Next week is National Infertility Awareness Week and if you're anything like me you're thinking, "My Lord, what will they think of next?"
I'll bet if I did a Google search I'd find a week that commemorates National Shoelace Week and National Garage Door Awareness Week too. Somedays, it seems a little ridiculous but next week, National Infertility Awareness Week makes sense to me.
Why you ask? (Oh, wait, maybe you didn't) ;-)
Many of you know I've suffered from infertility and never parented. For those of you who don't, now you do and you might be asking, "Hey, Steph, why didn't you just adopt?" For the long answer, click here but the short answer is we didn't feel called to it.
Infertility comes with a host of unanticipated issues. It is riddled with uncertainty and angst that most people can't fully appreciate unless they've traveled down the bumpy, foggy road. But personally, one of the most challenging struggles is that the number of myths circulated about infertility outnumbers the sands on the shore. (Ok, I admit that's hyperbole but sometimes it feels like that). My sense is this is because only the success stories make the headlines.
In the next few weeks, I am publishing an ebook called, The Forgotten Patient. It is a compilation of essays from women who've ridden the unforgiving roller coaster of infertility and never succeeded. This book will pay homage to our population and also educate others on what it is like to live in a world where we don't always quite fit in.
Infertile people are persona non grata in so many circles. The infertility professionals distance themselves from us because we represent failure and in others people just don't quite know where we fit in. The struggle of identity is reminiscent of Simon Cowell's comment last week about Sibohan Magnus. "Siobhan," Simon yawned, "We just don't know who you are. What kind of an artist you are. I think you're confused and so are we."
When we can't quite "pigeon hole" each other, we struggle. Our brains search for a frame of reference. If you watch American Idol, this analogy makes sense. Mike is like Luther. Lee is like Daughtry. Crystal is like Melissa. Sibohan is like...hmmm....uh, hmmm. See what I'm getting at?
Infertile women often struggle themselves with a sense of identity. Lord knows, if we don't know who we are, the rest of the world won't either.
I am grateful that no matter how silly we have gone with "National" awareness weeks, this upcoming week April 26- May 1st is dedicated to raising awareness around a topic so near and dear to my heart and my client's hearts as well. I'm participating in it and so is another woman I met via the world of social media who has walked in my shoes.
Pamela is a gifted writer who tirelessly works to raise awareness about those of us who have struggled with infertility without success. She authored the book Silent Sorority, a must read for anyone who had been there or loves someone who has.
Please check out her latest post on Open Salon titled, Would You Tell Someone You Are Infertile? It made me cry and left me shouting, "I know, I know!"
Please share a link to it on your blog, Twitter account or Facebook. I'd be so grateful and I know Pamela would be too.
Is there something you would like to know more about in terms of infertility? Maybe how to help a friend, deal with the grief yourself? Ask away and also, I'll be tweeting next week using the hashtag #infertilitymyths. Join me, guys! Really, join me!