Tag Archives: NIAW

I resolve…

17 Apr

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.

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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.

Sadly, a robin lost her egg on our deck this week- I can't get over how blue robin's eggs are! Spring is finally here!

Sadly, a robin lost her egg on our deck this week- I can’t get over how blue robin’s eggs are! Spring is finally here!

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. 

Join The Movement: We Matter

24 Apr

I recently read an article that pointed out that infertility is similar to how breast cancer was 30 years ago. Breast cancer was dealt with in private because it was a disease that was never completely understood because women didn’t talk about it much. Infertility has been treated very similar as breast cancer was years back. It is something that is battled privately, a battle that so many couples struggle with in silence. But why?

Why is infertility something that is so taboo to talk about? When did it become something we should feel ashamed and embarrassed of?

This is something I can’t stop thinking about during this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week.

Society doesn’t treat infertility like they treat, for example, diabetes. Diseases are treated with doctors, medication, lifestyle changes, a lot of heart, soul, and tears but yet infertility is seen as less acceptable by society.

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“In 2009, the World Health Organization officially defined infertility as a disease. Yet many individuals, organizations, and insurance companies still say that having children is a lifestyle choice and that infertility is not a serious medical issue. Some even liken fertility treatments to cosmetic surgery. But ask the millions of couples desperately trying to get pregnant whether or not having children is a necessity. Why would they subject themselves to months of years of such turmoil if, to them, it weren’t essential to try?” Dina Roth Port, The Huffington Post, Infertility: The Disease We Need to Start Talking About

Resolve has dedicated this week in April to get people talking, to open up about issues, advocate for change, and instill hope in those still struggling. It’s for us to come together and make a difference, to educate those around us, and to find our voice on the issue. Change is made when there is enough passion to make it happen.

“The bottom line is that far too many people are suffering. But by suffering in silence, the stigma persists and the advances we need to overcome infertility will never become a reality”…”It starts with those struggling with infertility saying, “We matter.” –Dina Roth Port

This doesn’t mean you have to shout off the rooftops that you are struggling with infertility, I personally still haven’t openly announced our struggles with my world 100% but gradually we have opened up to those around us and this NIAW I have felt much more confident in advocating for what I feel so strongly about. My blog has been a huge help with that. It’s a place where I can share my knowledge, speak from my heart, and all without judgement (hopefully).

Some ways that you and I can help is to speak openly about infertility and take seriousness in the fact that anyone around you could be dealing with infertility, join or start up a support group in your area, participate in the Walk of Hope (becoming increasingly popular), contact your elected officials with concerns and ideas, and most importantly, just keep the conversation going about infertility. The more we talk and discuss it, the more comfortable and accepted the issue will become.

As we continue to struggle with our own infertility, I hope to always be a part of this movement. I will not allow those to feel like they are going through this alone. I will not allow financial hurdles that could so easily go away with the help from Washington get swept under the rug. And I will continue to be open about our struggles to keep the conversation going that infertility is a disease, it is something 1 in 8 struggle with, and it is something that needs to change. We matter. Our dreams matter. And our futures matter.

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For more information on infertility, NIAW, or what you can do to join the movement:

Kick off to NIAW

22 Apr

National Infertility Awareness Week is here!! I am so excited to spread the word through my blog that infertility is an issue. It is something 1 in 8 struggle with. Having children isn’t just a privilege some people are lucky enough to have, it is what we are made to do, it is the number one goal of millions of women out there and it is a disease that effects their well being and the way they go about living their lives (most of the time, privately and alone).

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National Infertility Awareness Week is here to give those couples that struggle with infertility a chance to be supported, shed light on, and make the world aware that anyone around you could be dealing with this life altering battle. NIAW is a chance to spread hope.

Also, I did a guest post on Maureen’s blog at breakingfreeandfindingme.com in honor of NIAW! Check it out on her amazing blog 🙂 She is helping spread the word and is such a kind, caring person and has been so supportive and encouraging in my journey. Thanks Maureen!!