Comprenez-Vous? Oui. We Understand Each Other

Comprenez-Vous? Oui. We Understand Each Other

On so many levels society today seems remarkably chaotic. Misunderstandings, loaded labels and dark suspicions are rampant. It seems we can all benefit from taking a step back and recalling some of what we share in common. Let’s look at the universality of confronting fertility challenges — both the personal as well as societal response. Some experiences transcend language and culture. This blog alone has had 54,604 unique visitors from 167 countries in the course of five years.  During that time one thing has remained clear: there is no easy…

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:…

Trapped in a Dream Cul-de-Sac? ‘The Next Happy’ Provides Path Forward

Trapped in a Dream Cul-de-Sac? ‘The Next Happy’ Provides Path Forward

We all nurture dreams. Some we fulfill — Happy Days! Others imprison us. A new book, The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward by Tracey Cleantis gives us the framework to recognize when a dream has morphed into its own special nightmare. Conversational and engaging, Tracey grounds us in the challenge of finding our ‘next happy’ by drawing from her own unsuccessful pregnancy pursuit. (Longtime Silent Sorority blog readers will recall her honest and heartfelt story and contributions to the blogging…

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…

Not Brought To You By Big Pharma Or Profit-Driven Fertility Clinics

Not Brought To You By Big Pharma Or Profit-Driven Fertility Clinics

In a Telegraph newspaper column, It’s adults, not teens, who need a sex talk, UK journalist Bryony Gordon describes a friend who runs a fertility clinic in central London who is: …slack-jawed with amazement at all the highly educated, highly paid, highly functioning couples who pass through her doors every day with only the most basic notion of reproduction. ‘People honestly think IVF is a cure-all!’ she squealed the other day. ‘I want to shake them! I want to say, ‘Do you know what it involves? Do you know how…

‘Fess Up. What Are Your Blind Spots?

‘Fess Up. What Are Your Blind Spots?

So there are real blind spots (see the test above) and then there are social blind spots. This (fill in the blank) kind of life – good. That (fill in the blank) kind of life – not good We begin, at a very young age, to develop social blind spots, certain ideals. We embrace a set of narratives. We build upon them as we acculturate further and find comfort in their accompanying assumptions. To wit, I came across a reference to this book: “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People” in…

Blogging From Bed: Is That Acceptable?

Blogging From Bed: Is That Acceptable?

It’s past 10 am on a Thursday. I’m writing this blog post in bed. Acceptable or unacceptable? On any typical Thursday my answer would be unacceptable.  Not allowed, missy!  However, I awoke this morning with stitches and pain emanating from my lower left calf.  I softly adjusted my position and gave myself permission to take it easy. This shift minimized the pressure on the troublesome limb — the one that was the focus of a three-hour Mohs surgery yesterday. The stitches will be in for two weeks. All that will…

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…

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…