Monday, October 8, 2012

The Infertility Oscars

This past Tuesday, October 2 was The Resolve Night of Hope in NYC, or as they have been affectionately referred to by some, The Infertility Oscars. After all, The Night of Hope truly is the infertility community's red carpet night. Doctors, advocates, bloggers, drug companies, journalists and therapists all working within and somehow touched by infertility, come together to share hope and honor those who have been making a difference in the community. I was honored enough to be among them and receive the Hope Award for Best Blog. 

Not long after Resolve emailed me to inform me that I had won, I realized I would need to give some sort of acceptance speech. I was equally thrilled and terrified. I don't talk about this much here, but long before infertility became my focus in life, I was a die-hard theater student. I spent all of my childhood, teens and at least half of my college years either in an acting class or onstage in some way. I, like most aspiring actors, have often practiced my academy award thank yous in the mirror. However, having long ago moved on to other passions, I have never thought I would actually be on a brightly lit stage in a pretty dress, thanking my husband for his support in helping me achieve this honor. But now thanks to this blog and the incredible love and support of the infertility community, there I was trying to write my heartfelt and grateful remarks without going over the time limit that would get me cut off by the "wrap it up" music. 

I had drafts of what I would say in my head for weeks. I'd think of a meaningful sentiment randomly throughout the day and make mental notes to include it. Finally the night of the event, I sat in the cab with Chad, furiously re-reading and revising my handwritten remarks. I had covered everything I wanted to say and timed myself enough to know it would stay under the minute and a half I was allotted. The only problem was I couldn't get through my rehearsals without crying. I just meant every word so deeply there was no way I could stop myself from getting choked up. I know it would have been ok to cry but I didn't want it to make me lose myself and prevent me from saying what I needed to say. 

In the end though, it didn't matter. I cried that night many times, but not during my speech. I cried during cocktails while Chad and I were speaking with Jennifer Ludden, NPR Correspondent and Marisa PeƱaloza, NPR Producer about the powerful effects of positive journalism covering infertility. I cried during the awards watching the Pampers "Every Little Miracle" ad. (Click and keep a dry eye, I dare you) I cried during dessert speaking with fertility clinic nurses and hearing just how deeply they cared about the work they do and their patients. I teared up during speeches, hugs and in the middle of conversations. It was amazing to be in a room full of people that were simultaneously so professional yet so equally emotional and passionate. I remember so many incredible discussions and heartfelt moments from the night, but I don't have a clue what happened during my speech. 

I walked onstage, thanked my presenter, turned to face the audience, spoke the first 3 words I had written down and completely lost my place. So I just went with it. I said what was in my heart. Since I actually had written my remarks out and practiced them, I felt like I had managed to cover just about everything I wanted to say but in not quite the way I meant to say it. After I walked offstage, I was buzzing with excitement and a bit of confusion. How did that go? What the heck did I say up there, exactly? Did I make a fool of myself? I wasn't entirely sure.

After some reassurance from Chad and fellow bloggers Jen (http://thisismorepersonal.tumblr.com/) and Jay (http://the2weekwait.blogspot.com/) that I hadn't mucked the whole thing up, I breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed the rest of what was a beautiful and incredibly inspiring night. I thought about typing up the speech I had written for you here, but since Chad was wonderful enough to capture it on video, I would rather share with you the speech I gave. 


I again, can't thank this community enough for all it has have given me. And although very few of my friends or family have ever seen my blog, I am incredibly grateful to each and every one of them for the incredible love and support they have shown me and Chad as they have learned about our struggle. I am a lucky girl. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. 

11 comments:

Courtney said...

You are amazing, Holly! <3

Stephanie said...

Man, watching your video made ME tear up! This sounds like an incredible night and you totally deserve the Hope Award!

Mrs. V said...

You did a great job on your speech! Congratulations on your award!

Jaclyn N Lil M said...

You did great on your speech!! I am so proud of you!! Congrats on your award!!

Pamela Eiting said...

I was crying as the guy was giving his presentation speech about you winning the award! I wouldn't have had any idea that you didn't read your prepared speech if you had not wrote about it. You were great up there! You always have a natural charisma on stage. I love you and still look up to you :-)

Katie said...

Your speech was AMAZING. I'm so happy for you. xo

ksirahsirah said...

Holly- congrats! Just teared up while listening to your speech. I am nearing my third year of battling with infertility and just recently found blogging myself.

It has saved me in so many ways and more.

Thank you- and Congrats!
kss

J o s e y said...

I can't listen to this at work, but I'm excited to check it out when I get home. I'm sure you did great!! What an awesome honor to be awarded best blog!

Jess said...

Congratulations on a well-deserved honor! Your speech was awesome--from the heart (and you'd never know you stopped using your cards... you probably had them memorized at that point like you said!). What an amazing moment.

Denny said...

Holly; Congratulations on such a well deserved reward! Your story is amazing, and your advocacy words inspirational. I was at the event with my wife and our formerly frozen embryo, named Elliana (just one extra L) and your speech has motivated me to be more involved in the advocacy part of infertility to bring some "guy power" to the fight! Enjoy your little snow pea --they grow up so fast-our pea pod (her first Halloween outfit) turned 10 the day before Night of Hope 2012. It was a magical night, wasn't it! Congrats on the great writing--maybe I'll meet you at advocacy day 2013!

Kelly Damron said...

Holly,

It was a pleasure to meet you at the Night of Hope event. Congratulations on your Hope Award for Best Blog.

Wishing you all the best,
Kelly