Once again, it’s National Infertility Awareness Week. This year, the theme of the week and topic for bloggers is how we joined and are part of “the movement” to bring infertility into the spotlight.
Here’s the thing about my personality. When I take up a cause (or a hobby or a lifestyle choice), I jump in with both feet. I don’t look back. I don’t dip my toe in, see if I like it or not. I make up my mind, and go for it.
So I didn’t want to join the movement. I didn’t want to be “infertile.” I much preferred to say that I was “having trouble getting pregnant.” But, like I said in my previous post, once I accepted that infertility was part of my story, I felt relieved. I could start moving forward.
So I didn’t mess around. I joined a fertility yoga class, started fertility acupuncture and logged in to an online infertility support group. Suddenly my infertility was my identity and my hobby and my cause all in one. I didn’t just tell a few friends what I was coping with, I decided to tell the world by starting a blog. I took a deep breath and I put it out there. Let me tell you, hitting “post” that first time took a ton of courage.
But what a blessing it turned out to be! Being honest about my struggle was so freeing. It allowed me to be both vulnerable and powerful at the same time. It made me an “expert” by virtue of my own experiences and allowed me to be a support for other women who were struggling too. Lots of people encouraged me and believed in me. And when it was time to do IVF, I knew that I had built a community of support that was pulling for me. What a way to go into that experience.
I was so lucky that my first IVF attempt was successful. After I had my son, I wondered if my blog would still be relevant. But what I found is that I experienced pregnancy and motherhood with the perspective of someone who’d gone through great pain to get there. I believe my former infertility influences many parts of who I am now, and how I mother my son. So my role in the movement is to continue being honest about my experiences, continue being a support to women and creating space for them to identify and reflect on how their own struggles influence who they are and how they go forward.
For more information about infertility and NIAW, please visit the following links: