... when sperm and egg stubbornly remain apart


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Sunday, April 15, 2012


I’m not chicken.

But when it comes to bio-baby ability, I’m an old hen. My five years of fighting infertility are never far from my mind. Now that we’re over Friday the 13, 2012, let’s focus on what for so many women is the real day we dread. Mother’s Day is nigh.

We don’t have to run around like chickens sans heads. And I refuse to believe the sky is falling. That’s why in 2004 I founded National Infertility Survival Day®, celebrated annually the first Sunday in May — the Sunday before Mother’s Day.

In the eight years since, many people have asked me, essentially, what’s the point. Some have tried to argue that “survival” should be reserved for those who conquer life-or-death circumstances. Not so.

For every person who doesn’t get it, here’s the scoop: I started National Infertility Survival Day® for the women who sit crying and praying silently in the pews on Mother’s Day, while those around them exalt the moms they wish so deeply they can become.

For my dear friend who recently suffered another miscarriage. For a far away colleague and all the others who, after blissful, full-term pregnancies, had to go through labor to deliver babies that just couldn’t make it into this world. For every woman who has lost a child they thought would be theirs in yet another way. A failed adoption. For the e-mailer from New Zealand who’s heart pulls her toward adoption, but whose purse pulls the plug.

People, if these are not survivors, maybe I am a chicken after all.

But when I look in the mirror, I see a survivor. A woman who wrote and published a book called Infertility Sucks, Keeping it all together when sperm and egg stubbornly remain apart. Ten years ago, before the Internet grew up, before people were talking publicly about infertility and adoption. Before books saying that divorce and cancer suck, which of course, they certainly do; or people routinely fused “infertility” and “sucks” together in countless blogs. Even before Resolve, the national infertility group, moved its annual National Infertility Awareness Week from autumn to join this new party for the previously uncelebrated to the week before Mother’s Day. 

A woman who created National Infertility Survival Day® for you. Because you need to understand.

It’s also for the women who discover National Infertility Survival Day® each year only after Mother’s Day festivities have already made them feel like the sole recipients of not a dozen roses, but a dozen curses. I hope you see this in 2012 first. And carry it with you through every year.

I am still infertile. All these years later. And I also have found peace. I wish you the same. And soon.

Happy National Infertility Survival Day® to all my heroes.

9:23 am edt          Comments

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Word on the web: 

"Very funny, brutally honest, on the mark and well written, Barna gave the world a gift when she wrote this book!"

"I have found this book to be very helpful in supporting and dealing with the emotions of my spouse as we go through our IVF journey. The book really helped me understand the delicate emotions of someone experiencing infertility and how comments like "relax", "stop worrying about it", etc. actually do more harm than help. As a result, I am much more supportive in this IVF cycles than I have been in other cycles because I changed the focus of my comments and have avoided saying the wrong thing." 

"I would recommend this book to anyone who is having difficulties getting pregnant, starting treatment, or have been through treatments to read this book. It really helped me. My husband and I went through 1 1/2 years of treatment before taking a break to get back our lives. When we decided to start back TTC after a year of nothing I bought this book and read it cover to cover in one day. It gave me the emotional strength to start over again. We are still in the process but whenever I feel down on myself I just pick the book up (which I keep next to my bed!) and read a few pages it helps me to focus and get my head back to being me and not about the problems! It helped me laugh at the treatments, my husband, and myself again!" 

"A truly excellent book. It is funny, sad, deep, and very touching."




Infertility Sucks! Rocks!
Thanks for visiting. Whether you're a fellow traveler on the road nobody ever wants directions to, or a witness to the human travesty that is infertility, I hope you find warmth, comfort, courage and humor on these cyber pages -- and throughout your longer journey.

All best,
Beverly Barna