April 2021, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Four months ago, days before Christmas, my sweet toddler spiked a fever and seized in his sleep. His dad sped down the toll road to the children’s hospital in Washington, DC, as I held our child’s limp and unresponsive body in my arms, pleading with him to open his eyes and look at me, to hear me.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, when we arrived, I sat alone with our baby for eight hours in the ER, asking medical folks to help, to listen, to please hurry. Finally, imaging showed that a recent surgery site was infected and he was admitted…


This global problem has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic

Community members joined International Anti-Street Harassment Week in Nashville, TN, April 2021

Global cases of COVID-19 have surpassed 137 million and the World Health Organization says infection rates are climbing in every global region. In addition to harming people’s health and taking lives, the pandemic is also causing an increase in crises like poverty and hunger, children out of school and domestic violence. One of the other social issues that’s intersecting with the pandemic is gender-based street harassment.

L’Oréal Paris and survey firm IPSOS recently released the results of a 15-country study documenting over 15,000 women’s experiences with street harassment. …


Walking in the woods, mid-April 2020

Dear ES,

When I was deep into the hellish world that is having unexplained infertility, unsure if I’d ever get to be a mom, occasionally I would dream I was holding my baby. I recall how I’d wake feeling comfortable and content, but only for a moment. Then I’d remember that I had no child, I was barren, and almost involuntarily I would begin my daily stream of consciousness of wishing and hoping and wishing and hoping that one day my dream would come true.

My dream finally did come true after more than five years, when I birthed you…


Waiting for the COVID19 test for our child at Children’s National’s Drive-Thru, March 24, 2020

This week, Children’s National Hospital opened what may be the first drive-through testing site specifically for youth (ages 22 and under) in the country. Today, my spouse and I took our child to it for testing. I’m sharing our experience about deciding on getting testing and the testing process itself in case it’s useful to other worried parents.

In late January, within a week of the first confirmed COVID19 case in the U.S., my spouse bought us each a reusable face mask and hand sanitizer online. I thought he was overreacting, but he was sure it would spread across our…


In a forthcoming memoir, columnist E. Jean Carroll alleges President Trump sexually assaulted her more than 20 years ago. She joins more than a dozen women who have alleged sexual misconduct by Trump. Trump has denied each allegation, including Carroll’s, but I believe her; I believe them. New research suggests we all should.

False allegations of sexual harassment or assault are quite low, and they are no more common than false reports of any other type of crime. Adding to the body of research demonstrating this are the results of a nationally representative survey released a few weeks ago that…


Gillette’s new advertisement “The Best Men Can Be” is making some people mad. But we need more ads like theirs, not fewer.

Gillette’s ad

The Gillette video released this week encourages men to speak up and take action when they witness sexual harassment, bullying and fights. It also encourages them to model positive behavior for boys who are watching them.

“We believe in the best in men,” the narrator says, “To say the right thing, to act the right way. Some already are, in ways big and small. But some is not enough. …


One year ago today, on August 29, 2017, a tiny misshapen embryo was transferred into my body.

Since Dec. 2012, I had unsuccessfully tried several types of infertility treatments as well as adoption. In March 2017, I reluctantly began in vitro fertilization (IVF). My first embryo transfer resulted in a “technical pregnancy” that didn’t last. The second one stuck at first too, and I was elated to be pregnant. But then my pregnancy levels dropped and I lost the pregnancy. I was devastated.

Including a failed adoption process earlier that year, I’d now had three “close calls” that resulted in…


Preparing for adoption

With overpopulation being a real concern and child neglect and abuse a grave reality, it was important to me that if my life-partner Mark and I were going to become parents, that we open our home and hearts to at least one child through adoption. My altruistic and optimistic hopes were dashed through the realities of the adoption process. I know adoptions successfully happen all the time, but I still feel disillusioned and betrayed by our experiences.

Expanding on the timeline in “A Long Journey to Become a Parent-To-Be (Part 2),” these are barriers we initially faced in trying to…


I found hope and solace in flowers. During the worst parts of this year, I compulsively picked wildflowers on my walks and runs and filled vases with them to place all over my house.

At various points over the past few years, it immensely helped me to read the specifics of what others who did infertility treatments, had miscarriages or experienced adoption issues went through. It helped to understand how they got from point A to point B. In case my journey can help others, here is my timeline of events from across the past nearly five years.

TRYING NATURALLY

December 2012:

I went off birth control pills for the first time in 11 years.

April 2013:

I left my job after nearly six years, in part so I could end my long daily work commute…


So far, the path to my rainbow baby has included: 11 types of medicines across an accumulative 15 months, 152 total shots, ~ 45 doctor appointments, 7 procedures, two miscarriages, a failed adoption and my lucky charms

It was nearly five years ago, at age 29, that my life-partner Mark and I decided we were ready to become parents. We discussed having one biological and one adopted child and decided to focus on a biological one first. I assumed by age 30, we’d have our first kid. I had no idea that it would take this long to get to where we are — I’m just starting the second trimester of my current pregnancy, and I will be 35 years old when this rainbow baby is born.

It took me a long time to face the term…

Holly Kearl

Founder of @StopStHarassmnt & @NoStHarassweek. Author. Work for @AspenInstitute #EndSH #Feminist

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