I wanted to produce one of my brilliantly-written, flowing posts when the time came for me to share with you a campaign to which I contributed. However, a stomach flu just struck kid #2, as evidenced by the puke on my foot and all over the floor and walls in my bathroom. So, I’ll have to settle for the point-blank details. Ultimately, what matters more is the importance of the message, and not so much how it is delivered.
RESOLVE – The National Infertility Association has joined in partnership with Redbook to launch The Truth About Trying campaign. The goal is end the secrecy and shame that keeps infertile men, women, and couples from sharing their experiences. Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples, so there is a likelihood that you or someone you know has or will deal with infertility at some point in their lives.
Case in point – you know me (even if only through the screen on your computer), so you know someone who has battled with infertility. My fight may not have been nearly as long or as difficult as what others have had to endure, but I’ve donned boxing gloves for myself and for others as a gestational surrogate. However, for every one person who, like me, is open about their struggles, there are several others who feel like they are all alone and are afraid or ashamed to speak up and out about it.
No one should have to hide or feel ashamed, and much of this desire for secrecy comes from how little is known by the general public about the emotional, physical, and financial toll that infertility can take on those who suffer from it. No two people will be affected in exactly the same ways, but by sharing personal truths, infertile people can find common threads that can bind everyone together in a blanket of support and understanding.
This is the idea that is at the heart of the Truth About Trying campaign. Women, men, and couples – some of whom are celebrities and some of whom are everyday people – recorded short videos about their infertility journeys which began with the prompt “I wish I’d known….” These videos show some of the many facets of infertility and were used to kick off the campaign, which launched just last night.
At the urging of my friend Keiko Zoll, who is a powerful advocate, change-agent, and the Director of Communications for RESOLVE of New England, I recorded and submitted a video. In the past years, I’ve spoken a lot here about how infertility has affected me specifically and also about infertility in the broad sense (see the “Baby ART” tab above). I’ve never really addressed it from the angle of how it has affected me as an African-American woman, and I haven’t discussed how there are cultural differences which unfortunately discourage many African-American woman who need help from seeking it. This is the point that I tried to punch in my video:
How can you participate in this campaign?
- You can record your own story and upload it to Redbook’s Truth About Trying YouTube Channel.
- Join Redbook and RESOLVE today (Oct. 18,2011) from 2-3pm EST on Twitter to discuss the #TruthAboutTrying. Keiko will be moderating the discussion. I hope to see you there.Even if you aren’t personally affected by infertility, please consider sharing the news about this campaign on behalf of those around you who might be. You never know – this may be just the prompt they need to open up to you about their struggles. It may also give you some insight to better support them.