Childless and childfree women come in lots of shapes and sizes. We are all colors, all cultures, and all ages. As much as we have in common, we are also very different. Some people say it is strange to define ourselves by things that we are not, so let’s determine what we are instead.
Childfree blogger Laura LaVoie interviews women bloggers without children who answer the question, “If you’re not a mom, then what are you?”
In Interview 7, we meet Loribeth, the woman behind The Road Less Travelled. After years of infertility treatment and delivery of a stillborn child mid-pregnancy, Loribeth made a brave choice to blog about her journey.
Tell me about yourself and your blog.
I am 52 years old and have been married for almost 28 years. I work in corporate communications, and am a long-time employee with the same large company (27 years).
Why did you start blogging?
Blogs did not exist when I first started looking to the Internet for support after my daughter was stillborn in 1998. The Internet was still very new (I just got my first home PC & went online in late 1996) & I felt a bit leery putting myself out there.
I did find a private e-mail list for women who had lost a baby in pregnancy or infancy and were trying for another – that felt “safer” and it was a huge support for me. I am still in touch with two women that I “met” through that list. My husband & I attended a “real life” pregnancy loss support group and then wound up facilitating it. We were with the group for more than 10 years in all. But my daily Internet fix was my daily lifeline that got me through each day until the next group meeting.
As time went on and we were going through infertility treatment, I started poking around some of the infertility sites and message boards. After we made the decision to stop infertility treatment – in the summer of 2001, when I was 40 – I started looking for resources for women like me, who had wanted children but were facing a life without them. Needless to say, there wasn’t a whole lot out there – it’s not exactly what women going through infertility treatment want to hear, that not everyone gets a baby out of this process. But I did find a few message boards and sites, one board in particular, which was a huge support for me. Sadly, it no longer exists, but I am still in touch with several of the women from that site today, through Facebook and through another, private forum that we set up.
I suppose one reason why so few people are writing and talking about life without children after infertility and loss is that they just get on with their lives and try to put the past behind them. For whatever reason, I haven’t quite been able to do that. Don’t get me wrong, I have a good life and I don’t sit around moping all day about what I don’t have.