Leave Your Mark: My Childless Perspective on National Infertility Awareness Week®

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of RESOLVE logo within a fingerprint on "Leave Your Mark: My Childless Perspective on National Infertility Awareness Week," on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blog
Wobble Warning:  In this post, I speak candidly about infertility, including RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and National Infertility Awareness Week®.  I mention treatments, infertility battles, “success” stories, childlessness, and more.  As always, my goal is to leave you feeling empowered by the end.  But there might be some wobbles along the way.  Please, only read if you are feeling strong enough.

Leave Your Mark.  What does this mean as a childless woman?  Well…

Leave Your Mark

Within the childless and infertility communities…

Childless by infertility, I feel strongly about maintaining connections with the childless community and the infertility community.  I believe that I should educate about both—childlessness and infertility.  That I should offer support to the childless and to those still in the midst of their infertility battles.  Because of this, I support RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and participate in National Infertility Awareness Week® each year.

By participating in NIAW…

In the past, participating in NIAW has included sharing my personal story, participating in the 5-day social media challenge, and writing blogs about the Walk of Hope.  This year, I will once again actively join in the 5-day social media challenge.  For the first time ever, I plan to not simply write about the Walk of Hope, but actually participate in the Charlotte WOH.

By facing potential wobbles…

Having resolved my infertility battle being childless not by choice, some may wonder why I voluntarily put myself in potentially triggering situations.  I mean, the infertility community is focused on helping those struggling to get the little.  Honestly, it often focuses on the “success” stories, with images of those whose treatments resulted in successful pregnancies and beautiful babies.  Why would a childless not by choice woman want to be reminded of what she didn’t get?

By showing that being childless is one resolution to infertility…

Well, because I know that there are those in the midst of the battle right now who won’t get the little.  There are those who are trying to decide if they should try one more time or walk away.  Those who are desperately worried about losing their support system and feeling utterly alone—isolated—as a childless not by choice person.  Those who are questioning how one could ever possibly make it through the grief and find joy in a childless life…

I want to be there for those people.  I want to be there for that person.  Reaching out a hand to that scared, exhausted, emotionally-drained woman who is desperately seeking relief, who needs support as she grieves the loss of her dream of traditional momhood, who seeks validation that she will make it through this trauma and find light on the other side…

I expose myself to the triggers and the wobbles because I want…  I need to leave my mark in a loving and tangible way…  To leave my mark by being bravely vulnerable, showing that childlessness is one resolution to infertility.  That walking away from treatments is not giving up.  That joy can be found in a childless life.

Leaving MY Mark as an Infertile, Childless Woman…

Childless is NOT less.

A childless family is still a family.

And…

Childless does NOT mean that I’m a sad, bitter woman.  One does NOT have to embrace “childfree” to show acceptance of this life without kids.

I will forever be childless.  I will forever grieve the littles I so desperately wanted.  The littles I named.  The littles that grew in my heart…

But I am also a warrior who has found joy despite, who has redefined momhood as a dog mom and host mom, who is living an incredibly fulfilling and vibrant life…  Albeit a childless life.

Fabulous one, I am honored to be a voice for our childless community.  If you are still in the thick of grieving, if the potential triggers are too much for your heart to bear, please know that it is okay if you do not participate in National Infertility Awareness Week®.  If, however, you feel strong enough to #LeaveYourMark, here are the social media challenges for NIAW 2024.

Photo of NIAW 2024 5-day Challenge

Click to learn more…

Also…

If you would like to help me reach my goal of raising $500 for RESOLVE, please CLICK HERE…   

As always, thank you for reading.  Your support of me, my journey, Not So Mommy…  Well, it means more than I can express in words.

Next week, Sarah Ekis (Peer Leader of RESOLVE Support Group and Organizer of the Charlotte Walk of Hope) shares her infertility story…

Fabulous one, if anything I wrote resonates, please tell us about it in the comments…

Want to support RESOLVE & the Walk of Hope…  Would you please donate?!  Just click here!

Featured Photo:  Main Photo Image Provided by RESOLVE NIAW Toolkit; Edited by me, using Canva   

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