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Fertility Heroes

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a blog by Ellen Glazer, June 9, 2011

I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of CNN Heroes. I look forward each year to Thanksgiving night when CNN pays tribute to men and women doing remarkable things to help make the world a better place.

In a very different kind of way, I have my own heroes — “Infertility Heroes.” These are not the men and women who are developing new techniques for treating infertility — the fertility doctors (reproductive endocrinologists), the embryologists and the scientists developing new fertility drugs. Nor are they the people shepherding parents-in-waiting through the confusing and often arduous adoption process. Surely, many of these people are heroes as well and deserve recognition. But they are not the ones I am thinking of now.

I want to celebrate “unsung” heroes — women and men who find resourceful ways of facing and resolving their infertility.

Each week for the next month or so I will introduce a different “Infertility Hero” in this blog. I will begin each entry with “When I first met so-and-so ...” My reason for this is that everyone describes their experience as a “journey,” and my goal in these blog postings is to capture the nature of the journey. The women and men you will meet here do not all have unusual journeys, but each has courage, fortitude, and the ability to shift gears and to maintain a clear perspective on what really matters in life.

I hope you will look forward to meeting Lily, a mom through both egg donation and surrogacy; Joy, a single mother of two daughters adopted from Ethiopia; Laura and Tim, the parents of a Russian born sibling group; Cathy, who struggled with secondary infertility; and Jessica, a birthmother and adoptive mother; and Abby and Tom, the adoptive parents of three children of color. It was my great privilege to accompany all of them for part of the way on their journey to parenthood.

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