Male Call: The Head Cannot Heal the Heart

Male Call: The Head Cannot Heal the Heart

Editor’s Note: When it comes to matters of the heart, there’s nothing quite so comforting and validating as discovering you’re not alone in teasing out complicated emotions. Whether in the blogosphere or in society as a whole male voices are in the minority on the topic of disenfranchised grief. It’s rare to hear men give voice to their feelings on involuntary childlessness or the finality of infertility. That’s just one of the reasons why this guest post from Brian Hawker — a self-described teacher, sometimes writer and bad trumpet player…

No More Silencing: Speaking Our Truth

No More Silencing: Speaking Our Truth

This guest post comes from Andrea Rose, teacher and budding artist. Andrea’s first husband became infertile due to cancer in their first year of marriage while they were in their early twenties. She and her current husband struggled with male factor and age-related infertility for over ten years. She has had to make difficult decisions and change her viewpoint about herself, family and friends. After unexpectedly landing on the margins of society, she regained her footing, brushed herself off, surveyed the unfamiliar landscape, and discovered deeper strength and a new…

We Are More Than What Sets Us Apart

We Are More Than What Sets Us Apart

Editor’s Note: The following guest post comes from Megan, a novice to the blog world. She teases at the complexity of an infertility conundrum: How do we educate people about the infertility experience and how it reshapes us without making childlessness the only thing they see about us? I am normally a “silent” silent sorority member, and am thankful for this community. Something happened on New Year’s Eve that made an impact and left me to reflect.  My girlfriend gave me her son’s copy of LPA Today Magazine Spring/Summer 2012.  LPA…

Australian & American Leaders: Whose Got the Tougher Perception to Overcome?

Australian & American Leaders: Whose Got the Tougher Perception to Overcome?

Editor’s Note: I’m pleased to share with you a guest post from Gillian Guthrie, author of Childless: Reflections on Life’s Longing for Itself. You might recall I included a link to an interview with Gillian in a previous post. (Thanks again, Carmel, for pointing us to the story.) Curiosity led me to seek Gillian out. A few emails later the world got a little smaller once again… ~~~ Greetings from Australia, Pamela, and thanks for inviting me to contribute to your blog. I thought you might be interested in a story…

An All Too Familiar “Waiting Game” Pays Off

An All Too Familiar “Waiting Game” Pays Off

Editor’s Note: A new year brings new beginnings, something we particularly relish here at A Fresh Start. One of the silver linings that accompanies infertility is the ability to redefine life on our own terms. As a result of our unrequited efforts we also learn to practice patience, accept ambiguity, and develop a keen sense of what makes us unique in a society that often overlooks those whose lives don’t conform. We develop and contribute our talents, gifts and contributions without mainstream adulation. Along the way, we also find that…

The Next 15,000 Days

The Next 15,000 Days

  It isn’t often that you meet someone and instantly feel a bond. Our next guest blog contributor and I found each other across many miles. We have corresponded as pen pals for several years, but only met face to face a few months ago in a heavenly place called Bled, Slovenia. It was like meeting an old friend for the first time. Our shared six-foot height aside, she and I have seen eye to eye and heart to heart from the beginning. Fortunately, for those of us who don’t speak…

The Secret to Happiness is…

The Secret to Happiness is…

…not having what you want, but wanting what you have. That’s just one of the many lessons our latest guest contributor has gleaned over the course of 49 years. Linda (aka Mali), a New Zealand-based blogger — a self-described kiwi — writes on a variety of topics. Here, in her words, is how she arrived at her fresh start. April 26, 2012 Update: Huffington Post chose this post as one of a series of columns to highlight during National Infertility Awareness Week. (Congrats, Linda!) You can find it here. ~~~ I didn’t always want children. I know that’s…

Someday We’ll Look Back, Laugh Nervously and Change the Subject

Someday We’ll Look Back, Laugh Nervously and Change the Subject

…But, there’s some part of me that doesn’t want to change the subject. What I’d like instead is to get beyond the nervous, uncomfortable awkwardness, the sense of being accountable somehow for why I don’t have children.  As I said in an interview with a reporter from YahooShine/PopSugar, there are many shades of gray when it comes to a person’s family status.  Just for kicks, imagine with me what it would be like if parents regularly faced the question “why do you have children?” Wouldn’t it be a hoot to see how that conversation would go…

On Moving to the Next Stage

On Moving to the Next Stage

The latest contributor to our Tapestry of Voices is Lisa Manterfield, a Southern California-based writer. After making the decision to live child-free, she founded the online community, Life Without Baby, for women who do not have children, whether by chance, choice or circumstance.  Her piece, below, first ran last month in the Los Angeles Times. I was five years into trying to conceive when I received the diagnosis that stopped my quest: premature ovarian failure. The only option for pregnancy would be donor eggs, and that was beyond our financial means and our…

Rising From The Ashes

Rising From The Ashes

There are no cultural barriers, borders or misunderstanding among women who have confronted infertility. We know and understand each other in a way that defies words. NYCPhoenix and I first connected on my Coming2Terms blog. When The New York Times piece,”Living Without Children When It Isn’t by Choice” came out, I remember her comment among the many others  Seems we both knew from hard experience how essential a thick skin is to make our way in a society that doesn’t always know what to make of us. I also recall…