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Maybe Baby. A question.

Monday, October 24, 2011 by Marianne Elliott

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I’ve lived in parts of the world where women have little to no control over their fertility. So I know that as a women who can have a full sexual life and also choose whether or not to have a baby I am part of the 1%. And I’m grateful.

And still.

It’s no easy choice.

A few months ago, in the desert of New Mexico, I found my way in a place I had been seeking for a long time. It was a place where I was finally at peace with my answer to what has proven to be one of the most complex, emotionally fraught questions of my life to date.

The question?

Whether or not I would try to have children.

For a long time I suffered over this question because I felt like the choice had been taken from me. As I saw it, other people had made choices that left me with none. I was angry, resentful, powerless and sad. I do see the irony of this, given all the women I’ve met and worked with in my lifetime who actually had no sexual or reproductive choices.

And still. I felt like the one choice I wanted to make was not available to me.

In my secret moments of shame, I suspected that I was being denied the opportunity to be a mother because there was something fundamentally wrong with me.

Then, after a lot of suffering which was often of my own making, I had some long conversations with my friend Randi Buckley and saw –

I had choices after all.

Randi helped me step into a quiet room with myself, away from the mean voices in my head and away from what everyone else in my life wanted, thought or believed was possible. I realized that before I could decide anything, I needed to know what was true for me – setting aside just for a moment what was true or right or good for everyone else.

And then, because it seems to be in my nature to learn slowly and to take every difficult detour along the way, I thought for a long time that what mattered was –

Making the right choice.

So I agonized over the options, finding none of them quite to my liking.

Because I wasn’t asking myself which of my options would be better, I was asking which of my options I could bear.

Could I bear giving up my dream of being a mother? Or could I bear leaving the person I loved in order to try to become a mother?

With the help of Randi, my therapist and my spiritual teachers I slowly unraveled the threads of my desire to be a mother. I followed one strand that lead back to a wounded, scared little-tiny-baby version of me. And with patience and love I found healing for her. I unraveled another big wild plait and suddenly saw how biology was having its way with me. I followed another thread until it lead me right into the deepest heart of my hearts and found –

This desire to mother was the same as my desire to love, to serve, to care for all

In the end, the answer for me wasn’t really about deciding anything at all. It was about knowing myself, and what I truly needed to be happy. It was about recognizing that not everything that pulls on your heart is healthy, healed desire.

And it was about trusting the inherent goodness of my life and accepting what was out of my control (i.e. much more than I like to think).

I don’t really know how to write about this yet.

It’s all still very fresh. I could trot out the teachings of the spiritual wisdom traditions I follow. I could talk about my dharma, my karma. I could tell you that in the end it makes little difference whether any of us have children or not. What makes all the difference is our willingness to wake up to the reality of our own lives, to see who we really are.

But for now I’ll stick to what I have experienced.

In my experience this question, the Maybe Baby question, is big. It’s hard. It may well trigger every wound you carry from your own childhood. You’ll want to take extra special care of yourself as you walk with it, and you’ll want the guidance and loving care of a wise, wise friend. A friend like Randi Buckley.

Which is why I am so profoundly proud of what Randi has created with her Maybe Baby course and coaching program.

Maybe Baby

“Maybe Baby” is a coaching program for women who are ambivalent about having children, but hear the whisper of ‘maybe’ in their hearts. With compassion and no hidden agenda, Randi will work with you to uncover your answer AND to be at peace with it.

How beautiful is that?

It’s very beautiful.

And so is Randi, inside and out. I sometimes feel like she’s this amazing jewel I’ve been lucky to get to spend a little time with before the whole world realises just how precious and beautiful she is, and suddenly everyone will want to spend time basking in her goodness and glow.

And if that sounds a little bit over the top to you, it’s because you haven’t met Randi. She’s a gem, and this program is a gift. It’s a gift I wanted to share with you because I know from very first-hand experience how hard the Maybe Baby question can be and because I wish everyone had Randi to help them walk through it.

Turns out I’m not the only person who feels this way.

“Went from feeling anxious and lots of pressure to feeling really at peace and grounded.  The process was magical.  Randi is magical.  Magic I tell you, magic.”

~ Laurel, Maybe Baby Beta-tester

Registration closes on October 28th.

If you think this might be right for you but just need to talk to someone who has already worked with Randi, someone who has already grappled with this question, someone who you know and trust, then please get in touch at marianne(at)marianne-elliott(dot)com. I feel so strongly about supporting women who are struggling with this question and I would love to help you work out if this is right for you.

NB: I am not an affiliate for this program.

I love the program and love Randi and she invited me to be an affiliate. I declined not because I have any doubts at all about the program but because this issue is so dear to my heart that I wanted to talk to you about it without anyone wondering whether I was trying to sell something.

I’m not.

I have no interest in selling you anything.

My interest is in helping you if you are struggling, if you feel lonely or misunderstood or simply confused or unclear. I’ve been there. And I needed all the loving help I could get.

I believe Randi can help many people, but this won’t be for everyone. And I wanted you to be able to talk to me about this without thinking that I would be trying to ‘sell’ you on it. I won’t. I just want you to know about it in case it is just what you’ve been looking for (even if you didn’t know what you were looking for).


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14 Responses to "Maybe Baby. A question."

  1. Immy says:

    Many kisses. Lets talk soon xxx

  2. Lindsey says:

    This is so beautiful, so honest, so wise. I think the way you honor the quest to understand one of the most emotionally complex questions of our lives is gorgeous. My experience was totally different; as a woman who is also in the 1%, and as the world’s most ridiculous type A planner, I still wound up pregnant by accident and surprise at 27. This eventually became the happiest surprise of my life, but the truth is it took me several years to get there, to embrace something I thought I would have been making a choice about. Does that make sense? I guess my point is that I relate to this being a thorny and emotional question, even when the outcomes/story look so different on the surface.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, again, always.

  3. Laura says:

    Dear Marianne, thank you for posting this… I’m sure your question will resonate with many women out there 🙂

  4. Jasmine says:

    My heart has been and is in the midst of this question. I started breathing more deeply as I read this post, just to hear another woman expressing these questions, not having easy answers, trusting her self.

    Thanks Marianne. I can’t take Randi’s course this time, but I adore that she has created it and know it will transform the lives of many both women and men.

  5. Emily Perry says:

    Thank you for the beautiful post. I know so many women struggling with this very question- and thank you for sharing your journey! xo

  6. Christen says:

    Wow, what an amazing gift! I can think of few decisions that pull on so many complicated, confusing, and hidden parts of our hearts. I’m so glad Randi is doing this and that you are sharing it!

  7. Joanna says:

    Such a beautiful, heartfelt post, Marianne. Thank you. I will share it with some of my younger women friends. Blessed be.

  8. eric says:

    Powerful and beautiful. The bring such depth of care, awareness, and discernmen to this core choice is a gift to savor. I appreciate being offered a seat in your circle.

    And thank you for highlighting how to meet the “maybe-s” as an invitation to untangle and bless the threads that weave our life.

  9. Mary Montanye says:

    You brought me to tears, Marianne. 25 years ago I was confronted with the same decision: leave the man I loved in order to have another child (I did have one from a previous marriage) or give up the opportunity to have more children (the only dream I’d ever really had). I stayed with the man and had no more children. After lots of grieving I learned my ability to love is limitless. I love deeply and I love many. Regardless of the choice you ultimately make, Marianne, I know you too will always love deeply and many.

  10. Tanya says:

    This is love. Pure, simple and honest love. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Lisa McKay says:

    So eloquent, so gentle, so open with such a difficult topic. Glad to hear you’ve found peace on this.

  12. Yvonne says:

    Hi Marianne,

    This is a question on many women’s lips and in many women’s hearts and it was a lovely post.
    My husband and I have always said “never say never but not right now” and I find that although I might love a dog I really don’t have space in my life right now for a baby. Some say dogs are harder work than children…
    Each passing year it becomes more obvious to both of us that we will not have babies in our future and I am comfortable with this, in my heart and soul and I feel peaceful so I know it must be right 🙂

  13. Pundelina says:

    Oh Marianne, I wondered about that for you. You found me such a long time ago and I figured that the reason was shared experience.

    I am so pleased that you are at peace and are happy.


  14. Swirly says:

    I know this has been a difficult journey for you, and I admire you so much for being willing to dive right into this question and let it take you as far back as you needed to go to find a peaceful place. As always, you inspire me.

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