Monday, 19 February 2018

No Kidding Living – Childlessness is Always Present

A post this morning about being reminded about infertility at a doctor's appointment surprised me a little. It surprised me because it reminded me that those who come through infertility without children can forget about it for periods of time. We see a lot of writing (and commenting) from compassionate, thoughtful women who have children after infertility, and remember their journey. But I'm not sure I ever realised that they might be able to think, "oh yes, infertility," as if they have forgotten for a while they were infertile, as if it is now irrelevant to their lives.

Those of us who didn't come out of it with children don't need to be reminded about infertility, because the inevitable and inseparable outcome of childlessness is always with us. It doesn't really pop up and remind us, as it would be as unusual for me to think, "oh yes, I have no kids" any more than people with children might think, "oh yes, I have kids." We live with our realities every day.

But I wanted too, to remind you that this isn’t necessarily a painful state, as I noted in my post from a few years ago, in Getting Over It.

Friday, 16 February 2018

"Get out of my uterus!"

I don’t usually do book reviews, but I’ve just finished reading We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union about her life. Actually, if I’m honest, she read it to me, as it was my latest audiobook. It is great hearing memoirs read by the people who have written them.

I didn’t know anything about her, other than she looked vaguely familiar, but I saw Trevor Noah interview her on The Daily Show, and looked for her book. I loved the book. I love her. She’s outspoken, funny, and brutally honest. She talks about racism/colourism in the US. And she talks about feminism. Or perhaps I should say, she talks about her life as seen through these lenses, with intelligence and insight.

So I was surprised – though I’m not sure why I was surprised – in one of the final chapters, for her to introduce fertility as a topic. She mentions the endless speculations about whether she’s pregnant because she was photographed wearing a jacket (when it was cold), and how difficult that made an appointment when she went for a non-gynaecological scan, being asked about five times whether she was sure she wasn’t pregnant. Then she talked about multiple miscarriages, about IVF, and about how hard it all is.

“Get out of my uterus!” she said angrily, wondering why people think they deserve to know all the details of her fertility or infertility.

I second that. Well, I would if I had one, but you know what I mean.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Enjoying the gifts of infertility and blogging

I started writing my Monday morning post, but the several blogs I’ve read the last day or two all provided such great inspiration that I knew it was impossible to stick to eight sentences, so today I’ll write my Microblog Mondays post, and then another later in the week – keep a look out for it!

Today I wanted to note again one of the great joys of my No Kidding blogging life, and that is meeting other bloggers. I meet you all online, which is truly special, and I feel as if my life is much broader than it might be, simply because I chat with you all on a regular basis. That, it turns out, is the top factor contributing to longevity, so I thank you all in advance!

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Valery, her partner and her beautiful daughter, as they are on their tour of New Zealand. We sat under a pohutukawa tree beside the beach, as Suzy fearlessly climbed on the playground and the trees, and chatted face-to-face after all these years of chatting computer-to-computer. We’ve learned each others’ real names, and got used to using them!

I look forward to the day when I can do that with many more of you.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Being an aunt

I’ve been busy this past week being an aunt. On Monday, I taught my nephew how to make my delicious fudgy chocolate brownies. He’s 18, off to university in a week, and needed to know this essential information before he goes. I took pleasure in pulling out my mother’s old measuring cup, melodramatically telling him that my mother had taught me to bake with this cup, and now I had the honour of teaching him.

The rest of the week I hosted my sister and my littlest niece, who at nine-years-old turns out to be not so little, as she tried to use my No Kids status in her favour. When I asked her to do something because – not having children – I didn’t know how to do it, she pointed out that I "could use the practice!"

But I could go one better. I pointed out that one of the advantages of not having children was not having to do certain things that children could do for themselves!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Another (#3 this month) ageing without children

So a few weeks ago I wrote about ageing without children, and some of the comments prompted me to write a much longer post about ageing without children, in which I realised I do have some sort of plan. Then yesterday, we toured a retirement village nearby on their open day.

The person showing us around said, “you know we have an age limit, don’t you?” laughing, so just in case, we clarified that we were looking on behalf of my husband’s parents. We were given information and taken on a tour with a man who had lost his partner, and was thinking about moving in himself.

He commented that he didn’t have an Enduring Power of Attorney set up, because he didn’t know what to do when he had no family. He was doing everything right, moving in when he was able, joining clubs and keeping active, but it was obvious that he was feeling vulnerable. The staff member didn’t bat an eyelid, referred him to a forthcoming talk on setting up POAs if you don’t have family, and made him feel comfortable, that there was a solution, and that he wasn’t alone in dealing with it. In doing that, she made me feel more comfortable too, about our own future.