So I have been thinking a lot lately about anonymity. I am an artist and have a show coming up in a couple of weeks. They say make art about what you know. Anyone who has experienced infertility know how all consuming it is. It affects every facet of your life. It bleeds into everything. So when I started thinking about my up coming show, infertility just kept popping its ugly head up, like the obnoxious know-it-all in school who always has their hand up, desperate for your attention.
When we first starting trying to have a baby, I had no idea how much I would end up knowing about reproductive health and exactly what it takes to make/have a baby. Whenever anyone brings up the topic, I have to stop myself from putting my own anxiety on them. I have to stop myself from telling them, in a complete panic, that they shouldn’t wait and oh my god! I didn’t know I would have any trouble and there were no signs of trouble and I was only 30 but my mom had five kids on and on and on. I have to remind my self that I am on the wrong side of statistics. While infertility affects a lot of people, it is still a minority.
This brings me to today. I have made art about my struggle with infertility. It isn’t obvious but it was the motivation. I had signed up for this show slot over a year ago. I didn’t know what my show would be about then. I also had no idea when National Infertility Awareness Week was. Through some sort of crazy Kismet my show opens the Friday of National Infertility Awareness Week. I only found that out a few weeks ago after reading a fellow blogger’s newest post about a project she was doing to raise awareness for infertility during that week. The blog is Ever Upward and I’m sure most of you are familiar with it. Justine is working on a project about raising the profile of people who struggle with infertility. Her project is called #morethanoneineight and it is an effort to share stories of infertility with the public. While reading this post it really struck me that I possibly needed to become a name with a face. I know that it helped me immensely and still does to know that I was not alone. Even though many of the women that I have met are all online it still helped me deal with the burden and emotional toll of infertility.
This led to me sending an email. A fateful email that could be ignored or responded to. I wasn’t sure what would happen. The email was to a producer at a local TV station. She had appealed for news stories on a neighborhood website. Almost on a whim, I responded and told her a little bit about myself and my art show. I wasn’t sure if I would ever hear from this woman. The neighborhood site is popular and many people were responding with new stories even though she had asked for private emails. But somehow my story piqued her interest. She told me she would pass it along to some of the reporters at the news station and see if any were interested in covering it. So here I am getting ready in a week and a half to do an on-air interview about infertility. I’m not really sure what to expect but I do think it’s important to talk about it. I will be discussing my unsuccessful cycles as well as my donor cycle. A friend and fellow artist who I asked to show with me is going through her second donor egg cycle. She has been even more private about the process than I have. I first got her okay before moving forward with the interview but knew that it was a very big step for her to share this. Who knows how this will go. But wish me luck.