Gather Round Women: So You Need Some Help With Your ‘Mommy Problem’

Gather Round Women: So You Need Some Help With Your ‘Mommy Problem’

With an impish look on his face my husband innocently asked if I’d read The New York Times opinion section recently. Minutes later — with the requisite cartoon steam coming out of my ears — I was harrumphing my way through Our ‘Mommy Problem.’  I could also be heard grumbling and exclaiming loudly: Finally figured out what I’ve been writing about since 2007 did you…? Besides both having nearly unpronounceable last names, the op-ed author, Heather Havrilesky, and I do not share a lot in common with our current ways of…

We Don’t Heal From Suffering We’re Changed By It

We Don’t Heal From Suffering We’re Changed By It

We usually want to believe we’ll be grace under pressure, stoic and even sunny in the face of adversity. The truth is we never really know how we’ll respond to unexpected, searing pain and loss — being truly in despair — until we find ourselves facing it head on.  Even then we don’t have any confidence that we’ll muster the strength to get beyond it — to push forward. Some do and some don’t. I am reminded how much suffering has the power to change us when I review my…

“The No-Baby Boom” Nails Cultural Shift and Gloria Steinem Rocks On at 80

“The No-Baby Boom” Nails Cultural Shift and Gloria Steinem Rocks On at 80

It was easy to walk a little taller on Sunday. Why? I had just consumed, back to back, articles on women fearlessly tackling stereotypes and unabashedly breaking molds. It was as though a light was switched on as I read, illuminating just how dramatically society has shifted in the past 50 years — in particular in the way that women have come to identify and define themselves. First up, Gail Collins’ piece in The New York Times on Gloria Steinem, This Is What 80 Looks Like. Collins notes that “Steinem…

What’s This? Common Ground That Doesn’t Involve Motherhood Or Infertility

What’s This? Common Ground That Doesn’t Involve Motherhood Or Infertility

I’ve been spending less and less time in the infertility blogosphere — and for all the right reasons. With my mind no longer preoccupied or dogged by tortured emotions associated with not being in the mommy club, the messiness of healing from infertility, or the rehab-like experience of reinvention and learning to live again, I am busy engaged in a full life. It’s not that I’m not interested in what everyone has been writing (because there are certainly lots of provocative posts and followup thoughts, including this set of comments),…

The Story Behind The New York Times Op-Ed: Selling the Fantasy of Fertility

The Story Behind The New York Times Op-Ed: Selling the Fantasy of Fertility

If you’ve read one breathless headline in popular media about the latest and greatest breakthroughs in fertility medicine you’ve read them all. Articles written about reproductive medicine routinely characterize assisted reproductive technologies (I.U.I, I.V.F., donor eggs, egg freezing and surrogacy) as a “sure thing” when, it turns out, close to 80 percent of the cycles performed annually around the world fail. It took some digging (since clinics are reluctant if not downright misleading about success rates), but the facts are spelled out on the European Society for Human Reproduction and…

Sheryl and Erin Mix it Up

Sheryl and Erin Mix it Up

Very few women (or men for that matter) reach the lofty business heights of the latest Mrs. Alphas in the headlines: COO Sheryl Sandberg and former CFO Erin Callan. Sheryl, 43, has been on an extended book tour to encourage young women to lean in to their ambitions and speak up so their voices are heard and embrace success, while Erin, 47, has offered a cautionary tale about what leaning in can take away in an op-ed, “Is There Life After Work?” (She set aside starting a family while on…

Keeping It Real

Keeping It Real

Oh to have the charm and confidence that Jennifer Lawrence exhibited this past week as she tripped and then recovered on her way to accepting the Oscar for Best Actress. I marveled at the grittiness she showed in Winter’s Bone. I admired her stoicism and determination as Katniss in The Hunger Games, and I became a bona fide fan watching her light up the screen in Silver Lining’s Playbook. Her best performance, hands down, though was the press conference after securing her Oscar.  Jennifer kept it real and reminded me…

What Would Kate Middleton’s Life Be Like If She Couldn’t Conceive An Heir?

What Would Kate Middleton’s Life Be Like If She Couldn’t Conceive An Heir?

In the late 1990s Crown Princess Masako of Japan faced enormous pressure to produce an heir, such pressure that some believe it changed her life for the worse and contributed to mental illness. If you had told me 15 years ago that stories on the value of the royal womb would be playing out in the news in 2013, I’m not sure I would have believed it. I remember reading about Princess Masako (we’re the same age) long before my battle with infertility did a number on my psyche. I…

We Are More Than What Sets Us Apart

We Are More Than What Sets Us Apart

Editor’s Note: The following guest post comes from Megan, a novice to the blog world. She teases at the complexity of an infertility conundrum: How do we educate people about the infertility experience and how it reshapes us without making childlessness the only thing they see about us? I am normally a “silent” silent sorority member, and am thankful for this community. Something happened on New Year’s Eve that made an impact and left me to reflect.  My girlfriend gave me her son’s copy of LPA Today Magazine Spring/Summer 2012.  LPA…

Misinformation Is Worse Than No Information

Misinformation Is Worse Than No Information

It’s easy to reach the conclusion misinformation is worse than no information when you see how half-truths can radically adversely influence lives. While infertility has been documented as early as the biblical era it’s only recently, as science has advanced, that we’ve heard it discussed in more than whispers. My generation was lulled into believing that science had cracked the fertility code with test-tube babies only to learn — usually too late — that not all infertility is alike.