The week of April 19-25, 2020 is RESOLVE’s National Infertility Awareness Week. This is an opportunity to tell your story, empower yourself, and receive support from others for the difficulty and trauma of infertility. The theme this year is #MyInfertilityStory. It’s your turn. #NIAW2020
Yes, there is the story about the time and the many efforts you have been involved in to get to parenting. So many appointments and hundreds of injections. The financial hardship. The hope and despair rollercoaster. The fear and sadness. Tell it, my friends. Tell it loud and proud. National Infertility Awareness Week is the opportunity tell your story to the world. The world is listening, even if some of your friends and family are not.
Some people have listened to your story and they have been compassionate. You may have told other people and they dismissed it or tried to fix it. (Take a look at “7 Infertility Helpers from Hell.” That is f-r-u-s-t-r-a-t-i-n-g and i-n-v-a-l-i-d-a-t-i-n-g.
Tell your story anyway. You will find your supportive community. You will find your people. And it will feel GREAT.
When you tell your story, you free yourself from whatever shame or embarrassment you may feel. Infertility is a medical condition that requires outside help. That’s okay. It really is.
You can tell your story as a timeline.
You can tell your story from a place of emotion.
You can tell your story to offer education to people who don’t get it.
You can tell your story to support and connect with other people who are also struggling to become parents.
Now that you are telling others your story (THANK YOU!) I would like to help you re-write the infertility story that you tell YOURSELF.
Re-write the story you have already told?
I’m talking about the nasty story that you tell yourself about infertility. That you are damaged or not good enough. Or that your body is broken. Or that maybe your partner should walk away from your relationship that he or she didn’t sign up for it.
Um, yes, your partner did sign up for it because of love. In health or illness. For good times or bad. Anybody who thinks that every day in a relationship is happy and easy is living on another planet. (And by the way, you didn’t sign up for this trauma, either.)
For gay and lesbian couples and single parents, this is an access issue to sperm, eggs, or a uterus. This is no one’s fault. This is reality and thank goodness for helpers who believe in the beauty of parenting and families.
What do you focus on when you think about your story. Are you the problem or is infertility the problem? (Hint: It’s the latter.) Would you tell another person that same blaming, shaming, critical, judgmental story that you tell yourself? If you take out the word “infertility” and substitute the word “cancer”, would you berate yourself in the same way? I don’t think so. In fact, I know you wouldn’t. You have compassion and empathy for others. Remember that you are a human being who needs to be heard from a place of kindness. Yes, you. The person with a story. Tell it this week. I look forward to hearing your story.