Popular food and travel blogger Kit Graham founded her blog, The Kittchen (thekittchen.com) nearly eight years ago. As the name suggests, her main focus over the years has been food, restaurants, and culinary tips with some travel and adventures mixed in. However, her many devoted fans and followers had no idea that behind the scenes she and her husband were experiencing infertility.
Earlier this year, she was ready to share her story, and reveal more of her personal life than ever before. So in March, she decided to make some of her fertility experiences public. She posted her story on Instagram as well on her blog post – immediately before taking off on a three-hour flight.
When she landed, she was surprised at the overwhelming response online. She said, “When I touched down, I had more Instagram comments and messages than I have ever received in the past. So many women have been through this. People have been very supportive, and lots of people who felt like they were the only ones going through IVF failure reached out to me.”
She believes that the issue needs more visibility and appreciated it when Katie Lee spoke about her IVF experiences.
Kit explained, “So many people wait to share a success story, but that makes everyone struggling with failure feel more alone. I wanted to talk about the thing that no one is talking about — when IVF fails. I spent 15 months going through IVF, and thousands of dollars. At the end, I had nothing to show for it. And people were still constantly asking me when I am going to have a baby. Part of the reason I opened up was just to stop people from asking me that question.”
As a result of this tremendous response from her blog followers, she created a “What not to say” etiquette guide to help others who have friends and family members dealing with infertility. She felt it was important for them to know how to deal with this issue respectfully.
She said, “Our friends and family aren’t being asked to problem solve. They are just being given information so they can be sensitive to what someone else is going through. Don’t say things like, ‘it will happen in its own time’ or share a success story. It doesn’t happen for everyone, and that is ok.”
Still, she and her husband continue to remain positive in their journey. She says, “The plan has been to try another IVF cycle. We have another embryo so we want to give it another try, but we are going to use a different medication protocol this time.”
Currently, Kit is on a 101-day-trip around the world with stops in Peru, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Italy, Tanzania, Portugal, and England. Her trip was a way for her to do something positive for herself and practice self-care. Along the way, she’s been learning quite a bit about people, religions and cultures. She said, “But I am also learning about myself. Being alone lets me focus on the things that I want to do. I am trying new things. Seeing how I like to spend my time…I am also learning that if the next round (which will be my last round) of IVF doesn’t work, I can still have a fulfilling life.”
Her advice to other patients who may be going through similar circumstances is “Find your tribe.” She added, “You are going to need understanding friends and family members to help you through it. I focused on thinking of the things I would do if IVF did work, as well as if it didn’t work. Envisioning my life working out either way has helped me a lot.”