IVF is 40, Untold Stories Cast Milestone in New Light

IVF is 40, Untold Stories Cast Milestone in New Light

IVF is 40 this month. Type ‘IVF is 40’ into your news search engine of choice. You’ll find headlines that reflect a one-dimensional narrative. Missing from the narratives are couples who’ve had to cope with the aftermath of 20 million failed IVF cycles. You also won’t read about the health toll on young women involved in third party reproduction. Nor will you read about those wronged by clinics with unscrupulous business  practices. Dig deeper, though, and you’ll find those who believe the untold stories matter. A consortium of health advocates and…

Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness

Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness

Childlessness and joy are rarely used in the same sentence. Lesley Pyne, however,  has devoted the past few years digging into the reality of childlessness. Her quest? To understand how to process the losses, carve out a new path and rediscover joy. It’s all in her new book, Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness: Inspiring Stories to Guide You to a Fulfilling Life, available now for pre-order on Amazon.com. As Jody Day, who writes the book forward, reminds us “the room called childlessness has many doors.”  This is further underscored in Finding…

That IVF Sausage Factory

That IVF Sausage Factory

IVF is a Sausage Factory I was not Prepared For… So writes Professor James Arvanitakis in an essay for The Sydney Morning Herald. Oh how we hear you, James. We are immensely grateful for your honesty. In a few paragraphs you painted a clear picture of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of IVF. “It all begins nicely. You personally meet the doctor in beautiful offices. Everyone treats you like a VIP whispering that the doctor has made so many families happy. It is private, serene,…

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…