and planning a wedding right? Yeah, I know, I’ve never been married, but indulge me. Allow me to exercise common sense and the marriages I witness daily.

If you are married, did you do any soul-searching, marriage counseling, therapy-seeking, talking to couples who have been married for a million years before you said, ‘I do’? Or did you jump in feet first because it was time?

And in either case, soul-searching or jumping in feet first, did the marriage still have rocky roads, speed bumps, and brick walls, or was it smooth sailing?

Hint: whether you did the pre-marital things or not, there will still be rocky roads, speed bumps, and brick walls. But hopefully, you married someone who is all in, like you. Are you all in for the adoption?  

OK, I will let you think about those questions. back to adopting a child. (pause) Well, wait. (pause) Did you consider the child? (pause)

Or did you just consider your feelings, the ones that emanate from within as well as the ones society put upon you?  You know, like I mentioned earlier, it is just time and since you can’t have one of your own, you will just adopt.

I know, by now some of you are probably mad at me, calling me a hater because I did not have a child. You know, that one child, that little boy I always talk about. Yes, I thought I would have a little boy. I even had a name picked out for him.

But I will tell you that I also attempted to adopt on two different occasions. So, you may think me a hater. But I will tell you I never considered any of the above questions I mentioned above.  I just felt it was time, husband or not, it was time to have a child—of my own or by adoption. Society and my thoughts were weighing on me continually.

There was a battlefield going on in my mind constantly! ‘You know you’re the only one who doesn’t have a child don’t you?’ ‘People are watching you, and the wonder what is wrong with you’.  One of my worst thought battles was ‘people feel sorry for you, they are pitying you’. But there were good thoughts too, I really wanted to nurture and train up a child. I wanted to pour into a child so badly. I wanted to read bedtime stories, teach my child how to read especially since I started reading at an early age. I wanted to teach my child how to live in and be able to interact with anyone anywhere. I wanted to teach my child class because we all know you can’t buy class. I wanted to teach him or her that love of family was important, and love of God was foremost.

But none of that happened, because I never had the child, and I never got to adopt.         

I only thought about my need to nurture a child. I only thought about how society must have viewed me, and probably still does. Husbandless, childless, weird, non-conformist, anti-establishment. You know the establishment. Get married, have children and ‘settle down’ like normal people.

And when I attempted to explain that I just never met the right man, I would be told to just settle. Just take what I can get and get into alignment with society’s norms. Then I realized I do not owe anyone an explanation.

I am not asking you not to adopt. There are a lot of beautiful children around the world who need love, nurturing, and guidance.  I am simply asking you to think about the reasons for your decision to adopt. Consider all aspects of the adoption.

Consider the child.

And then consider this:

What would adopting a child do for you?

What would you do if you were not allowed to adopt—i.e., turned down by an agency, not enough money, not enough income, etc.?

What are your alternatives if you were turned down?

There is a saying here in the US, ‘check your heart’.  What is your heart saying about adopting? Really.

 

 

Notes and corrections:

The exam was 250 questions with eight hours to finish, not 125 questions.

The verse I was trying to remember: “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”—Luke [6:45]

 

 

Content mentioned in the episode:

https://childlessnotbychoice.net/falling-through-the-cracks/

https://childlessnotbychoice.net/elderly-childless-ready/

https://childlessnotbychoice.net/episode-70-waiting-wombs-trust-my-interview-with-founder-hadassa-trip/

 

https://www.pinterest.com/Civilla1/

 

 

Links/sites used for research:

https://adoption.com/forums/thread/373947/the-right-reasons-to-adopt/

 

https://www.babble.com/pregnancy/14-reasons-you-shouldnt-adopt/

 

 

Articles of interest:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5463967/Childless-couple-parents-adopt-nine-siblings.html

 

https://www.tuko.co.ke/267894-they-dont-children-kambua-speaks-trolled-pregnant.html#267894

 

 

 

 

 

My contact information:

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

Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan

Twitter: @civilla1

Instagram: @joyandrelevance

Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM (https://www.pinterest.com/Civilla1/)

 

LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM

 

Please help me out by taking this very short survey!

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

 

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

 

Until next time! Bye!

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

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.