Sins of Omission and Other Random Observations


Breathe slowly and deeply, think of a calming image, find my center and … meditate.

That’s me trying to put Mel’s meditation challenge into effect after a “WTF?” kind of day. The temporary post earlier today is now down, but between the deep breathing and your fabulous comments, I’m in a better state of mind. Muchos Gracias. Merci Beaucoup. Thank you very much one and all who dropped by to commiserate!

Now on to Lori’s Chain Link Blog effort asking us to link around this week starting with our own blogroll to find a few new blogs. I started with Jenna and read her post asking why it is we expect more from celebrities in educating about particular causes. The question prompted a flashback to me as an 12-year-old sitting in my catechism class learning about the “sin of omission.” It boils down to this: a person who could do the right thing but doesn’t is no better than a person who intentionally inflicts harm.  In the case of Jenna on the O show, I think O did harm by not acknowledging the magnitude of pain associated with infertility. She gave her audience and those who blindly follow her lead permission to do the same, and that’s just wrong in my book.

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From Jenna’s blogroll I went to Bea’s blog where I read about a woman contemplating and hoping for the opportunity (very soon) to trade her usual garb for maternity clothing.  My response? Well, I went beyond being envious of her pregnancy to sincerely wanting a new wardrobe for her as much as I once wanted one for me. Go Bea Go!

From Bea’s site I found a new blog I’ve never visited before: Desperate to Multiply. Portia’s recent post asks some tough questions that many of us struggling with Infertility ask routinely. Anyone in the fertile community who needs a primer on why Infertility messes so badly with the mind should read this post.

Portia took me to Amy’s site for the first time. Amy is a veterinarian. Cool. I’ve always longed for a cat to call my own, but severe allergies (manifested in the form of asthma attacks that take me to the ER) to cats, dogs, horses and just about anything on four legs prevents me from having a pet. No kids, no pet. Geez, it’s a damn good thing I’m not allergic to nice people (I’m fairly certain I’m allergic to boorish people, too) or books, wine or chocolate or I’d be an intensely rather than intermittently grumpy person.

And I wound up the evening at Nica’s site. Gotta love Nica’s graphics and blog name: Life as a Sandwich. So much to catch up on here while Nica’s on vacation. I’ll take more time in the coming days to learn about her experience living in the sandwich generation.

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My parting observation tonight: anyone who thought that life without a houseful of children is uncomplicated clearly hasn’t given it much thought.

What a day, what a week and TGIF in a matter of minutes.


10 Responses

  1. Jody

    October 5, 2007 1:44 pm

    I saw, but didn’t get a chance, to leave a comment on the rant/anguish post. I wanted to suggest that you COULD approach IT/HR to request a clarification on the use of company e-mail for personal news. It’s too easy for those of us whose IF led to children to forget the pain (or at least to see it dulled), but presumably 10-15% of the couples who’ve announced their pregnancies had trouble conceiving, right? And you’re not going to be the last employee whose IF journey doesn’t end in a child. So it would be a service for you to speak out, either via HR/IT to get this sort of thing stopped company-wide, or via your own brief, to-the-point joint email. “As someone whose long struggle to conceive did not result in a baby, I would ask my fellow employees to show compassion and sensitivity in announcing their good news to the company as a whole. Here’s a link to RESOLVE if you’ve never had the opportunity to consider how painful pregnancy and birth can be to those who’ve experienced trouble conceiving.”

    Honestly, I think that would be more sharing of your private information than you’re required to do, by a LONG shot, and I wouldn’t want to guess the range of responses you would get. But a private approach to someone in charge of company e-mail policy might limit your personal exposure and allow you to feel that you’re not only speaking out on your own behalf but on behalf of others.

    Then again, blog rants are always useful, too. Good luck, and thanks for writing your experiences.

    • Pamela Jeanne

      October 5, 2007 4:36 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Appreciate the support. DD also suggested that it was time to speak up since the practice of announcing births now seems to be part of the culture. I dislike invoking anything remotely PC but at the same time, our HR person is sensitive enough to at least have the conversation. Maybe they could create a separate elective “baby” alias. Hmmm…definitely the time to raise the issue is when I don’t have smoke coming out of my ears.

  2. MotherofNone

    October 5, 2007 4:13 pm

    The issue you raise about celebrities leads me in many directions. To the extent celebrities live life in a fishbowl, and their business is always so public, it would be refreshing to hear more of them acknowledge struggles with infertility. However, my preference by far would be for them to keep all of their business private (including their smiling new infants) and for the rest of us to allow them to do so. If infertility is off the table, then the details of parenting should be too, under the auspices of all of this being private stuff. The whole parenting thing would be so much more attractive in general if it were considered an intimate thing to be navigated with ones partner according to one’s own values.

    Slightly off topic, I know…

    • Pamela Jeanne

      October 5, 2007 4:41 pm

      I agree in principle that we suffer from TMI when it comes to celebrities but infertility is a disease and most of the advancements around treating disease come when influential people speak out and raise awareness. In the case of O in particular, she had Jenna on specifically to talk about her experience with Infertility and then all but dismissed her condition outright. That’s unconscionable.

  3. Carlynn

    October 5, 2007 6:42 pm

    I missed your earlier post but I hope you have a calm and enjoyable weekend after what sounds like a horrible experience.

    The blogs you mention sound great, I’m off to read them.

    I would love a cat too but my husband is allergic to them. It does suck when you have no children and you can’t even get surrogate pet ones.

    I think your comment about celebrities was spot on. When you have the chance to do something good and don’t, it is just as bad as saying something mean. I could not believe that Oprah did not even acknowledge Jenna’s pain and how much she had to come through, it just seems a bit thoughtless.

  4. Jenna

    October 5, 2007 9:13 pm

    Well that was fun! Thanks for the tour of the bloggies around my parts. I was just about to check in on everyone and now I’ve got the cliff notes version… this will make it much easier to catch up (though the feeling of nervous anticipation that I usually enjoy won’t be there).

    Enjoy the weekend!

  5. Waiting Amy

    October 6, 2007 1:05 pm

    Thanks for checking me out in your chaining escapades! I’ve been over to see you now and then, but was probably lurking.

    I’m so sorry to hear there is insensitive things happening at your work. And I agree that a sin of omission is just as bad as a lie (course I was raised catholic, so that’s not a surprise).

    AND I am so sorry that you can’t do the pet thing! Believe it or not, I’m allergic to cats, even the asthma in severe cases. When I did my clinical rotations at the farm I had to be on steriods cause of my allergies to the hay. So I sympathize. Fish maybe? Not so cuddly huh?

    Best wishes for a peaceful weekend.

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