Facebook is a funny thing. You see the best in people: their photos, status updates of awards or vacations. Rarely does someone talk about struggles, depression or suffering a loss (unless, G-d forbid, they have lost a parent and want people to know funeral or shiva information.) Almost a year ago, I did the most taboo thing possible, and shared a video of me talking about my struggles with infertility, and the reaction was more than I expected…
I spoke locally to a group of women in my community about what it means to go through infertility treatments. The waking up at 5am to be the first in line for blood and ultrasound checks in order to get to work on time with no one being the wiser. The dreaded “2ww” (two week wait) to find out if your procedure worked and if you were pregnant. Holding your breath to make there was a heartbeat. Trying not to look at the sonogram while they checked the NT scan. Suffering alone when you had a miscarriage so early on that people didn’t even know you were pregnant. All these things that some people may not realize when they get pregnant on their wedding nights.
Some women were moved to the point that they told their husbands “I wish you could have heard what she said.” I think I got 5 emails asking if I would publish my speech. I thought about it, and the words in black and white are not the same as hearing the lighthearted jokes, the crack in my voice, and the tears in my eyes. So I asked a friend to join me in the kitchen and I re-read my speech. Just me, at the table, with the speech before me. And then I did the unthinkable: I posted it on youtube and linked it to facebook. At first, I put restrictions on it: if you don’t have the link, you can’t see it. You cannot just “search” for it, you had to have an “in.”
80 people liked it
6 people shared it.
41 people commented.
Many of the comments were similar:
So brave of you to share
You are an inspiration
Some came from inside knowledge and appreciation:
Thank you so much for sharing, you couldn’t have said it better or more detailed. now people can get a glimpse of the total mental and emotional roller coaster people with fertility issues go through. may you have strength to always do good and be a source of help for others.
But one struck me like no other. It was from a former classmate of mine from elementary and high school with who lived in Israel now. We have not spoken in 20 years, but we are “friends on facebook.”
Great video, and a treat to see you. Funny, I never would have guessed you were struggling with infertility given how you banged out those 4! Just goes to show you, don’t judge a book by it’s FB profile. Kol hakavod and lots of nachas from your little ones.
That was exactly the point! Sometimes people feel alone and upset when seeing others pictures on facebook. Weddings, kids’ first day of school, the “I am 7 months old” pictures. Like my grandmother used to say, “everyone has their peckel” and infertility was mine.
After that comment, I decided, if I am public about it on facebook, why not let the entire world see it? Who am I hiding from?
I went back to youtube and removed the privacy settings. My video has been “out there” for about 8 months now, and because of that one comment, 1,143 people have viewed and hopefully gained strength or knowledge from my story.
I am a silent sister no more, and hopefully others will speak out and educate the masses as well.