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Dispatches from the Hill

This is how I look a few minutes after speaking at the Capitol.  Look at how my mere presence makes the sky look ominous and stormy.  Look out America–infertile people are teaching Congress a thing or two (or maybe even three).


Truman Capote came a’knockin’ at my internal door 10 minutes before I was set to leave, adding a new layer to the day.  Not just emotionally or logistically, but is also changed the nice outfit I had chosen for the occasion.  Damn you, Capote, showing up with your Justerini and Brooks scotch (never J&B, please) and cigars!  But we rolled with it and dressed in black and headed downtown.

Moments before I leave the sweet bosom of our car and brave the wild Metro.


I can’t really describe how powerful it is to walk through the hallways at the Capitol and realize not only the history of what has happened in that building in the past, but my G-d, what is happening in this building right now.  And that I was sewing myself into that history by participating.  That it happens every day–ordinary citizens making requests of our government officials and our government officials listening to them.  Not always doing what we wish, but giving us their ear if we write, call, or sit down with them face-to-face.

That’s a pretty amazing thing for an enormous country.

Though I’ve spent my entire life in this area save for a few years here and there in school, I don’t think I’ve ever been inside the Capitol.  On the steps to watch the fireworks–sure.  Across the street, using the Library of Congress–too many times to count.  But I can’t even remember a school field trip to the Capitol.  So I think, the most overwhelming part for me, was to be inside that building.

As was seeing real live senators and representatives.  Which again, shouldn’t be that momentous since I grew up in this area and went to school with the children of real live senators and representatives.  But now I was seeing them in their natural habitat–sort of like seeing a lion on the savannah vs. seeing a lion at the zoo.

Even if you can’t travel to Washington, D.C. to physically be in the Capitol, there is a way (beyond emailing or calling your representatives yourself) to turn your words into action inside the Capitol: participate in Project IF.  I have hinted before that there will be more to this project than NIAW and the Night of Hope award.  Trust me on this.  You have at least two more days to participate (May 1st, 11:59 pm EST is the cut-off).

The three speakers: Me, Dr. Maurizio Macaluso (Chief of the Women’s Health and Fertility Branch of the CDC) and Dr. Rafat Abbasi (doctor at Columbia Fertility Associates)


I felt like you were all with me in spirit yesterday, and I was so touched to read through the comments once I got home.  I actually left my blackberry on vibrate and stuck it in my bag, and placed my bag against my foot.  So I got this buzzy reminder every few minutes that I am connected to something so large–a support system, an electronic grassroots system, a group of kick-ass brilliant ladies and gentlemen.

I was asked yesterday by someone there if I felt nervous coming out so publicly about my infertility.  And I was nervous about a lot of things, but not admitting that my body doesn’t work properly and I need help to build my family.  It’s not a fact about myself that I’m proud of, but it’s something that is, and when we talk about it, we help others to see a larger world than their own experience, we help people get to a doctor before they run out of time, we help people feel less alone who share the same problem and feel isolated from the norm around them.

When it was done, all I wanted to do was sleep.  I skipped breakfast and missed lunch and didn’t eat until 3:20 and I think the lack of food combined with Truman’s visit combined with the huge emotions of the day all made me crash by 5 pm.  So I apologize for the lack of LFCAs this week and can tell you that an enormous one will be up tonight.

I’ll leave you with this while I wait for the video and pictures taken at the Capitol to be sent my way once the Resolveniks recover.

4 minute clip from Fox News where Barb Collura spoke about the congressional briefing and NIAW

And the first coverage that I’ve seen from the newspapers on the briefing: The Washington Times.


1 Heather { 04.29.10 at 11:27 am }

Thank you for everything you are doing for our community.
It means more than I can express.

2 Gail K. { 04.29.10 at 11:58 am }

Thanks for being our voice! I’ve been posting updates on my Facebook all week about National Infertility Awareness Week and hope that, someday, more than just 15 states will require health insurance coverage for IF.

3 Kir { 04.29.10 at 12:11 pm }

Again, you make a mighty noise!!!! Thank you Mel, for talking for us. Plus , even despite TC..you looked FAB!

thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂

4 a { 04.29.10 at 12:14 pm }

That must have been an amazing experience! I found just walking down the mall to be awe-inspiring, but the halls of Congress…wow! I bet that place just exudes power.

I can’t wait to see the video – I hope they heard the message.

5 Sarah { 04.29.10 at 12:24 pm }

Thank you for all you are doing!

6 Julie { 04.29.10 at 12:25 pm }

I love that you mentioned that, Mel, the powerful feeling of being part of things — it was what surprised me most about Advocacy Day, how empowering it was to take my most pressing concern to as high a level as I could. And how awesome, in the non-slang sense, it was to affirm that it’s my right to do so.

Shivery just thinking of it, and grateful to you for being there for all of us.

7 Katie { 04.29.10 at 12:26 pm }

You are amazing, Mel. How can we ever thank you for doing what you do for this community?

8 Jess { 04.29.10 at 12:50 pm }

You’re wonderful! How fantastic to have done that little trick with your phone: You are a part of a huge thing…and you’ve done the most to advocate and bring all of us together!

9 twangy { 04.29.10 at 1:03 pm }

I think you’re a brilliant person.

10 Tireegal { 04.29.10 at 1:07 pm }

I’m so proud to be a part of this community and of you and that you were able to speak out in those hallowed chambers on our behalf. I’m with you in spirit just like so many of your sisters!

11 Tireegal { 04.29.10 at 1:09 pm }

PS thanks for the reminder that we have two days to participate in this next phase of the project.

12 IF Crossroads { 04.29.10 at 1:09 pm }

I love it! LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I wish I could have been there with you guys 🙂 Being on The Hill with RESOLVE last year at Advocacy Day was one of the best days of my life.

13 Heather { 04.29.10 at 1:21 pm }

I am so proud of you…and your imposing presence upon the Capitol!
I thought about you all day and now I have goosebumps thinking of how far I’ve come since I “met” you just a few short months ago. You are doing big, wonderful things—and I am so thankful that you let us watch you! xoxox

14 Trinity { 04.29.10 at 1:57 pm }

Seriously, this makes me so proud and inspired. Thank you, Mel. I hope you truly understand what a phenomenal influence you have been… Your blog was the first IF blog I ever found, and the blogroll was a sanity-saver for me. And here I am now on the tail-end of what seems so far to be a successful IVF cycle, and I know I wouldn’t be here right now awaiting my very first u/s without this community. It’s powerful stuff, man.

15 TexasRed { 04.29.10 at 2:13 pm }

So inspiring. Thank you!

16 serenity { 04.29.10 at 2:21 pm }


Are awesome.


17 Shelli { 04.29.10 at 2:31 pm }

You are awesome! So proud. xoxoxo

18 Jjiraffe { 04.29.10 at 2:34 pm }

It took a lot of courage for you to put your voice and face at the forefront of an issue that has remained in the shadows for far too long. You did so with verve, intelligence and conviction. I can’t imagine a better representative for the 7 million plus of us struggling with IF. Thank you.

19 Lisa { 04.29.10 at 2:54 pm }

So Wonderful. Thank you!

20 Lori Lavender Luz { 04.29.10 at 3:05 pm }

I like the idea that I was there, at your feet.

(Know how you feel about crickets? That’s me about feet.)

Hi, Truman!

21 Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo { 04.29.10 at 3:27 pm }

You. Rule. Well done, hun!

22 loribeth { 04.29.10 at 3:31 pm }

I thought maybe Truman Capote had something to do with the second photo (which wasn’t showing up for me), until I hit the link. Haha!! May his visit be brief!

I would LOVE to visit Washington some day. So much history. I’ve been to the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, & they are quite awe-inspiring. My parents were with us one time, & Dad said, “No wonder they all get fat heads when they come here, working in this place every day.” lol

Go you!!

23 susy { 04.29.10 at 3:36 pm }

I like that you could feel buzzes from us. That part made me smile. And the fact you totally rock for going out there and speaking on our behalf. Seriously, you’re totally awesome!

24 myinfertilitywoes { 04.29.10 at 3:39 pm }

Yay! Thank you for being so ‘out’ about this. It’s given me the courage to post something on fb for the very first time – it’s more a general statement about NIAW & the ‘because 1 in 8 is someone you know’ statement but I was glad to do it.

Yay on the buzzing at your feet the whole time!! We WERE all there with you! 🙂

25 Sara { 04.29.10 at 4:07 pm }

Thank you for all you are doing for all of us!

26 Jessica { 04.29.10 at 4:58 pm }

Thanks for giving us a voice. It may not always be comfy to discuss but NEEDS to be heard. I feel so proud to be part of something bigger. Thank you so much.

27 Another Dreamer { 04.29.10 at 7:16 pm }

Very cool 🙂 Sounds like it was very exciting, and I am glad you did it. Thank you.

28 Melissa G. { 04.29.10 at 8:19 pm }

Mel, I am so incredibly grateful for all of your hard work.

Thank you x’s a kajillion.

29 christine { 04.29.10 at 9:11 pm }

All I can say is, thank you!
Thank you for being our advocate!

30 jrs { 04.29.10 at 9:17 pm }

you are awesome! way to go!

31 Keiko { 04.29.10 at 9:26 pm }

Well done, Mel. Well done. We’re all so immensely proud of you and deeply grateful that you have spoken for us in the highest hall in the land 🙂

32 Battynurse { 04.29.10 at 10:37 pm }

Thank you for being there and speaking for so many of us.

33 Orodemniades { 04.29.10 at 11:03 pm }

Woot! You’re amazing!

34 Emily (Apron Strings) { 04.29.10 at 11:11 pm }

Thanks for representing us, Mel. You. Are. Amazing!

35 Wishing4One { 04.30.10 at 12:15 am }

Once again you represent us, thank you. You are amazing and may God really really Reward you for all you do girl. How cool is it that just your presence can make the DC skies look so amazing. xoxoxxo

36 Mina { 04.30.10 at 4:29 am }

Congratulations, Mel! You are truly amazing.

37 queenie { 04.30.10 at 7:56 am }

It’s so weird to me that someone asked you if you were nervous coming out about your IF. I mean, I get it, but it’s still weird. Except for maybe STD’s, I can’t think of another medical condition that people would ask that about.

38 T { 04.30.10 at 2:11 pm }

Tremendous! Thanks as always.

39 Megan { 04.30.10 at 3:35 pm }

Thank you.

40 Kristi { 04.30.10 at 4:21 pm }

I am so proud of you and you looked really pretty.

41 Dora { 04.30.10 at 5:04 pm }

Catching up. SO PROUD TO KNOW YOU!! You rock! And you look fabulous!

42 Sharon LaMothe { 05.01.10 at 12:49 pm }

I loved reading all about your experiences in DC! And the photos are great!! We need more people to speak up and speak OUT! Some of us in WA State are attempting to change the Surrogacy laws (Paid surrogacy is illegal)..It didn’t happen in 2010 but we have hope for 2011! Thank you for being such a great role model!! 😉

43 Kristin { 05.02.10 at 12:23 pm }

You did an amazing thing my friend! And, you looked fabulous while you did it.

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