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National Siblings Day and Infertility

By Tracey Minella

April 10th, 2017 at 12:26 pm

What better time to discuss the potentially explosive combination of siblings and infertility than on National Siblings Day?

Sibling rivalry has been around since the creation of the world—especially if you happen to 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. Regardless of your beliefs, we can all agree that rivalry no doubt existed between whoever evolved into the first set of siblings.

Sibling rivalry gets kicked up a notch in families where some children are fertile and others are not. Just look at the Kardashians…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. That “filter” that often prevents us from ripping into insensitive acquaintances who say hurtful things just doesn’t exist with siblings. So you mix up infertility’s pain, fear, and frustration of not being able to achieve your dream of motherhood with a big spoonful of that 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. The “I’ll carry a baby for you” or “I’ll donate my eggs to you” side.

Some siblings are so close that they can complete each other’s sentences or 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. Speaking of generous siblings (or generous strangers)…

Long Island IVF’s Donor Egg Program is hosting a free New Beginnings Through Donor Egg seminar on May 2nd in the Melville office from 7:00 pm- 9:30 pm! Register here now for free.  We’d love to meet you there.

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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