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Episode 105–My interview with Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos

Episode 105–My interview with Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.  Civilla Morgan here. I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.

Welcome to episode 105!

•Patreon Contributors: (Patreon contributors are those who have taken an interest in my platform whether they fit the childless not by choice demographic or not. They have decided to contribute a certain dollar amount on a regular basis to help fund my dream of creating awareness and conversation for the childless not by choice community globally. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

https://www.patreon.com/Childlessnotbychoice


Jordan Morgan

Ivy Calhoun

Questions or comments? Contact me at:

Email: Info@civillamorgan.com

                                              Or

Visit the website at http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net, look to the left on the home screen and click on the link below the telephone to leave me an up to 90-second voicemail.

Bio/Intro:

 

Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos (Sig- DIN – us) is an author, blogger and women’s health advocate. She emerged as a reluctant spokeswoman in 2008 after a health reporter from The New York Times asked if she’d be willing to openly discuss her infertility experience. Pamela discussed the stubborn persistence of the infertility condition and the lack of a cultural framework to process the losses associated with being childless not by choice. The New York Times feature story that resulted produced astonishment and relief that someone candidly addressed the trauma of failed IVF and legacy of infertility.

Soon thereafter she wrote what became an award-winning book called Silent Sorority. It became the first memoir on infertility not authored by a mother, Pamela’s writing explores the complicated, disenfranchised grief and identity issues that accompany involuntary childlessness. Now more than a decade outside of the grief she once felt so viscerally, she educates and writes about the false promises and limitations of reproductive medicine and the personal and social impacts that accompany failed IVF.

She is the co-founder of the grassroots initiative ReproTechTruths.org.  When she’s not researching and writing she enjoys discussing history, Indie films, documentaries, politics, current events and literature with extended family and friends.

Questions:

  1. In one of your articles, I read that childless not by choice women quote ‘have more time to confront our feelings than the mother who is busy raising or trying to have kids.’ That statement made me a little nervous as I’ve always believed that when we have too much time to think we can go to some dark or negative places, and sometimes that is good, as going to those places can help a healthier mind process and bring thoughts back to a good place resulting hopefully in a positive outcome of our processing. But what do you say to the woman who is still grieving and maybe not quite dealing with negative thoughts properly?      

2)  ‘It is quite striking to see that women who do have children but still wish for more children report poorer mental health than those who have no children but have come to accept it.’  This is a quote from your blog ‘Fess Up. What Are Your Blind Spots?’

In that article you made two great points: 1) if you or probably most childless not by choice women had had the child, they, we, wouldn’t grumble about the fact that these women should be happy they got the one. And 2) human nature tends to maintain a level of loss if we don’t get everything we wanted, i.e. the number of children we really wanted. I will be honest, one of my biggest pet peeves is to hear a woman murmur about not being able to have more children. I always want to say ‘are you kidding me right now?’   


3) The rest of us — we didn’t even make the cut as outliers — no graphics on the number of women who came away empty-handed after extensive (and expensive) fertility treatments and no graphics on the number of failed adoptions. That would be a great project for those of us running childless not by choice platforms, groups, etc, to gather that information from our readers, listeners, and followers?  

 

4) There is no ‘welcome to the club kit’ for childless not by choice women. We see the rites of passage, but we don’t get to partake.  What should we do instead? What is our rite of passage, and passage to where?

 

5) As I read the article your blog ‘Prince Harry and I Agree: Bury Grief at Your Peril’, your new neighbor upon hearing that you and your husband were never able to have children and she says ‘you can have one of mine’, I found myself thinking how far we have come as a society to be able to talk about childlessness, but how far we still have to go when people are still using that old, tired line. How far along are we, do you think? Do you think we’ve only just scratched the surface in 2019?  

6) In regards to Erik Erickson’s ‘Generativity versus stagnation’ stage–stage seven of his eight stages of the theory of psychosocial development’, (This stage takes place during middle adulthood (ages 40 to 65 yrs).  What can we do as we become older, to help alleviate that helpless feeling that we will leave the planet leaving nothing of consequence behind? Asking for a friend.

 Books, Articles, Blogs, by Pamela Tsigdinos:

https://blog.silentsorority.com/pope-prejudice-reinforce-negative-views/

https://blog.silentsorority.com/placing-motherhood-on-pedastel/

https://blog.silentsorority.com/grief/

https://blog.silentsorority.com/how-about-a-time-cover-story-on-women-who-arent-moms-or-childfree/

https://blog.silentsorority.com/blindspots/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003PJ7D3U/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

 

Silent Sorority is an award-winning book. It reveals with candor, humor, and poignancy the intense and at times absurd experience of adjusting to a life as a “non-mom” when nature and science don’t cooperate in the family building department. Outside of the physical reckoning there lies the challenge of moving forward in a society that doesn’t know how to handle the awkwardness of infertility. With no Emily Post-like guidelines for supporting couples who can’t conceive, most well-intentioned “fertile” people miss the mark.

 

https://www.seleni.org/advice-support/2018/3/6/accepting-childlessness-after-infertility

https://www.coming2terms.com/2007/02/03/just-the-beginning/

https://www.coming2terms.com/2009/11/01/the-ultimate-test/

https://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html

Generativity versus stagnation is the seventh of eight stages of Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. This stage takes place during middle adulthood (ages 40 to 65 yrs).
Generativity refers to “making your mark” on the world through creating or nurturing things that will outlast an individual.

People experience a need to create or nurture things that will outlast them, often having mentees or creating positive changes that will benefit other people.

We give back to society through raising our children, being productive at work, and becoming involved in community activities and organizations. Through generativity, we develop a sense of being a part of the bigger picture.

Success leads to feelings of usefulness and accomplishment, while failure results in shallow involvement in the world.

By failing to find a way to contribute, we become stagnant and feel unproductive. These individuals may feel disconnected or uninvolved with their community and with society as a whole. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of care.

Pamela’s Contact information:

Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos
Award-Winning Author & Top Health Blogger
Connect: ptsigdinos@yahoo.com
@PamelaJeanne

Check out ReproTechTruths and the #UnmaskingIVF campaign

My contact information:

Website: http://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com
Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan
Twitter: @civilla1
Instagram: @joyandrelevance
Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM
LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM

 

Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice. I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!

 

‘To recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.’

 

‘Spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life’.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for a beautiful podcast, Civilla. I got so much out of your straight from the heart questions and the deeply meaningful subject matters you and Pamela fielded with such candor.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Sarah! I thoroughly enjoyed conversing with Pamela. I think we all tuned in just to hear what we can learn from her!

      Reply

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