When Wendy Burch walks into a room, or appears on your TV, you can’t help but be drawn in by her husky voice and vivacious spirit. Whether she’s reporting on a crime, or a pumpkin festival, she makes you want to sit up and listen. I worked with Wendy in the wee morning hours for many years at KTLA 5 in Los Angeles. We were both tired because the hours for morning news suck. But Wendy always made it fun and easy for me to do my job. Thanks lady!
As a friend of many celebrities including Cheryl Tiegs, Lisa Vanderpump, and Kyle Richards, Wendy is very comfortable in the spotlight. And there was no exception when it came time to sharing her story about infertility. I don’t know if she ever had reservations about telling people she couldn’t have a baby because when I met her she was already very open about it. I watched as she shared her heart, and ultrasounds with KTLA viewers, and those watching around the world online.
So why are we doing this podcast and this topic now? According to Resolve, The National Infertility Association, April 24-30th is National Infertility Awareness Week. When I realized this, I immediately thought of Wendy and her very open and honest war on infertility. KTLA did special reports on her journey to become a mom. And she blogged about it in a touching series for the Huffington Post. Sadly, Wendy isn’t the only person I know whose gone through infertility challenges. I have several friends who have dealt with it, several who have overcome it, and a few who are faced with it right now. NIA says 1 in 8 US couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with some type of infertility. That’s a staggering number of couples who are dealing with this in public, or private. This week, Resolve is asking people to #StartAsking questions about infertility on social media, and in social circles to help end the stigma of infertility and get resources to those who need it. Some things to #StartAsking include:
- Employers for insurance coverage.
- Your lawmakers and legislators to support issues important to the infertility community.
- Friends and family to support you.
- The media to cover infertility and the real challenges we all face.
- Your network to make a donation to the cause.
- Your RE, clinics, OBGYN or adoption agency to support RESOLVE.
- Your partner to get involved.
- Those who have resolved their infertility to stay involved.
- OB/GYN or healthcare provider to talk about YOUR reproductive health.
- For affordable care for treatment of a disease.
- Legal access to all family building options nationwide.
- About men’s reproductive health
I want to take this opportunity to do something different on MIH this week. I want to talk about infertility. Yes, I will still make inappropriate comments and swear a bit on the show because I’m hilarious and that’s my thing. But talking about infertility doesn’t have to be a sad, miserable conversation. It can be empowering and inspiring. I want to get the stigma and stank off of this heartbreaking diagnosis that millions of women and men are going through every day. We can do that with a little dose of laughter mixed with reality. Right? Right. Many women are ashamed, or feel they have failed in some way as a woman when they face fertility issues. I’m here to tell you, you haven’t failed. You are not alone in this fight. There is nothing to be ashamed of and there are resources that can help.
I ask Wendy why some women feel they need to hide their fertility challenges, why she chose to go public with hers, and what she learned when it was all over. She tells me why she chose to use donor eggs, how her relationship was tested during this process, and the financial strain of going through multiple rounds of IVF. But ultimately, she talks about her miracle baby. The one good egg she needed that resulted in her becoming a mom at 46 years old to little Brady Burch. And trust me when I tell you he is a charmer like his mama. You’ll love hearing what Wendy’s decided her new life’s mission is, and the next step in her fertility journey. You didn’t think she was done did you? As journalists I’ve learned we are never done telling a story. There’s always another angle, another side, another chapter.
For more information on finding a doctor in your area who can help with questions about infertility, visit FertilityFinder.com or speak to your primary care physician about how to get started with testing and referrals. You can also visit Resolve to find out more about NIAW.