Amy Klein’s NYT Fertility Diary: The One Place She Didn’t Look

By on June 23, 2014

A story about what’s humanly possible?

Woe is me! I promised myself months ago that I will stay clear from reading about Amy Klein’s journey toward motherhood mostly because each time I read one of her entries I found myself inwardly calling out: Amy!!!! Stop, can’t you see? BRICK WALL AHEAD!


Julia Indichova

Then this past Tuesday, working late into the night, I got a Twitter alert about one of Amy’s posts and tired as I was, I couldn’t resist. I clicked on her latest piece titled, You’ve Done Everything You Can.

Although this time she might be closer to getting off the roller coaster of fertility treatments, some of the lines in that piece begged to be addressed. In my mind’s eye I saw myself once again having a late night chat with Amy.

Amy: (Quoting her doctor) Look, I wanted to tell you this privately,” she said. “Amy, you must know that you’ve done everything humanly possible. More than everything.

Julia: I do understand the blinding desperation that compels us to run from one savior to the next.  Been there, done that myself more than once. But no,  Amy, yours is not the story about what’s humanly possible. It’s a case study about the limitations of technology and our collective human arrogance of wanting what we want when we want it regardless of the cost to our health, our children’s health and the earth that feeds us.

What was the point?

Amy:  Was there no point to all my suffering, these crazy meds, this international move? There was no point, and there was no end.

Julia:  It’s up to us to live our way into discovering what the “point” was. It’s also up to us to turn the suffering and pain into labor pain that allows us to birth the life of meaning we had once meant to live.

Amy: “I thought of what the rabbi, our benefactor, had told me earlier in the week. “Promise me you won’t give up, Amy. Even if it doesn’t work this time: Promise me you’ll keep trying,”

Julia: Rabbis who know little about our bodies  and tell us to force our ovaries into increased performance silencing the call of the soul for respite and repair, are  hardly our benefactors.

Why we must engage and speak up?

The truth is after  reading the piece I still tried to reason myself out from engaging any further. Enough, I thought, she can’t hear me. I’ve said it all before.  (See links at bottom of this piece)  I wrote welcoming posts, I sent Amy  an email invitation to come as my guest to Woodstock.  Why bother?

But the next day I ran into a friend at the juice bar, a lovely woman in her sixties (we’ll call her Mary) , who greeted me with:

I saw your book mentioned in a New York Times article, Mary said.

Oh, really? That must’ve been a while ago, I replied, remembering one of Amy’s last entries in which she mentioned my first book, Inconceivable. 

It turned out Mary is worried about her daughter’s fertility. Her daughter Sasha is in her twenties, but Mary has read every one of Amy Klein’t s Fertility Diary entries and she is worried.

So why must we keep clearing up the misconceptions of the NYT’s Fertility Diary? Because Amy Klein’s journey will stay in the public eye for a long, long time. New York Times carries a weight of authority. Mothers like Mary and daughter like Sasha will read those entries and the words of Amy’s diary will keep seeping into the collective consciousness feeding the fire-breathing dragons of fear, powerlessness and ageism.

Here is a story I share in the Authority Vested In You chapter of The Fertile Female. Amy Klein might not read it, but perhaps someone else, someone whose doctor also just said, I’m not saying you have a zero chance of getting pregnant, but it’s close to zero. Less than 1 percent. You’re done everything humanly possible.” will find solace in this ancient wisdom.

When God created human beings, the angels were jealous because God had endowed the humans with divine wisdom that would guide them through life.  So the jealous angels conspired to hide this gift from the humans. “Let’s take it to the peak of the highest mountain,” said one. “No,” said the an other, “Let’s bury it at the bottom of the deepest sea.” But the smartest angel of all said: “Let’s hide divine wisdom deep inside each person. It’s the last place they’ll ever look.”         Hasidic legend


Off to See the Wizard: Who is Your Fertility Authority?

Fertility Integrity: What Would Pete Seeger Do?

Lessons InFertility: Are We Each Other’s Healers? Can Amy Klein & Julia Indichova “Heart” Each Other?

Fertile Idolatry: A Doctor, a Rabbi and a Priest Walk Into a Womb (In support of NYT columnist Amy Klein)

NYT Infertility Diary: Farewell, Amy Klein, Let There Be Light!

8 Responses to “Amy Klein’s NYT Fertility Diary: The One Place She Didn’t Look”

  1. Openhearted says:

    I realized there was so much more to the post then when I read it 6 months ago! Yes that wisdom and listening too my visionary/um are present but I really opened up to the part about your friend Mary and her fears coming up due to The Fertility Diary. It is so astonishing how other peoples words can affect us if we let them. This is something I know to well since the beginning of time. That visionary in me is just a babe still muddling through life’s curves!

  2. Chiam says:

    I have just read this blog and was so inspired by Julia’s insights and the quote at the end. I just wanted to say thank you.

    Good night. Love, Esther xx

  3. dmama says:

    My heart breaks for Amy. I can’t imagine the pain she must be going through right now. I remember when I was going through IVF, getting those phone calls, where the voice on the other end would not take the time to ask where I was or who I was with and just drop a huge bomb of painful news–it was horrific. For me it was always that none of my eggs fertilized and “it was all for nothing.” I also remember what I was told, like Amy, after my 3rd failed IVF, that it was time to stop trying. For Amy it was that “she had done everything” and for me it was “if you want to get pregnant your should try donor eggs or adoption–there is nothing else we can do for you.” After hearing that all had been tried, perhaps I might have felt a sense of relief. I could have felt like, well, I did the best I can and it’s just not possible. But, I didn’t feel that at all!!! I felt excruciating heartbreak and complete refusal to belief that that was it. That’s when I emailed Julia and her response was “you can turn this around.” When all the medical people told me there was nothing I or they could do, and rendered me hopeless and powerless, she gave the reins on my journey back to me and allowed me room to breath and permission to grow. And for that, I am eternally grateful!

  4. Lori says:

    I read Amy’s article via your link here Julia and my heart broke for her as the dr told her she had between 0-1 % chance of getting pregnant. My heart broke for her for 2 reasons. 1. because I have heard those words myself and know the physical pain that manifests from the heartwrenching idea that this could be the end; and 2. More importantly- She still hasn’t thought to seek you out and accept your invitation. Through my own journey of such despair, uncertainty, shame and excrutiating heartache, the one thing that I am truly grateful for is your work and guidance. This journey of fertility has brought me so much deeper into myself and I have found many connections that I have been otherwise searching for but found here with this work. It’s funny, everytime I read that excerpt of The Fertile Female, I grin. Each time, even though I know what it says, it brings me back to my own wisdom. And for that, I thank my baby.

  5. Miraclehope says:

    Hi Julia
    The Hasidic legend quote that we have on fertile female is my all time favorite. It is so true and it is so difficult to believe in ourselves.
    I loved your comment ” our collective human arrogance of wanting what we want when we want it regardless of the cost to our health, our children’s health and the earth that feeds us.” – So true, the arrogance is so subtle & deceptive, it appears like concern about ourselves and a feeling of sympathy towards ourselves. I can relate to myself and I had the exact same feeling, I did it, had injections, spent money, went international, left office, what else do i need to do?
    We need enormous courage to open up to hear our inner voice and I am truly thankful to my baby doll for showing me FH avenue.

    I have mentioned about FH to 2 of my known friends who are facing this challenge, I was persistently sending them your free chat sessions, success stories, but unfortunately they didnt show any interest. So I just thought they might be pursuing some other options and left them off to their own interest.


  6. Kyra says:

    I read Amy’s blog, too, and it scared and frustrated me. I all-too-well understand Amy’s blind drive to get a baby at any cost. I ran (in a terrified panic) right up to that edge and would have probably kept running right over if I had not met you and had a perfectly timed phone conference with you. You reminded me to think, and not just react. I am forever grateful for that. What I am not grateful for are those hateful, terror-inducing comments at the bottom of every blog post Amy writes. Women can be so mean. Shouldn’t we support each other and not tear each other down? How in the world would Amy do anything BUT panic and run to the next doctor after reading those? So many of them blamed her for waiting too long, for being too old, for being “stupid” and not planning things better. Awful! I had one doctor tell me those awful age-related quotes and it literally sent me into a panic attack. If I had hundreds of people shouting them at me, I would be a certifiable mess. I feel bad for Amy, and I hoped she would take you up on your offer of a Woodstock visit. If I was on the East Coast, I’d be there in a heartbeat. But then again, I have embraced these tools–at least I’m trying to. It doesn’t sound like Amy is there yet. Hopefully now she will be. Thanks for being a light in this fog of fertility drama for all of us, Julia! Hopefully more will see your beacon and find peace.

  7. RachelSF says:

    I love that story at the end…i’m still learning it, so I thank you for repeating it here again. And, it is so true that this affects more than the author and her self-indulgence to tell this story this way.

  8. Open hearted says:

    Julia I know the OVUM work has helped me find some of the ultimate knowing. It may have taken me longer than some to even scratch the surface but the journey thus far has been rewarding in many ways for me! For me fertile heart has opened up many doors of my own inner workings, some of which I tried hard to shut before they could blow open on their own. Loving the Ovum journey and connecting with you, the visionary mothers, and myself!

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