So much has happened in the past year that’s it’s crazy to think it’s only been just a year; in other ways, it feels like it was just yesterday; I still remember going out for sushi with friends of ours after filming on the Common.
I had posted a follow-up post two months after the video, and so much had happened even just in those first two months. In the remaining ten, even more amazing opportunities and connections have been made. I made connections with so many professionals and colleagues and bloggers in this field. I gave my first interview talking about the experience of making the film in a piece for Tablet Magazine in August. I was awarded the Hope Award for Best Viral Video at RESOLVE’s Night of Hope in September. In November I attended the RESOLVE of New England Annual Conference as a Board member and volunteer instead of a regular attendee, and it was a phenomenal experience. In December, we went on a much-needed cruise. With the new year, I came even more into my own strength and voice: in January, I took aim at the media and the following month, I had a thing or two to say to many of our legislators. In March, with the (now unsuccessful) attempt to bring mandated infertility insurance coverage to Maine, I stood up to the bevy of critics against mandated coverage.
This is everything that’s happened as related to my video and blog; I’m not even counting all the other things like buying our house, having a house fire, getting a second opinion, etc. It’s been a pretty whirlwind year.
Yet like I said, I still remember the day I made the film with my husband like it was yesterday. The weather was gorgeous (unlike today’s rather dreary weather). Our apartment was a mess, but it was shot deliberately so you couldn’t tell. I still remember the funny looks from people as I wrote one of the questions with sidewalk chalk, word by word, then stopped and took a picture after writing each word. I remember the random couple who came up and asked us, “what are you doing?” as I stood there with my whiteboard in hand.
“I’m making an awareness video for infertility,” I said proudly. They gave me a “oh, isn’t that nice” kind of look and walked away.
I remember futzing with iMovie for close to 8 hours straight trying to edit the damn thing, thinking, “If it was a bajillion dollars, I bet this would be infinitely easier in Final Cut Pro.”
And I remember hitting “Upload” on Vimeo and “Publish” here on Blogger and thinking my 29 blog followers at the time would be the only people to see the video, the only people to learn my real identity. How wrong I was.
The original post with the video has now 174 comments. Within the first few months, I received hundreds of emails from people who had seen the video: thanking me, telling me their stories and their struggles with infertility, often for the first time with someone beyond their partners. Even a year later, I still get at least an email a week from a viewer, or a mention tweet or direct message on Twitter, or a sporadic comment on the original post. In the last couple of days alone, I’ve had over 300 plays. The video just keeps going.
In some ways, it’s kind of weird to think about this legacy that I’ve left for myself on the internet, because as we all know, there is no permanent delete online. Who knows what the landscape of the web will look like in 10 years, 20 years, 50 years even – but my little five-minute video will still chug along in some way, I bet.
It’s a video, a project, and an accomplishment of mine I can’t wait to show my children some day.
With all that, I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s watched it, shared it, and blogged about it. And I want to thank RESOLVE again and to remind everyone that it’s National Infertility Awareness Week. NIAW has been the launching point for shaping how I have chosen to cope with my infertility. It’s influenced my commitment to giving back to the infertility community. NIAW fuels me to keep doing this work, to find new and creative ways to raise awareness for our disease and our causes.
I only ever made this video in the first place because the NIAW the year before gave me enough confidence to be brave enough to share my real name and face to my story.
I hope that National Infertility Awareness Week can inspire you the same way this year.