Well, Hello there!
It’s been a while, has it not? More than 7 months since my last post, to be exact. There’s quite a bit to catch up on, but I will save more of my personal news for a future post.
First, I have a few important, timely items to share. Mark your calendars!
So, infertility and cool are two words you rarely see together. It used to be infertility and shame. Infertility and (pick a derogatory term). But, dang, I do believe late 2023 is officially the turning point of when infertility came out of the closet — the darker recesses — into the light.
World Childless Week: September 11 – 17
World Childless Week events commence Monday, September 11. Our very cool and beautiful Stephanie Joy Phillips is a nominated finalist for a BBC Hereford & Worcester Make A Difference “Together” award. Update: Stephanie WON!
The founder of World Childless Week, Stephanie learned at 39 she’d never bear children. In 2017 she started a worldwide effort to bring childless people around the world together for a week of sharing and unabashed conversations. Heck, even local libraries are curating book displays about it. Well done, Stephanie!
Social media images, banners and profile photo materials here.
There are also a host of events and activities. I’m honored to be a 2023 World Childless Week Champion along with Bindi Shah and Helen Louise Jones. Champions are “people who are making a positive difference for the childless community; be it support for one individual or an act that benefits us all. They may have an empathetic ear, be generous of spirit, have rugged determination or be virtuous in all that they do.”
The fact that we Childless Week Champions are nominated by our community makes this recognition all the sweeter.
From the bottom of my heart: Thank you!
I’ll also have the privilege and honor to be among the Childless Elder Women participating in a webinar on Friday, September 15. Register and learn more here. The topic: ‘You’re so Lucky to Not Have Kids! – Does that include when we are old?’ The inimitable Jody Day will lead this latest fireside wisdom discussion. (See all the women participating on the graphic to the right.)
As Jody explains: “We’ll explore whether that perceived ‘luck’ holds true for those of us ageing without children too… And while the discussion will not shy away from the challenges of ageing without children, it will also share encouraging ideas and resources for the attendees to follow up on.
Featuring childless elderwomen from their late fifties to mid-seventies, they will each share how they are rising to those challenges, and how they are embracing the benefits too.”
I can assure you it will be an illuminating and honest conversation. Have I mentioned that we’re part of a very cool infertility and childless community?
Involuntary Childlessness After Infertility
Speaking of infertility cool … on August 8, I had the privilege and pleasure of hearing one our infertility blogging community present her research: Involuntary Childlessness After Infertility: A Qualitative Pilot Study and Implications for Occupational Therapy in a capstone colloquim. I’m not going to lie. The presentation (I watched via Zoom) brought tears to my eyes.
Why? First and foremost, it was just so amazing and refreshing that this topic was presented (alongside other compelling research projects) as necessary and needed. I pinched myself several times thinking about that cultural acceptance. Advisors and fellow researchers asked compassionate and kind questions. They also enthusiastically acknowledged the importance of this research subject matter. Just the fact that this research was on the docket felt like such a sea change from where I sat some 20 years ago.
I’m so thankful to Phoenix for her tireless work and continued discussion about this necessary topic. Read more in this post here about the on-the-ground impact.
Infertility Cool: #IamMe
There’s so much more to share in my life, but I’ll leave that for a future post. (Did I mention I turned 60 in June?)
Well, my significant other has his own milestone birthday tomorrow. We’re busy planning a trip to The Great Basin National Park to celebrate. (It’s quite remote and the least visited National Park so suffice to say we will pack appropriately!) I’ll be around in the meantime and online for the webinar September 15. But, I’ll leave you with my 2023 World Childless Week #IamMe photo (above).
Please follow all the news on X (formerly Twitter) and through the website Stephanie and her team has created, curated, and made available for all of us around the world.
As I said, we’re no longer hiding in the shadows. We’re here. We’re telling out stories and, yes, despite the pain, suffering and loss we’ve endured, we’ve brought a level of cool to infertility.
Peace to you all, and let me know how you’re doing. xx
p.s. Remember this post from a few years ago? The forum idea and related documentary took shape some 10 years ago!! You’ll also hear more exciting news about where that effort led very soon. Infertility really has led to some cool and inspiring outcomes — really.