Dear Oprah and The Oprah Winfrey Network,
On behalf of people struggling with infertility, I would like to suggest a concept for a brand new show on The Oprah Winfrey Network: following those on the journey of conception. You have brought countless stories to light, telling the tales of those who have overcome hardship, and it is my sincere hope that you will consider exploring the subject of infertility, so that the world will better understand the silent struggle that some people face when trying to achieve something that comes so naturally to others-- bringing a life into the world.
One in 8 couples will experience infertility. 1.1 million women will undergo fertility treatments this year. Yet, no one likes to talk about infertility. The inability to conceive a child at all, or without the help of medical treatment, is a taboo subject. In the past five years I have undergone one laparoscopic surgery, three in utero inseminations, three in vitro fertilizations and two rounds of embryo biopsies. I have suffered four miscarriages. I have lost twenty eight embryos. And yet, I still have close friends and family who have no idea what my husband and I have gone through, never mind co-workers or acquaintances. It is unreal to me that I can experience something so traumatic, consuming and debilitating without many people ever knowing about it.
From the many connections I have made through Twitter and through blogging, I know I am not alone in my feelings of helplessness and isolation. I have come across thousands of women who have heart wrenching stories that deserve to be told. Their stories comfort me, inspire me and break my heart time and time again. These are strong women who have been on unbelievable journeys.
Anyone who has struggled with infertility would deeply appreciate a show dedicated to their struggles, and all of the friends and family members of those people would certainly benefit from being educated on the topic of infertility. There are so many people who have no idea what it is like to be a part of this journey, to want more than anything to conceive a child but not be physically able to, to wonder why something so natural as reproducing can be so difficult, to grieve for the lost embryos or miscarried babies.
Many of us struggling with infertility watch shows like “Teen Mom” with a heavy heart. It is painful to hear about moms who weren’t planning their pregnancy, who feel inconvenienced by the expected child or who had huge reservations about having a baby. Those of us struggling with infertility sacrifice our physical, emotional, spiritual and financial stability to try to create life. This entails undergoing many procedures, taking many hormones and other medications, and visiting the doctor several times a week. Many couples dealing with infertility lose faith in what they believe in and at times feel utterly hopeless.
As a woman struggling with infertility, I want my voice, and the voices of all the other women struggling with reproduction, to be heard. We are tired of hiding in the dark. We hope that you and your producers read this blog entry and the stories of others at the links in the comments below. We have also set up a facebook group, http://www.facebook.com/groups/owninfertility . Some of these stories are funny, some are shocking, some are incredibly sad, but they all will touch your heart. These stories need to be heard!
So please Oprah, hear us! Be the first network to dedicate a show to the incredible journeys of the strong women who fight infertility for the chance at motherhood.
Light and Happiness,