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Archive for the ‘infertility and sibling rivalry’ tag

Infertility and National Siblings Day

By Tracey Minella

April 11th, 2013 at 11:34 am

Siblings and infertility can be an explosive combination. What better time to discuss this combination than on National Siblings Day?

Sibling rivalry has been around since the creation of the world. Some believe that Adam and Eve’s children, Cain and Abel, were the first siblings (and since one killed the other, they’d pretty much be the poster children for sibling rivalry). But regardless of your beliefs, we can all agree that rivalry no doubt existed between whoever evolved into the first set of siblings. It’s part of our nature.

Though present on some level in almost all families, sibling rivalry gets kicked up a notch in families where some children are fertile and others are not. Just look at the Kardashian clan. (Or not.)

The universal pain and stress of infertility is further multiplied when your siblings…especially younger ones…are getting pregnant when you can’t. You know that “filter” that often prevents us from firing uncensored remarks back at insensitive acquaintances? Well, it isn’t present with siblings. So you take the pain and fear and frustration of not being able to achieve your dream of motherhood and you mix it up with a heaping helping of that whole intangible but potent sibling “competitive thing” and…


Infertility is enough to break up sibling relationships, especially in an already dysfunctional family. We’ve all seen it. Some of us may be living it.

But there is another side of siblings. The “best-friends-for-life” side.

Some siblings are so close that they can complete each other’s sentences. Some can communicate tons without saying a word. And a few are lucky enough that infertility for one becomes a rallying cry for the others and actually brings them closer. Infertility becomes the common enemy. And depending on the state you live in and the particulars of your infertility challenge, siblings can act as egg donors or recipients, sperm donors, surrogates or gestational carriers. For information on Long Island IVF’s Donor Program, come to our free seminar next Tuesday (details in blog and Facebook tomorrow) or check out the website here:

So I wish you all not only a swift and happy end to your infertility journey, but also the strength and wisdom to build the kind of family where the rivalry is kept at bay and the unconditional love and support of your children for one another flows freely.

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How has your relationship with you siblings changed as a result of your infertility? Are things strained? Or are they your biggest supporters?


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Sisters and Infertility

By Tracey Minella

August 6th, 2012 at 11:25 am

Sisters are an important part of IVF.

If you have a good relationship with yours, she can be anything from your egg donor, gestational carrier, or surrogate to your shoulder to cry on and your biggest cheerleader. Raised in the same home, she likely shares your values, knows your dreams better than anyone, and has a sense of when you need space and when you need hugs.

On the flip side, if you have a bad (or no) relationship with your sister, the stress of infertility can make things worse. Especially if she easily had the family you’re still trying to have. Or if she married after you or is younger than you and she gave your parents their first grandchild. And it’s worse if she complains about how she wasn’t even trying to get pregnant with that fourth one…or gloats how her husband just has to “look at her” and she gets pregnant. Of course, if your parents show favoritism (or you imagine it), the frustration will grow even more.

Sisters don’t have to be related by blood. Some friends are closer than sisters. And for many, sisters are the friends you choose yourself. As an only child, I consider my closest friends to be my sisters and could not have gotten through my IVF years without them.

If you missed National Sisters Day yesterday, now is your chance to give your own sister a “shout-out” for her role in helping you along your infertility journey. She does so much for you. Why not let her know right now? I’ll start. Thanks to Lisa M., Rose, Lisa G., and my sweet sister-in-law, Sue, in Heaven.

Go on. It’s your turn now…


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