(This is the fourth installment of a six-day series to celebrate NIAW. I’d say it’s because I “planned” it that way … but the truth is, the series started out as one extremely looong post. To start at the beginning, click here.)

273Finally there’s one last loss that those experiencing infertility may or may not have experienced in their unique journeys. It’s a loss particularly felt by those infertile couples/individuals who have decided to forgo medical treatment all together. These couples could simply be “in limbo,” deciding whether or not going through the grueling adoption process is their next step. Or they could have decided on the “child-free” path of life.

And while on this discussion, I must state that there is a difference between being a “childless” couple and “child-free” couple. Being a couple that is “child-free” indicates a methodical decision to live a life without children. It’s a choice that this couple made, for their own personal reasons, to remain a “family” of two. I’m sure that individually, each one has their reason, but the point is that there was choice in the matter.

However, living a “childless” life is simply a path in life that was given to them. It’s a path that was reluctantly forced upon them. “Childless” living may not have been the life these couples imagined when planning their future together, but it’s unfortunately the twist of fate that has taken them on their childless journey.

An ideal “childless” course … well, it would end up with the ability for any infertile to miraculously become pregnant … but that’s not what I’m getting at. (Besides, at this point in my life, it very well may be an “immaculate conception.”) In an ideal “childless” course, I would hope that a person would be able to progress from perceiving their life as “childless” to being able to live”child-free.” Because then this person (or a couple) would consciously and deliberately be making that choice to live “child-free.”

But wow … how I’ve digressed. So going back to the losses experienced with “childless” living … this last loss is one that not many like to discuss. But because this is my blog and it’s a loss that I’ve experienced, I will forge through this and write about it. And what I say isn’t meant to be received by the readers as a method to elicit sympathy or empathy. It isn’t meant to sound bitter or angry. It’s simply a fact.

And the fact is this: Couples experiencing infertility, particularly women, feel a loss of connection amongst other couples or women that have achieved pregnancy and ultimately a family. While I admit, part of that loss can be attributed to that bit of envy an infertile is *entitled* to feel. However, the loss of connection has more to do with the inability to be part of a lifestyle that is “natural” in every day society.

Let me explain this a little more.

(Tomorrow, of course … )