Tag: Child-Free Living

Wanted: Child-Free Infertility Support

I wasn’t planning on posting anything on my blog today; didn’t have anything scheduled to post. In fact, I had other plans to work on another writing project I’ve been working on.

But then I saw something on my Facebook newsfeed in response to a RESOLVE posting. And, well I just had the need to address it on my little corner of the world.

You see, I subscribe to RESOLVE’s fan page so that I can get the latest infertility news that they post on Facebook. It’s been useful in reminding me to vote for my favorite infertility book and my favorite “What If” post from NIAW 2010. And it tends to post articles from their website about various topics dealing with infertility.

Since I’ve subscribed to RESOLVE’s page, I had seen multiple articles in regards to treatment options for Infertility ranging from IUI to IVF; donor eggs/sperm, surrogacy. But never had I seen anything about child-free living … until today.

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You *bet* I "like" this!!

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Which of course, I immediately “liked.”

Of course, that was swiftly followed by the first commenter.

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Name erased to "protect the un-informed" ...

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<sigh>

Sometimes people don’t get it. And what’s sad is that sometimes it’s people within our own Infertility Community.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are reasons why child-free living is right for Hubby & me.  We have deliberately and carefully thought through our other options, including adoption.

It’s so easy for everyone to say “just adopt” when there are thousands of hurdles (both tiny and large) to overcome. It’s financial. It’s emotional. It’s stressful.

I can tell you for myself that I could easily open my heart to a child; easily let a child into my life. But knowing the heartache I’ve experienced from infertility, I just don’t know how much more my mind and body … and quite frankly, my spirit can handle. It’s already been shattered to pieces and glued back together many times over.

It’s a matter of how many more times do I want to put my hand in a pot of boiling water and not know if my hand will be able to grasp onto something … or if I’ll come up empty-handed and burned yet once again.

As if the infertility diagnosis isn’t difficult enough, we’re faced with others who constantly feel as if having children by “whatever means necessary” is more important than simply moving past something that in my heart, I’ve already grieved. It’s like pulling a band-aid off when the wound is just about healed; making it seem to the infertile couple … that has invested a lot of time and energy (not to mention money) we spent on having children … was all for naught.

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Even Ellie & Carl from "UP" decided to live Child-Free after Infertility ...

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I just find it frustrating that even amongst our own Infertility community that there’s a lack of support for those couples trying to decide if a Child-free life is the right choice for them. It’s as if it’s taboo to speak of moving on with your life sans-children.

Even in the RESOLVE Infertility Support Community boards, there are only two communities of which you can choose. One is “Finding a Resolution for Infertility” and the other is “Living After an Infertility Resolution.”

Now when I signed up, I logically chose the latter group. After all, I had found my resolution to live child-free and I wanted to find others that came to that decision as well. Except, well … except when I started to see the message boards, I didn’t spot one single discussion about child-free living after Infertility.

So, okay … then I went to the “Finding a Resolution” community; thinking maybe there might be some discussion about making the decision to live child-free. Nope … struck out there, too.

What frustrates me is that I’ve already felt “different” than the general population by not being able to conceive a child; be a woman in all sense of the world … be able to procreate.** Now that Hubby & I have chosen a less traditional path … it seems as if the pool of couples out there, that are willing to talk or write about this chosen path is much, much smaller. And maybe they are out there in droves, but infertility is no longer the primary focus of their lives.

Maybe I’ll be there at some stage of my life, but right now I’m not. And right now it would be really great to find some other support out there to get through those moments. You know … the ones where I begin to question that decision again? The times where I feel pressured by others to “keep on trying” or “just adopt”?

Yeah, it’d be really good to have that support. In droves. Just like the rest of the general Infertility Community. The same community that helped me feel less isolated when I otherwise felt alone.

And hey … if you stumbled onto this post and are living Child-Free After Infertility and find yourself wanting additional support  out there*** … well, consider this blog or my Facebook page a place where you can hang your hat.

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** And yes, I’m aware that being a woman is not limited to whether or not I can bear children. I’m just using this statement to elicit an example.

*** Because there are resources out there; like Pam’s Silent Sorority site and, in particular her blog, A Fresh Start.

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Related Links:

RESOLVE’s Living Childfree Article

RESOLVE’s Infertility Support Community

Emily’s post about making the decision to live Child-free

Emily’s Thoughts on Adoption

Emily’s Reasons for Living Child-Free After Infertility

Emily’s List of Child-Free After Infertility Bloggers

Emily’s Facebook Page

Infertility Bets On Hold, Part 1

(I guess I need to start off by saying, no … things have definitely not changed in my barren world. And don’t let the title of this post fool you. Apparently I may have “freaked” a couple people out by both the title and the picture below … LOL!)

I’m not a betting person. Which, when you think of the many trips Hubby & I have taken to Vegas, is quite humorous. All those casinos, and the most we played were slots.

I mean, I’ve played poker and blackjack in my college years; but seriously, all bets were based on pennies. Or cigarettes, depending on who you were playing with (<cough> Tim <cough>). But to place actual money that’s more than a dollar (okay, maybe $2 max for a slot machine)? Can’t see myself spending that kind of money.

My odds with these tests were never good

Which, given the odds that Hubby & I were given when we did our one cycle of IVF, makes it ironic. We were given a 51% chance that we’d be successful in our pursuit to become pregnant. We knew the odds were only 1% more on our favor. We had hoped to win this bet — a bet in which we put a boatload of money into the pot — and we lost. And I was devastated.

That’s not to say that I regret ever having done our one cycle of IVF. Because even back then I knew that this was something Hubby & I had to try in order to feel as if we tried everything in our quest to reproduce. I’m just simply saying that the results of that bet, that one IVF cycle, was enough for me to know that I could never place another bet on another IVF cycle ever again.

So yes … the next logical step would be to go for adoption, right?

Except adoption isn’t a simple thing to just “think about.” First, there’s the process of grieving the fact that I can’t have a baby. That alone is nothing simple. That process involves never being able to experience pregnancy. In my case, it involved never being able to see two pink lines in a pregnancy test.  And it involves feeling as if my body’s failed, not only me and my Hubby (especially my husband), but our parents and our siblings. And our siblings children, too.

Then there’s the other part that I needed to grieve; which is outlined in more detail in this recent post. It’s grieving the fact that we will never be able to have our own biological baby.  A child that we could pass our genes to. A child to pass the Filipino traditions we were taught growing up; and finding a way to blend both our American and Filipino sides together. A child to carry on my Hubby’s last name.

And while I’ve pretty much begun to resolve those grief issues, there’s still that lack of strength that I feel I need in order to go through the entire adoption process.  Because it takes someone who really has enough strength to climb over the proverbial brick wall getting in the way of having a child. And specifically, I’m talking about all the rules and reg­u­la­tions and inves­ti­ga­tions into your pri­vate lives just to raise a child that is not bio­log­i­cally your own. Quite frankly, I know that I don’t have what it takes to go through that.

(Part Two continues tomorrow … )

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Related Links:

Thoughts on Adoption

Baby Picture

Other Related Strings

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