Silent Sorority

Infertility Survivors Finally Heard

March 23, 2017

On the Other Side of the Infertility Chasm

Hellllloooooo! Yes. Still here happily on the other side of the infertility chasm.

Won’t bore you with details, but the past several weeks have been busier than usual.  A bit like drinking from a fire hydrant. Absorbing a great deal in all spheres of life.  While I may be very behind on social media and blog reading, the women in our global sisterhood are never far from my thinking.

In fact, you’re a calming presence, a daily reminder that we’ve mastered the skills needed to face both change and challenges large and small — so thank you for that!

Very Well After Infertility

The latest examples of your wisdom, grit and wisdom are evident in this important new article recently published on Very Well

infertility chasm

Some of you shared insights with author and health writer Rachel Gurevich about what goes into building a new life after infertility. I had a chance to participate in the information gathering and facilitate some of the answers and stories submitted.  A consistent thread in the responses was the heart and strength required to recover from the trauma of failed IVF cycles. Also clearly conveyed were the emotional somersaults involved in coming to terms with lives different than ones we once envisioned.  Among the lessons in the piece:

“Sometimes, people feel it’s a betrayal of their loss to be happy childfree after infertility. They (mistakenly) believe that to enjoy their life without children implies they didn’t ‘want’ them as much as they did. You can simultaneously enjoy your childfree life and mourn the life you once imagined. Both can be true.”

Yes. Then there’s the added difficulty in helping others understand that our children remain very much alive in our hearts. This idea is particularly confounding for those who didn’t walk in our shoes.  After reading the Very Well article I was reminded of a few older blog posts — one in 2009 touched on “feeling disloyal after grieving — what a total kick in the head that was.” And then managing through guilt. More in this post from 2007 (10 years ago!): A New Childfree Chapter (Guilt Not Included). In it, I acknowledged that one of the biggest difficulties I faced was the fear:

“that by allowing myself to accept a childfree life that it would mean that I didn’t work hard enough for my embryos, that I didn’t want or love my children, that I had somehow failed them. That my children didn’t matter as much as someone else’s children.”

There’s No “Life After Infertility” Road Map

Because there’s no road map, I’m always happy to meet new bloggers like Lindsay who fearlessly forge new trails. A fellow Michigan native, she is as strong and sensitive as they come. She started her own support group when she couldn’t find one locally to help her following her IVF rounds. We had a chance to speak by phone recently as part of some new research and writing I’m doing.

See also  The "New" New Thing

Lindsay and many other inspiring women who volunteered their stories in recent weeks underscore that crossing the infertility chasm takes a special fortitude. Blazing new paths may not be what we set out to do, but we ARE doing it.

Welcome your thoughts and comments as always…

Different Than I Expected 5 Replies to “On the Other Side of the Infertility Chasm”
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.


5 thoughts on “On the Other Side of the Infertility Chasm

    Author’s gravatar

    I was glad to be part of the Rachel’s article.
    Thank you for introducing Lindsay… it is lovely to see new blog.

    Author’s gravatar

    Was glad to be introduced to Lindsay’s blog as well.

    It’s such a breath of fresh air to find group validation of the strength required to recover from failed treatments and/or not being able to conceive and to build one’s new life. Especially since this is never acknowledged out in the world.

    Author’s gravatar

    “Blazing new paths may not be what we set out to do, but we ARE doing it.”
    Yes, absolutely! Thank you for writing about your path, and for putting us in touch with Rachel. I like the result: so many women’s wisdom worked together in one piece :-)!

    Author’s gravatar

    I’m so sorry. I read this when you first put it up, but didn’t comment (probably for iPad reasons), and then afterwards thought I already had. I am very grateful that you are on this side of the chasm with me and all our friends. I recognise that feeling of guilt – the feeling that if we allow ourselves to be happy, we can’t have wanted to have children enough. It’s such a destructive feeling (not helped by the rhetoric and judgement in some infertility blogs about giving up), and so pointless and inaccurate. Like you, I’ve written about it a lot, because each time I think new readers will see it and benefit from it. And new readers mean new writers too. It’s always good (in that bittersweet sort of way) to see new writers join our number, and speak out – for their good, and for the good of the entire community.

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