Day 27: Today, I am thinking prejudice and discrimination after reading “My Life as a White Hispanic: Prejudice Comes From All Sides.” Written by Kimberly Helminski Keller on her blog, Roadkill Goldfish, it is an incredibly thoughtful account of her life as a multiracial individual. She is both Polish and Puerto Rican and has never fit neatly into either culture, yet both are important to her identity. I will not attempt to tell her story – she tells it eloquently and I would only butcher it. But I will ask you to go read it yourself. As for me, I am white. My husband is white. My kids are white. I have never known how it feels for myself or a family member to be a target of discrimination based on race or ethnicity. And yet, I know how frequently individuals experience discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and age. I believe, like Martin Luther King, Jr, that people should be judged, not on the color of their skin (or ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation), but “by the content of their character.” I try to live my life by this creed and I hope that I am teaching my children to do the same. I wrote recently about a time that my oldest daughter pointed at a girl on the playground and said, “Hey Mom! Look! Her skin is brown.” It was really uncomfortable for a second, but then I realized that this represented an opportunity for me as mom. This was a teachable moment. I seized the moment and responded, “Yes Josie. That’s what is beautiful about people. We come in all different skin colors. Isn’t that wonderful? The world would be a really boring place if we all looked the same and spoke the same language and dressed the same, don’t you think?” And she responded with a simple, “Yep,” and then ran off to play with the little girl. How we respond as parents in the moments when race or ethnicity or any other “difference” is raised will help shape our children’s perspectives for years to come. I’ll leave you with a quote from the song Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “I might not be the same but that’s not important; No freedom til we’re equal; Damn right I support it.” It’s a powerful song, with a powerful anti-discrimination message. And, for the record, yes, I support marriage equality too.
Day 28: I am one of those women who really enjoyed being pregnant. I embraced the changes in my body and focused on the miracle that was happening inside my belly. It still astounds me that I grew 2 little human beings inside of me and that they are thriving, healthy children today. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: The human body is remarkable. As I think about my pregnancies, I am so thankful that I was able to experience this miracle without incredible difficulty. We were fortunate enough to get pregnant quickly once we set our minds to it and engaged the help of an ovulation detector. Sure, we’d been trying for our first for some time, but we were just having fun trying. When it came to the point that we were really trying, it happened in the first month and actually caught us by surprise. The second time around, it was a bit harder, which, again, caught us by surprise. I incorrectly assumed since it happened so quickly the first time, it would be easy the second time too. It took 9 months of trying to conceive our 2nd daughter. After 3 months, I started charting my fertility which entailed taking my temperature with a special thermometer every morning before I moved out of bed and using ovulation prediction kits, among other things. By 6 months I had visited my doctor and shared my charts which showed there might be an issue. Then I had a chemical pregnancy. Pregnant one day and bleeding the next. After that, I started on a progesterone supplement after I ovulated and, finally, Lily was conceived. It felt like forever to get to that day, but that is just a drop in the bucket compared to the experience of millions of other women. According to the CDC, 10.9%, or 6.7 million women ages 15-44 have an impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term. That’s why, when I read IVF Made Me a Better Person at Teacher to Mum, I felt compelled to share it. The infertility journey is a mystery to many of us, and an intense and often isolating journey for mother and father to be. This post, written years after a successful IVF cycle, provides insight into the journey and hope for those in the midst of struggling with infertility. To some, infertility is stigmatized. It is not something to talk about. It is a secretive process. But I think the women and men who do anything within their power to have a child are courageous, inspiring and should be celebrated. Let’s talk about this openly. Let’s make it easier and more affordable for couples who desperately want to be parents to achieve pregnancy. Let’s give these couples a chance to love a child. Visit Resolve, The National Infertility Association to learn more about how to support the Family Act. Introduced in May, The Family Act of 2013, (S 881/HR 1851) will help thousands of people access medical treatment for infertility that otherwise would be out of reach for them due to lack of insurance coverage. RESOLVE supports this bill and needs your help getting this bill passed and made into a law. You can quickly send a message to your Senators and Congressmen from this page.