(the longer version)
Hi! I’m Loribeth (a variation of my real name). My dh (Sam) & I have been married since 1985. In 1998, when I was 37, I became pregnant, after 13 years of marriage & 2.5 years of trying to conceive. Sadly, I had a rollercoaster pregnancy, and our baby girl, whom we named Katie, was stillborn in early August that year when I was 26 weeks along.
Because I was already of “advanced maternal age” and rapidly running out of time on my biological clock, we soon embarked on a series of fertility testing and then treatments (clomid, injectable drugs & IUIs). None of them worked, and as I contemplated IVF, I spiraled into a series of debilitating anxiety attacks. We both knew this was not sustainable – physically, mentally and emotionally (not to mention financially).
And so, in the summer of 2001, at ages 40 & 44, dh & I decided to take “the road less travelled and continue to live without children, much as we had wanted them. You can read more about my story in the Timeline page and in posts tagged “1998 memories” and “The Treatment Diaries,” which I wrote 10 years after my pregnancy and subsequent (unsuccessful) infertility treatments.
Blogs were not a “thing” in the late 1990s/early 2000s, although I was lucky enough to find support in other online forums for pregnancy loss, infertility and, eventually, childlessness. I didn’t begin this blog until I was 46, in October 2007, nearly 10 years after the stillbirth of our daughter and six years past my last infertility treatment. There were very few other bloggers out there at that time who were writing about childless living as an option – and most of them have disappeared into the ether – with the prominent and welcome exception of Pamela Jeanne (Pamela Tsigdinos) of Coming2Terms and (later) Silent Sorority. But happily, many others have risen up to take their places. (See the blogrolls and other useful links on the right-hand side of the page.) We still have a long way to go before childless and childfree living become normalized in our parent-centric society (or even as an acceptable option among members of the infertility & pregnancy loss communities) – but there is no doubt we’ve made very real progress in recent years, and I am very proud to be a small part of it.
I never dreamed in 2007 that I would still be blogging 13 years later, as I approach my 60th (!! – gulp!) birthday – but I keep finding things to write about, and I’m grateful that people keep reading and commenting. These days, my childless life includes early retirement (due to job loss), menopause, aging without children, becoming a great-aunt, and downsizing and moving into a condo. I write about all these things & more here. I also use this blog to track & review all the books I read (and I love to read!).