The Full Stop Podcast
Episode 15: single and childless in a pandemic

Episode 15: single and childless in a pandemic

May 17, 2020

In this special episode recorded during lockdown in Spain, UK and Ireland, we reflect on the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus and our community, with a focus on what it’s like to be single and childless in the pandemic.

We are joined by Rod Silvers, Jody Day with Julie and Joss from Gateway Women.

Trigger: we discuss our journey to childlessness and adult themes.

Episode 14: The Clan of Brothers, men and childlessness

Episode 14: The Clan of Brothers, men and childlessness

April 19, 2020

In this episode Michael, Sarah and Berenice were joined by Dr Robin Hadley, PhD researcher Andy Harrod, Ken Fenton and Kevin Roberts, husband of Sarah Roberts who runs The Empty Cradle.

One of the most rewarding parts of running a regular podcast is that we have many opportunities to meet new and old friends, We were delighted to welcome Andy back onto the show - he joined us on our first men and childlessness episode in August 2019. You can read more about Andy on his website, Decoding Static

We were also delighted to catch up with Dr Robin Hadley, a supporter of the podcast since we first began. Many of you may already know Robin through his valuable research work, and personal experience, of male infertility. You can read more about Robin here

It’s also good to hear new voices and new stories. Ken Fenton is a good friend of Michael’s and he discusses being a step parent. Kevin Roberts joined us from Australia where his wife Sarah, supports the community through The Empty Cradle.

In this episode, we discuss men and involuntary childlessness, being a step parent and how to handle Father’s Day

Episode 13: Friendship in a time of need, Covid-19 and our community

Episode 13: Friendship in a time of need, Covid-19 and our community

March 25, 2020

We have been checking in daily with each other to make sure we’re okay. We decided that we’d catch up on Zoom and ended up doing an impromptu recording. So here’s Episode 13, recorded on the eve of the UK lockdown. We reflect on the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus and our community, and Michael tells some stories! We also ask how we can help you through our podcast. Can we use our resources to support your work, mental health… please do tell us.

Please do note that we talk briefly about the impact of ending IVF treatment during the crisis, this may be a trigger for you.

We promised a twist when we talked about this on social media and here it is! This episode is audio and video. We decided to include video as we felt you’d like a bit more of a connection with us and some friendly faces, you can head to our website to watch us recording.

Episode 12: Alternative Approaches to Mothering Sunday with Civilla Morgan and Allie Anderson

Episode 12: Alternative Approaches to Mothering Sunday with Civilla Morgan and Allie Anderson

March 15, 2020

Mother’s Day is a day of mixed emotions. We can feel a sense of loss and perhaps conflict too. In this episode, join Michael, Sarah and Berenice in conversation with fellow podcaster, Civilla Morgan (listen to her podcast Childless Not By Choice here) who shares her views on faith, the loss of her mother and how she’s inspiring churches to take a new approach. We welcomed Allie Anderson, a freelance journalist, editor & writer specialising in health to the podcast. She shares her advice on tackling the day and we discuss new activities and… Colin Firth!

You’ll also find out how to win a copy of Jody Day’s fabulous revised edition of ‘Living The Life Unexpected’. (read our review here)

We do mention miscarriage and parental loss so this episode maybe triggering.

Episode 11: Inspiring Stories with Suzan Muir

Episode 11: Inspiring Stories with Suzan Muir

February 16, 2020

“Could your concept of who you are be expanded to include the plants and animals around you? Could it include mountains, rain and wind? What would our lives feel like if we started to include non animate elements as part of our family?” Suzan Muir

Join Michael, Sarah and Berenice in conversation with Suzan Muir and hear more about her extraordinary and inspiring life.

To find out more about Suzan’s retreats please visit her website by clicking here

Helpline details

You can find lots of resources in our Toolkit here.

UK: Contact the Samaritans on freephone 116 123, they're open 24 hours and are there to listen and Mind.

USA: Suicide Prevention

Canada: Canada Crisis

Australia: Beyond Blue

Episode 10: Kicking Off 2020 with Bibi Lynch

Episode 10: Kicking Off 2020 with Bibi Lynch

January 19, 2020

We hope this wonderful episode with Bibi Lynch, broadcaster and journalist, will inspire you. As many of you will know, Bibi has written and spoken openly in the media about her childless life and received support from many, and attracted critics too. She has lots of wisdom to share and we all came away feeling charged up to tackle life. We hope you feel the same.

We also bring you community news from The Empty Cradle in Australia, a new guide from The Fertility Network UK, details of Words That Heart and a new choir from Helen Louise-Jones. 

Episode 8: The Alternative Kings and Queens Speech (you’re not alone at Christmas)

Episode 8: The Alternative Kings and Queens Speech (you’re not alone at Christmas)

December 9, 2019

Christmas is hard work at the best of times, but being part of this community only makes it harder. Yes, we get it and that’s why we’ve done something different with episode 8 – The Alternative Kings and Queens speech.

Because as Michael’s mantra says ‘you’re not alone’, and we’ve channelled that into this episode with voices speaking from our community, big and not so big, to support you all. As you’ll hear, the messages are filled with love, support, guidance and most of all, understanding.

Yes, Christmas will never be straightforward for us, because it’s difficult to be on the outside looking in, but we hope this episode will help you realise you’re part of a community full of friends, love and shared emotions. And believe us, there was plenty of that as we made this episode for you.

We hope you find it supportive and that Christmas is a time of peace and reflection for you.

Our thanks to: Jody Day, Lesley Pyne, Andy Harrod, Civilla Morgan, Rosalind Bubb, Anna Barratt, Stephanie Phillips, Brandi Higgins Lytle, Helen Segal, Kate Kauffman, Tanya Trusler, Tessa Broad, Yvonne John, Sophia Andeh and Jennifer Parrish. We also welcomed submissions from those who did not want to share their name at this time, thank you for taking part.

 

Helpline details

You can find lots of resources in our Toolkit here.

UK: Contact the Samaritans on freephone 116 123, they're open 24 hours and are there to listen and Mind.

USA: Suicide Prevention

Canada: Canada Crisis

Australia: Beyond Blue

Episode 7: F**k Festivities, coping during the holiday season

Episode 7: F**k Festivities, coping during the holiday season

November 20, 2019

In this episode Michael, Sarah and Berenice were joined by Emily Scott from IVF Fairness to talk about coping during the holidays. We shared our own experiences of how we manage at times of celebration. Emily chatted to us about good mental health as part of the team at Mind.

The Full Stop podcast on Mental Health with Meriel Whale

The Full Stop podcast on Mental Health with Meriel Whale

October 13, 2019

In this episode Michael, Sarah and Berenice were joined by Meriel Whale to talk about Mental Health as the world pauses to acknowledge World Mental Health Day.

We would like to make you aware that this episode does contain mention of suicide and therefore may not be suitable for everyone to listen to.

Meriel is a counsellor who lives and runs her practice in East Sussex in the UK. She’s a member of Gateway Women and she’s a World Childless Week champion, contributing to diversity and LGBT in our community. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Person Centred Counselling from the University of Brighton (2010) and you can find out more about her counselling on her website here.

Episode timings

From the start Michael, Sarah and Berenice share personal stories.

At 0.58 you can listen to community news

At 1.12 Meriel Whale joins Michael and Sarah in conversation.

This episode is 1.35 minutes long.

Helpline details

UK: Contact the Samaritans on freephone 116 123, they're open 24 hours and are there to listen and Mind.

USA: Suicide Prevention

Canada: Canada Crisis

Australia: Beyond Blue

World Childless Week

World Childless Week

September 15, 2019

This Full Stop podcast episode was almost called ‘how many Champions can you fit in a podcast’! We think we’ve done a cracking job of getting the words of World Childless Week founder Stephanie Phillips and her Champions including our own Michael and Berenice, into this hour-long episode. There’s so much to talk about when it comes to World Childless Week.

For those who don’t know, Stephanie Phillips founded World Childless Week in 2017. It’s an online event to raise awareness and support the childless not by choice community. In its initial week in September 2017 #worldchildlessweek was tweeted 1.2 million times (source: Twitter analytics). In 2018 World Childless Week reached 85 countries. Wow! This year World Childless Week will take place from 16-22nd September 2019. Each day explores a different element of being childless: our stories, letters about forgiveness, using art to release emotions, men matter too, how we have empathy, finding our worth in society and how to move forward.

Stephanie is supported by the World Childless Week Champions who are all childless not by choice and share the same determination to grow the awareness week. The Champions are based from across the world and represent diverse ethnicities, disabilities, genders and sexual orientation.

Sarah Lawrence hosted this episode and asked some amazing questions which inspired Steph, and Champions Jody Day, Robin Hadley, Rod Silvers, Vicky Page, Anne Barratt, Karin Enfield De Vries, Yvonne Maier, Bibi Lynch and Yvonne John to talk about what World Childless Week means to them and the community. We also lingered on the big issues that challenge us and themes to tackle for the future.

We all came away from this interview feeling incredibly empowered. It was through community initiatives like World Childless Week and Fertility Fest that we three presenters met. Without these events, voices go unheard. We hope you’ll be as moved by the words of the Champions and Steph as we were.