Hubs post! And, surprise, there will be no football (we shall never speak of the Super Bowl) or baseball (SF Giants are still world champs) talk today.
As most of you know, this week we launched the funding campaign to finish our documentary. I knew that soliciting my friends and co-workers to support our project financially (I HATE asking for anything, especially money) would be a tough ask for a lot of people considering that many of them A) did not know we were making a film, and B) did not know the extent of our fertility troubles. Throughout our time on IF Island, I have kept my discussion of our situation brief and tight. Not that I am ashamed by what we've gone through (actually I feel pretty empowered) but it's hard to cram five years of trying to have a baby and three years of filming a documentary into a text message or a simple chat at the office.
So I sent the email out and I waited. What would people think? Would they be upset that I'd held out this info? Would they be confused about just what crazy science experiment we'd been performing on Maya? Would we get some ignorant comment of "see, well it all works out in the end" or disapproval on our choice of embryo donation? Honestly, I didn't even have time to regret sending the email. Within minutes I was receiving messages and emails from friends. Not to mention generous contributions. "Amazing," "brave," "Maya is a rock star," "tell me more," "it's all about friends and family." This is what I got back.
Opening up the conversation about your struggles with infertility is tough. It's kind of like working up the nerve to go talk to that high school crush. It's frightening. She's going to embarrass me. I'm going to embarrass myself. And then ... you just start talking. And you realize she's a real person. And she talks back. And she cares what you have to say. It's normal to fear that your family or your friends or co-workers won't get what you have to say, or they'll put you down for your situation. But, y'know, chances are they're normal people, not sociopaths. And they care about you. And they want you to have the family that you're striving to have.
Tonight as I drove home I called an old friend. He's got a family and we don't talk as much as we used to. And I told him I was sorry that I didn't mention all of this sooner. This process has been weird, I said, and I was just waiting until I could tell people in my life so that it wouldn't be weird any more. And he said, "I figured you'd say something when you were ready."
Sharing your story is a really personal decision. Not everybody has the support they might need and it can open you up to comments or criticism. It took me a while to come around on the idea of sharing all of this, but I'm glad I did.