Oh, Betty! I So Get You
“I don’t want you to think I’m a quitter. I’ve fought for plenty in my life. That’s how I know when it’s over. To know when to move on…”

That dialogue from the final season of Mad Men struck like a thunder clap. I nodded instinctively.

While cancer is the elephant in the room for Betty, I couldn’t help but see parallels for infertility. Her rationale is what I came to understand a decade ago: harsh reality is better than false hope.

Betty’s cool Zen-like acceptance felt familiar. It is clearly not the response those closest to her wanted to hear. Her husband wants her to pursue aggressive treatment, while her daughter is, understandably, in shock. Betty, though, just knows. She doesn’t imply it is going to be easy.

The stoking of false hope is prevalent in many spheres of medicine — particularly where fertility is concerned.

It’s not easy to accept that reproductive medicine has limits in today’s society. Nobody wants to be perceived as a quitter. The complexities we face today played into why I was compelled to sit down and write Finally Heard: A Silent Sorority Finds Its Voice.

Like Betty, many of us have fought for plenty in our lives. We also, where fights are no longer productive, find ourselves at the point when we just know it is time to move on. It was particularly validating this past weekend to read a post from a reader about the ideas and issues Finally Heard raised for her:
“I found myself shocked when I came upon the section about how society views women who are not parenting after infertility and realizing that prior to infertility I too believed these myths and how it’s thanks to women like Pamela, Loribeth and Mali that I no longer do.”

While combating and overcoming the personal struggle is what many of my fellow infertility bloggers focus on in their writing, I’m finding myself more and more drawn to, as another reader called out:
“bravely tackling both society’s view of those living without children as well as the dark-side of an unregulated fertility industry. Though this last part is definitely unpopular, the message that Pamela brings is important for anyone who decides to pursue treatments to consider.”
Read more Finally Heard reader response here: book reviews

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