#StartAsking My Personal Story of Asking

I seem to be just getting started, however I know the week is about over.  To those of you who stayed with me this week, thanks for your abidance.  I felt as if I spent the week with some of you in a way, and I liked it!  It also goes without saying I admire your endurance:-)  So just one more post……..

Coming Out to the Band

A few months before we did our first round of IVF, I joined a symphonic band.  Having played flute since I was ten years old, and having made a living teaching lessons and playing weddings for the first portion of my adult life, (about 15 years), it was a quaint notion to be able to “just sit and play” after my years of hustling.  And better yet, I was second flute for the first time in my life, a position that averted me the pressure of solos and afforded my playing to be “off” when I was on hard hitting meds.  Plus I was thrilled to be playing harmony for the first time in my life, also a quaint notion, this time for the big fish in the little ponds who always ended up in the developmentally limiting position of first chair.

One of the things our band director does is send both birth and death e-mail announcements to the group, the death announcement subject line reading “regret to advise”.  People’s joyous and heartbreaking life events would be acknowledged over and over again as I tumbled through round after round of failed IVF in silence.  In this experience I observed rage, loneliness, sadness and disenfranchisement. (more…)

#StartAsking Reproductive Medicine to Prioritize Patient Care

Dear Reproductive Medicine,

I’m one of your patients.

I went through five IUI’s (all done with injectables), one hysteroscopy/laparoscopy surgery for stage 3 endometriosis, four fresh IVF cycles and one frozen.

I also, during my four year trying to conceive trek, unexpectedly dealt with PTSD that went undiagnosed for quite some time and entailed panic attacks, many of which took place in your waiting rooms.

My husband and I have now embarked on the third year of grieving and mourning the loss of our children, notably all by ourselves.  And no, we don’t consider our departure from reproductive medicine and the pursuit of a family with children a “choice” upon which our grief can be blamed.  It was, rather, the only sane and responsible action to take under the circumstances.

Yes, I’m one of your patients.  A patient who, two years and three months out of her final treatment is disturbed by many aspects of the care she got….and didn’t get…..while in the care of reproductive medicine.  Prompted by this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week theme, it’s time to #StartAsking. (more…)

#StartAsking For Support From Family

Guest Post – My Mom

I’ve been noticing that it seems our family members need to speak on our behalves a lot more.  I envision a future where people speak up for family members dealing with infertility as much as they do for any of life’s other crisis and unexpected heartaches.

I know that eliciting support from family is not always feasible.  Not everyone has a parent, parents or siblings within reach, due to death and other circumstances.  And, since we have about as much of a choice of who our parents are as we do over our reproductive situations (please read: none!), some of us are dealing with more astronomical levels of crazy than others.  Please know that I abide with these circumstances too.

The path to incorporating the hardship of treatments, the losses brought by infertility and the needs that arise because of them into my extended families’ reality has not been an easy one.  But we all persisted and I’m glad we did.  It touches on a spirit present in some of my other posts, which is that one doesn’t matter less in any given equation because they couldn’t have children easily or at all.  So, with that said I’ll turn things over to Mom. (more…)

#Startasking Eight Reasons Why Asking is Hard

I’ve done my share of speaking out on my trip through infertility and now involuntary childlessness.  I’ve asked my family and friends for support.

I insert my truths in conversation when I’m able.  I educate when I can.  In doing these things I’m habitually asking people for acknowledgement and to be informed themselves. (more…)

#StartAsking Ok, I’ll Ask the World

7 Things To Know About Infertility

 

Dear People in the World,

In the spirit of this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week #startasking theme, I’m asking you, people in the world, heck, I’m imploring you, once and for all to please take the disease of infertility seriously. (more…)

Let’s Hang Out! The Child Free Not By Choice Social Conundrum

A Week in the Life of an Infertility Survivor Pt3

One of the greatest losses stemming from infertility and childlessness for me is the hefty strain it has put on socializing and forming relationships with people.  It is, in my opinion, one of the least understood and most underrated challenges of not only childlessness, but of one’s changed perspective having survived trauma and loss.

The phone rings in my car, somewhere on the New Jersey turnpike, interrupting my pop music reverie.  Perhaps it was Rachel Platten’s Fight Song, or Adele’s Hello, or Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk, I don’t quite remember.  In the midst of anticipating a quiet Thursday evening at home organizing myself and gearing up for my yoga teacher training weekend, I was reminded by my husband that we had a party to attend at one of his restaurants. (more…)

A Week in the Life of an Infertility Survivor Pt2

Aunty Sarah

It was three days after Easter.  I awoke with a slow bleed into consciousness.  I know there are those dramatic shoot up from the pillow in the still of the night bursts – this was not that.  But something was…..wrong, amiss somehow. (more…)