Apr 26, 2022
I am busy with plans for The Other’s Day bunch I am planning in Chicago on Saturday May 7. It is going to be so much fun! It is being professionally catered by Lisa’s Boutique Catering. I’ve had businesses reach out to me a proactively offer to donate gifts because they are in love with the mission of The Other’s Day Brunch. If you are scratching your head and wondering what it is, it is a brunch I am hosting for anyone feeling sadness or loss around Mother’s Day. It’s not closed off only to women with infertility. I welcome anyone who may be feeling a tinge of dread thinking about Mother’s Day. Maybe you lost your mom or never had a mom you celebrated? Maybe you're not able to physically spend Mother’s Day with your mom this year. Maybe you've yet to have children and hope for that day to come, or maybe you’re like me and always dreamed of becoming a mom and never was able.
So if any of this resonates with you, join is. It’s $20, yes brunch is included, and RSVP are required and we only have a limited number of seats. You can reserve your seat at stitchcoaching.com/othersday (I’ll put the link in the show notes) or if you use Eventbrite, you can find The Other’s Day Brunch on there.
If you are outside of Chicago and loving the sounds of this, I invite you to be one of my Ambassadors. Message me and I will chat with you about putting your local event together and time permitting, get you gifts to share with your ladies who are brunching.
This week we are just starting out National Infertility Awareness Week. There is this whole movement and a whole community out there Working very hard to raise awareness about infertility,
to normalize the conversation about infertility, to basically allow anyone that's feeling challenged to have a family, regardless of race, religion, sexuality, or economic status know that infertility is real. There's a national movement working to unite millions of Americans that want to remove stigmas and barriers that stand in the way of building families.
And I am all over this. I love it because I believe a lot of people have a lack of awareness about infertility, where to seek treatment, access to treatment and who is eligibility and insurance for treatment.
That said, there's also another side of the coin to National Infertility Awareness Week . There is a huge community that did seek the treatment and do all that we could, yet we are still here, living with an infertility diagnosis and living without children.
I definitely don't want anyone to be confused by thinking I am bashing what this week is about, I think it's wonderful. And I am so supportive of building awareness around infertility.
But this other side of the infertility diagnosis holds women who are feeling as though living childless not by choice is not being showcased. The statistics are clear that not everyone that seeking infertility treatments will go home with a child. So I understand this belief of misrepresentation is because the community is not being represented as a whole. There is this opportunity to tell the stories of what life ends up like for women that are childless after infertility. Many are feeling shunned and as if their voice doesn't matter.
They are aware.
They know the statistics
They’ve lived the reality of infertility treatments and are trying to navigate their next steps and asking themselves, SO NOW WHAT?
So this week I'm going to talk a little bit about how to have your voice heard. And it all starts with telling your story. There is someone out there wishing they knew they weren’t alone, but they haven’t heard your story. Your story matters.
May of you are thinking - easy for you to say. You are an open book, Lana. I just decided that I would use my experiences and story in the hopes that just one person would hear it and not feel the loneliness and isolation I felt for the years after my treatments ended. So it’s no wonder that there is lack of voice around our community because it's very hard for us to share our stories.
It is hard to put into words what we're feeling. Who've gone through fertility treatments and weren't able to have kids. And so there's oftentimes a stigma. I think that we create for ourselves because we are embarrassed to tell our stories. We have shame around ourselves and our body's not doing what we thought that they would do or what we believe they were intended to do as being born female.
And what I want to encourage everyone this week is take this opportunity as national infertility awareness week to tell your story. You don’t need to go out on a megaphone and, and present your innermost secrets of what you've gone through to a group of strangers, but maybe start to put your story down on paper. Just for you. Imagine you were the hero of your infertility story. What would you tell me about you and the life you are living despite not being able to become a mom. Could you start the rough draft of that story today, so when you are ready to share it you a proud of who you are today?
If we hear crickets when it comes to living your life childless after infertility, it’s because there are not enough of us proving them wrong. If this community is not being represented the way that we believe it should be, that it's up to us to take up the space in the room and lead the conversation about what life can look like if fertility treatments don’t work for you..
I am proud to say I decisive to take up as much space as I could fine when I told my story publicly just 33 weeks ago and I am astonished by the messages and comments I get from people thanking me for putting into words what they've been feeling in isolation.
The only way To make this community bigger, is for us to represent what it is like to be a woman without children, and to be a living, breathing, powerful woman that failed infertility treatments but decides she will not look at herself as a failure. I tell you this because I once was very embarrassed to even talk about the fact that I was seeking fertility treatments, and then to even admit.
That I tried them and they did not work for me was something that was very hard for me to feel comfortable talking about. My point is today that the ability to talk about it and share my story with others has just been such a weight that has lifted off of me that offers such gratitude and pride knowing that my story of sadness and failure can be reshaped into one of hope. Your opportunity to do the same is no different.
Choose words that tell a story of will and courage. Decide you can represent a bigger subset of women that just have yet to get to our point in their journey. So as we are looking around at national infertility awareness week and believing we don't see pictures of women like us, or hear the stories of women like us, who did not have insurance coverage and still scraped together, to pay out-of-pocket for our treatments or the women that went through seven rounds of IUI and four rounds of IVF with a few canceled cycles sprinkled in there. Start to carve out the opportunity for us to be recognized so that people know we exist.