Infertility’s Common Thread

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threadYou can’t see my expression, but I’m smiling as I type. This isn’t the painted on smile I usually rely on. (You know the smile we use to pretend we’re happy when in reality we’re hurting inside.) The way to tell if a smile is real is to look into someone’s eyes. This time I’m smiling with my eyes, too.

What’s behind it? I have a brilliant pomegranate thread tied around my left wrist and I’m listening to JJ’s “The Phoenix Mix” — an appropriately named, custom-created CD. It contains 21 tunes JJ painstakingly chose to express the wide range of emotions stirred up by infertility (from hope to loneliness to stoicism to longing to heartbreak to determination and strength). There are even two tracks JJ covers and sings herself. Not only is she a beautiful person who tirelessly supports others, she has a beautiful voice, too.

The pomegranate colored bracelet came from DMarie of Bella Vida who is boosting a campaign to show support and help raise awareness about infertility.  The thread is meant to be a starting point for conversations when people inquire about its purpose. The logic being that conversations are imperative if we are ever to remove the social stigma attached to infertility. I’m starting a new category on my blog so I can relate some of the conversations I have on this subject.

I may not experience the joy of having my own child but I can feel a different sort of joy in knowing that I might make it easier, emotionally, for another couple. I am all for lessening infertility’s stigma, and by association, someone else’s suffering or pain.

Both the thread and the CD arrived coincidentally in yesterday’s mail. Thanks, DMarie and JJ, for lifting my spirits and giving me inspiration to rise like a phoenix from the ashes.  If you haven’t ordered up your bracelet, please do so now. If you’re a fertile person who sees one, please ask about it and offer your support.

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I’m already thinking through my next post.  It will address two comments. Mother_Of_None asks “when we stop feeling inadequate because of our infertility diagnoses, what makes us feel fierce?” Meanwhile Jenna (who now feels like a little sister to me) writes that she’s scared and concerned about what comes next because “I’m quite certain I am not strong enough to handle it.”

I understand both points of view. There are some days when I feel fierce, and other days, not so much.  I welcome your thoughts here as I sort through mine.