“The rampage of advertisements has already begun” Chamberlin calculates. (more…)
Scenes from when it works, Illuminations on what goes wrong
Today I am dedicating my blog to National Infertility Awareness Week and to the launch of Justine Brooks Froelker’s latest book The Mother of Second Chances, based on her blog Ever Upward releasing on April 17th. For five weeks 25 amazing women will share their stories of infertility and loss as part of this incredible blog tour, because together we can shatter the stigma.
Click here for the scheduled list of participants and posts, running all of the way from March 27 – April 28!! We would love for you to participate by sharing these posts far and wide. We’d especially love to see your own broken silence by sharing your own infertility story using the hastags: #NIAW, #infertility and #EverUpward.
I recall walking out in the world during the two years following my fertility treatments feeling like the teacher from Charlie Brown – voiceless.
The portrayal of even a smidgen of my experiences brought forth endless platitudes. Blank stares and silence filled the space where ceremony and ritual, verbal acknowledgements (try I’m so sorry for your loss) and casseroles are supposed to be in the event of that which is world shattering.
Close to 20% of the female population aged 45 and over in the United States (and in many other countries around the world) does not parent. It is likely the majority of this population is child free not entirely by choice, hopefully one day soon there will be an actual statistic available. IVF has now been around for 40 years, providing many of us with a towering pile of failures. And yet the human conversation still lags far behind reality.
In the face of involuntary childlessness, grief and recovery
How am I going to live THIS life in THIS world?
It’s one of the questions that has adhered itself to every aspect of my being since stopping fertility treatments three years ago. It’s a question that has become only more throbbing as I make my way back out into the world and initiate my life rebuilding process. It’s a question that is unavoidable. And how could it not be? My experiences trying to conceive, the physical absence of my children and our loss of parenthood colors everything.
I’m not alone in this. When one has come through and out of the wanting of parenthood in any way shape or form, finding themselves on the other side of their dream or pursuit or hard work without the desired children in tow, we are all in some version of a related boat.
Thoughts, feelings and instincts on this question percolate in our systems. We organically, if not subconsciously, become silent, unseen coping skill factories, working overtime to generate a new life that makes sense to us, a new social normal and perhaps most of all, self-preservation.
I was recently made more consciously aware of part of my process when I read Cathy’s latest post, Are You Doing More Than Your Fair Share of Emotional Labor? over at Slow Swimmers and Fried Eggs (Thanks, Cathy!). Realizations rising to the surface were of course prompted by the writing and investigating of fellow infertility survivors because where else would they come from? There’s no context out in the wider world acknowledging the plight forward for those of us who wanted children but couldn’t have them, even most if not all infertility support groups are tone-deaf towards this journey. (more…)
Socializing With Fellow Child Free Not By Choicers
I felt my whole body present and peaceful before I opened my eyes. Light filtered in through our hotel window which faced Pittsburgh’s Point State Park, just to the side of Heinz field.
“I feel, like…..good” I stated to my husband (mornings for me have never exactly been a time of intellectual prowess). However, in the noticeably less plowing and more functional third year of grieving and mourning the loss of one’s children to infertility, feeling good still rates as news.
“I can’t quite explain it….” I meandered as I stretched my body and gulped in as much of my good feeling as I could, reflecting on our weekend in “the Burgh” with fellow blogger Kinsey. “I think I might feel…normal……..which is of course weird.”
The precious few times I’ve been asked to site the toughest aspect of what I go through, aside from not getting to have children, I always answer “the social ramifications”. Hovering in the backdrop of my response is the shaky, filmy sense that even I don’t yet really know what that means. Not fully, anyway. (more…)
The Global Sisterhood Summit Part 2
Wrestling with the feeling that the other shoe is always about to drop was unavoidable – my subconscious associates anything infertility with the reasonable becoming a debacle, things going wrong when you do everything right and, most of all, deprivation. I was concerned that my flights weren’t real, that my boarding passes wouldn’t print and anything else non – sensical you can think of. (more…)
The Global Sisterhood Summit Part 1
“It’s just so damned basic, THAT’S why it’s hard to iterate.”
I was musing to my husband as I attempted to compose an e-mail to my yoga teacher training colleagues. I was on my way to Vancouver for the first known formal gathering of women who wanted children but couldn’t have them and desired to share why I was not going to be in yoga teacher training attendance that weekend. But, like all other communications these days it was proving to be a challenge. (more…)
“It’s a pronatalist world and we’re just living in it……”
I knew entering a nail salon the afternoon before Mother’s Day was not the brightest of moves. It’s about as smart as adopting an indoor porcupine, actually. I live in permanent mockery of my “poor little first world problem”, as I’ve been known to call it – yet my trips to the nail salon have turned fodder for many a blog post. For the involuntarily childless infertility survivor, women + mindlessness is never good. And so off I went, in part because my sweet cousin had just passed away, I was a little shell shocked and knew I’d be on a plane in a couple of days, and in part to treat myself. (more…)