NIAW in absentia

So, in about 1 hour I’m hitting the road and on my way to a professional conference.  I’m excited to see colleagues, talk shop, and get that much-needed, conference-induced dose of professional pride and love of one’s calling.  I’m not so excited that it means that I’ll likely miss out on much of the remaining National Infertility Awareness Week events.  I mean, I get one week a year to endlessly hound friends, family, and strangers about infertility, and I’m missing half of it?  Pshaw!  (Don’t worry, I’ll make up for it throughout the rest of the year! ;-))

Yesterday’s news trumped my usual Wednesday list, so I thought I’d do a special Thursday edition this week.  Since there will likely be few (if any) posts from me until next week, I thought I’d provide you with a list of suggested reading/viewing/doing for the remainder of the week.  Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments below!

  • Explore the many wonderful contributions to this year’s NIAW Bloggers Unite Challenge.  They are listed on both RESOLVE’s blogroll, as well as the wonderful Mel’s Stirrup Queens blog.  (Shameless self promotion — Check out my own contribution while you’re at it!)
  • Speaking of blogrolls, check out the blogrolls of your favorite ALI (Adoption/Loss/Infertility) and PAIL (Pregnant/Parenting after Adoption/Infertility/Loss) blogs.  My own (partial) blogroll is to the right.
  • Consider adding some of Keiko’s fabulous NIAW-themed Facebook timeline cover photos to your account.
  • Join in the conversation on Twitter.  Connect with others using #NIAW, #IF, #IF1in8, and #infertility.  Creating my own (secondary) IF-related Twitter account has been huge as I continue to struggle to find various networks of support through this journey.
  • See if there is a RESOLVE support group in your area, and, if there isn’t, think hard about starting one.  I can promise you, as much as you may worry if you are the “right” person to be starting a support group, there are dozens of couples in your community that think you are!
  • Check out the Center for Infertility Justice and begin to familiarize yourself with the legal issues related to infertility in your home state and in the nation.  Consider writing, or better yet, calling, your senators and representatives in support of infertility awareness and fertility-friendly legislation such as the now-dead Family Act of 2011.  What you say doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that you are saying it!  Take the plunge!
  • If you haven’t already, consider opening up about your struggle to friends, family, and, even, your Facebook feed.  Taking the step is scary to be sure, and may not fit with everyone’s lifestyle or your partner’s wishes, but I can tell you that looking back I am profoundly happy we shared our story.  Within days friends, family, and casual acquaintances were coming out of the woodwork to share their own difficult journeys, and, I knew instantly, I had not only helped unburden myself by sharing, but also had provided an outlet for countless others.
  • Does your employer provide any infertility coverage?  If they don’t, consider asking why.  A RESOLVE-commissioned study recently found that 65% of employers that cover infertility do so because they were asked to by their employees.  Ask!
  • Watch some strong women and men share their stories – Keiko Zoll’s 2010 What IF, Redbook magazine’s The Truth About Trying campaign, TLC’s A Conception Story, and search YouTube for this year’s contributions to Fran Meadows’ video movement.  While you’re at it, why not create your own?
  • Buy a book on infertility and support an author.  There are just too many to name, but my favorite recent read was Tertia Albertyn’s So Close: Infertile and Addicted to Hope.
  • Watch the hilarious Maybe Baby (link out to Netflix).  It’s a hard one to slog through at points, but has its shining moments.  I mean, with Dr. Bean as an RE, what could possibly go wrong?  Only thing missing is all the agonizing over money.  As a British film, those concerns are foreign to the characters.
  • And, finally, have a date night with your partner.  This IF stuff is hard, and sometimes you just need to remember why you wanted to procreate with this person in the first place!

Signing off for now!  Catch you all next week!

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