Hats off to those who put a face on infertility

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Not all celebrities choose to be role models but those who step forward to champion a cause have my admiration. Until very recently I wasn’t at all comfortable acknowledging my super human attempts to conceive in large part because I was embarrassed and, okay, this is hard to admit, ashamed by my biological failure.

I felt like less of a woman although I have a female form that screams fertility. At 43 years old now my friends often tell me I have a body some 22-year-olds would kill to have (have I mentioned lately how much I appreciate all my friends? — and not just those who flatter me). The irony is that short of eating right and modest regular exercise my genes awarded me a tall, curvy and feminine figure. My genes also gave me flawed plumbing. Go figure.

In the thick of my infertility treatments there’s no way I could have stomached the added pressure, frustration or irritation associated with having my every move observed, judged and photographed. There are a number of celebrities though who willingly or otherwise have been honest about the extreme lengths they’ve had to go to conceive.

This story concerning celebrities who had to go the extra mile for their families surfaced on my newsreader. Many of the names are familiar: Courtney Cox, Brooke Shields and Celine Dion to name a few. They have unabashedly discussed their struggles to conceive.  I recall when I was getting shot up with hormones feeling a sense of oneness with these women. I’m delighted they succeeded where I did not. Regardless of their glamorous profession and money, they like many of us still had to submit to the indignity and pain that comes with infertility treatment. They like all women who conceive following tortorous endocrinology experiments punctuated with too many single pink lines pay an exceptionally high price physically and emotionally.

They have also helped to lessen the stigma or shame associated with infertility and, as such, do the rest of the community a huge service. More understanding and compassion is still desperately needed out there.

One comment

  • This is a great post. In fact, your entire blog offers great insights into a too often overlooked issue. Thanks for raising it over at our newspaper’s parenting blog, http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/family, when we discussed Cindy Margolis’s new fertility book. Margolis can play an important role as a spokeswoman, though I remain unconvinced we need another celebrity family book. I’ll be highlighting your blog on our newspaper’s parenting blog today, if you don’t mind.