Last year I talked about the shame of silence - how there is a stigma attached to infertility because so much about it is still not discussed out in the open. This remains true. But so many people are affected by infertility - one out of every eight - so when you are out in public there could be a handful of people struggling with infertility around you at any given time.
We are warriors.
We battle a disease that sneaks into aspects of our lives we thought it couldn't touch. We are dreamers and hope seekers. We struggle privately and publicly. We can describe complicated medical terms so others understand. We are all ages and races. We are men and women.
We know this might always be our war.
We know joy and despair. We know how to wait. We've endured pain physically and emotionally. We cringe at what it can cost to have a family and somehow continue on, hoping it pays off in the end.
We have been told no more than yes.
We have suffered losses others don't know how to acknowledge. We know (contrary to popular belief), pregnancy doesn't happen once we "relax."
We are whole, yet still know brokenness. We are childless parents. We've celebrated and cried over the families of others. We are brave and fierce, as much as we are fragile and unsure. We make hard choices. We do what we think is best without having a guaranteed outcome.
We find strength in unexpected places. We pick ourselves up after we've been knocked down. We fear the worst and hope for the best. We are educators and trail blazers, leaders and followers.
By giving this disease a voice we loosen the grip it has on our hearts and bodies; by sharing our stories we help others know they are not alone on this journey.
We are your companions at the grocery store, the coffee shop, and the library. We are daughters and sons, sisters and brothers.
We are the bearers of infertility.
This week, take a moment and resolve to know more about infertility, and what you can do to make others aware of it.