My Full Story

As the recent piece in Marie Claire ended up presenting a severely stunted form of my TTC story, Pamela from Silent Sorority opted to piggy back it with the full version on her important platform, reprotechtruths.org.

So hold onto your hats folks, you can read a much more robust account of my fertility industry journey HERE.  For years I wasn’t able to speak or write about it in its entirely all that coherently.  The amount there was to process seemed endless and unfathomable.  It’s only recently (about 4.5 years out of treatments) that a quasi rear view mirror of sorts has emerged through which to view and assimilate things.

People come to childlessness via many different paths.  I feel it’s important for the entire CNBC community to have a reasonable level of awareness regarding the perpetual trauma from which many of us are emerging or have emerged.

Reprotechtruths.org is dedicated to #unmaskingIVF and to helping “future generations understand the associated risks and costs”.  Thanks to Pamela for creating and curating this crucial site.

For those who have direct experiences with the fertility industry, your stories are important, especially in light of the current lack of patient tracking.  If you too are interested in sharing your story on reprotechtruths.org, click here.

Be back in a couple of weeks with some writing, finally, just for this blog:-)

 

 

 

In a National Women’s Magazine

A piece researched and written by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos over at Silent Sorority went live recently in this month’s online edition of Marie Claire magazine.  You can find the piece, The Wild World of IVF, Explained here.  You’ll also recognize the lede – I’m committed to lending my voice and story to more truthful and realistic portrayals of infertility and the CNBC experience.

There were plenty of other valuable personal accounts and hard-hitting research on the fertility industry that didn’t make it into the piece, as Pamela attests to in her most recent post.  It’s crucial that mainstream media grant readers access to in-depth, accurate reporting on the emotional fallout and mental health ramifications including PTSD that result from multiple failed (and sometimes not failed!) fertility treatments, as well as the current lack of palliative care.  Just to name a few.  The “How to have a baby” subtitle, one of which landed right next to the brief account of my plight, gave me and will give others a bit of a lurch.

That said, what did make it into this piece results in what I feel to be a very straight-forward, non sugar-coated overview of the IVF process, from which even I, quite the IVF veteran as are many of you, learned a few things.  Hats off to Pamela for her persistence and astute reporting.

Overall a strong step in the right direction of not glossing over the IVF experience.  All I ever caught wind of via the media in my years leading up to trying to start a family with children were people getting pregnant naturally in their late thirties and early forties, rare live births of high number multiples, or miracle baby “just keep trying” stories resulting from IVF.  What do you think? 

On another note, it has worked out that I’ve been collaborating with others and putting my work on broader platforms lately.  Not sure how it feels from your vantage point, my valued readers, but I rather miss the intimacy of pouring my heart out and writing just for your eyes (plus whoever you care to share it with) and this blog.  I’m looking forward to getting back to that soon.

 

Did You Know We Have a Magazine??

Slowly some things seems to be coming into focus for our childless not by choice tribe.  

One of them being our very own online magazine, created and run by Nicci and Andrew Fletcher.  

While we still need and deserve many more things out in the world that reflect our lives and experiences, this is a positive step in the right direction.

You can check out the magazine here.  The current issue includes a piece from yours truly on the subject of needing a tribe, aptly headlined “Hiding Behind the Curtains, Sarah Chamberlin avoids the local block party.”  

 

 

 

You’ll Never Know True Love…..

We all know how this wretched sentence ends, either literally or via inference.  Thanks to the World Childless Week team for sharing my piece, The Many Faces of Love:  You’ll never know true love until you’ve had a child, an Involuntary Childless Infertility Survivor’s Rebuttal.  You can find it on their site here, or visit their FB page here.  Today’s theme is Comments That Hurt.

How to participate in World Childless Week?  Well.  On one level it’s easy.  I encourage you to visit their site and/or FB page to read and like posts.  Since World Childless Week is an awareness campaign, sharing posts and especially sharing them with the good ole outside world is important.

This is where, at least for me, it gets challenging.  I realized this when the other day I ran across a commenter on another blog that essentially said she’s put the word out about WCW and heard crickets, and how are we supposed to get the word out when we are basically ignored like lepers?  So of course I burst out laughing.  Her comment rung true and got me back in touch with the risks we take when we share and post on infertility and involuntary childlessness – the usual crickets, perhaps awkward looks or exchanges when we see people in person, or even having to moderate the mainstream dipshittery that can often happen in response to the sharing of our experiences.  I haven’t had any of that this week, thank goodness, and I did get a warm response to my #IAMME picture (which I admittedly hesitated to post).  But the risks are there and can be felt deeply on a visceral level.  On the other hand, we will reach people and make them feel less alone, and we just may be changing the world little by little in ways that are not yet clear.

Many aren’t ready to share or be “out” with this experience and that space needs to be honored.  There are phases of grief where sharing and fielding responses is the last thing someone needs to be doing.  Looking back, I wish I was wiser to this in my own process at the time, however being silent was just too strangulating for me.  Either way, I know you will honor where you are and if you are in a place where you can push through the natural trepidation, do consider sharing one piece via mainstream social media this week.  If my piece doesn’t resonate with you, there are a bunch of spot on, well written and thought-provoking pieces on the WCW site to choose from.

Another thing to consider – the #IAMME campaign.  #IAMMME was created by blogger Cherry Williams.  The general idea is to show we are a diverse group of people who are shaped by other things beyond childlessness.  You can read her post here.

Sarah Chamberlin, Infertilityhonesty.com

 

 

 

World Childless Week is next Week!!

 

Hello Dear Readers,

A reminder the second annual World Childless Week from September 10 – 16 is just around the corner.

You can visit their site here to read more about the daily events and find out how you can get involved.

Be sure to check out their #IAMME campaign and participate if the spirit moves you.

On Friday the 14th the people at WCW will be kindly sharing a piece from me addressing comments that hurt.  This year’s pronatalist feature is the ever  scintillating “You’ll never know true love until you have a child”, so as you can imagine I was more than happy to offer my rebuttal.

Am also pleased to have a piece featured in the upcoming edition of the Childless Not By Choice Magazine, due to come out in a few days.  Will let you know when it’s available.

 

Where Have All the Triggers Gone?

Healing’s Inherent Discombobulation  

For the longest time, I have seen my children in other people’s children.  For years, perhaps as many as seven, I have seen what I kept losing and then finally lost for good in other people’s children.  There was no even imagining a day when this wouldn’t be.

And now, for the past couple of months, peculiar things have been happening.  More and more, images of children seem to be computing as simply children instead of registering in every last cell as an unsolicited cannonball of all that I lost. (more…)

Childless Voices Resound on IVF’s 40th Anniversary

The experience of not being able to have children when you wanted them will always be life altering.  And it has the capacity to inflict a level of grief that is, among other things, transformative.

The experience of wanting children and not being able to have them does not always have to be so inhumane, however.

What do we do when evolution is so clearly needed?  When we are driven by the common thread of leaving this experience more truthful and less pulverizing than we found it?  One doesn’t need to have their own children to have a vested interest in improving things for the next generation, that’s for sure.

We start talking. (more…)