Category Archives: Childless

Expecting & Parenting after IF and how to support others 

My intention for this post is to hope it helps the community as a whole to support each other and avoid unintentional hurt feelings. Recently I’ve noticed a few members of the community who recently became pregnant or who gave birth ignoring me not responding to me or interacting with me. Though we all start in the same place and some end in the same place how we get there is different and not everyone ends in the same place. Also there are times we’ll be in the same place and others we aren’t. You get the point, it’s complicated.
The hardest thing for us to navigate at times is when a member of the infertility community becomes pregnant or gives birth while others are either still TTC, taking a break, pursuing adopting, a parent via adoption or living childless/free. It’s awkward and no one knows exactly how to interact and support the other. For the expecting parent/parent they may want to protect themselves by avoiding the trauma of being in the trenches and fearing going back to that place. On the other side those in the trenches may avoid those who are expecting or are parents because it hurts them. None of us intend to hurt one another we just don’t know how to navigate this crap.  It takes a village to get through it.

Below I’ve put together some tips/things a to keep in mind for expecting parents and parents on how to support and maintain relationships with those still in the trenches, taking a break, pursuing adopting, parent via adoption or living childless/free. Please don’t hesitate to provide your feedback no matter where you’re at. Dialogue is so important to achieve progress.  Above all communicating and being honest with each other is the best we can do.

1) Please don’t tell us to give up or that miracles can happen. Nothing makes us feel worse when we are told to keep trying when we maybe at our wits end or feel like we may have stopped too soon. We already blame ourselves as it is and think we’re doing something wrong.

2) Your pregnancy/birth has nothing to do with our situation. What worked for you won’t work for everyone or even another person. Our bodies are all different and add in our partners or donors and it’s even more complex to achieve conception.

3) Don’t forget about us. We understand you may need to take a break and enjoy the next chapter of your lives and not live in the community all the time. We understand you have new responsibilities and your life has changed. But we are still here and value our friendship. We aren’t lepors either. Talking to us won’t bring bad luck upon you. When you forget about us it can feel like being left to go hang out with the cool kids.

4) We aren’t upset with you for getting pregnant or becoming a parent. Going back to #2 you getting pregnant or becoming a parent has nothing to do with our situation. It maybe a reminder of what we aren’t able to achieve but it’s not preventing us from achieving what you were able to. There isn’t a baby quota the infertility gods have where only so many babies are born and you having your baby prevents us from having one.

5) Be with us instead of trying to fix things for us. We know you mean well. We know you’re rooting for us. But we aren’t looking for you to tell us that it will all work out or that we’ll become parents. Unfortunately no one knows that. If you want to help and we’re hurting tell us you are there to listen.  

6) Celebrate our non TTC accomplishments. If we have something great in our lives that’s non TTC related celebrate with us but realize it doesn’t fill the void.

7) We can talk about non TTC topics. We all have and had lives outside of having kids before all this. We may have even shared common interests. If you’re uncomfortable talking about babies or treatments go that route to stay in touch.

8) If we move on to adopting, donor conception or childless/free life respect our decision to move on. Please don’t judge us. Not all of our journeys are going to end the same way. Also, it’s not going to feel the same way it felt for you becoming a parent. There is a whole level of complexity added even if we become parents. Though there are some common themes of parenting. If we don’t there’s a child void in our life that will never be filled. Also don’t assume that a person can be happy without children if you have children. Yes, those without children can be happy but please don’t assume something you don’t have personal experience with. It’s like us assuming you are happy as a parent and never hurt.

9) We are happy for you and your family. Even if we mute you on Social Media, keep our distance or disappear for a bit it’s just us protecting ourselves. It’s not you or us just the situation.

10) We care for you and are here for you too. We recognize being pregnant or a parent isn’t easy especially if it comes after previous losses. We know you are grateful. We know you wouldn’t trade places with us. Heck we wouldn’t trade if roles were reversed. So don’t hesitate to reach out for support when you have morning sickness, a baby who won’t sleep or a spouse who isn’t supporting you. If we were in your shoes we’d feel the same way and need support.

Falling Down Again

It’s been a while since I last blogged. I wish I could tell you that my good feelings have continued but unfortunately they haven’t. Well I take that back they continued up until about two weeks ago.
My October was filled with ups and downs. My half marathon was a disaster as I barely finished dealing with ankle and calf issues the whole race. I knew it was going to be a tough race for me as my training wasn’t as good as it was last year. I haven’t run since that race which was over six weeks ago.
The good part of my October was a great distraction as the Mets (baseball team) made a playoff run to the World Series for the first time in 15 years. I had the privilege of being able to attend two games one of which was Game 4 of the World Series (See my video and picture below I took from those games). Despite the Mets losing the series in five games it was a great season for the team that I love the most out of the three teams I follow closely.

But right after the World Series ended and Daylight Savings Time ended with the day’s getting shorter I began to feel a little down. With the holidays approaching I began to think about what we will never experience and will never be able to have. For past holidays I had some hope that we would eventually become parents. This is the first year that I know that isn’t going to happen and it hurts.  

It hurts that we are not able to experience that because I lack the ability to produce one of the two ingredients needed to conceive a child. It’s left me feeling like less of a person again. I feel empty and I know that nothing will change what the situation is leaving me helpless. Though I don’t feel alone.

Over the past few months I’ve started to recognize that this isn’t just my loss but it is also a loss for my wife and us as a couple. For so long I was wrapped up in myself that I forgot this and neglected my marriage. I was very difficult to be around especially with her experiencing a loss on her side. I won’t go into the details of it but I will admit that most women would have left me when she stood by me and continues to do so.  

As much as the situation sucks, knowing that I’m not alone gives me comfort in working through this. That’s probably the biggest difference between how I felt earlier this year and how I feel now. Call it progress but what it means for the future I have no idea.

   
    
 

Just when I thought I was out, They pull me back in!

For those who don’t know the reference to the title of this post is from the Godfather Part III. I know I know I said I was leaving the community a month ago and I was never going to come back. But here’s the thing, I missed a lot of you. Even though I’m connected with some of you on Facebook, I miss interacting with you all. 
At the time last month I had a falling out with some members of the community who went to my most vulnerable place. This lead me to walk away/take a break from the community. As it turns on it was the best thing that could have happened to me at that point. I needed a break from being trapped in the community and being surrounded by people in different places than I am. It was triggering the hurt of where I was at and making me feel left behind. It wasn’t doing me any good being surrounded by it. It was bringing out the worst in me.

The break for me was a good one. I was able to reconnect to the things in my life that mattered the most to me. The things in my life that I took for granted. The things in my life that bring joy to my life. The things that stood by me at my deepest darkest time when most would have separated themselves from me. There was no way I could walk away from them at this point or ever. They aren’t things that you can ever replace.  It’s sonething that when you have it you don’t ever let go because it just feels right.

As for things going on in my life, the last month has been crazy. I’ve had four work trips in consecutive weeks. In fact this week is the first week I’m home the entire week in over a month. Though it was tiring and I hate flying I did get to go to Disney World for the first time in my life which was pretty cool. Trying to fit in my workouts and runs as I finished up training for my half marathon this up coming Sunday was challenging.

Speaking of my half marathon, I’m not sure how I feel about it. My energy level over the last month or so has been low. It’s probably due to everything going on. Plus I think my body needs a beak especially my Calves and Achilles’ tendons. I’m looking forward to being able to take time off from running as much as I love it.  

An exciting thing for me is that for the first time in 9 years the Mets are going to the playoffs after clinching the NL East division on Saturday. It was a shock, in fact I still can’t believe it two days later. I thought they would be improved this year but not nearly as good as they ended up being. And I can finally stop blaming my marriage for the Met woes. You see the night before my wedding 8 years ago the Mets were up 7.5 games on the Phillies with 17 games to play. No team had ever blown that type of lead. But starting with that night the Mets would go 5-12 and have the biggest collapse in baseball history. This season eliminates that myth which I know my wife was tired of hearing.

All in all this past month has mostly been positive with really nothing bad. I’m smiling and upbeat more so than I’ve been in a long time. I’m more of who I was before infertility. Most importantly I’m the loving husband my wife lost when I was diagnosed with non obstructive azoospermia. It’s hard to tell how much of a better place I’m in because I’m so burnt out. Perhaps in a few weeks I’ll have a better idea. I’m of the mind set that I need to expect the unexpected both good and bad. Nothing is ever certain in life.  

I’m not sure what life will look like or where I’m heading. I’m not going to try to figure that out but instead let the chips fall as they may. That’s not to say I will just sit back and do nothing but I’m done chasing things that do nothing but tear me apart inside. I’m done putting timetables on things and instead just live. I don’t want to ever go back to being that person infertility made me and I need to avoid the things and situations that brought out that person.

As for me in the community, I’m not sure that I’ll ever be as active as I once was. I’m just too fearful of going back to that place I was in. I do want to stay connected to people that have been great friends to me and support them when I can. I really hope everyone is well at whatever point you are in your journeys.

Doing what needs to be done

I’ve debated about whether or not to write this post and make a big deal out of myself because I hate being thought of as someone who does things for attention.  I actually drafted this post a little over a year ago after a similar Twitter incident to one I had today.  I decided not to publish it then.  But I think this time it needs to be said.  Please don’t take this as a pity post.  I don’t want for anyone to feel sorry for me.  I’m not a victim by any means.

When you are dealing with any type of life altering grief it changes you forever.  Your outlook on life and perspective will never be what it once was.  Even if things work out and you find some type of happiness you aren’t necessarily better off than you were before, you are just different.  I am no different when it comes to what Infertility Grief has done to me.

I hate what infertility has done to me and how it’s changed my life.  It’s not been for the better.  Grief has not made me a better person.  It’s made me a sad, frustrated and negative person.  At times I’ve let it consume my life because it is the one thing I’ve ever dealt with that I’ve been unable to overcome.  I’ve let it suck the joy out of my life and destroy my self confidence.  

I joined the infertility community to connect with others hoping it would help me and I wanted to see if I could have positive impact on others.  For almost two years both of these things did work.  But this is not the case any more.  Being here doesn’t help me any longer and I’m no longer able to have a positive impact ok others.

Let me set the record straight yes the Twitter incident earlier today did help me come to this conclusion but I’ve been leaning this way for a while.  It started back in June when I didn’t fit with the making dads theme of male infertility week.  And for those of you who don’t know about what happened, all I will say is that I had an unpopular opinon that others felt made it uncomfortable to others in the community.  I didn’t expect others to agree with me.  I would have been happy to agree to disagree and walk away.  Yet I was told I was wrong and was ganged up on by a bunch of people and made to feel like a bad person.  I know it wasn’t their intention but they didn’t care how it made me feel.  I blame myself partially for not walking away sooner but what’s done is done.

The most difficult part of it was that they went to a vulnerable place for me.  One person in particular knew it was a vulnerable place knew how it impacted me yet they still went there.  The others I give a pass too because they didn’t understand how vulnerable it is this person I can’t.  

Unlike the last time I was involved in one of these incidents where I knew I had done some things wrong this time around I was not wrong.  Having an unpopular opinon is not wrong.  I was not forcing my opinon on anyone.  I wasn’t saying my way was the only way and it was superior to others.  It’s just an opinon.  Believing those who have a privilege and a story people can learn from and being bothered that they don’t stick around is not wrong.  It maybe different than what others feel and that’s fine but it’s not wrong.  

I’ve said this in a recent post but I don’t have a success story that can give others hope.  I don’t have that privilege.  That isn’t anyone’s fault nor do I want anyone to feel bad for me, shit happens.  To be clear I don’t define becoming a parent as the only way a person can be a success story in the infertility community.  There are too many childless/free stories for me to mention all of them.  I am not one of them.  Those people can and are having a positive influence on others in the community.  I may have had a positive influence at one time but I’m not able to any more.

The time has come to walk away.  It’s for my own good (not self preservation) as well as others in the community.  Please don’t feel bad for me.  I got out of the community what I did when I needed it.  I also feel that I did my best to have a positive impact on the community when I was able to.  It worked well while it did but it doesn’t work well for me and others any longer.

I’m not disappearing off the face of the earth.  Yes, I’ve deactivated my infertility Twitter account and likely won’t blog here any longer but I won’t be off the radar.  Those of you who have my email, follow my non infertility account, connected with me on Facebook or have my email you can stay in touch with me there.

I really do wish everyone the best on their journeys.  Whether you are still trying to conceive, going through treatments, pregnant, parenting, pursuing adoption, pursuing fostering, pursuing third party reproduction, moving onto a childless/free life or living I hope you all find happiness in all aspects of your lives.  

Trying my best not to be Ungrateful 

I want to start off by apologizing to those who have done their best to support me recently  only for me to be difficult.  Those of you on social media, those of you who have emailed me and those of you in my real life who mean more to me than anything I am sorry.  I recognize that you have nothing but good intentions.  I do appreciate your efforts to help me more so than I can put into words.  This goes for even the people on social media who have unfollowed me.  I wish you nothing but the best and apologize if I’ve offended you.

Things have been really rough for me lately.  About one month ago I went on anti depressants.  I was on anti depressants as a teenager and did my best to avoid going back on them.  Part of it was me wanting to defeat depression on my own and not giving in.  But I had tried everything and I wasn’t getting better.  I’m still adjusting to it.  The first week I felt worse but now I’m feeling more level yet still down.  

What’s been really hard for me is beliving things will get better.  Since my diagnosis two and a half years ago I’ve felt more and more out of place and feeling like I’m in remedial adulthood and can’t get out.  The last of my close college friends wife gave birth on Friday night which officially made me the only childless person among the group.  I don’t think I’ll be able to get together with that group again as our lives are completely different and it’s impossible to relate.  It’s triggering to remind me of a life I’m unable to have due to my bodies indaquecy.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or that I’ve had it worse than anyone in the infertility community because I don’t think that one bit.  We never had to go through treatments, miscarriages or still births.  Our infertility isn’t unexplained with no answers.  I can’t imagine going through any of that.  In some way I think we’ve had it easy and feel weak for being so down when it could have been much worse.  I really feel for those who have gone through all of that.  I just feel like all of our journeys are different and saying you know how I feel isn’t completely the truth just like I don’t know how you feel.

Right now I’m not ready to feel better and that’s ok (my therapist said this is ok).  Right now I want to work through these feelings hoping they pass.  I want to get to a point where I’m not fighting feeling better and that I never feel like this again.  I’m still trying to figure out if and how I can get to that point.

Hearing it will get better is hard cause I don’t believe it right now.  I don’t want to hear what I should do or how I should be grateful for what I have or that you know someone who is childless and happy.  That’s not making me feel better if any thing it’s telling me I’m doing something wrong.  It’s making me doubt myself even more so than I already do.

What will help me more than anything is just knowing others are there.  Knowing that I’m not alone and that I have support means more than I can put into words.  At the end of the day it’s up to me to figure things out and find balance.  I know there are so many that wish they could do that for me and it comes from a place of caring but that’s not possible unfortunately.

I hope that I’m not and haven’t come across as ungrateful.  I’m truly appreciative of everyone’s support.  I again apologize if I’ve upset or offended anyone.  I hope that you can understand how I feel and what can be done to help me.

Best wishes to you all wherever you are at in your journeys.

The Value of those without Children in Society

I’m going to write this piece as politely as possible and my intention is to get everyone to think rather than offend people.  This piece also is not directed at any one person as this is a societal norm.

Until infertility came along I never fully recognized the bias society has towards those with children.  In the work place in families, in the media and everyday life people with children are given a break more so than those without children.  If you have two employees one has kids who can’t stay late because of their kids softball/baseball game and the other doesn’t have kids but has a dinner date with their spouse it’s easy to know which one will have to stay late.  Same goes for families with aging parents where the sibling without kids has to take on the responsibility of taking care of their parents rather than the sibling who has kids.  The idea is the person with kids and their time and life is more valuable than those without children.

The situation when this is at its worst is when someone tragically dies young be it from cancer or some other awful tragedy.  You’ll hear how a person died at the age of 34 and had two young kids and how awful it is.  Yes, it is awful.  Anyone whose life ends so young is an awful situation that is unfair.  However, would it have been less awful if they didn’t have two kids?  Would it have been less awful if it was just a spouse and other relatives that were grieving that person rather than adding on the kids?  I know the intention isn’t to do this but basically our society is saying that those with children have more valuable lives than those without children.  It tells me that my life is less valuable because I’m unable to have children.

Things like this can drive the so called “commodification” of children that opponents of third party reproduction and anti adoption groups talk about.  Though none of them recognize or talk about the bias against those without children nor did any of them have to make the choice that those going through infertility have to.  I’ve always taken them with a grain of salt and recognize their agendas that could care less about those going through infertility.  But they do have a point in this regard, having children has become a status symbol in our society as the difference between the socially acceptable haves and have nots.

I don’t believe that all people with children are like this.  I also don’t think they believe their life has more value than those without children.  But I believe they have the power to think about the message they are sending to their kids and society that people without children are just as important as those with children.  Next time someone tragically dies or faces some unfortunate circumstances I hope they recognize what’s happened to them regardless of whether they have kids. 

I’m Giving Up

Infertility has changed me in many ways mostly not for the better. Sure I’ve learned to become more empathetic and understanding of why I feel the way I do sometimes. I’ve also gotten back into running. But beyond that it’s changed me into a shell of what I used to be.
Prior to infertility I was a very pleasant up beat person who always believed things would find a way of working out.  I was happy enjoying many of the things in life and looked forward to what each day brought me.  It wasn’t that my life had been easy to that point but rather I had overcome the odds of people telling me I wouldn’t be able to do things I eventually was able to do. Sure I never went to Harvard like I dreamed I would at the age of 6 or became an Astronaut. But I went to a pretty good college and have established a good career that allows me to live comfortably.  

I was also a person who believed I could overcome anything that came my way. I believed I could adapt and change if I worked hard doing things differently than I imagined. Most importantly I believed I should never give up even when things seem bleak.

Now that infertility has changed me I no longer believe things will work out. I no longer believe I can do things differently but achieve a similar goal and happiness. I no longer believe it’s worth trying hard and that my hard work will pay off.

Essentially infertility has taught me that it’s not worth trying and that I should give up when things seem bleak. When I try hard all it does is lead to unmet expectations that end up disappointing me. I tried hard in 2014 to live a childless life where I made changes in search of fulfillment. I got back in shape and started running again. I became a Big Brother volunteer.  I took things one day at a time and focussed on the present.  My expectation was that these things and approach would give me what I was missing.  

Instead all it did was distract me from the feeling that I’m in the remedial Adulthood class and no matter how hard I try I’m never going to be able to get out of it. I’m never going to be able to relate to people my age who have all moved forward with their lives while I’m not able to move forward. I’ll always be a step behind in life.  There is no next Chapter to work toward. This is the Chapter I’ll live until I retire.

Rather than fight these feelings and the challenge of fulfillment I am giving up and quitting on finding that fulfillment. Just as I did with infertility that led to unmet expectations when I quit, I am going to quit on trying to get out of the remedial adulthood class and just accept this is what it is. This is not to say I don’t believe others who are childless/free who find fulfillment. I do believe them but that’s them and what worked for them, that’s not me.

Whatever is going to happen is going to happen it’s out of my control. It’s no use in fighting anymore. It’s a losing battle that is just going to leave me more disappointed and empty.

I’m Not a Success Story Nor a Hero

I hope this doesn’t come across as a feel sorry for me post (though it probably will and I just need to suck it up).  

The last two and a half years have been the most difficult of my life.  Finding out I’m not capable of producing sperm and thus not being able to ever have children has changed my life.  It’s changed my outlook on life from a perspective that hard work would eventually lead to things working out to one that now see’s no point in working hard.  It’s changed relationships from being strong to never being the same.  It has also led me to connect with many amazing people in a community I never knew existed.

The infertility community has been great to me.  I’ve learned so much by reading stories and following journey’s of others that can inspire future people going through infertility that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Some have had their journey’s result in pregnancies and births.  Others have moved onto adopting.  There are also those who are forgotten who have moved onto Childless/free lives.  And there are those still in the trenches who are working towards moving forward in some way.  There are too many individuals to list in this blog piece.

Recently I had a discussion with some of these great people.  The discussion was around how just because one chapter in a person’s life is bad doesn’t mean the next one will be bad.   The two other people in the discussion both recently became pregnant.  For them though infertility was a bad chapter their next chapter has the potential to be something great (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it is for them).   I don’t begrudge them for that in fact I’m extremely happy for them as it couldn’t have happened to two better people.  

My input into the discussion was how my story was having multiple bad chapters and that I had no reason to believe a good chapter to my story would be coming anytime soon.  This chapter has been worst case scenario across the board leading to a deep depression.  The feedback I received was that Hero’s always have it the worst and that they are the strongest to overcome the challenges they face.  Obviously the feedback was given with the best of intentions (and it was greatly appreciated) to encourage me to continue to fight and that things would get better even though life is not going to look the way I want it too.

But here’s the thing, I’m no hero I never was a hero nor do I have it in me to become one.  I never wanted nor am I capable of a hero’s life.  All I wanted was a simple life where I got married to someone that I would grow old with and I would raise kids with that person.  There wouldn’t be anything more than that.  I’m not capable of more than that.  I’m just a regular guy who had to work hard just to get to that level playing field.  My success story would have been that despite the odds against me I built a simple regular life together with someone special that included us raising kids together.

The infertility community is filled with success stories with and without children.  My story is not a success story.  My story didn’t result in me becoming a parent nor has it resulted in a fulfilling childless/free life.  My story is not going to inspire anyone that they can get through infertility.  I have failed at getting through infertility.  It has defeated me.

I was reminded that my story isn’t a success recently when there was a Making Dads week held to recognize men going through infertility.  Many men were included who went through infertility and are now dads.   The men who spoke are able to offer hope to others something I can’t do.  Things like this I’ll never be able to be included in the infertility community telling me I have no place here.

Recognition that I’m not a hero and that I don’t have a success story has told me that it’s time for me to step back in the community and consider walking away for good.  My life is too much of a downer and I don’t want to bring others down who need to be lifted up.  I’ll leave the lifting up to the real Hero’s who have survived infertility and had success stories.  Plus I relate to very few people here as most have moved onto the next chapters in their lives.  Unless things change in my life and some miracle happens to me that makes my story a success there’s no reason for me to be here.  

Why not a Non-Parents Day?

I’ve written before how I think that Mothers and Fathers Day are bullshit holidays and nothing but hallmark holidays.  It’s not that I am jealous or bitter that I’m not a parent it has more to do with the idea that we shouldn’t need one day a year to show appreciation for our parents.  We should do that everyday.  I wish we would just dump them as holidays but that will never happen because there is too much money to be made off of them.  And to a lesser extent some parents (not all) with egos need these holidays for themselves.

These holidays isolate those adults who are not parents either by circumstance or by choice.  It’s as if these people are second class citizens and lesser people because they lack children.  They are not worthy of their own day to be recognized so the rest of society knows they exist.  They are seen as people who aren’t worthy of being celebrated.  I’ve seen some alternatives such as “Aunt’s Day” where the Monday after Mother’s Day this “holiday” is celebrated.  But you don’t see much about it because it’s on a Monday when people are at work.  It’s a half hearted attempt by the Parent community to do something.  To me there is a better way.

As an alternative I propose Non-Parents Day (The third Sunday in July) to celebrate the contributions and sacrifices that those without children by choice or circumstances make to better society.  The people who pick up the slack in the work place when those who have children are on maternity leave or have to leave early to tend to their children.  They make it possible for those with children to take that time off to tend to their kids without the work place falling a part.  The people who help take care of their friends and families children when their parents are unable to.  The sibling who takes care of their aging parent when their sibling with kids is unable to.  The people who give back to their communities when parents don’t have the resources (time or money) to do so.  These people are just as important to our society and make just as important contributions to society as parents do.  Yet we don’t have a day to recognize or thank them for that.

I think having this new holiday is important not only to recognize those who are childless/free but also to teach the next generation to value those who are childless/free and the sacrifices they make to society.  For those who attend church children should see these people stand up so they are recognized in their community as being valued.  I know for me when I grew up I didn’t look at my Aunts and Uncles who didn’t have children the same way I did my Aunt and Uncle who did have children.  Looking back on it now I realize that it was wrong and I wish it took something other than infertility to help me realize their value to society.  I don’t think I’m alone in how our society teaches kids to devalue those who don’t have children.

I don’t expect this blog piece to generate anything that leads to a Non Parents Day to being created. At best I would only expect the half hearted “Aunt’s” and “Uncle’s” days to be put out there.  But I hope it hits home to people with kids to value their childless/free friends and family members more than they might on the surface.  Our world wouldn’t be what it is today without the contributions that those without children have made and continue to make.  Those people deserve to be celebrated and thanked for their contributions and sacrifices.

Giving Up on a Legacy

There are many things infertility robs couples of that couples who don’t experience it would never understand.   Even those people who are able to eventually have a child are forever changed.  For those of us who aren’t able to ever have kids who don’t move forward with adoption or third party reproduction there are many things we have to come to terms with.

One of those things I have talked about on this blog is my concern about not having kids and the fear that I will leave no legacy behind when I pass.  Now that it was confirmed last month that there is no chance of me being able to have biological children I’ve gone back to thinking about living life without ever becoming a parent.  I’ve thought about what that life could be like.  I’ve thought about how best to make the most of the worst case scenario and whether I could leave a legacy.  I’ve gone through the things I “thought” could leave a legacy.  Rather than dream which has just led to disappointment the last two and a half years, I was realistic.

The reality is it will be near impossible to ever leave a legacy without becoming a parent.  Sure I’m a Big Brother volunteer but it’s doubtful my little will remember me as he gets older.  And asking him to do so is unfair to him.  That’s not the reason I volunteered in the first place.  I don’t come from a big family and who knows whether my brother will get married and whether he would have kids.  It’s also doubtful even if he had kids that they would care about their weird Uncle with no kids.  Beyond this there really aren’t any opportunities nor will there be unless something drastically changes in my life without being a parent that will leave a legacy.

Rather than get my hopes hope and work hard for something that is near impossible I’m giving up on the idea that I can or would leave a legacy behind.  I’ve gotten my hopes up too many times over the last two and a half years that things would change and worked hard only to be disappointed.  I don’t want the rest of my life to be full of wasted hard work.  I need to set the bar lower and have lower expectations for what I’m able to do with my life.

Last Sunday I turned 35 and reflecting back on my life where I’m at right now and what’s likely ahead of me I am trying to accept that my best days are behind me.  My life peaked at 30 and it’s going to continue to go downhill or at best stay level.  In not having kids I have accepted and given up on the idea of leaving behind a legacy.  My bloodline will end with me, my impact on society and others will stay with just me and not passed down.  It’s really hard to accept and to give up.  I don’t give up or quit easily but if infertility has fought me anything is that hard work will never overcome the impossible or near impossible.