Infertility: A Journey of Love, Joy, Hardship, and Heartbreak

By Camille Preston

Camille is promoting infertility awareness through a TEDx talk she did on infertility.  Her goal is to support women on the journey by raising awareness and visibility. The talk is a fertility 101 and it is about pursing your dreams beyond terrors edge and through the free fall of accelerated learning!  Watch her TEDx talk at the bottom of this article.

As anyone familiar with infertility knows, the journey is a hard one. It is filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, joy and heartbreak. It’s not for everyone, and it’s not for the faint of heart.

Everyone’s journey is the same, yet everyone’s is very different. Outcomes are not the same, they are not set in stone. Hearts expand with joy, only to break in anguish. We all grow, learn, change, and adapt in very different ways.

In my case, my journey brought me to my knees and nearly broke me.

Almost everyone I know personally and professionally would describe me as a deeply persistent woman, a fighter, an athlete, someone who never gives up. I am a do-er, a list maker, a take-charge kind of woman. I get things done! But what very few people know, what I have kept from colleagues and clients alike, is how my journey with infertility kicked me to the curb, shattered my confidence and everything I thought I knew about myself, and nearly broke my spirit. Without a doubt, navigating infertility was the hardest thing that I have ever done. EVER.

But it was also the greatest learning and growing experience of my life. My journey with infertility changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined.

While infertility is not uncommon, most people’s understanding of the process is uncommon. On my journey, I found that there were many deeply caring, deeply loving people who simply couldn’t grasp what I was navigating. Family, with the best of intentions, would say the stupidest things (however unintentionally) that could send me into a tailspin for weeks. Friends, wanting desperately to help, just didn’t know how. (Sound familiar?)

When we are stretched to our limits, overcome with grief, and jacked up on various hormones, it can be next to impossible to think straight, let alone explain to friends, family, and colleagues how they can support us.

Knowing that I have many sisters on this similar journey, I wanted to share my experience and my learning. I also wanted to create something that our loved ones could watch to understand our journey.

And so, I stepped way out of my comfort zone and gave a Tedx Talk on my journey through infertility. Now, I speak and lead programs and workshops for a living, but this was completely out of the box for me. Something so deeply personal shared with so many; it was not an easy thing to do. But I wanted my sisters (and brothers!) to know that they are not alone.

My journey had a happy ending, and I count my blessings hourly. RESOLVE  was one of the many resources we tapped to navigate our grief, to gather information, build a support team, and move forward, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my story with RESOLVE’s readers.

I hope that you find my TEDx talk helpful in your journey. I hope that it will be a resource to you and to others you know on the journey. Please watch it, like it, forward it, share it. If we can get 10,000 views this week, the talk will make it to the main TED site, which in turn can reach and hopefully help many, many more people on their own journey.

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