Over the last few months I have joined twitter and have been apart of a community of other women and couples who are going through infertility. I wish I would have thought of this community sooner. My never ending google searches led me to blogs, which led me to twitter. I was hesitant on whether this type of support could really work for me.
At first, I thought me wanting to reach out to a group of strangers must be nuts! Imagine my surprise when I began searching for friends and 100s upon 1000s of friends with the related topic of “infertility” continued to surface. Imagine my surprise when this group of “strangers” helped get me through my first IVF cycle, keep my sanity when it did not work, and bring me laughter & joy in my everyday life of living with infertility. Imagine finding a group that just “gets it,” after a year and half of trying so hard to get those around me to get it- in one week I felt connected to this community and more connected to myself.
Through sharing my experience and getting advice via twitter I have been able to speak more to my own family and friends upon issues and concerns I face daily when it comes to my infertility. However, there is so much, so many do not understand. I thought I was the only one who wanted to vomit at the site of a pregnancy announcement via Facebook only to discover most of the community has deleted this aspect of social media for this reason.
Around Christmas I was feeling so raw. It was the time that had my IVF of been successful we would have been announcing our little one. It was the time in which family and friends thought our IVF didn’t have anything to do with the holiday and wondered why we weren’t fully participating in every aspect of this joyous occasion.
So I had an idea. If everyone was going to flood my newsfeed on Facebook I could
a. Delete my Facebook and let infertility take another part of my life away.
b. Share with the same family and friends the struggle of infertility.
I thought about it for awhile. I struggled with how much or how little to tell people. Did I really want this on social media? Who would I not want to see it? When the answers to the difficult questions were answered, I realized – I wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed of this process. In fact sharing our story might bring more awareness to the fact that many couples are going through this struggle. It might make my “friends” think a little harder before posting certain verbiage around being a mother. I couldn’t think of any negatives and so we decided we would do a photo shoot to capture the sadness and struggle of this last year and the hope for this new year.
Even the morning of our photo shoot we both had hesitation on whether we really wanted to go through with our infertility outting. Our photographer was amazing as you can see. She made it clear that she was not going to share the pictures on social media and that it would be up to us what we wanted to use and leave out.
When I saw the proofs later that afternoon, I cried. They were so beautiful. There were pictures of my husband and I playing in the snow, laughing, and moments of seriousness capturing pieces of our journey. It was the best photo shoot we have ever had. She captured the true connection between us. A connection I know and feel was not there two years ago. I could feel the love between us just glowing off the screen. For the first time, I wasn’t trying to find the right words, describe the devastation, or get someone to see the story my way. It was so simply stated in a matter of 16 photographs; our love, our dedication, our connection, and our journey to our baby.
I share both my photo’s and video with you because I believe our happiness and sadness our not ours alone. I believe with every perceived negative there is a positive, I believe that in the darkest of days there is still a bright light, and I know wherever you are in your journey whether infertility or something else – life has a plan for you for me for us. and where we are in this moment at this time is exactly where we are meant to be…