Read the Flipping Chart, Please

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The medical profession’s tone deafness surrounding infertility and involuntary childlessness

On the Thursday before this past Sunday, the day that shall not be named here in the US, it finally came.

Considering the fact I’m living as, among other things, a childless not by choice survivor of infertility, I had had a relatively trigger free week.  I went food shopping twice (a newly regained ability since coming down with post infection dysautonomia almost a year and a half ago) and no one wished me happy mother’s day.  I ran into a neighbor while getting my groceries out of the car and she didn’t mention the looming national holiday.  Making up for my winter of hibernation, I went out twice – once grabbing lunch with a friend and another having dinner with my husband and two friends of ours.  Nary a peep.  And aside from the usual commercial bombardment, which seemed to be making me only mildly grumpy and was not spiking my sarcasm meter to the degree it usually does, I was actually starting to feel like this is my world too once again.  

Now, I want to be clear, it’s not like I was just skipping through my week.  Four years out of trying to conceive and four years into the grieving and healing process, there are still many times when I wish I could emblazon myself with a “fragile, please handle with care” stamp.  The week leading into mother’s day is of course one of them.  Sensing my wounds and vulnerabilities undulating just beneath my now quasi functional surface, I attempted to make the necessary adjustments.   (more…)

My Yoga Class Posts Tomorrow at 9:00 EST

A reminder my We Are Worthy Summit Yoga Class is posting tomorrow at 9:00 am EST and will be available for viewing after that as well. Hope you can carve out the time to practice with me!

Here’s the event description:

Join Sarah Chamberlin, writer of the blog Infertility Honesty, as she leads us through a basic yoga class.

The practice of yoga can aid in enhancing the health of the mind, body and soul.  Stepping “onto your mat” affords opportunities for self care, self connection, and exploring the art of being.  Add to that the benefits of practicing with an instructor and a community (albeit a virtual one!) who have walked in your shoes.

Interlaced with the theme of worthiness, this alignment based class is open to all levels and will highlight basic yoga poses and practices.  Pose modifications and alternatives will be offered.

Items needed are:

A basic sticky yoga mat (or, a non slippery surface to practice on)

Two or three folded blankets, non slippery and rough in texture

Two yoga blocks (or, two similar sized VERY sturdy shoeboxes)

See you on April 28th!

Hope you’ve been able to get something out of the summit this week.  I’ve enjoyed a couple of live events and will be catching up on the rest as I can.  You can check out the rest of Saturday’s events here.

We Are Worthy Online Summit Next Week

Greetings everyone!

Hope you can join me and some other great presenters next week, from April 22 – April 28 for the We Are Worthy Summit.  

The summit is being organized by Nicci and Andrew Fletcher of the Childless Not By Choice Magazine, and Brandi Lytle of Notsomommy.com.

It’s a week long event featuring live webinars, pre-recorded trainings, live chats and panel discussions, including a basic yoga class led by yours truly on Saturday the 28th.

Everything is free (yay!), however hop on over to their SITE and check out the program of events as some do require pre-registration.

The week is going to be chock full of topics relevant to our community – everything from dealing with motherhood loss and grief, to writing, self care and of course my personal all time favorite topics – coping with a child centric world, disenfranchised grief and fielding the timeless (and clueless) why don’t you just adopt and have you thought of trying IVF questions.  So in other words, it’s time to party.

Finally it looks like the script has been flipped and we have a week that addresses our needs and realities.  Hope to “see” you there!

An Easter Note to Self

Pulling into the parking lot, we were overcome by an unanticipated wave of families with young children.  Someone decollapsed and snapped into position a twin stroller as I got out of my car.  On my right, as I walked into the garden center, a set of grandparents were suspended in time, gazing oozingly at their grandchild before re-entering their vehicle.

It was Good Friday, and Holy Shit indeed.   (more…)

On Ritual

Honoring that which never got to be

A settled chill hung in the air as we hurriedly pulled into the flower shop on our way to buy groceries.

“Why don’t we get them at Whole Foods? Whole Foods has flowers.” my husband pointed out irritably.

I slammed the car door without a word and stomped into the flower shop, disregulated autonomic nervous system and all.

I respectfully waited for the owner to take a funeral order as my autonomic nervous system failed miserably to adjust to the cold (which is typically hard on people with dysautonomia as well as other neuropathies). But knowing what it’s like to have a loss that is not societally regarded in any way, I was not about to impatiently huff and pout in the face of someone else’s moment of acknowledgement.

I ordered an arrangement of white flowers in a low, square vase as my lightheadedness ballooned and the room spun a bit, perhaps from both the cold and harsh reality. (more…)

My Two Warriors

The Merging of Old Self and New Self

The morning after we got the news I was up and running. Making phone calls, writing, plotting, planning, energizing the troops. And the next day, and the next. This centrifuge of energy continued for the next ten or so days as I found myself knee deep in files, sorting through pictures, discussing strategy and making decisions with the speed and precision with which a chef would chop an onion. (more…)

An Advent Calendar for the Involuntary Childless

My Christmas Conundrum

I remember vividly my first mother’s day which came about three months after our final failed treatment. My heart was so heavy breathing felt like bench pressing. The intensity of my pain deemed the question “Will I survive?” more than legitimate, my need for self protection fell just short of having to inhabit an actual cocoon.

But recently I found myself thinking, there’s an efficiency to mother’s day the winter holiday season is entirely lacking. Albeit one of the more hard hitting emotional blows that exists, it’s mostly one hit and you’re done. A bit of lead up, nauseating commercialism and some violating conversational recap here and there, but a seasonal noose it is not.

This winter holiday/Christmas thing however is a bonafide MARATHON. And the longer something goes on, the more deeply it begs the question “what to do?”, and in cases of being childless not by choice, “what NOT to do?” Our fourth holiday season out of our final failed treatment and I still have no real answers. (more…)