Most of you have probably heard that late-night TV host and SNL alum Jimmy Fallon and his wife Nancy recently announced the birth of their daughter, Winnie, via surrogate.
In fact, a lot of you probably heard it from me. I’ve kind of been posting it all over Facebook. I can’t get enough of the story!
It’s not that they had a baby that interests me… people do that all the time. It’s not even that they used a surrogate, which is fine – good for them. And, shockingly, it’s not even the name and how they chose it that draws my attention (although I do love to hear a good name story!).
The part of this story that’s really resonating with me is that they, as a high-profile couple, struggled with infertility for years, and are now being publicly open about it, and in that, giving hope to others who are also struggling.
No, they’re not the first famous couple to be open about their struggles, and I know there’s a lot we can address here on the flip side. We could dissect the situation down to details, like the fact that yes, they tried for a long time, but they had the money to do that because they’re rich and famous. And yes, they kept quiet about it while it was going on, but again – they’re famous. This might have been the only privacy they were able to have in the situation, and to only be open about it after the fact doesn’t make it any less meaningful that the struggles occurred.
We could tear this whole thing apart, and miss the greater good that’s being done here…
I feel that we should really applaud Jimmy and Nancy, and others like them who are in a place to speak out about the trials that so many of us face on a daily basis. They could use their fame-platform to say anything, and they choose to bring awareness to the infertile masses, and put a face on a common issue that’s too often seen as taboo. They’re doing it in a very casual manner, but it’s garnering lots of appreciation in our sub-fertile little community.
By giving a few interviews and saying a few loving words about his new family, Jimmy is shining a light on infertility, fertility treatments, and third party reproduction, and on how commonplace those really are. He’s saying to the whole world that there are so many that have to fight for a family, and that there’s nothing wrong with taking that fight as far as you’re able to succeed. He’s saying that there’s no shame in getting help to build your family, and that people from all walks of life sometimes have to walk this same path to parenthood.
More than anything, though, he’s saying in his interviews the encouraging words we hear all the time, but because he’s been there in the trenches like we have, they mean something.
He’s offering us all a little hope, and that’s something we can use some help with from time to time.
“We tried for a long time — five years.
I know people have tried much longer but if anyone out there is trying and losing hope, just hang in there.
Try every avenue, try anything you can do.
You’ll get there .
You’ll end up with a family.
It is the most worth-it thing.”