What Will Life Be Like if IVF Fails?

What Will Life Be Like if IVF Fails?

When IVF fails. Imagine if this very real outcome was the compassionately finessed starting point of any fertility-related discussion. Novel, don’t you agree? It’s the inverse of how the IVF sales pitch begins at ‘fertility’ clinics. The lack of preparation for IVF failure creates unforeseen hazards. It also leaves those left to confront an IVF fail without the proper coping mechanisms. Cathy Broadwell and I first discussed prioritizing the emotional and social impact of IVF failures a year ago. We review what we learned in living through the ‘letting go’…

Treasure Trove of Truth: Blogging Infertility

Treasure Trove of Truth: Blogging Infertility

Nine years ago tonight the blog Coming2Terms arrived on the scene. It started with a hesitant point and click … PUBLISH. The blogosphere in 2007 was still relatively new and more than a bit wild and disordered. It seemed the perfect place to explore taboo topics. Discussion about infertility and failed fertility treatment was, indeed, not discussed in polite society. It’s not altogether different today, but then most reproductive subjects are hard to broach.  Complicating matters further in the aughts: who can forget the cultural smothering emanating from the ‘mommy movement?’ …

A Conversation on Infertility Misconceptions

A Conversation on Infertility Misconceptions

On the heels of her recent BBC interview (Drawing the Line: When IVF Doesn’t Work) health advocate and blogger Lesley Pyne offered to have an in-depth chat about my latest writing project, Finally Heard. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (or libation of your choice) and join Lesley and me as we launch into a conversation on what we’ve learned since stopping fertility treatments.  We address the challenges of moving forward when infertility treatments fail, the trauma we confronted, and the need for greater accountability within the fertility industry….

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…

Silent Sorority Gratitude and a Look Ahead to a New Generation

Silent Sorority Gratitude and a Look Ahead to a New Generation

Thanksgiving gets all the attention and big league association with gratitude, but it’s the quiet, daily acknowledgement of thanks that actually serves us best. That’s one reason I want you to know that not a day goes that I don’t give thanks for the friendship, insights and kindness of all those who have taken the time — over the past nearly eight years — to drop by and share here (and, previously at Coming2Terms). In today’s noisy, fast-paced world of social media with ‘drop in and out’ online communities, 24/7…

Worlds Collide (In a Good Way)

Worlds Collide (In a Good Way)

  There are pros and cons to having two personas. For my entire career in the auto and tech worlds my business cards and email signatures have read Pamela Mahoney. I’m rather attached to my given name and, let’s face it, it’s a lot less intimidating to spell or pronounce than my married name Pamela Tsigdinos (Sig-din-us). In the days when I was coming to terms with, well, you know the story, it was something of a relief to have two identities. That was then and this is now. I…

Customers or Patients? What Happens When Doctors See Markets Not People

Customers or Patients? What Happens When Doctors See Markets Not People

This week marks a year since Miriam Zoll and I authored The New York Times op-ed “Selling the Fantasy of Fertility.”  The piece, which has since been nominated for a 2014 EMMA Exceptional Merit in Media Award by the National Women’s Political Caucus, had a wide reach and generated lots of discussion about the unregulated “fertility” industry. Our op-ed also raised questions about whether doctors and scientists, joined by entrepreneurial business partners, were putting profits ahead of the well-being of those purchasing expensive, sometimes experimental medical services. There is a lot of…

A Look Back At How We Got From There to Here in the Blogosphere

A Look Back At How We Got From There to Here in the Blogosphere

This past weeks’ events and recent reading, as if added to blender, poured forth some new insights. In the days and weeks leading up to a busy set of family festivities (June birthdays and both a niece and nephew’s high school graduations), I received several warning emails from GoDaddy informing me that my Coming2Terms blog — all 279 posts and 5,033 comments generated since February 2007 — would go up in smoke on June 25 if I didn’t find a way to move them from a product they were discontinuing…