It’s been a long and winding road to this new Infertility Voice. Whether you’ve been a long time reader or just joined us for our inaugural issue, there’s a lot of history around these parts. In fact, six years ago, “The Infertility Voice” as you know it now didn’t even exist. It all started much simpler.
My infertility journey began on March 18, 2009. I call it D-Day (Diagnosis Day) – the day I found out I had premature ovarian failure. In an email from my doctor. While I was at work. My journey started in the emotional vacuum of one very terrified, confused, just-diagnosed 26-year old newlywed. It’s the day that changed everything. In the near-sightedness of the moment, I could only frame my diagnosis in endings, losses, and grief.
Six years removed, that day in March was a beginning, too. Just a month after my diagnosis, I started my blog, Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed. The religious theme of the blog title was deliberate: I was diagnosed just before Passover and it struck a dissonant chord within the song of my soul. I kept things anonymous and wrote under my Hebrew name, Miriam. Those early days in 2009 were a clusterfuck of posts, blog designs, and style as I stumbled blindly around the workings of Blogger.
But I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. With every word, I found myself circling closer toward a place of healing, a mandala spiral of letters and musings. In April 2010, for National Infertility Awareness Week, I made what I thought was just going to be a little video – and everything changed again:
As I walked along this journey, as I wrote through my pain, my depression, my fear, my hope. I found so many others walking with me: some silently, some holding my hand, some sharing their journey with me. My steps grew stronger and more assured walking along my infertility path as I realized something I hadn’t yet fully understood: I wasn’t alone.
Infertility wasn’t such a lonesome road after all. Not only that, but I discovered there was a community of us out there who desperately needed to share our infertility stories and be heard. Because all of our infertility stories matter.
What followed from 2010 until now was a number of changes to the look and feel of the blog. I went through so many different designs, and, in 2012, a name and brand change from Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed to The Infertility Voice:
When my first donor egg IVF cycle worked, everything changed again. I felt so uncomfortable in the space I had built from the ground up, that I had poured countless hours into writing and designing and cherishing. Despite the joy of finally being pregnant – the goal of my infertility journey – I couldn’t reconcile that liminal identity within this space and this community. I wrote less and less because I felt like everything I had to say was less and less relevant.
When my son was born in 2013, this blog all but came to a halt – for a variety of reasons, really – but mostly involving the care of our preemie newborn with colic. But even when it wasn’t about the time, it was always about that feeling of not belonging. But how on earth could I not belong in the very home that I built for myself online? It just didn’t make sense.
So last year, I gussied up the place. I shifted The Infertility Voice into a repository of resources for the community. After four years of infertility, I had more than a few bookmarks and resources to share, so why not catalog it all into one library-style site? I could still have my blog, but I had a host of other static resources, too. So here we are. Yet another iteration of The Infertility Voice. Another footfall on this website’s journey. Will it stick? I sure hope so. Because I’ve really, really missed this place. I’ve missed the people, the community, the stories.I discovered there was a community of us out there who desperately needed to share our infertility stories and to be heard.Click To Tweet
My infertility journey started solo, as does many of ours. I set out to tell my own story. In some ways, my story has “ended” – I became a mom. This is a story cycle you hear repeated in the infertility community online: Diagnosis (Beginning), Treatment/Adoption (Middle), Parenthood (The End). I got so hung up on this idea of where my story and my journey fit within This Bigger Narrative I Kept Trying to Tell that I didn’t even stop to consider that maybe it didn’t even matter.
Maybe what matters more is The Bigger Story We’re All Telling Together As a Community – the one that raises awareness, that inspires hope, that validates fears, that educates and advocates and collaborates. My infertility story has ended and, for the first time, I think I can say I’m really at peace with that within the context The Infertility Voice. But that doesn’t mean the journey is over – and so that’s why The Infertility Voice will continue to exist. Because today might be somebody’s D-Day.
Because today, someone’s infertility journey has just started and, like me six years ago, they have no idea what to do or where to go next.
Here: take my hand. Take a deep breath. You’re going to be okay. You’re not alone. I promise.