National Infertility Awareness Week starts in just a few days. And for me, it’s nothing short of thrilling.
Thrilling to see, feel and be a part of the surge of hope, support and the coming together that happens during the week.
In the media, on social networks and in real life, women and men, patients and doctors, advocates, best friends, mothers, grandmothers and sisters are shouting from the roof tops – all in the name of infertility. It brings me such joy to know that women all over the country and the world who are suffering in silence will hear the message loud and clear:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Sharing this message, for me, is really what National Infertility Awareness Week is all about. It’s about talking about infertility, sharing information, stories, hope and support. It’s about educating those people who still don’t get it.
But what if you are not ready to share your story? What if you just found out about your infertility and are still processing it? What if you have known for years and now feel like its too late. What if it just doesn’t feel right to talk about it now? What if it never does?
Here is what I have to say to you.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE EITHER.
Infertility and going through IVF treatment is hard enough without the added pressure that can come with sharing your story. So if discussing your infertility doesn’t feel right, please know that is OK too.
Like so many others in the infertility community I’ll be posting about and promoting sharing during NIAW but before I do I want to directly address the many strong, brave women who are not comfortable with sharing their struggle. I am here to say to them and maybe you, the following: If you are not ready to share your story, if never have or never plan to, you must know this: You are part of the infertility community too.
Even if you don’t share it publically, your struggle is no different, no less important and not undefined. You are courageous and strong. And what you are doing is absolutely enough because it is the right thing for you.
Those of us who are ready to talk about it are happy to do it for those who are not ready. Most of us, including myself, were not always in this place and no expects you to be either.
What I will ask you to do is to pay attention this week. To find hope and strength in the movement. Hop on social media – just to look. Visit Resolve.org and check out what is going on. I promise you will be uplifted. You will feel the love and support that the momentum of NIAW creates. And in its wake, as it does for me every year, I hope it will refuel your hope and give you strength to battle on, in whichever way you choose.
*Title quote from Mary Anne Radmacher