Infertility and childless folks are all around us, but we rarely capture the spotlight or celebrate reunions, anniversaries and creative breakthroughs. Before I get into a powerful in-person reunion, I want to share a giveaway you won’t want to miss. Longtime bloggers, now friends, from LifeWithoutBaby contacted me. Indeed, Kismet! Their email led to several other re-connections, including one with Dr. Marni Rosner who coincidentally wrote asking for reading recommendations for those facing infertility and childless difficulties during upcoming holidays.
Infertility and Childless Holiday Giveaway
So, it’s the 10-year anniversary of a wonderful ebook, Holiday Companion – Inspiration and Encouragement to get you through a childless holiday season. In honor of this milestone and thanks to the generosity of wonderful writers and bloggers Lisa Manterfield and Kathleen Guthrie Woods, the giveaway on Amazon will run from Friday, October 27, through Tuesday, October 31.
Now take a moment and download it. You’ll gain support and validation of many multi-layered and often non-linear infertility and childless challenges. I’ll wait …
10-Year Reunion – Infertility and Childless Survivors
There is no greater gift in life than to be seen, heard and valued. So, it was positively wonderful to share in the North American premier of Irina Vodar‘s documentary Anything You Lose. What made this reunion Oct. 7 in Los Angeles particularly special is that it came 10 years after I first met Irina in New York City.
This shot (right) captures what has often felt like an exhausting and endless crawl to reach several goals:
- to bring new awareness and visibility to the failed IVF experience;
- to elevate the conversation about those who experience infertility and childless challenges;
- celebrate the contributions and creations from the childless not by choice community — whether films, books, art and policy initiatives.
People Without Children in Media and Cultural Narratives
On that last goal, it was wonderful to also meet Christine Erickson, founder of New Legacy Institute (NLI), in person, in Los Angeles. NLI “envisions a world in which people without children are socially valued, treated equitably in workplaces and public institutions, supported by public policy, and accurately reflected in media and cultural narratives.”
It was truly an honor to spend the day with Irina and Christine, and begin a discussion about our collaborations and shared goals.
Now, if you live in or near New York City or Berlin, you can catch a screening of Anything You Lose. It’s showing at the Big Apple Film Festival in NYC November 5. Ticket details here for both NYC on 11/5 and Berlin in March 2024. Follow Irina’s Instagram account for more video clips, screenings, and insights on her work.
Below, Christine and others who watched Irina’s film provide reactions and takeaways.
Parental Status Should Not Dictate Worthiness
Last but not least, you can also hear some of the post-film panel discussion from the Awareness Film Festival. Among the messages I hope viewers take away? In the wake of infertility and post-IVF pain and trauma, women and men around the world continue to find ways to connect and support each other. Our stories are multi-dimensional and our lives are equally so.
in short, Irina’s film provides an important public service. Her personal story illuminates IVF trauma in a way not fully explored before now. Moreover, Anything You Lose provides a starting point for others to see how difficult it is to separate what is sold by the reprotech (aka ‘fertility’) industry and what is and isn’t possible. Brava to Irina for providing much needed clarity around what, until now, has been an opaque and misunderstood human experience.