Mel re-posted one of her older blogs on Wednesday, titled the Infertility Manifesto. I wasn't following her back then, as I was barely out of college, just getting engaged, and had no idea I was even infertile. But her words ring just as true today. They are so passionate, so raw. They are perfect to share with anyone you know who may not understand what we go through. This paragraph, in particular, spoke to me:
"Infertility makes some women want to sweep it under the rug. It has made me want to be an activist – not only for infertility, but for all the taboo topics still out there. I talk about infertility a lot – not because I'm obsessed with the topic, but because it has shaped who I am and it is a large part of my life."
I've written before how people have asked me about my advocacy and whether it will change now that my journey is over, and I can't think of a better way to put it than Mel does in her post.
The answer is no, it will not change. It will never change. It will never stop. I will never stop. I don't do this because I love to hear myself talk (even though I can be a talker). I don't do this because I enjoy reliving these moments. I don't do this because I feel like I deserve something from it. Like infertility "owes me."
No. This isn't about me. This isn't about just one person's struggle. This isn't just one person's movement. I speak for all of us. I may not have gone through IVF, but I will stand up in front of my Congressional leaders next month and fight for the Family Act. I may not have lost a child, but I will bring awareness to those who've suffered infant loss. I may not be living child free, but I will make sure that those in this community who are living child free still feel included and welcome. They are important, too.
This is what this movement, our community is all about. It's not about our individual selves. It's about our collective group. We are separate people united together for one purpose, one cause. All of our voices are important. All of our stories are valid. All of us, through one action or another, help to change the conversation about our disease.
So as National Infertility Awareness Week comes to a close, give yourself a pat on the back. Do it because you posted a blog in honor of NIAW. Do it because you came out of the infertility closet on Facebook. Do it because you wrote your Congressmen. Do it because you are an advocate or a survivor. Or do it because you simply have the strength to keep moving forward. Do it because you don't bow down to this disease. Do it because you stand up to it.
Do it because you stand up for it.