2016 tri-state walk of hope

i am so excited to be serving as this year’s chairperson for the tri-state walk of hope.   i hope you will consider joining our team or making a donation.  i wanted to share why i will be walking:

When my husband Ralph and I realized it was unlikely we would be able to build our family on our own, I found myself focusing on all the things infertility was robbing us of: privacy, confidence in our bodies, control, intimacy, money and hope. Plans were put on hold or cancelled as our lives revolved around the calendar and medication schedules from our doctors. Sick days being saved for maternity leave instead were used for testing and procedures. Our savings dwindled. I started pulling back from other relationships as our friends announced their pregnancies and births. I lost faith in my ability to make it through our treatments, both mentally and physically.

And then, I found RESOLVE. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it changed my life and my relationship with my infertility.

In my peer-led support group, I found support and understanding from others who had been there and done that. I found a strength I never knew I had, and that I desperately needed to continue on the journey to build our family.

During National Infertility Awareness Week, I found hope as I saw awareness of infertility and its treatments growing. I found pride as I heard others who had previously remained silent about their struggles speak out and share their stories.

At Advocacy Day, I found my voice as I asked our government to help not just our family, but for the 1 in 8 couples struggling with infertility. I found passionate individuals who had traveled from around the country to speak out about the need for access to treatments and financial relief.

And at last year’s first Tri-State Walk of Hope, I found a community. Over 300 people came out to bring awareness to others about infertility, and to raise over $60,000 to ensure that RESOLVE can continue its important work improving the lives of those living with infertility through advocacy, education, and awareness. I found joy as together we walked that mile, to ensure that no one with infertility has to walk alone.

not so happy memories

there are sections of our time going through treatments that are a bit of a blur:  the early morning dates with the dildo cam and bloodwork, conversations with the insurance company and pharmacy, nights curled up on the couch crying into my Ben and Jerry’s.

and then there are moments that stand out more clearly.  some happier moments.  some really, really hurtful ones.  and some embarrassing ones. every now and then, some little trigger makes on of those memories come rushing in, taking me back to that place i was in all those years ago, for better or worse.

this morning, one of those triggers turned up working at the local baby superstore when i stopped in to buy a gift for a friend’s baby shower (we’ll chat another time about how baby gift shopping still gives me that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach).  i walked up to the registry desk, and there was one of the sweetest girls i have ever taught behind the counter.  and then it all came flooding back to me.

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hello old friend

it’s been almost two years since i was last here.  well, not really.  i’ve been here quite a bit, even though you wouldn’t know it from the look of things.

opening that “new post” link, and staring at the screen.  typing.  deleting.  typing.  retyping.  getting frustrated and closing the window without ever hitting publish.

and then seriously missing this outlet, this connection, that was once so important to me.  wishing i had someplace to get it out, to think things through.

so i’m back.  i’m not making any promises, either to myself or anyone else who may still be out there.  but for today, and hopefully tomorrow, i’m here.  for whatever that’s worth.

 

it’s getting to be that time of year again…

so it’s kinda, sorta, technically spring (even though the weather hasn’t caught on yet), and you know what that means – resolve’s infertility advocacy day is coming up!  i’ve already made sure to sign up to attend – have you? 🙂

this year, we are advocating again for The Family Act, a tax credit (based on the adoption tax credit) to help with the out of pocket expenses associated with IVF, as well as with treatments to preserve fertility in the face of cancer and other diseases.  we are also still seeking support for the The Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvements Act, legislation that would help soldiers who have sustained injuries in combat necessitating IVF to build their families.  and this year, we are also advocating for The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act.  although we were fortunate enough that the adoption tax credit was made permanent in the “fiscal cliff” law in 2012, the refundable portion of the credit was not included.

i know not everyone can manage to travel to DC, but even if you can’t make it in person, you can still share you concerns about obstacles facing couples trying to build their families, and your support for these important pieces of legislation.  when i go to DC again in may to meet with staffers from Senator Menendez, Senator Booker, and Representative Runyan’s offices, i am also hoping to drop off stacks of letters other senate and house offices.  if you are interested in sending letters of support down with me, you can email me at with.just.a.little.help at gmail.com for more information.  i can provide you with a sample letter that you can edit/add to, information on your representatives, and we can make plans to get your letters to me!  i promise, it will be easy and painless 🙂

well hello stranger…

man, oh man, have i missed you.

——

i’m not a religious person or anything, but maybe they would have been able to have a kid of their own if they weren’t so evil.

so that happened.  not exactly a comment i expected to hear at work last week.  honestly, i don’t think i’ve ever heard someone say that out loud before.  read it online, heard stories of some asshole saying it aloud, but never in real life.

and i totally wasn’t expecting my reaction to the comment: i felt like someone had punched me in the gut.  i looked down, fascinated by the spreadsheet in front of me.  i could feel my eye welling up, my cheeks burning.  i found myself suddenly hyperaware of everyone around me – did they hear her say that?  did it register to anyone but me?  could they tell how upset i was becoming?  my mind started racing with comebacks

ok, maybe that initial, involuntary reaction wasn’t so unexpected.  but the thought-out, completely voluntary one that came next…

i said nothing.  just kept doing what needed doing in the meeting, counting down the minutes until the period ended and i could teach my class.  but i didn’t say a thing.

not. a. thing.

and i am so, so pissed at myself.  embarrassed.  ashamed.  i can shout from the rooftops about our struggles.  spill my guts to anyone i meet.  tell my representatives about IF and ask for their support.

but i sat, silent, while some stupid twit at work opened her big fat mouth.

babyproofing

wow, i guess it really has been a while since i’ve been here – wordpress changed everything around while i was gone.  let that be a lesson to me.

i have tons of posts in drafts and in my head and on scraps of paper, but the thought of getting them out is just too overwhelming.  hopefully i can make it back to them.  but in the meantime, things have been pretty good.

——

so the other day a few weeks ago holy crap, almost two months ago, i had an appointment with the gynecologist to get back on birth control.

can we just let that sink in for a few seconds and appreciate the irony of it: the infertile chick is back on birth control.Read More »