Silent Sorority

Infertility Survivors Finally Heard

November 20, 2011

Gratitude Inventory: Freedom, Romance and Much More

The leaves on our trees have reached crimson in their last best performance before taking their inevitable fall. Holiday ads are proliferating. I’ve just gathered all the canned goods and non-perishables we’re not going to consume any time soon for the local food drive. The days are growing ever shorter. The Detroit Lions (yes, I remain a hometown fan) are gearing up for their annual Thanksgiving Day football match.

It seemed only right and proper to partake in a gratitude inventory. In no particular order, here are just some of the many, many things I’m thankful for…


  • Sleep — the really good, uninterrupted, restful kind
  • Living in a country where girls can grow up to realize their full potential
  • Jon Stewart and The Daily Show
  • Coffee
  • Watching the Michigan Wolverines with my best guy
  • Spontaneity and the freedom to move in new directions 
  • Documentary film producers, along with the writers, production teams and performers at HBO, Showtime, AMC who continually turn out great original programming
  • Good health (yikes, now I know I’m well into middle age — I didn’t much notice my health in earlier years)
  • High thread count sheets
  • A really good effortless hair day
  • Slovenia, and my online bloggie pal (now BFF), who made visiting this gem of a country earlier in the year an unforgettable, delightful adventure
  • Whoever invented meatloaf
  • The therapeutic effects of a deep belly laugh
  • Friends and family who not only enrich my life but patiently put up with my idiosyncrasies
  • Romantic, cozy wine bars
  • The Internet and the way it opens up new ideas and new connections around the world


See also  Rather than focus on one particular role, let's focus on the full person

Now, your turn…


Different Than I Expected, Spontaneity 12 Replies to “Gratitude Inventory: Freedom, Romance and Much More”
Pamela Tsigdinos
Pamela Tsigdinos
Writer, blogger and, oh, yeah, infertility survivor. My memoir, Silent Sorority, tells the whole story. There's a movie in there somewhere. Given the quirkiness needed to relate it all I'm thinking Jennifer Lawrence would be a good fit.


12 thoughts on “Gratitude Inventory: Freedom, Romance and Much More

    Author’s gravatar

    dear Pamela,
    I am so touched to find me on your list!!!
    There are many things that I am thankful for. But if I had to point only one thing for this year, I would choose meeting you & and your husband. You made our decision to stop the IVF treatments (after having 10 unsuccessful ones) much easier… because we saw you can have a happy life even if the thing you wished the most in your life, doesn’t come true.
    lots of love,

    Author’s gravatar

    Dear Klara,
    And you and your wonderful man affirmed once more that life — regardless of our age — brings unexpected joy through discovery and friendship with the sharing of ideas, scenery, new tastes treats, books, travel, life experiences and so much more! ox

    Author’s gravatar

    Well, I have to agree with a lot of your list. (Though I am NOT grateful that one of our channels took The Daily Show off, and now I can’t get it on the internet OR the TV.)

    I’d add (not an exclusive list at all):
    Tui (native birds of New Zealand) in our trees
    A good local sauvignon blanc
    My camera (I am loving learning how to use it properly)
    Willow Shoes (long shoes for long feet)
    Smoked salmon (local, sustainable, fresh water)
    My Victorinox chef’s knife
    My iPad

    and of course,
    The Internet (I know you mentioned it but it deserved to be mentioned twice).

    Author’s gravatar

    I almost completely agree with hyour list, with the following substitutions: tea for coffee, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Wolvervines (headed to the Grey Cup next week, YAY!), & I’ve never been to Slovenia, but I’m sure it’s a lovely place. ; ) Off the top of my head, I might add a good book, lazy Sunday afternoons, and the enduring power of chocolate to make almost anything better. ; ) (To name just a few.)

    Author’s gravatar

    This post could not have come at a better time for me. Had a difficult weekend thinking about what I do not have that I have completely lost sight of what I do. Here then is my gratitude list:
    – my husband who is loving and giving;
    – my dog for just being there;
    – uktv (in US I think is called BBC America);
    – uninterrupted reading time;
    – vanilla coke;
    – apple cider;
    – a rainy afternoon;
    – yum cha;
    – friends who care (even when I think they don’t)
    – family barbeques;
    – travel;
    – trying new restaurants;
    – living in a country where women are still valued even if they cannot produce children.

    I am also very grateful to you Pamela for giving me a forum to express myself and read about other women who do not have children and who live very nice lives thank you very much. Thank for the book and for the blog. Has helped me on some dark days :)

    Author’s gravatar

    Dear Charlotte,
    So happy that you’ve found fellowship and understanding in what is truly an extraordinary community of women. I wouldn’t be nearly as clear-sighted as I am today without the kind, witty and wonderfully warm women I’ve come to know online and in person. There’s always a chair in this sorority waiting for you to hear what you have to say… 

    Author’s gravatar

    I so look forward, Mali, to sharing a glass of Sauvignan blanc and salmon with you — perhaps in 2012!

    Author’s gravatar

    Go Winnepeg Blue (at least our teams wear the same colors – the Michigan Wolverine cheer is “Go Blue!”)

    Author’s gravatar

    – My husband who is my comfort, my support, my friend, my love
    – My parents, who are both with us, and healthy and who I hope will be there for a very, very long time, yet.
    – My brother snd my sister-in-law, who have given me a wonderful nephew and niece, who I’ve gotten to nurture, squeeze and love.
    – My aunts and uncle, my cousins and my husband’s family, all of whom I’m close to and who remind me that family is more than a mom, dad, and their kids.
    – My friends, who make the good times better and the bad more bearable.
    – My overall good health.
    – The gym that is just a few blocks away, and lets me burn off negative energy and beef up my serotonin.
    – My public library
    – Books and the wonderful, creative souls who write them.
    – Food network and cookbooks, for all the suggestions that also encourage my own creativity in the kitchen.
    – Flowers and plants… and the chance to grow and nurture them
    – Discovery channel, travel channel, PBS, for all their nature shows and for peaking my interest to explore places far and near
    – All the diversity in this world, all the friends to make, the foods to taste, the music to listen to, the cultures and places to learn about.
    – Really good movies and espcially neat foreign films, filled with interesting conversations and diverse perspectives
    – NPR

    Author’s gravatar

    Great list, Iris! I see quite a few items that would go on mine, too.

    Author’s gravatar

    I’m new to this party, but at the moment, I want to add Silent Sorority to this list. For 15 years, I have suffered in silence, shamed by my own sense of inadequacy and rendered mute in the face of pregnant bellies, toddler cheeks, and the smell of a baby’s head. I was diagnosed with extensive in my early 20s. By 25, my doctor was urging me to think about kids. I didn’t meet the love of my life – and most wonderful man in the world – until I was 31. He is 11 years older, with two (wonderful) children who are now my stepkids. I love having them in my life. But it doesn’t fill the hole or silence the wails under my heartbeat.

    My hubby had a vasectomy 18 years ago. I knew, going in, that bio kids were a long shot at best. But after a year of marriage, we both realized that we wanted a bio child together. It was no longer just my ache. My husband had joined me. It was a sweet and dreadful moment.

    After extensive discussions with doctors, some financial planning, and lots of prayer, we finally decided not to go the “science” route. My doctor, whose candor I cherish, was quite frank about our chances. It’s likely that my fertility went into retirement in my 20s. And, given my endometriosis, I pray that I’ll be able to avoid the hysterectomy that my mother and all my aunts have faced in their 40s.

    I am just now coming to terms with being involuntarily childless. I love having Jack’s children in my life. I love being a godmother. I love being an aunt. But allowing myself to mourn the bio children that might’ve been has been a scary place. An terribly isolated place. A howling place.

    Then I found this book, this forum, this site. And I suddenly didn’t feel quite as far away or under glass. There is work to be done, certainly, but my heavens, thank you. Thank you for being a way to help connect me not only to other women – wonderful, successful, fully-female-and-fabulous women – but also to my own life and identity.

    It’s a start. And I’m so grateful for it.

    Other things on my list:
    -my wonderful husband, who has stood with me (and sometimes watched over me while I was broken) and loves me like no one else
    -the opportunity to serve the good Lord above in all things
    -the opportunity to support causes like TeacHaiti (provides scholarships for Haitian kids to go to school)
    -our friends and family, who are precious and irreplaceable
    -spur-of-the-moment dinners/date nights
    -making our own traditions
    -mid-day cuddling
    -time to discuss any topic we choose
    -books and writing
    -the amazing sisterhood in my life

    Happy Thanksgiving, ladies. And thank you for reaching across the abyss.

    Author’s gravatar

    A terrific list, Jennifer! I’m honored to have Silent Sorority included. Thanks, too, for contributing your gifts…

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