Mark Your Calendar: Avalanche Blog Book Tour

Mark Your Calendar: Avalanche Blog Book Tour

Mark your calendar for a collaborative discussion in our corner of the blogosphere. As mentioned over a few previous posts, we’ll be reading and discussing Avalanche, a new memoir. In the words of novelist, filmmaker and Avalanche author Julia Leigh: “This book felt incredibly necessary to me. This is always the test. The writer asks herself: is this truly a story worth telling?” she says. “And in this case, it was a yes, definitely this is a book I really want to write mainly because I feel there is so…

Have Fertility Treatments Become Faustian Bargain?

Have Fertility Treatments Become Faustian Bargain?

  Our voices on the under-reported outcomes of fertility treatments are gaining new ground on Huffington Post. Check out the latest: a book review of Avalanche: A Love Story. To truly make an impact and expose the high failure rates of fertility treatment in today’s noisy social media/internet popularity contest, your shares and traffic matter. That’s why I hope you will elevate the visibility of this particular Huffington Post piece with a share or a like. I also very much welcome your comments below. There’s also a conversation starting on…

How Honest Talk About Infertility Breaks Down Barriers

How Honest Talk About Infertility Breaks Down Barriers

You want to talk about a loaded topic? There are few disclosures as emotionally charged as admitting that you were unable to conceive children. If you think it’s awkward for a woman, try wading into that discussion as a man.  There are very few who possess the courage or emotional stamina to go there. As Eric writes: “Boxed in by the same profoundly evolutionary, not to mention social, archetypes, that can make a woman feel like a failure for being unable to get pregnant, what could make one less of…

Jennifer Aniston: Yes, Motherhood Obsession Needs to Stop

Jennifer Aniston: Yes, Motherhood Obsession Needs to Stop

Jennifer Aniston grabbed the spotlight this week in a fiercely worded Huffington Post piece. In 913 words she accomplished what many women (yours truly among them) have spent years trying to do: bring attention to a pervasive tendency by society to look down on women who are not mothers. She was helped along in her cause by a political misstep across the pond — more on that in a minute. First, Jennifer Aniston called out everyone who contributes to the devaluing and marginalizing of women who do not fit a…

Strong? Stronger Than Ever, Thank You Very Much

Strong? Stronger Than Ever, Thank You Very Much

Strong? You want strong? I nominate women who stop or forego risk-laden IVF treatment. Women who stand up to profiteering medical practitioners are as far as you can get from the widespread narrative that those who don’t persist with treatment are weak, pitiful creatures who couldn’t hang. The strong women I know faced the music. They asked the hard questions. They said, no, to doctors and clinics pushing more, More, MORE tests, and new, unproven IVF ‘add-ons.’  In today’s society they have to swim upstream. Run against the herd. Make…

Unspoken Reproductive Medicine Reality: Facing Life Without Children When It Isn’t by Choice

Unspoken Reproductive Medicine Reality: Facing Life Without Children When It Isn’t by Choice

Eight years ago this week I emerged from obscurity because of faulty reproductive organs and the failure of reproductive medicine. My introduction onto the world stage for a prolonged, painful ‘unexplained’ infertility experience came with a fair amount of hyperventilating. It was, in a word, terrifying.  As I wrote in Finally Heard, the ebook followup to Silent Sorority (the first memoir about infertility not authored by a mother — but far from the last): June 9, 2008, was a pivotal day in what had been a perfect storm of fear….

The Exhilaration of Acceptance

The Exhilaration of Acceptance

It doesn’t matter what age, what ethnicity, what country we hail from — we all desire respect, acknowledgment and acceptance. This very human need manifests itself on playgrounds, in communities and in our day-to-day encounters.  It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. In fact, it’s the gentle gesture that often leaves the largest impact. A friendly smile, a nod of the head, an extended hand or kind word can change someone’s day. It can also change someone’s life. I know. I’ve been that timid girl on the playground. I’ve…

Biological Clock and the Capitalizing of Fertility Fears

Biological Clock and the Capitalizing of Fertility Fears

Moira Weigel’s essay in The Guardian, The foul reign of the biological clock, casts new light on a little explored but powerful cultural phenomenon. It also revealed the fertility industry’s long history of capitalizing on fertility fears, with women paying the price. Let’s start with the facts. The term ‘biological clock,’ Weigel explains, was originally coined by scientists to describe circadian rhythms, the processes that tell our bodies when we should rise, eat, and sleep. In the late 1970s, however, the term quickly became a fixture in popular lexicon —…

Room for Dissent on IVF?

Room for Dissent on IVF?

Should IVF Coverage Be Mandatory? Writer Christina Gombar first posed this provocative question in 2009.  In a stand against RESOLVE’s stated goal to “control the conversation,” she agreed to let me repost her dissent perspective here. ~~ A couple of Decembers ago, I got an email from Resolve, the national infertility organization — a plea for end-of-year, tax-deductible donations. “Imagine a world where fertility treatment didn’t exist …”  began the missive. It had been years since I looked to Resolve for aid in my finally defunct effort to have a…

Conflict of Interest?

Conflict of Interest?

Most of us take non-profits and their causes at face value and assume the people leading the charge are straight arrows. This is not always the case.  The most recent example of things not quite being what they seem came from the recent CBS News investigation into the Wounded Warrior Project. Non-profits formed around diseases are also ending up in the hot seat. A few years back Susan G. Komen (formerly known as Susan G. Komen for the Cure and originally as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation) got…