You Are Not Alone – An Infertility Awareness Quiz, Research and Awesome Bloggers

Welcome to the 26th National Infertility Awareness Week! After you’re done breaking out the confetti, hopefully you can benefit from my following humble offerings.

FIRST, you have an infertility awareness quiz to give to others, courtesy of yours truly, Infertility Honesty. If you’re too exhausted to explain infertility, or if you generally fear your own spontaneous combustion in trying to do so, I did some of the work for you. Feel free to hand over this quiz to anyone, and if you want to even blame some of your own snarky-ness on me, I offer myself up. As we are saying this week, you are not alone!

SECOND, we do have a collection, though all too underground, of research that validates many aspects of the infertile experience, as well as some basic statistics available. I used and referenced both in my quiz as often as possible. What a luxury to have this slowly growing body of research to fall back on. For me, it’s especially useful to reference in conversations where people have trouble wrapping their heads and hearts around the truth that going through one surgery and ten fertility treatments to the end of no child is – like – HARD. I now have PROOF it’s not just me, and I feel much less alone as a result.

And, THIRD: Although there is much work to do to make infertility a part of the human conversation and basic social protocol, there are many wonderful bloggers out there paving the way for such a thing, post by post. Many of the ones I have chosen to highlight center around my child free not by choice klan, however, whether it’s that or the experiences of recurrent pregnancy loss, pursuing treatment or adoption, we as a community are writing and speaking. Make no mistake about it. Hopefully one day we can freely turn to the outside world for support and compassion. Until then, we have a warm and passionate (albeit at times turbulent) community to turn to for support and information to remind us that we are not alone.

INFERTILITY AWARENESS QUIZ

(Includes General Knowledge Section, Infertility Etiquette Section, and Answer Key)

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Nail Salons Proven to be the Pit of Hell For Infertiles

“Hey Honey, look……it says here that getting your nails done is one way to ease the stress of infertility! That’s what the pamphlet from the fertility clinic says, so it MUST be TRUE!”

Years ago this notion held exciting prospects. Now an infertility survivor and IVF veteran, Sarah Chamberlin, resident of Long Island, NY, is well aware of all of the “expert” tips for surviving one of the greatest life crisis’ a person could be stuck with.

It is just days before their first Christmas grieving the loss of their children as Chamberlin slogs to the nail salon to get her nails done for her husband’s staff party. Now all the wiser from five IUI’s, one surgery, and five rounds of IVF, she claims to take a “more realistic view” of things. “Yeah, this’ll help, this’ll help like taking a nap helps one recover from a nuclear explosion.” Read more

SITTING IN IT

One Infertile’s Perspective on Mother’s Day

That the experience of infertility changes the way one contemplates and goes through Mother’s Day really should go without saying.  For those of us who are forced to endure any kind of loss, getting through days significant to that loss becomes a project of sorts, hurdles that survival mode warns you of yet also beckons you to clear.  It’s not that I don’t want anyone else to enjoy Mother’s Day.  Unfortunately I have to point that out since our culture has this weird habit of misinterpreting the expression of one’s pain as the desire to take happiness from another.

This isn’t that.

This is my fourth Mother’s Day as an infertile.  It is my first as an involuntarily childless infertility survivor, my first knowing that I will never bring a child into this world through my body and will never have biological children.  How to process Mother’s Day is quite the inquiry for someone who is a slender three months and eleven days out of their failed fertility treatments and currently too depleted on every level to decide on whether or not to pursue adoption.  My mind turned to what to do about it, as the human brain is prone to do.  One of the tough things about going through the infertile experience is having to constantly call off many of your instincts that are so innately human.  The lack of control that is the nature of infertility renders many of these formerly tried and true coping skills useless.  The need to problem solve and fix is one of them, and the instances over the past four years I’ve had to tell my brain “There is no fix, no solution for the moment.  You are going to have to sit in it” are beyond plentiful.

Although I found myself sensing that this Mother’s Day was going to be one of those “nothing to do but sit in it” situations, my pesky, over active mind of course managed to fit in some musings in the space before I was able to redirect it.  What would make Mother’s Day less worse? Read more