Dear Bobbie,

An apology.

First an apology.

I was fully prepared to walk away from your interview yesterday with Kathie Lee and Hoda feeling shamed and frustrated.

Let me explain.

As someone who has struggled through infertility and IVF, survived and is thriving thereafter, I feel not so alone when a celebrity comes forward with their own struggles. But, despite the broken silence as a survivor and an advocate for breaking the shamed silence surrounding infertility the message that is often times portrayed by celebrities struggling with infertility leaves me wanting, even sometimes leaves me angry.

More often than not the words are spoken much like these messages:

Never give up.

Just keep trying and it will work.

Don’t stop.

This message is unrealistic for many of us. Unrealistic because we don’t have insurance that covers treatments and procedures. Unrealistic because we are not in the same tax bracket. Unrealistic because our resources are just not comparable. And, unrealistic because sometimes it just won’t work.

This message is also shaming for many of us. Shaming because it comes from a place of comparison and scarcity. Shaming because our stories and circumstances are sometimes not that comparable. Shaming because each family must determine what their enough and everything is and when it is okay to stop. Shaming because our paths don’t have to and probably won’t look the same for each of us to reach our happy ending.

And, so it is with a very grateful heart, that I apologize for assuming you would deliver these same messages.

A thank you

And instead, I want to say a wholehearted thank you.

As an advocate building a platform for breaking the shamed silence surrounding infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy loss and recovery and for my first book, I often times feel very alone. Sometimes, it even feels like the world isn’t ready for my message.

But, in that short five minute interview I found a fellow warrior in you.Bobbie Thomas

Thank you for your bravery in filming the ultrasounds, the blood draws, procedures and weight gain; showing how physically and emotionally exhausting it all is.

Thank you for your courage is sharing the pain that comes with a negative result.

Thank you for your openness in sharing your story with the world and saying how much it helps. Thank you also to your doctor for validating this.

Thank you for your acknowledgement that you are lucky that insurance covers most of your treatments.

Thank you for your realism that this doesn’t always work.

Without even knowing it, you had my back yesterday in that interview.

Thank you for supporting what needs to be the message:

Permission to speak our truth.

Permission to embrace our whole story.

Permission to practice our recovery.

Permission to own it all.

Through these permissions, I think, we can change the way we talk about and move through the experience of infertility. And that if we do, not only could it maybe work more often but we can hopefully all be okay thereafter, maybe even better, and not feel so damn broken.

Thank you for your courage, for your message and for your light.

In ever upward light and love

Your fellow warrior,

Justine

*To read more about my story and my recovery make sure to pick up a copy of the very soon to be published Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Own a Childfree Life.*

If you found this post enjoyable, inspiring, helpful, hopeful, interesting or even infuriating 😉, please take the time and the chance to share it through your social media! More shares means more eyes, means more people helped and the message heard on a wider scale. Thank you! Justine

This post linked to Amateur Nester’s Link Up.

 

13 thoughts on “An Apology and Thank You to Bobbie Thomas

  1. chels819 says:

    I so greatly appreciated this interview too!!! Great post!

    Like

    1. I know, I was so impressed and thankful! Thanks for reading and for commenting! Justine

      Like

  2. Justine you are so brave, courageous, and inspiring! I enjoy following your journey even though mine looks different than yours. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing and inspiring others.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! Had my first panic about the book coming out, that oh my gosh people could actually read this… panic. But I know that is how I must live my life and hopefully it will help some, even if just one. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Love, Justine

      Like

  3. busynothing says:

    What happened? You assumed they would do the “never give up” thing, but they actually were more real about it? I think that’s what I’m gleaning here… and if so — that’s amazing to hear! Even given my “situation” right now, I in no way buy into that whole narrative of “keep trying” or whatever. I will never, ever feel that way. I feel the pain of this journey so strongly and I still feel so much more on “this side” than I likely ever will on the other side. I’ll keep that message real and strong, always. It’s not about hope. It’s about reality.

    Like

    1. Yes! Yes! Thank you so much for this comment! I’ve been thinking about you a lot, hope you are feeling okay! Thank you for reading and commenting! Justine

      Like

  4. Alexandria says:

    I just wanted to let you know that i nominated you for Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thank you!

    Like

    1. Alexandria,

      Thank you so much! J

      Like

      1. Alexandria says:

        And I’m praying for your friend. 🙂

        Like

  5. Lisa says:

    Yes! I had the same concerns when I first heard about Bobbie going public with her journey. I was so impressed by how she’s handling it all, too. I try to be conscientious about not saying things like “Don’t give up!” but I think sometimes I still say it when I don’t know what else to say. Thanks for the reminder to really think about the message that sends.

    Like

    1. Lisa, I know! I am so thankful for how she is coping publicly with this! Thank you for reading and for leaving this comment! J

      Like

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