These are Inspiring Times!
We are in the era of communication! Everywhere you turn these days there is fascinating information on an endless stream of topics. Media forums in print, film and on the web connect us with the world outside of ourselves and what it has to offer. Sometimes, it evens connects us with the world that is inside ourselves. Pulling Down the Moon is thrilled to be a part of these journalistic divulgements which shed worthy light into the realm of holistic and integrative fertility care while sharing our heartfelt vision with the world. When considering your options for care, it is vital to “get to know” who and what your potential wellness provider is to their practice, their community and the individuals they serve. We hope you will take the time to delve into these exciting articles and learn more about Pulling Down the Moon and integrative care for fertility and wellness.
Pregnancy vs. privacy as couples debate how much to reveal – or to tweet
By: Lisa Bertagnoli April 18, 2011
Leasa and Carlo Navarro set rules for themselves regarding Facebook posts and tweets during Ms. Navarro’s pregnancy. Daughter Grae was born 15 months ago.
Infertility didn’t end Mindy Berkson’s marriage. But, she says, her insistence on talking openly about it-eventually even launching a business based on it-did.
In 1994, Ms. Berkson found that she and her husband were unable to conceive a second child. The couple chose to undergo fertility treatments, and Ms. Berkson had no problem sharing that fact with friends and family.
Her husband was not interested in spreading the news.
“He was vehement-’It’s nobody’s business,’ ” recalls Ms. Berkson, 47. His insistence on keeping their issues hush-hush “made the whole situation worse than it needed to be,” she says.
Successful fertility treatments helped Ms. Berkson add twin boys to her family. The situation also gave birth to her business: Lotus Blossom Consulting LLC, a Chicago-based firm that helps couples plan families. She marketed the nascent business by sharing her own story of infertility; even today, she travels the world telling her story and selling her business’ services. Her openness, though, continued to grate at her husband, she says; the couple divorced in February. Mr. Berkson declines to be interviewed for this story.
Few situations challenge privacy like the issues surrounding pregnancy. With a baby bump, even the most private woman will find herself the center of attention, as well as the target of well-meaning advice from strangers and questions on everything from the baby’s sex and name to nursing.
Social media has magnified the glare exponentially. While couples and families have always had to bargain over which details should be shared with whom and how soon, now everyone given the news has the power to broadcast it.
Facebook and Twitter can quickly spread news to people couples would just as soon leave in the dark; a hasty post on a husband’s page could unwittingly inform his wife’s employers that she’s pregnant, when she’s not ready to tell.
Even though they are solid members of the Facebook generation, and even own a business with a strong online presence Leasa and Carlo Navarro set privacy limits for Ms. Navarro’s first pregnancy: no pregnancy-related Facebook posting or tweets and absolutely no immediate post- delivery pictures of Ms. Navarro, though photos of their newborn would be fine.
The couple also decided to not find out the sex of their child and to not share the names they had chosen-Amos for a boy, Grae for a girl-with anyone. “I really didn’t want people’s opinions if they didn’t care for the name,” says Ms. Navarro, 31, who with Mr. Navarro is founder of Chicago-based Kicksprout LLC, a website and community-based network for expectant and new parents.
The deal didn’t hold up. Mr. Navarro, 32, spilled the beans on names to his parents, satisfying their curiosity about their first grandchild. “It wasn’t the end of the world, but then I had to share it with my parents,” Ms. Navarro says. “I was upset with him, but we got over it.”
Ms. Navarro, who describes herself as a private person, was surprised at the nosiness and attention her pregnancy inspired. In addition to endless questions about names and the baby’s sex, she got much unsolicited advice-though no tummy pats-throughout her pregnancy. “People offer opinions on everything,” she says.
Now that daughter Grae is 15 months old, Ms. Navarro understands that primal urge to share experiences and advice. But when she sees a baby bump or a newborn, she keeps quiet.
“I try not to offer my opinion,” she says, “unless they ask for it.”
When his wife went into labor with their third child, Lance Raphael, 44, an attorney and founder of Consumer Advocacy Center P.C. in Chicago, posted updates, including a photo of his wife in the early stages of labor, on Facebook for all 600 or so of his friends to see.
The photo drew 22 comments almost immediately. One read, “Does your wife know you posted this photo? I’d kill you.”
His wife, Karolyn Raphael, did know. She would have preferred he post a different photo but doesn’t mind that his Facebook world knew she was in labor. “We knew we were going to have a healthy baby,” says Ms. Raphael, 38, president of Winger Marketing Inc. in Chicago. “I didn’t have a lot of reservations about sharing.”
In the non-virtual world, the physical evidence of pregnancy makes total privacy unattainable, of course. But even adoption sparks a flurry of intrusiveness.
Meghan Burns and her husband adopted a boy, their third child, in February, and had told their plans only to family and close friends; they aren’t on Facebook. “We’re not into sharing,” says Ms. Burns, 35, a stay-at-home mom in Winnetka. “We’re more guarded with the outside world.”
When they introduced their new child to the world, questions flew thick and fast: Would the couple adopt more children? Would they have a relationship with the birth mother?
“I’m not sure why people are concerned,” says Ms. Burns, adding that she did her best to deflect questions, answering, for instance, that she “felt blessed” to meet the child’s birth mother. “I don’t know what they’d do with that information.”
Sharing information about pregnancy, adoption or infertility can help would-be parents develop a useful support system. But it can also lead to too many questions.
“I have talked to people who have deeply regretted letting people into this world,” says Marie Davidson, a psychologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois, which has 10 Chicago-area offices. In her experience, women get more say in deciding privacy issues than men, “or if someone is truly reserved, they get the bigger vote.”
She counsels patients to think carefully about what information they share, and with whom, “because everyone will feel an obligation to check in with you,” she says. If fertility treatments are successful or a pregnancy is going well, that’s all fine and good. If not, couples can find themselves telling sad tales over and over again.
That’s precisely why Beth Heller, 43, went into virtual hiding during her third pregnancy.
Ms. Heller’s first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, and the second in a stillbirth. During the third, which resulted in a healthy son, now 7, she went so far as to cancel her longtime gym membership. “I couldn’t stand the intense scrutiny, the whole feeling that people were very interested in something that was very personal to me,” says Ms. Heller, co-founder of Pulling Down the Moon Inc., a Chicago-based integrative-care fertility center. (She went on to have a second son.)
Beth Heller, left, hid out during a pregnancy that followed a miscarriage and a stillbirth. Tami Quinn stayed quiet about her infertility issues
Ms. Heller’s business partner, Tami Quinn, nearly lost a close friend in her attempts to protect her privacy. Ms. Quinn, 45, hid her infertility issues from the friend, even though that friend was also struggling with infertility.
“It wasn’t until I miscarried that I opened up to her-and she was furious with me,” Ms. Quinn recalls. “She said, ‘Why didn’t you share with me? We could have done this together,’ but I wasn’t ready to broadcast.” The friend has since had a child, and the friendship has been repaired.
‘I couldn’t stand the intense scrutiny, the whole feeling that people were very interested in something that was very personal to me.’- Beth Heller
The two women hear more than their fair share of pregnancy and privacy stores. One observation: Women are more likely to share details about infertility, while men generally want to keep quiet about it. Another: Professional women delaying childbirth are more likely to have only one child, and they’re going to shout out as much news as they can, to whoever will listen.
“They’re going to be pregnant like a rock star; they’re going to do it up right,” Ms. Heller says.
Indeed, being on bed rest during her first pregnancy proved emotionally painful for occupational therapist Paula Fabbri-Morrow, now a stay-at-home mom in Elmhurst.
“I was very upset that I couldn’t be in public for people to see me pregnant, to be the center of attention,” says Ms. Fabbri-Morrow, 47. “I hate admitting that, but it’s true.”
GETTING THE WORD OUT
Mary Young was happy to share news and updates during her first two pregnancies. The third, however, was different: At 27 weeks, Ms. Young discovered her child had Down syndrome.
She and her husband let the grapevine spread the word. “I wanted it to be known without me telling,” says Ms. Young, 45, a residential real estate agent who lives in Elmhurst.
When her daughter, now 4, was born, Ms. Young chose not to broadcast that fact on the birth announcement. It was a way of protecting her privacy, and her emotions, after the stress of carrying a child she knew would be born with special needs.
“You’re just in this really weird space,” Ms. Young says. “You don’t want to tell the story a million times.”
Four years ago, social media wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. Had it been, “I would have totally done the Facebook thing,” Ms. Young says wistfully. “One post and it would have been done with.”
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