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I hope everyone is keeping safe and cool this week. I’m enjoying my first pumpkin cream cold brew of the year and shamelessly posting in on Instagram. Because this year we are ignoring the disdain toward over saturated, women-led trends due to internalized misogyny. That ish took years of loving Taylor Swift away from me and I’m not letting it take away my fall drinks. 🙂
Today we’re talking about infertility and the power of sharing your story, the Southeast’s favorite film festival and dating during delta.
COVID-19 has forced independent theaters and festivals like Sidewalk to adapt
This week Birmingham will host the 23rd Annual Sidewalk Film Festival in its downtown theatre district. It should’ve been a moment of joy and reunion after the 22nd festival was forced to be held at a nearby drive-in. Instead, the rise of the delta variant and the growing crowd of patients at local hospitals has cast a shadow over the event.
We talked to Chloe Cook, Executive Director of Sidewalk Film, about how they’re preparing to host the festival as safely as possible.
Your Voice: Being open about infertility helped me heal
Each week the Honey newsletter includes a column from women and LGBTQ folks in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. We’re always looking for more stories from you. Click here to learn more about how to get published.
By Kaira Boston
At the playground watching my daughter, Delaney, run from the slide to the swings a fellow parent popped the question, “when are you going to give Delaney a sibling?”
I would politely say “we’re trying” and move on to another topic because no one wants to know the truth.
So, I don’t give them the gory details.
I don’t tell them about the two miscarriages I had before Delaney was born.
I don’t tell them that I only have a 25 percent chance of having a viable pregnancy. You see, I have a chromosome issue that is undetectable when just looking at me. But when tested it revealed itself as an issue that may be blocking a viable pregnancy. Balanced translocation is the name of the chromosome issue. which means two pairs of chromosomes are mismatched. My seven and 10 swapped partners just like you might do when you have two mismatched socks.
I don’t tell them my dream is to be a mother of three and because my body won’t get on board, I feel broken, like damaged goods.
I’m a woman. Isn’t it my job to reproduce and populate the earth?
Though the odds were stacked against us, my husband and I kept trying and trying.
As the miscarriages mounted (I was on number five post successful birth, so seven in total), I examined what else I could possibly do and what I would do to make this dream of a family of five a reality while the cycle of pregnant/not pregnant was taking its emotional toll. Not only was I trying to fulfill my dream but also the societal norm of having at least two children.
Thankfully the insurance we had at the time provided the option of in vitro fertilization. That was its own hero’s journey. Getting my husband on board with his part, even more blood draws, the shots, the egg retrieval, and transportation to the different clinics based on the day because this process is very time sensitive. I would get in the car and speak to my little one that I was making every effort to bring into this world to let them know how many miles I had traveled for them, that’s how much I loved them already.
There are journeys we prepare for and do all the things we should do and still come up short. The in vitro fertilization produced six embryos—unfortunately none viable with life. I had beaten the odds with my healthy daughter, and it was time to accept that a single child family was our truth.
The Junk Drawer
The Junk Drawer isn’t really junk, but a curated collection of things from around the internet that you didn’t really know you needed, akin to the paper clip, flashlight, hair tie and the $2 bill that hang around in that one kitchen drawer.
Fewer than 1 in 4 pregnant people have gotten a COVID shot. It’s not yet clear if the government’s steps to encourage vaccination will move the needle (The 19th*)
Last week I mentioned the struggle of “being online” and being forced to empathize with the world when the world is on fire. I’ve learned it’s nearly impossible and this piece looks at an alternative. (Slate)
“Our job is neither to hold all the pain of the world, nor to fix all its ills, and not even to perform all the empathy.”
That’s all I’ve got for today.