Every year that I’ve participated in Resolve’s National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), I typically only post once (Here are some past years: 2012, 2013, 2014) and if you scroll down below this post, you’ll see my first post for this year – 2015.
However, I felt compelled to write just one more blog to make the point that while NIAW is just a week, that for too many, it is year round and sometimes, for their entire lives.
I used to joke that my two week wait felt terminal. The reality is though that for some, it is. @Ms_Infertile posted something that I thought was so true and the public at large doesn’t get when it comes to infertility and that is you can try your best, do everything you can and use every resource and still have empty arms at the end of it.
Throughout my infertility journey, I’ve made friends with a countless amount of people and all of them have had either different conclusions or none whatsoever. Some have had children through insemination, IVF, donor eggs, surrogacy and adoption. Others however have gone on to get divorces or opt to stop treatment altogether. Neither is right or wrong – it’s what was best for them but my point is that infertility isn’t just something we talk about in a week. It’s something that can change people’s lives forever.
I’m proud of this week, that it exists and reminds the fertile public at large we’re here but frankly, it pisses me off that after this week is over, too many don’t know the reality or the scope of infertility.
As many of you know, in the past few years, I’ve been a very vocal infertility advocate. In the past couple of months, albeit in the overwhelming minority, I’ve gotten some questions (and a bit of grief) about why I continue to be an advocate when I’ve had a child (through my third IVF) and I’m currently expecting my second from what I can only describe as a Hail Mary long shot miracle. I have four responses to that:
1. I still care. Period and end of story.
2. There are many who survive breast cancer or other life changing diseases but just because they are seen as a success story doesn’t mean that they can no longer be an advocate for the cause. Why? See number one.
3. I have been diagnosed with infertility. I am definitely one of the privileged who has gone on to have children but this diagnosis affected my life tremendously and again, please refer to number one.
4. I saved this one for last because frankly, it’s the biggest most personal important reason to me and keeps me an active advocate.
When I was deep in the trenches, I was intensely private about my struggle to conceive. I was profoundly embarrassed, depressed and ashamed. Very, very few knew what was going on and what we were going through. I can honestly admit now that I was actually terrified of people finding out. It, along with never having children, was my biggest fear.
Right now, at this moment, someone is exactly in that place. Hell, I talk to people all day long who have confided in me their infertility issues and shared with me that their family or close friends don’t have any idea that they are dying to have children but are unable to.
I have the luxury (yes, the luxury) to be at a place in my life to give those people who can’t yet be open about infertility a voice. They are the ones who can’t tell Dolce and Gabbana what they said about IVF Babies was very offensive (Read HERE). They are the ones who can’t write a post for Huffington Post telling people they are being insensitive when they ask others why they haven’t had kids yet (Read HERE). They are the ones who can’t advise the younger generation to know their fertility health to possibly try and avoid what they are currently going through (Read HERE) and they certainly would never go on television to disclose they have a child through IVF (Watch HERE).
Whether you like me or hate me, whether you think I should go away or keep on keeping on, I can never shake the person that infertility made me. I’m not saying at all that I do everything perfectly or you have to agree with all of my actions. What I’m saying though is I know how I was and I know how there are still so many, too many people scared as I was to admit that this is something they are dealing with. I promise you with every fiber of my being, whenever I do anything on this subject, they are always, completely in my heart and on my mind.
When NIAW is over, the infertility journey for one in eight is not. So again, I say to those of you who are the one in eight — not only are you not alone, but there are others like me who aim to give you a voice if you feel you simply can’t have one.
Here are just a few of my fellow advocates/bloggers of those very people:
- @remagineit – Please see his blog HERE.
- @radkitten – Please see her blog HERE.
- @FurrowedFox – Please see her blog HERE.
- @JustineFroelker – Please see her post on HP HERE.
- @gsmwc02 – Please see his blog HERE.
- @jenrutner – Please see her blog HERE.
- @ChancesOur – Please see her blog HERE.
And again, you can learn more about infertility by visiting these links:
http://www.resolve.org/about-infertility/what-is-infertility/ (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)