Thinking along these lines, Mel and her crew at Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters came up with wonderful idea for an infertility "secret handshake" so that we could identify and be happy for one another. (Not that I'm not happy for all of the easily pregnant women out there. I would never wish for those who breeze through baby making to deal with the pain some of us deal with. It just stings when they're so whiney and condecending toward me.) Here's a copy/paste from Mel's Blog about the Common Thread Bracelet.
For anyone who has experienced infertility or who is currently experiencing infertility. For anyone who has suffered through pregnancy loss. For those who have conceived naturally, utilized treatments, adopted, used third-party reproduction, or chose to live child-free: a movement.
It all began when Paz lamented that there should be a secret handshake for those who have experienced or are currently experiencing infertility. She was finally pregnant after multiple miscarriages and she wanted infertile women to know when looking at her pregnant belly that she was one of them still--in heart and mind. She was open to questions and to passing along any information she had obtained along the way.This led to a lengthy discussion about a signal we could give one another as well as a tangible object that would invite questions and subsequently discussion about infertility. The conversation jumped from idea to idea--a pomegranate-shaped charm, a Livestrong-esque bracelet--until it finally settled on a simple thread.
With the idea being that it was an item that was easy to obtain no matter where you lived. It posed a minimal cost. It could be ornamented or braided any way the wearer chose. It could be sent through the mail. It was simple. It was discreet. We picked the embroidery floss #814 because it was the colour of pomegranates. Which was one of the fertility symbols considered along the way.
Royalyne stepped forward and got the ball rolling with a write up that we tweaked until it became this statement:
Pomegranates, a longstanding symbol of fertility, serve as a strong analogy to those suffering through infertility. Though each pomegranate skin is unique in colour and texture, the seeds inside are remarkably similar from fruit to fruit. Though our diagnosis is unique—endometriosis, low sperm count, luteal phase defect, or causes unknown—the emotions, those seeds on the inside, are the same from person to person. Infertility creates frustration, anger, depression, guilt, and loneliness. Compounding these emotions is the shame that drives people suffering from infertility to retreat into silence.
In addition, the seeds represent the multitude of ways one can build their family: natural conception, treatments, adoption, third-party reproduction, or even choosing to live child-free.The pomegranate 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 A.R.T., families created through adoption, or couples trying to conceive during 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 purchasing this 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.
So, I got my bracelet today. My friend Jacki (yet another person I have met throughout this struggle) made it and sent it to me. I immediately tied it on and am hoping to start noticing it on others as well. Thanks Jacki.
cd18=CBEFM still high. Can we just get this show on the road already?!