Last year I felt so inspired to write in relation to National Infertility Awareness Week. And this year I've found it hard to come up with anything worthwhile to say or write. I've still posted some thoughts to facebook in short bursts or have included links to other blogs. But, I couldn't seem to write about how infertility has affected OUR life or come up with anything particularly interesting to say.
And it finally dawned on me why that is. Because right now I just don't want to think about our infertility. The time in our lives when we were diagnosed and so actively pursing pregnancy was such a dark, lonely and confusing time. It was definitely the most difficult time of both our marriage and our lives. The hope followed by disappointment and the failed treatment plans month after month wore us down. Poor Dave saw me cry so often and just didn't know what to do to help. It hurts to think back to that phase of life.
Because I have been completely uninspired and uninspiring this week, I instead have been reading and soaking up what so many others have written in relation to NIAW. And I'm encouraged, strengthened and I feel so much less alone. I have to say that the infertility community is a loving, supportive and compassionate bunch of people. We offer kind words and empathy when others think we've lost our minds or have gotten tired of our tears. We share our stories openly with each other and are able to share in each others' joys and sorrows on a deeper level than we would have without our shared struggle. We can ask each other for advice, not only in how to get pregnant or how to begin the adoption process, but in all facets of life because we trust each other and care about each other and what we've been through. We even share acronyms and abbreviations to an extent that sometimes I think we could have entire conversations "in code." :-)
So, I am forever grateful for this community of women that share their losses and their victories with each other. Even though Dave and I are now parents to sweet boy that is more amazing than we ever could have imagined, I will not and cannot continue on with my life as if infertility doesn't exist. Although I want to live in the NOW of redemption, blessing and God's plan I will never forget infertility. And I NEVER want to stop being a voice for those that are still in the thick of it.
Infertility is so nasty. So awful to go through. No one REALLY thinks it will happen to them and when it does it pretty much destroys any kind of plan you had for your life and it eats away at the way you see yourself, your marriage and your life. So, even though I don't want to dwell in that dark place of infertility, I will never stop talking about it. I will never stop raising awareness, being open about our story, or doing my best to help it become recognized as a medical condition and not a mere life inconvenience.
This year's theme for NIAW is "Join the Movement." I'm pretty sure no one has the goal of becoming an advocate for infertility awareness and treatment, because we all think it's something we will be able to avoid. But, 1 in 8 of us can't avoid it. It's a part of our daily lives, even if just for a season. And I hope YOU will join the movement too! My hope is that you will share YOUR story. If you have come through infertility to parenthood, share your story and be an encouragement to others! If you are in the midst of it, share your story so that others may help you carry your burden. If you are a friend or family member of someone who has experienced, be a part of THEIR story by loving, supporting and encouraging them as they have some very difficult decisions to make on a regular basis and they NEED you!
So, here is my official National Infertility Awareness Week post. PLEASE know that no matter who you are and how infertility has touched you, we all need YOU to join the movement! Refuse to be a part of the discouragement and judgement, and instead choose to be a voice of love and support for those that need you. I promise, it will not go unappreciated.