#Listen Up: Why Infertility Awareness Is Not Just For People Living With Infertility

When I think of National Infertility Awareness Week (taking place here in the US this year April 23 – 29), it conjures some unexpected images.

What would the LGBTQ movement be without the participation of friends, family members and fellow citizens?

The women’s movement without the support of men?

If you haven’t been personally affected by infertility, you know someone who has been. A friend. A family member. A co-worker. We are people just like everyone else who, as it happens, weren’t dealt a simple hand in the human reproduction department. The level of traumatic loss with which we deal is high, our support systems are more often than not emaciated.

And yet. A perceivable level of broad base support for the social issue of infertility and its related havoc is somehow missing. It is rare I see family and friends supporting, speaking and standing up for those in their life who are dealing with reproductive trauma and loss. One would be hard pressed to find, anywhere in human history, a cause so drenched in the need for a social restructuring that is so ignored by those who are not directly afflicted. (more…)

Top 9 Ways Infertility and Involuntary Childlessness Prepared me for a Trump Presidency

The morning after last week’s election I lay on my couch, practically immobile.  As it did with many, the election results struck me sideways.  First, I felt all of it.  Confusion.  Anger.  Sadness.  Sadness for people on both sides of the aisle who don’t feel seen and heard by our society and are not having their needs met by this country.  Disheartened that things crumbled to the point where someone who I truly believe is not an intelligent, decent well-meaning human being could be elected.  Upheaval.  Concern for the future – mine and everyone else’s.  Numb. Violated. Discombobulated.

Wishing deep in my heart of hearts that Trump does a good job is much like wishing for a pregnancy on the heels of multiple failed fertility treatments; you want it more than anything but know on a level it’s probably not going to happen.  Most of all, I was shocked that I was shocked.  When one loses their children to infertility after years of trying and doing everything right only to walk out into a sea of indifference (please read the “you can have mine”, “you’re lucky”, “you can always foster or adopt” “it wasn’t meant to be” and “at least you can travel now” minimizations), one’s list of what will shock them in life from that day forward becomes severely truncated. (more…)

Book Review: Avalanche: A Love Story

The heart starving nature of the absence of “me too” in human conversation – a daily normality for those of us in the early years of grieving childlessness and/or recovery from multiple failed fertility treatments.

Julia Leigh’s Avalanche: A Love Story spelled this in me for a bit.  Her compact, almost torpedo like manner of iterating the realities surrounding wanting a child, attitudes towards conception, the fertility industry, failed treatments and their emotional fallout, is riveting.

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Serve as a Source

Hi Everyone –

Wanted to let those of you who have been through treatments know about a chance to serve as a source for reporters investigating the fertility industry.

You can find details on Pamela Tsigdinos’ Silent Sorority Blog.

One reporter is doing “an in-depth investigation into the fertility industry here in the United States examining the ways in which it may be prone to serious abuses and harm and risk in the desire to obtain profit”.

The fertility industry will not start doing business more humanely unless we speak.

The outside world will not take our plight seriously unless reporters start providing narratives other than the one sided at-any-price miracle baby tales that are so constantly present in today’s media.

I encourage those of you who can find the space (and I know space is quite a rare commodity in the trenches of healing) to check it out.

I can say from personal experience Pamela is a pro at vetting reporters for their thoroughness, sensitivity and respect for the disease of infertility and its ramifications.  Go to her blog to see the details.

I’ve seen tiny signs that reporters are becoming more inclusive in their reporting on infertility – Here’s to keeping the tides turning!

PS More writing from me soon:-)

 

Infertility Feature in November’s Redbook Magazine

And I’m in it….

Wow. I never presumed my last post on the way infertility has re-shaped my own personal perspective would resonate. Seems I had been feeling alone and isolated in this too. Thanks for all of the shares and comments. I’m hoping this perhaps leaves us all feeling a bit more centered in and aware of where we are – so not an easy thing – and especially validated on this tough, tough journey we are on.

I tried to write about this subject back in July (sans Huff Post Parents provocation) and it came out as a bunch of indiscernible garble, so, I let it go. I wasn’t there yet. Since then I’ve been struggling a lot with understanding how my experiences of the last five years have changed me and the way I now see life and relate to other people. This is not an easy thing to comprehend and then process when you never see yourself reflected out in the world – not in social conversation, rituals, acknowledged losses and rites of passage, or in the media anywhere.

When it comes to grieving and healing, a lack of available resonance increases one’s workload, and time in the trenches, exponentially.

Hopefully, that’s starting to change.

The November issue of Redbook Magazine did a feature on infertility. And I served as the source for the section that reported, FINALLY, on letting go of the dream of motherhood in the face of infertility treatments NOT working. (more…)

24 Ways Losing My Children to Infertility Has Changed My Perspective

My answer to the piece in today’s Huffington Post Parents, “20 Ways Motherhood Changes Your Perspective”

Alas.

I try to be the better human, I really do. Today was no different as my eyes passed over the Huffington Post Parents article, “20 Ways Motherhood Changes Your Perspective.”

I fought the temptation. “Don’t read it, S. You’ve got things to do”. My (supposed) higher minded approach to rebuilding my new life I didn’t chose is to focus on myself, not on what’s going on around me.

Apparently, that goes better on some days than on others. And to be honest, my raw material in this department is pretty shabby. So I succumbed, gambling that this might be an opportunity to vent some justly earned smugness. (more…)