This week is NIAW. It is a time to raise awareness and support those going through infertility. I have finally been able to sit down and read "Silent Sorority" by Pamela Tsigdinos or Pammie as she is referred to by loved ones. I bought the book many months ago but due to the fundraiser had little free time to read. I am glad I waited because the book is amazing, and I am enjoying devoting my full attention to the content.
I emailed Pamela to tell her I was on page 50 and thought the book is amazingly well written. Her story is bringing up many difficult emotions for me and I journey with her along her path to become a mother. I am reliving the pain of all the negative pregnancy tests, the groups of women who sit and chatter about nothing but their pregnancies, newborns, and feeding schedules, the ups and downs of infertility treatments.
As much as I have moved on the chapters of "Silent Sorority" are a reminder of how fresh the wounds still are. I imagine that my heart will always have a tender spot for pregnancy and the lost dreams I have to live with. Pamela writes about one of her experiences at a baby shower. I found her words made my heart ache with remembering the countless times I attended these events feeling like the pink elephant in the room.
"That evening I was spent. My face muscles ached from being held in a perpetual false smile. My strength and energy had been eroded...My soul was bleeding."
I have often spoken of infertility as a chronic illness. I am very aware of the pain of chronic illness as I also suffer from depression. These two diseases correlate very well when it comes to coping and living with a silent, dull ache all the time. "Silent Sorority" vindicated my emotions with Pamela's relation to infertility coinciding with her grandmother, Stella's horrible arthritis.
"I realized that arthritis is a great metaphor for infertility. Sometimes it was a dull sensation sensation, barely recognizable in the course of a day, but it was always there. It was becoming clear to me that each day brought a new degree of discomfort."
I have not yet finished "Silent Sorority" but cannot wait to read the Pamela's journey and relive the emotions she felt during this difficult time in her life. Even though it is hard to read the book, I am so glad that she had the courage to write down her thoughts. The chapters reveal the pain and hardship of all that infertility presents. And for those that choose to live a child free life after infertility, I hope this book will give them comfort that they are not alone.
You can purchase "Silent Sorority" on Pamela's website and blog: