Hold me back

(116 posts)(34 voices)
  1. edited to shorten my comments...

    I really hate the mantra to "never give up" and to "keep your dreams alive" because those values can be harmful sometimes.

    Sometimes realistically some patients do need to let go and give up when treatment is deemed to be not medically advised any longer, or if they no longer have the capacity to continue.

    I think it can be more courageous to be able to give up on a dream.

    I really hate when people say that people infertile people can "choose" to live child free. Sometimes, you LIVE with it, you don't always "choose" it because you choose not to embrace the adoption (or other) options.

  2. There is a sumwhat partronising and defensive reply posted by her now.


  3. EQ, I LOVE you, I think that was you who said what i wanted to say only much much betterPosted under Karen? That's me.

  4. Only if you yell "Oh God oh God oh God" when it happens...But that's kind of like saying "Thank You" right?

  5. This shite works for people who have never really had to face anything truly difficult. They need a little mental feel-good to keep themselves going until it works out, because it will, because they are in the 98% of people for whom it will work eventually if they just tough it out long enough.My therapist said to me the other day that only true grown-ups can admit that sometimes you just aren't going to get what you want. We pretty much agreed that we live in an entire world of children.

    I f*cking love this post! Thank you. You've summed up in a couple of sentences what I've been thinking for a long time now without really realising it.

  6. I think we might be reading this wrong. Or more accurately, I think she's a poor writer. It sounds to me like she is putting DOWN the Secret.

    This may be the sentence causing most of the trouble.

    "I do believe that we can want something so badly that if we put our whole self into our desires, and open to the “idea” of what we want instead of how it is suppose to happen (the specific paths and outcome) - that our dreams can come true."

    It\'s so poorly written I had to read it a few times to get what she meant. But this is what I think she's saying.

    We\'d all prefer to conceive naturally and easily, but for many of us that isn't possible. Rather than getting hung up on the path to parenthood we should focus on the goal--parenthood itself. By focusing on the final destination it opens up a number of new paths--IVF, donor eggs, embryos and of course adoption.

    success mentioned

    I also think when she was talking about her success, she worded it poorly. Again, I think what she is saying is, she did not will (or "positively think") her children into being, but by opening herself to a different path (IVF) she increased her likelihood of success.

    Here\'s the part I'm most conflicted about...

    "What is the secret? In my mind - it is about keeping your dreams alive, being open to all the different paths that we can go down to find our dreams - and an understanding that our dreams sometimes come to us in a package that we never expected it. For me, it is always about about never giving up, and putting my foot in front of the next. I have always encouraged myself to get up when I have fallen down - sometimes after a good cry. But I get up again. It is how I live my life - and somehow I always find that when I get up again - I always seem to find another door to walk through."

    I'm conflicted because it addresses a theme we talk about frequently on this board--healing. For some of us success will never come. Will there be a new life, new dreams for those who end up child-free-not-by-choice? Yet another path that they weren't open to initially but ends up being fulfilling eventually? It must happen, but it's hard to imagine.

  7. I think we might be reading this wrong.

    I agree, some of what she was trying to say was misunderstood (by how it was presented).

    I do have a problem with this part though.

    Here\'s the part I'm most conflicted about...

    "What is the secret? In my mind - it is about keeping your dreams alive, being open to all the different paths that we can go down to find our dreams - and an understanding that our dreams sometimes come to us in a package that we never expected it. For me, it is always about about never giving up, and putting my foot in front of the next. "

    For some of us success will never come. Will there be a new life, new dreams for those who end up child-free-not-by-choice? Yet another path that they weren't open to initially but ends up being fulfilling eventually? It must happen, but it's hard to imagine.

    To me it implies that it is always "virtuous" to never give up, to keep your dreams alive...and if you keep trying... and the reward at the end will be wonderful, even if it is different path. I think that is a set-up for failuare and blame.

    If you really want a biological child, and you can't achieve that, and adoption isn't an option for you for whatever reason (or other 'paths' are not for you) then it must be because YOU chose not to be "open" to different paths, or gave up, didn't keep your dreams or come up wiht an "alternate" dream to pursue.

    It feels like if you don't adjust your dreams when the original one fails, then it is your fault if you are heartbroken at not getting "a" or your "dream".

    Maybe that isn't the point, but it feels like that is the message.

  8. Interesting. I think I can see both sides of this one.

    I guess in the end it depend on how you define your "dream." If one's dream really and truly is simply "to be a parent, no matter what," then one would inherently be open to considering other paths - I even know one single woman of limited means who poured years and all her money on treatments, with no success. There was no way she could afford traditional adoption, nor would she have been approved for one, so she ended up adopting a 17-year old boy from the foster system. She's ecstatic.

    On the other hand, if your dream is "to be a parent, within a certain range of possible circumstances I am comfortable with," that is a different statement. And a youngihmfectly fine statement, don't get me wrong - I'm the one that said no to raising two disabled children. But if your dream is qualified like this, then the whole "keep the dream alive" thing may ultimately hit a breaking point.

    The problem I have with what this woman has written, and with the majority of the so-called "supportive, inspirational" things people say to us, is that they are making a pretty baldfaced assumption that everyone's dream is (or *should* be) the first one I spoke about above: to be a parent, no matter what. So if you put qualifications on it, they say you are squashing your dream. But it's *not* your dream, which is what they don't seem to get.

    That said, I do think it is always virtuous to never give up searching for a meaningful life, to keep putting one foot in front of the other in the direction of *a* dream. The thing is, sometimes you have to let one dream die, because it just isn't going to happen, and stumble around in the dark for a while until you find a new dream. You have to give up the old, impossible, dream, in order to become open to finding a new dream that will fulfill you, not in the same way as the old one would have, but fulfill you nonetheless. So in that sense I have some sympathy with BT's more generous reading of what this woman was trying to say.

    Sorry, rambling today. Hope that made some kind of sense.

  9. Interesting. I think I can see both sides of this one.

    You are all way more generous and giving of spirit than I could be. I don't see the other side- - I'm way too much in the dark hole of hatred for people who cross over and then are all sanctimonious about how I should or shouldn't be.

    Screw her. I did all that cr*p (positivity cr*p, Ali Domar cr*p, acupuncture cr*p, etc. etc.) and I have EARNED my right to listen or care about what worked for some stupid woman who is making money from IF (doing public speaking engagements etc.). I have spent so much $$ on all that cr*p I can't believe anyone is paying her anything for any of her cr*p, that we plainly see on her cr*ppy site.

  10. Interesting. I think I can see both sides of this one.

    Hey, just wanted to be absolutely clear that what I meant was I can see "both sides" of the question as framed by BT and SendrikBlack. The actual post, as written, p*ssed me off no end. I even wrote a blog post about it

    Well, to be honest, I copied my initial drunken tirade from here and adjusted it a little bit, then put it on my blog. OK. I admit it.

  11. That said, I do think it is always virtuous to never give up searching for a meaningful life, to keep putting one foot in front of the other in the direction of *a* dream.

    I agree with that.
    I don't think that a life has to be without purpose and meaning because your dream(s) for a child didn't come true. But I think you can be "fulfilled" in your life, while still having a big gaping hole too...

  12. I think that this is a great example of what Barbara Erenreich wrote about in her book. Yes, being positive may get you through your day at times - but it becomes such a mantra that if you happen to give in to your despairing side, somehow that is unacceptable. Here's my response to her post (the crucifying comment was from another poster who felt we were all being too mean to Ms. Madsen):

    First off, I don't think anyone here is "crucifying" Ms. Madsen - that's a bit histrionic, in my opinion. The other posters are writing their dismay that once again, someone is exhorting them to "be positive" as if that will somehow make everything get better. Or worse, that if they are negative - if they give into their feelings of despair and sadness, that someone they won't achieve their dream. Which just isn't true.

    Barbara Erenreich just wrote a really interesting book on this phenomenon: "Bright-Sided: How the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America"
    There's a good interview with her here: alternet.org

    As an infertility patient, I find that there are practically no places to just express my despair about my situation. Do I look for alternative options to attain my end goal? Yes, I do - I've made adjustments, I've explored options I never would have dreamed I would consider a few years ago. But that doesn't mean I need to be happy about it or be upbeat.

    Finally - I find it very interesting that in the Categories of this blog, there is no mention of miscarriage, pregnancy loss or stillbirth... I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Ms. Madsen promotes optimism as a way to success, because talking about those issues with a smile on one's face can sure be difficult to pull off.

    And if you read the "About" section of the blog, she's clearly just a shameless self promoter. I mean, what kind of youngihmson writes this about herself: Her singular vision, her honest, incisive and often humorous commentary can be found on Ms. Madsen's daily blog


  13. Not only that, but she claims to be an "independent blogger" and she's on the payroll of East Coast Fertility.

  14. Oh yeah. She's a total tool... I'm not disputing that. blech.

  15. So, she did publish my comment but couldn't resist explaining herself yet again. Here is her email back to me:

    I published your comment - Yes - I get it. And I appreciate the time it
    takes to leave a comment. And I am sorry that I upset you - and that it
    was the wrong entry for you - and for countless others. It was also the
    right entry for other readers. I have more than 400 blog entries on my
    site - and I have written about all kinds of exyoungihmiences. You are right - I have not written about still birth, or miscarriage yet. I often write from my own exyoungihmience and from those that are close to me, thankfully that was not a particular pain that I didn't exyoungihmience. But life is not a pain contest - and
    I never said that that positive thinking brings about the outcome that you think that you want - or that negative thinking brings about a negative outcome. I simply never said it.

    I write from my eyes, my story and my exyoungihmience with working with countless individuals, friends, family and my own complicated life. I never claim to have the answers or to get it right. I am sorry if my blog felt like a fluff piece to you or insensitive. It wasn't to me. I work what I write every day - and it isn't always easy for me either. We all have pain. We all have difficulties.
    Who said that life is easy? Compared to what?

    All of our lives are so very complicated. I have a sister who has been very sick after years of infertility that we shared together. She is now struggling with breast cancer and more complications than you can shake a stick at. That piece was written after a discussion with her - on how she is able to cope with life on a daily basis. She can either get into bed and not move - or she can get up and try to live her best life. That is where my writing came from.

    I write on so many of the complexities of coping with fertility, infertility, sexuality and parenting after infertility - and life in general. What I write on one day may not be right for you - I encourage to take what you like and leave the rest. I wish you all the best - so sorry for stepping on your toes - and causing anger and pain. It is never my intention. I care more than you might think.

    All best,

    My goodness, it's like she didn't even read what I wrote? But why should I be surprised. Here's my email back to her:

    Pam -
    Let me first point out that I never said it was a pain contest. I didn't say your writing was insensitive or a fluff piece. You didn't cause me anger or pain. I just expressed my youngihmsonal reaction to your post, brought up Barbara Erenriech's book on this very subject and then commented on what I felt to be a conspicuous lack of mention of pregnancy loss in a blog about infertility - despite it being a very prominent issue for many women and men with infertility. I appreciate that you're writing from your exyoungihmience and I'm writing from mine. I think you need accept the fact that your very public musings will sometimes elicit a critical response and just deal with it - the spectrum of human emotion is wide and you can't make everyone happy. If you don't like how I or other posters have responded to your post, then you can, as you put it, "take what you like and leave the rest." But I thought you might actually be interested to hear an opposing view. Even better yet, you might want to check out Barbara Erenreich's book to understand what I'm trying to say (because she says it much better than I do).


  16. I want to strangle her and her "fertile yoga" teacher friend.

    I love how her best friend has to come on to her blog to defend her, and to say how she "understands." Bullshit she understands. She *has* two children.

  17. I love how they both bring up the "life is not a pain competition" You know what, sometimes, maybe it is... or not so much that its a competition, but that certain things are better said with *REAL* empathy. I cannot come up with the right words to say what I mean. ..

    I think the fact that she's "in the industry" bothers us so much because she's never moved past the newbie stage (where "ohmigosh, IVF is just NOT the way I thought I'd have my kids." ..." but it worked!" ). I mean, if she were at the stage were it was, "well, never thought IVF would be something I'd do, but we tried it and then it didn't work, and then we tried adoption, and that didn't work, and in the meantime we started doing foster care, and then we tried a donor egg, and that didn't work, and then we tried ...." then she might really have something of value to say to infertile women. She might have some real youngihmspective on infertility. But she just *thinks* she has youngihmspective ... because she had to do IVF to get TWO children. two genetic children that she birthed.

  18. im afraid she is never going to get it , the same as fertiles dont, sometimes i find those who had easy success are harder to deal with than fertiles. Its like when someone loses a lot of weight they are way harder on overweight people than those that never has weight issues.

    it just infuriates me so much to read patronising stuff like this , on a irish site earlier today i lost it with a poster who keeps spewing the positive thinking c.r.a.p. this is what she wrote ( she has twins with her 2nd ivf DE )

    if you think negative , negative things will happen to you so as the secret says think positive!!!

    I got so frickin mad, I just asked her to think before posting stuff like that as it is not helpfull to those of us who have no success and is very patronising and is placing the blame at our door.


  19. oh my god, b*tch even had leftover embryos

  20. If you ask me beyotch don't look like she needs another cupcake.

  21. If you ask me beyotch don't look like she needs another cupcake.

    LMOA! (and I don't use LMOA lightly)

    Millie - so true. I think PoT said this once - that the ones who say 'this isn't about the pain olympics' usually are the ones who wouldn't even have chance in hell of qualifying if there was such a competition.

    It\'s clear from reading her other blog posts that she's simply a relentless cheerleader who hasn't ever had to explore, or bothered to think about, the dark unhappy places caused by infertility. That's why I had to point out the gaping hole of any discussion of pregnancy loss. And as she explained, because she hasn't exyoungihmienced it (or her friends haven't exyoungihmienced it), it's doesn't get included in the blog - not much of a fertility advocate, in my opinion.

  22. I received an email youngihmtaining to RESOLVE:

    “The View” is doing a show on infertility next week and is looking for a woman to come on to speak openly about being unable to keep a pregnancy to term after having various infertility treatments. Someone who has gotten pregnant several times ideally.
    I know it’s a very hard topic to discuss publicly so I need to find someone who is comfortable doing this.
    We would need them to be in New York for Thursday 2/25. We can fly them in, pay for hotel, etc.
    Ideally the woman should be in their late 20’s- early to mid 40s.

    I don't know if anyone would want to do this, I know I would just break down and lose it for sure.

    There is a contact youngihmson listed. All I can say is IT'S ABOUT TIME.

  23. I am cautiously interested. Just don't anybody go into this assuming that their goal is to "get it". Tyra Banks put out a call to the SMC organization looking for SMCs who had children via donor syoungihmm - we were all excited, until they ended up on a show with a bunch of donor conceived kids who were p*ssed and on the attack. It was a total clusterf*ck.

    All I'd say is, if you're considering going on, as a LOT of questions. What is their objective in producing this segment. What sort of discussion do they expect. What types of questions will be asked. Will there be any other guests, and if so, who. What are the attitudes of the hosts towards infertility and assisted reproduction.

    I seem to remember one of the women on the view had about a gazillion abortions - which at a minimum might suggest she has no ability to truly empathize with difficulty conceiving or carrying.

    I seem to be the cautious, paranoid vet beyotch lately, sorry. Just seen too many people burned, too many times.

  24. EQ, you actually made me LMOA yet again today - I just saw your pithy post in response to the yoga4fertility friend's suggestion that we should read "sweet grapes"

    from the comments section:
    Sweet Grapes was the stupidest book to ever waste a tree on.

    Ah, bitter grapes. That's getting me thinking. 4pm here - that's not too early for a glass of wine, is it?

  25. Just saw the post on the view segment. I would agree with PoT, ask a lot of questions if anyone actually is interested. But boy, it would be nice to have someone step up and be a voice. BCTM, maybe you can post this as a separate thread - a call to vets?

    I would actually consider this but for the fact that 1) I'm single, so that would just add another layer of complication that would obscure the message and 2) I didn't start trying until I was 40, so it would be easy for people to discount my pain because it was 'my fault' for waiting too long.

    But I'd go watch the taped segment and be there for support if any vet does go!

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