My, my…how times have changed. Two years ago I could barely summon the courage to acknowledge at a BlogHer holiday meetup that I blogged about infertility. Now, I’m practically wearing a sash.
I now chat about infertility with such ease that I sometimes forget that those outside of the infertility community need a little time to wrap their heads around the complex set of ideas we routinely discuss online. For the uninitiated I have to take a deep breath, slow down and move with them through Phase I — aka the “awkward phase” when someone first attempts to contemplate what infertiles face.
For instance, on Monday night I was an author guest on Michael Ray Dresser’s Internet radio show. I haven’t figured out how to upload the MP3 file yet, but in the early part of our conversation he seemed positively floored trying to consider what it might feel like to walk into a room knowing that anyone who conducts a Google search could learn that– among my many other attributes — I am, ta da, infertile. As we got further into our conversation he started wondering about how infertility affects relationships, identity, planning for the future, small talk about children…welcome to my world, Mr. Dresser. He caught on pretty fast that infertlity involves some serious and unpredictable challenges.
It’s been a busy week wearing the sash. I was also a guest on Big Blend Radio discussing more about the impacts of infertility and why I wrote Silent Sorority. You can tune in here. Anyone else donned the sash in conversation lately?
December 10, 2009 10:15 pm
“Donning the sash” – I love it. I do every now and again, though never in a public way (in one-on-one conversations only, really. I find people are less liable to behave themselves really badly if they’re trying to deal with what *I’ll* think of their comments than if they have other people to impress). But just to be able to use that phrase, I’m going to do it more.
December 11, 2009 4:01 am
Nice interview PJ.
I’ve really enjoyed your sound bites. So thanks and thank also for being brave enough to speak out about it.
December 12, 2009 10:46 am
No, not lately, but congrats on all the spots – you’ve certainly been busy!
December 15, 2009 11:37 am
Your blog has helped me enormously.
I have had 4 miscarriages and 6 years of trying to have children. It has been the single hardest thing i have had to deal with as a person and it has been such a relief to come read your blog. I feel much more confident in my future as a childfree well balanced person.
December 16, 2009 12:48 am
I’m so glad you’ve found a welcoming place…wishing you peace, strength and understanding.
December 16, 2009 3:30 pm
How are you? I hope you’re ready for the holiday season 🙂
Regarding your post; I immediately donned the “infertility sash” — and even started “Quips & Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility” when I discovered we can’t have kids!
But it’s different for me, for two reasons: 1) I’m 40 years old, and feel like I could never have kids and still have a perfectly happy, fulfilling life. I’ve never had a strong pull to have children — though I would love (LOVE!!!) it if we did get pregnant. I just don’t want to go the extra mile (IVF, for instance).
2) I can have kids, but my hubby can’t. I often wonder if I’d be so open about blogging about infertility if I was the one who couldn’t have kids? I don’t share details about my husband’s health, and I have his blessing to talk about us facing infertility as a couple, so it’s not like I’m running around with HIS sash on. But, maybe I’d feel differently if it was my body standing in the way of us having a family….I don’t know.
Thanks for this food for thought! And possible fodder for my own blog post 🙂
December 17, 2009 1:46 pm
It really needs more courage and faith to live through life as an infertile. I was one for 6 years. And now, just like you, I help other women by sharing my experiences.
December 19, 2009 6:36 am
I’m trying REALLY HARD to speak up like you do. It takes serious guts to be the IF poster child. Most people are cowards though. Which means that people like you (and hopefully me at some point) are invaluable.
December 19, 2009 2:53 pm
This, as you know, is a supremely difficult topic to discuss. It takes a while to get comfortable … took my me several years and lots of hyperventilating along the way. I have no doubt you”ll get there.
December 29, 2009 1:58 pm
Finally got to listen to the show. He asked you some great questions, & (as usual) your answers were spot-on (too bad about the background noise, though!).
I’m one of those who finds it difficult to speak up about my infertility & childlessness (especially to DHAC fertiles) — but I am grateful that we have such a thoughtful & articulate spokesperson in you. : )
P.S. For anyone tuning in, Pamela’s segment starts around the 21-minute mark.