UPDATE: Hat tip to Amy McVay Abbott, the journalist behind Infertility: The Billion Dollar Business & the Heartbreaking Realities and Jody Day for thought-provoking perspectives on our upcoming event The Cycle: Living A Taboo, and the importance of participating in the conversation. Jody wrote:
“I get that it’s daunting to attend something where you’ll be filmed. But before you decide you can’t be part of this, not yet… ask yourself this:
What have you done wrong? What do you have to be ashamed of? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing.”
Years ago surrounded by the pervasive trauma of unexplained infertility and in the very worst days recovering from failed fertility treatment cycles all I wanted to do was hide. That was the easy thing to do.
Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit. – Napoleon Hill
Slowly, though, I realized that remaining silent only helped reinforce the idea that women like me didn’t exist. And that sense of invisibility lit a fire deep in my belly.
What lessons could I take away from surviving infertility and the ensuing heartache? Surely there had to be a consolation of some kind, a different kind of legacy awaiting me. I am still standing, I mused, certainly I am equipped to do something productive with all that I’ve experienced. The first step onward was owning my story, finding my voice.
E.O. Wilson, a Pulitzer-prize winning writer and researcher, summed it up nicely with this quote:
Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
The path out of infertility as a “non-mom” has at times been maddening, humbling and lonely but it has not been without unexpected happy surprises and inspiring introductions. Each day I come upon those looking to turn their painful life lessons into a smoother road for those coming behind us.
I’ve become introduced to a spirited and expressive — you could say irrepressible — group of women who will be gathering to have our say next Friday, September 27 in New York City. We believe wholeheartedly that teaching someone else is the best way to learn.
We’ll have a few tickets available for those who are tapped out financially and would like to be there. Drop me an email ptsigdinos (@) yahoo dot com. Join us as we explore a new willingness to acknowledge and share what has until now been a taboo topic. Instead of ignoring the complexity and lasting impact of infertility and childlessness in today’s pro-natal culture, I hope we can expand on what has often been a lop-sided dialogue. Maybe along the way we can engender greater knowledge, healing and understanding.