By Danielle Bucco
As a 21-year-old college student, I can say that all the different aspects of infertility had never occurred to me. It is not something that many people my age even hear about unless a friend or family member is going or has gone through it. If it hadn’t been for my communications internship with ART of Infertility, I would not have realized that it occurs to so many people and in so many different ways. Since I am not looking to start a family any time soon, I never really considered all the many different struggles that men and women sometimes have to go through to create a baby. It is even more shocking when people still cannot have their own children even with all the developments to science and technology, which only goes to show that there is so much more to discover.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest surprises was the amount of people who go through infertility issues. Besides learning all about E-News spokesperson, Giuliana Rancic as a teenager (I loved her show), I never thought that it was something that so many people, both men and women, had to deal with. However, that is one of the reasons that I am so thankful to have an internship with this organization. Since it is such a personal issue many people find solace and comfort in other people who have gone through similar situations. It is like having a large support group where people will always be there to listen to any anger, frustrations, or just to share stories to show that no one is alone. This type of support is inspiring, especially when it comes to certain organizations dedicated to helping people who are dealing with infertility. It is like having another layer of support and during such a time of pain and frustration, there can never be too many people cheering you on, or picking up the pieces if it doesn’t work out.
One of my favorite parts about being an intern is hearing all the amazing stories from members of the infertility community. There are so many people who take the pain that they are feeling and use it to inspire others and to show that it is possible to survive such an emotional and physical journey after such immense disappointment. Two stories that stand out to me particularly were the stories of Katie and Angela. Both women took their pain and used it towards helping others. It is hard for someone, like myself, who has not gone through this to truly understand what it is like but hearing people’s testimonies is incredibly helpful to get an idea of how stressful it must be to try to conceive but continue to come across complications. By hearing stories about this, people who have not dealt with this can begin to understand how sensitive of a topic it can be to bring up and how everyone handles their grief in different ways. One of the most important things I learned from listening to these stories was to let people grieve in their own way. Not everyone is going to grieve the exact same way and that’s okay. It is only important to let them know that they have support and to be whatever that person needs them to be.
One of the toughest things about being an intern for an infertility organization is the learning curve. As I write blog posts or social media posts, I am still looking up what certain words mean or what the correct way of phrasing a certain condition is. Even coming across other posts, I find myself looking up certain words because I am confused by what they mean. It can be overwhelming at first but eventually it does start to get easier and of course with the occasional slip-up at times, I am expanding my knowledge of all different aspects of infertility.
Overall this has been such an incredible experience for a young intern such as myself. It has given me so much knowledge on a whole subject that students never learn about but is something that so many people deal with. One of the many things that I hope to take away from this experience is to talk about this issue more openly with others who may not understand. Although no one who has never gone through it will ever truly understand, hopefully by talking about it with others more, it will create a better understanding of the issue and bring further awareness to more generations.