i was contacted by a production company in new york city that produces some widely recognized and popular reality TV shows. they were interested in doing a show on infertility. following different couples through their baby making journeys.
candidly, i was ecstatic because i felt like this show could spread some awareness and true understanding of what infertility is like and how devastating it is. whatever i could do to help them get this program off the ground, i was going to do it.
after a screening phone call and then a Skype interview with the producer, it seemed that the project was moving forward. initially, the producer thought it might work to film in my hometown and follow my husband and i and some other couples that i'd met through my local IF support group. so i connected the producer with couples in various stages of infertility - pursuing adoption, IUI, IVF, living child-free after infertility, surrogacy, etc.
then after weeks of screening phone calls and Skype interviews with the other couples, the producer told me that she didn't think it was going to work. in order for the show to be entertaining, you have to have all different personality types represented. think sex in the city. she basically told me "it is not surprising that the women you connected us with are your friends because they are a lot like you". low drama and relatable. apparently, i am a carrie and my friends are too.
next we decided to explore whether the program could work if we expanded the project outside of my geographic area. so i gave the producer a list of bloggers that i thought represented a good cross section of both personalities and stages of infertility. honestly, i don't even know how far that went or if she even contacted any of them.
needless to say, the project fizzled and i'm sure the producer moved onto something else as i haven't heard from her in a while. big fat bummer for the infertility community in my opinion.
fast forward to a couple months ago. i was contacted by two producers in california who are filming a documentary about egg donation called the perfect donor. they are filming egg donors, egg donor agencies. fertility doctors, intended parents, etc. they wanted me to participate in an interview and provide my perspective as a recipient parent.
i've always been super open about our infertility journey. i believe, at my core, that it is important to talk openly about the topic to remove the stigma and prevent people from suffering in silence. these are two among countless other reasons that i've continued to share our story.
but this felt different. with infertility it always felt like my story (well, mine and my husband's) to tell. with egg donation, it feels more like "our" story. it belongs to us, our donor and our unborn child. if i had decided to participate, i would definitely have made sure that K is okay with it. but i can't predict how our child would feel when he's older and this is his story too. once i put something out there, i can't take it back.
like most documentaries, i'm sure the producers want to try to show all sides and angles of egg donation. and candidly, there are some sensitivities and issues surrounding the topic - especially regarding donor anonymity, treatment of donors by agencies and the relatively unknown health risks for egg donors. at the end of the day, i couldn't get a good sense of what the producers' "agenda" was so i couldn't be certain that egg donation wasn't going to be portrayed in a negative light. i guess it was ultimately the lack of control on how our story could be spun or used that prevented me from participating. i felt like our baby boy's story is too beautiful to risk having it be part of any negative media about egg donation.
all that being said, i'm pretty certain that our story will not be shared on television. however, i still have high hopes to someday to flip through the remote and see someone else's infertility being shared. it is an important topic and i'm so thankful for the people that are willing to give infertile couples a voice.