The purpose of this blog is two-fold. First and foremost, it was created to offer a safe place for those embarking on a new life after confronting infertility. It’s a gathering place to express ideas and experiences; it also includes some guests posts and essays. In sharing what we’ve learned we not only can offer camaraderie and celebrate new beginnings we can ensure that the next generation is well informed and benefits from lessons learned.
You’ll also find reporting and studies that demonstrate the need for greater accountability in the growing for-profit ‘fertility’ industry.
… Finally Heard, the ebook
This compilation of lessons learned, insights and voices incorporates the experiences of other women who also had to make sense of not only the fertility industrial complex but the emotional trauma that ensued. Feel free to share your response to the ideas contained within in the comments section of this page.
I first became known in the blogosphere as Pamela Jeanne.
That was my pseudonym 13 years ago when I started Coming2Terms, a blog that allowed me to process the pain and losses associated with unexplained infertility followed by failed fertility treatments.
More on that topic here: Would You Tell Someone You Were infertile? and on this podcast link: A pull no punches podcast exploring life after infertility
Not a podcast listener? You can find the first-of-its kind discussion transcript here.
After more than a decade of trying to conceive (my first reproductive diagnostic test took place at 29), my husband and I decided we were done being human lab experiments. That’s when I began to realize that overcoming infertility is about much more than making a baby. It’s about coming to terms, when nature and science find their limits, with a life different than one so often taken for granted. There are no clear instructions on what it takes to embark on a life path that doesn’t involve parenting following fertility treatment losses. At the same time I was blogging I began writing Silent Sorority. My anonymity went by the wayside when I was featured in The New York Times. Suddenly more than my immediate family knew about my private life. It led to this current blog: what comes after the grieving, anger and sadness. Five years later, I became a contributor to The New York Times. I co-authored this op-ed: Selling the Fantasy of Fertility, and following work with an international team of researchers and academics I wrote The Big IVF Add-on Racket.
With the support of a truly wonderful man, my husband Alex, I completed the award-winning book, Silent Sorority, the first memoir written about infertility not authored by a mother. Early in 2015 I completed Finally Heard: A Silent Sorority Finds Its Voice.
In relating my experience of the once hopeful days of trying to conceive to adjusting to a new and unexpected life path I learned the importance of fellowship in making sense of a difficult transition. It isn’t easy to find the courage to express the challenges associated with the finality of infertility. The women (and men) I’ve met and come to know through this blog and my Coming2Terms blog have made a significant impact on my life. As we’ve discussed online and in real life conversations there is a great need to relate what happens when nature and science don’t cooperate in family building — if only to help those who inevitably feel isolated and misunderstood in the wake of infertility. We in the once Silent Sorority also have a few things to say about our evolving place in society.
Today, with some distance from my trying to conceive and treatment days, I am committed to elevating awareness about reproductive health. Those of us in ‘Generation IVF’ have much to share with the next generation. More on me here.
ReproTech Truths, a grassroots initiative started in 2017, surfaced #UnmaskingIVF stories that had been overlooked or downplayed by clinics more interested in profits than patient well being. Not long after the first IVF in 1978 entrepreneurial doctors and the pharmaceutical industry aligned to create a lucrative multi-billion dollar industry based on selling hope to a vulnerable population eager to create families. From the earliest days well- funded marketing strategies, poorly researched news stories and general ignorance about fertility helped position IVF as one of mankind’s greatest medical breakthroughs; which it is – but only to a degree. The lack of an organized constituency and no rigorous oversight also means longitudinal health studies and consumer protections don’t exist. In the next year as we approach the 40th anniversary we’d like to unmask IVF (and the more recent elective egg freezing, which requires IVF) to help future generations understand the associated risks and costs.