I have to say, that even through my jaded eyes – yesterday’s program on “The View” which was completely devoted to infertility was absolutely amazing. They truly nailed it. Whether it was the dashing Jamie Grifo, MD, PhD giving some good strong facts about how long people should try conceiving on their own before seeking the advice of a specialist or how well Dr. Grifo handled the ladies of The View as if he was born for just that moment of the television – I don’t know. But it was a golden moment for infertility education. And it just got better from there!
There was Bill and Giuliana Roncic a celebrity couple that are now getting their own reality show where they are allowing the cameras to follow them through their struggle with infertility. I have to give them credit – they talked about a lot of issues that many of us in the field of fertility talking heads have been working to get out there for what seems like a life time! And the Ladies of The View were fantastic – throwing hard balls about weight (being too thin for a change) and age (what about those celebrities with twins over a certain age? Do you think it MIGHT be egg donation?). I loved Whoopi line about the high profile celebrities who conceive with “Hollywood Magic”! Good for Whoopi Goldberg! And thank you, Whoopi!
Then we got some “real” non celebrity folks before the camera. There was Kate and Keith Badley who were also in the midst of trying to conceive (TTC). They talked about where they were in struggle – and handled the question that we all get when going through infertility “What about adoption” which they handled in beautifully – with the help of Barbara Walters an adoptive parent. I think what was so cool about this program was that almost all the women of The View came clean about their own infertility experience. All of them except Whoopi had experienced some form of infertility. Barbara adopted her daughter, Sheri did IVF and talked about wanting more children. She also expressed concern over her age and raised the question of egg freezing! I loved this segment! RESOLVE even got a plug in for support groups – how happy did that make them? Everything was talked about even the effects on marriage and sex.
They had on a very brave lady by the name of Risa Levine who talked about her divorce – and the frozen embryos that she would never get to use. Was there not an issue here that was going to get some good air time and conversation? I sat stunned and thrilled. I loved it when Keith Badley said “Infertility is something that you talk about everyday. Everyday it seems that there is a decision that has to be made.” And when Risa added talked about her jealousy over people who had both biologically connected children and adopted children. The candor was amazing. And yes – even cost and insurance was covered.
The crowning moment when was Julia and Greg Wolfe came on to talk about male infertility. Kudos to Greg for talking about how his sperm would not make it in the fertilization Olympics – and how Julia had “Sperm Envy” with her friends. This couple actually went through a year of treatment before they figured out that it was male factor. I am so glad that they high lighted – as this still happens to too many couples.
They were the one “happy ending” that was presented as the Wolfe’s now have an eleven month old son (gorgeous) after four years of infertility. But even there – one of the ladies of The View chimed in and said – “Look, you can be funny and open – but this is all in the past for you”. So the pain of infertility – keeping that present – was always there.
Kudos to “The View” and all of the brave folks who came out to tell their stories so beautifully.