Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Flying the Non-Mom Banner October 22, 2012

My fellow bloggie friend, Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos, is always one to proudly fly the childfree flag. If you’ve read her book, Silent Sorority, or visited her blog by the same name, you’ll also know that she speaks on this topic with intellect and eloquence.
This week, Pamela will be hosting a 5-day Open Salon alongside infertility advocate, Keiko Zoll. Although now on opposite post-infertlity paths (Pamela is child free; Keiko is in the early stages of a donor egg pregnancy), I know that these two women will provide a lively and intelligent discussion on the topics of infertility, motherhood, and the childfree option. If you’d like to tune in and follow along, here’s where you’ll find the conversations this week:
To Mom or Not to Mom: A 5-Day Open Salon on Infertility, Motherhood and the Silent Sorority
Welcome to our open salon, hosted by Keiko of The Infertility Voice and Pamela of Silent Sorority. We created this open salon to discuss both sides of the motherhood debate from our unique perspectives in a responsorial fashion between our two blogs.Over the next five days and culminating in an open Twitter discussion #ALIMomSalon this Friday at 12:30pm EDT, we seek to parse out the concerns and vulnerabilities of transition within the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) community without tripping over political correctness and delicate sensibilities.We hope you’ll join us every day this week and will be inspired to add your own responses in the comments here and at (the other person’s) blog and even by writing your own blog posts about this salon too!

Monday- intro to the conversation setup & first topic
At The Infertility Voice: Dealing with Survivor’s Guilt
At The Silent Sorority: Dealing with the Mommy Waiting Room

Tuesday – we write from opposing POVs
TIV: Accepting reality when motherhood won’t be happening
SS: Finding a place in a new world and reconciling conflicted emotions

Wednesday – addressing The Mommy Phenomenon
TIV: The Queendom of Mommyhood
SS: The Consequences of Placing Moms on Pedestals

Thursday – To Pass or to Stick Out: when to make infertility part of the conversation

Friday – Twitter Chat, 12:30-1:30pm EST #ALIMomSalon
Recap/reflection posts at TIV and SS

 

Infertility 101 April 25, 2011

Although I know that many of you have more education than you’d like on the subject of infertility, my goal this week is to get the word out there, and offer as much information as possible for people who don’t know about or understand infertility.

Here is Infertility 101, from the RESOLVE website:

Infertility 101: Get the Facts

What is infertility?
Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system often diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has suffered from multiple miscarriages and the woman is under 35 years of age. If the woman is over 35 years old, it is diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse.

Who gets it?
Infertility is a medical problem. Approximately 30% of infertility is due to a female factor and 30% is due to a male factor. In the balance of the cases, infertility results from problems in both partners or the cause of the infertility cannot be explained.

What are the risk factors?

  • Weight
  • Age
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Tubal Disease
  • Endometriosis
  • DES Exposure
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

What are the signs and symptoms?
Often there are no signs or symptoms associated with an infertility problem. Listening to your body and getting regular checkups will help to detect a problem. Early detection and treatment of a problem are often critical in achieving successful pregnancy outcomes later.

How is infertility treated?
Medical technology now offers more answers and treatment options to men and women trying to conceive a child. From hormonal treatments, ovulation induction and Intrauterine insemination to more advanced technologies like in vitro fertilization, ICSI to surrogacy, egg/sperm donation and even embryo donation. For more information on treatment of infertility visit the Family Building Options section of our site.

What medications are used?
There are a variety of medications used to treat infertility. It is important to understand the medications and what their purpose is and to speak with your physician about the medications that will be used in your specific treatment plan. Read more about Fertility Medications.

What is artificial insemination?
Artificial insemination is now more commonly referred to as IUI (intrauterine insemination). It is a procedure used for couples with unexplained infertility, minimal male factor infertility, and women with cervical mucus problems. The procedure uses the husband’s or donor’s sperm, washing and treating the sperm, and then injecting it into the woman during the time of ovulation. Read more about IUI.

What is In Vitro or IVF?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) gets its name from the fact that fertilization occurs outside of the woman’s body, in a lab dish instead of a woman’s fallopian tubes. Typically, a woman will use ovulation stimulating drugs to produce an excess number of eggs. These eggs are surgically removed from the woman and fertilized in dish with sperm. If fertilization takes place, the physician transfers the embryo(s) into the women’s uterus. Read more about IVF.

How can I find an infertility specialist?
Visit RESOLVE’s Professional Service Directory to find an infertility specialist in your area or visit www.sart.org.

Can my OB/GYN treat me?
In many cases the difficulty experienced in becoming pregnant can be resolved by a gynecologist without a referral to a specialist. Often the problem comes down to timing intercourse with ovulation, which may be assessed using one of the over-the-counter urine LH test kits (ovulation predictor tests). Your OB/GYN can also conduct a basic infertility evaluation. If a problem is found during your evaluation and for more complex fertility issues, it is advised to see a specialist.

What questions should I ask my doctor?
It is important to go into the visit with your doctor prepared. Visit the “Downloads section” of this site which covers important questions to ask your physician on a variety of topics.

Also, if you haven’t yet seen Keiko Zoll’s excellent video, What IF? please take a look. She captures all the questions that ran through my head and then turns the idea around.

 

Too Perplexed to Be Outraged April 14, 2011

You’ve probably seen the news this week about PETA’s vasectomy campaign and National Infertility Awareness Week. If not, here’s a quick rundown.

– PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) announced an upcoming campaign to offer a free vasectomy to a man who has his dog neutered.

 

– PETA then launched the campaign “in honor” of National Infertility Awareness Week.

 

– Blogger and IF advocate Keiko Zoll launched a petition and email/phone crusade against PETA’s campaign.

 

– PETA agreed to remove any reference to National Infertility Awareness Week from the campaign.

You can follow along as the story unfolded on Keiko’s blog.

I must confess that I was not one of the bloggers and infertility advocates that participated in the petition to PETA. I’m afraid to say that this was one of those occasions where I was too stunned for action. I never quite got to the point at being outraged about the lack of respect for the infertility community, because I could never get beyond the whole bizarre nature of the campaign itself.

As much as I support responsible pet ownership, I’m also personally aware of the consequences of human vasectomy. Voluntary human sterilization isn’t something that should be taken lightly or undertaken without weighing all the pros and cons. It certainly isn’t something appropriate to be won in a contest.

So, while Keiko Zoll was fighting and winning her battle, I’m afraid I was sitting here scratching my head trying to make some sense of the campaign. I never even got to the stage of trying to find some tenuous connection between voluntarily vasectomy and infertility.

I applaud Keiko for fighting the fight for the Infertility community and I continue to puzzle over the inner workings of PETA’s marketing department.