What if I never have kids- Aela Mass

After four years, multiple IVF cycles, three devastating miscarriages, and countless setbacks … Aela’s road to motherhood has been anything but easy. Follow her story on Babble and don’t miss the latest chapter in her journey below.

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What if I don’t ever successfully birth a baby into this world?

After four years of infertility, this is a serious question I’ve been asking myself. When I think about not becoming a mother, I can’t help but feel like a failure. Couple that with the stigma from moms and I feel an immense pressure that I’m not good enough unless I have children.

My baby fever has been in high gear for roughly six years, and I’ve been actively trying to get pregnant and stay pregnant for four years. It’s been a long journey, littered with heartbreak and disappointment and more loss than anyone should have to suffer through. As the months and years continue on without making me a mother, I can’t help but wonder what my life will be like if I don’t ever have children.

When I think of the plight of women like me — childless not by choice — my heart aches for us. What happens if you don’t end up with the one thing you’ve worked so hard for? Will I feel like a failure if I don’t have kids? I’ve committed four years of my life so far to becoming a mom. What if I don’t have children? What if I truly can’t have children? I can try and try and try, but there are women who just can’t have kids. What if I’m one of them?

Infertility itself makes you feel like your body has failed you. And even if all logic tells us that it’s not our fault, it sure does feel like it is. My body is mine. My body cannot do what I want it to do. It is seemingly unable to do what it is supposed to do. Maybe there’s some awful societal misogyny laced in this thinking because surely women are so much more than their bodies, but still — even a liberal feminist lesbian like myself can’t help but feel like I’m broken. Like I’m failing desperately here.

Women who are childless not by choice face incredible pressure from society and, more notably, from other moms who, unwittingly or not, make you feel totally excluded. We expect this from society, right? We expect to be looked at with questioning faces and even judgmental glances that we are grown women without children, as if we’re some broken species all our own, or that we’re part of “what’s wrong with the world today.” But it’s the very real judgment from other mothers that hits us most in the gut.

You just don’t get it until you’re a mom.

Talk to me when you’ve got kids.

Nothing validates your womanhood more than giving birth.

These statements hurt. Some women — not all, but some — know exactly what they’re doing when they say these things. They want our lives to be defined by the accomplishment of having and raising children (and, yes, it IS an accomplishment and certainly one to be proud of), but far too many of these women highlight this part of their lives as a way to showcase their rank. They’re the next-level woman you just ain’t yet. And they love to remind you.

Of course, I recognize that my own views are what trap me in these feelings and notes them as shortcomings. I’ve always been successful, in all I’ve done until now. I work for something and I get it — college, jobs, relationships — you name it. I’ve never worked for something and NOT gotten it. Hard work pays off, right? Isn’t that what we’re taught? How can I feel like anything but a failure if I don’t end up having a baby after all the time and work I’ve put into this?

I don’t have the answers to my own questions, and I don’t know how to find them.

To the Women Struggling with Infertility- Aela Mass

I may not know you, but I know what you’re going through.

You see, we belong to a club no one wants to be part of. It’s a club littered with heartbreak, disappointment, stress, loss, loneliness, and sometimes even secrets.

But it’s also a club made up of warriors — you, me, and the thousands of other women who struggle with infertility.

We are your army.

We may never meet — we may never know each other’s names — but we are with you.

We are with you when you find out, once again, that you aren’t pregnant. When the test reads negative, and tears fall at another failed cycle.

We are with you at the first spots of blood, whether they be from the beginning of a new cycle or another loss.

We are holding you when you cannot speak, when you do not want to get out of bed, and when you do not want to be touched.

We are the strength behind your forced smile when someone unknowingly asks, “So, when are you going to have kids?”

We are there with you when you are questioning what’s next. When you’re wondering how much more you can take, and how much longer you can endure this painful journey. When you worry how you’ll ever survive if you can’t give away all the love that’s in your heart to child someday.

We are there with you when the doctors tell you your options. When the room falls silent at the diagnosis.

Infertility.

You have never felt so alone, but you’re not. Because we are with you.

We know your fear. We know your heart better than almost anyone else.

We are with you at that baby shower — another one that’s not your own. We are with you Saturday morning when your newsfeed is filled with yet another pregnancy announcement. We are with you as you pass the baby section at Target, wondering if you”ll ever be purchasing one of those frilly outfits or teeny tiny sock sets one day.

YOU WILL FORGIVE YOUR BODY FOR FAILING YOU, AND FOR BETRAYING YOU. YOU’LL LEARN HOW TO ONCE AGAIN LOVE HER, I PROMISE.
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Your army stands beside you when you Google the fertility clinics in your area. When you start seriously looking into the adoption process. Or when you visit that sperm bank or egg donation center near you.

And your army is with you when you decide.

To try again.

To take a break.

To move on.

To stand tall.

To fall apart.

To give up.

To give it another go.

To change your mind.

And to do all of those things, again.

And again.

The struggle is a cycle.

And you are a warrior. But don’t miss that army of women who stand not only behind you, but also with you.

We will hold you up when you can’t stand on your own.

And you will, again.

You will amaze yourself by the amount of strength you find within. You will be brave when you take yet another injection, track a new cycle, and start charting your days.

You will forgive your body for failing you, and for betraying you. You’ll learn how to once again love her, I promise.

I know it’s dark and lonely and scary and unfair right now. And I know you feel broken.

Not only have parts of you shattered along the way, but this struggle is changing you.

But, now is the time to pick up those pieces and build up your armor again, girl.

Because you are a warrior, and your army needs you.

8 Unfortunately Common Things People Struggling With Infertility Are Tired Of Hearing

You may not realize it, but you probably know someone who has struggled with infertility.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 12% of women aged 15-44 have impaired fertility.

At LittleThings, we love to write about successful infertility stories — ones about couples who finally are able to have children after years and years of trying.

Unfortunately, not every infertility story ends positively. Many people are never able to have children, even if they pursue fertility treatments and other options.

In the United States, 7.3 million people have used infertility services; that means that even if you think it doesn’t affect anyone you know, you may be wrong.

Not being able to get pregnant is emotionally and mentally (and sometimes physically) challenging for couples, and they may turn to friends and family for support during this time.

If anyone you know is struggling with infertility, it’s important to know what you can say to help them, and what you shouldn’t say.

#1: “Are You Pregnant Yet?”
If you know someone is having a hard time getting pregnant, asking if they’re expecting yet can come off as insensitive.

This is a question they probably ask themselves every single day, and it can be hard to admit to others that no, they still aren’t pregnant.

They’re trying as hard as they can to get pregnant, so they’ll definitely tell you when it happens!

#2: “It Was So Easy For Me To Get Pregnant — I Didn’t Even Mean To!

We all know tons of women who got pregnant accidentally, so it’s not necessary to remind someone who is dealing with infertility that it’s so easy for other people.

Saying something like this may imply that there is something wrong with your friend for not being able to get pregnant.

#3: “You Should See It As A Blessing, Kids Are Hard Work”

If people are trying to get pregnant, chances are they know just how much work kids are.

When people intentionally work on getting pregnant, they’ve usually thought about all the implications having a child has — and they’ve decided it’s absolutely worth it.

#4: “You Should Stop Stressing And Relax, Then It’ll Happen”
When people begin trying to get pregnant, they’re usually relaxed and excited about the prospect of starting a family. It isn’t until later, when it doesn’t happen, that they start to get worried about it.

And stressing over it isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it helps the couple assess the situation appropriately and start to come up with alternate plans.

5. “Why Don’t You Just Adopt?”

Suggesting adoption may seem like a thoughtful thing to do, but it can imply that the couple should just give up on the prospect of getting pregnant altogether.

It’s also important to remember that for many people adoption isn’t a viable option. Even if adopting a child is possible, it’s not the route some people want to go to get to parenthood.

#6: “You Should Get A Dog Instead”
Like children, dogs provide people with unrequited love. They’re a challenge to raise and even cause similar stress for their owners, but they’re not the same.

Dogs are wonderful companions, but to imply that a pet is a suitable replacement for a baby isn’t the most sensitive.

#7: “You Can Have My Kids If You Want!”
ften, people try to deflect the difficult infertility conversation by joking that they’d happily give up their own kids.

It may seem like a harmless joke, but it can make people feel worse about their own situation.

#8: “If It’s Meant To Happen, It Will”
Saying that it’s just “not meant to be” can be incredibly hurtful to someone trying to get pregnant.

You might intend for it to be a kind statement, but it’s often taken to mean that the universe doesn’t want them to have children.

What To Do Instead

Instead of saying these potentially hurtful statements, try to lend an ear. Sometimes all someone needs is a friend to listen to their troubles and provide comfort.

Try to empathize with their situation, and don’t bring up babies and kids when it’s not necessary. If your friend brings up their own infertility issues, try to be compassionate and ask if there’s anything you can do to help or support them. Just explaining that you understand they’re struggling and want to be there for them is often enough.

If you think everyone should understand more about infertility, please SHARE this article with your friends.

A Secondary Infertility Mazel Tov- Jewish Moms

My friend Goldy got married at 19, had her first son at 20 and her second at 21. And now, for 20 years (or, to be more accurate, 240 months), she and her husband have been hoping and praying (and going through treatment after treatment–conventional and alternative) to have another child.
The doctors are mystified by Goldy’s situation. The only thing they know for sure is that everything they’ve tried so far hasn’t worked.
In her close-knit Chassidic community, there is a committee that arranges for women to prepare breakfasts for mothers who have given birth. And Goldy is one of this initiative’s most active volunteers. For years, a few times a month, she has woken up before sunrise to prepare a hot breakfast for her neighbor before she leaves for work at a local cheider, wrapping up the breakfast with ribbons to brighten up her neighbor’s hospital room and day.
One morning I had a chance to see Goldy preparing one of her beautiful breakfast packages, and it was one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever witnessed– to see the uncomplicated joy and care with which Goldy prepared breakfast for another mother whose arms were blessedly full while hers were still empty.
And then, b”H, last week I got such a wonderful Email from Goldy. Subject line: Mazal tov!
So this morning I went to the store to choose out a present for her. For my friend, who for the last 20 years has been waiting to be blessed with another child, year after year, month after month.
And now, b”H, she has been.
With tears in my eyes I wrapped up my present with cellophane and ribbons, a cup that reads: “To Grandma, with Love.”

NOTE HERE- HER DAUGHTER HAD A BABY- HENCE THE MAZEL TOV GRANDMA.

How To Buy A Baby- CJN

How to Buy a Baby is an original CBC television comedy series that premiered on Nov. 13, with the goal of revolutionizing the way people think and talk about infertility.

The 10-episode series is largely drawn from the experiences of its creator, Wendy Litner, a 37-year-old lawyer-turned-writer. The comedy is produced by Litner’s law school colleague, Lauren Corber, who is now the president and producer of LoCo Motion Pictures Inc.

“When Wendy told me about the concept, I wanted to be involved immediately. I know how talented and hilarious she is,” said Corber.

The darkly funny and achingly honest series took two years to complete. Its creators hope it will shatter some of the misconceptions about infertility and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

“Having come from a long line of funny Jewish matriarchs, I tried to channel my infertility heartbreak into a comedy about the subject,” said Litner.
According to the government of Canada, one in six Canadian couples struggles with infertility.

“We are the only comedy about infertility out there and infertility touches everybody. Either you struggle with infertility, or you know somebody that does. It has a broad appeal,” said Corber.

The show is about a 30-something couple, Jane Miller (played by actor Meghan Heffern) and her Jewish husband Charlie Levinson (played by Marc Bendavid), who have given up on making a baby naturally.

Litner is a Toronto Jewish day school alumni who met her husband at Camp Shalom when they were just 11 years old.

“We were best friends. We would spend free swims sitting on the dock, discussing the names of our future children. We had always assumed having a baby would be a matter of our choosing – something we would get to enjoy together when we were ready. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and, as we tried to have a baby, it became clear that we would need medical assistance, if we were to succeed in becoming biological parents. Luckily, our incredible doctor also happened to be our camp counsellor all those years ago,” said Litner.

She wrote How to Buy a Baby while in the throes of infertility treatments, not knowing if she would ever get to be a mother.
The first episode mirrors the beginning of the journey that Litner and her husband found themselves on.

“It was awkward to find myself bent over our bed, my pants pulled down, waiting for my husband to … inject me with hormones. It was embarrassing, sure, but instead of feeling shame, I felt proud at how we were handling it all together. I decided to create a comedy about that: a husband and wife who love each other and make each other laugh as they go through IVF,” said Litner.

“It was sort of cathartic to get to tell the story. Every time we had another bill at the fertility clinic, it felt like we were trying to buy a baby; hence the title.”

Why write a comedy about something that causes pain and relationship turmoil?
“I made a comedy about the subject because while infertility is heartbreaking, it’s also absurdly funny: from daily transvaginal ultrasounds, to well-meaning friends and family asking if you’re ‘doing it right.’ I’ve seen the humour in infertility. I’ve seen the romance, the ridiculousness and the sheer love of it all, to make a baby in a doctor’s office. I’m hoping to give others going through it a much-deserved laugh and to show a window into the process in a warm way for everyone else,” explained Litner.

In the second episode, the family is gathered at the Shabbat table, sipping chicken soup and discussing ovaries and sperm and whether or not this round of IVF is going to work. Charlie’s family offers help in all the wrong ways.

“It’s awkward conversation and it’s their life,” said Litner.

She concluded by saying that reducing the stigma in the community starts with talking about infertility: “I feel people need support and the more we talk about it, the more we can provide that in the form of laughter.”