With our pineapple pins finally back in stock, we wanted to share with our new readers the story behind the initiative and what we have discovered along the way…
It all started when we went in search of something tangible that would make people feel comforted during their TTC journeys. To our horror, we stumbled across some rather odd t-shirts and merchandise.
Now, I’m all for sharing my IVF journey and encouraging others to open up about theirs, bringing light to what still remains a sensitive subject and helping break the taboo that surrounds infertility, but I have to say, I’m not sure about the increasing rise in, dare I say it, slightly untactful infertility merchandise.
I know taste is subjective and you may totally disagree with my dislike for these products, but I’m honestly struggling to think of anyone I know that has been through IVF who would wear a t-shirt declaring their love for their sperm donor, let alone outside in the open where people are actually able to read their statement clothing.
I know that without IVF I would not have my amazing daughters, but I can’t imagine anyone declaring their love for the emotionally draining fertility treatment through statement merchandise.
I have just browsed through a website rammed full of T-shirts, hoodies, baby grows and bibs, with slogans like ‘just another IVF cycle day’.
The website has IVF gift designs available thousands of products, with slogans that include:
‘Another woman is carrying our baby’
‘My doctor artificially inseminated me and all I got was a lousy medical bill’
‘Stop offering me your kids, one day I might actually take them’
I am speechless…
Is this line of merch meant to bring an element of fun and joviality to what has to be said was one of the worst times of my life? If it is, I’m struggling to see how? When my IVF failed I wanted to run, hide, curl up and detach myself from the world. When I had cried until my tear ducts had run dry I searched for distractions in the form of friends, good food, holidays, music and books. Not once did I think, I know, I’ll sling on that ‘IVF Fail’ T shirt and go for a stroll. Who does that? Surely pulling on a your favorite sweater or wrapping yourself in a cosy shawl makes you feel far more comforted and safe.
Is wearing one of these statement tops perhaps about taking control? Is it a way to start a conversation, to bring light to a subject that is still spoken about through whispers?
Don’t get me wrong, I love a statement tee, but I’m just so confused as to how these are helping – is it just me? Maybe they are helping some, if they are helping you then please do let us know and tell me to shut up.
Wear Your Label – with pride
But on the other end of the scale, there are some really good statement t-shirt companies out there, when doing this research I came across one called Wear Your Label.
The company was set up by Kayley Reed and Kyle MacNevin who were both volunteering for a mental health organization, whilst bravely battling their own problems. Kayley was struggling with an eating disorder and depression, and Kyle was living with generalised anxiety disorder and ADHD. While they felt secure enough to confide in each other, both were struck by the realization that discussing mental health in a healthy and open way with other people was incredibly rare.
“Frustrated with the stigma and the statistics, we thought ‘there has to be a better way to bring this issue to light,’ says Kayley. “And the idea for Wear Your Label was born.”
Taking the stigma out of mental health
The pair set out to create a range of clothing that would destigmatise mental illness by changing the ways in which people think about words like ‘anxious’ and ‘depressed’, turning conversations from negative to positive.
Wear Your Label design things twofold; to be a statement to the world, an awareness piece and a conversation starter that brings an invisible issue to light and to be a personal reminder to the wearer that they can overcome their struggles, that they’re not alone, and that it’s okay not to be okay.
“The clothes are stylish and cool, with positive epithets like ‘Anxious but Courageous’, ‘Self Care Isn’t Selfish’, ‘It’s OK not to be OK’,” Kayley says.
Now, these T-shirts may have been designed to bring awareness to mental health, but I think these slogans would have given me the lift I needed when I was going through my IVF.
When I was going through IVF, I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone. I would stare at other women on the tube and wonder if any of them were struggling the way I was. I was desperate to know if anyone else was going through the same as me.
I can tell you now though, that I don’t think I would have approached anyone wearing a T-shirt with ‘Nature said no, science said yes’. I think we can break stigmas, change attitudes and get people talking by being more tactful. I think we can help to make people feel comforted with the feeling that they aren’t alone in their strive for parenthood without making them wear an ‘IVF rocks’ hoodie.
I wanted something subtle in appearance but charged with positive energy. So, the ivf babble team created the pineapple pin.
Why a pineapple you may ask? Well it has become the recognised symbol of love, energy, good vibes and positivity within the TTC community.
This cute little power pin is about fighting the solitude that comes hand in hand with infertility.
It is about helping those who are struggling with fertility issues to realise that they aren’t alone. The pin is for anyone who has been affected by infertility and for those that have supported them. I will be wearing one, as will my husband, my parents, my siblings and my friends. They all supported me, and by wearing a pin, they will be supporting you.
Imagine getting on a packed tube, looking around and seeing a carriage full of women and men, many of who are wearing the pin, all of them knowing what you are going through – or that you know someone who is. No one has to talk, but just to see that you’re not alone, to just smile at another person who ‘gets it’, now wouldn’t that be comforting.
Our beautiful little pineapple pins are finally back and available on Amazon. The profits made from this campaign will go to Fertility Network and our newly launched charity Babble Giving.
New IVF babble merchandise alert
And, we are delighted to say that in our failed attempt to find a t shirt that would make us feel comforted during the rough times, we have designed our own. We wanted a t shirt that would charge us with good vibes, a tee that the TTC community would throw on and feel lifted by. So, the ‘throwing on good vibes’ t shirt will be launched next month and, you will be pleased to hear, does not include an image of a failed pregnancy test.
Read more on our the #ivfstrongertogether campaign by clicking here.
Huge love as always