What IF: Three Years Later

This was me three years ago:

I’s funny to go back and watch this video, to think about all the things that are different in my life now. The fact that we own a home instead of living in student housing where this was filmed. The three pairs of glasses I’ve gone through since then. Remembering, very distinctly, getting sushi with a friend after Larry and I shot this on Boston Common – and now that friend is due with her first child this August.

The pain I was in at the time I made this video… I was at a point in my life where I was very ready to let the grief of infertility and POF consume me, but something about that year’s National Infertility Awareness Week Bloggers Unite project from RESOLVE resonated with me, moved me in such a creative direction that I felt almost compelled to make this video.

A lot has changed in three years.

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When I posted this to Facebook, someone commented how they already had two years of trying under their belt when this video came out and three years later… still nothing. I am incredibly grateful that our journey has only lasted four years, because it’s comments like those that remind me – it could have been a lot longer.

And to everyone who still is on that journey – every day is another step to your resolution. Whether that’s pregnancy, adoption, surrogacy or resolving without parenting – there IS resolution. The grace and finesse is in learning to adapt and shift over time to a resolution that makes the most sense for you: emotionally, spiritually, financially.

"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."

photo credit: Victor Bezrukov via photopin

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It’s weird going back and watching or reading your own work sometimes. I see all the things I would have done differently with this video (the biggest change being turn OFF the damn Ken Burns effect in iMovie). Sadly, the original, editable video file is no more, lost on a hard drive that died over the past three years.

It is an imperfect, moving snapshot of a time in my life that was at once painful and hopeful.

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Gil posted this excellent, thought-provoking question to me when I shared this video again on Facebook today:

Is there anything you would say to the Keiko of 3 years ago, if you had the chance?

There are a LOT of things I would tell myself from three years ago, related to infertility and otherwise. (Some important non-infertility advice: don’t lose business cards. Don’t let your boss get you down. Social media is a legitimate profession. Get yourself a WordPress self-hosted blog sooner.)

But I think the most important thing I would tell Keiko of Three Years Ago:

“You will be a changed woman, some of it at a great cost to your psyche, ego and heart – but you will come out a stronger, more empowered woman for it.

And that what you’re doing will make a difference.

Just you wait and see.”

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I know this video has meant a lot to a lot of people – quite literally around the world. I am still in awe of and still humbled by that fact.

Online communication as tools for hope and healing, be they videos, social media, blogs or otherwise – it truly is a powerful, connective force. It’s this video that ultimately paved the way for The Infertility Voice three years ago… I just didn’t realize it at the time. It’s the response from this community that motivated and pushed me to create this space as you see it today.

And so to each and every person who ever liked, clicked play and shared this video…

Thank you.

Thank you for being a part of phenomenon that has shaped the person I’ve become today, something that has left a legacy of empowered hope and strength about infertility in its wake.

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It’s National Infertility Awareness Week.

There’s lots going on all over the web, including RESOLVE’s Blogger’s Unite project this year, focusing on the theme Join the Movement. Learn more there and add your voice to the chorus to get yourself in the running for RESOLVE’s Best Blog Award. I’ll be adding my Join the Movement post mid-week.

If you’ve been tagging along for the last 3 or more years with me, following me through blog and domain name changes… what’s your journey been like?

Share your story in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Fiona says

    Watching that video again, I cried. Thank you, your story helped me to be strong and get through to where I am today.

  2. Laurel says

    After years of trying, I will finally be holding my “happy ending” in my arms in just 5 short weeks – but every time I watch this video, it gets me. I asked myself so many of those same questions during our journey. I can only hope that my openness in sharing my story with those around me will help just one person on their journey.

  3. Nancy says

    I share your video several times a year – mostly when someone I know or have met is hurting and needs a little show of support. I now have a one year old son via DE and even though I have come so far, the pain of IF will never go away completely. It has just become lessened. But it does flare up and I have to get it under control for my sanity, and my family’s sake. I am very outspoken and share my story with anyone who will listen. Thank you for being a part of my journey Keiko.

  4. Jenni says

    Keiko,
    I shared this video in my Women, Ethics, and Leadership class today. The first time I saw it was about 2 and half years ago at the peak of our infertility journey. I was brought to tears as I recounted the first time I viewed it to the class. It was finals week and I had just started my cycle, because of endometriosis each cycle was not only more emotional painful but also physically painful. I was pretty drugged up at the time but I remember crying so hard and thinking, “She gets it.” Now less than a month away from my son’s first birthday, reading your more recent posts I still say that. Infertility will also be a part of my life, it still hurts and makes me question life. Pregnancy, child birth, a one year old will not cure my infertility but solidarity, awareness, and understanding help fade the scars. Thank you.
    Jenni

  5. says

    I found this video 5 months into the TTC journey. And over the last 3 years, it’s become something I’ve turned to when I needed the encouragement not to give up. As imperfect as it may be, it’s absolutely perfect on so many levels. Thank you for this, Keiko. Because of this video, I’ve had the courage to do things I never dreamed I would have to endure and the resolve to keep fighting.

  6. says

    And now i know how long I’ve known you. I think this was one of my first introductions to the excellence that is Keiko Zoll.

    Such a powerful video. Then, and now.

  7. Kaywinnet says

    I saw your video when we first decided to start trying. I knew we had a battle ahead of us before I even went off the pill, and I was absolutely terrified. I just sat alone on my bed, sobbing, for what felt like hours. It was almost ten years earlier I had been diagnosed with PCOS, and your video made me realize I’d been asking myself all these questions but had been pushing it away and denying it.

    That was 15 months ago now. I don’t feel I’ve any right to complain, as I’m young and a year isn’t that long for an IF journey, but all my worst fears are coming true. I try very hard to believe I’ll come out a better and stronger person in the end, but right now I’m stuck with anger. Our money for treatments has dried up while a drug addict friend gives birth to a fatally ill child she can’t have custody of, and my 14 year old cousin finally discovers she’s 7 months pregnant.

    10 years was not enough warning for this ride, but your story certainly feels like a light at the end of the tunnel.

  8. says

    I found this site only recently, and this is the first time I’ve seen this video. Of course, waterworks at my desk at work. Thanks for the reminder that ever if we can help one person with our story, we’ve made a difference. <3

  9. izabela says

    Came across your blog…and u made me cry a big time. Been trying for a baby for over 3 years now.

  10. says

    Dear Keiko,

    Thank you for sharing this with us! At first I thought your video was depressing, because it seemed to focus on baby, baby, baby. But I loved how it ended, with you turning to advocacy and using your voice and experience to share your story and help others. You are a strong woman and an inspiration, and I am glad I “met” you.

    Acceptance is the key to finding peace. My husband and I have accepted our infertility, and decided to stop trying to get pregnant. We are focusing on the other blessings and wonders life has to offer, and we are happy.

    All good things,
    Laurie