Is giving up on having a baby something you are considering now? It can be a minefield for a woman, especially if you have been trying to conceive for years and already forked out a lot in infertility costs.
This audio and article came about in response to a comment from one of the beautiful women in our tribe, on a post I wrote called 'Afraid Baby Will Have Autism'.
Coping with secondary infertility and miscarriage grief, Brid's journey has been arduous. Having become very intimate with fertility stress and feeling overwhelmed by fertility - to the point of exhaustion - she finds herself at a new stage. What follows is an extract of what she had to share:
"I am in a heart-wrenching situation whereby I have to pack up all my baby things now as tomorrow I am attending a baby market to sell them. This is my worst nightmare and I know I will be in tears or worse torn up.
If I do this it will be the end for me. Turning my back on all my hopes and dreams. Even worse the event will take place beside the fertility clinic which I attended for 4 years and the thoughts of standing at a stand looking at happy expectant mothers and handing over my beloved things will split me up.
My husband says it`s for the best as we are moving house... and we won`t have the space for all these things and we need to move on...
My daughter who is 7, will support me but she doesn`t want to sell her baby things either. I have always held on to everything in the hope that a miracle might happen and I would get pregnant again and have another baby.
Having my beloved baby things just gave me comfort on this painful but hopeful journey. It feels selling them is selling my soul.
I can`t do it and it`s more upsetting than having a miscarriage. I don`t know what to do. I just want to hold on to these things a while longer even if they go to the next attic…. of dreams."
Thank you so much, Brid, for taking the time to share this with us. And, with the intention of supporting you here, I would like to explore further your phrase “having my beloved baby things just gave me comfort on this painful but hopeful journey”.
What I am hearing from you here is that these garments represented hope for you, they represented a new baby and helped you to remain focused and optimistic through your painful fertility journey. Giving them away means giving up on having a baby.
We have explored previously the role of hope in having a baby after 40 and also the flawed ideas that abound around false hope in fertility (due to patriarchal, male notions about female fertility and the creative process). But here, Brid, I would like to add another angle on hope that can serve you now as you contemplate giving up on having a baby.
As you find yourself having to consider giving up on having a baby, it can be useful to understand that hope is not a static experience or event - it's a process, an unfolding and a journey of it's own. It has its own evolution but, because we have been discouraged towards hope in our patriarchal world, many of us are unfamiliar with the deeper, feminine layers involved.
It can be useful to be aware that something that represents hope at one stage of your life can begin to signify something entirely different at another. And while for sure these lovely baby items have lifted your spirits, given you a sense of purpose and kept you focused, I’m wondering if, perhaps, overtime they have come to symbolise something else for you Brid.
So let's check in on that. When you think of these outfits now, do they inspire you? Or do they trigger a sense of loss, failure or lack of creative power? It’s important to be really clear as to what they evoke for you now because you are not the woman you were.
You say: "it feels like selling them is selling my soul" because these clothes represented your possibilities and your future. There is a sense that as you release them, you are also letting go of the future that you wanted and, as I said, giving up on having a baby.
But that doesn’t have to be the case Brid and indeed, I can see something else going on for you here. On another post (Don't Want Donor Eggs), you made the following comment:
"Today I went for a mile swim, something I had not done in months and all the while with every stroke I was confirming a new energy in me.
I feel renewed again and I want to do everything to renew and recharge my eggs again. CoQH-ch is great for eliminating toxins from the body which have an enormous effect on egg quality.
Folate acid and DHEA as well as exercise like swimming and acupuncture..."
You are in a renewal process Brid, and I am inviting you consider the possibility that releasing these baby clothes is part of that.
For me this is not about giving up on having a baby. But it does feel like you are ready to give up your 'old' relationship with your Creative Feminine™ because this has been censored and controlled by our patriarchal world.
The one that has informed us that the most valuable contribution a woman can make is to bring a child into the world. The one that also decided that 'mother' is responsible for everything after birth, so we don't want an only child - just in case our baby will be lonely.
I'm not saying that this is true in our situation Brid, but it is important to realise the context in which your story is unfolding and to check in with yourself if this idea of releasing the male, mediated relationship with your Creative Feminine™ is actually what is really wanting to be born now for you.
Far from selling your soul Brid, it sounds to me like you are no longer available to rent it out to the 3rd party, patriarchal occupants who have been squatting there disrespectfully.
Allow this letting go of your baby clothes, to mark the end of the struggle, judgement, limits and fear that have surrounded your Creative Feminine™. Let it instead, be proof of your passage into a new, vibrant, lively, life-filled, fresh relationship with your body, your fertility and your creativity. After that, you can see where you are guided around giving up on having a baby.
I would like to suggest that you don’t need an attic Brid. How would it feel to place these baby items in your heart and to treasure them there? Allow them to be memories of your daughter’s beautiful childhood, how you stopped giving power to patriarchy and the moment in which you came into your true feminine power.
I hope there was value in this for you and would love to hear your experience and/or opinion on giving up on having a baby. Please comment below because your feminine contribution here really, really matters!
More Resources For You
Let me coach you - so you can feel comfort and peace instead now.