In life sometimes we find ourselves looking over our shoulder at a steep drop into the abyss. We look once, we look twice, we sway back and forth on the ledge, our toes grip the surface with all their might, and we teeter there–an exhausting balancing act.
Sometimes however we simply need to bend our knees, breathe deeply in the fresh air, and jump–let ourselves free fall into the unknown.
Infertility is a bad word in our society. The inability to easily conceive can shun women into the shadows, fearing judgment and hiding in embarrassment at this “shame-filled” diagnosis. So when a woman is forced to face the realization that her body is by our society’s terms “broken,” she begins teetering on the diving board, flexing her calf muscles to hold on to the secret, to stay in the shadows.
At some point however, we must take the leap. We must swing our arms as we bend down, and jump with all of our might into the unknown. Because you see, the only way for this dis-ease, which affects one in six couples in the Unites States, to come out of the shadows is if we do.
After two years in hiding, I decided it was time for me to spring forward into the light. It was terrifying–even more so than watching Friday the 13th in the dark all alone late at night. I wondered which friends and family would now avoid me–uncomfortable with my honesty. I wondered who would simply pretend that I hadn’t exposed my underbelly to them. And I wondered who may just love me even more because I did.
What I found is that taking this leap opens a door for others to see me in greater techni-color than ever before, and perhaps more importantly, that my struggle became like the string between tin cans–connecting other women in my life with me through their silent infertility struggles (past and present) never before spoken.
Sure there are some who will not be supportive, some who will judge, and some who will feel sorry for you. There will always be those. Yet if you have the courage, when standing with weary legs on that slippery ledge, to laugh out loud and jump, I think you may find so many arms there to catch you that you forget the fear you felt in the free fall.