When life goes on, without children

Filed under: Just For Moms, Babies, Your Pregnancy, Adoption, Health & Safety: Babies, Medical Conditions, Resources, Sex

In a recent New York Times article, the pain associated with not being able to have a child is likened to that of a back ache--dull, aching, and never quite goes away. For some women, the miracle of child birth and the joy of raising a child will always be unattainable--because of infertility, because of timing or age, or for unknown reasons.

Some of these women (and their partners) adopt. Some, like Pamela Mahoney, who was interviewed for the article, make the tough decision to move on. Many of them do this after countless hours and thousands of dollars spent on treatments, analysis and IVF. They decide to remain childless.

The question that keeps ringing in the back of my head is why not adopt? There are so many children out there who need loving homes, the kind that surely these couples would be able to offer. As one woman commented in the article, adoption isn't an easy answer. She'd seen the struggles of her friends who went through the adoption process. I've seen it to--some meet with success, others not so much. It's just as heartbreaking.

Many couples view not being able to have a child as they would any other loss. And they grieve. According to the experts, they are right to do so. Pamela Mahoney started a website to help herself and others in the same situation. She created www.coming2terms.com, where she talks about things like making the decision to stop fertility treatments and dealing with ever-curious friends and family--some of whom will never accept they will not be grandparents.

I haven't checked out the website myself, and I can't say whether or not it would be a good resource, but I can certainly appreciate the courage and compassion it takes to put yourself and your feelings out there for the benefit of others. Perhaps you know someone who might be interested in this resource, or perhaps you might choose to visit yourself. Either way, and agree with her or not, Pamela Mahoney is sharing her experience to help herself and others.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.