Being emotionally and authentically transparent is not easy nor is it convenient. I’ve been transparent in moments when I would have rather been quiet and blend into the background of a conversation. However, one thing I know for sure is if you have survived something that you thought might have killed you and you share your story, if just one person benefits from your selfless act of laying your soul bare then it is not in vain. Now I’m not saying to go around telling the world your story. Some people don’t deserve to hear your story because they would probably revel in the fact that you aren’t as put together as you portray yourself to be. However, when the right people are present it will be overwhelmingly clear that you need to speak up.
I’ve shared the story of my infertility journey at moments and in places where you wouldn’t think the topic would come up…like an administrative professional training seminar. But a funny thing happened when I did, I was approached during one of the breaks by a woman who had also battled infertility. She extended an invitation to me to share my story. In October 2013, my story along with many others will appear in the first issue of a magazine dedicated to hope and healing for women in different stages in their infertility journey. To say that I’m honored is an understatement. I am humbled and appreciative that she trusted me enough offer the invitation. The opportunity share far outweighs any fear I may have had about being judged. The opportunity presented itself because I was willing to be emotionally and authentically transparent. My definition of being emotionally and authentically transparent means speaking your truth and sharing your story without expecting anything in return.
I’ll be sure to share the link to the magazine as soon as it is published. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to share because you never know who you might help in the process.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day and women all over the country received gifts, cards and flowers from their children. Adult children made reservations for spa treatments and brunch at their mother’s favorite restaurants. It’s the one day out of the year when Mom’s can put their feet up and take a break.
But somewhere, there were women who have been battling infertility and yesterday was yet another reminder that they do not have a child to call their own. The weeks leading up to yesterday were not joyous or filled with anticipation. It was heartbreaking and depressing. I can speak about that from personal experience because I too dealt with infertility. I realize that I’m one of the lucky ones who was able to conceive on the first try with IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) but I also know the disappointment of two failed IUI’s (Intrauterine insemination). I know how it feels to buy yet another baby shower gift and fighting the urge to pass judgement on the conditions in which a child was conceived and the relationship the parents have. I’m not a jealous woman but motherhood was something that I coveted more than anything. I know what it’s like to have well-meaning members of the church tell you to just have faith the size of a mustard seed. Trust me, when a woman is going to through infertility, she has a relationship with God that you can’t even begin to comprehend. I know that without a shadow of a doubt that I had I listened to “well meaning” family and friends and not to the whispering of God, I would probably still be childless. As I explained to someone prior to starting treatments, if God can create the sun, moon and stars surely creating a doctor with specialty in infertility is within of His realm of expertise.
I did not write this to chastise those who are insensitive to or don’t have a clue about infertility. However, if you have a friend who is dealing with infertility, there are some things you just do not say. I wrote this post as voice of understanding and compassion and support to women who are still dealing with it. I have friends who have also suffered with infertility and were able to conceive, some that are still battling and some that have given up hope. I’ve watched them tirelessly raise other people’s children and work in professions where they can influence young minds. My hope is that yesterday was a beautiful day for them. I pray that they were treated like the beautiful queens that they are and they were surrounded with love and admiration.
Every Mother’s Day I’m thankful to Shady Grove Fertility Clinic in Rockville, MD, specifically Dr. Robert Stillman, who assisted me through my infertility journey. Dr. Stillman and his staff consoled me when I was at my absolute worse and laughed along with me when I used humor to diffuse hurt, pain and disappointment. I believe modern medicine does not trump God. I believe God leads you to where you need to go so that He can answer your prayer.