To Mom or Not to Mom, Day 2: Trading Places

It’s Day 2 of The Infertility Voice and Silent Sorority‘s 5-Day Open Salon “To Mom or Not to Mom: Infertility, Motherhood and the Silent Sorority.” Today’s topic is Trading Places.

Today, Keiko and Pamela imagined their lives in alternate universes where they each might have been in a very different place in their infertility and parenting journeys: Keiko with a failed DEIVF cycle and a decision to no longer pursue parenting, and Pamela as a mother.

Reading these posts today, I wonder– could I picture myself with a very different parenting journey? If my IUI with injectables had failed, the doctors said we could move right on to IVF. if the IVF had failed– would we have considered adoption? More IVF? Could we have ever made the decision to live full and happy lives without children?

Today, examine some of the realities that you could have experienced if things had happened differently in your life.


What would it be like for you to have made the decision not to parent?

What would it have taken for you to come to that place?

How do you think you would feel about parenting if you had never experienced infertility or loss?

What other aspects of your parenting journey could you see playing out differently in an alternate universe?

How has the specific path to parenting that you have taken changed who you are as a person (or do you feel it hasn’t)?


If you have posted about this topic before, or if you are inspired to talk about it now, please link us to your post in the comments below, or simply post a comment and share your thoughts with us.

As always, we encourage you to go directly to The Infertility Voice and Silent Sorority to read Keiko and Pamela’s “To Mom or Not to Mom, Day 2” posts!


  1. The last question really resonates with me. I have definitely changed as a result of my path to parenting. The other day I was tagging my old posts – IVF1, 2 – 6 that shit changes you. I think back to this time last year when we were pregnant again and oddly, feeling hopeful that this was the one. Every day I spend with Molly is special – I still can’t get into the “pins” from people saying how motherhood makes you want to stab you in the eye (or something like that) because I still can’t believe I was given the privilege to become a mum. I have more patience and empathy than before.

    At the moment I can’t create an alternate universe and think what if I didn’t become a mum because that shit is still to raw and real and could have very nearly been my destiny and I can’t even begin to comprehend the agony that must come with making that decision.

    We thought that the last IVF was our limit but the reality is I don’t think I could have stopped at that point. Not yet anyway.

  2. I loved this topic Something I think a lot of us struggle with thinking about. I wrote my thoughts in tonight’s post! 🙂

  3. I have thought a lot about both posts today, and have yet to comment on them. I cannot fathom an alternate reality. We had a plan if our last treatment (which resulted in HGB) failed: one round of IVF, however many FETs we could get from that, and then straight to adoption. I assumed I would somehow parent and I see now how naive that was – I assumed parenting was a given. I simply couldn’t bear to consider living child-free. But, I have never truly been faced with the prospect, so I don’t know what it would be like. It is something I admit that I cannot bear to contemplate, while knowing full well that I have the luxury of not having to.

    The other questions are a whole MINE to be dug, and something I strive to keep doing with every post I write here, and at my blog. I believing that parenting through infertility and loss (in my experience) presents unique challenges, and that they need to be openly discussed. I think going through the things that I have makes me more sensitive to my child, but I can never know the alternate reality. This was a really difficult challenge today.

  4. Great topic, so many thoughts on this. At the time, I thought a third loss would be the end of our journey to parenthood but thankfully our third pregnancy stuck. We spent a lot of time rationalizing that living childfree would be okay if that’s what it came down to, but now being on the other side I can honestly (albeit anonymously!) say that I don’t think our marriage would have survived the long haul. There would have been that big, ugly void that just wouldn’t be filled.

    If I had never experienced loss, I think I would take parenting a bit for granted. I don’t think I would have had any second thoughts on having two or even three children whereas now I think we will stop at one, mostly dictated by fear. It has changed me for sure, but I am happy with the ‘new’ me. Like Chon said above, I too feel like I am more patient and empathetic. And in a weird way my self confidence has improved because I know now how strong I am.

    Any of the paths taken on this journey require an amazing amount of bravery.

  5. those are some probing questions….I don’t know if could have ever given up the idea of parenting. My husband is kind of freaked out by adoption and we had a plan to use up all of our insurance coverage before we had to decide adopt or life child free. I would definitely have wanted to pursue adoption, but I don’t know if my husband would have gone that route.

    IF/ALI has definitely changed how I parent. I don’t think I’m a better parent than the Joneses, but I am a better person therefore a better parent than I would have been had I not been through ALI.

    As far as parenting changing who I am as a person, I’m not sure parenting has changed who I am, but more what my priorities are and how I approach things. I am still a crazy neurotic fun girl I have always been, but I just don’t get out as much as I used to. I think being a parent has added to who I already was but hasn’t changed me. I could be totally off here, but I didn’t take a survey of people I know.


  1. […] is not an isolated response. The PAIL (Parenting After Infertility Loss) bloggers who participated in the open salon also acknowledged that it takes a strong set of ovaries to embrace a life outside […]

%d bloggers like this: