What IF: One Year Later

365 days.

33,760 plays.

359,858 loads.

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I released my What IF video.

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.

And then this April has just kind of exploded: another interview, this time for my alumni magazine; an appearance on The Surrogacy Lawyer show; and of course, “that whole thing with PETA.”

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.

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Comments

  1. jmc0715 says

    I found your blog from a friend of mine sending me the link to your video. Every time you post something I silently thank that friend. Your video and blog have given me the strength and courage to keep fighting, to never lose hope, and to realize that my infertility doesnt define me. So for all that you have given back to me Thank you!!!

  2. Mrs. Farmer says

    Every time I think of this video, I remember the goose bumps up my arms and legs. And the hot tears that burned down my cheeks while watching your film for the first time. I was amazed at how you were able to cover EVERY aspect of infertility. I shared it with so many people just so they would understand what it felt like. You became a voice for millions that day, and for that I want to thank you! We love you so much for stepping out and asking: What if?
    Love & Hugs!!!

  3. Kristin says

    It was because of that video that I found your blog. You are amazing and so is that video.

  4. Aramelle @ One Wheeler's World says

    Every.Single.Time. I watch this video, I still bawl. I still remember watching it the first time, my husband worriedly asking me WHAT'S WRONG?! 100 times while I sat there, staring at the screen and bawling. You should be proud of this piece of your http://www.legacy. :)

  5. justine says

    In many ways, you have been the face of IF advocacy for me … your courage and your passion have inspired me over the past year to try and live my beliefs. Thank you, for being the amazing woman that you are. :)

  6. Maria says

    I remember being shocked at the emotional reaction I was having to your video….I spread it like wildfire. Couldn't WAIT for others to see it. Thank you. Thank you so so much.

  7. Cyn says

    I had not see this video until today: thank you for creating it! I teared up at the scrapbook page, and the what if we save up for our 1 chance at IVF and it doesnt work (that is where I am now)I hope it is okay that I copied your URL to use on my blog as well. If not just let me know. Thank you for not being silent, and becoming and advocate for infertility. You are brave!

  8. Brenda says

    I, too, found you through your video, and I am better for it. Thank you for creating the video, for sharing it, and for continuing to advocate for all of us.

  9. Kelli says

    I came across this video a bit ago and I don't know if I have cried such tears in a long while..You hit upon so many feelings….simply amazing. Thank you for all you do for the IF community. Cheers!

  10. Christina says

    I just watched your video again as I want to post it on my FB as part of my NIAW FB linking project. I cried all over again! About all the what ifs and uncertainties, and about the powerful messages towards the end.

    I just wanted to thank you for these last 365 days you've been an astounding advocate for IF!

  11. Swt71Sunshine says

    You have allowed us "own it" even if watching this video. Our silent cries have a voice- Thank you.

  12. Brandy says

    I met you at Advocacy Day this week (one of the girls from Alabama). Thank you so much for this video! It's one of the things that inspired me to finally come out to everyone, not just family and close friends. You are awesome.

    http://www.brandysheaif.blogspot.com