SEATTLE - Did you know 1 in 6 people, or 1 in 8 couples, are living with infertility? And yet, it's a topic we don't really talk about.
If you are one of them, you know the grief and isolation this can cause as you try to start or build your family. But even if infertility doesn't impact you personally, it is very likely that someone you know either has gone through it in the past, or is perhaps fighting that battle right now.
That's why RESOLVE's National Infertility Awareness Week (April 23-29) is important for so many. It's a chance to open up a conversation that can be difficult to start: What if starting a family isn't so easy? What resources are available to help those struggling, and how can we all help family members and friends who are going through it?
Art just might be an answer. Elizabeth Walker founded "The Art of Infertility" as a single exhibit three years ago, out of her own need to express herself after going through infertility. It has since grown into the international arts organization it is today, traveling to cities all over the country and beyond, including right here in Seattle! From now through the end of the month, you can check out this FREE exhibit at the A/NT (Art Not Terminal) Gallery, located on the Seattle Center Campus.
The gallery features artwork created by so many different people, bonded by one commonality: Infertility. And the benefits are two-fold, Elizabeth says. Not only does experiencing the exhibit open up opportunities for conversation with loved ones and friends about this hard-to-talk-about topic, but as she told us at the exhibit's opening earlier this month, the creation of the art itself can be cathartic:
"I felt like I needed something physical, something tangible, that would allow me to record my history with infertility," she told us. "You know, we can't create a baby in many cases because we're dealing with infertility... But we can still create in other ways."
Noah Moskin and his wife Maya Grobel Moskin know this first-hand. When they realized their journey to find their family wasn't going to be an easy one, they did the one thing they knew they could: Document it. The result is their film, "One More Shot," which they screened at the launch of the exhibit in Seattle this month.
"I think it's important to normalize infertility and to create awareness in a way that (tries) to remove any stigma or shame that's attached with it," Noah said. "I think with our film and trying to open this discussion, and this exhibit- really we're trying to say there's nothing to be ashamed about."
"One More Shot" follows not only Noah and Maya's journey; it also highlights those of several other couples, covering a wide range of topics from IVF to adoption, embryo donation, and more. The film itself is raw, real, and even funny in spots (really!). "One More Shot" is coming soon; you can follow updates and learn more HERE and HERE.
"The Art of Infertility" runs through the end of the month. It's open daily, noon-8 p.m., at the A/NT Gallery, 305 Harrison Street in Seattle on the Seattle Center Campus. Read more about the exhibit HERE.
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association has 11 FREE, drop-in, peer-led support groups that meet monthly in Western Washington. For more information on these groups and the work of RESOLVE, click HERE.
For more on National Infertility Awareness Week, click HERE.