Coming to terms with being Childless before moving on

Those of you who follow me on twitter know I’ve been in a bitchy mood lately. I’ve snapped at a number of people for being happy about their pregnancy (LOL, yeah that petty). I’ve been going at it at home with my wife sleeping in the Guest Room a number of nights. The weird thing is I’m not sure why.

I’ve been exercising more than I have in the last two years. I’ve dropped more than 10 lbs since Christmas losing the weight I put in on 2013. Not that I was fat because I’ve never been fat. I was chunky and my clothes were starting to get tight. I set a goal of getting down from 165 to 145 by mid May. As of last Saturday I’m down to 152. So that’s a good thing. But why have I been acting like a bitch if I at least have this?

The reason is that over a year later my wife and I still have yet to make a decision as to whether we will pursue adoption. I am itching for us to move in some type of direction even if it just means beginning to look at adoption agencies w/out making a decision. I’m tired of putting my life on hold waiting for us to do something.

Which brings me to an email exchange I had with someone I met on another blog that I comment on. For those of you who’ve interacted with me on these you know it brings out the worst in myself. I’ve said a lot of things I regret saying. One of these things led me to emailing this person about it.

She is a woman who recently gave birth to a child but though she hasn’t admitted it I am guessing that she went through some type of infertility. I’m not sure as to what though and I didn’t think it would be polite to ask. In her reply back to me she offered this piece of advice that really stuck with me:

My feeling was that the best course of action for me would be to learn how to come to terms with being childless and that if I could do that, and if i eventually did become a parent, I’d actually be a better parent if it was not a choice made by desperation.

She went onto say that this is something she struggled with and was never able to do. But it hit home for me. If we pursued adoption now it would be out of my desperate desire to parent not because it was a decision for us. I need to accept being childless and be ok with it before we moved onto adoption.

To do this I need to stop putting my life on hold and do something of meaning. I thought about what I could do. I never saw myself leading a ChildFree life that didn’t involve any children in my life. So I have decided to look into my local Big Brother program. I submitted an application earlier this week and hope to hear back from them soon to get involved.

If I can’t make a difference in a child I parent’s life, I hope I can make a difference in a child that I mentor. I don’t know if I’ll be good at it but I don’t know if I don’t at least try. I need to come to terms with being childless before we make any decision as to whether to pursue adoption. Who knows maybe this will be something I love to do and that it does fill the void in my life and whether we pursue adoption becomes a choice rather than an act of desperation. I’ll have to wait and see.

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25 thoughts on “Coming to terms with being Childless before moving on

  1. Karthik

    Greg,

    By the decision of adoption, you are deny your wife’s right to feel the motherhood. She is not going to feel the 10 months of feeel what a normal mother feels. Being a fertile woman, why she should get this (kind of punishment! I feel), why not go ahead to donar sperm and by this you sacrifice your feelings for your loving wife as she gets the feel of motherhood and the child is her own biological kid?

    Sorry if my opinion hurt you, but please, its just my opinion.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Karthik,

      Our infertility story goes beyond my non obstructive azoospermia. If it was that simple, I would be all for using donor sperm. However, it isn’t. And even if it was using donor sperm is not something my wife is comfortable with. So, I am not denying her anything.

      Reply
    2. kisarita

      couldn’t help replying. i don’;t know greg’s wife of course, but not everyone feels the same way about pregnancy and childbirth being the most essential aspects of motherhood. you also some people feel that being in the same boat as their partner is more important for themselves and their child too, than pregnancy and childbirth. There is a wide variety of experiences.

      Reply
      1. Karthik

        My opinion is if “Greg wife is normal” Understand? Even I don’t know about his wife condition. Guys, before commenting on my comment , please note that I have exactly the same condition as Greg having which is just 0.4% in world’s population. So more than you guys I used to feel like what he does. Also my comment is to know his opinion and its not just “comment”

      2. gsmwc02 Post author

        What is “normal”? I mean is my wife weird because she feels differently than other women? My wife is normal to me and that’s all that matters.

    3. Jenn

      Greg is more polite than me. You are a dick. And if you bothered to actually read his blog you would know HE was all for donor sperm and SHE decided SHE was not comfortable with it. Off you go.

      Reply
      1. John Howard

        Yeah, wow. See, this wouldn’t be an issue, there wouldn’t be this pressure to use donor sperm so that his wife could be experience pregnancy and be the biological mother (and pressure on her to do it because everyone tells her that is what “normal” women would do) if it wasn’t legal in the first place. If there were no sperm banks or egg donors, not only would infertile people not feel guilty about keeping their spouse from being biological parents (and unhealthy people would not feel guilty about passing on their un-athletic unintelligent genes) but also the spouses of infertile people wouldn’t feel pressure from the infertile spouse and their in-laws and co-workers to go become parents. It used to be something people just accepted together because they had to. It makes it much easier to come to terms if it’s illegal and wrong to become parents of someone else’s child. People should be free from that kind of dickish pressure.

      2. Lorraine Nowlin

        There was no time when people just accepted infertility. In fact, being infertile led to much more of a stigma years ago than today. If this practice were illegal people would simply become parents illegally since it would be impossible to police.

    4. Lilly

      Sorry to butt in here, but Karthik, that’s got to be one of the strangest comments I have read – what is your point, btw? That you can’t possibly empathize with this man? If so, that is sad, and kind of sick. He’s a human being, entitled to his feelings. How would you know what he’s going through?

      Reply
      1. Karthik

        Hello, Lilly, FYI, I am in same condition as Greg and having exactly the same medical diagnosis what he have. So you don’t need to post comments such as sick or heck! More than you a woman, I know his pain and damn, I also getting across this pain. My comment is what I feel and want to know his opinion. It’s not empathize, Its the same boat condition and I want to know his opinion only. So don’t just write comments as you know all. Afterall, you are a woman again who cannot understand wider feelings of men with such damn Y chromosome micro-deletion condition.

      2. gsmwc02 Post author

        Karthink, just because we have the same condition doesn’t mean we have processed it the same nor does it mean that our journeys will be the same. You may have the same condition as me but you have no idea how I’m exactly feeling. For me I don’t discriminate between men going through infertility and women going through infertility. We’re all in this together.

    5. kisarita

      oh yeah and not speaking about Greg or his wife, just in general, I think if a person does not want to use a donor for themselves, then they absolutely should not be doing it to make someone else happy! If that is selfish, well then its not any more selfish than expecting someone else to do something lifechanging that is emotionally highly challenging, and could have repercussions for the kid too, to fulfill your needs.

      Reply
  2. Fox

    I think this is an excellent idea. It doesn’t have to be a Big Brother program – or even involve children, in my opinion. But you need to stop waiting around and reclaim your life. Whether that be this avenue or another. I don’t know how much it really has to be accepting being childless as accepting that you can’t control this aspect of your life. So move on to another aspect where you have some control. Get back into former hobbies or find new ones. Find some outlet that is yours that doesn’t depend on whether or not you have kids. I found just reconnecting to my photography hobby to be helpful at one point. At another point I looked into volunteering with elder shut ins. Do what feels right to you but do for FOR YOU. With or without kids.

    Reply
  3. marilynn

    I think the big brother sister program is great I’m sure that you will rock at it and have much to offer. Personally I don’t think you have to ‘come to terms’ with living childless before adopting because you are someone who is very excited about raising children together with your beautiful wife and you want to get to it already! I don’t see how your enthusiasm for wanting to fill your home with the sounds of kids growing up is something you should dampen its sweet and wonderful. The thing to come to terms with is that the person you two adopt is a whole person already in their own right with an existing family and to be sure to put their existing family on a par with both your families so the person you adopt always feels like they are just fine as who they are and that you don’t wish they were your offspring with no other family out there to deal with. Wish them to be exactly who they are and be who you are and just enjoy raising them. Its a matter of coming to terms with you and your wife not being their sole source of identity and family but if you are past that and like them for who they are and feel like you’d be adding their relatives to your relatives then go for it. Your sad partly because you want to raise kids and don’t know when that will start…so start if you feel like it.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      It’s funny Marilynn because Ki was the person who gave me the advice. I think the point was you don’t want to pursue some type of parenthood because you are desperate. You want to pursue it because it was a decision and you’d be ok if it didn’t happen. It makes for a more secure parent who isn’t insecure. I think it also helps the limit the pain if we pursue adoption and it doesn’t happen (which it may not).

      If it were up to me I would start the process of adopting. However, my desire is to parent a child with my wife not be a single parent if that makes sense.

      Thank you for your feedback and kind words, it is greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  4. marilynn

    Also to the guy who bashed you for not ‘allowing’ your wife the joys of pregnancy: leave Greg alone with that Husbands are not in a position to “allow” their wives to do anything. It would be totally reasonable for a man to say he was uncomfortable with the idea of his wife having another man’s baby if that were how he felt. It is not at all selfish of a spouse to have entered their relationship under the assumption that their spouse would reproduce only with them during their marriage. A wife should not be totally shocked or angry that the idea of her having another man’s child would be distressing to her husband especially after the shock of learning he would not be able to reproduce. I’m not saying she owes it to her husband not to go on and pursue her dreams of biological motherhood if she really wants to but cut the husband a break it’s not exactly something people have in mind when they put a ring on their best girl’s finger. Also being willing to raise her child by another man is a nobel and loving thing for a man to do but really only if she were to have gotten knocked up by some horrid deadbeat who vanished and refused to support his kid with her. We are talking about a situation where the other man is not a deadbeat in the conventional sense but rather a real clean cut guy that under normal circumstances would be required to take care of his kid, not a dangerous felon kind of a guy and the only reason he’s not taking care of his kid is because the wife is paying a middle man to make sure he abandons his parental responsibilities. There is a loss there for the kid don’t forget the kid is loosing a bio parent and it’s not going to be accidental.

    Not that Greg shares this opinion but it would not be unreasonable at all for a husband to feel uncomfortable participating in helping a person be separated from their bio father and paternal relatives. It’s one thing to show up on the scene as the noble hero and help her raise her kid if she were really jilted and put in a bad situation by a bad guy, but we are asking her husband to likely underwrite the kid’s familial loss before he can begin that noble act of helping her raise her kid by that other guy. We all know the donor does not want to be a father to his offspring but we are talking about expecting the husband to feel OK with being a motivating factor in the guy abandoning his offspring – to go so far as writing a check in order to make sure it happens. I think that is a whole lot for a woman to put on her husband’s shoulders. Also she’s got to realize what kind of pressure she’d be putting on the kid like the kid is not good enough as who they are which is the child of the unknown stranger she’s going to wish the kid were her husband’s and so the kid is always going to be feeling like she’d rather they were her kid with her husband which is a crappy thing.

    Who could blame a man for not wanting to be part of the destruction of a person’s family? Who could blame a man for not wanting to have his wife have kids with another man? Sure he can buckle down and love whatever kids she has but how much he loves them is not the point its whether he wants to be party to something so intentionally destructive for the kid, you know? If she wants to have bio kids that badly she should care enough about the kid to want the kid to have their bio father be part of their life, not pick a father that will abandon them so she can have her fantasy family with her husband. In that instance being kind to her husband costs a person their family and identity. If she wants to stay and raise kids with her husband she might consider doing it in a way where she does not motivate anyone to abandon their kids. She could opt to raise kids whose bio parents were unable to raise their kids for reasons entirely unrelated to providing her and her husband with children to raise and then she and her husband will have a thoroughly healthy relationship with the kids they raise.

    Again I’m not saying Greg agrees with me, in fact I know he generally does not agree with me but I’m saying there are a variety of good reasons a husband might not think it was such a swell idea and it would not be selfish of him at all to think those things. In fact it would be much less selfish to say he wanted nothing to do with that because he would not have any part of costing anyone their paternal family. Again Greg does not agree with my position in that regard but lighten up on him none the less.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      K and I have a very progressive marriage. Up until two years ago she made more than I did. We split the cooking and cleaning and I handle the laundry. With that being said if she had a strong desire for a pregnancy (which she doesn’t) I would not hold her back whether she wanted to use a sperm donor or leave me I would not stop her. Her happiness is most important to me. The reality is even if we tried a sperm donor or if she left me for another man there is no guarantee that she’d get pregnant. So it’s really a moot point.

      Reply
      1. marilynn

        I’ve read plenty of posts by women who really seem to knuckle their spouses to not just go along with them doing it but that they should have no reservations about it and I think that’s just really an unrealistic and unsympathetic approach to dealing with someone your supposed to care about especially when they are coming to terms with having life altering medical conditions that prevent them from getting her pregnant. Like he’s soooooo selfish if he is not a fan of the idea. I just think women need to give dude some breathing room.

  5. Goebel

    Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this post! It was really helpful! With mothers day coming up, I’m feeling a bit…cranky and moody…and just general crappiness. This post made so much sense. Thank you! It helped!

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I’m so sorry for your crapiness. But I’m glad this was able to help you. Best wishes to you on your journey. 🙂

      Reply

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