Precious Visibility

Living the Life Unexpected

Last week, I arrived at my yearly gynecological check up and promptly took a seat that put my back to the majority of the waiting room.  It was my first year since multiple failed fertility treatments attending my appointment without Xanax, both in regards to the PTSD that followed my fertility treatments and then my thankfully waning nervous system disorder that arrived three years later. Read more

Out In the World

One of most sidelining aspects of my recovery has been the almost absence of seeing and hearing my experiences talked about in the world.

While infertility is being discussed more openly these days, one is still hard pressed to encounter its mention in conjunction with no baby bookending one’s plight.

And childlessness still seems to be deemed a “choice” by the outside world under all circumstances, no matter how insurmountable.

So when I found out about the filming of Should We Kid or Not in Jody Day’s Gateway Women online community, and that they wanted to include the childless not by choice voice (Huh?? OK!!), I couldn’t say no. Read more

Renunciate

We Are Worthy

Dear Readers, 

I miss you!  Life has been demanding a lot from me lately, leaving little time for reflection and expression.  There are positive resolutions to some of my challenges and obstacles on the horizon though, so I’ll take it.  I know I’m late to the party, but I just had to jump in on today’s World Childless Week theme in spite of my personal constraints.  And even though it’s already yesterday in the UK.  Hope you have or will get to check out WCW’s many offerings.  More from me soon, I hope.

XO Sarah

*****

For those of us acclimating to living without the children we expected, certain unyielding realities become abundantly clear amid the implosion of our formerly held world views.  

As we relearn the world through our involuntarily childless lens, we are brought face to face with the universally stringent conversational patterns that thoroughly omit our experiences and viewpoints. 

*****

It was a golden, crisper than usual mid September day as I made my way to my periodic neurology appointment.  I chuckled as I found the office, a drastically cozier and quieter place than the bustling hub where I had always seen my doctor prior.  This other location provided a much more cooperative environment for someone in the first part of an autonomic nervous system disorder, as I was now discovering two years and nine months in and approaching its merciful resolution.

I relayed as much to the friendly receptionist as succinctly as I could.  “It’s funny what we don’t realize as we’re coping, isn’t it?” Read more

How Not to Talk to a Childless Person

Credit: John Hain

Fertiles Behaving Badly

“Do you know the date?”  A woman to the left of me queried as I signed in at the office window.

“Uhhhhh, I’m usually the last person to know.  The 7th?  But don’t fully trust me on that.”

(Her) “The 7th?”

(Me) “Yeah, how does that sound?”

“Good enough I suppose” she said as we acknowledged each other with a knowing shrug and giggle.

Confirming it was indeed the seventh, she then pushed her phone into my line of vision.

“This is my husband” she stated.

I nodded and responded “Oh, okay”, leaving some space for what I sensed was to come.   Read more

My Full Story

As the recent piece in Marie Claire ended up presenting a severely stunted form of my TTC story, Pamela from Silent Sorority opted to piggy back it with the full version on her important platform, reprotechtruths.org.

So hold onto your hats folks, you can read a much more robust account of my fertility industry journey HERE.  For years I wasn’t able to speak or write about it in its entirely all that coherently.  The amount there was to process seemed endless and unfathomable.  It’s only recently (about 4.5 years out of treatments) that a quasi rear view mirror of sorts has emerged through which to view and assimilate things.

People come to childlessness via many different paths.  I feel it’s important for the entire CNBC community to have a reasonable level of awareness regarding the perpetual trauma from which many of us are emerging or have emerged.

Reprotechtruths.org is dedicated to #unmaskingIVF and to helping “future generations understand the associated risks and costs”.  Thanks to Pamela for creating and curating this crucial site.

For those who have direct experiences with the fertility industry, your stories are important, especially in light of the current lack of patient tracking.  If you too are interested in sharing your story on reprotechtruths.org, click here.

Be back in a couple of weeks with some writing, finally, just for this blog:-)

 

 

 

Did You Know We Have a Magazine??

Slowly some things seems to be coming into focus for our childless not by choice tribe.  

One of them being our very own online magazine, created and run by Nicci and Andrew Fletcher.  

While we still need and deserve many more things out in the world that reflect our lives and experiences, this is a positive step in the right direction.

You can check out the magazine here.  The current issue includes a piece from yours truly on the subject of needing a tribe, aptly headlined “Hiding Behind the Curtains, Sarah Chamberlin avoids the local block party.”  

 

 

 

You’ll Never Know True Love…..

We all know how this wretched sentence ends, either literally or via inference.  Thanks to the World Childless Week team for sharing my piece, The Many Faces of Love:  You’ll never know true love until you’ve had a child, an Involuntary Childless Infertility Survivor’s Rebuttal.  You can find it on their site here, or visit their FB page here.  Today’s theme is Comments That Hurt.

How to participate in World Childless Week?  Well.  On one level it’s easy.  I encourage you to visit their site and/or FB page to read and like posts.  Since World Childless Week is an awareness campaign, sharing posts and especially sharing them with the good ole outside world is important.

This is where, at least for me, it gets challenging.  I realized this when the other day I ran across a commenter on another blog that essentially said she’s put the word out about WCW and heard crickets, and how are we supposed to get the word out when we are basically ignored like lepers?  So of course I burst out laughing.  Her comment rung true and got me back in touch with the risks we take when we share and post on infertility and involuntary childlessness – the usual crickets, perhaps awkward looks or exchanges when we see people in person, or even having to moderate the mainstream dipshittery that can often happen in response to the sharing of our experiences.  I haven’t had any of that this week, thank goodness, and I did get a warm response to my #IAMME picture (which I admittedly hesitated to post).  But the risks are there and can be felt deeply on a visceral level.  On the other hand, we will reach people and make them feel less alone, and we just may be changing the world little by little in ways that are not yet clear.

Many aren’t ready to share or be “out” with this experience and that space needs to be honored.  There are phases of grief where sharing and fielding responses is the last thing someone needs to be doing.  Looking back, I wish I was wiser to this in my own process at the time, however being silent was just too strangulating for me.  Either way, I know you will honor where you are and if you are in a place where you can push through the natural trepidation, do consider sharing one piece via mainstream social media this week.  If my piece doesn’t resonate with you, there are a bunch of spot on, well written and thought-provoking pieces on the WCW site to choose from.

Another thing to consider – the #IAMME campaign.  #IAMMME was created by blogger Cherry Williams.  The general idea is to show we are a diverse group of people who are shaped by other things beyond childlessness.  You can read her post here.

Sarah Chamberlin, Infertilityhonesty.com