infertilityhonesty

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

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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

WHAT I GIVE

As an involuntarily childless infertility and IVF survivor, the best Mother’s Day gift I can offer my Mom is my own well being

I know it has been awhile, dear readers.  More on my unexpected hiatus from blogging and the pieces above later.  

For now, I‘m happy to report that I made it through my end of the week travels relatively unscathed by any Mother’s Day hoopla.  A few people with whom I’m in regular contact even remembered to not bid me a “Happy Mother’s Day” and upgraded to the somewhat inaccurate but much more welcome “Have a nice weekend” instead.  

Or at least I’d like to think so.  I regularly check myself as I’ve been prone to fantasizing about people giving a shit over the past five or so years, often to find out they were not even dipping their big toenail into my shoes.  But assuming it was intended, these seemingly micro considerations render a difference in one’s well being for the better. 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:-)

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Co – Participation

Actively engaging in the childless not by choice experience

“Do you have time to talk in person?  I have to ask you something.  Can’t really explain it via text.”

That piece of me that’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop, that piece of me cultivated and well primed by multiple failed fertility treatments and four years of actively trying to conceive, still lives on.  Duller and more in the shadows now, but still there.

I quickly made the time for my dear childhood friend, preparing myself for the intense at the very least.   Read more

Read the Flipping Chart, Please

 Image result for paperwork images

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.   Read more