Breaking the Silence

Figuring It Out One Day At a Time

Pamela Tsigdinos

Pamela Tsigdinos
Bay Area, California,
June 12
I'm left-handed, six feet tall, and I like broccoli but not cauliflower. I'm Michigander by birth, Californian by choice. Oh, yeah, and I'm infertile. There. I said it. Now you'll understand how living in an era of designer babies and helicopter parents served up loads of material for my book, Silent Sorority ( When I'm not working with startups in Silicon Valley, I am exploring ideas and write about some of society's norms. At the keyboard is where I am most relaxed. So join me here as I try to be less type A and maybe figure a few things out....

Are we ready to tackle complex issues that have long taken a back seat as we focused disproportionately on commercializing fertility science breakthroughs?

I found some irony this week in the competing subject headers filling my inbox and smartphone.

On one end of the spectrum came increasingly insi… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 7, 2013 4:34PM

Masters of Sex Meets Generation I.V.F.

In the worst of my fertility treatment trauma, I often wondered what it was like before 1978 when assisted fertility treatment on the scale we have today didn’t exist.

We have had a window into that era in the “Masters of Sex” TV drama, watching as famed sexologist William MastersRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 13, 2013 9:58AM

Would You Tell Someone You Were Infertile?

Jimmy Fallon is the latest celebrity to divulge infertility issues, but if you didn't succeed with pregnancy would you talk about it?

“Infertility,” my husband once observed, “is one of those topics you want to bury, and then bury the shovel.”

His perspective is hardly uniqu… Read full post »

Misinformation is worse than no information.

It's easy to reach this conclusion when you see how half-truths can radically, adversely influence lives. While infertility has been documented as early as the biblical era it's only recently, as science has advanced, that we've heard it discussed in more… Read full post »

Who doesn't relish great role models? Those confident, make-it-happen types who can inspire us to dream BIG. 

Props to spunky Marlo Thomas for her work on Free to Be… You and Me (40 years old next month) and to plucky Mary Tyler Moore and her sidekick Rhoda Morgenstern.… Read full post »

AUGUST 29, 2012 11:08AM

Ann Romney: Only Moms Matter

TO: Ann Romney
RE: Enough Already With the Mom Pandering!

Like many others I am a registered voter and a citizen who wants greatness not only to flourish in the United States of America, but in countries all over the world. I am also a political junkie&n…

Read full post »

It's hard not to be caught up in the excitement of the Olympics. Beyond the awe-inspiring athleticism, stories abound. They resonate in large part because we understand the context. The narratives fulfill a hunger of sorts — whether for inspiration, a sense of accomplishment or a common… Read full post »

Day in and day out women without children are bombarded by messages about the superior life experience that accompanies motherhood. Some of us have never been knocked up, but that doesn't mean we've been knocked out.

When was the last time infertile women got some recognition for all their… Read full post »

MAY 2, 2012 10:42PM

Non-Moms: The New "It Girls"

I hereby declare the "All Things Mommy Era" to be post-peak. While the diefication of mothers has had an extended run, it's time, ladies, to make some room on the stage.

Who are the new "It Girls"? That's right: Non-Moms! We've got books,  virtual lunches, blogs, video chats. Our… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 19, 2011 1:27PM

Dispatch from "hell": It's not all bad

I am not living a fate worse than death, although that's certainly the implication from a recent "Heroes Among Us" People magazine feature called, "One Mom's Mission: Help Others Adopt."

The Mom explains that she was motivated in her cause because she "can't live" with the idea of people living a… Read full post »

JULY 9, 2011 1:47PM

What Betty Ford Taught Me

"It was like going to a party you're terrified of, and finding out to your amazement that you're having a good time."

That's how Betty Ford, who passed away today at 93, described her life in the White House during one of the most turbulent times in U.S.… Read full post »

APRIL 27, 2011 11:21AM

Letting Go of Fear and Guilt

June 10, 2008 was a day unlike any other. There I was, Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos, pictured on the home page of The New York Times with a link to a health feature about my husband and me — Exhibit A: one of the many millions of “involuntarily childless” couples… Read full post »

Allen Ginsberg once described "Howl" as “a promotion of frankness, about any subject.” He might have made people uncomfortable with his words, but he also made us think deeply. In Oprah's world, we're supposed to pull up our socks and put a smiley face on any subject thatRead full post »

MARCH 14, 2011 10:32AM

Abandoned by Friends With Kids?

A new movie may bring to light what some of us of already know: overzealous parents today have not only changed the tenor of parenting, but the nature of friendships with those who do not have children.

"We're going mainstream."

That comment from a friend without kids accompanied a link… Read full post »

JANUARY 22, 2011 1:14PM

My Online Reality Show

In 2006 I read a news brief in the Wall Street Journal about women chronicling their infertility experiences online. I was aghast and intrigued. I tore the item out of the newspaper and washed the newsprint from my hand.

A few months later in February 2007, I sat down in… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 4, 2010 1:45PM

An Era of Mom-Centricity?

 The political season is (thankfully) at an end. I've gnashed my teeth more than once listening to candidates — from both political parties — proclaim their fitness for office by invoking their mystical "mom" powers. Enough already with the "Mama Grizzlies," "As a Moms" or those… Read full post »

What would Aldous Huxley say? The pioneer behind in vitro fertilization gets the Nobel Prize, new research determines the probability of successful embryos, and children created with donor gametes want to know more about their "genetic parents."

Scientists observing the behavior of one-celled embyro… Read full post »

AUGUST 16, 2010 11:53AM

How We Have Yet to Change

It may be 2010, but in one very big way we're still locked in the past. It took Gail Collin's book, When Everything Changed, to make meRead full post »

AUGUST 10, 2010 11:44PM

A Black Sheep Publishing Victory

We'll be singing
When we're winning
We'll be singing 

It was mid-afternoon in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when the email arrived.

Three loads of laundry were folded and tucked back into their rightful place. The kitchen floor glistened, still fresh from a serious mopping with Murphy's Oil… Read full post »

JULY 12, 2010 10:35AM

How Did I Get So Chesty?

Who knew that perimenopause would give me the cleavage of Kim Kardashian, some days bordering on Heidi Montag?

Listen up here, hormones, I'd like a word with you...

Okay, now that I've got your… Read full post »

JUNE 15, 2010 1:14PM

My Dad, My Prom King

Despite being a funny looking, gangly slip of a girl,  my dad made me believe I was the most beautiful, bright daughter a father could ever want. He encouraged me to reach high, and celebrated every victory no matter how small. He engaged in the usual dad activities… Read full post »

America's frustration, impatience and angst around the BP's attempt to cap the deep water oil spill felt remarkably familiar, an echo of a more personal demand for science and technology to step it up.

We live in an age of unprecedented knowledge, technological advancement.  There should be n… Read full post »

APRIL 29, 2010 6:52PM

When Barren is Fruitful

Today's fertile women have yesterday's infertile women to thank for the development of the mighty Pill.*

That's right. My people have apparently had quite the societal impact. I learned about the Pill's paradoxical beginning in a recent Time cover story. In researching the Pill's consequences, writer… Read full post »

“Infertility,” my husband once observed, “is one of those topics you want to bury, and then bury the shovel.”

His perspective is hardly unique among those who have had to confront infertility head on. The diagnosis packs a devastating punch and cuts to the very core of what i… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 10, 2010 10:52AM

The Subtext of Big Love: Fertility Rules

In a television show about a modern family practicing polygamy we get ringside seats as the family members navigate the seamier side of politics, gambling and fringe religion, but one thing is clear: fertile women rule.

There are plenty of plot twists and surprises packed into each hour-long episode… Read full post »