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Hello lovelies!

Man-oh-man was last week awesome! I gave four talks to universities in Edmonton, AB and reached 500 students. It was an amazing experience and I felt blessed and liberated to be able to do it. I have been yapping about being an advocate and standing up for the infertility community for a while and it felt incredible to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk!

The first time I stepped in front of the class it was intimidating, I mean, I was about to talk about my sex life and infertility to these kids! Nobody is THAT open about their sex life. Apart from maybe somebody from somewhere like www.porn7.xxx, but that’s about it. But guess what? It was all really well received. People were very grateful for my candor and willingness to share something so personal. I was open and honest even when the questions asked were really personal and awkward. And the students listened. And asked amazingly insightful questions. And hopefully grew. I wasn’t able to tape the sessions as you need a waiver for that, signed by all attending the talk, but I’ll give you a brief run down here of what I covered and some of the best questions the students asked.

1. Infertility, Gender and Culture: Given to Anthropology students. Covered the way that infertility can negatively affect men and women’s gender identity as well as how our culture really focuses on the fertility of its’ women and what that means for reproductive rights. Included the Personhood debate which was an AWESOME conversation starter.

2. Infertility and Human Sexuality: Given to Education and Human Ecology students. Covered the biology of sex for conception and infertility as well as the science and stats behind advanced reproductive medicine. Was funny and covered some of the differences between sex for fun v.s. sex for conception that I previously discussed in my blog post about sex. Lots of laughs and engagement in this group.

3. Infertility and the Family: Given to Sociology students. Covered What infertility is and how it impacts not just the infertile couple but also their extended family and friends as well as how infertility continues to affect the couple as they age. Some really productive discussions about adoption/fostering in this group. I focused mostly on Child-less/free after infertility and I think it was a real eye opener that not everyone gets a kid at the end.

Best jumping off points/most insightful questions asked:

  • How do you respond to family and friends that pressure you to have children or don’t understand your pain?
  • How soon after marriage does our culture expect you to have children?
  • Does the provincial or federal government cover your psychological needs when dealing with infertility? How do you care for your mental health?
  • Why not “just adopt”?
  • Is there any way to know if IVF will work before shelling out the money to go through it?
  • Is there any way to know if I will be affected by infertility before trying to conceive?

I mean, right?! So on point and engaged! I was so invigorated and proud of these students, most of which were 18-22 years old. Gold star to them for being open to the conversation. Gold star to the professors for welcoming me into their room to give these talks. And, lets be honest, gold star to all of us going through this insanity! I will be looking for other universities and arenas to continue spreading awareness and information. I was also re-signed to do these classes again next term and every term they are held for the foreseeable future! If you know of any events that might work please contact me– unpregnantchicken.appearance@gmail.com

Onward IF Warriors!

XOXXO,
Unpregnant Chicken

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34 thoughts on “Micro Post: Talk The Talk

  • March 2, 2015 at 8:31 am
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    I’m so happy you did this! Sounds like you put in so much work and I am thrilled at the reception of your speech/lecture!! You will save so many people heartache as they move on to the phase of their lives when trying to conceive.

    And I am proud of you for opening up about such a private area of your life. NOT easy.

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015 at 10:47 am
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      Nicole,
      It was a lot of work but was also very fun and rewarding! Turns out I LOVE public speaking. Like perhaps I will find a way to only do that from now on… now just to figure out the money situation lol.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 9:47 am
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    Wow it’s so nice that you put yourself out there for these talks! Those are some great questions. Way to go for increasing awareness!

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    • March 2, 2015 at 10:48 am
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      Isabelle,
      Thanks! It was fantastic to feel like I was really getting out there and helping others understand. The students were amazing.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 9:56 am
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    I’m hoping to talk the talk too but my aim is to get public funding for IVF in BC. It’s criminal that it isn’t funded! And the adoption question would have got me riled up – how did you handle it?

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    • March 2, 2015 at 10:50 am
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      Juvarya,
      I’m also hoping to join the fight for funding here in Alberta. You’re right, it is criminal. The adoption question was one I totally anticipated and used it as a teachable moment to increase understanding about what really goes into the process. Most people in the general public have no idea. The students were shocked and outraged that it was 1) so much money, 2) took so long, 3)in Canada is almost never closed anymore. It was a good discussion. I was happy to address the misconception head on.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 10:02 am
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    Wow! What an amazing thing you did! It takes a lot of bravey to put yourself out there like that. But it’s so important to do. Thank you for sharing your story in this way. You’re officially my hero.

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015 at 10:51 am
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      Cristy,
      *blush* Thank you! It was such a spectacular experience. I look forward to doing it over and over, again and again.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 10:31 am
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    So so proud of you and all you manage to do to make something amazing out of all this. You are unbelievable and I wish I could have been there!

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015 at 10:52 am
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      Amanda,
      You know me, can’t let it keep ya down! I’m hoping to organize a community event that other people can attend. I’ll keep you posted.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 11:14 am
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    Wow, this is awesome! How did you find your way into the universities? I’ve struggled with what I can do with my passion for IF issues but beyond writing to my local MLA (who is now the leader of the NDPs) I haven’t done much. I am in Edmonton so if there is anything you are ever trying to organize and need help please let me know! I am not so comfortable with the public speaking part but I would love to contribute somehow! Good on you for your bravery and tenacity!

    Cassie

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm
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      Cassie,
      I contacted them! I had taken these courses myself and so I knew there was content overlap that I could use. Guest speakers make for a more interesting class and the students usually love the change of pace. Also I knew I would do a better job covering infertility than a prof who has never had to contend with it so I just sort of.. volunteered myself for the job! Glad to hear your also in Alberta! I’m thinking about doing some community things in the future. I will keep your proximity in mind!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm
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    This is so awesome! How fantastic that you are sharing information and discussing fertility with students. Those questions do show engagement (and even the “uncomfortable” ones show that people were relating to you, I would think.) I want to stand up and cheer!! (Oh, and since you spoke in Edmonton I’m assuming fellow Albertan :-D)

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015 at 7:24 pm
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      Torthuil,
      Yes, I am a fellow Albertan! I’m in Calgary but grew up in St. Albert and Leduc. It was so awesome, I had the best time and was pleased to have any and all questions, even the uncomfortable ones.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 5:35 pm
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    Congratulations!! I would’ve loved to hear these talks as a student! It would’ve prepared me for our situation now!

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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      Baby are you coming,
      Thanks! I feel like it is very informative for all of the people in the room and if ever they have to go through this shit they will be able to say they remember my talk and have another face for infertility and hopefully won’t feel as alone.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 8:08 pm
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    Wow, I’m really impressed that you took the time to build a different talk for each audience, and it sounds like it was well worth your effort. Thank you for spreading awareness and helping people understand what infertility is all about and how it impacts those suffering from it and their loved ones.

    Reply
    • March 3, 2015 at 7:03 am
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      Molly,
      Totally, otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten as much out of it. Made sure that I related infertility to their actual course material so that it had a broader impact. No thanks needed, it was amazing!
      XOXX< Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 8:08 pm
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    That is so awesome that you did that. For their sake, for sure, but also for all of us as you spread understanding.

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    • March 3, 2015 at 7:04 am
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      Mel,
      More understanding is definitely a good thing. The more people understand the more that will be supportive to those of us going through it.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 8:08 pm
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    Damn I wish I was in your classroom when you gave these talks! If you feel so inclined, we would all love to get some practice video lectures here on your blog 🙂 ! Congrats for accomplishing this! Its really amazing. I think its so great to get people informed on infertility. Because no one knows about it being a common issue, its usually something we think “other” people have.

    Reply
    • March 3, 2015 at 7:05 am
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      Iris,
      Next term when I give these talks again I will send out the waiver ahead of time and be able to tape them. In the mean time i will also tape any community events as they come up. I like that i reached these kids before most would know of possible infertility in their lives. Hopefully I help some of them.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 8:42 pm
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    That’s truly amazing. It sounds like such an awesome experience. And you’re having so much impact. I so wish you could film the talks, though! Ah! I would LOVE to see you give one.

    But anyway. I’m incredibly proud of you. You’re a freaking rock star.

    Reply
    • March 3, 2015 at 7:07 am
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      SecondVoice,
      I will film in the future so hopefully you get the whole effect. I appreciate the support and accolades! Much love to you.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 9:34 pm
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    Pretty darn awesome that you did four different versions of your guest lectures just to make them more relevant and specific for the students. So impressed and proud to know you!

    Reply
    • March 3, 2015 at 7:07 am
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      Renuka,
      Thanks! I think it was imperative for them to have course based talks. It was definitely more work, but so worth it.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 11:19 pm
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    You have become a bodhisattva of infertility – reaching out to bring clarity and education to the masses. It takes a lot of compassion, wisdom and strength to do what you did! Well done!

    Reply
    • March 3, 2015 at 7:09 am
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      Deathstar,
      I don’t know what to say. It felt right and good. I imagined my light growing big just before the talks and tried to remind myself not to be afraid. Being afraid or full of myself is ego, I hoped to be there for others and so tried to imagine my divine light being the only thing that mattered.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 2, 2015 at 11:58 pm
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    What an experience, for all involved. I am glad the students were so involved and asked questions! (In Finland, you’d get stone silence. lol) I can only imagine the information and hopefully understanding that the students came away with!

    Reply
    • March 3, 2015 at 7:10 am
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      JustHeather,
      You think? Why would they not engage in Finland? Apparently yesterday some of the classes met again and the instructor reported back to me saying I was a top discussion point for how informative and entertaining I was. So that’s good.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 3, 2015 at 6:50 am
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    Way to go!! Happy to hear that you were able to educate these students as you talked about your experience. I was also very impressed how you modified your presentation for each class… Lots of time and energy invested, but rewarding! Congratulations and keep moving forward!!

    Reply
    • March 3, 2015 at 7:13 am
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      Silvia,
      Thanks! It was so worth it! Also as a teacher that’s what I am used to doing! So it was great.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • March 3, 2015 at 3:52 pm
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    That sounds amazing! Love all the questions. Kudos to you for talking and walking! 🙂

    Reply
    • March 3, 2015 at 5:54 pm
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      Jess,
      Thanks!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply

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