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a blog by the editors
It’s time I came out of the closet: I work for FertilityAuthority but, unlike most of my colleagues, I’ve never struggled with infertility. I had my first daughter at 36 and my second at 39. I had no idea how lucky I was. Ok, that was 12 years ago, but no one (ahem . . . my OB/GYN) ever told me my fertility was at risk.
Now, I live and breathe infertility. I tell any women in her 20s I meet that she should consider freezing her eggs . . . and I mean it. I see people struggle every day. It is heartbreaking.
I think I can imagine how it feels, but, in fact, I cannot. No matter how empathetic I am, I cannot possibly know what it really feels like to want a baby so bad but not be able to get pregnant, I cannot feel the sorrow of multiple miscarriages, how it hurts to shoot myself up with hormones, or to wonder why, why, my infertility remains a mystery.
Last week, I finished blogger Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos’ book Silent Sorority: A (Barren) Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found and I feel like I got two steps closer to understanding the shattering effects infertility can have.
I knew Pamela was infertile, I’d followed her Coming2Terms: Barren and Beautiful blog before I offered her her own blog, Barren not Beaten, on FertilityAuthority, but ironically, she was never defined by her infertility. I thought of her as a writer, a venture captitalist, a savvy marketer, a story teller.
Reading her book Silent Sorority made me realize that her infertility has defined her. It is a memoir that tells her story from beginning to end. She struggled to have a baby, she did not have a baby, and has moved on – sort of.
If you are battling fertility or have a friend or family member who wants/needs to try to understand how infertility changes everything, I recommend Pamela’s book. It’s an easy read, one I finished in three nights. And Pam’s a good writer. She has the gift of using humor to get through the pain and she just nails the irony of life as a “non-mom.”
While it’s not a “how to” book, Pamela writes about many of the experiences she faced head-on as an infertile (birth announcements galore, in-your-face trips to the grocery store, statements of “you can just adopt,” important business dinners when talk turns to children). She also talks a fair amount about infertility’s punch-to-the-gut of marriage. She candidly exposes how infertility has affected her relationship with her husband, Alex, and how they have worked to make their lives full and happy. . (I must say, maybe Pam’s relationship just looks good on paper, but it looks good (better than my own, to be honest)).
Pamela is a “veteran” of infertility and she has chosen to devote part of her life to helping others ride its rollercoaster.
She is an open book, pardon the pun, and I guarantee you will learn from her.
I know I did.