Friday, April 1, 2016

"Life Without Baby" by Lisa Manterfield

Back in 2001 (almost 15!! years ago now!!), the difficult decision I made to stop infertility treatments was compounded by the sad lack of supportive resources on the subject of how to face the future without the children you'd assumed you'd have. Most of the infertility books in my collection contained no more than a page or two on the subject.  There were a handful of books specifically about life without children -- many of them out of print and difficult to find. Many of the resources I found were aimed more at childfree by choice women (although there were helpful tips and perspectives to be had there too) -- and some, bizarrely, lumped childless/free living together with adoption after infertility (!).  (Yes, they're both ways to resolve infertility without giving birth to a biological child, but there's a BIG difference in the end result...!) 

There were no blogs in 2001. There were a (very) few active message boards where, thankfully, I finally found some kindred spirits in similar situations who helped me through the difficult transition to a permanent life without children. For the most part, though, my kindred spirits & I were all fumbling our way forward in the dark with very little in the way of guidance or expert knowledge about what to expect or what we could do to help ourselves and each other.

"Life Without Baby" is the comprehensive, step-by-step, how-to book that I desperately wished I had had back then. Author Lisa Manterfield is well known in the childless/free segment of the ALI blogging community for her Life Without Baby blog & website, which she launched back in 2010.  Since then, Life Without Baby has become a welcome oasis of comfort, sanity and humour for me and many other women facing a life without the children we'd dreamed of having.

Around the same time as she launched the Life Without Baby site, Lisa published a wonderful memoir about her struggle with infertility and coming to terms with childlessness, "I'm Taking My Eggs and Going Home" (my review here).  Now she's taken everything she's learned over the past few years about living without children, from her own experience and from the women she's helped, and turned it into a book of collected wisdom on the subject.  It's a comprehensive -- yet warm & chatty -- look at the practical side of coming to terms with childlessness, with practical advice and tips, journaling exercises, and stories from Lisa's own personal experience.

Even though I am 15 years down this road less travelled, there was still a lot in Lisa's book that I found appealing and thought-provoking, not to mention familiar.  ;)  It's a welcome & much-needed book, and I'm so happy it's here to help other women who are following in our footsteps. Hopefully, for them, the path ahead won't be quite so lonely or scary.

Lisa recently wrote a guest post for this blog, based on a chapter from her book. You can read her thoughts on the subject of "embracing possibility" here.

This was book #5 that I have read so far in 2016.

1 comment:

  1. You're absolutely right about the lack of resources that have been available. So thank you for this review and recommendation. Will be sharing widely.