*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
Come on in. We’ve got room in front. Okay, everyone settled? Can you hear me in back? Good. Okay, I’ve got a few confessions to make.
First, I haven’t been completely silent these past six weeks. Those of you who follow me on Facebook or
Twitter know I’ve been writing for other sites during my Coming2Terms sabbatical. That’s right. I’ve been testing the waters and getting
comfortable writing for a wider audience. For instance:
- There’s my ongoing work to raise awareness about my book Silent Sorority (new reviews arriving regularly)
- There are my offbeat pieces like, “How Did I Get So Chesty,” which can be found on MORE magazine’s website
- My commentary on living without children in an era of helicopter parents, “No Kids?
Heap the Scorn, We’re Ready” lives on Open Salon
- My Barren Not Beaten column on Fertility Authority covers a range of topics like my review of the movie Up
As those of you who have been with me from the beginning well know I started this blog feeling broken, empty, isolated — in a word: LOST. I’d been living with infertility for more than a decade and,
at 43, found myself confronted with the unthinkable. Infertility treatment of all sorts had proven futile. Time was running out on a spontaneous, miraculous pregnancy and that stark realization
flattened me. I was angry, bitter, despairing, prickly. I felt my body had betrayed me. I felt massively misunderstood and, not surprisingly, I didn’t like the world very much.
A spin through my earliest posts reveals that I channeled my blackest ire at women who conceived easily. There were even days when I felt positively hateful toward once infertile women who succeeded
where I didn’t. At times their comments felt disingenuous. Their glowing posts were a stake in my fragile heart. “Look at me, I’m so very pregnant now! Here’s my belly (which you’ll never
have… .) to prove it!”
Yes, I confess that I never came right out and said it then, but those posts cut deeper in some ways than hearing about pregnancies from women who had never visited …
Uh, oh. I detect some growing pains. The signs are all there. You know, when you wake up and get the sense of being torn in different directions? It’s not simply a question of bagel&hellip
An an infertile (that’s right, all you “as a moms,” … we infertiles can invoke superiority, too!), I’m happy to report that there’s finally a movie coming to theater near you that contains
a story line that portrays infertiles as endearing, not selfish … sweet, not reviled or pitied.
Time magazine says the movie, Up, will
prove to be one of the most satisfying movie experiences of the year. Hallelujah! It’s about freakin‘ time. Hollywood has some serious making up to do for consistently negative story lines
about my people. Time‘s Richard Corliss writes:
“Spanning two continents and seven decades, Up begins in a 1930s movie theater. A newsreel tells us that famous explorer Charles Muntz (voiced by Christopher Plummer) is just back
from South America’s remote Paradise Falls with the bones of a prehistoric bird. Denounced as a fraud by archaeologists, Muntz vows to retrieve a member of the species and bring it back alive. In the
audience, wearing aviator goggles atop his thick-rimmed specs, is young Carl Fredricksen, who is enthralled by Muntz’s motto, ‘There’s adventure out there!’
“On the way home, Carl finds a kindred spirit: a girl named Ellie, as vivacious as he is stolid, who harbors the same dream of visiting Paradise Falls. It’s love at first sight, and in a
tender montage, Up shows us their life together: the wedding, the fixing up of their home, the quiet walks, their respective jobs at the local zoo (she tending the animals, he selling
balloons), their eager preparations for a child they later learn they can’t have, their need to defer the big trip to pay for home improvements, then her slowing pace and death. This series of
vignettes is played without dialogue and underscored by Michael Giacchino’s wistful waltz. It’s the sweetest, saddest 4 1⁄2 minutes you’ll ever see on film.”
Some remarkable milestones to report:
1) I was pea green with envy yesterday, but not for the usual reason (that’s right folks, pregnancy was not involved!) ….
2) A new work acquaintance asked me if I had children and my first instinct was not to throw something at him.
I think both episodes show signs of progress, yes? Okay, the details.
I’ve been working a few days a week at a really interesting startup where the only downside is that it requires 60-90 minutes of drive time each way. Since I abhor long, slow commutes I try to
distract myself with NPR stories. Yesterday’s feature had me wrestling with the ugly green monster.
Why? The guest was a new author talking about her book chronicling her experience, at 37, to freeze her
eggs. Ah, you say, you envy her the access to a new, promising reproductive technology? No actually, I envied her the slot she scored on NPR’s Talk of the Nation discussing her new book.
I laughed at the realization that I’d graduated from pregnancy envy to book envy. In each case I have had to work harder to get fewer results. You’ve got to admit the parallels are ironic. First, I
couldn’t get pregnant while doing everything required and then some while everyone around me was getting knocked up right and left. And, now, at a time when I finally delivered my book about the hidden tolls of living in an era of designer babies and clinics marketing fertility for all, I’m reminded again that mainstream media
has a fascination with making babies, but they’re less interested in what happens when all the whiz bang technology doesn’t deliver on its promise.
Ah well, I’m getting very comfortable being the Rodney Dangerfield of reproductive technology outcomes (and books about them).
Now, for item numero dos. For years I avoided any and all social and work situations that might land me in the middle of small talk with new people. I was expert at the handshake and run. It was my
way of self protection and a sure fire means of avoiding the evitable question about …
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.
Well, heeeellllllooooo! Had enough, yet, of the Mother’s Day marketing? Just a few more days, ladies, and then we can look forward to the distractions caused the barrage of email marketing associated with May 18&hellip
M E M O R A N D U M To: The Month May From: Pamela Jeanne Subject: Go Easy On the Life Stuff, ‘Kay? cc: Coming2Terms Readers We all know that I’m just now&hellip
We’re days away from from a certain “M” day. I know, as in years past, that if I’m out and about the second Sunday in May, I’ll get more than one person wishing me a&hellip
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&hellip