Memo to The Fertile Community

Yes, Virginia, There Are Lovely “Fertiles” Out There

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M E M O R A N D U M

To: The Fertile Community
From: The Infertile Community
RE: Bridging the Chasm Caused by Infertility

We’re talking about you, and, I confess, it’s not always in a good way. We spend a fair amount of time in the infertility community sharing anecdotes about how little our “fertile” friends, family
and acquaintances “get us.” You give us lots of good material to work with. Just a few days ago, The Wall Street Journal (who would have thought?) had a blog post up, The Swell Season: Haunted by Reminders of Infertility, that provided some examples
of the typical casual dismissals and a few downright, huhs?

For instance someone (clearly fertile) likened infertility to “an allergy that you ‘should just accept’ and move on from…”

Um, I have allergies and I am infertile. So not even in the same ballpark.

And from the woman who had an easy pregnancy, “why shouldn’t I be able to gloat? I was the happiest pregnant woman out there and only gained 15-18 lbs total.”

Is gloating ever a good thing? Heads up, gloating girl, here’s the definition: To feel or express great, often
malicious, pleasure or self-satisfaction.
Now I just hope your son/daughter doesn’t face infertility ’cause I get the feeling you’re not going to handle it very well…

To be fair there were also some comments surmising that infertility would likely be difficult to experience:  “I think that extended infertility and/or the thought that I would never have kids
would be pretty hard to take.” BINGO!

But in this time of brotherly love, I do want to highlight those who DO get us — one couple in particular shared a level of sensitivity and understanding that truly stands apart. They are the
latest recipients of the Coming2Terms Act of Kindness Award. …

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Our Next Guest: An Infertile Woman

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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&hellip

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Moms: We Hear You Loud and Clear

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Updated to share two links revealing a reality different than what the conventional mom community experiences:

Ack! What’s going on? If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d be convinced we were in the midst of a well-coordinated, full-on assault against those who can’t or don’t have children.

You may recall the judgmental Orlando Sentinel Mom’s at Work blog I referenced in my last post. Who knew it was the tip of the iceberg?
This week Mika Brzezinski weighs in.
Mika, Mika, Mika…I really expected more from you. We’re contemporaries. I watched you tackle tough topics as a reporter, saw you anchor the weekend national
news. Did you really write not one but two posts all but arguing that children are
essential to fulfillment
?

“Women face enough pressures and challenges in a workplace that is still depressingly biased against a female’s success. Add to that, the fact that the very thing many women I know find
most rewarding (having kids) is now frowned upon.”

Having kids is now frowned upon? Mika, you must be seriously distracted to have missed out of the whole mommy movement. Just check out Mom’s
Rising
or Mom 2.0 Summit or the Motherhood Project or Maria
Shriver’s latest report, A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything. As Melanie Notkin points out in her editor’s note on Savvy Auntie the report weirdly overlooked the fact that not all women are mothers:

“The study, meant to change the way government policy and businesses modernize with the new standing of women in the economy – a change I completely support – interchanges the word
“woman” with “mother” so often it’s as if all women are mothers.”

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45 Years After Rossi, Mommies Propagate Prejudice

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It’s been a very long time since I sat in the Frieze Building on the University of Michigan campus taking notes in a women’s studies course. While I registered mainly for administrative reasons (the session&hellip

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Hell Hath No Fury Like a Womb Scorned

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It’s been quite a while since I felt compelled to include a blog post in the “Memo to the Fertile Community” category, but what comes next fit like a glove and then some. BTW: credit&hellip

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memo

A Conversation Starter for Moms and Dads*

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*Who have never stepped foot in a doctor’s office to discuss why they are having trouble conceiving It’s not easy to explain why the question, “do you have children?,” can cut like a knife.  With&hellip

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mother's day ban

Mother’s Day: From Meh to Arrghh!

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Newsflash: Non-moms do not represent a unified voting block, as evidenced by the 46 responses to my recent request for non-mom perspectives about Mother’s Day
on HARO. Much of the differences in opinion stemmed from the circumstances that led to being a non-mom (e.g. those who chose not to have
children vs. those who wanted children but weren’t able to).

Sure there are some — yours truly being one — who find the over-the-top mommy marketing palooza hard to stomach, but other non-moms take a more zen-like approach. Where we can all agree, though,
is around the idea that all women — not just mothers — deserve a nod for all they do for their families, communities and the world at large. Here, in their own words, are more thoughts from
non-moms on Mother’s Day.

Thank you!! It is nice to see someone willing to acknowledge that there are woman not called ‘mother’ out here. Gritting my teeth is exactly the way I get through it. Every commercial
for mother’s day has me running for the remote control. Any other channel will do. I feel anger at the assumption that all women must be or will become a mother. My mantra becomes soon another
‘holiday’ will be here and they’ll forget all about this mother’s day business.But it is all around you. In the magazines, on the TV talk shows, ‘news’ shows, entertainment; talk about who is
pregnant, how awful it would be to not experience the wonderfulness of pregnancy and having children. It seems when the childless woman is mentioned it is as the butt of jokes or with a sad shake of
the head, if she gets thought about at all. I wish there was a better way to get through it than Haagen Daas, Hershey’s and trying to close it out of your hearing and your mind.
–Lee

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What Does Choice Have to Do With It? Plenty

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#200320542-002 / gettyimages.com Hat tips to Liana and to Christina, two smart and sassy online pals who exercise my brain and challenge my thinking in a good way. Each pointed me to articles in the&hellip

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infertility

Infertility and Fighting Words

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Infertility. Whenever I start wondering if I’ve said all there is to say on the topic and the many ways the experience is misunderstood I find more raw material. Two good reasons for writing came&hellip

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Aha! The Origins of “Just Relax”

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You may recall me mentioning a book called Infertility Around the Globe: New Thinking on Childlessness, Gender and Reproductive Technologies. While it’s not exactly light reading (though academic tomes rarely are), it contains some intriguing&hellip

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