Over the past two years of writing this blog I’ve crossed paths with lots of women trying to come to terms with being childfree. Some people find the blog and stay for the community; some come and post a comment or two, never to be heard from again.
I’ve also really connected with a lot of readers. They’ve left insightful or funny comments and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them a little.
Some are still regular readers, however a couple have suddenly left, and I’ve thought, “Oh good for them; they’ve moved on. That’s great.”
For some reason, maybe feeling nostalgic about the early days of the blog, I was looking over some old posts this week and followed up on a couple of bloggers I hadn’t heard from in a while, just to see what’s going on with them.
Turns out, they’re busy having babies.
I’m not really complaining about this, so perhaps this doesn’t belong on Whiny Wednesday. But it’s left me feeling funny. I’m not sad and I’m not envious. I’m not hurt or feeling deserted. I’m happy for them, but not happy enough to send a note of congratulations. I just am. I’m here; they’re there; our paths crossed briefly, and then we went our separate ways. That’s life, I guess.
Kate B says
I find that how I feel when I hear baby news depends on the person and our relationship. For some people, I’m really happy for them. WIth others, I’m just jealous. Then there are those that make me sit there and think “why her and not me”.
As for a whine of my own, I had to work late last night. That’s not the really bad part. My whine is that an issue came up and board members were all “we need to address this” yeah yeah yeah, blah blah blah. None of them will have the balls to follow through. And it pisses me off. I work in government. There’s not a lot of waste, but there is some and I can tell you where the waste is in my government. And none of the board members will have the balls to follow through and address it because none of them are willing to address the sacred cows.
I admire you for being happy for them. I try to be happy for my infertile-turned-mom friends but those are some of the most difficult “cases” (for lack of a better word) for me to accept. It has been so difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that I have dealt with year after year of so many devastating disappointments while friends with a worse diagnosis than mine suddenly just turn up pregnant; and everything is fine. It breaks my heart. I wonder where was I when the miracle babies were being handed out? What about me???? I love your blog. I can’t wait to read your book. I’ve joined the forum; I just have yet to introduce myself. 🙂
Life Without Baby says
Nice to “meet” you. Glad you found us here. 🙂
It is very difficult when folks on “our team” leave to join that other team that we are so envious of. Even if we’ve moved passed our own issues and have come to terms with this new life. I think though that you are doing well with the news, sort of right in the middle, so that’s good. I hope that you see that you are making leaps and bounds on your journey. I too have reached that point where I just am after hearing that news, depending on the relationship I already have with that person.
My whiny Wednesday…it’s my half day at work and I haven’t enjoyed an afternoon snooze in about a month. I’m tired. And today is jam packed with errands, so no napping for me again today. On the other hand…most people don’t even get the napping luxury so I really shouldn’t complain 😉
Life Without Baby says
I absolutely get the napping luxury. Must have been a cat in a past life. >^..^<
OK, I know I sound like an ancient crone writing this :p (& I may regret hitting “publish”) — but I often find myself feeling just a wee bit skeptical of younger folk who declare they are resigned to living childless/free. Because, like you, I’ve witnesssed several cases where they eventually wind up pregnant (through further treatment or a miracle baby) or adopting. I am happy for them, of course — but i think it makes it more difficult for others to accept that miracles don’t happen to everyone, and that some of us really, truly are DONE.
I think sometimes people THINK they are done & are going to spend the rest of their days without children — but once they’ve had a chance to step back & breathe a bit, maybe save some more money, they find they’re not quite as “done” as they thought they were — particularly if they are still in their 20s or 30s. Once you hit your mid-40s, I think you realize the options are narrowing, and you might not have the energy you may have once had to pursue them. At least, that was true for dh & me.
That’s what I feel, loribeth…that ‘coz we’re “young enough to breed still” (I’m going on 34 and hubby’s just turned 41), I feel that I’m an outcast in the “childless not by choice” category…but in my mind, we’re done thinking of a future with kids and ‘coz I never got pregnant while we were so busy TTC and we’ve decided not to do any treatment nor adopt, sometimes I feel that I really wanna go past 40 already so I can truly belong in the category. I know it sounds weird to say it this way, but it’s what I feel.
You have summed up my sentiments exactly. Most women with “difficult” IF cases who are in their 20’s and early to mid-30’s do go on to have biological children. From reading the forum, I see many women who fit your description.
Loribeth, from one old crone to another, I understand! Two things – one that I was always a supporter of the “never say never” brigade – I can totally understand the ones who say “not now.” But life changes a lot in your 30s – and so do your thoughts about career, and family, and what you want out of life. And so your opinions might change.
Secondly, things change in your 40s too, and Cici I’m not that envious of the other group any more. And I certainly wouldn’t want to gt pregnant now.
Kate B says
I’m another in the old crone camp! I really understand what you are saying and I will tell you that, had I not been already in my 40s when I met my husband and we started trying, I truly believe we would have had a family. Had I been younger (he is younger) we would have had the time to save to adopt. But, when you are already as old as I was, there’s not a lot of time to save to adopt before you feel too old to start. I still think about it sometimes – but then I hit my realistic button and admit that being a mother at 50 might not seem so bad, but the concept of still having a kid in high school when I hit retirement age – well that’s not appealing.
I have to say, as a member of the “younger camp”, I’m 31 and my husband is 33 and we are done. We’ve gone the IVF route, it didn’t work, and we are no longer candidates for even that. We’ve talked about adoption, and it’s just not for us. At this point the only way I could ever have the kids I’ve always wanted, is to leave my husband and either do it on my own or find someone else. That’s not going to happen. I love my husband more than anything. So, I’m going through the process of reconciling it in my heart and mind to learn to love myself and love who we are as a couple without kids. It’s a hard process, especially when most people think we are just waiting to have kids, and make offhanded comments to us about it. I’m getting to the point that I just pass over what they say, and try to move on. The decision of not pursuing other options wasn’t an easy one. We talked long and hard about it and prayed about it too. I’m starting to find the peace I need, but I also know I’m still grieving for my dream and desire to have kids and probably will be for awhile.
To be completely honest, this comment stung a little bit, because it almost seems like because we are young, we don’t really know what we want yet. I know it wasn’t meant that way.
It definitely wasn’t meant that way, Erika, & I’m sorry if anyone was hurt by my comments. I just meant that situations do change over time, in ways we might never have expected — & when you’re younger, you do have more time ahead of you. What might not seem possible right now may suddenly become possible — a windfall that suddenly makes another round of treatment affordable when you thought there was no more money for it — a partner who was opposed to adoption two years ago has a change of heart — or just that unexplained “miracle” pregnancy out of the blue — I have seen it happen, online and in “real life.”
But I am sure there are plenty of people out there who resgn themselves to childless/free living and that’s it. We knew we were done when I was 40 — but I secretly hoped for that “miracle” pregnancy for a few years after that. Also, I look younger than my age & I still had to endure comments from people along the lines of “well, there’s still time…” etc. (including people who really should have known better, such as former nurse we knew through our pg loss support group). They gradually did die out once I hit my mid-40s — one good thing about getting older!
Life Without Baby says
At 42, I fall on the cusp between the younger crowd and the old crones (in my mind at least.) My odds of a “miracle” pregnancy are minuscule, but not zero, just highly improbable. In my mind I am done, not going to happen, moving on, but I also feel as if I need to leave a little corner of my heart open to the possibility of motherhood. This is not futile hope, or even a continued wish for a miracle, but until I hit menopause (which is coming) I feel as if I need to remain a tiny bit open to the idea of motherhood, even though I know it’s not going to happen.
Good for you Lisa for being happy for these lucky ladies….I too, find myself to still be green with envy every time I hear of someone else getting pregnant. My whine for today is, I forced myself to go to dinner last Friday night with my husbands best friend and his very pregnant wife. Her and I don’t have the best relationship and her getting pregnant didn’t help matters for me, but I wanted to do the right thing and give them their baby gifts, since I didn’t attend the shower. Well, the whole dinner consisted of nothing but ultrasounds, baby gifts, baby room, hospital maternity ward colors, etc…. I tell you, it was miserable trying to fake being the least bit interested – but what really got to me was how everyone in the restaurant was doting all over the pregnant lady. I mean, she was offered more seats while we were waiting for our table – at the end of the night, the waitress even offered the “pregnant couple” free dessert – I guess my husband and I didn’t deserve such treatment since we are not as special as the others. I left feeling so sad and I still can’t seem to snap out of it. I am sure it has a lot to do with the fact that the baby is due to come any day now and that’s all I hear about.
Lee Cockrum says
Totally understand the feeling about someone getting treated as “special”. I was having the same feeling today about a similar situation.
I hear you, sister. Yuck! How awful for you.
“Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4).”
May our dear Lord hold you in his arms and give you peace. Jesus knew what it was like to be childless…
Thank you Dorothy. Just what I needed. XO
I have a separate whine. I’m sick as a dog, don’t seem to be getting better, and totally fed up. It’s almost been two weeks, and I’m ready for a change. Appreciate your good health when you have it!
Maybe Lady Liz says
I feel the same way when I hear baby news – I truly have no idea how to feel! I guess it’s just a vague sense that everyone is moving on to something else without me and when the music stops, my husband and I are going to be in a big room by ourselves. So while I’m not UNhappy for them, it’s hard to be ecstatic about it.
I am not in the younger camp, I am 39, but I just hate it when people refuse to believe that we will never have a baby. After multiple IVF, we opted not to adopt, so this is it for us. But some friends and family members feel the need to tell us things like it still could happen or try to stay hopeful. I absolutely hate that, it feels like they undermine everything we went through to get to that “choice”.
I could have written this comment as well!
I hate when somebody tells me to be hopeful.
1. I have totally damaged tubes. It is the same as if I were without them.
2. We have had 10 (ten!) failed IVF treatments. We are definetely not having any more.
3. Summary: being hopeful in our situation: very stupid thing.
The only thing that we can be hopefull about is claiming back our happy life that we had before infertilitly. And we are doing better each month.
I lost contact with majority of women that we started our infertility path together. Almost all of them ended up with children. And our paths separated since I was emotionally not willing to share all baby-realted topic with them. And they were not willing to really listen to me. (But there is an exception to the rule: I do have a friend that I met during IVF treatments… she has 2 year-old-daughter now. And she really knows how to be my friend.
I have a late breaking minor whine. It annoyed me more than anything. I posted a short blog post today about being grateful, and on wordpress, after you hit publish, it gives you a little “Way to go!” and suggests additional “tags” that might be relevant for your post. I read it because I need the help. One of today’s suggested tags for MY post was “motherhood”. I’m thinking, “It’s not April 1st yet.” I had to go back and read the ONE paragraph, to imagine what the hell the software was thinking.
I referred to my dogs as “my two babies (dogs)”.
So why didn’t it it just suggest the tag “babies”?