Our documentary, One More Shot, comes out tomorrow on iTunes, Amazon, and Vimeo for those not in the US. Noah and I are really happy that it's leaving our computers and entering the world, but I have these moments where I feel like who F cares. We barely wanted to live our lives for the years we were going through all this, so who would want to watch it?
That's my self-conscious side talking.
The honest truth is when we were going through the dark infertility years, we would have definitely wanted to watch something like this. Real people sharing what infertility really looks like from the inside out. A real couple under the pressure and stress of trying to figure out how to make/have/get/find a baby when nothing seemed to be working. It. Is. Ugly. At times. Because we didn't wear make-up (Noah really could have used a little touch-up under the eyes in some scenes ;) and we didn't edit out the ugly. Hormone injections made my skin terrible. Fear and heartbreak made my attitude grim at times. And we caught that on film and we found the coherent narrative that allowed us to tell our story, which really is the story of millions of people around the world. I think when we were at our darkest points I would have wanted to see this film, because it would have helped me feel less isolated and alone, perhaps less crazy or joined in my crazy. It would have helped me see that I could reframe my ideas and expectations of the family we would have. It would have reminded me that there is always always hope.
I would have also wanted to share this film with my family and friends who just didn't get it. Some family and friends did get it, that was helpful. But some didn't. It's hard to put into words what living on IF Island feels like. So we tried our best to show it. The excitement when things go well, the dive into despair when it feels like all is lost, the way your whole life gets handcuffed to your ovaries and you feel trapped and scared and excited for the possibilities all at the same time. And you cycle through these feelings at warped speed every month until you have that constant headache behind your eyes that comes from Googling insane fears into the wee hours of the morning while resenting your spouse for being able to sleep. I would have wanted everyone in my life who wanted to understand what we were going through to see this film, because then a real conversation about infertility could take place in a connected and open way.
And I really would have wanted the general public to see this film so that any stigma associated with infertility could just dissipate. I just wish people going through this could feel nothing but pride in surviving the emotional roller coaster and that society in general wouldn't see infertility treatments as some kind of elective procedure or something that only impacts women over 40 who "waited too long." Not the case. Infertility is a disease that affects a lot of people, and many of those people have to think outside the box when building their family. And it's important that all of this is seen as incredible determination on the part of those pursuing alternative family building options, as well as normal in terms of how children can be created. Having donors or surrogates or birth mothers, being conceived in a lab-- whatever the origin story is, let's understand it for the miracle and gift that all of this is. Please.
So when I feel embarrassed about my skin or those scenes where I opt out of wearing pants-- ugh, Maya WHHHYYYY??? I remember our goal with this film. To decrease isolation and shame. To erase stigma. To educate and start an honest dialogue about infertility. To normalize alternative family building. To make people laugh and cry and connect and ultimately to instill a sense of hope.
That's what we hope to do. Tomorrow night you can let us know if we did.
Please watch the film if any of these things speak to you. Share the film as you see fit. Add a comment on iTunes if you have thoughts/feelings/opinions that could help inform others. And know that in the ugliest times in each of our lives there is the possibility for beauty and growth and hope.
Thanks to everyone for all the love and support along the way. We know this film has been a long time coming and Noah and I hope we are doing right by you.
If you're in the Seattle area, the film will be showing at the Celluloid Bainbridge Island film festival this weekend (Sunday I think).
And If you're in the Philadelphia area, the film will show as part of the Art of Infertility: Cradling Creativity exhibit that starts today through Nov. 28th with the film showing the night of Nov. 18th.
ALSO, part of the proceeds will continue to go to the BabyQuest Foundation so if nothing else, help us help this amazing non-profit organization.