Monday, 16 July 2018


I am always happy when a new blogger arrives* in our group  because they always say things that make me think, or that describe my own experiences in a slightly different way.

Léa at Des Meandres aux Etoiles has written some lovely posts so far, although I’ve only read a couple as I am attempting to read them in her original French, though Google Translate or DeepL do a good job of translating her posts into English; Léa, like so many Europeans, responds to English comments in perfect English herself.

Léa made a comment that spoke to the heart of my understanding of how to move on, and that is one of the reasons I called this blog No Kidding, when she said,
“ … gathering the energy to keep moving forward in life means to not lie to yourself.”
Making the decision to end the process is a moment of brutal honesty; an honest assessment in the medical (or practical, eg with adoption) likelihood of success if we continue, honest assessments of our own ability (mental, physical, financial, etc) to continue the process of trying to build a family, and honesty in accepting that this will not be our lives. But it also means honesty in accepting that our future lives will be fine, that we will be able to bear life without children, and eventually, the honest acceptance that our lives without children will be good, happy, fulfilled.

She also said that 
“becoming aware of my experience has given me the effect of deliverance.”
I absolutely adore this, because she acknowledges that all this honesty delivers freedom, a release from the burden of trying and failing, a liberation to move forward and live, and love, her life. Brava, Léa, I look forward to (hesitatingly in my schoolgirl French) reading your posts.

* though I am sad for them that they have found themselves here

Monday, 9 July 2018

Miscellaneous No Kidding Thoughts

1. Another shout-out to Mel, who has hosted her 600th Roundup by inviting her readers to highlight particular posts (their own, or those of others) they have loved, and it is a celebration of infertility and No Kidding blogging. I encourage you to go over and read some of the posts* that are being featured. I wish my memory was better, because I have read so many posts from so many of you that have made me punch my fist and say "yes!"

2. I had a major eye-rolling even late last week when I was watching a news show talking about the Thai boys trapped in the cave, and someone commented that it was "the worst thing imaginable, being trapped in a cave in the dark with water rising."

"I'll tell you something worse - it's being the parent worrying about your kid trapped in a cave," said another guy.

As a parent, he was relating only to the grief and fears of the parents, whereas I (like the actual parents of the boys, I suspect) was worrying about the the boys and their young coach, thinking about what they were feeling, what it must have been like to spend ten days in utter darkness, the fear and hope, the hunger, the desperation.

3. My husband and I put the cat amongst the pigeons last week when we decided to give all his other siblings six month notice that we would not be spending Christmas with their parents (we have done so for the last three years in a row), and it was up to them to decide if they wanted their parents to be alone, and if not, who would be the ones to visit. They have hidden behind having Christmas with their children (or allowing their children to spend time with cousins) for years, implying that, because we don't have children, Christmas is less important to us, and also hinting - quite strongly - that the idea of enforcing their children to celebrate with us and/or the in-laws was just too cruel** to the kids. So this year we got in early, saying I want to visit MY family this year for a change, and we're sitting back and watching the fireworks!

 * and thank you to those who featured my posts, two of my personal favourites - Infertility's Waiting Room, and The Real Success Stories.

** despite one of the children telling me she didn't want to spend Christmas with all her cousins and aunts and uncles

Monday, 2 July 2018

A Thank You to Mel

Last week, Mel at Stirrup Queens reached a landmark, writing her 600th Friday Roundup, where she highlights posts from around the ALI (Adoption Loss Infertility) blogging community, and invites us to do the same in the comments. This is an amazing achievement, and has taken real commitment to read multiple blogs every week, and to then consistently post a Roundup of posts every Friday for the last eleven years (missing only one on average per year).

I know that many of you don’t read Mel’s blog, but I have noticed that increasingly the posts she is highlighting are from the No Kidding community, and increasingly, the posts highlighted in the comments are from our community too. In doing this, she helpfully brings our perspectives to the wider infertility blogging community, legitimises our choices and our lives, and also reminds us where we came from. And for that, I thank her.

Likewise, her Microblog Mondays project, has kept me blogging and writing about our No Kidding lives consistently, and succinctly, for some years now. I’m pretty sure I’d still be writing here, but probably not as regularly, especially as I keep this for No Kidding thoughts only, writing more generally on A Separate Life about my everyday life, and this year blogging daily on TakeTwo x365. So I am thankful for that too, as this space, and my interactions with you are all, are important to me.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Monday Miscellaneous

A reminder that Lesley Pyne launched her book for sale last week, so check out my review of Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness here, in case you missed it.

There were two babies born last week in my life: one, a third great-nephew, to a niece who had struggled to conceive, and the second, the Prime Miniature as she has been dubbed, to our Prime Minister, who also struggled to conceive. I am pleased to report that I was delighted to hear the news for both these young women, and didn't have any twinges or Ouch! moments.

I was talking retirement with someone the other day, and was surprised that I did have a real Ouch! moment comparing my need to make preparations for myself, and her ability to rely on her children who live in the same city, and perhaps her inability to understand my situation.

On my daily blog x365 Take Two, June's theme has been a month of getting things off our chest, or Whining, and I've written about No Kidding issues* already. I thought I'd continue the theme here, because I wanted to have a whine about parents who really don't stop to think about what they might say or how they might say something. I want to whine too at those who blindly assume that all infertile people - especially those who might be in the midst of trying to conceive - don't understand the realities of parenting. It drives me mad that I have to point out (on my behalf or, more recently, on behalf of others') that just because we don’t have children, it doesn’t mean we:
  • don’t understand them
  • think that every moment of parenthood is full of joy
  • don’t realise that children have melt-downs
  • don’t understand that it is hard
  • might not have some good ideas to share
  • are stupid!

  * You can read them here, and here.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Kiwi baby mania - or not?

Warning: Pregnancy mentioned. (Not mine! lol)

Yesterday was the due date of Jacinda, our 37-year-old Prime Minister. She will be only the second* female head of government ever to give birth in office.The country is about to go baby mad – or are they? Maybe we’re more concerned about the man** she’s had to leave in charge as Acting Prime Minister whilst she is on maternity leave.

I have been very thankful that her pregnancy has not dominated news, as she herself has clamped down on hype and hyperbole around the pregnancy and impending birth. Thankfully, she has not been a smug pregnant woman, and has always carried herself with dignity and awareness. So I haven't been at all bothered by her news, and in fact, have been happy for her and her partner, ever since she announced that they had realised they would probably need "help" to conceive. I do however have no doubt that her pregnancy news has been triggering to many infertile and No Kidding women in New Zealand, and I feel for them in the inevitable onslaught - because there will be one.

* after Benazir Bhutto in 1990 
** her coalition partner, and not someone I have ever supported