Opening Up About ‘Fertility to Maternity’ is a Global Imperative for Gender Equality
When Mark Zuckerberg announced his wife Priscilla Chan was pregnant with a baby girl he also shared that they suffered 3 miscarriages trying to have a child. He wrote “You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you… so you struggle on your own. In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues… creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope.”
Having given birth 12-weeks ago to my beautiful son Jackson — I read Zuckerberg’s courageous post and realized it was time for me to share more openly about my miscarriage last year. In fact, it happened on the morning of the first day of #SHESummit — I saw blood right before I delivered my welcome speech to our live audience at 92Y and global viewers in over 100 countries. I got through the day of sessions and finally checked into the hospital on Day 2 after telling everyone it was “cyst” related. Can you imagine how challenging it was for me not to place blame on my career? It’s a fact that women lean back from the workplace because it’s a struggle to have a career and children, the stats are different in every country and over 40% in the U.S, which is why it’s a global gender equality issue.
Ultimately the more I have shared this, the more other women have shared their experiences with me, on not only fertility issues, but also their paths to solo-parenting and adoption… to their birth, prenatal, postpartum and motherhood stories. As “fertility to maternity” plays such a pivotal role in women’s lives and the global path to gender equality, I will be sharing more of my story & making it a big topic on the #SHESummit October 6-7 stage.