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Dealing With the Disappointment of a Childfree Life

You’re not alone if you’re dealing with the disappointment of a childfree life because of fibroids, endometriosis, or other issues that lead to infertility. Elisse Goldstein-Clark has coped with fibroids for the past 20 years – and is learning to live with the idea of a child-free life.

“To cheer myself up, I’m currently planning a “Big 5-0″ birthday bash for July, complete with ‘designer cakes'” says Goldstein-Clark. “I snagged a spangly, spaghetti-strapped Bob Mackie number on eBay, which I’m in the process of dieting my way into! Planning something fun is good therapy!”

Below is her story and tips for dealing with the disappointment of not being pregnant. And, if you have fibroids that are causing menstrual pain or infertility issues, do your research! Click on Fibroids: The Complete Guide to Taking Charge of Your Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Well-Being by Johanna Skilling and Eileen Hoffman, MD. And — “Do a lot of research,” says Goldstein-Clark. “Make a list of your questions to ask your doctor and don’t be intimidated into silence! If your doctor won’t listen or is patronizing, get another doctor.”

Here’s how she is dealing with the disappointment of a childfree life….

Dealing With the Disappointment of a Childfree Life

LPK: Why are you and your husband, Dan, living a childfree life?

EGC: Dan and I met and fell in love when I was 42 and he 55. He is the first and only man I ever wanted to have kids with! I was married before, but the marriage deteriorated rapidly and I never felt that I wanted to get pregnant… and I didn’t want to do it alone. I never really ever felt “maternal.”

Only after falling in love with Dan did I really want a child – a child who would be a part of both of us. Due to lack of finances we didn’t pursue infertility treatments, and we also had some hesitation about our not being exactly “young.” If we’d been wealthy, we would have pursued in vitro fertilization or other fertility treatments – and we could have hired someone to help us with the baby.

How do you deal with the disappointment of not getting pregnant

Because I’m an only child and have no siblings, I’m truly the last of my line and it depresses me that it will all end with me. There is an “immortality” about having kids, and we don’t have that.

I’m still dealing with the “no kids” regret and depression. I know in my heart I need therapy, but out here in the boonies there isn’t anyone, so that’s not an option.

I write copiously.I have always written, both professionally & privately, have kept journals since the age of 5 (I literally have trunks of them…). It’s saved me from “losing it” more than once.

Writing enables me to get my thoughts clearly formed and to think things thru; it’s also a great memory jogger. And so my diary is my “therapist”. I used to write in little notebooks, which I illustrated, but now I do it on the computer and the laptop when I travel.

Shopping helps, too! (I am only half kidding). When I get blue I go window-shopping on eBay for fun things that will cheer me up and make me feel sexy: expensive anti-aging creams & perfumes, Louboutin shoes, fur coats, Missoni cashmere sweaters, an ATV, a hot tub, some sexy cologne for Dan… I may not buy right away, but I “follow.” The odd frivolous (bargain) purchase usually cheers me immensely!

Spa and salon visits, and mini-romantic getaways with Dan help cheer me up, too. (Read Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility to keep your marriage strong).

“Getting old is NOT for sissies,” says Goldstein-Clark, “but ‘old’ wasn’t supposed to start this damn soon!!!”

How are you dealing with the disappointment of a child-free life? Please comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

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Elisse Jo Goldstein-Clark is an innkeeper and partner with her husband of the Elkhorn Inn & Theatre, in Landgraff, WV. She’s also the Official Artist for the US Coast Guard; and a FEMA Disaster Assistance Employee.

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6 thoughts on “Dealing With the Disappointment of a Childfree Life”

  1. Kate,

    I’m glad you’ve started the long healing process, and that you’re opening up about living without children or getting pregnant. And, I’m sorry about your IVF…that’s so hard.

    But, thank you so much for your comment. It inspired me to write this article:
    Why Talking About Infertility Makes You Feel Better

    Many people are reluctant to talk about infertility, and don’t realize how helpful and healing (as you said) it can be.

    I wish you all the best, and hope to see you around these parts more often! 🙂


  2. I’ve got endo and fibroids too – also had failed IVF. I’ve only just started to tell people when they ask if I’m going to start a family that I’m unable to have children (in the past I’ve always dodged the question) and in a way this has started the long healing process.

  3. I’m still hoping we have kids, but if we don’t, I’d cope with the disappointment of a childfree life by exploring the world more. Perhaps once I know we aren’t going to have kids I will want to become involved with Big Brothers.

  4. Both fibroids and endometriosis? Ouch – a double whammy!

    Thanks for your comment, Pamela — and I look forward to your next blog post on Coming 2 Terms.

  5. Like Elisse, I’ve had my share of down days based on my faulty uterus, also plagued with fibroids and endometriosis, writing has saved me more than once in clearing my head. I try to live in the moment and not get caught up in what might have been…will share more in the way of lessons learned in a longer submission later this week!