Finally Heard: A Silent Sorority Finds Its Voice is an intentionally short ebook designed in the Kindle Singles model. It incorporates wisdom from ‘Generation IVF’ designed to spark discussion about infertility and the little discussed aftermath of fertility treatments.
Behind the Writing
My life changed after emerging as a reluctant spokeswoman on infertility in 2008. The transformation started when a health reporter from The New York Times asked if I’d be willing to openly discuss my infertility experience. I described the stubborn persistence of the condition and the lack of a cultural framework to process the losses. An accompanying health feature story produced astonishment and relief that someone was candidly addressing the trauma and legacy of infertility.
Soon thereafter I wrote what became an award-winning book called Silent Sorority. In the first memoir on infertility not authored by a mother, my writing explored the complicated, disenfranchised grief and identity issues following prolonged failed attempts to conceive. Now 10 years outside of the grief I once felt so viscerally comes Finally Heard: The Silent Sorority Finds Its Voice (May 1, 2015).
Finally Heard moves beyond the personal to examine the complex inter-relationship of the psychological, social and cultural implications of ‘Generation IVF.’ Today’s cultural preoccupation with parenting and the growing commercial focus of the for-profit fertility industry has birthed a fear-driven patient/consumer population and society ill-equipped to process reproductive failure. Finally Heard makes clear that the disproportionate emphasis on ‘magical thinking’ has bred an expectation of parenthood that makes pushing forward in a different direction seem like giving up rather than succeeding at something truly remarkable: reinvention.
Read early reviews here.
June 28, 2016 10:12 am
I’m Sarah, from Australia, 40 years old and have given up on IVF and facing the battle to accept that it’s not going to happen. I’ve just read your first book, and looking forward to the second one for looking forwards. I wanted to thank you for writing and sharing your life story. I also watched the TV interview, you said something about how we don’t have a cultural framework for infertility and it reminded me of a term I learnt of through my work called disenfranchised grief. You probably know the term, but it fits so well for infertility. There is shame and sometimes judgement attached to infertility, and we don’t publicly or societally validate the associated grief (although thankfully very special individual friends and family may do), and it makes it so much harder to process. It makes for a very complicated grief. Thanks for making it feel slightly less complicated!
June 29, 2016 1:04 am
Thank you so much for your kind comment. Yes, disenfranchised grief and its impact packs a huge punch. So glad you are now feeling heard and validated. xo
August 16, 2016 1:34 am
Speaking of disenfranchised! Oh well, I understand… I’ll carry myself and my pain elsewhere… Sorry to have cluttered up your comments with my heart… Hope your book is selling well…
August 16, 2016 4:42 pm
Glen: Your earlier comment got stuck in the spam filter, but by all means thank you for sharing.
I also want to point you to the last several posts involving men over here on my more current blog:
January 1, 2019 10:01 pm
Hi Pamela , I just finished reading your book and I must say I found it quite touching and relatable. I’m 31 years old from North Carolina , currently smack In the middle of my ivf treatment. One more cycle to go to see if this will work for us ….. I picked up the drugs last week so I’m sure you can imagine my anxiety level right now prior to starting what be my last chance. I wanted to thank you first off because your book sheds light on what I feel every single day. I even changed jobs due to some “stigma” issues with a former manager regarding my treatments. People can be so heartless and quoting you on this, it must suck for them to have compassion fatigue. You have insipried me to stay silent no more and to fight for some boundaries and acknowledgement when it comes to the muddy waters of infertility. Thank you for using your voice !
January 11, 2019 6:57 pm
Thanks, Charity. Means a great deal to know that you’ve found your voice! Also appreciate all your kind words. Peace and strength to you, my friend.
May 19, 2021 1:41 pm
I also want to echo the thanks expressed here. It takes an enormous amount of strength and courage to make a meaning out of the trauma that happens to us. More so, to expose our personal story so others are sensitized. Your book helped me frame my own feelings and thoughts. It also helped me normalize the spectrum of emotions, which I resisted at times or felt ashamed of, given my upbringing (relating to the catholic education), and the extent to which I felt isolated during this experience. I am still at the anger stage, and I have endured several losses (other than miscarriages) to know that the process will not be linear. I think my rage stems also from the fact that my personal case is avoidable if the system where I grew up provided proper sexual education at early age, and medicine is more considerate towards women reproductive health. My efforts to raise awareness among my friends started, slowly though, as I am still dealing with my own self.
It is hopeful to see, through your story and others testimonies, that although we will emerge from this experience not the same, we can have the power to choose who we want to become.
June 6, 2022 2:42 am
Belated thanks, Darine! It’s been a long year and challenging year for different reasons. I apologize for not seeing your comment until now. I hope you are finding the strength and peace needed to carry on and help others fully comprehend what you’ve lived through. I honor and respect all you’ve endured, dear Darine, and hope that your rage has powered you to a new place of equanimity and resilience! xx