In the news and social media

Just need to quickly mention a few things on my mind:

1. In the news you may be hearing about the “three-parent” fertility treatment in the U.K. — a treatment involving the nuclear DNA of a mother and father and mitochondria from a donor. I used to be in the magazine world in the city and know a little about how things get sensationalized and I can picture the meetings during which the term “three-parent” came about and I just want to say, you suck, you people. “Three-parent” is not even close to accurate in any way. Thanks for the hearty dose of stigmatization, right off the bat.

2. In social media, I came across an article written by a woman who went to visit her friend, a friend who lost a child. The woman who lost a child is of course entitled to say anything whatsoever she wants to say to her writer-friend (what she experienced…no words, no way to get into it here, the worst kind of horror), and she said to her writer-friend, while describing what she went through/ is going through, “You know, you’re a mom.” And this writer then wrote a short lyric sort of “article” in which the recurring refrain in each paragraph is, “I know, I’m a mom.” The article is basically about how this writer has super-power-level capacities for empathy and understanding of all things child- or loss- or pain- related because, and only because, she is a mom. She even says that she has a special ability to understand the pain of women going through fertility treatments because she is a mom. At the end of the article, she says to the reader, essentially, “But you know what I mean—you’re a mom, too.” I was so upset reading this. Not just because it is so completely othering, but because it is so blindly and completely othering. This writer meant no harm, her earnestness is coming from a place of trying to connect, not gloat, not separate, but she unintentionally creates a piece of writing that puts her in the superior, gifted camp and all of those who are not moms in the sad-sorry Other camp. I’m also bothered by the fact that she takes advantage of her friend’s painful story to write about her own specialness—again, blindly. This way many woman have of blindly talking about motherhood—man, it really has to stop! I know I’ve been a mother for only two months now, and yes it is a new experience and I’m encountering lessons and emotions I haven’t before, but that does not mean I have some special access to wisdom/empathy/understanding, or even connection to children, that women who are not mothers could never have. Not true, and not okay to create this dividing line that is so, so painful to women who have gone through or are going through infertility and pregnancy loss.

3. The New York Times magazine recently published an article about Korean adoptees returning to Korea. I need to finish the article, so will not comment on it until I have done so (some year). What I can comment on are the photographs. The adoptee featured (born in Korea, adopted by Midwesterners, had contentious relationship with parents, went back to Korea to find her culture/birth mother) had her adoption-case number tattooed on her arm. If you are just breezing through the magazine, glancing at photographs, as I often do, you would come away with one thought: This Korean adoptee’s experience is akin to her being a Holocaust survivor. This thought might not come to you in words, but it would most likely be there, in the back of your mind. Again, my magazine days come back to me. The power of one photograph in a hugely popular publication can have cultural effects for years, decades (or longer). This young woman’s story is interesting and it’s not that I’m judging her or even the magazine for publishing what they did the way that they did—it’s just that I’m aware of the stigmatization re: adoption, especially international adoption, such images can create.

Okay, that’s all for now.

Leave a comment


  1. I just saw Bill Maher turn this ‘three-parent’ story into a big joke, equating it with “genetic engineering.” The worst part is that he clearly did not understand it, and neither do most people, but now that he’s done this little skit portraying it as a freak show, that becomes the ‘truth’ people believe…smh.

  2. Yes yes and yes.

  3. Side note: I was just reading about a clinic here in Toronto that’s running a trial where instead of using mitochondria from a donor, they use some from stem cells that are apparently located in the patient’s own ovaries. It’s early days yet, but it sounds potentially exciting!

    And yeah, as a general rule, I’ve discovered the media does NOT get infertility.

  4. Kali

     /  March 25, 2015

    Hi there TUT. It’s been a while. I related to your story in number 2–BFF had that attitude, she “knew better” since she’s already a mother, and it contributed to the deterioration of our relationship. We are in a holding pattern now, and perhaps will someday be able to connect as we used to.

    I don’t think anyone can know in advance how trauma can lead to changes in relationships that you thought were rock solid.


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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
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    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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