I received a gift a few weeks ago.
The gift was from someone who I had just recently met, a woman in my local RESOLVE group, and yet someone who I felt that I had known for a very long time. A special person- this I know.
Joining RESOVLE, was not an easy decision for me. For months I had contemplated joining my local chapter. I had the website flagged in my favorites on my laptop; I researched the organization and my local chapter, but I kept waiting month after month to join. For those of you who don’t know, RESOVLE is the big daddy organization that supports Infertility.
It is in fact The National Association for Infertility.
An excerpt from their website under About:
“RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, established in 1974, is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders. “
Learn more @ www.resolve.org
The hesitation, to join this amazing organization, was not about being scared to join a new group or to meet new people. Honestly, the scariest part for me was that I knew that if I joined I would need to actually admit to other people that I was in fact struggling with Infertility. My husband knew, my sisters knew, my doctors knew, And this I was OK with, but to actually join a group and to attend a meeting and say aloud: “Hi my name is__________and I am infertile” felt so official -so concrete-like I would be finally exposing a deep dark secret that I was trying so desperately to keep hidden. And hidden not just only from other people, but from myself.
Well, this summer when I finally agreed to my Reproductive Endocrinologist that my DH and I were finally ready for IUI and fertility medication, I also knew that I was ready for RESOVLE.
So I joined my local Resolve chapter in July, by August I had attended my first meeting and wow- the weight that was lifted off my shoulders after that first meeting felt amazing. Just to be able to listen to other women share their own infertility struggles and me being able to tell my own story. I spoke of my miscarriage, my monthly frustrations, and my ultimate fear that I would never be able to have children. We laughed and cried and laughed some more. This was an amazing group of women and I finally felt like I belonged to something.
For awhile now, I have felt like the odd person out. When you are my age, thirty-one years old, you are surrounded by family with families, friends with families, coworkers with families… and start to feel isolated and awkward in social settings. Because our society is so family focused, it is difficult to escape the family questions by other people and feel the scrutiny of not having children after four years of marriage. So coming to a group where the family questions were off the table felt incredibly refreshing.
Yes, this group of women felt good. Felt really good.
So this brings me back to “the gift”.
At my last meeting, a very special member in the group, a woman who actually started our local chapter many years back, handed out, common thread bracelets that she had hand-made for all the ladies.
She read the story to us behind the common thread bracelet and the meaning and importance of wearing it on your right hand.
I tied mine on immediately.
She included on our bracelets three stones; one representing yourself, your partner, and your little one who is out there waiting to become part of your family. My stones are rose quartz which represent healing, fertility, and protection.
The Common Thread
“For anyone who has ever had a miscarriage, struggled with pregnancy and all things infertile…there is a movement upon us that you might want to join. It’s rather simple actually: a discreet ribbon on your right wrist to signal to others that they are not alone in their struggles.
The pomegranate-colored thread holds a two-fold purpose: to identify and create community between those experiencing infertility as well as create a starting point for a conversation. Women pregnant through any means, natural or A.R.T., families created through adoption or surrogacy, or couples trying to conceive during infertility or secondary infertility can wear the thread, identifying themselves to others in this silent community. At the same time, the string serves as a gateway to conversations about infertility when people inquire about its purpose. These conversations are imperative if we are ever to remove the social stigma attached to infertility. Tie on the thread because you’re not alone. Wear to make aware. Join us in starting this conversation about infertility by purchasing this pomegranate-colored thread (#814 by DMC) at any craft, knitting, or variety store such as Wal-Mart or Target. Tie it on your right wrist. Notice it on others. Just thought I would pass the word along!”
Excerpt taken from: http://www.stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/
So in hindsight, I have received two gifts recently; one tangible – my common thread bracelet, and the other more conceptual, belonging to an amazing RESOLVE group full of powerful and strong women – healing together through this tough battle called Infertility.
Lastly, I just want to say- If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility I encourage you to check out RESOLVE.
It’s a life changer and heart healer and so much more.