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Conversation with an Infertility Counselor

I'm Ellen Glazer and I'm a clinical social worker and writer who has combined my personal and professional experiences to co-author several books on the various issues surrounding fertility struggles.

I graduated from social work school in the early 1970's, encountered infertility in the late 1970's, became a mom in the early 80's (through adoption and birth) and then focussed my practice on infertility, pregnancy loss, adoption, gamete donation, surrogacy and parenting after infertility.

I meet with individuals, couples and groups and do phone consultations and counseling for people who live at a distance. I have also done a good deal of writing and public speaking in the field of infertility. In addition to articles and essays, I have authored or co-authored seven books, most recent being Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation (co-authored with Dr. Evelina Sterling). The second edition of Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation, also co-authored with Dr. Evelina Sterling, is set for release in June 2013 through Jessica Kingsley Publishers in England.

You can find out more about me here.

Posts

a blog by Ellen Glazer, April 22, 2014

Winter came early this year and surely overstayed its welcome. Spring is taking its old slow time in getting here. But National Infertility Awareness Week is right on time! From where I stand, the timing couldn’t be better.

Perfect Egg Donor

a blog by Ellen Glazer, March 28, 2014

Over the last several years I have learned a lot about how women and men go about choosing egg donors. The process, which was once mystifying, now seems much more predictable and understandable than I thought years ago.

Adoption Grants

a blog by Ellen Glazer, March 14, 2014

I recently did a homestudy for a couple who spent years doing cycles of IVF long after they had any real hope of it working. When I asked them about this, they readily acknowledged that they’d known for a long time that it wouldn't work. So why did they keep going? “It was practically free,” they said, “Our insurance paid all but our small co-payment. And we couldn't afford adoption.”

a blog by Ellen Glazer, February 28, 2014

One of the most effective ways of dealing with infertility is to connect with others going through a similar experience. I have found this to be especially true for women who so often cherish the opportunity to connect with others, to share and to feel that they are no longer”going it alone.” Infertility friends can be an enormous source of support and comfort and companionship. That is until she gets pregnant.

Learning that your infertility buddy is pregnant may bring on a flood of unanticipated feelings. You prepared long ago for the sting that comes when a fertile friend announces she is pregnant, but you thought it would be completely different if you heard this news from someone struggling as you are. Why then, you wonder, does it hurt so very much when you hear this news from an infertility buddy? I think there are a few reasons….

a blog by Ellen Glazer, February 14, 2014

Anyone who has ever gone through infertility or suffered a miscarriage knows how painful it is when someone says to you, “Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.” When a close friend or family member say this, it elicits all sorts of emotions—and none of them feel good. Worse still is when you are the one wondering “Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a parent?” or “Maybe we weren’t meant to have another child?” or “Maybe this pregnancy that I wanted so deeply was not meant to continue?”

Now here is some good news. People choosing other paths to parenthood—adoption, egg and sperm donation, surrogacy--, often find comfort in “the meant to be.” You hear it all the time: “you will get the baby that is meant for you” or “I found a donor with whom I share uncanny connections.” I know that it can sound “soppy” or “schmaltzy,” but ask any adoptive parent or one who conceived with the help of a donor, if they have a sense that this is what was “meant to be” and they will reply without hesitation that it was. The Chinese call it “the Red Thread,” declaring that there is an invisible red thread that connects people who belong together.

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