Happy Friday-- it's Friday right? I want to quickly share a piece I wrote for PopSugar that published yesterday about why we filmed our infertility journey for a documentary. The fact that I can write about infertility in the mommy-sphere just blows my mind. Never thought I'd see the day.
This time of year seems to fly by. I live in Los Angeles and it's been such a strange week. Parts of the city are up in flames and the sky is a smokey eerie orange-gray. It's also December and I'm still wearing flip flops. What's the deal? So even though it doesn't feel like the holidays, they're a commin' and for some people on IF Island that's a nice pause in the daily grind of work-life-fertlity, but for others it's another reminder of a year gone without meeting the baby-making expectation. It's also a time for family to be together and sometimes that means new family members, which can also be hard.
So my friend Candace (she's the gal in the movie who adopted) and I are going to do a FaceBook Live event on Saturday at 10am PST where we will talk a little bit about coping with the holidays and all things infertility, and answer questions from anyone who wants to write in. We will also probably talk a bit about the movie because, hey, why not. I've never done anything like this-- I'm that unicorn that doesn't have Facebook and honestly I think I've snooped on FB three times in my life. I don't know if I would have been able to emotionally handle the baby announcements when we were having such a hard time. Social media can be a great way to connect, but it can also be hard sometimes. So I steered clear and am now a little excited to lose my FB virginity on Saturday. Though really Candace is doing all the work here, I'm just showing up. Maybe I'll brush my hair. No guarantees.
I'm really grateful to Candace for a lot of reasons. After the first time we interviewed her for our film, we were immediately friends. She's one of those people who is just super real and honest and no BS and also smart and kind. She was so helpful to me because she was honest about how broken she felt at times but also so optimistic and determined about creating her family. We first interviewed her the day or day before she was going to meet her child's birthmother for the first time. Noah and I were headed towards an egg donation cycle I think. Candace had gone through two egg donor cycles and nothing worked, so while that was a terrifying reality to wrap my head around, seeing her exited to meet the birthmother also solidified two things: 1) sometimes there are things we have to do as part of our process regardless of outcome and 2) if the next thing didn't work, something would, and adoption can work for many people. Going into an egg donor cycle is really scary. Knowing you could get that far and come up empty handed is just not a good feeling. There is so much risk to all of this. But when my sister offered to donate we both really thought it would work but also knew that this was the next step, and if it didn't then it didn't. We knew it was something we needed to do.
And when it was a total bust Noah and I thought about Candace and her husband in two ways. The first was that they had gone through a similar experience and were still standing and had been able to regroup and create a new game plan, and the second was that they might need to be our happy ending. I'll explain the last one. Noah and I had been filming for several years when we did the egg donor cycle, and we didn't know how much longer we could attempt to make this movie. It became very clear to us that we might not have our own happy ending but we wanted to leave our audience on a high note, so we decided if we didn't have our own happy ending, we would use Candace's, and our journey would still be in progress. That was a real conversation. It was a diplomatic one between two producers who were trying to make a film based on a all real events that we had little control over. And then we sat with the production decision and thought about what that might mean for us, as people, as a couple. Wait, what if we didn't have our happy ending?
This was a truth. A possibility. One we had to really work to have different perspective on. We might not have the ending we wanted (a baby) but that didn't mean we wouldn't couldn't be happy. I could understand that in my head but didn't believe that in my heart. I felt so strongly about being a mother, but the more I worked the reframe my ideas, the more I could sit with this idea. It takes time and effort to reimagine your life and shift expectations. Luckily I didn't have to work that hard. Yes, it took a while and a lot of different people and doctors, but we managed to figure it out and got lucky. Very lucky.
I try to remind myself of that everyday.
Sending lots of luck and love to everyone. Hope you'll join us on FB tomorrow morning!