Silent Sorority

Infertility Survivors Finally Heard

May 8, 2010

New York Times MotherLode Guest Post

Different Than I Expected 12 Replies to “New York Times MotherLode Guest Post”
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 “New York Times MotherLode Guest Post

    Author’s gravatar

    I was hoping you would have something to share for this weekend! (Although some reader comments following your NY Times post were less than sensitive.)

    This weekend, another non-mom friend and I decided to treat ourselves to a shopping night out to recognize our own greatness. I learned that even J. Crew can be a dangerous place for those trying to escape mother’s day. I witnessed several father and daughter pairs shopping for the perfect mother’s day gift. I overheard other women, as they paid for their purchases, being asked if they were mothers. I watched these women walk out the store with a special flower honoring their role as mothers. Luckily, I wasn’t asked. (Do I not look like a mother?)

    I sure did enjoy that glass of wine after shopping. Perhaps a bar is the best place to escape mother’s day.

    Author’s gravatar

    Just read your New York Times article and the comments section. Thank you for your strength and willingness to speak out. I sought to read your posts today to avoid reading all the Facebook posts moms are posting to each other about being supermoms – having a career and being model moms who have it all. I am so grateful to you for your outspokenness and for your book. There is a lot of misunderstanding expressed in the comment section – and it confirms why it is so difficult to be outside the norm. Now father’s even are posting incessantly about their newborns and it feels like no place is safe. Your work is so important because when you are non-mother, you never know where the next wave will hit you – where someone’s reference to mommyhood ruptures the veil that screens my “private” pain.

    Author’s gravatar

    I see the New York Times readers are just as supportive as ever.


    To sum, this is what the majority of readers told our lovely PJ: IF is like a “peanut allergy”. Suck it up, get over yourself, and just adopt.

    Although, I have to say I think I see a glimmer of hope for humanity. Even if they were in the minority, it seems there were a lot more positive comments than last time.

    PJ, you are one of the most brave women I have ever known. Thank you for telling your story, especially in the face of such hostility and ignorance.

    Author’s gravatar

    I marvel that many of the commenters don’t see the irony of their insensitivity. Perhaps we truly have evolved to perfection?

    Author’s gravatar

    Thanks, Jen, Marci, Myrtle for your comments.

    Jen: Like you, I took heart that empathy was more evident in the comments this time around…there’s hope for humanity, yet!

    Author’s gravatar

    I agree, I found it heartening that so many infertiles came out of the woodwork to challenge the more hurtful comments. It was a great article — thank you, Pamela!

    Author’s gravatar

    Wow! That’s what I was thinking after reading some of the comments over at the NYT piece. Isn’t one of the major tenets of motherhood supposed to be compassion?

    Just reading through that section has me thinking, I need to check my sensitivity towards others who may be going through a difficult season, no matter what it is.

    I agree with the other ladies,Pamela, thank you for being the point person for this community; you are very brave putting yourself out there.

    Author’s gravatar

    Wow—I was also shocked by some of the comments written. I totally understand that not all people can relate because they have children and getting pregnant just happened for them–but what about empathy??

    Pamela-saying thank you to you doesn’t even express what I feel. Your bravery and honesty speaks for so many women (& men) that are silent because of the stigma of being infertile. (not to mention the shame and sorrow) Your book and your website has opened the doors for so many of us to feel welcome and not freakish! I was looking forward to reading what you would post last week for the weekend—and I was not disappointed.

    Thank you for being my “voice” out there!

    Author’s gravatar

    The day after… It is the Monday after and I breathe in relief that for the next 350 or so days to come I do not have to have it thrown in my face that I am not a Mother. Since I was 27 years old, and I am now 62, I have known that I would never be a mother. All of the platitudes in the world,” You are a mother to all of the children you teach,” never made Mother’s Day any easier to bear.

    Early in the knowing, I lashed out at anyone close to me as Mother’s Day approached. Emotional meltdowns were commonplace. Some years I withdrew for the day from everyone so I would not spew my emotional opinions onto them.I did not have anyone to turn to because there was no one in my immediate circle who was childless.

    I am now older and have survived 35 Mother’s Days knowing I would never become one. I still remember. I still count how many years it has been since my early hysterectomy. I am still grateful that I lived through that and I value each day- except Mother’s Day.

    Author’s gravatar

    Survived another Mother’s Day. Loved your NYT piece, but some of the comments were nasty and insensitive and I am reminded why I don’t share my infertile status with everyone. Mother’s Day still gets me down and the hardest part is that my family, and even my husband, don’t understand.

    This year, instead of hiding out at home, Hubby and I went for brunch at an Irish pub in a nearby college. There were zero signs of Mother’s Day in the pub and it was wonderful!

    Author’s gravatar

    I just read your NYT article…it was like coming home. Your article spoke to my soul…I am angry, bitter, lost and heartbroken, and I don’t know how to cross the threshold into some sort of non-infertility related normal.

    On Mother’s Day, I got to see my wonderful mom, and also my in-laws. My father in law felt the need to tell us at dinner about a girl I know who was at church and was so big that her stomach was about to pop. And he knows…he knows how our daughter was stillborn 3 years ago, and that it is impossible for me to get pregnant again. So I came home on Mother’s Day and sobbed and sobbed…so hard that I gave myself a migraine the next day. But off I went to work, where the grandma next to me was proudly sharing her daughter in law’s sonogram video. I got to hear the heartbeat about 8 times that day…

    *Sigh*. I am buying your book now, and becoming a fan on facebook!

    Author’s gravatar

    Dear Jodi,
    I’m glad you found a community that understands you and what you’re facing.  So very sorry to hear how awful the past few days have been for you.  We all grieve and come to terms in our own time. You are definitely among friends….

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