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Archive for the ‘Mother’s Day and infertility’ tag

The Best Way to Survive Mother’s Day When Infertile

By Tracey Minella

May 11th, 2017 at 12:19 pm


photo: ryanmcguire/ gratisography

This might seem unconventional for an infertility blogger to suggest, but…

Stop looking for something online that will make you feel better this weekend. Chances are it isn’t out here. And even if there was one special nugget of wisdom that might somehow ease your pain, you’ll have to sift through so much useless and painful content that your heart will be in shreds before you find that elusive gem.

The worst place you can be when you’re infertile is on social media on Mother’s Day. The day photos of moms and babies posted are multiplied 10,000 times more than the already unbearable daily number you endure. Why subject yourself to millions of pictures of mothers and children or hundreds of blog posts like this one – – trying and failing to make you feel any better? Please hide. Resist the habit of Facebook. Protect your heart.

Yes, I’ve been in your shoes, but it was before the hell that is social media. I only had to endure real life pregnant people and babies in my actual face—not the flood of thousands of them in my virtual face 24/7. You have it so much worse in that respect—though IVF success rates have soared since I did it. Our experiences are the same, yet different. Only other infertile women could understand how you are feeling–currently infertile women.

Ten stressed-out Mother’s Days without a baby I suffered. I have walked that long and lonely path you are on now, and I do remember it like it was yesterday. Yet I know my well-meaning words of hopeful advice– that I so want you to find comfort in today– can’t help but somehow fall short because I finally became a mom while you are still waiting for your day. I walked before you, and it’s frustrating to know that I can’t comfort you the way someone walking beside you can. So while I do remember, speaking to you from where I am now instead of where I was then makes my words just one small step above those of others not currently walking in your shoes. Maybe the words of one who succeeded at IVF, even after many, many failures and losses are as unwelcome on such a difficult day as the words of those who conceived easily and effortlessly.

So on this hardest day of the year I won’t try further than to say that I know you can get through this day and I’m sorry for your pain. There is no magic answer in this post or any of the others you may read about Mother’s Day.

Despite constant advances in assisted reproductive technologies, no one can promise you a baby this cycle or in the future despite the technology advancing with lightning speed. For me, not knowing if it’d ever work was the hardest thing. Had I only known for certain that at some point– even years away– I’d definitely have a baby in my arms, it would’ve made all the difference in managing the highs and lows during those 10 long years. But there is no crystal ball. While many people might become parents if they just kept undergoing treatment, many people’s wallets are exhausted before their spirit is ready to stop treatment—or even before they can begin it. That fear kept me up at night.

You know what you need to get through this day– and only you know what you need. Time as a couple, alone time, or time with family and friends. Do what you need to do so it will pass.

For what it’s worth, know that I and the many women who walked before you will be looking backwards on Sunday with hope and strength for you as you walk on. Strength to get through this day– and hope that by this time next year you will be looking back on your journey as well.

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Infertility, Mother’s Day, and Unfair Assumptions

By Tracey Minella

May 12th, 2013 at 9:17 pm


If I had a dollar for every post I’ve read about how Mother’s Day is the hardest, most dreaded day of the entire year for infertile women, well… I could probably pay for an IVF cycle.

I’ve written such posts myself over the years. The memories of my personal pain and frustration each Mother’s Day during my years of infertility have caused me to perhaps do some of you a disservice with my prior Mother’s Day posts of survival tips and quick verbal comebacks. In my need to help you through this day, I’ve assumed you are all inconsolably miserable and totally broken, as I had always been. And while many of you may well be, that assumption is unfair to those infertiles who may be able to find some measure of joy on this day.

I read something this past week that made me realize the unimaginable…that being infertile on Mother’s Day is not automatically the end of the world for every infertile woman. (It took a lot for me to let that sink in).

Who am I (or anyone else) to assume the day was going to be awful for you? Is it fair to set you up in advance to have a horrible day? What if you happened to wake up on Mother’s Day and, against all odds, actually didn’t fall apart as you thought you would…or as some well-meaning blogger predicted you would?

What if you were somehow stronger?

So while advice to sleep late, focus on your own mom, avoid places that mothers would be, and go to bed early may be helpful to many seeking to get through a day so painful they can hardly bear it, they are not hard and fast rules for every infertile woman.

Just as the causes of our infertility are different, so are the ways we handle it. Even on Mother’s Day. Forgive me if I underestimated you.

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Did anyone have a better day than they expected to have? If so, please share. And if it was as bad as you thought it’d be, feel free to vent.


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I’m Still Standing

By Tracey Minella

May 5th, 2013 at 5:07 pm


Today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day.

Celebrated on the Sunday before Mother’s Day, it’s dedicated to those who have suffered the pain of miscarriage, stillbirth, losing an infant or child, or are suffering from infertility. To those who are still standing.

This year there is a world-wide project known as #iamstillstanding , through Still Standing Magazine, which encourages women and men who have suffered these unspeakable losses to share their stories, post a picture, or simply to speak their children’s names…to acknowledge the grief and help in some small way to bring a measure of healing. You can participate through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest. Go here for more information:

The stories already uploaded are hard to read, yet comforting. They are heart-warming, and heart-breaking. They will take your breath away.

In addition to Still Standing Magazine, two helpful resources for bereaved parents are Carlymarie’s Project Heal and A Heart to Hold The first is support from a bereaved mother and artist and the second is a non-profit organization that provides hand-sewn hearts of the exact weight of the lost baby to bereaved moms, so they have something soft of significant weight to hold during their grieving.

For those local women who are looking for professional, one-on-one or group counseling to process your grief over infertility or other related losses, please contact Long Island IVF to speak to our professionals or go here for more information:

May those suffering find some measure of comfort in the above resources.

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Are there any additional resources you can recommend for others who may be grieving?

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May: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

By Tracey Minella

May 2nd, 2013 at 7:12 pm


image courtesy of

May is here.

The weather on Long Island has finally warmed up. Mother Nature has been particularly cruel for so long… with Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo combining for seven long months of misery. But for those suffering from infertility, the weather is the least of our worries.

Especially in May.

May is ugly. It brings Mother’s Day on May 12…the hardest day of the entire year for infertile women. There are so few ways to console yourself that day. And even fewer if your infertility journey has been long, if you’ve suffered losses or miscarriages along the way, or if you’ve lost your own mom. And you’re not imagining things…every stranger you encounter really is wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day. It’s maddening.

But May is also good. It brings Advocacy Day on May 8…an opportunity to do something about your infertility. An opportunity to feel some sense of control over your situation. And lack of control over infertility is one of the most frustrating parts of it. You can join the movement of hundreds…maybe thousands… of suffering infertiles from across the nation as they descend upon the Capitol to meet and speak with their elected representatives about the impact infertility has had on their lives. You can educate them about infertility and the unbearable pain of this disease. You can put a face to the disease and make it easier for your officials to support new and pending legislation, such as the Family Act, that will positively impact infertile couples everywhere. Go to Washington if you can. Learn more about Advocacy Day here:

What if you want to, but can’t, go to Washington for Advocacy Day?

RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association has the perfect Plan B for those of you on Facebook or Twitter: Join the Thunderclap! That’s an effort where, at the same precise moment on May 8, 2013, the cyber-world will hear the deafening crescendo of one unified message…a “thunderclap” of an untold number of supporters of the infertile. You can get more information about and can join this movement (and have your friends join) by clicking here: .

By joining the Thunderclap to “Unite for the Family Act” and designating whether you want to support the movement through Facebook or Twitter, the Thunderclap Project and will automatically send this message once on behalf of each person who joins in: “Ask your Members of Congress to support issues important to people with infertility.” …and each message will be sent at the same time on May 8 to make a noticeable impact!

So the only way May can be all bad is if you don’t take advantage of Advocacy Day by either attending the annual event in Washington or by joining in the Thunderclap project. Taking some action will help your spirits. It is some much-needed empowerment in a world where you’ve been stripped of control. Movements like these are what we hope to look back on as the reason the Family Act gets passed someday.

Unfortunately, it won’t make Mother’s Day any less ugly.

But it can be the start of something beautiful.

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Will you join the Thunderclap?

Photo credit: by arztsamui





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