When I found out that my body is old I was in shock. I found myself going from researching pregnancy symptoms to researching premature ovarian failure and low egg count. I basically switched one obsession for another. During all of this I was also going to school and expected to write papers and do homework. To say I was having a hard time concentrating would be a huge understatement. I mean, I had just had my life turned upside down, and this teacher wanted me to read about dead Psychologists and write a research paper! Didn't she know that my life had just changed profoundly? Couldn't she tell that I had something on my mind? Well of course she couldn't because when you find out that kind of news it usually takes some time to process. You are not running around yelling from the top of your lungs that your body is defected and you are infertile. Although I have to say from almost the very beginning I've told people about this. I just couldn't keep it quiet. I couldn't sit in class, or sit at work, or sit anywhere people I knew were and not say something. So when it came time to choose a topic for my research paper I decided to write about the emotional effects of infertility on a couple. Hello! I was living it, it should be the easiest paper I have ever written.
You may be reading this saying, "Ok, what does this have to do with Atlanta?" I promise I'm getting there.
Because it was a research paper I had to have resources and that is how I found out about Resolve. Resolve is the National Infertility Association and I loved them from the moment I clicked on their web page. These were people who understood what we were going through. I felt relief and sadness at the same time. Relief because we are not alone, sadness because we are not alone. I was on their website everyday. You can add them to my list of obsessions.
Anyway, I wrote my paper and I got an A on it. I better have, how could I have messed that one up?! I was also still on Resolve's website everyday. That was how I found out about the Walk of Hope. I kept seeing the link for it and one day decided to click on it to see what it was all about. I read the rules and I decided that this was something I needed to do. They were running a contest where the person that raised the most money by April 30th won a free flight and hotel stay in Atlanta so they could attend the Walk of Hope. I called Ryan and asked him what he thought. I couldn't possibly raise money for infertility without telling people we are infertile. And I definitely couldn't tell people we are infertile without the support from Ryan. He was ok with it, so I create a team and started sending out emails. I also made it public by posting it to Facebook.
Obviously I won the trip. I kinda wish I could be humble and say that I never thought I would win, but that would be a lie. I signed up with the absolute goal to win. I was going to win that trip and nothing was going to stop me. I didn't care how annoying I got sending out emails asking people to donate. By this point in my journey I was pissed! Infertility is like grieving and I was in the angry stage. The only positive was that my anger was focused on the fact that infertility just doesn't get the support it needs. I had made the decision that I was not going to suffer in silence. People were going to know about this disease and I wanted to help educate them.
When they called to tell me I won the trip I was so happy. When the lady from Resolve emailed me the Tuesday before the walk to ask me if I would give a short speech, well I had a bit of a panic attack. All that big talk and I was seriously freaked out. But I also knew that I had to do it. No matter how scary the thought of talking in front of people is, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
My mom and my friend went with me to Atlanta. It was a fun trip from the start. On the Saturday morning before the walk I was so nervous. When we got to the park I almost immediately calmed down. I'm not totally sure why. Maybe just knowing that I was around so many people that knew exactly what infertility is like. Plus I knew I couldn't mess up my speech. I was talking about something I know very well, myself. I was a little surprised by the amount of kids there at first. It kinda caught me off guard, but then I realized that all of these people had went through all sorts of treatments to get their beautiful children. It was inspiring to see them with their children and also to see that they hadn't forgot what it took to get them.
I did my speech and I believe I did well. I didn't feel nervous at all once I got up there. The people I met while in Atlanta were amazing. I hope to keep in contact with them. I also hope that Atlanta is the first of many speeches I give about my infertility journey.
For those of you that haven't seen my speech and would like to I will try to get it up later. I tried to upload it a couple times but it wasn't working for me.
I want to end this post with a huge thank you to all the people who supported us while we raised money. I would not have been able to go to Atlanta without all of you very generous people.