Sunday May 12, 2013
Mother's Day can be an emotionally sensitive day for those in the trenches of infertility and those who have been in those trenches. (You may imagine that having a child takes away the pain of Mother's Day, but for many women, it doesn't, not completely.) Just trying to avoid the over-the-top marketing that surrounds mother's day can be overwhelming.
But what if, instead of celebrating only mothers on Mother's Day, we also celebrated those who lovingly mother others? You don't need to have biological or adopted children in order to be motherly. (Sadly, there are plenty of traditional mothers who have no idea how to mother or nurture others.)
Think back to those in your life who have mothered you. I can think of a few special women who mothered me, as a child and as an adult. I cannot imagine who I am today without their special love, care, and attention.
And I am sure you have mothered others yourself. I'd say there's a high probability that someone out there felt nurtured and cared for in a special way by you. You may not know it. But they do.
I'm not saying focusing on mothering instead of traditional motherhood will make the pain of Mother's Day disappear. But I do think it's important to recognize that you don't have to be a mom to mother another person. I think it's important to recognize how much we can impact the lives of others, regardless of whether they are our son or daughter.
So to all those women out there who have lovingly mothered others, Happy Mothering Day to you!
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Wednesday May 8, 2013
Wouldn't it be great if governments gave a helping hand to those struggling to build their families? If you'd like to make a difference, today is the day to take action.
Today is Advocacy Day. This is a project of RESOLVE, and takes place yearly. It's a day when over 100 advocates show up in Washington to speak to representatives, tell them what we need and hope for, and try to make a difference.
Couldn't show up in Washington? That's ok! You can make a difference in other ways. You can send an email to your representatives, or make a phone call. The RESOLVE website has more information.
If you're on Twitter, you can follow along virtually with the day's developments by following hashtag #advocacyday2013.
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Monday May 6, 2013
If you're struggling to get pregnant, the first doctor you need to see is your gynecologist. As I've written about here many times, many couples put off getting help, for a variety of reasons. I wonder, though, how many put off seeing their gynecologist for fear of the dreaded pelvic exam. It turns out that all those routine pelvic exams may not be nessecary.
Researchers have looked into the why of routine pelvic exams. Reasons given included screening for sexually transmitted diseases and gynecological cancers, and as a way of determining if birth control should be given. The surprising thing is that there's no scientific basis for this. The pelvic exam hasn't been shown to be a good screening tool, and may, in fact, lead to false alarms (and worse, unnecessary surgeries.) There are other more accurate screening tools available, including vaginal swabs (done yourself), blood work, and urine analysis.
Yearly pap smears are also not considered nessecary for most women, with current recommendations to have a pap done once every three to five years.
A pelvic exam may very well be needed if symptoms merit it, but there's no reason to have a pelvic exam at every well woman visit. If pelvic exam dread is keeping you from seeing your doctor, speak up at your next appointment. Ask if you could forgo the pelvic this time around, or at least ask your doctor why he is performing the exam and what he hopes to learn from it.
"Routine" is not a good enough reason to make you feel uncomfortable.
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Wednesday May 1, 2013
May is here, which means that in two Sundays it will be Mother's Day. But thanks to Beverly Barna, author of Infertility Sucks! Keeping it All Together When Sperm and Egg Stubbornly Remain Apart, you can celebrate a week earlier on National Infertility Survival Day, which is this Sunday, May 5th.
If you're thinking, "Why should I celebrate infertility?!" Well, it's not celebrating infertility, but more of a pre-Mother's Day inoculation. Mother's Day can be emotionally difficult for couples trying to conceive. Moms certainly do work hard and deserve a day of recognition, but some of us work hard at just trying to become a mom. You deserve this special day, believe me.
So whether you decide to go out for dinner, get a massage, take a lovely walk outdoors with a loved one, or maybe just watch a favorite movie at home, remember that you're worth celebrating, mom or not.
More on coping while trying to conceive:
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