The Childless Mother The Ponderer The Survivor

Captain of My Ship? Master of My Destiny?

December 29, 2010
Gustov Klimt: The Tree of Life
Gustov Klimt: The Tree of Life

Gustov Klimt: The Tree of Life

This morning I shed some major tears over my battle with infertility.  I cried because tomorrow I will be a 35-year-old, childless woman.  I cried because I also realized, for the first time, that I’m scared to have a baby.  I have so many fears surrounding having a child, that I’ve kept hidden from myself.  But it’s all surfacing now.  And I’m wondering how much of my own fears have blocked my body from doing what is most natural.

Because I’ve always wanted children so badly, I’ve always had a fear of not being able to have children.  I have fears about not actually being the mother I intend to be.  I have fears about being an old mom, and especially about Mark being an old father (he’s 16 years older than me).  I have fears about giving birth to an unwell child.  I have fears about not being able to provide for my child the way I want to.  And the truth is, since I’ve been married, life circumstances have not been all that favorable to bring a child into.  Do I have a subconscious block from getting pregnant and keeping a growing fetus in my womb?

If this is true, then I want to throw a tantrum right now.  Well, the truth is, I already threw a tantrum this morning.  Many, many, many mothers have children intentionally, and unintentionally, wanting the child they carry, and not wanting the child they carry.  So why should I be any different?  Why would my thoughts contribute one way or the other, when so many other mother’s thoughts were irrelevant?  Yet somehow still, I am open that my fears are a contributing factor in my struggle.  Am I that powerful?

I don’t want to throw tantrums.  I don’t want to think life unfair.  I want to surrender to life and it’s curve balls.  Or at least, what I perceive to be curve balls, only because I had other plans that life did not have for me.  I know I sound like a I’m open to being tossed around by circumstances.  Maybe I am.  Maybe I finally am.  Maybe I’ve held on too tightly to the idea that I am the one and only designer of my life.  Boho Girl recommended this book some time ago, and this morning I read this passage from “Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life“, and it kind of shifted something inside me:

“[Life] is the last word.  Life interrupts us when we are at our most self-assured.  Life diverts us when we are hell-bent on going elsewhere.  Life arrives in a precise and yet unplanned sequence to deliver exactly what we need in order to realize our greatest potential (I know this!).  The delivery is not often what we would choose, and almost never how we intend to satisfy ourselves, because our potential is well beyond our limited, ego-bound choices and self-serving intentions.”

Since I was an adolescent, I started believing that I was the Captain of my Ship, Master of my Destiny.  Now, I am only sure that I am Captain of my response to life, Master of my emotions and clarity.  I think this is good.  I think this is right.  Life does have a way of throwing curve balls.  Life corrects our course when we go off track of what we intended to accomplish before we were born.  It supports us, whether we recognize that support or not.

Here is another passage from “Hand Wash Cold” that speaks deeply to me now:

“You might think, for instance, that the life you have is not at all the life you had in mind and so it doesn’t constitute your real life at all.  Your real life is the life you pine for, the life you’re planning or the life you’ve already lost, the life fulfilled by the person, place, [etc], of your dreams.  This is the life we are most devoted to: the life we don’t have.”

The life we don’t have… ouch.  It’s true.  I’ve been devoted to the life I don’t have.  The life I pine for every day.  The life with my husband and two kids, self-sustained, living on a rural farm, homeschooling, learning, and crafting my days away.  Instead, I’m a childless woman, living with my husband in my parents home after economic devastation to our business, and in the early, struggling phase of a new business.  That is my life.  I’ve lost the 4000 square foot home, the Cadillac Escalade, the Utopian neighborhood.

My life can’t begin again some other day – the day I have my children and my farm.  My life is here, now.  And so is yours.  We’ve got to accept it and live in it.  We’ve got to find our home in it.

Jill O'Flannery | Cherry Blossoms

Jill O'Flannery | Cherry Blossoms

I surrender.

*Update: This post was syndicated at BlogHer on February 13th, 2011!

I was syndicated on

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  • Reply Laura December 29, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    You will be an awesome mother, Angie, if that is God’s will for you. I love you and I’m praying for you. I’m so blessed to have you in my life. You’re my sister from almost the same mother :-)


  • Reply Kara Smith December 29, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    Wow! Angela!!! Thankyou for being so brave and so raw in your writing! Your words are beautiful and I can feel the emotion in them! If one of you fears is being an older Mom then have no fear there! I’m right there with you! 35 in 2 weeks! And yes I have always had fear of having an unwell child but ya know, the want for children and the faith that all will be as it should has over taken that fear! And yes, I also am a believer in the power of the mind unknowingly controlling the body because of all sorts of emotions! Thankyou for your open heart and honesty! You may not understand this, but it is so refreshing and thought prevoking to me. Especially when so many hide behind their so-called perfect lives with out showing real hurt, fear and concern. I am one of these! I’m guilty of it! You’ve taught me something today! Vulnerability and honesty=courage. You are in my prayers and I too believe you will be an amazing mother!


  • Reply Laura DiGi December 29, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    Ang, my God-given sister, I love you and am so cheering you on in this season. All the lessons you learn and share are blessing me and challenging me to be more authentic and intentional in my life and relationships. Thank you for opening your heart and having the courage to speak what is in it. I am praying for peace, peace, and more peace as you revel in your family’s love tomorrow while we celebrate the blessing you are.


  • Reply Palma December 31, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    Hi Angela :)

    Funny! I was just looking at your blog when you commented on mine. Thnks for stopping by. I have you on Tweeter, which I am new to, and have no idea how it really works! LOL!

    Have a wonderfully creative, happy and very lucky new year :)

    Best wishes


  • Reply Sweetest in the Gale (Sherri) December 31, 2010 at 5:11 AM

    Hi Angela, thank you for visiting my blog, and I look forward to taking Misty’s class with you! Like you, the mixed media style of painting is brand new for me and I was a bit intimidated until I realized just how warm and welcoming everyone was. Your blog is beautiful, and I have such compassion for all you are dealing with.


  • Reply sperlygirl December 31, 2010 at 5:44 AM

    angela, i am here from misty’s class….i am sending you peace and light along your journey. i have no words of wisdom to share other than, you are not alone. blessings to you. warmly, s


  • Reply carissapaige December 31, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    Wow…………. i am left somewhat speechless after taking in the magnificent magnitude of this post. From the very beginning, birthing, to the very end — surrender. This encapsulates so much for me right now…. something I needed to hear/read/take in. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story, where you’re at in your beautiful life. You are incredible, and I’m so pleased to meet you. Thank you for visiting me. Looking forward to stretching into the new year and all that unfolds.

    Love & Warm Hugs,


  • Reply Sunshine January 2, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    I’m kinda in awe at your honesty and courage. .

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for sharing.


  • Reply Anne January 8, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have you ever been to Italy?
    Wishing you peace in your surrender!


  • Reply Call For Assistance on My BlogHer Syndication - Angela DiGiovanni February 15, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    […] a few days ago one of my most popular posts was syndicated on!  It is an incredible honor, as BlogHer has a reach of 20 million […]

  • Reply Joe Davenport February 15, 2011 at 2:58 PM


    To be honest I wanted to read some of your blogs to return the nod you gave me yesterday on mine. I thought I would read some, encourage a little and move on. Instead I find myself teary eyed as this blog is extremely relevant to where I am at in life right now. I am struggling deeply to be present and not wander around in days to come. Thank You for your courage and words.

    Am I allowed to give you props at blogher?



    angela Reply:

    @Joe Davenport,
    Hi Joe! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting :-) I really meant what I said about you being a great writer. You have a gift.

    You are welcome. And yes, you can give me props at blogher, as a man. You can for sure view it, sparkle it, or share it. I’m not sure if you need an account to comment… (maybe you could let me know…)


    Joe Davenport Reply:

    @angela, Sparkles and Links, no comments. Good Luck.


    angela Reply:

    @Joe Davenport,
    Joe, thanks so much for your support!


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