Greetings, longtime blog readers! My recent blog sabbatical wasn’t planned. Competing writing projects, doctor visits and travel demanded my time. More on those activities in a subsequent post.
Meanwhile, I’m happy to report our community continues to make new inroads into education and support for those affected by involuntary childlessness.
First Up: Fresh and Frank Dialogue
Questions on complicated, personal topics are never easy to answer. That’s why I’m all the more proud of my friend and fellow infertility survivor blogger Sarah Chamberlin.
Sarah volunteered to be part of a PBS series called ‘Should We Kid or Not.’ The series involved sitting down with a stranger to tackle taboo topics.
(Sidebar note to PBS producers and writers: Kudos for tackling taboo topics. Demerits for your series title. Choice doesn’t always exist here. The cutesy characterization does a big disservice to those who experience deep grief after being unable to achieve a successful pregnancy. Hopefully your viewers learned something from the articulate and poignant discussion in episode 5.
As Sarah writes in her blog, Infertility Honesty:
One of most sidelining aspects of my recovery has been the almost absence of seeing and hearing my experiences talked about in the world … those of us who live with infertility and/or involuntary childlessness know all too well the dearth of emotional and empathic capacity on the other side of any given conversation.
Yes, my friend. We know it well.
Sarah also talks about the pressure and lack of compassion she experienced from the ‘fertility’ industry and from those around her who were unwilling or unable to acknowledge the trauma that results from failed IVF.
Tone Deaf Society Fueled by ‘Fertility’ Industry Whitewashing
From 4.12 of the nearly eight minute discussion, the conversation broadens to the cultural and social impacts. Sarah reminds her dialogue companion Cameron and viewers that there’s a distinct and real loss that follows a failed IVF cycle. Rather than society’s casual dismissal, she calls for a cultural acknowledgement.
Later, Cameron and Sarah’s discussion raises the ugly truth that society values parents more than non-parents. Both would like to see that changed. Cameron described what it felt like to be ostracized by his church when members learned he wouldn’t be a parent. Sarah opens up about the relief of being in social circumstances where she doesn’t have to explain herself but rather is fully seen and heard. It’s moving and powerful to watch. I encourage you to tune in or take a listen and share your thoughts below.
Support and Community: This Holiday Season and into 2020
If you’re having any difficulty this holiday, or want to remind yourself you are not alone, our community offers many ways to connect and reflect. Here are just a few ways you can engage or participate:
Lesley Pyne has a roundup of posts and resources that will resonate.