How will you mark National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)?

23 Apr

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably well aware that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). While this isn’t my first NIAW as an infertile (it is in fact my third), it is my first one as an infertility blogger, and therefore feels like my first one ever since I wasn’t very aware of them in the past.

The theme for NIAW this year is “Don’t Ignore” and I can’t think of a more powerful message to connect with infertility awareness. Some of my favorite IF bloggers have already begun writing about what they wish people wouldn’t ignore about infertility.

I absolutely love what Her Royal Fabulousness at Waiting for Little Feet wrote about not ignoring the woman beneath the label. I’m so guilty of this. I’ve let infertility change me in a lot of bad ways. I’ve gotten away from my true self, the one who loves to work out, and read, and cook, and do so many other things. HRF really grabbed me when she asked, If you don’t care for the woman peeking out from under the label, what will be left when your TTC journey is over?

My friend Cristy at Searching for Our Silver Lining encourages us to not ignore our accomplishments, which I think is such an important point. Any woman who is facing infertility and still finds the strength to go about her daily life is a warrior in my mind. Because this disease is debilitating. Let’s not forget how far we’ve come and how strong we are. We rule! RAWR!

Then there’s Jay at The 2 Week Wait who writes about not ignoring the power of humor. Sometimes I find I have to give myself permission to laugh, especially when it comes to the oddities of infertility, the extreme lengths we go to. To me, finding the humor in infertility is finding perspective. The perspective to step back and realize that you’re bigger than this. This is part of you but it doesn’t define you.

There are so many other great “Don’t Ignore…”s out there. It’s amazing to me how many of these are not designed for the world outside of IF, these are lessons to our fellow travelers along this rocky road. I’m not sure how many other meaningful Don’t Ignores I could offer to the already stellar set that my fellow bloggers have set forth.

Instead, I started thinking about how I could mark (dare I say, celebrate?) NIAW and what I’ve come to is the realization that I need to come out. I need to emerge from the shadow this has cast over my life and own it. As I’ve mentioned, I have a blog post written on my personal blog about the lessons I’ve learned from IF that I have been stalling on. Sometime over the course of this week, I’m going to publish it. I just want to run the entire thing by DH first to make sure he’s comfortable with it.  I’ll be sure to post it here as well.

I won’t link my public persona to this blog. I still don’t want to do that because I still want to share all the down n’ dirty details with you all that I’m not willing to share with the whole world. But I owe it to myself and to the infertility community to make my struggle known. Because I know now that there is nothing to be ashamed of and that people always appreciate when someone shows their true colors, especially when it’s hard.

What about you… How will you mark National Infertility Awareness Week? Do tell.

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8 Responses to “How will you mark National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)?”

  1. Cristy April 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Outting yourself is a scary thing. You never know how people you care about will react and it will change things. But, I’ve never regretted outting myself. Too many good things have come from it.

    Wishing you a memorable NIAW.

  2. DandelionBreeze... previously NYMum April 24, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    Love your post… and thank you for all the links 🙂 This is certainly a very debilitating issue and I’ve found that when others are aware, they are very supportive. Hope this is your experience too 🙂 xo

  3. storkchaser April 24, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    Thank you for this! i really needed to read this! And, yes, outing myself was hard but so worth it! Only good things came from it. 🙂 Also, I have challenged myself not to ignore my relationships. My marriage has to be more than TTC and I have vowed to no longer ignore my friends. I have a small number of friends who are my biggest cheerleaders and hoping for us to have babies almost as much as we are! Fertile does not equal foe all the time. Also, Theresa at Journey to the Finish Line challenged her readers to not forget their strength. Awesome. Here it is: http://acoursetothefinishline.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/niaw-dont-ignore-your-strength/

  4. kate April 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Wow! love your blog! So well written and thoughtful. Thanks!

    I’ve also been thinking about how to “come out.” I’m very open at work and with my friends about my struggle with infertility but that’s sort of been easy because of who I surround myself with. This week I decided to change my cover photo to one from The Infertility Voice because that’s where insensitivity lives most of the time. My husband was the only person that has commented on this change. He said I was brave for doing it. I don’t know if it’s enough, but, it’s a start.

  5. Megan April 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Stopping by to say Hi from ICLW and now I have more reading to do since you posted the links.

  6. Laura April 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Happy ICLW and NIAW!! I outed myself on Facbook last NIAW and boy was it scary. Everyone close to me knew, but to put it out there to everyone else…linking my blog for the rest of the public? Scary, but I’m so glad I did it! I had lots of people come out of the woodwork thanking me for sharing and it started a conversation with many people! (some new people already this year too!) That’s the whole point, right?! Loved your post. Thanks for sharing!

  7. St. Elsewhere April 25, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    I had read two of the three posts you have mentioned here, and I loved them both.

    Happy ICLW…

    #24

  8. Tracey April 26, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    Stopping by from ICLW 92. I love your courage about coming out this week. Its a scary thing, but if you and hubby are ready, it can be a real load off and the instant end to those nagging comments. For NIAW, I blogged about Don’t Ignore the support of those who’ve gone before you
    I blog for my IVF docs at Long Island IVF so I can share my stories. I’m hoping ICLW and NIAW can help me find new blogs and spread the word about LIIVF’s free Micro-IVF cycle contest kicking off this week. Details for those interested are on the blog or Long Island IVF’s FB page

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