The Common Thread

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, and I'm embarrassed to say that if I hadn't read about it on Beagle's blog, I wouldn't have known.

Since having Isabella, I've had at least one moment in every day, whether it's been when I'm changing her diaper and she's grinning her toothless smile up at me, or when I've put her in her swing, and she's contentedly chatting away to the people in the picture frames directly in front of her, or when I'm looking down at her soft little head as I nurse her, when I think how truly lucky I am to have her. I'll never forget the two years of infertility hell we went through to have our baby. I'll never forget how isolated infertility made me feel. How I did everything in my power to construct a baby-proof life for myself. How sad infertility made me, and how desperate for a baby of my own I really was.

I'm a mom now. I got to push my stroller with my baby in it around a children's museum on Tuesday alongside hundreds of other mothers. I felt so oddly normal. I felt like I belonged there among the fertiles. I was just another mother. No one there (other than Marie) knew my story. And I was happy to blend in.

But in other environments, ones that aren't dominated by mothers and their children, my feelings are different. Because whether we're in the grocery store, or the mall, or a restaurant, I know that there's likely someone suffering through what I went through, staring at me and desperately longing for what I have. I know because I was in their shoes. I did the same thing. And it's to those isolated women that I want to reach out and to tell them that Isabella did not come easily to me. That I went through two years of disappointment and thousands of dollars to have her. And to offer support, and the chance to share my story if it will offer them even one ounce of comfort. And that's where the Common Thread movement comes in.

Here's a brief description of the movement:

"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 purchasingthis pomegranate-coloured thread (#814 by DMC) at any craft, knitting, or variety store such as Walmart or Target. Tie it on your right wrist. Notice it on others."

I think this is a great idea. I plan on adding the Common Thread graphic to my sidebar* to get the word out, because even if you didn't have trouble conceiving, or you don't have children yourself, it's very likely that you know at least one person suffering through infertility. And if you can connect that person to someone who has been through what she's currently enduring, that might be just the help your friend needs.

Isabella is a gift for which I will always be eternally grateful. And it's my greatest hope that my IF sisters, Thalia, and Hopeful Mother, and Beagle, are able to end their IF journeys soon and get to experience what I'm so blessed to have. I'm thinking of you three, this week especially.

*So, can someone tell me how to add the following graphic to my sidebar? I can't figure it out.
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4171/3241/200/Thread.2.jpg

16 Responses to “The Common Thread”

  1. # Blogger sunShine

    That is such a wonderful thing. I was one of the lucky ones to be able to conceive after nearly a year of trying. I know several people that have struggled with infertility and I think this is a great idea.

    I don't know how to help you add the graphic, wish I could help with that one.  

  2. # Blogger The Princess

    Go to the part of your template where your links are...at least in that general area and add this code:

    < img src="http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4171/3241/200/Thread.2.jpg" >

    I had to put spaces inbetween the < > so take out the spaces....blogger wouldn't publish this if I didn't!



    I tried it on my site and it worked...if it takes up to much space email me and I'll send you the code to fix it!  

  3. # Blogger Hopeful Mother

    Kristi,

    Thanks for posting this - I especially appreciate it, knowing that, as a new mom, your time is limited and no longer your own. Yet you still find time to write about important things.

    You have provided me much hope, support and distraction along this journey and it has kept me sane. I really appreciate it!  

  4. # Blogger HoosierGirl5

    That is so neat! I am going to look into this. I had 3 miscarriages in my life (along with my 4 children here on earth!), so I understand completely.
    Thanks!
    J.  

  5. # Blogger Still Lynn29

    I was just browsing and came across your post. Thanks for putting it up, what a great idea! I will pass this along to my friends. You are right. The isolation is so hard, what a great way to let others know they are not alone!  

  6. # Blogger Anne Marie

    Thanks so much for posting this. I've been lurking for a long time now because I love your blog plus I am a fellow NYer (2 hours west of your area) :D My SIL and best friend both went through difficulties getting pregnant and both did the shots - my SIL is now pregnant and unfortunately my girlfriend has lost 2 children in miscarriage (one was from an invetro process) and is now trying to adopt. I forwarded the website to both my SIL and GF.  

  7. # Blogger Kristi

    Sunshine-I think it's a great idea too.

    Princess- Thanks for your continued help trying to figure out this mystery!

    Hopeful Mother-I'm so glad to read this. I'm blessed to have Ella now, but I will never forget what it was like on the other side of the fence. My time spent there has had such an effect on who I am today.

    StillLynn29-I'm glad you like the Common hread idea. And thanks for visiting!

    Anne Marie-I hope this helps your SIL and GF. IF is so hard to talk about, and I hope the Common Thread projects helps them feel less isolated. And thanks for stopping by!  

  8. # Blogger sher

    That was a wonderful post, Kristi. It made me tear up.  

  9. # Blogger Bex

    I did not know it was infertilty week. I appreciate your post on this, it reminded me that I am really not alone in this journey.  

  10. # Blogger Beagle

    Hey, thanks for the mention!  

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    born in August 2006 following
    IVF and girl/boy twins born in October 2008 following FET. Come along as I document the search for my lost intellect. It's a bumpy ride. Consider yourself warned.

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