Thursday, January 17, 2013

Speaking Out at Fertility Planit 2013

Excited to watch Mommy live at the Fertility Planit Show
This past weekend, I had the honor and pleasure of moderating a panel for the first ever Fertility Planit show in LA. It was a weekend long event and featured discussions by experts on a variety of topics effecting the infertility community such as building an adoptive family, financial planning for ART/adoption, male infertility, egg freezing and storage and letting go of having genetic offspring. I was thrilled to moderate and lead the session titled "The Beginners Guide to Infertility: What to Do When You Want to Get Pregnant But Can't". 

Our panel featured two leading REs and a natural healer/acupuncturist answering questions about what to expect when seeking tests and treatments for fertility. Many of our audience members had never met with an RE so I was very excited to give them the opportunity to have their questions answered and basic concerns addressed before they ever had to step foot into a doctor's office. I remember very clearly how daunting those first visits to my doctor were, not yet having the confidence or understanding of fertility to be able to best advocate for myself. It felt very rewarding to know I was part of an event that was empowering others to take those first steps toward parenthood armed with information and support. It was also very empowering for me to be able to take my own journey with infertility and apply it to an event like this, asking questions, sharing experiences and connecting with others.

In addition to my own panel, I attended sessions on adoption and learned a lot about the process and realities of private, domestic open adoptions as well as sessions on natural medicine and optimizing fertility. I also spent a great deal of time wandering the exhibit hall and meeting the REs, donor agencies, and support agencies that were on hand to share their information with attendees. I even had the opportunity to give feedback to all of the companies that created and delivered my medications for IVF and FET. It felt really good to tell the producer of my estrogen supplement what my experience was with their drug and request that they begin including certain written information on side effects with their medication. I most enjoyed spending time at the RESOLVE booth though, where I had the opportunity to discuss a lot of exciting events and volunteer opportunities coming up later this year. I also got to see my name and face in print when I picked up a copy of the Winter edition of their newsletter where a piece I wrote is featured. (If you would like information on receiving the Resolve newsletter, please click here).

I am so glad I was a part of this event. It was incredible to be participate in a conference dedicated to all things fertility. Much like the RESOLVE Night of Hope in October, it was refreshing to be surrounded by people that were as passionate about the issues surrounding infertility as I am. I was surprised by the number of people that stopped in the hall to tell me a little about their journey and thanked me for sharing mine. I have been blogging for 3 years now but I am still always amazed by the impact my words can have on others. Speaking to some of them refreshed my energy for blogging and I have a few new topics I will be blogging about in the near future. But even more than the charge I got for blogging, the event gave me an even charge to renew my involvement as an infertility advocate. Speaking onstage about infertility, asking the experts questions and being in the presence of so many other advocates and professionals really confirmed for me how much I love this work and want to continue to get involved.

I have some ideas on things I would like present at next year's show but whether these ideas come to fruition or not, I hope to be involved again in whatever way I can. In the meantime, I will be pursuing any opportunity I get to volunteer, speak out and learn more about infertility so that I can best serve this community.


If you're interested in watching my panel or any of the other sessions that were held this weekend, you can watch the videos by clicking here or by visiting http://fertilityplanitshow.com/videos/. My session can be found here.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

WAY TO GO, HOLLY!!!

Katie said...

You are awesome, Holly!

Jaclyn N Lil M said...

WOW!! great job girl! SO proud of you

Fertility Girl said...

Congratulations!

Em said...

This is so cool. I love that you're so active in the IF community.