I Was The Elder Price of Infertility Treatment

I clearly recall 10 years ago feeling wary and apprehensive about what my life would be like a decade later if I didn’t succeed in conceiving. When the nagging worries of an unknown (and surely unfulfilled) life took hold during a frantic last engagement with a team of reproductive endocrinologists at Stanford University Medical Center I pushed them out of my head. Not gonna go there.

I was the Elder Price of infertility treatment. (Elder Price being the protagonist in The Book of Mormon who had an intractable view of the way life had to be.)  Like Elder Price I had a rosy-colored one-dimensional outlook on what would bring me happiness. It was only when it all didn’t turn out as I had dreamed that I came to realize there was much more waiting for me. Better still, I was on the verge of meeting some amazing women whom I otherwise would not have come to know.

Marni, for instance, a doctoral candidate whose dissertation topic is Living Without Children After Infertility. We met on a warm night at a lively restaurant in her Manhattan neighborhood accompanied by our significant others. Marni simply radiates peace. You can’t help but feel calm in her presence. Over a series of appetizers and small plates  Marni and I shared more than good food. Seated next to each other in a u-shaped booth, we shared a deep, instant connection that allowed us to leap from bashful first greetings into a series of “you, too?” moments, reliving our awakenings while the guys conversed about topics, well, more guy friendly. The evening rushed by.

The next afternoon, Christina and I met after a business conference. Seated at an outdoor table in a restaurant humming with happy hour patrons we caught up on our lives since our last get together a year ago. We talked enthusiastically about our new dreams, confidently looking ahead to still more reinvention with new projects and new plans. Christina’s petite size makes her expansive enthusiasm pack a powerful punch. She is fearless and draws you into world of possibilities.

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From there I had the musical The Book of Mormon to look forward to. Soaring music, energetic choreography and a story that can’t help but make you think propelled us into a hot and humid Time Square with a swell of tourists on a Friday night. Every fiber in me felt alive and joyful.

So it was not surprising when Marni shared this kindred spirit observation in a follow up email, “if you want to change something, it has to be associated with joy. Joy gets people to move. Fear makes them stuck.”

I wish I could go back to the woman consumed with fear 10 years ago and assure her that joy would be in her future — that everything would turn out more than just fine.

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18 thoughts on “I Was The Elder Price of Infertility Treatment

  1. Kim

    I really needed to hear this today…

  2. Pamela

    I know it’s hard to imagine beyond what you’re living right now, but just know that there is life after infertility….

  3. Thank you for this.. I know so many women who are holding onto their grief because they’ve created their new identities around their loss, and letting go of their sorrow feels like a betrayal of the memory of loss, as though that diminishes what we have gone through.
    It is so important to speak about how there is life beyond infertility – regardless of the outcome!

  4. This was beautiful! Thank you for the reminder

  5. “I was the Elder Price of infertility treatment.” — love it!

    We could all use more joy in our lives.

  6. Pam — it was so great seeing you in NY! It is so important that we get that “after” message out there — so as the above reader commented, people don’t believe they need to create an identity around their loss. The fact is, as I’ve said repeatedly here and elsewhere, a life without children can be the richest thing in the world. Different, but amazing.

  7. IrisD

    Thanks for this message. I am so glad that you can look back now from such a different, happy place. Hope I’ll get there soon. I hope I’ll be able to read Marni’s dissertation one day!

  8. Heather

    What a beautiful post. I really needed that. So true: “if you want to change something, it has to be associated with joy. Joy gets people to move. Fear makes them stuck.”

    Thank you.

  9. Marni

    Pamela, it was such a treat to meet you – you are so special, and certainly brought out the best in me. I wish all of your readers were able to experience your incredible generosity of spirit in person. You deserve much joy and happiness – well-earned, for sure!

  10. Hello,
    When I read your post today, I thought I must introduce you to a most wonderful friend of mine, Shannon Stevens who is far too modest, in my humble opinion, about her blog, http://www.infertilityawakening.com. Sharing her journey inspired me to write a post today about the spiritual lessons of infertility, I honor you for the healing you are giving to so many women.

  11. Renee Hunter-Frost

    Thank you. I met Marni and felt like I had known her for years. You both have changed my life in more ways than words could ever say.

  12. Julie

    sounds like you had a nice time. i’m happy to see that there is a future after this difficult process i’ve been putting myself. it’s challenging and glad to have found your blog.

  13. Dorothy

    Lovely post.

  14. Kim

    I am so glad to know you and be able to watch you thrive.

    It’s like getting a giant hug.

  15. Betsy

    Thanks, Pamela! Your book and posts have been like water in a hot desert of pretty searing pain, frankly. I live in SF and would love to meet you and your husband someday. Anyway, thanks again! Betsy

  16. Pamela

    So glad to hear my writing made such a good impact. We’ll definitely have to rendez-vous sometime in early 2012!

  17. […] For more on what emotions can do for you, check out this blog flashback from June 2011: I Was the Elder Price of Infertility Treatment. […]

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