Friday, April 20, 2018

The "We Are Worthy" Summit

This weekend marks the start of National Infertility Awareness Week in the U.S. & in Canada (although for some weird reason, the U.S. dates are April 22-28, and in Canada, it's April 23-29).  To be honest, I've never paid that much attention to NIAW, because its focus is (understandably) on fertility -- on those still in treatment, and on the success stories -- not on people like me, who didn't get the baby(s) we wanted (even though alternative reproductive technologies don't work for the vast majority of couples who try them).

This year, however, Andrew & Nicci Fletcher, the founders of the recently launched Childless Not By Choice Magazine,  have come up with a full week of alternative NIAW online programming that I am VERY interested in! The "We Are Worthy" summit is designed "to support people whether they are still hoping to become parents or are searching for find ways to redefine their dreams even though they won’t contain the children that they long for."
The summit will be packed full of webinars and pre-recorded training about proactive healing ideas that can help people move forward. There will also be live “chats” and pre-recorded panel discussion about what it means to be childless not by choice and how we can learn to live in a child-centric world. Hopefully there will be a little something for everyone because, no matter where you are in your journey or what your personal situation is, we are ALL worthy!
I'll admit I had a few qualms about the name.  "We are Worthy" -- well, of course we are!!

(I also couldn't help but think of Wayne & Garth from "Wayne's World" -- "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!" lol!)(Sorry!)

But when I thought about it, I realized that far too many infertility survivors, particularly those in the early stages of recovery from treatment, do feel a deep sense of worthlessness.  Moreover, those feelings are reinforced -- sometimes (sadly) intentionally, sometimes inadvertently -- by others around us, and by society generally.
Living in a child-centric world can be a struggle. [the event website points out] We feel voiceless and marginalised. We feel the rest of the world considers us to be second class citizens because we haven’t been able to have children. We feel that we have failed and are worthless and the world seems to agree with us. It doesn’t help that the terms available to describe our situation are either “childfree” which suggests that we have fully embraced our situation or “childLESS” – no wonder we feel that we have failed or do not deserve to be heard, valued or happy. 
We need to rebuild of sense of self-worth until we truly believe that We Are Worthy! and then perhaps the rest of the world see that too.
The summit includes a mixture of live webinars, pre-recorded training sessions, live chats and panel discussions -- and there are four or five events scheduled every day during NIAW.  The speakers and facilitators include many names that will be (should be!) familiar to those of us in the CNBC corner of the ALI community -- including Jody Day of Gateway Women, Lisa Manterfield of Life Without Baby, Brandi Lytle of  Not So Mommy, Sarah Chamberlin of Infertility HonestyJustine Froelker and Lesley Pyne (among many others).

Best of all, it's all FREE. (Although some events do require advance registration -- so check out the list of events & speakers & sign up for the ones that interest you, now!)  I have all the events & times in my calendar, & hope to listen in to at least a few of them, live or later on.

When I think back 10 years ago to when I started this blog -- there is just no way the handful of CNBC bloggers out there at the time could have put on an event of this magnitude. We may still have a way to go to establish our presence within the greater infertility community, and certainly in the "outside" world -- but seriously -- reading over the schedule for this event, I couldn't help but think: we have come a long, long way over the past 10 years...!

And I can't wait to see what progress the next 10 years is going to bring!  :) 


  1. I admit that my mind has been elsewhere lately, and I've missed scheduling this into my week. I hope it will be possible to catch up afterwards!

    1. I caught two of the live seminars the first day (including Jody's), but nothing since then. Hoping to catch a few more before the end of the week. I think most if not all are on the summit website or Facebook page, so perhaps I'll go back & watch a few that I missed -- although I rather doubt I'll be able to watch them all. i give them full credit for such an ambitious undertaking, and all of the events & speakers sound so interesting! -- but from a viewing perspective, I find that it's next to impossible to try to keep up...!