Infertility’s Common Thread


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.

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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.

* * * * * *

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.


10 Responses

  1. Geohde

    September 23, 2007 10:16 pm

    I don’t think that we truly know or appreicate just how much adversity we can cope with until it happens. And we do.

    I may not like the experiences that IF has given me, but I am constantly amazed at the fact that I am more resilitent than I ever thought I could be.


  2. chicklet

    September 24, 2007 1:49 am

    I luv my bracelet, I’m glad you got one. I just feel like it’s this thing that maybe tells someone else they’re not alone.

  3. Saumya

    September 24, 2007 5:22 pm

    Hi. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, mostly because you’re a fantastic writer and this is a delicate subject. Here’s a link I found for pomegranate charms. They’re beautiful:

    If you wanted to order from UK, they’ll ship to the US. You might want to try ordering a bulk shipment just to cut down on prices. If you do get them, I’d love to have one too.

  4. Babystep

    September 24, 2007 11:08 pm

    Today for some reason I told this woman that I was going to do IVF. Sometimes I feel like telling EVERYONE instead of keeping it locked inside. She is the founder of the dog rescue organization I volunteer for. She is in her mid-50s and never had kids. I never asked her – you know how that goes – none of my bee’s wax. But I blurted out that I may not be as committed to the rescue group over the next month or so b/c I am going to do IVF. She hesitated and said, ‘YOU ARE? I did that 20 years ago’. She told me that she was obsessed with having a baby from the time she was 33 – 38. They did everything possible and then IVF was the culmination of their efforts. She got her period and wanted to die. But she said that she let it go. She truly, truly, let it go. By the time she turned 40, she was happy. She is HAPPY where she is now. And now believe it or not, she thanks God that he didn’t allow her to have children. She thinks it was in His plan. She is so at peace with it.

    I am not really religious but I totally got what she was saying. I am not there (yet) but I do hope that I can get there if I need to get there.

    Sorry for such a long post, I just thought it was poignant.

  5. Bea

    September 25, 2007 2:07 am

    I’ve been trying to think of something wise to say in response to those questions. Perhaps something will come to me by the time you post your answer, or perhaps your answer will cover it anyway. In the meantime, cool stuff in the mail! Excellent.


  6. Foreverhopeful

    September 25, 2007 4:48 pm

    I’m glad the bracelet and CD lifted your spirits. I’ll just need to order one for myself.

    You’re an amazing writer with so much insight. I look forward to reading your thoughts about the two commments. IF is so complex and so hard in so many ways.

  7. Kim

    September 25, 2007 9:12 pm

    Prior to knowing about my IF issues I always thought of myself as a weak person but I’m beginning to think differently. Although there are times when I do think I can’t continue with all of this….

  8. JJ

    September 27, 2007 2:49 pm

    SO glad the CD has brought you some joy–thank you for the kind mention. I am always anxious for your next post–such beautiful writing!
    Love the new blog look!

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