By Lisa Manterfield
This week marks the 7th anniversary of Life Without Baby. In March 2010, I sat with my laptop on a sunny patio in a little restaurant (now gone) in Northern California. I ordered a glass of sparkling wine and a dozen oysters, and I tentatively wrote my first blog post.
It was more of a mission statement, really—a public show of my intention to talk about infertility and childlessness. It was a shout out for help, too, a call out into the world in the hopes of hearing someone call back, “Me too.”
No one did.
In fact, no one commented on my posts until I wrote the first Whiny Wednesday post the following month. It’s remained the most popular feature of the site ever since. Turns out there were lots of us wanting to be heard, after all.
Kathleen was with me from that very first day. I texted her to tell her I’d written the first post and we celebrated this wary step out into the unknown. A few weeks later she wrote her first guest post about finding a new path. By the end of the year, she had was writing her regular It Got Me Thinking column, and she’s been here ever since.
That year, I also discovered Pamela’s book Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost, and Found. It was my first encounter with someone who’d shared my experience and had put into words all I’d been feeling.
Since then, I’ve posted almost 1500 posts, received more than 11,000 comments, and welcomed more than a million visits from over 100 countries. I definitely don’t feel alone anymore.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post about the importance of marking anniversaries—the happy and the sad—as a way of measuring how far we’ve come. I could never have imagined that, seven years after that first post, I would still be writing posts and meeting new people, or that I would have written two books about life without baby.
I also could never have imagined the level of peace and, yes, happiness that I have in my life, even though it will never include children of my own. For those of you just trying to figure all this out and wondering what your lives will hold, I hope this serves as encouragement. It does get easier, you will find a new path, and there is even happiness, more than you could imagine, in a life without children.
No good anniversary celebration would be complete without presents, for this week (until March 20), the ebook versions of both I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood and Life Without Baby: Surviving and Thriving When Motherhood Doesn’t Happen are half price ($4.99) on Amazon.
Finally, a big thank you to all of you who’ve supported me all these years. I never dreamed when I started this site that I’d get to know people from all around the world or that I’d get to form real friendships and even get to meet some of you in person. It’s been a journey I could never have imagined, and I’m grateful to have had you along for the ride.