Hi, my name is Victoria, and I'm infertile. There, I said it.
You might be wondering why I'd be sharing such a sensitive and personal topic with the world-wide-web. Most women would never dare to share such embarrassing information, but I'm over that bullshit.
I recently started sharing my story with close friends, and it felt really f*cking good. Each time it got easier. By sharing, I not only felt better, but I learned about their struggles too. So many people suffer from infertility but are ashamed to talk about it, and the more I talked about it, the more people I had to talk to that could relate.
If you know me pretty well, you probably know me as someone who lives the life of "work hard, play hard". That's what Facebook tells you, right? Well, yes those things are true, I have a busy career life, and sure I know a couple of local bartenders and yes I kick major ass in beer pong (duh), but what social media hasn't told you is how I stick myself with needles in bar bathrooms (sometimes - beer in hand), or how for the last two years, the doctors office has become a second home, and that sometimes just the mere sight of a pregnant woman throws me into a panic attack.
Well, the secret is out. Halle-f*cking-lujah.
I'm not the only one who appears to have it all together on Facebook. Shocker! I got a call the other day from a friend I had lost contact with, but still very dear to my heart. I think about her often, but somehow we have lost touch along the way. That's part of growing old I suppose. So when she called me out of the blue, I knew there was a good reason, but in my gut I already knew what the reason was.
I answered, and she cut right to the chase. "I'm pregnant". I knew it! I've gotten so good at pregnancy prediction. Damn I'm good. I responded with a really forced "Yay, congrats, I'm so happy for you" i.e. Please make this call quick so I can hang up and cry my eyes out. This was the 3rd pregnancy announcement I had received that month. Sigh...
Did she buy it? Nope, this bitch can still read me like a book.
I couldn't believe the next thing that came out of her mouth. I was expecting her to go on and on about the names they picked out and how awful morning sickness was, but no, not her. She says "Thank you, we're really excited, but we didn't conceive naturally, we did IVF" (this stands for In Vitro Fertilization - which we will get more into later).
What? That is not what I expected her to say. My eyes filled with tears. I was overwhelmed with emotions. How could someone be so forthcoming and content with this information when we haven't talked in years? Why did she feel like she needed to tell me that? Now that she is pregnant, what's the point in sharing this? I had so many questions, but what I didn't question was how this made me feel. Empowered. Strong. F*ck yea! Good for her, she is owning her story, and isn't afraid of judgment.
There is a reason she called me to share this information.
Fate, if you will.
She reminded me how important it is to share with others, and how important it is to let us others in. We all have so much to learn from each other.
Thus, I have now decided to share my journey with the world.
So if you're willing to listen, I'm going to tell my story, in the best way I know how. Honestly, elaborately, and with a few curse words here and there. Unfiltered in my voice. Prepare to hear and see things that you may not find on the typical blogs written by women. Infertility is my first core topic I will cover at length, but there will be more real life issues to address. Let's just say, I'm definitely not going to be talking fashion or taking photos of f*cking coffee cups.
This is your warning. Shit's about to get real.
There will be photos too, oh will there be photos! My extremely talented photographer friend, Jen Perez, will be capturing these experiences through her lens, and guess what? Interesting fact - Jen has also struggled with fertility problems, and has two twin boys to show for it. Jen calls this experience her "Love in a petri dish".
I'll leave you with this tidbit for today. 10-15% of people in the US are affected by infertility. So, if you aren't struggling with infertility, you probably know someone who is. Here's my advice. Read about it, take the time to educate yourself, Google it for God's sake. Don't be a dick to your infertile friends. If you are going through it, I'm sorry, that sucks. Like, really, really sucks. We welcome you to share our journey with us. Get angry with me, cry with me, and even laugh with me.
I promise not to judge you, ever.