Heartache & Hope Collection now in store
** Topic: Infertility / Childless not by choice **
If you’re someone who desperately wanted a child but it never worked out, for whatever reason, please know you have been on my heart particularly for the last two months as I’ve worked on this collection. I’m thinking of those with primary infertility in either partner, other health conditions or disabilities that make it impossible to conceive or dangerous to carry a child, those whose partners didn’t agree to have children, who tried to adopt but could not, and of course those who never found the right partner.
As this has not been my personal experience, I’ve learnt a lot recently - for instance, I did not previously know that fertility problems affect around 1 in 8 couples in the USA and approximately 1 in 6 Australian couples. (These numbers do not capture those who do not actively try to conceive, because of health or other reasons.)
I’m thankful for Junell Kruzel who has shared some of her personal experience on Instagram.
Junell writes: “We never imagined that we would be that 1 in 8 couples that experienced the hell of infertility.”
I’ve picked just ten of the items from Junell’s list, which made an impression on me, but the whole list is well worth reading, whether you‘re a parent and, like me, can learn how to be more sensitive with words (we need to stop making silly jokes, Mums and Dads!), or you have been through similar and need to know that someone else has walked in your shoes, that you’re not alone.
#WhatIWantYouToKnow by Junell Kruzel
🧡 Infertility is experiencing PTSD month after month after month
🧡 Infertility is tip-toeing out of the bedroom at 3 in the morning and crying until your eyes are swelled shut on the couch so you don’t wake up your husband
🧡 Infertility is having scrapbook upon scrapbook filled with layouts about kids who are not your own
🧡 Infertility is trying to be as polite as possible when people just blithely remind us that we can “just adopt!”
🧡 Infertility is despair setting in around attempt number 6
🧡 Infertility is having people tell you to “just take mine”
🧡 Infertility is people talking about you behind your back saying we don’t understand the meaning of family
🧡 Infertility is setting up a nursery and taking it down 5 years later
🧡 Infertility is having angry, red, painful welts the size of tennis balls on your abdomen
🧡 Infertility is having your husband look at you with tears in his eyes saying “I just want to be a dad”
Please take a moment to click here and read Junell’s entire heartfelt post.
This is such a hard road, and I understand many would not feel up to documenting it. A scrapper in a Facebook group I’m in, however, asked for recommendations for kits to scrapbook a fertility journey using A.R.T. There wasn’t much available, so a group of designers created a coordinating collection - and we have decided to keep our Fertility Journey Collaboration free indefinitely. The larger coordinating collections have now been released in our stores.
As sadly some fertility journeys do not end with a living baby, I tossed up whether to include imagery about positive outcomes in my collection. My decision came back to the community feedback, which indicated these were certainly wanted by many, so I decided to include them in the Heartache & Hope Stickers kit. You will find baby images in this kit, but I’ve put them in a separate folder out of respect for those who have not had a happy outcome. So “More Stickers” is where you’ll find the baby, baby clothes and positive tests stickers. The exception is the Angel Babies; these are in the Heartache & Hope Elements kit, again in a separate folder.
You can easily delete any files you don’t want, or at least they’ll be out of the way so you don’t have to scroll past them each time you’re looking for a sticker or embellishment. Please also note there are small angel baby illustrations in a few of the patterns in my Papers and Pocket Cards kits, plus some baby clothes.
Below are the previews for the stickers and elements without the baby imagery.
View the Heartache & Hope Collection in my store.