New Studies Call Out IVF Clinic Tone Deafness, Profiteering

New Studies Call Out IVF Clinic Tone Deafness, Profiteering

A recent IVF study led by Yale sociology associate professor Rene Almeling stopped me in my tracks, but for reasons surely different than the research team. The IVF study goal was to “assess whether different motivations for undergoing the same medical intervention affects bodily experiences.” Published in the September Journal of Social Science and Medicine, the study compared the physical, emotional, and cognitive experiences of women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) either to become pregnant or to sell their eggs for money. “The researchers found that there is a direct…

Prince Harry and I Agree: Bury Grief at Your Peril

Prince Harry and I Agree: Bury Grief at Your Peril

Give voice to your grief, loss and trauma or risk being held hostage by it. If you agree with that assessment you’re in some royal good company. Prince William and Prince Harry to be exact. They got my attention in recent interviews about how grief and loss impacted their lives. Harry notably talked of how he once “found himself overcome by a ‘flight or fight’ sensation” during public events. It was only when he “realized it was the unattended, unresolved grief” that he could begin to make sense of how…

What Will Life Be Like if IVF Fails?

What Will Life Be Like if IVF Fails?

When IVF fails. Imagine if this very real outcome was the compassionately finessed starting point of any fertility-related discussion. Novel, don’t you agree? It’s the inverse of how the IVF sales pitch begins at ‘fertility’ clinics. The lack of preparation for IVF failure creates unforeseen hazards. It also leaves those left to confront an IVF fail without the proper coping mechanisms. Cathy Broadwell and I first discussed prioritizing the emotional and social impact of IVF failures a year ago. We review what we learned in living through the ‘letting go’…

Have a Story to Tell? #UnmaskingIVF

Have a Story to Tell? #UnmaskingIVF

One story will forever mark a turning point for me. It ran June 10, 2008 so that date now has special significance. It’s the day I crossed over from a blogger writing under a pseudonym to my reveal on The New York Times homepage (yeah, I know, it still blows my mind, too). In the nine years since I’ve had the good fortune to connect with many amazing women and men who have generously shared their stories. This year, June 10 also marks the debut of a new project —…

Mother’s Day? It’s Complicated

Mother’s Day? It’s Complicated

Mother’s Day is far from black and white. For many it’s stress-inducing and, simply, complicated. I know. A decade or more ago around early May I would do my best to tune out. First I adopted a bunker mentality.  Then came humor. In 2009 I solicited greeting card ideas for women who don’t fit neatly into the Hallmark view. Later I asked for and received 46 ‘non-mom’ opinions about the day: Mother’s Day from Meh to Arrrgghhh. In more recent years I’ve contributed essays to capture the tortured moments many…

Where Did Eight Years Go, Silent Sorority?

Where Did Eight Years Go, Silent Sorority?

When the Silent Sorority galley arrived in 2009 my pulse quickened. I thumbed through the pages and out jumped the grittiest parts of my life.  I sat down at the keyboard to write my first and only birth announcement. Five years of blinking cursors and early morning draft rewrites culminated in Silent Sorority: A (Barren) Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found — the first memoir on infertility not authored by a mother. All the infertility memoirs and profiles I’d ever come across had one thing in common: the stories ended…

On the Other Side of the Infertility Chasm

On the Other Side of the Infertility Chasm

Hellllloooooo! Yes. Still here happily on the other side of the infertility chasm. Won’t bore you with details, but the past several weeks have been busier than usual.  A bit like drinking from a fire hydrant. Absorbing a great deal in all spheres of life.  While I may be very behind on social media and blog reading, the women in our global sisterhood are never far from my thinking. In fact, you’re a calming presence, a daily reminder that we’ve mastered the skills needed to face both change and challenges…

Identity Lost and Found After Infertility and Failed IVF

Identity Lost and Found After Infertility and Failed IVF

Identity — and the loss of it — loomed large 10 years ago as I sat staring at my computer. I didn’t know who I was any more. Scared. Untethered. Unsure of what awaited me. I stared at a blinking cursor. Heart broken. Filled with longing for what might have been. I nursed an overwhelming grief (the full extent of which would come much, much later.) Steady rain beat down on the roof February 3, 2007. It was as if the heavens were crying with me. I searched the Internet…

“Take Your Broken Heart, Make It Into Art”

“Take Your Broken Heart, Make It Into Art”

Art. Storytelling. Humanity explored. I look to the award shows each new year for an overview of the latest highly-regarded films, television and mini series. I eagerly await a peak at clips and make notes accordingly. Rarely disappointed, I most welcome films and stories that broaden my understanding of the human experience. Any added perspective or inspiration from acceptance speeches is icing on the cake. During tonight’s Golden Globes Meryl Streep held me spellbound with her plea, which went beyond the arts. Beyond Art to Truth Meryl Streep called for…

Triggered In A Way I Didn’t Expect

Triggered In A Way I Didn’t Expect

Triggered is a word I don’t take lightly. To be triggered is when anything, as an act or event, serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions. That’s why a trigger warning now seems appropriate. The correlations I draw here might leave you triggered. You may want to skip this post entirely. It took me nearly a decade to fully understand my trauma triggers and why they evoked such a visceral reaction. To recap for those newer to my blog posts. Some of my…