Cash Made Dreams: When Making a Baby is More About Filling Pockets Than Filling Homes

You know how much I believe in the healthy messages in and after the infertility journey; my messages like loss is loss, enoughs and everything, more than our numbers and the complicated gray. My advocacy work continues to struggle to get much footing, it seems the world continues to struggle with the story that didn't end with 2.5 kids.

Yet, I will keep writing, filming and shouting; speaking the unspoken and giving ears to the earless.

While I fight this battle, my friend and fellow warrior who fights like hell, Pamela Tsigdinos of Silent Sorority fights the battle of holding infertility clinics responsible for their level of patient care. Today, I had to share her newest piece, The Cash Cow in 'Fertility' Medicine, as it definitely resonated with me.

"The only paper at the ASRM event to discuss the infertility patient experience in the U.S. reveals only 29.4% of 499 surveyed agreed their nurse mentioned resources for emotional support. That’s truly disturbing given the level of distress raised earlier (Research reveals that distress from a cancer or infertility diagnosis is equivalent, however, cancer survivors have better emotional outcomes)."

~~~

For us, it wasn't until our second round where we only retrieved 1 egg that our doctor finally said the words (without any emotion in his voice or eye contact for that matter), "I am, of course, recommending another round, but I understand that sometimes people don't have the finances for it."

That 1 egg never became the healthy child in our arms. We also never had any follow up from our clinic besides a letter almost two months after we ended our journey without a baby saying they would always be there if we wanted to try again (read: $$$).

~~~

It is okay to stop. It is okay to stop putting cash in their pockets but most importantly it is okay to stop before it destroys everything good about you, your relationship and your finances.

It is also okay to keep going, only you know what your enoughs and everything is. However, you must also get counseling. This journey is simply too hard to survive, let alone thrive, without help and staying silent.

I also think and see, if you get help and you speak your truth, it could actually work more.

By God, I will get these messages to mainstream media, and especially, to the infertility clinics. Mostly because, the work I do in my office with clients going through the infertility journey and after is both the best and toughest work of my entire career.

Weirdly enough, it is also some of the easiest. Easy only in when we give ourselves permission to speak our truth and to walk into the muck of the complicated gray, life does truly awaken in color. The color and power to create our rainbow life, with or without the baby.

It is in this work, that I know without a shadow of a doubt that I was made the mother I was to help, to love, to speak and to help you do the same.

A Tale of Surviving and Thriving - What's Yours?

Silent Sorority

was the first book I ordered when searching for infertility books on Amazon five years ago. It was one of the only books I could find with a healthier message. It also inspired me to write

Ever Upward 

to join Pamela in shouting our missions of difficult conversations and healthier messages into this world. Little did I know the fellow warrior I would come to find and know in Pamela. I am excited and honored Pamela agreed to share her

#MoreThan1in8

submission with you all. We have a little less than two weeks before National Infertility Awareness week and I need more courage, more voices and more support. You can read more about the project

here

, I hope I squash any qualms you may have about going public there.

If we want more understanding and compassion from our world, we must tell our stories and ask for what we want and need. Help me to end the silence that surrounds infertility and loss by participating in this project.

Because together, we are #MoreThan1in8.

~~~

A Tale of Surviving and Thriving - What's Yours?

We live in an era where scientific and medical breakthroughs in the fertility world are a double edge sword. While we instinctively cheer for fertility successes, society -- and the medical community in particular -- lack a framework to help process the losses when success is elusive.

Nothing in our otherwise modern life fully prepares us for an infertility diagnosis. For those in the confounding 'unexplained infertility' category it can be particularly difficult to pick up the pieces and imagine surviving, let alone thriving. Those of us who have lived it know all too well there are no clear instructions on what it takes to embark on a life path that doesn’t involve parenting following fertility treatment losses. As I look back on that difficult period of life, there were many emotional and practical considerations that led us to acknowledge that it was time for us to find a way to move on.

In 2007, I began the long, slow process of healing and surviving by creating a safe place for me and other women embarking on a new life after confronting infertility. My first blog was appropriately titled Coming2Terms. An added benefit to opening up about the personal challenges that infertility inflicted has been exploring a universe of ideas and connecting with a remarkable set of women and men who are also busy healing, surviving and reinventing themselves.

My blog -- and later books and advocacy work -- have brought forth new understanding about the complex effects of infertility and catalyzed an important cultural discussion. Together with women like Justine and others around the globe, we continue to foster support and further education about the infertility experience. The stigmatization and pain is further complicated, we've learned, by an avoidable trauma:  abandonment by fertility clinics more interested in securing a new customer than in providing compassionate care to those grieving when science and Mother Nature don't result in a pregnancy or live birth. The lack of palliative care is particularly harsh for those reeling with complex emotions.  Sadly patient abandonment is prevalent in the fertility industry. In the past decade a chorus of voices has emerged calling for change.

In sharing what we’ve learned we not only offer camaraderie and celebrate new beginnings we ensure the next generation will be well informed and benefit from lessons learned.

To those just embarking on the path, I can assure you that after my grieving ended a lightness, an effervescence returned not only to my marriage, but to my friendships and relationships. I’ve tapped into a well of strength and resilience I didn’t know existed.  The love, acceptance and compassion have nurtured hope and happiness in a different form.

Pamela
Pamela

In thriving we have helped to showcase families after infertility in a new light.

We continue today, my husband and me, to push forward, to shape and define a life outside the more conventional path of parenting. We challenge each other to uncover new possibilities, to seek new adventures and discoveries that will enrich our understanding of the world and our place in it. That’s exactly what we would have encouraged our children to do.

~~~

Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos is the author of the award-winning memoir Silent Sorority. Her latest ebook is Finally Heard: A Silent Sorority Finds Its Voice.

In July 2015 her blog earned at Top Health Blognod from Time, Inc.'s Health Magazine. For more of her writing visit: Silent Sorority.com

The Bright Shining Light of Community

It has been a busy couple of days as Ever Upward has been featured a few times in the blogosphere. I am honored. I am grateful. I am excited!

And of course, I had to share!

Sarah at infertilityhonesty shared a satirical piece about the HuffPost debacle last week; read the Satirical Fairy Tale here.

Don't Talk About the Baby ran my guest piece, The Knowing Heart of Loss. Please support this film's Kickstarter campaign here.

Pamela Tsigdinos, author of Silent Sorority and Finally Heard, featured Ever Upward in her post today, called First We Get Really Uncomfortable...

Finally, I wrote a guest piece for Eva's World called Why Counseling Needs to Be Part of Our TTC Journey.

As always, thank you so much for the shares, the likes, the comments and simply your support and love!

Justine

Not Allowing Comparison to Steal Connection

I have been actively having to fight off the monsters of scarcity and comparison lately. In The Daring Way™ work, based off the research of Brené Brown, we talk about how scarcity and comparison always have seats in the arena. When we live our lives wholehearted and we choose to show up, be seen and live brave™, scarcity and comparison will always be lingering.

Scarcity: The idea that there is not enough to go around or that feeling that we will never be _________________ (pretty, thin, happy, rich, etc.) enough.

Comparison: Comparing our lives and our journey to the person next to us.

For years, I have told my clients that comparison is never really an accurate lens to view our truth through. When we really think about it our life is simply not comparable. No one has, nor will anyone ever, walk this earth that is exactly like us; never the same genes, the same life experience, never ever again.

How is that even close to comparable?

And, yet the world we live in teaches, preaches and pushes comparison as the only way to know that we are okay and doing okay.

Scarcity and comparison hit me hard last week after I had the honor of speaking with two authors I greatly admire. First, I connected with Pamela Tsigdinos, author of Silent Sorority and Finally Heard. Pamela is doing incredible work in the culture of infertility. I felt myself taking a deep breath after reading Finally Heard while saying to myself, "Yes, I must connect with her." While talking with Pamela she mentioned several names of other women in the not only survivor of infertility club but also in the childfree not by choice club; including Tracey.

I immediately googled Tracey  and knew I had to reach out to her. We scheduled to talk the very next day!

But, the comparison had already begun. I was both intimidated and jealous of how many endorsement quotes Tracey had for her book The Next Happy, let alone that she was backed by a big publisher.

My conversation with Tracey flowed so easily. It honestly was like talking to not only a fellow warrior, but also a true friend and colleague. Our stories are eerily parallel; from our career paths to what our books are about. I am thankful to have found these women, the women I feel more of a fitting in with, the survivors who infertility treatments did not work for.

The survivor who is living the childfree not by choice life, or what I call the childfull parent life.

The survivor who is demanding a change in our infertility community.

The survivor who knows these lifelong losses all too well.

And yet, very quickly that inner critic voice came in beating me into the dark with scarcity and comparison.

Ever Upward will never get big enough, you don't know the right people, no one will ever take the chance on you.

The big publisher will never notice this little book.

She already has the success, there is just not enough to go around.

You're not good enough.

You will always be in this 'nose to the grind stone, working your ass off in 3 jobs, never getting the big break, never being able to afford help' part of this entrepreneurship.

Scarcity and comparison settled in so much, that I was actually saying out loud, "She's a real published author," which did not go over well with Chad at all.

What I know, and what I trust, is that these messages are not my truth. I simply refuse to allow them to be. I also refuse to allow scarcity and comparison to keep me stuck in fear and therefore rip away the potential of what this could be; a brilliant piece to the ever upward puzzle.

 
 

A lot of this puzzle I create myself.

Ever Upward is a good book that is helping many people and is very much needed in this world. It will succeed, as it already is and it will continue to grow as it deserves.

There is plenty to go around. This will happen for me and Ever Upward, as it already is helping so many people. I am good enough. My work and my belief in myself will make it all happen.

And most of all, it is in my voice and my light, which has never existed before nor ever will exist again, and that is nothing short of a miracle.

But, most of all, this is my truth and it is brilliant and I wouldn't be honoring myself or happy if I wasn't writing, shouting, changing the world and connecting with others.

And so, I will thank my inner critic voice for trying to protect me, make me work hard, etc. and simply say thank you but no thank you (as I am learning in Tara Mohr's Playing Big).

I will hold on to what I know is my inner truth and light, and to these new and incredible relationships I am so thankful for and excited to see where they lead us.

Simply, I will not allow scarcity and comparison to steal away amazing connection.

Because I choose this wholehearted life; the life and the work of rising ever upward.

~~~

Ever Upward is selling, the reviews are positive...so what now? If you haven't left a review on Amazon, it would help a ton and mean so much to me! And, the biggest help is sharing about Ever Upward on your social media! What is your favorite quote? Where is your favorite reading spot? What have you implemented from Chapter 4-Choosing Change? Upload a post and a picture and tag me and Ever Upward for a chance to win an Ever Upwardjournal for FREE! Links: EU Facebook, Instagram (@jlbf4), Twitter (@JustineFroelker.