There’s no business like show business.
In 1974 a nurse suffered infertility in British Columbia. To help her overcome the aftermath of unsuccessful treatments she started a small support group of women who met regularly around her kitchen table.
The group continued to grow and has emerged as Resolve National Infertility Association. Today it lobbies infertility issues in Congress, creates awareness around infertility and celebrates the National Infertility Week. The organization is powered by a nation-wide network of volunteers. So why does this sustained, outstanding effort feels like a small drop in the proverbial bucket?
Enter Media. We don’t appreciate being educated but we do love being entertained. Charts and graphs about facts of infertility are boring! They can’t compete with Yellow Press.
There’s no lack of buzz when another starlet expects a child (and we are happy for them). Photos of celebrities in their forties expecting babies are so prevalent, it feels like a confirmation of their divine nature. “Well, they are celebrities after all, they have success in everything, not like me,” a voice inside my head implies my worst suspicions. A friend of mine put so eloquently, ” It makes you feel like the human race is progressing and the reproductive age is getting longer”. Yes, I agree! So why didn’t I succeed?
In one outstanding article that is informative and helpful, the author Janet Grace Ortigas writes this paragraph:
It is no surprise that celebrities who talk about infertility talk about IVF. Apart from Nicole Kidman who gave birth to a daughter at 40 and Brooke Shields who gave birth at 37 after seven rounds of IVF, Celine Dion, Jane Seymour, Emma Thompson, Christie Brinkley, Courtney Cox Arquette, and Marcia Cross have used In Vitro Fertilization.
I have compiled this list into a gallery. Its star power is overwhelming! Oh, just remembered, they didn’t mention Angelina Jolie in the list!
And here’s the important piece of information. I had a meeting with Dr. Glacier of CHR regarding an upcoming collaboration on my documentary The Cycle. The subject of celebrity pregnancies came up. I shared with him this gallery of photos. He added,
“There’s more. When media does report on Reproductive Field involvement, a lot of times the information is not complete. A lot of these pregnancies are achieved with donor eggs, but you cannot enforce disclosure because of the Health Information Privacy Act.
Wait a minute, donor eggs?!!! That changes the perception, doesn’t it? You mean, we’re all human beings susceptible to the same limitations?
Imagine that infertility would be acknowledged as a serious threat to our well being and a full voluntary disclosure of experiences would be available from some of the most celebrated women in the world. Wouldn’t that change the way we see ourselves and heal? Wouldn’t that change the whole dynamic of the conversation?