After 15 years of thinking about it, I am finally starting work on a project to compile stories of people navigating the challenges of their reproductive lives, with the ultimate goal of publishing such a collection. I am aiming for a range of diverse perspectives and experiences. They run the gamut from unplanned pregnancy to fertility issues to the choice not to have children — often in some combination. They include issues of sexuality, gender identity, and sexual violence. I’m particularly interested in the places where those heartaches diverge, but also where they overlap; the aspects that make us feel isolated, and those that connect.
In the week since I posted this announcement on my FaceBook page, I’ve been (happily) overwhelmed by the response. The questions I’ve received about the project have expanded my own notions of its possible range. I am struck not only by people’s willingness to share, but their desire to do so. We need places to talk about these parts of our lives, to know that even in our most private grief and shame we are not alone, and to go public with the truth that in our deepest sadnesses joy, relief, and redemption also reside.
Readers with a story to tell, please consider sharing. You deserve to voice it. See my next post for questions to provoke reflection and conversation.