Childlessness after hysterectomy: “I am still a woman, hear me roar!” by Sarah Lawrence

February 9, 2019 Jody Day 9

I’m sitting here ruminating on how to talk about how grieving childlessness morphs after a hysterectomy in a way that is engaging… I’ve always loved a challenge, but even so! I guess the first thing would be to tell you my story, so you have some idea about why I know about this topic because it’s not something that usually gets talked about, is it? My dreams of having a family were, abruptly, ended during a 10-minute consultation in 2014. In a very blunt manner, I was told that I had stage four endometriosis and, that as a consequence, I […]

Where are the childless voices in the celebrations over IVF’s 40th anniversary?

July 15, 2018 Jody Day 9

If you weren’t already aware, in ten day’s time, on 25th July 2018, Louise Brown, the first person to be born from IVF turns forty – so it’s IVF’s 40th birthday too. There’s going to be a big party at the Science Museum in London and the UK HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority), and other fertility organisations are in self congratulatory mood. This tweet says it all (thank you to my colleague Dr. Robin Hadley for this) and a sobering reminder of how often IVF fails – almost 80% of the time. In response to this tweet, the HFEA had […]

Getting through Mother’s Day as a childless woman

March 11, 2018 Jody Day 8

“Mother’s Day” – the two words that signal the most dreaded time of the year after Christmas when you’re grieving childlessness. For UK readers, Mother’s Day falls today on Sunday 11th March although, thanks to social media, we get to experience it all over again when international Mother’s Day happens in May… I was interviewed at length for an article which was published today in the The Observer about being childless on Mother’s Day. One of the questions really made me think was this: “Does the notion of Mother’s Day upset/anger/depress you?” I thought about it and although whilst I was […]

Facts and Figures on Childlessness Around the World

September 12, 2017 Jody 0

Below is an extract from Chapter 2 of my book, Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future without Children(Bluebird/PanMac 2016) in which I survey the facts and figures around the world. You can download the introduction and first chapter free here. All data and sources in my book are fully academically referenced, should you wish to explore further. In Chapter 1 of the book, I reference a recent meta-analysis suggests that whilst perhaps 10 per cent of women without children choose not to be mothers (childfree), and 10 per cent can’t have them for […]

Things I wish I’d known at 40

July 16, 2014 Jody 60

This week, I celebrate my 50th birthday. It feels like a heck of a thing, to find myself turning 50 at peace with the past, happy in the present and excited about the future. It didn’t come easily and, looking back over the screenplay of my 40s it does seem to include just about everything from farce to tragedy… So that got me thinking about boldly going into a new decade where no Jody has gone before – if I could talk to my 40-year-old self, what would I want her to know about the decade ahead? Here are some […]

The Egg Freezing Scam? a guest post by Miriam Zoll

February 27, 2014 Jody 13

Introduction from Jody Day, Founder at Gateway Women: I have been increasingly concerned for some time now that egg-freezing is being promoted by the media as the new way to buy peace-of-mind insurance for those women struggling with social infertility, whilst its low success rates and patchy live birth data was not being explored. I am therefore delighted to exclusively publish Miriam Zoll’s new analysis of how this procedure is being taken up and promoted by the ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) industry in the US… The most comprehensive study to date [i] evaluating the effectiveness of egg freezing revealed that, despite a new […]

You’re Not the Odd One Out

January 31, 2014 Jody 14

Although when you look around you in the street, amongst your friends and family or in the media you may sometimes feel like the only woman who isn’t a mother, the surprising fact is that 1:5 UK and US women born in the 1960s reached 45 without having had children. And, as the first of those born in the 1970s turn 45 in 2015, we’ll begin to see if the statistic rises to 1:4 as it already is in Italy, Switzerland and Finland. My hunch is it will, but the data’s a few years off yet. The last time the rate […]

Be part of the conversation that ends the taboo of childlessness

September 23, 2013 Jody 1

Perhaps one of the hardest things for me in dealing with my childlessness, and one of the driving forces that led me to start writing this blog in 2011, was that nobody would let me talk about my situation. I was so frequently closed down with a ‘miracle baby story’ or even a stinging remark like ‘can’t you talk about anything else?’ that I gave up trying to talk about it at all. I shut-up and shutdown. But why wouldn’t anyone let me talk about it? Why was the fact that I wanted to have a family and it didn’t work […]

The Gateway Women Manifesto: are childless women the new suffragettes?

May 3, 2012 Jody 25

If you take a moment to think about it, there have probably never been so many educated, liberated women without children in their 40s and 50s alive at one time before. Let that sink in for a moment… In the past, most of us would have been either bringing up children or already dead from childbirth. And of those women who were childless (mostly by chance but a small percentage by choice) very few of them would have had the social, economic or political power to take advantage of their freedom from child-rearing. 1 in 5 women in the UK and USA […]

Free talk for International Women’s Day (8 March) “Introducing the Nomos”

March 6, 2012 Jody 6

Introducing the #Nomos (the not-mothers) Talk + Q&A with Gateway Women Founder, Jody Day Thursday 8th March 2012: 17:00-17:45 HubWestminster, 80 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4TE Places are free but numbers are limited. For reservations please click here. SPINSTER  OLD MAID  SELFISH  WEIRDO 1 in 5 women are now reaching the menopause without having children – the largest cohort of childless women in the UK since the ‘man drought’ following World War I. Yet our culture’s idea of what these women ‘are for’ is similarly stuck in the past…   Whether a woman has chosen to be ‘childfree’ or finds herself […]

Grieving for the Life Unlived

February 24, 2012 Jody 36

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with not being a mother when you wanted to be one is the sheer intractability of the issue. After a life of solving problems, making plans and being proactive you find yourself up against something that will-power, a peppy new outfit and a positive attitude just can’t solve. Dammit. Our consumer culture is built on the idea of choice. Of personal freedom. Of planning. Of security. So when all your freedom, planning and choices end up with you as a single childless women, it also comes with a hefty dose of […]

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