August 31, 2006

Finding Your Voice

Thought for the day:

“It’s okay to stand out in your field; but God forbid you stand out in the crowd.”

A lot of childfree people I’ve met act this way, myself included. Men certainly don’t want to talk about it. It’s a guy thing mostly. Women just go more naturally to an intimate subject. Blame Oprah, everybody else is. Thank goodness we are not really Purple. If we simply keep our mouths shut, no one will know we are different.

Hmmmmm. Our more vocal of purple contingent wants to know, “Why all the anonymity?” Have we committed a crime? Why are we so apologetic for not being parents?

You may know someone like this. They’ve been on the front lines longer. They are the pioneers of our movement, the ones who found their anger and who faced the music before us. Their anger is their strength. They’ve been online in chat rooms and forums a lot longer than Purple Women™ and they made it easier for us to follow in their childfree footsteps.

Okay, I may be stretching it to call childfree people a “movement”. That truly implies agreement on something, a united front. We are far from that. But we are getting harder to ignore, as the trend to remain childfree is up globally, as evidenced by this week's Newsweek feature story, despite America's burgeoning birth rate. We are not alone and the Internet is here to connect us.

My gosh, people are blogging about it. They are writing books; we’ve reviewed some of them here. Popular media and news outlets are getting curious about what it is to be childfree. They often get it wrong or show only one extreme. There’s only so much you can do within the constraints of a sound bite. We’re controversial, on a personal, social and political level – whether we like it or not.

Might as well learn to talk the talk. How well prepared are you to handle “The Question”? How comfortable would you be if a news person wanted to interview you? I’ve been asking myself the same questions as I write my book.

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August 30, 2006

Culture and the Purple Woman

Now there’s a catchy title. There are such negative, loaded words that have been used to describe women without children: sterile, barren, cursed, unfit, frigid, etc.

I read a story of about an Indian woman’s experience of being childfree by choice in her culture. Indian culture calls childbirth an "issue”. So people were always asking her, “Any issue?” Apparently, this woman’s decision, her choice not to have a child, met much resistance.

I have often wondered what the Quran has to say about the subject of the child-bearing. The closest I've come to an answer is this BBC reference article about Islam's view on contraception. From my Western viewpoint, Islam seems to be very confused about women, their value and their purpose. The world has changed so much since it was translated by their prophet.

Christian and childfree has been explored here. Catholic-based cultures, especially Latina really promote the family and assume a duty to raise children. Where else would future believers come from?

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August 28, 2006

Purple Stuff

When I was in California last month, I picked up the local paper and noticed an ad for Grandma Purple. If you love the color purple, you have got to check this out.

She has created a most amazing collection of everything purple under the sun. Purple Duct Tape is a hot seller, and she has paired it with a The Duct Tape Book (um, it has a purple cover).

I had the opportunity to speak to her by phone last week and we explored ways to collaborate. She is offering readers of this blog a 10% discount on their first purchase, and that includes sale items gals. To take her up on this offer, contact her by email directly as the discount is applied manually. Shipping to places other than the U.S. can be specially arranged.

Mention this blog and you'll also receive your very own Purple Woman! button. Just what you've always wanted, eh?

Grandma Purple says she supports our site and fully believes in a woman's ability and right to choose her own life. She is a proponent of women supporting other women in their endeavours. I think we should all adopt her.

Personally, I am thinking about the Purple Laptop Cover. The Purple Leather Products look divine. Okay, maybe you don't need Purple Daisy Toilet Paper and Tissues, but I think everyone should have a Pie Serving Tool in the shape of a shoe, don't you? You'll find it in the "Not Purple But Fabulous" section. Purple, as we know from the famous poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph, is a state of mind...and these items qualify as purple through association.

Grandma Purple collaborates with the Purple Store on an adult literacy program. Anyone who purchases a book from their site is also donating to the cause. We can admire her collaborative spirit. Plus, it's a lot of fun.

We all have Grandma Purple to thank!

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August 25, 2006

Fence Sitting

When I was younger, in college mostly, I had very strong points-of-view that I refused to back down from. One too many times I found myself slowly changing my views and if there is one thing I learned for myself at least it's never say never.

I think it's my policy of not ever completely ruling anything out because I'm always changing as a woman and as a person. My whole life I've always had very strong opinions and views but I always question things to make sure I know where I stand.

As a childfree woman I have to admit I'm a "fence sitter" or whatever you want to call it. Given that I'm also in a relationship with a guy who has a daughter I've been questioned many times on whether it's logical to call myself childfree.

For myself right now, today, I do not want children and it's hard to imagine children in my future. When I think of how my life would change if I had a baby, well it's something that makes me really uncomfortable.

Someday down the road I could feel differently and that's why I can't accept the "childfree" label entirely but I know I will always feel very strongly about the concept of Purple WomenTM. I've always felt people should be able to live their lives in a way that feels right for them. I think it's so easy for some to do what society thinks they should do and not what feels right for themselves.

So I will continue my journey and continue to ask lots of questions. I will live my life as a child-free woman until it's something that no longer feels right. I think the concept of being childfree is beautiful, because it finally puts a label on a choice between motherhood and everything else.

August 23, 2006

Purple Woman in Europe

Guest Contributor: Tanja
alias: Morgaine the soap maker
Morgaine's Soaps

My name's Tanja, I'm 29 years old, single and I live in Switzerland.

Lately, I almost became a bit paranoid - I felt I was being followed around by pregnant women. Seriously, simply walking across Campus at work I encountered at least 5 pregnant women within 15 minutes...

...not to speak of friends who are pregnant or already have kids, but I guess I have now arrived at an age where most people already settled or plan to do so in the near future. And for most people that includes kids. I'm being swamped with stories from old classmates and friends about their kids, pregnancy and of course the inevitable photos.

Don't you just love those re-unions where everyone brags about their life and then the inevitable question,
accompanied by a pitiful glance comes: "And what about you? Married? Children? Oh, you concentrate on your career...Oh, you want to follow your dreams? How cute...", and more pitiful stares follow this statement.

Don't even get me started on my mother and my aunt pestering me about (non-existent) boyfriends and when I plan to bless them with grandchildren. A few years back my mother was so concerned with my not having a steady boyfriend that she asked me if I was gay. Not that anything would be wrong with that, mind you! (We're being politically correct, right?) But I could see the tremendous relief when I assured her that I prefer a man in my bed to a woman.

Repeat after me slowly: I - do - not - want - any - kids.
My reasons are simple and mostly selfish. First, I'm not too fond of children. (I'm definitely an animal person...) I can spend an afternoon with them if they have a certain age, but I'll happily return them to their parents in the evening. Babies and toddlers are not for me. It's beyond me why people bring in their newborn babies to work to show them off and 98% of the female employees and 90% of the males go ga-ga over them. I spent an afternoon in the city with an old friend of mine and her 1 year old son. It was absolutely impossible to have a conversation, because the little guy could not keep quiet.

Another, and I suppose popular, reason is that I'm scared of giving birth. I do not plan to go through 9 months of feeling miserable and then pressing a human being the size of a basketball out of my vagina. I'll have to raise it, go through all the shit and worse I put my parents through with it and then being stuck with it for the rest of my life. C'mon, it's not just 18 years, (being a parent is a life-long task). I plan to evade the curse of all parents: Asking themselves at one point or the other what on earth they did wrong and if they failed miserably.

I love my independency too much to give it up. (Hey, I even have issues putting up with a partner!) I have dreams, I have plans that include immigrating to the US and starting a new life. I'm not willing to do that with a child. I'm not even sure I want to do it with a partner.

Egotistical? Yes, definitely. But why should I lead a life that complies with what society dictates if it's not what I want? After all, my ultimate goal is being happy - for me, this does not include children.

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U.S. Republicans Winning the Baby War

A segment on Good Morning America this morning exposed the baby gap between Democrats and Republicans. Apparently, Republicans are having significantly more babies than Democrats and the natalist tendencies of Republicans may tip the balance of power for decades to come unless Democrats step up to the plate and have more kids.

Looking back on the 2004 election, The American Conservative contributor Steven Sailer noted in his article Baby Gap :

"…voters are picking their parties based on differing approaches to the most fundamentally important human activity: having babies. The white people in Republican-voting regions consistently have more children than the white people in Democratic-voting regions. The more kids whites have, the more pro-Bush they get."


R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary writing for the Christian Post came to the conclusion that "the responsibilities, experiences, and disciplines of parenthood--along with a parent's obvious concern for the future--tend to move child-rearing voters to the right."

Apparently if you are white and American, the more kids you have the more likely you are to vote for Republican candidates.

A Democrat featured in the Good Morning America segment urges her fellow Democrats to make babies so that we can close the gap. The rationale being that we tend to vote how our parents vote.

With all the other pressures of being a parent, now you’re being asked to vote with your womb??

Another reason I’m happy to be a childfree independent.

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August 22, 2006

Childfree Social Network: Part 2

A friendship can suffer when one friend becomes a parent and not the other, just as the single friend laments the (real or imagined) loss of a friend when that friend gets married. They simply don’t have as much in common, or as much time to give to each other. Not always, but in many cases.

Parents meet and become friends with other parents. It’s a build-in social circle. If you’re not careful you will find your fine childfree self going through a lonely stretch from your late 20s to your late 30s. That’s exactly what happened to me, and it took me a while to realize it (and no, I am not prone to sleep-walking).

As a childfree adult, we are perceived as having a lot more “peace and quiet” in our lives and more time for “fill-in-the-blank”. I propose that we get out in the community and prove it!

If you’re child-friendly, you may want to consider becoming a Big Sister, as LauraS shared with us in this post. Volunteering is a great way to be a part of a community, much like going to church, only without the dogma. All you have to believe in is the worthiness of the mission. Volunteers are treasured assets to the communities and the organizations they serve. Nothing feels better than to give of yourself. Here are two organizations that can help connect you to the right organization in your local community and in the world:


Having a strong social network requires action. I chose not to participate in any religious circles, yet church can lend great community benefits. The difficulties of being Christian and Childfree have been explored here thanks to Twiga. It is not the path of least resistance; however, for some, it is their rock.

Whether it is work or the good game of golf, your pursuits will lead you to friendships - often the closest ones. Heck, they can even lead you to your childfree soul mate! Perhaps a less obvious approach is to join a social club of like-minded individuals. Could be your local outdoor club, a birding club, or a knitting circle or a book club,...

…or consider joining a social club for adults without children like No Kidding! the international organization, which hosts the Child-free Festival each year. The festival is a great excuse to travel and meet other like-minded individuals. If there isn’t one in your area, you can always start one.

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August 21, 2006

Project Update: What's Next?

September will be the one-year anniversary of this site. I’ve been asking myself “What’s next, what is it that I want to accomplish?”

I propose the following goals and action items for Purple Women& Friends as we move forward:

Goal #1 Accurate portrayals of what it is to be childfree in popular media and the news.

Action item(s): Reviews on books (fiction and nonfiction) and movies and media coverage about the childfree; possible letter writing/email campaign to producers and studios. Develop capability and a network of media-ready, interview candidates who are childfree people, starting with me.

Goal #2 Inclusion of the childfree in women-centric circles and related political discussions. Let’s not raise our voices, let’s project and participate. Become a “mentionable” resource for journalists and editors.

Action item(s): Connect to other women-centric bloggers and websites, and other childfree websites that are on the level and professionally presented. Publish a book and continue to build a readership for the blog. Blog well and often.

Goal #3 Represent diversity in voice and perspective among the childfree.

Action item(s): Encourage Guest Contributors, including men and parents who are interested in writing on our topic; recruit blog team members (regular Contributors) from readership and Guest Contributors. Research what’s happening in headlines globally and report on the trends, BBC, CBC, Australia and mainland Europe, the blogosphere in general.

Goal #4 Fun and Factual. It’s a delicate balance between informative and entertaining, and I am open to your ideas on how to do it better.

Action item(s): Please
email Teri with your ideas. Tell me what topics and types of posts you liked best and what you’d like to see more of.

By all means, tell me if you’re interested in contributing an article from your own unique perspective!

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August 19, 2006


Pursuant to Twiga's post on this subject, I just had to share a juicy tidbit from the book I am currently reading: The Baby Boon by Elinor Burkett. I promise a full book review when done - or at least several good (hopefully short) posts!

Elinor sets the stage in her preface, demonstrating how the politicians have commandeered the term family-friendly to fit their own pulpit. Al Gore's campaign in the 2000 U.S. elections left non-parents dangling in verbal limbo.

" his annual Family Re-Union symposium in Nashville, Tennessee, he exhorted, 'Let's create a family lobby as powerful as the gun lobby.' On his website, he devoted a full policy section to his proposals for building 'stronger families.' What was his definition of the families those proposals would help? Not brothers and sisters, cousins, or even husbands and wives. The proposals were geared exclusively to parents."

Now you may feel that the childfree have a role, whether it is acknowledged or not, in helping families with children. We pay taxes for things we may never use. Conversely, other people's children, will work and pay taxes that support us in our retirement. I believe it balances itself out, only time will tell, despite the best predictions of any politician.

I wish his campaign staff had been a little more sensitive to the use of the term family-friendly, I mean, why not say parent-friendly? It would have been more accurate. Maybe it would have helped him win by a bigger margin by culling the favor of the 30% of voters who were either Purple-minded or on the fence about having kids? Of course, that would legitimize our choice.

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August 17, 2006

Childfree Social Network: Part 1

How do adults make friends? In the context of my last post on this subject, and the recent study that highlights how isolated Americans are, I feel it is truly important to examine because being connected in a postive way to other people is a key to happiness. Hey, I read Walden Pond and I like the great outdoors as much as the next gal, but you can’t talk to a tree stump forever.

Being an only child from the beginning and being childfree as an adult, is like a double-handicap – to borrow a golf term. I have made up for it some by marrying into a large family. This increased my social network ten-fold, but I still have some work to do.

Too Close
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with my mother-in-law. She’s one of the smartest women I know and although we are entirely different, we do have one thing in common, her son. She was speaking to me one day about her aunt and uncle who were childfree. They were favorites of hers and she would always look forward to seeing them at family gatherings.

As it turns out they were not really blood-related family, but close family friends. Uncle Harold taught her how to drink martinis after all, and his wife sounded just as delightful. My mother-in-law had drawn a conclusion about childfree couples, having observed them and other non-parent couples she’d met over the years, and she felt that childfree couples become too close, almost like one half of the other. This struck me as odd initially, but I was curious and I listened, because the older you get, the smarter mothers get. Ever noticed that? She said her observation became particularly evident when a partner dies.

In my mind I wondered “What’s the harm? Can you really be too close to your partner?” Her words still haunt me as I delve into the realm of being childfree. Now that I’ve turned 40-something, I’m committed.
I believe what my mother-in-law was referring to was the lack of a circle of friends, a sort of social safety network that one can rely upon in times of need. Childfree need to consider this, married or not.

Relationship Satisfaction
I have reflected on her words many times since I met and married her son, and I’ve come to agree with her. Studies have shown that childfree couples indicate high level of satisfaction in their relationships. I was always taught to find the silver lining, but it doesn’t hurt to acknowledge the dark side – the yin and the yang. If you live through your spouse, it’s just another form of isolation if you don’t have other friendships, other interests.

A Purple Woman who was profiled in Unwomanly Conduct (1994, Carolyn Morell) summed it up best pointing out that what we, as a surviving spouse or a perpetual bachelorette, will lack in our golden years is an advocate.

I say why just one? Why not a circle of friends; a devoted niece and nephew wouldn’t hurt. The good news is, you can choose not to be isolated. You can decide to participate in a circle beyond your own small life. You can also have a really positive influence on a young person’s life, or an entire organization if you chose to.

Next post: Childfree Social Network: Part 2 on Tuesday

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August 15, 2006

Purple Women in the Movies

Since starting this blog and conceiving of a book on the same subject, (yes, it is my book "baby") I have been necessarily obsessed with the state of being childfree. Not just here (I am in Canada currently), but in the world.

For some time now I have been seeking role models. I remember asking my friend's mother, our next door neighbor, "What do you do?" At first she was defensive, then she realized that I was truly asking what her life was like.

It was the early 70s and women were much in the spotlight, entering the workforce like never before and she was a stay at home mom. She may have felt out of step with the women's movement -- it's hard to tell. She proceeded to tell me what her typical week was like. My own mother worked outside the home; beyond that - she owned her own business. I was very proud of her for that, but at a certain point I realized that she was not a typical woman.

I don't think my search for role models ended there. I am always looking for women to admire and emulate, and my friends are among them. Role models often don't like to be called "role model", and they can be real or imaginary. It's hard not to look to Hollywood for some positive examples.

Here's my short list of Purple WomenTM in the movies whom I admire:

Ellen Ripley - Handles weapons and space ships with equal aplomb and knows what to do with evil aliens.

Smilla Jasperson - She is an accomplished scientist, knows more about ice and snow than the average person, she's kind to small children, and she once made a living tagging polar bears.

Catherine Banning - Drinks a strange green conconction for breakfast, likes fine art and the finer things in life, and when she sets out to catch a theif, she really goes all out.

Do you know what movies they appear in? (Answers next Tuesday unless you guess them first!)

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August 10, 2006

What Defines a Family?

The society we live in often refers to things as being "family-friendly" or not "family-friendly". The implication is that it is or isn't suitable for children. Does this mean that a family must consist of children?

According to Wikipedia, "A family consists of a domestic group of people (or a number of domestic groups), typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by comparable legal relationships — including domestic partnership, adoption, surname and (in some cases) ownership (as occurred in the Roman Empire)."

The above definition encompasses those without children. A married couple is a family as well as domestic partners. Whether or not one has children does not define a family.

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August 09, 2006

Social Networking

Social Networking is the new buzz word of the day, and the Internet is changing it. Let’s not forget how to write a personal note, and let’s continue to pick up the phone when appropriate, but let’s also acknowledge that social networking online has added a whole new dimension to how we can connect.

The researchers who just published a study indicating that Americans are particularly isolated, discount this avenue of social networking. An article about it ran in the Washington Post.


I didn’t know much about (60 million registered users) before I heard the buzz about it at BlogHer. I’ve run into it several times since. Now I just have to have one. Last week, a waitress who is a new mom told me she has a MySpace site. Monday’s Wall Street Journal mentions MySpace at the top of the font page because crafty marketers are creating fictitious sites to place ads on other user’s sites. Grrrrr. Last week, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about how one man is using his MySpace site to help find missing teenagers. It’s not just for teenagers, it’s for moms and non-moms alike (even dads and non-dads). This post by a Chronicle editorial writer sums up the social world of MySpace quite well.

Survey Says...

The study mentioned above was conducted by General Social Survey, a federally funded think tank engaged with the mission of finding out what Americans think. It included phone interviews (we all love those, don’t we?) with 1,500 Americans.

“We know these close ties are what people depend on in bad times,” she [Lynn Smith-Lovin, one of the researchers out of Duke University] said. “We’re not saying people are completely isolated. They may have 600 friends on and email 25 people a day, but they are not discussing matters that are personally important.”

I felt the research must have overlooked the Internet and the myriad of ways people are connecting there. Others are blogging about it too. They have done us a service in pointing out how and where we may be vulnerable socially, which brings me to being childfree. Ours is a path less traveled and it is important to find others who are fellow travelers, in person and online. The benefits are obvious. How to do this may be less so, or more of us would be doing it.

Future post: How to improve your childfree social network.

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August 08, 2006

Book Review: Baby Proof

When I heard there was a novel dealing with the topic of being childfree I knew I had to check it out. When I found out Emily Giffin (writer of Something Borrowed) had written this childfree novel titled Baby Proof I had a really good feeling about it.

I wrote a review and contemplated how the topic of childfree had been explored throughout the story.

Basically there is a main character who’s married the love of her life whom initially tells her that, like her, he also would like to remain childfree. She’s happy to realize she found someone who understands where she’s coming from and everything seems too good to be true. That’s when he drops the bomb: he’s changed his mind and he would like to have a child.

The story is about whether or not a couple can make it work when one wants a child and the other adamantly does not. You have to wonder which is more important to you: the freedom of not being a parent or being with your soul mate?

I think what I liked most about this novel was how it clearly defined the reasoning behind so many women choosing to stay childfree. So many times I was nodding my head in agreement with the main character like when she said she didn't want to ruin her already very happy relationship by having a child.

I hope there are more books like this in the future and I will keep my eye out for them.

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August 07, 2006

Administrative Mondays

Anyone who visits my other team blog, Teri & Tom’s Blog, knows that I have turned the content over to the Purple Man in my life. Yep, this allows me to focus on Purple WomenTM & Friends (did ya notice the new title?). Tom is never at a loss for words – he has that Irish gift. I will continue to support him officially as Goddess of Images and Sidebar Wench (I know just enough HTML to make me dangerous). I now limit myself to contributing an image once a week on Wordless Wednesdays. I learned about this blog fun from Twiga.

As a blog team administrator, it always makes me nervous to see someone using the Anonymous label, because I’ve noticed that people say the most libelous things under that cover. To me, here in this space at least, it is all about the dialogue and the quality of it. That’s why anonymous comments are allowed on this blog. It affords a broader range of participation. It’s a calculated risk, tempered only by the Ground Rules in the sidebar.

Thanks to feedback I’ve had via direct emails, I’ve come to realize that it is not obvious to a reader that you can select a blog handle within without registering. You can actually be a different blogger with each comment, or use the same pseudonym on return visits, so we can get to know you through your comments. How? Click through to the Comments form (# comments link under the post) and select the “Other” option.

Post BlogHer (the blog conference with 700+ women bloggers held in San Jose, California last month), I have a number of ideas swirling around in my head. Attending this conference has helped to introduce our topic and our blog to a new cross section of women. A Silicon Valley Moms blog contributor told me they intend to put us in their blog roll, for example. How cool is that? I am telling all my mom friends.

We are approaching the true one-year anniversary of Purple WomenTM. I started blogging on June 30, 2005 and this blog was started in September that same year. I want to check in with my team members first, but you can expect a future post on where we’ve been and where we’re heading.

[Photo: Taken at Union Station in Toronto, Ontario.]

August 06, 2006

Overheard in a Book Shop

I mentor a young mother who is a college student. We were in a used bookstore buying textbooks for the fall semester. Her young son was sitting on a pile of books with his coloring book when a thirty-something guy walked in and smiled at him.

"Hey guy," he greeted the four-year-old. Then to us, "I’ve got three of them, I’d like to have another."

My mentee responded, "What does your wife has to say about that?"

"My ex-wives. Well, they all kicked me out," he shrugged. "I’m looking for a woman to give me a daughter."

He laughed and walked away, leaving us with our thoughts. If this was a pick-up line the guy needs a remedial course. If he was serious, I am left with disturbing thoughts about our value as women. It’s seems impossible that this generation of men still view women as breeders. Then I think about his female peers, many who will acknowledge that they don’t need to have a partner, just some viable sperm.

This saddens me.

Are we giving up on the prospect of a loving partnership? Is the child the only objective? Has a 50% divorce rate made us so cynical that we are tempted to skip the man/woman bond and just go straight to parenthood?

And, parents tell us we are missing out.

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August 04, 2006

A Permanent Solution: Part 2

Temporary forms of birth control tend to be regimented, and no form is 100% effective; at some point, you may consider a permanent solution. The permanent solutions for women include hysterectomy, tubal-ligation (TL), and a new innovative procedure called Essure. The first option represents major abdominal surgery, a hospital stay and significant recovery time. Even TL requires incisions, recovery time, and the inherent risks of general anesthesia, as it does for men having a vasectomy.

Essure is the name of a medical device and a procedure that has been pioneered by a company out of Mountain View, California. I learned about it while attending the BlogHer ’06 conference. (The women at Essure read this blog!) The FDA approved it in 2002, and it represents a significant step forward.

How does it work?
A tiny micro-insert coil is placed in each of your fallopian tubes without any incision. Then your body works with the device to close the passage with tissue. It can take 3 months or more and an alternate form of contraception (or abstinence) should be practice during that time. Then in 3 months, you undergo a special type of x-ray, called a hysterosalpingogram or HSG for short. For some women, it will take longer for the tissue to form. The x-ray is no more invasive than the procedure itself and involves a special dye. (Note: This type of x-ray was first developed for use with infertility procedures, so you should remind the radiologist that you are there to confirm the micro-insert placement!)

If you’re still interested, discuss it with your doctor and find a doctor that is approved to perform the Essure placement. I used their online search tool to find doctors approved to do the procedure within a 50 mile-radius of Atlanta, Detroit, and San Francisco and found 30 or more in each location. If you call the Essure hotline you get to speak to a nurse .

The benefits:

  • Less invasive, no incisions required
  • Faster recovery time, in most cases back to work next day
  • Doctor’s office procedure, not under general anesthesia
  • No hormones added to your body’s chemistry
  • 99.8% effectiveness rate (based on four clinical years of data)

If you are single and younger than age 35, you may have difficulty getting any doctor to perform any permanent birth control solution, so first be sure and then be persistent. It’s a permanent (non-reversible solution) after all. Oh, and if you visit the Essure website, please don’t be put off by the copy just below their headline. I have modified it here to apply to Purple WomenTM exclusively (tee hee):

"Are You an Essure Woman?
If you’re sure you don’t want any more children and you are tired of using temporary birth control… "

Try to get past the huge assumption that you’ve already had children, because this device and the procedure associated with it represents some significant advances in permanent birth control. I recommend reading the No Regrets post on the Essure blog.

A Permanent Solution: Part 1

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August 03, 2006

A Permanent Solution: Part 1

Among my circle of childfree friends and acquaintances, the topic of a permanent solution for birth control has come up more than once. The pill is only so effective, not a 100% solution, and let’s face it, you are messing with your hormones - you’ll probably have to eat organic at some point.

One resourceful woman was having such difficulty finding a doctor to perform sterilization; she approached the leader of our local
No Kidding social club for help. The chapter president assisted her by posting her request for help and information, specifically referral to a doctor, anonymously. I believe she did find a medical professional that was willing to perform the elective surgery.

Our location is
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a decidedly modern, fast-forward paced city of 2.48 million people from all over the world. Another friend shared that she had no trouble getting the procedure done. Her doctor was very clear in confirming the permanence of the decision she was making, but she allowed her to make it. Under the Canadian system, the cost was quite reasonable, but she was told firmly in advance should she wish a reversal in the future, that procedure was more than triple the cost and there was no guarantee of being able to bear a child.

The woman in the previous story had been turned down more than once and was getting desperate. This is not an uncommon experience, apparently for Canadians and Americans alike. The details of her story, her age, and her circumstances remain private.

Why was she having so much trouble? Well, possibly because of her age and her marital status. I wonder how it is in other parts of the world?

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childfree birth control

August 01, 2006

Respect and a Little Dose of Humour

"...we'll gladly respect your decision to have children if you'll respect our choice not to. If we can get to a point where it's something we can have a good laugh over, rather than get up in each others' grills, then that's real progress." -- Baby Not On Board author, Jennifer L. Shawne

Following up on alleged tension between mommy bloggers and non-mom bloggers at the BlogHer '06, I say "phooey"! This is the kind of thing mainstream media wants to focus on. Jennifer (quoted above) had her book recently reviewed by the Oakland Tribune. Did the editor really have to go with this title "In Age Where it's All About Baby, the Childfree are Fighting Back"?

It doesn't help that there are a lot of childfree forums and chat rooms that take a pretty negative tone and resort to derision and name-calling; I've had lots of feedback like this from PW readers. Ranting is not constructive. Does it change anyone's mind? I think it slams the door shut, but judging from what's offered on daytime TV it must be at least entertaining for some.

As women bloggers, we are even more beholden to follow a code of civil disagreement. Our comments are published globally. A dose of humour doesn't hurt either. It makes for a nice coating on a bitter pill. Then you can laugh about it afterwards. It's a social skill.

I didn't get wind of any of this at BlogHer, which was swarming with mom bloggers. There was an unusually high spirit of cooperation and positive energy about the place. People were truly listening to each other, not interrupting, asking thoughtful questions, learning from one another, laughing.

What say you Purple WomenTM?

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