I could not have picked or asked for a better topic for this year’s NIAW! That statement, you are not alone is the cornerstone of my blog. It is exactly why I do what I do. It is exactly why I write and share as much as I do, to show anyone who feels as though they are alone in the world of infertility that they in fact are not. The truth is that 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. So think of all the people that you know, all of the couples, friends, family, co-workers, etc. 1 in 8 of those couples have had or will have issues conceiving a child, so you are certainly not alone.
I remember when I first started thinking that I might have problems conceiving, it was back in 2012 when Instagram was a word no one hardly knew yet, I had no idea what a TTC sister was, I couldn't raddle off the process of IVF without even blinking, and I certainly didn't know that 3 years later I would be where I am today. I did feel alone. I was sad and upset and lost. I had already started my blog and, as most of you know, infertility blogging was not my intention when it first started, but it has since blossomed into my outlet for advocacy. So, I took to Instagram in search of anything I could find infertility related, I searched hashtags, I searched other infertility blogs, and I found that there were millions of us out there and that we are the most understanding, comforting, loving, brave, strong, and determined group of people that I would ever encounter.
What my wish is as an advocate for infertility awareness and a promoter of positivity is that infertility becomes talked about, that it is not seen as taboo, that when someone feels like they might be infertile or when they are confirmed to be so that they don’t feel alone, that they already know “hey, I hear about infertility all the time and I know that there is an awesome community out there and that it’s easy to access”. I don’t want people to have to feel ashamed of it, or feel like they are defined by it, but that they will conquer it and embrace the blessings that can come from it.
I know that it may seem like far stretch of the mind to think that any blessing can come from being infertile. Most of the facets of infertility we curse, but there are some very unique and special pearls of friendship, love, wisdom, and support that also come from infertility. Some of the most beautiful souls I know I have met only because of infertility. There is nothing else in this world that would've brought us together. Most of them I have never met in person, but I know them at their worst and they know me at mine. We have showered each other with gifts from the heart, we have lengthy strands of Instagram, Facebook, email, and text messages, much like I do with my best friends. I consider them to be some of my best friends, they can understand better than anyone, and it’s because they are living the exact same struggle, and fighting against it.
What the statement really should be is you are FAR from alone. The word “not” just doesn't give this statement enough justice. Although not everyone struggling with infertility will be plastering their story all over the internet, newspapers and podcasts like I do, we've got sisters who don’t share it with their struggle with their closest friends and family, but they have hundreds of TTC sisters who know every intricate detail of their story. They have TTC sisters they've never met that know more about them than their own real life best friend might know. That’s the beauty of the community. We are the only ones that can truly understand so whether or not you choose to share publicly, or keep it private, we support you no matter what. We don’t judge you, your choice, or your journey. We won’t tell you things like, “just relax”, or “it will happen when it’s meant to happen”. And we certainly won’t be asking, “so when are you going to have kids” or “don’t you want kids” or “are you even trying to have kids”… etc. We know better and we know how that hurts and how frustrating it is to hear.
I guess I could go on about this forever, but I won’t. I am so happy to be celebrating the 1 week that we infertile’s get out of the entire year, NIAW! Truthfully I feel like it should at least be NIAMonth, but I guess a week will have to suffice! I love spreading the good word about infertility awareness and the all the positives that can really come from it. I know when you’re new to this it seems impossible to think that any good could come from being infertile, but you will be pleasantly surprised. My regular readers know how giddy this stuff gets me. I am happy to share, happy to entertain questions, happy to be an advocate on behalf of the entire community. I think I can speak for us collectively as a community and say that we want to encourage everyone to reach out to us because we don’t want you to feel alone, we want you to feel like you've got somewhere to turn when you know that no one else understands, when you’re not sure if what you’re feeling is normal, when you’re not sure if you should keep Follistim in the fridge, when you’re not sure if your test results are normal, when you’re not sure if that’s a positive HPT or OPK, when you need a good laugh, a positive quote, a bible verse, these are all the things you will find in our community along with love & support. You will not be alone in this.
Here’s how to find us:
Via Instagram: search hashtags like #infertility, #infertilityawareness, #ttc, #ttcsister, #IVF, #IUI
Via Facebook: Start with RESLOVE’S Facebook page, or join an Infertility Group
Via Blog: Here’s a list of my favorites:
Dreaming of Dimples – (Donor Egg IVF success – DEIVF)
Is It Time Yet? – IVF success
JoJo’s Infertile World - IVF success
In Due Time – Faith based/fitness/Essential Oils/Infertility
Girl Ryanne – Infertility blog/slight MTHFR mutation
Jen’s Anchor of Hope – Infertility blog/suffers from Lean PCOS
Amateur Nester – 100% Infertility blog/IVF success/shares others’ stories
Unnaturally Knocked Up – IVF Success
Beth & Harrison Slatery – IVF Success
Our Journey to a Baby Bump – Surrogate success
Starbucks, Peace, and the Pursuit of a Baby – Faith based infertility blog
Here are some other important links