Fertility Blogger of the Month - Risa Kerslake Writes
Risa Kerslake Writes is our blogger of the month for September. Her blog details her honest experience with infertility and the joys of parenting after.
As our list of Infertility Bloggers keeps growing, we have the pleasure of featuring another fine blogger from the group. This month, we turn the spotlight on the fantastic Risa Kerslake Writes as our featured blogger of the month. Risa's writing is honest and has a clarity that allows you to truly feel the experiences she describes. She manages to get very personal in her writing without giving readers a 'too much information' vibe. She has also written a bunch of great articles for FertilitySmarts that you should give a read through before heading over to her site to read more about her experience with infertility and her take on parenting after infertility.
FertilitySmarts: What are three words that describe your blog?
Risa: Infertility, Loss, Motherhood
FertilitySmarts: Why did you start blogging?
Risa: In 2012, I was in the midst of infertility, and felt so alone. I didn’t know anyone else going through what I was, and so I started a blog to document my journey, as well as to keep friends and family in the know. I needed the support from connecting with other infertility bloggers, and I wanted others to know they weren’t alone.
FertilitySmarts: What topic do you find yourself covering most often and why?
Risa: The emotional toll infertility takes. It’s an area of infertility that I don’t think enough understand. So many are quick to judge, asking people who are infertile to “just relax” or “just adopt” or “try not to think about it so much.” I talk about my inner struggles with my fertility because the general public has a hard time understanding why we fight so hard for a chance to have a baby.
FertilitySmarts: Who is your target reader?
Risa: Most of my readers are parenting after infertility themselves.
FertilitySmarts: What's unique about your blog?
Risa: People have always commented on how “real” my posts are. Like I’m inviting them into the deepest corners of my life, where I talk about the things most people can’t. I am not afraid to bring up the ugly parts of infertility and I can do it while still maintaining a sense of humor.
FertilitySmarts: What was your most popular post ever? Why do you think it was popular with readers?
Risa: It makes me laugh, because I thought it would have been a more thoughtful one, but my most popular post by far is My Neurosis: Let Me Show You It and the only reason I think it was so popular with readers is because so many had been following along through all the bad: the negative tests, the battles with insurance, the miscarriages and devastation of infertility. In this post, I documented all of my pregnancy test sticks and my thoughts surrounding my very early pregnancy after four other failed rounds of IVF. I think people were just so happy for me and honored to be along for something that most people keep secret in the beginning.
FertilitySmarts: What is the best thing about writing about a topic like infertility?
Risa: Infertility isn’t talked about much in mainstream culture. So much of it is hidden and private and I am helping to bring those issues to the surface and normalizing them. Educating the public who may not have much experience with infertility is something I’ve felt called to do.
FertilitySmarts: What is the worst thing?
Risa: There are days I pour my heart out into the computer, exposing some of my most private thoughts and there’s always those moments when I wonder if I’ve said too much, or have been too open with strangers. Once those words are out there, I can’t take them back. I’ve definitely gave up a lot of my privacy when I chose to blog about my infertility.
FertilitySmarts: What's the best tip you have to offer someone struggling with fertility issues?
Risa: Find your tribe because infertility is isolating. Find others who can relate, or close friends or family who can offer you the support you need. No one deserves to walk through this alone.
Written by Kelly Park | Contributor
Kelly Park is the founder and editor-in-chief of FertilitySmarts. She is passionate about fertility education and shining light on the many ways people can become parents. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Master of Education degree in Educational Policy from the University of Alberta. She is a firm believer in the FertilitySmarts mission to help people get smart about their fertility.