How Is This Not a Thing?

How Is This Not a Thing?

You know how you hear or read something, and your first thought is, “Huh? How is this not a thing?” In my case this response usually has to do with infertility-related topics. Thing One: Endometriosis How is a proper and timely diagnosis for endometriosis still not a thing? The superb Samantha Bee recently highlighted this on her show Full Frontal.  In a segment on women’s health called The History of Women’s Pain, Bee also explains not only is there no cure for endometriosis, it takes an average of six to…

That Damned Uterus

That Damned Uterus

The uterus. It’s just an organ but unlike other organs — a kidney, a bladder or a lung — it carries tremendous identity significance.  Baggage, too — cultural and otherwise. Upon reproductive age, its power increases. Beyond a vexing way of making itself very evident every month, it also holds the promise of creation.  If, heaven forbid, you possess an uncooperative uterus you might just as well turn your womanhood papers in now. That’s because in today’s reproductive-charged culture the power of the uterus, the ‘womb,’ is all that. Feminine….

Insights from Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise

Insights from Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise

Insights often originate with films and books. The really good stories and characters become touchstones or stay with me like familiar old friends. So, on this, my 11th anniversary of blogging (yes, Happy Anniversary dear readers, it all began here February 3, 2007), I’d like to encourage all to find and watch the soul-stirring documentary Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise. Insights — from what shapes our identity and behaviors to what keeps women from asserting themselves — will rain down on you as you take in the stories and…

‘Non-moms’ Often Forced to Contemplate and Carve out Their Own Unique Space and Meaning

‘Non-moms’ Often Forced to Contemplate and Carve out Their Own Unique Space and Meaning

    Non-moms recognized? Read on … That opening paragraph grabbed me. Did it grab, you, too? Truly, I didn’t expect this acknowledgement to make it into print, but it did. I stumbled upon this reference to ‘non-moms’ in a story because Silent Sorority garnered a mention in a feature about Dolly Parton.  (And that alone is mind-boggling!) It’s a great beginning to 2018, wouldn’t you say, when the world opens to consider a very real and not always easy path in life?  Yes, it is safe to say that…

On the Move, Part One

On the Move, Part One

There’s nothing quite so unsettling as a major move. Plagued by timing unpredictability. On guard for daily disturbance. We’re supposed to be adept at managing the sketchy, difficult stuff life throws at us, yes? Seasoned as we’ve been by heartache, isn’t that right? To a point. If ever I needed reminding that rational thinking and planning only gets us so far, this past chaotic year — consumed by change and at the mercy of the market — did the job. Move Angst Once again I learned that to-do lists are…

New Studies Call Out IVF Clinic Tone Deafness, Profiteering

New Studies Call Out IVF Clinic Tone Deafness, Profiteering

A recent IVF study led by Yale sociology associate professor Rene Almeling stopped me in my tracks, but for reasons surely different than the research team. The IVF study goal was to “assess whether different motivations for undergoing the same medical intervention affects bodily experiences.” Published in the September Journal of Social Science and Medicine, the study compared the physical, emotional, and cognitive experiences of women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) either to become pregnant or to sell their eggs for money. “The researchers found that there is a direct…

Prince Harry and I Agree: Bury Grief at Your Peril

Prince Harry and I Agree: Bury Grief at Your Peril

Give voice to your grief, loss and trauma or risk being held hostage by it. If you agree with that assessment you’re in some royal good company. Prince William and Prince Harry to be exact. They got my attention in recent interviews about how grief and loss impacted their lives. Harry notably talked of how he once “found himself overcome by a ‘flight or fight’ sensation” during public events. It was only when he “realized it was the unattended, unresolved grief” that he could begin to make sense of how…

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’…

Have a Story to Tell? #UnmaskingIVF

Have a Story to Tell? #UnmaskingIVF

One story will forever mark a turning point for me. It ran June 10, 2008 so that date now has special significance. It’s the day I crossed over from a blogger writing under a pseudonym to my reveal on The New York Times homepage (yeah, I know, it still blows my mind, too). In the nine years since I’ve had the good fortune to connect with many amazing women and men who have generously shared their stories. This year, June 10 also marks the debut of a new project —…

Mother’s Day? It’s Complicated

Mother’s Day? It’s Complicated

Mother’s Day is far from black and white. For many it’s stress-inducing and, simply, complicated. I know. A decade or more ago around early May I would do my best to tune out. First I adopted a bunker mentality.  Then came humor. In 2009 I solicited greeting card ideas for women who don’t fit neatly into the Hallmark view. Later I asked for and received 46 ‘non-mom’ opinions about the day: Mother’s Day from Meh to Arrrgghhh. In more recent years I’ve contributed essays to capture the tortured moments many…