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…

Triggered In A Way I Didn’t Expect

Triggered In A Way I Didn’t Expect

Triggered is a word I don’t take lightly. To be triggered is when anything, as an act or event, serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions. That’s why a trigger warning now seems appropriate. The correlations I draw here might leave you triggered. You may want to skip this post entirely. It took me nearly a decade to fully understand my trauma triggers and why they evoked such a visceral reaction. To recap for those newer to my blog posts. Some of my…

The Human Side of Failed IVF

The Human Side of Failed IVF

So for some time now I’ve been intrigued by the different ways countries treat the infertility experience. In the U.S. there’s a concerted effort by the commercial infertility industry to fund groups like RESOLVE and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The objective: to grow the market and extend customer reach. Where’s the Human Aspect in Reprotech? While the industry presents its work under the guise of helping people the ‘helping’ part only concerns the sale of expensive, invasive treatment. Sadly, it’s the exception rather than the rule for clinics…

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…

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…

All Women Are Infertile Most of Their Lives

All Women Are Infertile Most of Their Lives

Huh, Infertile?  What?? I know. The headline seems somehow wrong, does it not? I’ll repeat the words slowly so you have time to wrap your head around them: All…Women…Are…Infertile…Most…of…Their…Lives. It’s mind-blowing mostly because we are not programmed to view infertility from this angle. This conundrum first came to light in working with a colleague on an education initiative. The fact that any of us are here — through random human reproduction — is actually quite the marvel. Infertile Math Let’s take this infertile concept further with a little math. Story…

Dear Abby Strikes Out On Infertility, Childless Not By Choice Question

Dear Abby Strikes Out On Infertility, Childless Not By Choice Question

Dear Abby (aka Jeanne Phillips), Pamela Jeanne here.  Nice to meet you. So let me get right to the point. That 2nd letter you posted today, the one about the woman feeling a void in her life following an infertility diagnosis? Yeah, I’m afraid you struck out. You see the question posed by BROKEN RECORD is a highly nuanced once. Allow me and my crack team of experts to help you with this one.  We in this feisty corner of the blogosphere have had a lot of experience with all…

Tribe: Fitting In and How We See Ourselves

Tribe: Fitting In and How We See Ourselves

Our sense of who we are and how we fit in — or don’t — alters over time. The gawky growth phase — whether as an adolescent or as an adult going through complicated transitions are the most memorable — usually due to the mess involved. In the midst of it we feel awkward, restless and just plain out of sorts. Choose your metaphor. A eucalyptus tree shedding its bark.  An ugly caterpillar. A rumbling dark storm cloud. The growth and change that accompanies these periods is sometimes fast and…

Pope Francis: Let’s Not Promote Further Prejudice

Pope Francis: Let’s Not Promote Further Prejudice

I get the appeal of a world where there is no gray — only  black and white. When there’s only one way there’s no pesky thinking required. The only problem is we live in a complex world where ‘choice’ isn’t always what it seems.  And that’s where things get muddy. Amid the rash of stories this past week with headlines condemning those of us who are not parents: Pope Francis: ‘The choice not to have children is selfish’ * Couples Who Choose Not to Have Children Are ‘Selfish,’ Pope Says…

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…