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…

Here’s Why You Don’t Have To Be A Mother To Be A Loving Woman

Here’s Why You Don’t Have To Be A Mother To Be A Loving Woman

Five years ago we made history. On September 28, 2010 Silent Sorority earned an award in the media capital of North America — New York City. There I was amid an unusual mix of a few celebrities, fertility industry sales people, clinicians, health advocates and RESOLVE representatives. In my acceptance speech I managed to hush a room of 300+ people by declaring that there is more than one ending to the infertility story. I recall my words took people by surprise. The audience — and most of society — were…

First We Get Really Uncomfortable…

First We Get Really Uncomfortable…

Life would be a whole lot more comfortable and easier to navigate if it unfolded neatly or predictably. Alas, that’s not the case for most of us. Mix in a contentious, complex topic (e.g. the inability to reproduce) and watch the discomfort rise. It’s understandable. Beyond the biological unpleasantness, there is upheaval to our sense of order and what’s the ‘right’ way to proceed — directly (for those living with infertility) and peripherally (for those made to think about it). Add a dash of conventional wisdom, a little religion, some…

No Wonder I Was Such a Head Case

No Wonder I Was Such a Head Case

A recent piece in The New York Times headlined It’s Not Always Depression gave me the chance to play amateur psychologist. Join me on the couch as we explore emotions and how they affect the way we view ourselves or feel on any given day. To make this even more real, take yourself back to when your world was rocked to its core. I’m now back in the days of the year 2003. Our quest starts with this nugget from Hilary Jacobs Hendel, the author of The New York Times piece:…

Hello Strangers: I’m an Infertility Survivor and I’m Not Ashamed to Say It

Hello Strangers: I’m an Infertility Survivor and I’m Not Ashamed to Say It

Here is Part III of the ‘Bitter Infertiles’ conversation — on the anniversary of the day the podcast took place. This where we own up to our experiences as ‘Infertility Survivors.’  Mo:   One of the things I want to ask you ladies … people always focus on the negative of, as Pamela said, it’s not really ‘child-free living’ it’s more choosing not to parent so … Pamela: Let me clarify, I didn’t choose not to parent, I had to come to terms with the fact that parenting wasn’t part of…

Keeping it 100: Identity Crisis and Emotional Cratering in a Mommy Mad World

Keeping it 100: Identity Crisis and Emotional Cratering in a Mommy Mad World

In Part II of the ‘Bitter Infertiles’ podcast transcript (Part I here or listen to the podcast here), we talk infertility trauma, the assault to identity and misplaced mommy glorification… Mo: One of the big issues we discussed last month with a therapist was the devastating effect that infertility can have on the emotional well-being. There’s a point where you … you can be so far gone that you don’t know how to pick up the pieces. Pamela: Even though our paths are not in any way the same, there…

Infertility Community’s Black Sheep: Women Who Don’t Achieve Motherhood

Infertility Community’s Black Sheep: Women Who Don’t Achieve Motherhood

Some ‘no-holds barred’ conversations stick with you — like the one Loribeth and I engaged in on surviving infertility and the search for peace in a mommy mad world. (Listen to the podcast here).  Not achieving motherhood is a taboo topic in the infertility community, which is why we were unlikely guests on the tongue-in-cheek named podcast ‘Bitter Infertiles.’  The conversation was all the more surreal because both hosts, Cristy and Mo, were pregnant at the time of our discussion. To their credit, the hosts openly shared their fears and tackled…

New Philosophy: Everything To Gain

New Philosophy: Everything To Gain

How is it that the mind is so much more agile and able to turn over ideas and philosophies with such ease … in the pre-dawn? With rain falling softly against the window at 5am, and my iPad lighting up the room, I swiped my screen to find a Sunday Review piece called Abundance Without Attachment. With an engaging narrative, writer Arthur C. Brook challenged readers to consider the ‘Christmas Conundrum.’ That is the competing notions of generosity and goodwill this holiday season juxtaposed with the crass commercialism and related…

Strong At The Broken Places

Strong At The Broken Places

This week my TV viewing intersected with life in a meaningful way.  Larger than life characters reminded me that in the long march of time, it’s how we cope with what comes our way that defines us. In turbulent times, sanity and clear thinking can be in short supply. That was made abundantly clear in The Roosevelts.  More than a history lesson, it overflows with wisdom, lessons learned and inspiring tales of overcoming adversity.  Eleanor Roosevelt is a stand out. Her fearlessness, empathy and no-nonsense pragmatism make a large impression….

Fertility Industry Brings Brave New World Closer: Are We Truly Ready?

Fertility Industry Brings Brave New World Closer: Are We Truly Ready?

There were many troubling headlines about the fertility industry this past week: Women “Exploited” by Egg-Freeze Clinics Don’t bank on IVF, warns new fertility watchdog chief Data Murky on Fertility Rates Should a Woman be Allowed to Hire a Surrogate Because She Fears Pregnancy Will Hurt Her Career? The subtext: when it comes to ‘fertility’ medicine, buyer beware The commercialization of creating new life has entered a new phase. There are certainly large markets for enterprising fertility industry service providers. The markets are made up of hopeful women and men…