“Birth” Announcement: Silent Sorority




We welcome with relief ….

Silent Sorority
April 18, 2009
6 inches x 9 inches 13.6 ounces
205 pages
Joins proud “mother” Pamela M. Tsigdinos and “father” A. Tsigdinos

I think I did that correctly (name, date, size and weight)…I dunno. As anyone who has been here before knows I’ve never actually written a birth announcement. I think I’m supposed to talk about how long the labor lasted (try five years elephants have nothing on me). And, consider yourself lucky because even though we live in the YouTube era, we didn’t videotape the delivery. Suffice to say there was plenty of grimacing, screaming and hyperventilating throughout the labor.

My next book will be about rainbows and butterflies, something Disney would embrace. Why? Well, I’ve learned the hard way a story pitch that shorthands to “How a (Barren) Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found” just doesn’t fit the traditional publishing world’s narrow view of a sale-able book. Here’s the way the past two years played out on the pitch front …

Me: But there’s humor, a love story, some cattiness here and there and plenty of sexual references. Certainly that’s got to be good for something, no?

Publishing world: Well that helps, of course, but  … you know what the problem here is?

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Me: It’s the use of the “I” word, isn’t it? But I changed it to “barren” — that’s biblical … totally retro, right?

Publishing world:  DOES NOT MATTER! If it concerns the “I” of any kind … we are totally allergic, find it all very tedious…

Me: Hang on now, there’s drama, suspense, tears and laughter.

Publishing world: Read my lips … infertility stories of any kind = Kryptonite. And, there’s no baby in your book, right? Well that’s not gonna work. It’s got to end with a BABY!

Me: But you’re missing the point! It’s got an “Indie” film-like ending. Did you know that last book about life after infertility without babies or kids came out in 1989!? That was 20 years ago. A few things have changed. Let’s see, there’s the Internet (that was pretty big), and then the “mommy movement” took shape, fertility clinics popped up on just about every corner…

Publishing world
: Oh, so you’re saying the environment, society has changed?

Me: Uh, yeah. Conventional wisdom is all screwed up today. Everyone thinks science will get any infertile couple out of a jam (heard about OctoMom or those 40+ moms on the cover of People — like they didn’t use IVF or donor eggs, gimme a break!?) And, let’s not forget the biggest myth of all … the “freely available” babies ready to be drop shipped to your door (or why not do what Angie does, adopt a kid from every country as though it’s as easy as picking out a souvenir at the airport.)

Publishing world
: We gotta have the brain-dead simple mainstream pablum. Our readers don’t like to have to think. Joe the Plumber on Infertility, maybe

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Me: Okay, I’m used to swimming upstream. Furthermore, I’ve been pregnant with this thing for nearly five years. You’ve left me no choice. I will do it my way …

And so, my dear Internets, on the first day of National Infertility Awareness Week, you can order your own copy of Silent Sorority on the ubiquitous Amazon.com.

And special shout-outs to Lost in Type A and Denise at BlogHer. Each got an early look at the manuscript and wrote about it.


44 Responses

  1. Dyanna

    April 25, 2009 12:46 pm

    Finally someone to speak up for us! I am so tired of hearing about how everyone knows someone who invitro worked for them or that apparently there are plenty of babies laying around waiting for homes…the only thing i hear about adoptions are failed attempts and long waiting terms because there are more applicants than babies.

  2. Iota

    April 25, 2009 1:32 pm

    What an achievement! Well done to you. I’m definitely going to be reading it – will wait till it comes out on Amazon, to boost your sales figures there.

    You should be very proud of yourself. It’s a huge achievement.

  3. Cindy

    April 25, 2009 2:19 pm

    Just ordered my copy! Looking forward to reading it. Thanks again for creating a safe space for those of us on this excruciatingly painful and little understood path.

  4. SassyCupcakes

    April 25, 2009 3:24 pm

    You don’t ship to Australia! I’ll have to order it from Amazon tomorrow.

    I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to reading this. Thank you so much for labouring for five long years to share your experience with the world.

  5. luna

    April 25, 2009 3:31 pm

    congrats, pamela jeanne! seems like not so long ago you were just shopping around the idea. what a huge accomplishment — you should be SO proud of this. you are both creator and midwife here!

    I just went to order my copy then realized I forgot my paypal info (haven’t used it in months). I’ll be back!

  6. Dianaj

    April 25, 2009 4:05 pm


    I’ve placed my order.

    I applaud your determination to use what you’ve learned from your experience to support others in similar circumstances and to bring awareness to the wider world.

    Thanks to you, it won’t be a “silent sorority” any more – a true labor of love.

  7. jill

    April 25, 2009 5:32 pm

    Just wanted to say Congratulations! 🙂 That’s wonderful. Definitely adding it to my [short] list of books I want to buy/read.

  8. Peggy

    April 25, 2009 9:25 pm

    Congratulations! I just happened upon your website and I am pleasantly happy to hear of your new book. I am going through my own journey to accepting infertility and will certainly be ordering your book. Good Luck!

  9. Willow

    April 25, 2009 10:54 pm

    Again, well done my dear! Congrats and thanks so much for the shout out. It’s my pleasure to cheer you on and do what I can to help raise IF awareness. Enjoy all your success!
    (No joke, a First Response fertility test ad was running just as I was about to hit submit!)

  10. Lori in Denver

    April 26, 2009 1:11 am

    I am simultaneously proud of you and happy for you1

    I am putting a button on my blog about your book.

    Also, this is an hilarious conversation. PJ.

  11. cara

    April 26, 2009 7:09 pm

    Pamela – I could not be more happy for you and the proud father of course!! Your ‘dialogue’ with the publishing world sounds eerily familiar – except substitute, ‘dead baby’ with ‘infertile’ and you’ve written the beginning of my conversation. I’m bound and determined…as you were – congrats again!! Share Southern Vermont will get a copy for their lending library soon – a signed copy, for sure!!

  12. Denise

    April 26, 2009 8:28 pm

    Congratulations on the birth of a fabulous book. I’m about to publish my review… such as it is. Hardest darn thing I’ve written in ages. Not because I didn’t love the book, I definitely did… and I’ve actually re-read about 2/3 of it again!

    It’s hard because I can’t do it justice.

  13. Diane

    April 27, 2009 12:41 am

    Congratulations, Pamela! Just ordered mine too from the Silent Sorority website. Wishing you lots of five-star reviews!

  14. Kami

    April 27, 2009 12:56 am

    Congratulations! I am blown away that the last IF book without a happy ending was 20 years ago! That is just not right.

    I just ordered my copy and am looking forward to reading it.

  15. loribeth

    April 27, 2009 2:57 pm

    Congratulations, this is fabulous news!!

    The book is not listed on Amazon.ca 🙁 but I will give Amazon.com or your site a whirl when I’m home again tonight. I definitely want a copy!! : )

  16. Cece

    April 27, 2009 4:56 pm

    I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait to get my own copy! I also added the info to my blog, hope it’s okay to do so.

  17. Shinejil

    April 27, 2009 5:14 pm

    Good for you, PJ! I’m so proud. S/he’s gorgeous.

    And you’re so right about publishers, alas. Sigh.

  18. Kelly D

    April 27, 2009 5:19 pm

    Congratulations Pamela. This is a book that every woman should read. I wish you success!

  19. Ann Marie

    April 27, 2009 9:49 pm

    Congratulations! What a hard-won victory for you and for all people who are in the silent sorority.

  20. Jen B

    April 28, 2009 7:35 am

    Congratulations! I wish you every success with your book. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since the last one. You are an inspiration!

  21. loribeth

    April 28, 2009 11:50 pm

    Ordered last night, got confirmation of shipping today — EDD May 1st. Yippee!!
    (I had better finish Tertia’s book before it arrives, lol.) ; )

  22. geohde

    April 29, 2009 4:45 am

    Big congratulations to you. I am impressed, hugely, that you A: wrote a whole book and B: got it published. Wonderful work, PJ.


  23. peesticksandstones

    April 30, 2009 1:18 am

    Congrats, PJ! This is such an awesome achievement. I write for a living, but as for writing something truly from my heart — something the world really needs (like your book, I imagine), it’s something so few of us can even dream of attempting.

    Ordered my copy tonight, and can’t wait to dive in. Thanks again for telling your story — I can’t wait to share the word with my friends.

  24. the misfit

    May 1, 2009 12:42 am

    I SO commented to this already and said “CONGRATULATIONS!!” and it’s not here. Or I have started commenting in my head (already, I email in my head).

    Thanks for your comment to my post. I’m looking forward to reading your reflections!

    • AE Cote

      May 15, 2009 11:06 pm

      Just finished reading your book. I can’t say enough about what a special gift this is. It’s shocking how similar the emotional experiences are among infertiles and yet we all feel so isolated! Why are we not all talking and sharing more out in the open. I could even relate to the Mother’s Day rose ceremony in church. You are incredibly brave to put yourself out there and have done a huge service by giving a voice to this segment of society. Thank you so much for this book and for taking such a personal risk in doing so. (I read the nasty comments in the NYTimes when your article was published – appalling.) Your trials have resulted in a beautiful creation which will be a comfort to many, many people.

      • Pamela Jeanne

        May 16, 2009 12:08 am

        What a lovely way to start my weekend! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts here (and for your review on Amazon.com — much appreciated!!!)  It is so very gratifying to know that I’ve been able to connect and bring a sense of fellowship and belonging to women who once felt, like me, cut off from the world. So glad we’ve all found each other…

  25. Zee

    May 16, 2009 3:24 am

    Somewhat late but no less heartfelt congratulations on the new arrival. I’ve found myself on the same (unsought) path as you, and have always been grateful for your honesty and grace in blogging about it. Now I’m looking forward to reading Silent Sorority. Thanks for being so brave!

  26. Kate

    May 24, 2009 4:08 pm

    Congrats, Looking forward for your book. Very much eager to read it.


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