"The pomegranate-colored thread holds a two-fold purpose: to identify and create community between those experiencing infertility as well as create a starting point for a conversation. Women pregnant through any means, natural or A.R.T., families created through adoption or surrogacy, or couples trying to conceive during infertility or secondary infertility can wear the thread, identifying themselves to others in this silent community. At the same time, the string serves as a gateway to conversations about infertility when people inquire about its purpose. These conversations are imperative if we are ever to remove the social stigma attached to infertility.Tie on the thread because you’re not alone. Wear to make aware. Join us in starting this conversation about infertility by purchasingthis pomegranate-coloured thread (#814 by DMC) at any craft, knitting, or variety store such as Walmart or Target. Tie it on your right wrist. Notice it on others. Just thought I would pass the word along!"
Kudos to all who where involved in the creation of the subtle indicator so conversations may begin and connections be made. I can't even begin to imagine how many have been touched by this small and inexpensive addition to your wardrobe.
However - the more I thought about it the more I wondered about people like me? I never struggled with infertility. I can't wear this thread. For a gentle glance and tentative question, "How long did it take you?" would meet a sheepish answer from me, "Um..well..we weren't even really trying the first time." I don't know which would sting more to the woman hearing these words, the "not trying" part or the "first time" part - indicating that there were more easily conceived either live children or angels in my life.
No - fertility isn't my issue, but loss - deep and tragic loss, the kind that never leaves the marrow of your bones; that is my issue. The fact that life forced me to sit upright in a hospital bed, still bleeding from delivery, and hold a still, dead child - that is the gentle, subtle message I wish to send. To invite other women to open the conversation with a gentle glance and a tentative question, "Who did you lose?" Without hesitation or a non-grammatic filler, I would reply, "Emma Grace. My first. At forty weeks. You?"
So, I am going to pose a question. (**praying intensely that I do not offend or upset any of my TTC friends!**) Could we, the loss parents, wear a modified version of this symbol, to signify loss? I entitled this post, "The Broken Thread", but of course that is more a metaphor than a reality, for if we broke the thread then it would fall of our wrist and we would - once again - be bare wristed - showing the world -well...absolutly nothing.
No, instead I through out a suggestion. What if we picked a thread color to represent loss? Again - small, simple and cost effective and NOT re-creating the wheel! (Oh how I hate recreating that wheel!)
The Pomegranate thread can be worn independently to signal struggles with infertility.
The other thread, I vote for pale lilac* - you?, can be worn independently to signal the loss of a child, at any time during pregnancy.
Or - wear them together and we will know your dual struggle.
I don't want to divide our ALI community. The way we support and love each other's struggles even if we haven't lived through that particular shot, drug, or kind of loss is astounding.
Some suggestions that have already been made are:
1. Pick two colors that go better together.
2. Expand the write-up for the pomegranate thread to explictly include loss.
So - PLEASE comment with your own ideas, suggestions, and feelings. And PLEASE pass this link on to others so THEY can weigh in.
* - "purple lilacs symbolize death"