For those who are unaware, this week, April 19-25 2015, is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). The point of this week is to help educate the public about the realities of infertility and increase the conversation surrounding infertility. Each year they provide a topic for us to blog about. Last year was my first time blogging specifically for NIAW.
This years topic is You Are Not Alone. An idea that is near and dear to my heart. I have spent the majority of my time dealing with my infertility in silence. Answering prodding questions about when I would have children by brushing them off and not admitting to anyone that not only had we been trying for a long time, but that I knew something had to be wrong. I kept it all to myself and never have I felt more alone.
The problem is that infertility is a disease we suffer from in silence. There is so much shame in the idea that something is wrong with our bodies, and when we try to talk about it with our very Dr’s it is brushed off. How could we ever open up about it to our friends, family, and peers?
Reality however is different.
1 in 8 couples in the US will have difficulty conceiving a child.
That is over 7 million people.
Reality is you are not alone.
We need to break the silence. Break the fear, the anger, the hurt, the shame.
By breaking our silence and speaking openly about topics that make people uncomfortable, we break the barrier of shame and silence surrounding our disease. By breaking the silence we finally realize that while we might feel alone, we are not.
In the time since I have been candid and open about my struggle, the sheer number of people that have reached out to me and confided that they too struggled has been staggering. If we all raise our voices and fight to be heard, we can and will change things so that future generations will not have to suffer the same loneliness we have.
At the end of the day, always remember, even if you feel alone, you aren’t alone. Reach out. Own your story. Find your tribe. We’re here waiting for you.