Well, something pretty neat has happened. A portion of our story will featured in a book on childlessness-not-by-choice that will be out early this Summer. Pamela Sonnenmoser contacted me last year and asked me to contribute to her book project, and I was honored and privileged to do so. I submitted what I believe are some of my best blog posts on the subject of unresolved childlessness and how it has affected the life of our family. Of course, Pamela did all of the hard work, and I’m so excited to see what portion(s) she chose to use.
I want to commend Pamela on her boldness to speak out on a subject that really seems to be one of the last taboo subjects in our culture. There have been a handful of others who have chosen to share their story in print (and on the internet) in recent years, and they are my heroes (and sheroes). I am so encouraged that via the web and books that the childless have found their voice even though support from “the fertile world” is anemic to downright non-existent.
Let me give you an example. I do not cast my CNBC pearls before swine often. If you’ve been through infertility for say…more than a year you realize that the fertile world as a whole is not very supportive. Their chosen response is usually no response at all if they can get away with it. I learned early on that sharing my feelings on infertility/childlessness would cause the fertile to squirm and/or act like they didn’t hear what you said. Unfortunately, I have experienced the worst examples of this treatment in church and by family members (OUCH!)
Okay, let me stop here and say I’ve come to terms, somewhat, with this treatment, although there are days I would like to shake people and say, “If I told you I had cancer I know you’d at least say ‘I’m so sorry! Is there anything I can do?’, but when I say, ‘I could not have a baby’ you give me some flippant answer about adoption or ‘you can have one of my kids. They drive me crazy!’ or simply change the subject.” I say all of this to say that bearing one’s soul to the fertile world is as risky endeavor.
Example given…last night I shared on Facebook the fact that a portion of our experience will be included in a book coming out soon. Of course, several of my wonderful CNBC friends congratulated me because they sooo understand the importance, but not one of my non-CNBC friends (including family) have had anything to say at all (26 hours and counting). I’m sure if I had said I had contributed to a book on business, self-help, or any other subject under the sun I would’ve gotten several congratulatory comments from my friends, but no…cue the sound of 267 crickets.
Listen, I’m a big girl who wears big girl panties. I honestly did not expect people to gush. I’m not one to fish for compliments , but one does like to be acknowledged for something significant like this by friends and family. I always knew that people didn’t like to acknowledge infertility, but wow, I thought people could at least muster a few “congratulations” or “awesomes”.
BUT I refuse to let that get me down. I have so many wonderful friends I have met through the internet (and a few in person), and they are my peer group. Without them I would not be at the place I am now. I think because we have banded together via the internet it has given us a family and the courage to speak out and say, “Hey, we are childless, but we are not worthless. We can help each other, and we can educate the world and help others who find themselves on this journey.”
And with this new found enlightenment on the utter obliviousness of the fertile world I’d rather have congratulations from 4 of my CNBC Facebook friends than from, 250 of my non-CNBC Facebook friends any day.
So there! Go Pamela and go to the other wonderful contributors to “Beside the Empty Cradle” WE ROCK!