They might not talk about it openly, but it’s likely that someone you know (work, hang out with, a woman in your family) has struggled with infertility. This author can relate to because I have been there. Fibroids and endometriosis had been wreaking havoc on my body for years, and I didn’t know it until I tried to conceive after getting married and struggling, even having a miscarriage. I didn’t know either because I wasn’t told until years later that fibroids were present in my family. This lack of discussion of our experiences, mothers and daughters, friends and colleagues, is what NBC News’ Sheinelle Jones is looking for a change with her next documentary, Stories We Tell: The Secret to Fertility.
“Some women have suffered in pain for decades or have had surgeries not knowing what they are dealing with could ultimately affect their fertility,” Jones said this week during an episode of TODAY when sharing a first preview of the project, premiering on December 19. She is the executive producer alongside Andre Gaines, who also directs it. “Many women, as you know, marry later in life, remain single but still want to start a family. women and men too. I really hope we start a conversation.
The project addresses infertility through miscarriages, health issues, IVF experiences, surrogacy travel and more women of color. These stories are told through the women in Jones’ life who she realized were silently going through similar things due to the pain and isolation it all can be.
“It’s not something we’re talking about,” Jones said. “If they finally get married and then start struggling, they don’t talk about it. These women go to work, they sit next to you at work, they sit next to you in church, in the gymnasium, and you have no idea that they carry this painful secret.
The hope is to get people to talk about the topic, making it less taboo. Maybe this will make people who don’t have fertility issues understand the importance of not worrying about when others will have children and why they don’t. But more importantly, the goal is to help women not feel alone on their hopeful journey to motherhood.
Check out a preview of the documentary, which premieres at 10 p.m. EST on MSNBC on December 19.