I know it’s technically Whiny Wednesday, but I decided that this ought to take precedence.
By now you may have heard about the Redbook/RESOLVE infertility awareness campaign The Truth About Trying. It’s a video campaign encouraging people (both women and men) to talk openly about their experience with infertility.
I was very honored to be asked to participate in the initial launch and you can see my video contribution here. You may also recognize Pamela from Silent Sorority and some others from the blog world.
I was very pleased to get involved when I was first asked. I’m so glad that a major publication is finally taking on this topic and bringing it out of the closet, and I was also glad to finally see some celebrities opening up and being honest about their experiences.
But I have to say, when the big launch happened on Monday night, I went scuttling into my shell. I’ve spent the last couple of days analyzing why I reacted this way. I’m still not 100 percent certain, but a big part of it comes from not wanting to be defined by my infertility and not having my childlessness be my sole topic of conversation. As I said in my video, I have all kinds of other, far more interesting things I want people to know about me, especially when they first meet me.
So, I’ve hidden in my shell feeling small for a couple of days, but now I’m coming out again. Because I remember what it’s like to deal with the infertility mess. I know what it feels like when you think you’re the only person in the world this has ever happened to. And I know that if we talk about this, it will eventually stop being such a shameful and taboo topic.
I encourage you to add your own video to the discussion. I think it’s important for people who don’t understand infertility to see we women, who have been through the wringer and come out the other side (largely) intact. If you do post a video (or if you have already) be sure to post a link in the comments, so that we can all come and cheer you on.
I found your blog through the Redbook Truth about Trying campaign. I listened to a bunch of the videos on there yesterday, yours touched me, because I also have (for now, anyway) chosen to be childless instead of pursuing adoption or more treatments. I have friends who have faced infertility, so I did have people to vent to about the 2 week wait, or the injections and blood draws. But they all ended up getting pregnant. So, it’s different. If it weren’t for the videos, I wouldn’t have found you or this blog, and found someone who I can relate to. Sooooooo, I outed myself on facebook last night. I posted the link to the Redbook campaign and admitted my infertility, and it felt great, in that moment. Until a couple of hours later, when I realized that all my FB freinds who read it, people I graduated high school with, or used to work with, or work with now, or see out on weekends, would now know that I am infertile. I am not ashamed, I tell people if they ask about when I’m having kids, but I also don’t want it to define me. I am who I am today, partly because I faced infertility, but it is NOT who I am. Reading this blog post, again offered me comfort, becuase you, again, are feeling the same thing. And if my posting the link to Redbook’s videos gets one woman to watch them, and one woman to feel less alone, then I guess it is worth it…because feeling like no one undertands sucks.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I feel a bit like that. It would be great to share this on facebook. Because they found a really good way to rise awareness AND show different aspects of infertility. There are videos of people who now have children – and those who don’t… of women and men… etc.
BUT if i share this on facebook, i’m really scared that people will immediately start to figure out a story about me – which is not true at all. And the story in my case is not a simple one. I think i could be frank about a definite medical condition on my side (though i know that it seems to very hard for women in that situation). but its much harder and maybe not fair to be frank about male factor infertility in an EX-Partner! So again, sharing and raising awareness is so much connected to shame, it’s really not easy….
I was so glad to see Redbook’s campaign and listened to several stories yesterday morning – including yours and Pamela’s which I so appreciated. At this point, I’ve only had enough nerve to say a bit on my personal blog and open up to a small group of friends online. While the majority of feedback has been positive there are still those who try to help but say the *wrong* thing; and sometimes I get the feeling those in my circle are tired of hearing what I have to say (“Good Lord. Can’t this woman just deal with it and move on already?”). We’ve still to reach the end of our journey but the end is coming up quick and getting there with a child is a long shot. I’m still pretty sensitive and trying to process. I was thrilled to see the stories from women such as yourself who struggled with infertility, did not have a child, and have been ok. It has really helped me hang in there through these last few months.
Bravo, Lisa! I’m off to check it out now, but wanted to say, before I even watch your video, that you are an inspiration, promoting life after infertility, showing how good it can be. You’re strong and creative and so much more than your reproductive parts. Being “out” and infertile is not always easy and some days it takes more strength than we can find. That’s ok though. We get it.
Pamela M Tsigdinos says
Ditto, what’s been said here, Lisa! You are an inspiration and a wonderful role model. Your warmth and honesty and genuineness make me proud and happy to know you.
p.s. I, too, work very hard to overcome the sense that I’m painting myself as one-dimensional. Whenever I question why I keep coming back to the topic of infertility, I’m reminded that until we get to a point where there isn’t a need for women in our shoes to speak up — often and with a call for empathy and a message about how infertility alters lives — that we will have arrived at a good place in society.
Until then we will, I’m sure, continue to wrestle with the stigma and “ick factor” that infertility presents, and the misplaced judgement that childlessness carries today. We are stronger for all that we’ve experienced.
Meanwhile, I can say with certainty that you are way more than your infertility. Thanks for the shout out…will add a link to this post and your video on my Coming2Terms blog.
Thank you for sharing this information. I’ve been sitting here for literally 2 hours contemplating whether or not to video my story, then deleted all of it. I then listened to your video, and am so grateful that you use your words and your voice to say what so many of us still have a hard time saying. I am childless. And I WILL be okay too! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
i keep deleting my video of my story
it is too hard to share
Wow i love this!
The only thing that i find difficult is that it is about women…..again…. and not men….:-(
oh sorry – just only discovered the guys now. The introduction video is basically about women, though. Shows that it must be even harder for men….
Thank you so much for your video. I have watched a few but yours touched me so much that it made me cry. I really needed to hear that it is possible to get through this difficult experience and to come out the other side strong and happy.
Great video, Lisa! Thank you for lending your voice & representing us. : )
I REALLY LOVE your videoooooo…THANKS for making it and sharing it. 😀 HUGS!!!
Alice B says
Thank you for sharing the link to this campaign… it was wonderful to hear other people’s stories. Your video so eloquently said what is often on my mind and in my heart. Thank you.
Coming here from Pamela’s post about the Redbook Truth about Trying campaign. LOVE your video. 😀 Just shared it in Facebook ‘coz you stated so many things that struck many chords in me. I know each experience is different, but you’ve voiced the things I wish other people would hear. 🙂 THANK YOU for that!