have you heard, it’s national infertility awareness week! and in honor of it, i have been doing a bunch of posts this week for all of my fertile friends and family to help inform them about infertility and the issues in our community.
so, i think you’ve heard me ramble on enough this week, how about
listening reading to some of the other amazing people in the ALI (adoption, loss, & infertility) community. it’s time for another list o’ awesomeness:
- first off, thank you to our family and friends for their support. it may seem like a small thing to you, but every message, facbook like, and blog post you shared meant so, so much to me. thank you!
- what infertility awareness list o’ awesomeness would be complete without keiko’s what IF video? even after three years, it still brings tears to my eyes when i watch it:
What IF: A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.
- Resolve released their fertility scorecard, looking at the infertile population vs. number of clinics, insurance mandates, and legislative climate for each state. how does yours stack up?
- friends of the movement | a half-baked life
Without Friends, people who can advocate and speak on its behalf, people who can support it in times of crisis and need and joy, people who have “made it” to the “other side” and can offer–if not a promise–hope, it will struggle. National Infertility Awareness Week isn’t just about the people who are currently childless and trying to conceive talking about infertility. It’s about creating a conversation about infertility, about making it a less taboo topic, about helping people to become more sensitive so they don’t ask questions like “isn’t it time you had a baby yet?” or “when are you going to have your second child?” It’s about remembering that people who experienced infertility are not done experiencing infertility just because they’ve been able to have a child, or because they have decided to end their quest for parenthood or for another child.
- find your voice | searching for our silver lining
Despite the leaps and bounds made by technology, though, infertility, loss and adoption remain very taboo topics. In many cultures, couples facing a diagnosis of infertility or repeat pregnancy loss are often shamed into remaining quiet or are met with platitudes such as “relax,” “go on vacation,” or “God’s will.” The problem with this model, though, is that by not talking about infertility and loss, the myth of deserved shame and grief is perpetuated. By remaining silent we encourage the 7.3 million people in the US alone (1 in 8 individuals) who are facing this trauma to live in the shadows.
- we matter | if gravity happens:
I will not allow those to feel like they are going through this alone. I will not allow financial hurdles that could so easily go away with the help from Washington get swept under the rug. And I will continue to be open about our struggles to keep the conversation going that infertility is a disease, it is something 1 in 8 struggle with, and it is something that needs to change. We matter. Our dreams matter. And our futures matter.
- drafted but devoted | brave new world baby
While we are going through infertility, so many people don’t want to talk about it. If and when we are successful, many of us want to forget the struggle, as our lives are consumed by the children we worked so hard for. I promised myself that if I got through to the other side of infertility, I wouldn’t forget.
- my right to be an IVF dad | almost a father<
To the folks who seek to make it harder than it already is to have a child with assisted reproduction, I’ll simply offer this: Let’s extend an olive branch to try to find a middle ground that doesn’t attack family building. If not, let’s get the gloves on and enter the ring while I defend my right to be an IVF dad. I’ll pray for peace. But I’ll be ready to fight.
- join the movement | not when, but IF
Am I making a difference? I honestly don’t know. All I do know is that my life would look much different, much darker right now were it not for our decision to break the silence of our infertility, turn heartache to activism, and establish and foster a multitude of support networks in our lives. We never set out to be advocates; we just needed to find a way to get through the day.
- how i joined the movement | from if to when
Being a part of this movement, for me, is liberating. It’s no longer embarrassing for me to stand up and say, “I’m infertile.” Instead, it’s empowering. Because each time I do it, I think, “Maybe I’m encouraging one other person to speak out, too.” And the more of us who speak out, the better. The more we accomplish. The more we change the perception of how outsiders view us. The more likely we are to get our government and healthcare leaders to make positive changes in laws and regulations rather than negative.
- stripping infertility down | inconceivable!
As I slowly let these pieces of myself go, one piece at a time over several months, gradually becoming more comfortable openly discussing my ovaries, I found that as hard as it was at times, many are sympathetic and willing to try to understand the reality of infertility. All too often, there isn’t much information given by major media about regular infertile people. Myths and sensational stories about infertility abound, but by doing this, I was able to show a plain, fairly average face for infertility. Nothing sensational here. We’re like you. Just a basic couple who want a child very, very much.
- in addition to the blog posts i’ve highlighted, Resolve has a list of bloggers who have participated in this year’s bloggers unite challenge (i’m number 13!)