First an apology.
Let me explain.
As someone who has struggled through infertility and IVF, survived and is thriving thereafter, I feel not so alone when a celebrity comes forward with their own struggles. But, despite the broken silence, as a survivor and an advocate for breaking the shamed silence surrounding infertility the message that is often times portrayed by celebrities struggling with infertility leaves me wanting, even sometimes leaves me angry.
More often than not the words spoken are much like these messages:
Never give up.
Just keep trying and it will work.
This message is unrealistic for many of us. Unrealistic because we don't have insurance that covers treatments and procedures. Unrealistic because we are not in the same tax bracket. Unrealistic because our resources are just not comparable. And, unrealistic because sometimes it just won't work.
This message is also shaming for many of us. Shaming because it comes from a place of comparison and scarcity. Shaming because our stories and circumstances are sometimes not that comparable. Shaming because each family must determine what their enough and everything is and when it is okay to stop. Shaming because our paths don't have to and probably won't look the same for each of us to reach our happy ending.
And, so it is with a very grateful heart, that I apologize for assuming you would deliver these same messages.
A thank you.
And instead, I want to say a wholehearted thank you.
As an advocate building a platform for breaking the shamed silence surrounding infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy loss and recovery and for my first book, I often times feel very alone. Sometimes, it even feels like the world isn't ready for my message.
But, in that short five minute interview I found a fellow warrior in you.
Thank you for your bravery in filming the ultrasounds, the blood draws, procedures and weight gain; showing how physically and emotionally exhausting it all is.
Thank you for your courage is sharing the pain that comes with a negative result.
Thank you for your openness in sharing your story with the world and saying how much it helps. Thank you also to your doctor for validating this.
Thank you for your acknowledgement that you are lucky that insurance covers most of your treatments.
Thank you for your realism that this doesn't always work.
Without even knowing it, you had my back in that interview.
Thank you for supporting what needs to be the message:
Permission to speak our truth.
Permission to embrace our whole story.
Permission to practice our recovery.
Permission to own it all.
Through these permissions, I think, we can change the way we talk about and move through the experience of infertility. And that if we do, not only could it maybe work more often but we can hopefully all be okay thereafter, maybe even better, and not feel so damn broken.
Thank you for your courage, for your message and for your light.
In ever upward light and love
Your fellow warrior,