Grief Is a Form of Love

Grief Is a Form of Love

It’s been a few years since I first began to pick up the pieces broken and splintered off in the tempest of infertility. Because there were no instructions for reassembly, no “how to cope with infertility” imparted by elders or learned through societal observation, I’ve had my fair share of trial and error. There were times when I tried to force a piece into place in a well-intended but bungled attempt to hurry the rebuilding process. For instance, feigning happiness at pregnancy and birth announcements before I’d fully come to terms…

On Sisterhood, Healing and Dreaming Big

On Sisterhood, Healing and Dreaming Big

You don’t often witness those who did (or did not) go on to parent after infertility openly discuss — and I mean with real names not aliases — how infertility impacted their lives. We’re at a pivotal time, in particular, within the tribe of women who faced situational or physical childlessness coming forward with books, PhD dissertations, events, virtual lunches, video chats. Our star is rising. Our stories are being heard. I’m pleased today to share not one but two conversations. The first a Q&A, a video chat, among Women Without…

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…

Two Movies, One Gets it Right

Two Movies, One Gets it Right

Much has been written about The Help — the book and the movie. The book contents remain locked in my iPad; I downloaded it several months ago but lacked the urgency to tap it open. The movie prompted a different response. I made a point of carving out 146 minutes to lose myself in the film after the August 10 opening sparked new debates about character authenticity and raised questions about who is best equipped to tell the complex stories of women living in a turbulent and racially charged time…

A Push for Conformity Means Less Tolerance of Difference

A Push for Conformity Means Less Tolerance of Difference

There’s real value in being jolted out of the day-to-day routine. In the past week or more there’s been very little in the way of the familiar — either in ideas or surroundings. The combination of Jon Ronson’s new book, The Psychopath Test, a few days caught up in the vastness of New York City, stimulating conversations with compelling companions, and holding a golden ticket to the irreverent and, at times, gasp-inducing musical, The Book Mormon, followed by a few stories in Sunday’s New York Times provided a supermarket of…

Are You Courageous?

Are You Courageous?

Courage is from the Latin word, cor, meaning heart — the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. * It takes great effort to be courageous in the face of infertility. This is just one of many thoughts that provoked new insights this week. The insights first percolated at a business presentation on Monday and continued over lunch with Wendy on Wednesday. Each filled in the canvas of understanding infertility and what it takes to move forward a bit further. It started…

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again…

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again…

It was mid-afternoon in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when the email arrived. Three loads of laundry had been folded and tucked back into their rightful place. The kitchen floor glistened, still fresh from a serious mopping with Murphy’s Oil Soap. Digital images stored in my computer held joy and wonder from a long holiday weekend of Fourth of July fireworks, mini golf and lake fun. The junior croquet set bought for our nieces and nephews was stored in the garage. The marshmallows, carefully toasted over the Weber grill the night…

An Artist Shares Decades of Wisdom

An Artist Shares Decades of Wisdom

Editor’s Note: In the early weeks and months after stopping infertility treatments I craved access to happy and fulfilled women who had managed to survive the infertility experience.  I needed to hear from someone who could tell me that everything would be okay, someone with the wisdom and experience to know what I had lived with and through. Women like Rosie, who wrote the following guest post from an island in New Zealand. Kindred spirits like Rosie (and many others I’ve come to know) didn’t materialize right away so I…

Guest Post: Never Being Called Mommy

Guest Post: Never Being Called Mommy

The latest contributor to A Fresh Start is Stephanie. I first came across her writing on More.com. A few emails later she invited me to join her on a radio segment where we both discussed our respective experiences coming to terms with infertility. In this piece, Stephanie shares her story and sheds some light on “disenfranchised grief” and where she found new strength.  You can read still more stories from strong women in this blog’s Tapestry of Voices category. * * * * “You’re both identical twins?! Wow! How many…