Future Generations: Nine Things Young People Should Know About Human Reproduction

When it comes to infertility and involuntary childlessness, everyone needs to go back to school.

The second day of our little North Fork of Long Island July getaway started out with a full delicious breakfast, and a bike rental that went off without a hitch.  Perfect eighty – degree weather and much pedaling brought us to our first winery stop in the early afternoon.

Sipping on a succulent sparkling rose, my husband and I found ourselves seated in proximity to what for us is a past life of sorts – a group of eight youngsters celebrating an engagement.  I enjoyed their effervescence to the hum of my internal groan as they yammered on about how many kids each of them wanted and were going to have.

The disturbing aspect of all this you ask?  What was missing.  Read 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. Read 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. Read more

Mystery

“Just ten minutes – you need it.”

I was wrapping up my yoga practice later than intended, which is quite the normality in my house. From people on the outside of the restaurant business looking in I often field the question “what do you DO with your husband working so many late hours?”

“I have a lot of interests,” I’ll respond. An impish smirk no doubt crawls across my face as images of me welcoming the midnight hour blowing on my flute or standing on my head in my yoga room come to mind.

Tonight I can’t sell myself on omitting meditation altogether. I take my seat with myself and the darkness. Read more

Forsythia In December

It was a balmy day here on Long Island. The misty fog that enveloped the south shore temporarily made our yard feel more like a movie set as my husband and I made our way through it, doing our final clipping and clean up in what is an unusually warm December.

“Did you see the Forsythia?” he asked towards the end of our seasonal odyssey that starts in April. Read more

Staying True

How yoga REALLY helped me through infertility

Prologue:

I’ve gotten back into the Jason Bourne movies as of late. That I’m a glutton for action films featuring loner male protagonists is something for which I have no explanation. My attraction to the underlying themes of the Bourne trilogy is less mysterious; Main character meets severe obstacles in finding his way home after traumatic experiences, is forced to seek his true identity while combatting sketchy organizations that create false realities and insist that he be something he innately isn’t. Hmmm…..what infertility survivor wouldn’t be down with THAT? Read more

Snow Day Bonus: Top 10 Reasons I Love Kathy Griffin

It’s pop culture time. (And it also happens to be a snow day here in parts of the north-east. I haven’t heard complete reports, but I’m hoping my childhood stomping grounds of suburban Bean Town finally got spared).

Yes, there are other angles of the child free not by choice platform that are undoubtedly more substantive. The weightier issues of those who don’t parent are many. However it’s nice to hear someone speaking my language, even if but in the form of entertainment that’s not meant to be taken too seriously. Therefore I’d like to give a lighthearted nod to two gloriously unapologetic female celebrities with sound minds and big mouths, one a parent and one not, who actually make sense (even amid a world that on many days no longer does to me).

Comedy is often just the right salve for struggle and angst, but I’m not about to risk seeing a comedienne who might launch into the woes of parenting. Main problem being that I’m not able to consider them woes in the first place. So it was just the perfect thing that, five days before my actual birthday, Kathy Griffin performed at a venue fifteen minutes from my house. And in many ways Griffin delivered. Not only did she give a long (almost two hour) show and held back nothing, her act is trigger free for those of us who can’t have children, and generally very “non-parent appropriate”. Read more

My dear, sweet broken brain

How I got the treatment I needed for depression

It seems my fellow bloggers have coaxed me out from behind the woodwork.

I’ve often heard that the late teens and twenties are quite the formative years. I wouldn’t know. From the ages of 17 – 29 I was sick with depression. A chronic depression that was at times suicidal. Once I got the treatment I needed I never felt much shame or made any kind of an effort to stay in the closet with it because like with infertility, I felt I had done nothing wrong. After including it in my medical history at a doctor’s appointment about fifteen years ago I was told by one of the office assistants in a concerned tone that “(I) you shouldn’t let people know that.” “Why not?” I challenged. Not surprisingly she had no answer.

Truth be told I hadn’t thought about writing about depression. Been a little busy lately grieving the loss of my children and all. Upon recovering in my late twenties, I began my race to make up for what I felt were lost years, and in the process had little time for advocacy. Which slid into a complacency of sorts. Although the climate has become a bit more informed since the days a decade and half ago when crazy rebel that I am I started including depression in my medical history, I figured the heart wrenching tragic death of Robin Williams would become just another situation where people would judge and even the best meaning people would again not get it, and thus the stigma would continue. Instead, I was wowed by post after post acknowledging depression, all of them thoughtful, accurate and substantive, and some downright bold and transparent. Thank you, Silent Sorority, RIP The Life I Knew, Ever Upward, Real Life and Thereafter, and all others who I’ve seen post about depression in the past. Read more