What Is It About the “I” Word?

New York Times Feature PamelaFirst, let me express my sincere gratitude to all of you who have stopped by to visit.

I’d be lying like a rug if I didn’t say I was a tad worried when I learned this story featuring yours truly was due to run in today’s New York Times. As in, I haven’t slept all that well in the past few days. Nervous? Hell, YES!  How often do you discuss your private parts (and life) with, well, the whole world? Acknowledge what has quietly tormented you …

That noise you just heard. That was me breathing a huge sigh of relief.

I’m overwhelmed by the kindness and friendship you’ve shared here. I’m equally touched by the genuine interest and willingness to learn more about infertility and its long reach. There are so many comments coming in — not to mention emails that aren’t visible here — that I hardly know where to begin. It’s going to take me some time to catch up and respond. While I absorb and think, I encourage you to take a look at the reporting work of Karen Barrow …

Facing Life With Children When It Isn’t By Choice.

Just as infertility has many faces, my story is not the only one shared.  You can hear a variety of viewpoints and outcomes here. Even more eye-opening are the comments that are going up Warning: the gloves are off and there is some serious bashing taking place.

While I’m not surprised at some of the fiery responses on the NYT site (as Tara Parker-Pope points out we infertiles are accustomed to it — my skin has toughened up considerably in recent years and its not just due to age or sun exposure) I still but marvel at how and why the “I” word can be capable of generating such free-wheeling vitriol.

What is so offensive about being infertile and wanting to conceive a child? Is it because it’s easier to attack than to try to understand? Is it more satisfying to condemn than to think about how it might feel to experience firsthand? I’m not sure.

What I do know is that our decision to go public was driven by a desire to elevate the dialogue.