I've always wondered how our family portrait would ever be complete. How do I honor my three without my three here on earth? And then some photos from a few photographers starting showing up on my social media, a result of how much coverage Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month is getting this year.
I realize that my journey may not be as complicated or challenging as many of yours. I want to acknowledge all the beautiful souls, men and women, going through any journey around parenthood. I honor your courage and strength of heart.
Parents can, and should put the needs and desires of their children to seek out and connect with half siblings and/or donors, above their own fears. This is the ultimate sacrifice that parents make for their children. It is also the greatest gift we can give to our children, and to ourselves.
What is it like to be childless as a Jew, when the very first Jewish commandment is to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28) and scripture likens the childless to the dead? What is it like to be childless in Israel, a country that values children above all, as a supreme value?
According to the CDC, approximately 10 percent of women between the ages of 15-44 have, shall we say, less than optimal fertility levels. Before trying to conceive, many of these women know that something's up just by noticing that their menstrual cycle isn't as consistent as it should be.
About a year later, after birthing my hard-won twins, I began to write about the long slog of high-tech conception. For me the experience lingered even into motherhood, and still does. Two women from my high school emailed me to say they'd read my stories and knew exactly what I meant. Suddenly, after decades of no contact, we were pouring out shared infertility tales.
The loss of my fertility is not going to define me. I do not want people to feel bad for me. I don't want people to question why I need to do IVF because I got pregnant so quickly the first time. I don't need questions about everything we have tried.
We all have a role to play in helping to protect the sexual health of our young people - youth can be more aware of the risks they face, and parents and schools can get the information they need to stay safe.
The devastation of that day still haunts me. I frequently think about how old my son or daughter would be now. Every time that thought crosses my mind, I sink into a depression and wonder: why can't I do something so basic as have a child?
I sat on the toilet bowl, legs and hands trembling. The afternoon sun made its way through the slatted blinds throwing shadows that undulated against the cream colored wall. Dust motes danced in the air. In front of me on the tiled floor lay an innocuous plastic test.
In June I heard from a young woman. She was graduating from high school, and her parents sent me a notice of her accomplishment. It had been almost 18 years since I last saw them in my office, suddenly expectant parents after having tried fruitlessly to have a child for so long.
In our world's most accepted definition of a parent, I will never meet the criteria. I will never birth a child and I am not adopting one. So you will call me childless. And, I will then emphatically and stubbornly correct you and let you know that I am a childfull parent, birthing a rare kind of parenthood.
I sat deeply in my chair as the reader chanted the blessing before the Haftarah portion for the first day of Rosh Hashanah.
By Catherine DiBenedetto Before she had her first baby in 2011, Zahie El Kouri went through multiple rounds of IVF and suffered several miscarriages....
In seven short months, l'll labor to bring another sweet face into this world. I'll say my last first "hello" to my newborn. I'll become a mother again for the last time.
It was February 2006. I decided I was done. I was done with needles, hormones, stirrups, blood tests, doctors and medical bills. Finally, my husband and I talked. We talked about building a family. We talked about what we were going to do now that we could not.