“Infertile On Board” is an official product!


Imagine my surprise when I received this comment on my blog:

“Hi Sarah, I stumbled across your link whilst doing some analytics and was quite inspired by your post. We’ve now put the sign you created up on our site as a specific sign – http://www.personalisedcarsigns.co.uk/infertile-on-board – with exclamation mark this time!”

I know people of all kinds have quite a reaction to, and many opinions on, the word infertile. So how did “Infertile On Board” come about? Read more

The Social Unacceptability of…….


I’m behind.

I’ve got a long list of posts to complete, some half written, and some that haven’t even made it to keyboard. I haven’t finished my post on that forsaken day back in May which I’m sure no one wants to hear about anyway, and I have yet to write about my personal National Infertility Awareness Week adventures from the end of April. I’ve realized my Why Don’t You Just Adopt Post, smartly called for from all of us by Klara, is not really a can of worms for me but rather a whole friggen boatload, so yeah, that could get messy. Sure, I can do messy, but I need TIME. In my dreams I wanted to make a condensed, easy to read list but we all know THAT rarely happens around here. So between that and the Obama interview given by John La Pook a few months ago that I absolutely have to mock, it’s no wonder I feel a bit inundated. And things were about to clear up so that I could get on this until…..until I went to the nail salon today. Read more

Future Generations

Proudly (yes, proudly!) passing on our infertility experience

“This possibility was never mentioned” my husband would often mutter in the days and months after we lost our children. Shaking his head, he would go on to point out that the fact some of us do not get to have children is nowhere in our collective human conversation. Instead, both of our childhoods, despite their drastic differences nationally, socio economically, and educationally (He’s from El Salvador) were strewn with the same verbal presumptions: “one day when you have kids”, “you can show your kids some day” and “I wonder what your kids will be like” to name a few. Notably missing: a nod to the not as unlikely as you’d think possibility this having kids thing might not get to be. Read more

You Are Not Alone – An Infertility Awareness Quiz, Research and Awesome Bloggers

Welcome to the 26th National Infertility Awareness Week! After you’re done breaking out the confetti, hopefully you can benefit from my following humble offerings.

FIRST, you have an infertility awareness quiz to give to others, courtesy of yours truly, Infertility Honesty. If you’re too exhausted to explain infertility, or if you generally fear your own spontaneous combustion in trying to do so, I did some of the work for you. Feel free to hand over this quiz to anyone, and if you want to even blame some of your own snarky-ness on me, I offer myself up. As we are saying this week, you are not alone!

SECOND, we do have a collection, though all too underground, of research that validates many aspects of the infertile experience, as well as some basic statistics available. I used and referenced both in my quiz as often as possible. What a luxury to have this slowly growing body of research to fall back on. For me, it’s especially useful to reference in conversations where people have trouble wrapping their heads and hearts around the truth that going through one surgery and ten fertility treatments to the end of no child is – like – HARD. I now have PROOF it’s not just me, and I feel much less alone as a result.

And, THIRD: Although there is much work to do to make infertility a part of the human conversation and basic social protocol, there are many wonderful bloggers out there paving the way for such a thing, post by post. Many of the ones I have chosen to highlight center around my child free not by choice klan, however, whether it’s that or the experiences of recurrent pregnancy loss, pursuing treatment or adoption, we as a community are writing and speaking. Make no mistake about it. Hopefully one day we can freely turn to the outside world for support and compassion. Until then, we have a warm and passionate (albeit at times turbulent) community to turn to for support and information to remind us that we are not alone.


(Includes General Knowledge Section, Infertility Etiquette Section, and Answer Key)

Read more

How to Talk to an Infertility Survivor (and Actually Not Suck at It)

A tale of two lovely and informed people

It had become clear we needed some help. The year my husband and I lost our children and thus on the heels of spending $77,000 on NOT getting pregnant he also, with his partner, opened up his fifth restaurant. I know from the outside this reeks of glitz and glam and of fresh new beginnings. I would see it the same way, and being on the inside I’m aware that in the long run I may have nothing to complain about. Being able to invest in an asset is preferable to not being able to invest in one, I always remind myself. Read more

When Your Trauma and Loss Doesn’t Count, Round 2 Part 1

Why this infertility survivor is NOT off to see the wizard…………


What? You thought I was done?

Alas. I’m an obsessive person who had a long disenfranchised grief – infused week and half. These days in my world that seems to equal a lot of words.

But buck up little campers, there are only a few days of my random escapade through disenfranchised grief central left to unfold (until I leave the house again anyway)…….

***Fellow children of the eighties, name the movie containing the illustrious quote “Buck up, little camper.”***

And now for another good thing that came out of the eighties. As I fumbled through my recent experiences, I found myself thinking, “I’m so glad this is like, a THING. What if there was even nothing to look up? I’m really grateful someone put a name to this demon.” Disenfranchised grief was first identified by Dr. Kenneth Doka in 1989, thank goodness, and he has been writing about it ever since. “I define disenfranchised grief as grief that results when a person experiences a significant loss and the resultant grief is not openly acknowledged, socially validated, or publicly mourned. In short, although the individual is experiencing a grief reaction, there is no social recognition that person has a right to grieve or a claim for social sympathy or support” (PsycINFO Database record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved). I’m looking forward to reading his second anthology on the subject, “Disenfranchised Grief: New Directions, Challenges, and Strategies for Practice”. Read more

When Your Trauma and Loss Doesn’t Count Round 1, Part 2

Why this infertility survivor is NOT off to see the wizard…..

Round 1, Part 2

Never above giving it the old college try, against my better judgment I met my group for lunch the next day. We were instructed to do so and were told that this would be comforting in the face of the subject of trauma, which is intense and requires a lot of processing.

I sat down at the end of a table of twelve people or so. Minutes later a conversation on breast versus bottle feeding erupted. Read more

When Your Trauma and Loss Doesn’t Count

Why this infertility survivor is NOT off to see the wizard

Round 1 Part 1

I have an obsession. However, this is not news. I’m a somewhat obsessive person by nature, always have been, and am no different in my infertile life. There are certain aspects of infertility that weigh on my being considerably more than others, and even provoke little social experiments. Like when to speak and when not to, how to speak up, and being honest and loving towards even my darkest of emotions along with much of the world’s seeming need to shut that down in those of us who suffer. The very pre-enlightenment period myths that circulate out there about our disease never fail to raise at least one of my eyebrows, and often call forth in me stronger reactions, being that a funny little thing has happened since 1593 called SCIENCE.

My obsession of the moment though is disenfranchised grief. I often say that, at least for me, the world not acknowledging my losses could almost rival the pain of not getting to have children itself. This truth surprises me in such a way that I don’t quite understand my own feelings, yet, some days I feel as if this disenfranchised grief thing could eat me alive. Read more

Putting Infertility in the Annual Christmas Letter

Here’s ONE small way to crack the taboo…………

I really didn’t think I’d be posting about anything Christmas.

I’m not a “Christmas” person. I despise the short days, the impotent sunlight, and the impending if not already present cold. The sheer length of the season coupled with the commercial rigor defies any standard of sanity. Since my teen years I found the buildup to one freakin day also culminated into a bit of a let-down, and I’m not a big fan of the flu season or of the depleted physical energy that comes with trying to stay warm either. Oh, and snow boots and sweaters and dressing in layers – so NOT hot. So with most of the above being in play for a short six weeks or so now, I’m already anticipating the planting of my seedlings in April, and planning my May/June garden designs, as that’s truly where my heart is. While visions of sugar plums and assorted holiday paraphernalia may very well be dancing in other people’s heads, visions of soft shell crabs, sauvignon blanc, flowers blooming, warm sunny days and lingering with good company into balmy nights are what dance in mine during this time of year. Not to mention our infertility journey has left me with the definite need to keep the stuff with which Christmas is primarily infused – myth, legend and fantasy – at arm’s length. Read more

Was That Really Me?

Evolvement in the midst of crap, trauma, and toddlers in fertility clinic waiting rooms

Below is a repost (with some new thoughts added on at the end) from this past fall from my old space on Blogspot.

I was in the middle of my fourth round of IVF in nine months and not feeling it at all. Every procedure, drug delivery, drug side effect, and doctor’s visit was a total slog. “I can’t stand this anymore. I really don’t want to be doing this. I cannot stand this stupid stupid fucking shit. I just want it to end. I just want it over. This is horrible. I CAN’T believe I’m still here. I would not wish this on my WORST enemy” was the soundtrack that played over and over and over in my mind. When you have had a total of 14 embryos transferred, 11 of them grade a, that have amounted to nothing, the notion that you might be working towards getting pregnant fades real fast. I was at the “I need to do everything I need to do to confirm we CAN’T get pregnant so that we can move on” point.

During this time I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room anticipating yet another glorious vaginal sonogram. Having already started Lupron I was in the desirable mood of someone who had been forced to transition into menopause over the course of about 10 minutes. And as my luck would have it, it was also during this time that another patient in the waiting room had chosen to bring her little brat child along with her to her fertility doctor appointment. Read more