8 Comments on The voices of childlessness: ‘A Family Without A Child’

  1. What a gift that radio show was. I was able to share it with friends and family as a way of communicating many of my own feelings that I never get to express to them directly. It describes the whole gamut of feelings that the journey of infertility describes (how brave to admit those horrible feelings of jealously and alienation), then onto the grief and adjustment of being childless after all hope has gone, and how it can continue to require adjustments into older age. It is a grief that never goes away, like all grief. We can live with it, and live well, but it should be acknowledged that periodically it will require another adjustment. Jody thank you so much for being our voice and enabling us to have a voice on this forum

    • Hi B and thank you for taking the time to comment. A lot of GWs are telling me that they have got friends and family to listen to the broadcast as a way of helping them understand what we’ve all been through / are going through! I hope that in our lifetime, the legacy that we will leave for younger women (and men) who face involuntary childlessness is that the pain and heartache of it is accepted, validated and understood. It’s hard enough without people telling us to ‘get over it’ or ‘pull ourselves together’! Hugs, Jody x

  2. I found this radio programme so moving, it brought tears to my eyes. I’m a 33-year-old woman and I’m still on my infertility journey, not knowing where it will end really. But after several years of trying and several rounds of failed treatments, I am coming to terms with the fact that childlessness is one possible outcome of that journey.
    Despite the sadness of the situation, there was so much positive energy emanating from you and the other women interviewed. It was uplifting to listen to.

    • Hi Helen – thanks for commenting and I’m so glad you got to hear the documentary. I’m so sorry to hear that you are on the hideous infertility treadmill and I’m glad you found our attitude uplifting. There is life after infertility, honest! Hugs, Jody x

  3. I was so moved by the radio 4 doc that you featured in. When you broke down about your niece’s school performance so did I! The timing of this doc was so perfect. I was feeling very down and confused about being 46 and childless. In so many ways I’m happier than I’ve ever been but the loss if those milestones I’ll probably never have was so beautifully expressed. Thanks Jodie, you do rock! As does Radio 4. X

    • Juliet – so lovely of you to comment. Yes, it was quite a moment, reliving that time watching a school play. The loss of those milestones is yet another of those invisible, intangible, but very real (to us) losses that it’s hard for others to grasp. Childlessness is about so much more than not giving birth! I’m glad you’re in a good place these days, as am I, but it feels worth reliving some of my darkest days to help others, and to express an experience that so many of us share, but which is still so little understood. Hugs, Jody x

  4. I just listened to the programme. Your words convey so clearly, or as clearly as a ‘stranger’ can observe such authenticity of the pain, insight and compassion that you have developed through this journey in life. That is worth so, so much for me to hear, as it echoes very loudly my own experiences. Without these three things, all of them, the transition and progress THROUGH would be so much harder – not that any of it is ‘light’ work.

    It HAS to be character building and if listening to you is any reflection of the characteristics I hope I will one day master as a woman childless by circumstance, then the future looks enriched despite being full of what if’s and ‘not to be had’ experiences. The way we are experiencing, expressing and coming to terms with our situations is pioneering and your work and voice is comforting and very valuable.

    So much resonance, it’s good to know that others have almost had to cut off their hearts to neices, nephews & other situations in order to heal their own – that is a tough one. Healing your heart whilst distancing from the theme of our yearnings……..so isolating, sometimes necessary.

    Much love to you for your loss, courage and for the way you have chosen to live with and beyond this painful time in your life.


    • Sally – thank you for your heartfelt response. I think, as you say, that the journey through childlessness is, quite definitely character building. However, it is up to us what character gets built! I’m glad (and sad) that my words resonate with you, and wish you safely through your own passage. With hugs, Jody x

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