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:-)

 

 

 

In a National Women’s Magazine

A piece researched and written by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos over at Silent Sorority went live recently in this month’s online edition of Marie Claire magazine.  You can find the piece, The Wild World of IVF, Explained here.  You’ll also recognize the lede – I’m committed to lending my voice and story to more truthful and realistic portrayals of infertility and the CNBC experience.

There were plenty of other valuable personal accounts and hard-hitting research on the fertility industry that didn’t make it into the piece, as Pamela attests to in her most recent post.  It’s crucial that mainstream media grant readers access to in-depth, accurate reporting on the emotional fallout and mental health ramifications including PTSD that result from multiple failed (and sometimes not failed!) fertility treatments, as well as the current lack of palliative care.  Just to name a few.  The “How to have a baby” subtitle, one of which landed right next to the brief account of my plight, gave me and will give others a bit of a lurch.

That said, what did make it into this piece results in what I feel to be a very straight-forward, non sugar-coated overview of the IVF process, from which even I, quite the IVF veteran as are many of you, learned a few things.  Hats off to Pamela for her persistence and astute reporting.

Overall a strong step in the right direction of not glossing over the IVF experience.  All I ever caught wind of via the media in my years leading up to trying to start a family with children were people getting pregnant naturally in their late thirties and early forties, rare live births of high number multiples, or miracle baby “just keep trying” stories resulting from IVF.  What do you think? 

On another note, it has worked out that I’ve been collaborating with others and putting my work on broader platforms lately.  Not sure how it feels from your vantage point, my valued readers, but I rather miss the intimacy of pouring my heart out and writing just for your eyes (plus whoever you care to share it with) and this blog.  I’m looking forward to getting back to that soon.

 

Childless Voices Resound on IVF’s 40th Anniversary

The experience of not being able to have children when you wanted them will always be life altering.  And it has the capacity to inflict a level of grief that is, among other things, transformative.

The experience of wanting children and not being able to have them does not always have to be so inhumane, however.

What do we do when evolution is so clearly needed?  When we are driven by the common thread of leaving this experience more truthful and less pulverizing than we found it?  One doesn’t need to have their own children to have a vested interest in improving things for the next generation, that’s for sure.

We start talking. (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…)

Summer Reading

The most illuminating book for my process so far

I’m recalling those days of summer reading. From the dank public library basement children’s section in northern Massachusetts to propping myself up with a book in my bed, in a tree, or on the back porch. The focus was different back then, needless to say. I read stories and about history and historical figures. I was Laura Ingalls Wilder obsessed and had an innate interest in physical handicaps, reading whatever I could that would take me into the worlds of those who had to struggle where I didn’t.

Today it’s different. I have a reading list for the first time in my adult life, spurred by my experiences with infertility and involuntary childlessness. This list is mostly filled with stories of those who have gone through some kind of life altering traumatic loss or plight. Seems I’m propelled to read whatever I can to take me into the worlds of those who have been forced to struggle in ways similar to those in which I have. (more…)

Reflections on Grief and Feeling

You can find my latest round on Lesley Pyne’s blog HERE, dear readers.

I had mentioned in a comment on her site that I had taken my grief head on.  She asked me what that meant and if I’d be willing to write about it.

How refreshing to have someone stop and pay attention to that which most people want to avert!!  An important reminder of the power of community.  And that our involuntarily childless club needs to grieve and mourn just like any other set of humans who lost a key component in their lives that was near and dear to them.

And so I did write reflections on my grief journey and included some tools that have been useful to me that hopefully others will find empowering too.

 

XOXO

Sarah

 

 

 

#Listen Up: Why Infertility Awareness Is Not Just For People Living With Infertility

When I think of National Infertility Awareness Week (taking place here in the US this year April 23 – 29), it conjures some unexpected images.

What would the LGBTQ movement be without the participation of friends, family members and fellow citizens?

The women’s movement without the support of men?

If you haven’t been personally affected by infertility, you know someone who has been. A friend. A family member. A co-worker. We are people just like everyone else who, as it happens, weren’t dealt a simple hand in the human reproduction department. The level of traumatic loss with which we deal is high, our support systems are more often than not emaciated.

And yet. A perceivable level of broad base support for the social issue of infertility and its related havoc is somehow missing. It is rare I see family and friends supporting, speaking and standing up for those in their life who are dealing with reproductive trauma and loss. One would be hard pressed to find, anywhere in human history, a cause so drenched in the need for a social restructuring that is so ignored by those who are not directly afflicted. (more…)