I’m expanding the mission of Pill Baby because I’m simply not there yet–I still want to be a mom. And I want the magazine and podcast to be able to speak to women who aren’t there yet either, as well as women who are childless.
Yes, despite the fact that, online, I’ve been referring to myself as “childless by circumstance” or “childless not by choice,” I’m a long way from embracing this identity. And despite my mental health issues, I hope against hope that I could someday be a mom.
My husband and I are childless. But I can’t help but hope that things will change with time. Maybe fostering…? Maybe even adoption…? I realize we are early in our journey, and grief has been coloring the way I’m viewing the world, making things appear more hopeless than they really are.
I wrote this in my journal recently: “I will build a family someday—or come to a place of peace as a childless woman. But I won’t sink into depression or devalue myself. In the meantime, as I work my way forward, I will develop a Plan B that brings me satisfaction and joy.”
And I think that’s so important–to have a Plan B for the interim. Because have to think about something other than having a child (or adopting a child) as I wait, if only to ensure peace of mind. “Wait on the LORD and renew your strength,” the Bible says. That’s what I intend to do: To work on myself, to work on health, to build something.
Expanding the mission of the podcast to include women who are pursuing motherhood
I’m also coming to realize that many women develop depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions as a result of the trauma they’ve suffered pursuing pregnancy. Of course, right? But not all these women have given up on becoming mothers.
I want to expand the mission of Pill Baby to speak to these women.
These women are considering the choices I’m facing–whether to stay on a prescribed medication regimen or to carefully wean off medications unsafe for a fetus under a doctor’s care. Whether to adopt or foster–and how in the world to take care of yourself while doing all of this?
I’m not there yet with Pill Baby–not yet ready to make it a podcast about childlessness. And this is my own personal decision, springing from my own motivations. But it also reflects the needs of the women who have reached out to me on social media, women who are struggling with infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, and secondary infertility–and mental health.
But I also want Pill Baby to speak to women who have mental health conditions who pursued motherhood but eventually decided that it wasn’t right for them. We have to acknowledge that our pursuit of motherhood quite often ends in childlessness.
So, I’m in the process of writing a mission statement for Pill Baby–yes, I realize I should have done this at the beginning!
My mom still wanted to be a mom 40 years ago, too
My parents are adoptive parents. I have two adopted siblings, my oldest siblings, and there are three of us biological kids. I’m the youngest, one of twins. My parents surprised the heck out of themselves!
My mom has been a steadfast voice of encouragement throughout this process. She assures me that I have what it takes to be a mom, words that mean the world to me. When I feel overwhelmed, she points to the fact that I’m a newlywed and still adjusting to being married.
“Give it time,” she tells me. “This will all seem so much easier a year from now. You will find your groove.”
I’m still waiting to find my groove–“C’mon, groove!” But, yes, I expect that I will be in a different place a year from now, after I have had a whole 12 months to invest into health. These next 12 months, I plan to get back in shape, have some fun, and work hard making the house we moved into in February a home.
I want to deepen my relationship with my husband–so if we welcome kiddos, of any age, we will be as ready as we will ever be.
Big decisions–to adopt or foster? to remain childless? — can be put off for the time being. In the meantime, I’m going to create a Plan B for health, well-being and love. And that includes Pill Baby.
Join me for the ride!