Next week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). It’s a week to talk, share, teach, and learn. If you yourself haven’t gone through infertility, I bet you know someone who has and this upcoming week is the time to show your support and spread awareness.
When we were first trying to have a baby, we kept everything very secret. David and I dealt with our anxious feelings alone because we were so unsure of what was to come and just kept hoping that it would be very soon and we didn’t want to tell anyone because that wasn’t a part of our plan. Our plan was to get pregnant and announce it to everyone at the right time, with the big surprise factor included. Months went by, and that dream felt further and further away as we started feeling more and more alone and ashamed.
I finally opened up to my mom and shortly after, my sister. I needed them to tell me it would be ok. I needed someone to make me feel less broken without feeling judged. Gradually, more family and close friends started learning what was going on with us – and the support we received back was unimaginable.
It really is a shame that for so long we felt like we had to keep our family building obstacles behind closed doors – why? Why did I feel that way? Why do thousands of other couples feel that way? Especially now-a-days…
The more people we opened up to, the easier it got, the weight was being lifted off our shoulders little by little and when we started opening up about our struggles, we started hearing stories of others who struggled as well…stories that would never have been shared otherwise.
Last year I participated in NIAW on my blog (here and here), but not through my personal social outlets. My blog is still a small secret left open to only those who I’ve shared it with so far but I am still a little hesitant and scared to share things openly. There are TONS of great articles and inspiring blog posts that I would love to share with my world but something continues to stop me…
I am braver than this.
Awareness makes change, awareness brings proaction, awareness helps people!
So this year, I’m breaking out of my silence. I am not ashamed of my story. I will not allow people to feel alone or unheard anymore. Our story is much bigger than you or I, we were chosen for a reason.
Infertility and social media typically don’t have a positive connection – social media has often brought up some of my worst feelings, made good days bad, and were often the cause of tears and feelings that I never wanted to feel. But maybe it’s time to use social media for more than just sharing the exciting, life changing news of pregnancies, births, and first steps – we have this awesome tool to spread awareness for things like infertility (and all of the categories that fall under that, for example HA & endometriosis) that have been suffered in silence for way too many years. The conversation has to be changed!
“Could you imagine a world where infertility was a priority for government funded research? Where all insurance plans covered infertility treatments? Where the media accurately portrayed the disease? Where people stopped telling you to “just relax, it’ll happen!” Well, RESOLVE does. We know that world is in our future. But we can not do it without you helping to change the conversation.” -Rebecca Flick from Resolve.org
So this year for NIAW, I resolve to spread awareness. I resolve to push change. I resolve to be brave and overcome the silence.