Written by: Hillary Redwine
Located in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex, Braving Infertility Together is a grassroots nonprofit organization whose mission is to normalize the infertility process by providing experienced-based support, encouragement and education.
The organization was born from a group of local women who connected via an online search for infertility support and decided to meet in person for brunch. An afternoon with six women turned into 25 for dinner the following month, including co-founders Juli Wescott and Sarah Ivy.
“There’s nothing like sitting across a table from someone who just gets it without you having to say anything,” Juli says. “They understand your struggle and your feelings. You are there for each other and have an inherent sense of I get you, I see you.”
After about a year of monthly supper club meetings, Juli and Sarah formalized the process to establish Braving Infertility Together as a registered nonprofit in 2016. Today, the organization serves about 500 women in the DFW area via a private Facebook group, and prior to COVID-19, through monthly meetings across the metroplex and other in-person events. A second private Facebook group serves an additional 200 members globally.
Members span all types of infertility and are pursuing parenthood in a variety of different ways, including traditional IVF, surrogacy, egg donation, traditional adoption and embryo adoption. There is even a Miracle Moms Facebook group that offers a place for new moms to connect for support and to share advice and resources. Members of moms group are still required to maintain membership in one of the primary Facebook groups.
“We don’t compartmentalize our membership,” Juli explains. “We support women wherever they are in their journey and help normalize infertility by encouraging them to share their stories. Being seen and heard is emotionally empowering – it helps remove the shame and mystery of infertility.
“We want our members to know that infertility does not mean they are broken, or something is wrong with them. It’s a challenge that can be overcome, and we want to support them.”
For more information, please visit www.bravingit.org and follow Braving Infertility Together’s public business pages on Facebook and Instagram. To protect members privacy, the Facebook groups cannot be searched. If you would like to join one of the Facebook groups, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a reply with instructions on how to join.
This year, Braving Infertility Together is offering $500 grants to 20 women to help with the cost of infertility treatment. Five names will be drawn at random each quarter. To enter, email a receipt for any infertility-related expense along with your contact information to email@example.com.
While currently suspended due to COVID-19, Braving Infertility is planning to resume in-person monthly meetings for women in the DFW area this year. Updates on in-person meetings and other events will be posted on the website and public social media pages.