What if we never have children? Until recently, I never entertained this possibility. I saw infertility as a struggle that needed to be won. To stop pursuing parenthood once we made up our minds that it was something we wanted was to give up. I couldn’t envision a life where we would be happy in spite of not having children. And yet, that’s where I am right now: content right where God has me. After over 4 years of pursuing domestic newborn adoption, foster care adoption, international adoption, a failed attempt at a natural cycle IVF with TESE-extracted sperm (which we didn’t find), and two failed frozen embryo transfers with adopted embryos, I finally joined my husband in a place of tranquil acceptance. No, we’re not done trying to become parents… [more]
When it comes to large choices in life it is best to plan ahead. The best plan of action, at least for me, is to pick a start date, some milestone goal dates, and then finally an end date. When we started out with our infertility treatments I naively chose an end date of being pregnant only three months after my start date. I thought the doctor would know what to do, I'd do it, and wham-bam-thank you ma'am I'd be pregnant. When my "end date" came and went rather quickly with no pregnancy I had to reevaluate my game plan. My husband and I started discussing what treatments we'd be willing to do, what we could afford, and how long we… [more]
When I was going through fertility treatments, my doctor gave me pamphlet about how infertility is resolved. The pamphlet said that when I ended treatment, it would be in one of three ways:
For me, number 2 was never an option, but for many infertile couples, it is. I have met several older couples who are wonderful with children and who would have made great parents. I often learn that the couple was never able to conceive and, therefore, have lived a childfree life.
Some of these people find other ways to meet their need to parent. They might work in a school… [more]
For those of you who are winding down your fertility procedures, you might wonder how you will feel down the road if you never conceive a child. Some of you might be considering growing your family through adoption or fostering a child. Others might be deciding either to lead a childfree life or to more fully embrace the children you already have in your life without trying for more. Once you have ended fertility treatments, how will you feel in the long run?
I started trying to conceive in 1996, and I became a mother through adoption in 2001. I never succeeded in conceiving, even though I went through several years of fertility treatments, and I have not used birth control in… [more]
Adopting a second child was taking a long time, so my husband and I decided to pursue fertility treatments again. The endometriosis had grown back, so I needed another laparoscopy to remove it. This time, the endometriosis was so bad that my left ovary was "stuck" to the back of my cervix.
My body had a harder time recovering from the surgery this time. I spent several hours vomiting from the anesthesia, which felt even worse because of the pressure on my incision in the belly button. The hormones and intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) were awful, and things were even worse because this time around, I had to work out childcare for a toddler each time I went… [more]
Today I've been working all over. First at one job, then the next, then the next. All the while fitting in some housework and some exercise. I have been trying to finish up some posts and to hopefully get a little ahead in my writing. I keep a file of writing ideas on my favorite places list online. If I'm having trouble with some inspiration for a post, I can always click over and see what I have set aside for myself in times like these. There is a website that I'm really excited to share with you all. I have been saving it so that I can really focus on the information and hopefully do the company and the product justice. All day I've been… [more]
Continuing with the second part of the women without children series by Erica Hielman at the Chicago Sun-Times, is the article concerning indecision. One of the most helpful points of this part of the article involved the myth of fertility treatments. In a sense, our society has now been convinced that we can delay pregnancy due to the new technology. Another point that she made was that "The role of American women in the workplace and in the culture at large has changed radically in the last hundred years. The biology of reproduction, however, has not," In reading this part of the article, I felt that Dr. Ireland had lost some of her empathy towards women who had focused on their careers at a young age, as opposed to… [more]
Finishing up with the article, "Women Without Children: Finding Their Place", written by Erica Heilman, I wanted to re-print some more of the interview, and also give some of my opinions about what was said. Once again, this was a very interesting perspective of life as a woman. You talk in your book about the importance of making a conscious choice about motherhood at some point. Why is this so important? It has been true that there is an expectation that if you're female, sooner or later you will also be mother. And so, whether or not you like it, that equation is in the picture from your girlhood on, and this expectation is somehow internalized. Either you accept this expectation, or you have to fight… [more]
I just finished reading an article in the archives of the Chicago Sun-Times. Doing a search, I found that this paper had quite a few articles relating to fertility. All of which, I was interested in. This article is titled, Women Without Children: Finding Their Place, written by Erica Heilman. It is the initial part of a three part series speaking to Psychologist Dr. Mardy Ireland, located in San Francisco, about her research and subsequent book involving women who do not have children. It seems to me that in the majority of infertility books that I have read, and in my personal story as well, there are times in some women's lives that they question even becoming a mother at all. I know… [more]