Yesterday, I had the great fortune of having a blog piece posted on The Huffington Post about #NIAW. It’s called, “National Infertility Awareness Week: Changing the Dialogue". After years of writing posts here on my personal infertility blog, I wanted to try to write something more “fertile public facing” as a subtle clearing of my throat to say, “Ahem… really though fertiles! It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. It’s about making YOU aware. Us infertiles are already more than aware how much it sucks.”
I’ve got to tell you though: Even though I haven’t been writing here often at all (which frustrates me more than you know), a day doesn’t go by when I’m not talking infertility (whether people want to hear it or not). One of the biggest highlights bringing the issue of infertility to the public at large is the recent premiere of HAVEABABY. It’s impossible to overstate how proud I am to be involved in this powerful documentary that is a raw, honest look at the costly and emotional rollercoaster those struggling to conceive go through. Click HERE to see the trailer.
It’s also yet another example of RESOLVE’s out of the box thinking to reach and educate others who don’t understand the plight of infertility. They partnered with the HAVEABABY team to help promote the film… and of course, awareness.
I’d like this post here on my blog though to be more to those who know all too well the sting of being reproductively challenged. This blog, The 2 Week Wait, has been my support group for many years, has seen me through dark times, has given me an outlet for both my sense of humor and sorrow that I felt when failing to have children and it has connected me to so many amazing men, women, couples and family building groups. Even though, again, I don’t post on here often, this blog will never stop meaning the world to me. This is why I come back here this week to aim to raise awareness AND to ask you to “Start Asking” for more.
To any of you who have been touched by infertility: It does not matter where you are in your journey. We need to stop feeling embarrassed or less than for having fertility issues. No one apologizes for having medical issues, why should we? Yes, it’s difficult to out ourselves. (Man, is that an understatement!?!?) And yes, we open ourselves up to stupid advice. ("Why yes, I did try cough syrup to help my cervical mucus. Thanks!") But until we overcome our shame and advocate for ourselves, few others will. That is a painful, ugly truth.
One in eight suffer from infertility. If the one stays silent, the other seven will never know or understand that pain. We must not stay silent. I know it’s so personal. I truly do but until we start asking to be noticed, recognized and acknowledged as a medical issue that employers and insurance need to assist like they do any other disease, we will continued to be ignored.
I’ve said this often on Twitter but the movie MOTHER’S DAY opened today – during National Infertility Awareness Week. Take Your Child to Work Day was yesterday. Is it me or does the public at large still not seem to get it? I don’t think it’s being overly sensitive to recognize what this week is supposed to be about and you’d think the marketing team at Open Road Pictures would have looked into it.
My point is PLEASE – Start Asking for awareness year round. When someone asks you why you don’t have kids, ask them if they’ve ever heard about infertility issues and then educate their fertile and innocently ignorant selves.
Start asking your HR department for coverage. Start asking your relatives for support. Come to Advocacy Day and start asking your lawmakers for help. Start asking your co-workers, friends, family and government for respect. Any opportunity you get, start asking for more.
Yes, it’s National Infertility Awareness Week but we need to start asking for true awareness of this painful, emotional, psychological issue so that this week won’t be needed anymore.
As always, with hope, humor and hugs.