When my husband and I were diagnosed with multiple fertility issues almost 2 years ago, it was a devastating time for us. It was heart-breaking and isolating. I felt that my husband’s diagnosis was particularly tragic – to be told at the age of 27 that he had less than a 5% chance of ever becoming a biological father shattered me as his wife. Infertility has affected the most private parts of our marriage, and is with us every day. I was – thankfully – fortunate to be a part of an incredible community online that provided love and support as we eventually came to the decision that we would choose childfree living as the resolution to our infertility. We were fortunate to have incredibly supportive parents, family, and friends.
Not every couple is so lucky. Not everyone has the support of friends and family, and many people struggle in silence and/or lack of understanding. To the non-IF world, talking about these things is taboo, and there are misconceptions and hurtful opinions to endure frequently. There is a lot of pain, guilt, and isolation that 88% of the people we come across cannot even fathom. We have to teach people how to respond to us and how to be part of our support system. We have to tell law-makers how legislation can hinder and hurt us. We have to be the voices for our community, especially for those who struggle in silence. That’s why I’m Joining the Movement.
Being involved with infertility awareness and advocacy has been a big part of my healing, and it will continue to be as I get more involved. I’ve struggled a lot, especially early in our diagnosis. I admit I felt hard to find which way was up. It took the help of an incredible therapist to help me find my way – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: she was the best gift I ever gave myself. There’s no shame in doing whatever one needs to do to get themselves on the right track when something like infertility threatens your dreams of a family. My hopes of making life as an infertile person a little better in society, a little easier on the wallet, and a lot more filled with love and support and understanding are what drive me. It’s something I want to do, but it’s also something I have to do. It’s how I feel fulfilled and happy and like I’m taking something awful and making it something good. Advocacy is my therapy. That’s why I’m Joining the Movement.
Each year, RESOLVE celebrates National Infertility Awareness Week with a blog theme, and this year, it’s Join the Movement. I am joining in because I have been touched by the support that RESOLVE helps provide through peer-led groups, the Walk of Hope, endless information on their website, and insightful discussions on social media. I’m joining the movement because of all the same reasons I chose to participate in the Walk of Hope. I’m joining because this is for US, where “us” is me and Buddy, our wonderful families and friends, the members of my support group, the friends who struggle alongside me in real life, and 75 very special ladies who’ve held me up for the last two years.
This is a screen shot from a video made to honor The 75 by one of its members, an incredible woman named Kati. This screenshot is about me. It brought tears to my eyes, right at my desk at work, the first time I saw it. They’re proud of me. Seventy-five strong, resilient, and beautiful women whom I’ve never hugged but who know some of the deepest parts of my soul, are proud. Of me. Seventy-five women I respect so very much. And it’s humbling. Because of their strength and support, I am strong.. Because they may be proud of me, but I’m 1,000 times more proud to know, represent, and be sisters with them. That's why I'm Joining the Movement.