Let’s Change Some Attitudes

Let’s Change Some Attitudes

“I don’t know how to deal with this…” That’s a common response, albeit usually unspoken, for people in the throes of reconciling an infertility diagnosis. Curiously, those are also the same eight words that pop into the head of someone who isn’t dealing directly with infertility when they learn someone close is swept up in the dreaded infertility maelstrom. And this begs important questions, such as: How can we talk about infertility, how can we help someone process infertility if we lack a common language or socialized behavior to do…

Your Sanity Matters Much More Than You Think

Your Sanity Matters Much More Than You Think

This post is dedicated to new readers — those who found their way here from the Bitter Infertiles (podcast Episode 20). If you’re new to this blog, I hope you’ll see it’s quite pleasant here. Contrary to conventional wisdom, flowers grow. Laughter is encouraged. All in all, we strive to make this blog a place where women, mostly those who are not mothers through chance or circumstance, gather. We kibitz about the world as we as see it and how we can make it better. Sometimes we discuss movies, books,…

Narrative Bias and Why Context Matters

Narrative Bias and Why Context Matters

It’s hard not to be caught up in the excitement of the Olympics. Beyond the awe-inspiring athleticism, stories abound. They resonate in large part because we understand the context. The narratives fulfill a hunger of sorts — whether for inspiration, a sense of accomplishment or a common bond that goes beyond country or sport. Not all succeed though. Some narratives simply annoy. Salon‘s Mary Elizabeth Williams piece, “So she’s a mom. So what?,” underscores the weird and prevalent mom worship in today’s society noting: “Moms have been a running theme…

Not Having Children After Infertility ‘An Assault to Identity’

Not Having Children After Infertility ‘An Assault to Identity’

Women who experience infertility and do not gone on to parent get short shrift not only in society but in research. They are left to cope without much needed support or understanding. This is made all the more difficult amid the deification of mothers. That’s why I’m pleased today to share an online discussion with the author of a dissertation that breaks ground and shines the spotlight on a community of women who for too long have been overlooked. The newly published research, Recovery from Traumatic Loss: A Study of Women Living…

Don’t Ignore…There’s More Than One Infertility Ending

Don’t Ignore…There’s More Than One Infertility Ending

Now that the shock, stigma and the ensuing hairball of emotions that infertility exploded on me has dissipated, I’m happy to report that with each year (nearly nine) post-treatment, life has become better than good. And, furthermore, my reproductive organs are thrilled, positively delighted, to be out of the limelight. It’s also a relief not to be wracked with shame, guilt or feelings of failure. It didn’t come easy, casting aside the infertility baggage, but these days I much prefer to focus on the non-reproductive aspects of my life and the freedom that comes with reinvention….

Betty Ford Taught Me To Confront Stigma Head On

Betty Ford Taught Me To Confront Stigma Head On

“It was like going to a party you’re terrified of, and finding out to your amazement that you’re having a good time.” That’s how Betty Ford, who passed away today at 93, described her life in the White House during one of the most turbulent times in U.S. history. I was 10 years old when she became First Lady. I didn’t appreciate until I was older how much she influenced my life. She didn’t shy away from her struggles; she talked openly about them. I read some of the coverage…

Are You Courageous?

Are You Courageous?

Courage is from the Latin word, cor, meaning heart — the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. * It takes great effort to be courageous in the face of infertility. This is just one of many thoughts that provoked new insights this week. The insights first percolated at a business presentation on Monday and continued over lunch with Wendy on Wednesday. Each filled in the canvas of understanding infertility and what it takes to move forward a bit further. It started…

In The Company of Women

In The Company of Women

Is it any wonder women who have struggled with infertility have difficulty finding peace or feeling accepted? Sheesh! The drubbing my people took in The New York Times Motherlode comments last weekend was brutal. (Warning: some truly hateful thoughts — and many of these came from parents!? Just what kind of example are they setting?) I think we might be ready for a group hug — at a minimum some validation and a grounding in why the nastier comments can cut so deeply. As any observer of human behavior knows…