childless

Childless not by Choice episode 102-Christmas 2018

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.

Welcome to episode 102! Our Christmas 2018 episode!

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 

Questions or comments? Contact me:

Email: Info@civillamorgan.com

                                              Or

 

Visit the website at https://www.childlessnotbychoice.net, look to the left on the home screen and click on the link below the telephone to leave me a message!

Here it is! The link to your blueprint for the new year…instead of making a basic list of new year’s resolutions:

https://childlessnotbychoice.net/product/2019-blueprint-for-your-goals-and-visions/

Well, here we are, Christmas 2018. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays, and wishing you all the best in 2019! Our next episode will be on January 14th!

 

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, it’s still 2018 after all. How was your year? What accomplishments, milestones, or feats did you meet or overcome? What plans do you have for the new year?

I create goals and vision board list, using an outline I have tweaked throughout the years. Writing a list of goals on a yellow lined piece of paper just wasn’t working out for me. I would forget about the paper until about halfway through the year when I would see it sticking out of the daytimer, and then I would try to play catch up.  It wasn’t efficient and my dreams and visions were not coming to fruition. I was just ambling through one year after another.

But the last three years have been different.  Right around 2014 or so I started researching how successful people created their goals list. One of the things I noticed was that successful people did not have new years resolutions. They had goals. And many of them also attended and created vision board parties.  I became curious and decided to create my own goals list. In fact, it’s turned out to be much more than a goals list.

Some may even say I went a little overboard. Based on my research,    

I created a personalized goals/vision board/reading list. I then broke down my goals into monthly and quarterly expectations. I created a section for my reading list, and a list of pictures I would like to cut out for my vision board.

Yes, I got really detailed.  But can I tell you that each year that I took the time to create this goals and vision board outline, so many things that were on the list happened?! I was no longer hopeful while directionless, which is what happens when you write a list of dreams and wishes down on a piece of yellow lined paper and then forget about them.  You mean well, but you don’t do much because you don’t have the goals and visions in front of you literally guiding you!

Let me give you an example: I had set a number of downloads for this podcast, that I wanted to see by the end of the year. I literally said I would like to see this number of downloads and listens by December 31st. I didn’t just sit back and wish for it to happen, I set about promoting the podcast all over social media, handing out business cards at events, doing everything I had always done to create awareness about the platform.  But the crazy thing was that my goal number was set in October! I couldn’t believe it! And the number of downloads have continued to increase. Somebody is going through and listening to all of the episodes. Thank you!

The outline for this goals and visions list is so interactive you can tweak it throughout the year. You don’t just write something down and then forget it. It does not allow you to because you are looking at it, tweaking, and updating with met goals on a regular basis. I really believe you will like being in charge of your goals, dreams, visions, and possibilities!

Sound interesting?  If you would like a copy of the outline I personally use for my goals and visions, simply email me at info@civillamorgan.com for instructions on how to obtain your copy. There is a fee of just $10.00 for this copyrighted outline that will change the way you get ready for all of your future new years.  

So earlier I asked how your 2018 was. Have you had a chance to look back on 2018 yet? I start my look back, and my look forward right around September. I’m a daytimer type of person as I mentioned earlier, so I buy a fresh new daytimer in September and start updating it with birthdays and events for the new year.

Look, some of us are going to limp out of 2018, it’s been such a tough year.  But I encourage you to still expect a great 2019. Positive expectation is half the battle. It takes you halfway toward having a better year no matter how things look right now.

At the time of this recording, we’re halfway into the final month of the year, and I’ve received some insight from an unlikely event. Life does not stop because it’s the Holidays.

What’s my fresh insight? That not everyone is going to be comfortable with this platform or our childlessness. Still. And I realize that, but when something happens to remind me of that fact, it’s like a fresh new revelation for me. I had two interactions in one day. One mom, I spoke to and congratulated on her beautiful children, she was gracious and thankful. Another mom I tried to say hello to tried to avoid eye contact!

It was literally a night and day experience.

It reminded me that there are still some who see what I am doing as a means of discomfort. I suppose it goes with the awareness creating that this platform does.

But I still believe that as we are all human beings no matter where in the world we live, and no matter our circumstances, we can find common ground. And that’s when it hit me. There are two things everyone can do this holiday season, and all through the year:

  1. Find common ground.
  2. Be kind.

You see, as human beings, we like to put each other in boxes. And we love totem poles. If someone does not fit in a certain box, we call them an anomaly. So here in America, certain people are supposed to like certain foods, another group may like to drive a certain type of vehicle, etc. But if you see someone driving something their people group does not typically drive, they are an anomaly. This is the very reason I do not like to generalize about people groups. No people group is a collective. Just as no demographic is a collective.

You may be listening to this podcast, and you may be childless not by choice, but I can guarantee you we both had and are having different experiences even in our childless not by choice issues. It is dangerous to act and react, to treat all people of a certain demographic in the same way.  

And the totem poles, I didn’t forget about those. Yes, we like totem poles. And I am not talking about the totem poles that certain people groups engender in their ethnic backgrounds. I am referring to the fact that human beings like to know they are above another human being on the totem pole of life. We are always attempting to one-up each other. We want to know that we are doing better than the next person. Indeed, if we see someone we perceive is doing better than we are, envy and jealousy can set in.

But why not just be happy for that person as we continue on our own journey? My mom told us as children never to begrudge anyone because we did not know what they did or had to go through to obtain what they have. Try being happy for people even when they have exactly what you would die for. Be happy, wish them well, and continue on your journey.

That leads into my second point: be kind. There is a quote, and I used it for day nine of my December 31 Days of Empathy campaign. ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.’–anonymous.

Unfortunately, no one escapes this earth without having been dealt some tough, heartbreaking events. And we don’t always get to know when someone is going through, because most humans share their grief only with those they trust.  After all, many of us as childless not by choice people have been asked why don’t we just…’ just get over it, just adopt, just go play with the kids in the family, just. All of those justs are an utter lack of empathy. Maybe we can just be kind to each other. 

This Holiday season, no matter what demographic you belong to, try to find common ground and be kind. No matter what, be kind. If it seems that those you are attempting to find common ground with are not interested, move on. And as childless not by choice people, be sure to go where you are valued because whether you had the child or not, you are a valued human being no matter what your society says. Remember, the woman or man who has children has problems too. They may not be the same problems we have, but we should never discount anyone’s problems.

One person may be worried about their child’s grades, what college they will get into, or even how they will pay for their child’s education. Another person may be worried about putting away enough money for long-term care because they will have no one to take care of them when they are old and become ill.

The common ground is that we all have worries.

So be kind to yourself and others. And find common ground. And enjoy your holiday season however it looks!  Whether you have little or much, whether you celebrate with a huge family or it’s you and your fur baby. Enjoy your own company or the company of those around you. And no matter what, you will find something to be thankful for. I know you will.   

Questions about the platform or podcast? Suggestions for an episode or even looking to purchase ad time? contact me at info@civillamorgan.com for details.

Articles, episodes, and sites mentioned in this episode:

So I received a notification that there was a childless not by choice article available for me to read. I opened it, and the author basically blamed ones astrological sign and other card reading devices for people’s childlessness. Did you know that was a thing? It was news to me. No, not posting it here!  There’s always some new and random way to try to poke the childless not by choice in the eye huh? Don’t you worry, with all of this awareness and conversation going on in and about our demographic, such foolishness will soon be a thing of the past.

Now check out this next article…

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/12/hollywood-still-doesnt-know-how-to-talk-about-childless-women/577906/

Once again, here is the link to your blueprint for a successful new year!

https://childlessnotbychoice.net/product/2019-blueprint-for-your-goals-and-visions/

Well, remember to reach out if you would like the link to the Goals and Visions blueprint. I am excited to hear and see how it will change your life in 2019. And once again, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and I will talk to you again on January 14th!

Bye!    

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

https://www.teepublic.com/stores/childless-not-by-choice

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 101 IVF versus PTSD

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26:39

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 98–Pet Therapy for the Childless not by Choice Demographic

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 98!

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 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

Michelle Link

As the last of their six children are now grown, Michelle Link and her husband of 29 years have opted to continue the energy and chaos of family in their home, by adopting dogs.

Training their three Goldendoodles has become Michelle’s passion, which ultimately culminated in the therapy dog certification of their girl, Murphy.

Michelle volunteers with Murphy in several capacities as a therapy dog team, but she is also inspired to educate and encourage others, sharing the life-changing benefits she’s discovered in her personal relationship with Murphy.

Questions:

1)Murphy is a Goldendoodle–Therapy and emotional support dog,

         does the type of dog matter for training and certification?

2) One of the things I learned from you in our pre-interview conversation was that there is a difference between a ‘Prescribed emotional support dog’, and a ‘certified’ dog; What’s the difference?

And then what is the difference between a companion pet,  an Emotional Support Animal, and a Service Dog?

 

3) Other than your own experiences with pets, are you aware of any studies that support the benefits of a relationship with a pet?

‘American Journal of Critical Care Study’

‘Mass General Study, women who had at least one child and a pet…’

FMRI Study…levels of oxytocin’.

 

4) When did you personally realize the healing value of a relationship with dogs?

5) Speak to us about the fact that there is value in having fur babies, and that doing so does not diminish or minimize those with pets who happen not to have children?

 Michelle’s contact info:

TherapyTeamMurphy@mail.com

Instagram: @therapyteammurphy

 

Articles and links just for you:

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

The following link is for your enjoyment:

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/woman-removed-plane-boarding-emotional-support-squirrel-105012179–abc-news-topstories.html?.tsrc=fauxdal&guccounter=2

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

 

‘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’.

 

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

Until next time! Bye!

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’.

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’.

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 interview on the That Anita Live Show

My interview with That Anita Live was done in 2017, so a couple of changes since then: The name of my Podcast is Childless not by Choice, and I do blog about childlessness. I really enjoyed this interview, and I hope you will too!

Episode 91–Celebrating Three Years of Podcasting!

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

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

https://www.patreon.com/Childlessnotbychoice

  • Jordan Morgan

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

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

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

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

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

Like this recently received email: Dr. Cristina.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enough about money…for now.

 

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

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

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

Message from Mareshah.         

Episodes/articles mentioned in today’s episode:

Episode 86–see link above

Episode 89–see link above

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

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

Blog: The 40th Anniversary of-of IVF:

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

My contact information:

Website: 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. 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 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!

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!

Childlessness is not what defines me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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