There is so much to say and I hope that my post doesn't go too long but it's all important from who I met, to how I traveled to how the meetings went and making it home back to my family.
The morning before Advocacy Day I stayed in New York with family and took a bus into Penn Station to catch my Amtrack train. The train was the most pleasant ride, relaxing and productive with the convenience of WiFi service with charging areas at all seats. I was able to prepare make some calls and catch up on emails. When arriving into DC I took a cab to my hotel having about an hour to get ready for the Resolve reception. I was excited to meet so many other Advocates that I have communicated with online to name a few Casey Berna, Whitney Anderson, Jen Rutner, Holly (@Ready2BMom), Erin Lasker of Resolve New England and new staff members of Resolve, Simmy Bookal who did an amazing job for this day. The reception was a great meet and greet. Afterwards a group of girls from California, Ohio and Nevada went out to dinner and I joined them. It was a fun night out!
It was nice to get a good night sleep away from home the night before. The morning of Advocacy Day was an early day but I was ready to go. I was glad to have called for a wake up call because my cell phone's alarm didn't go off. That would have been bad. On the way to the training I met a couple from Pittsburgh We shared a cab, then after checking in it was a coincidence that they were at the same table with me. It was great to see the male presence and support from the spouses at Advocacy Day. I was excited to see Hysha Robinson Nesmith, Mrs. New York sharing in this day.
The stage was set to here from so many inspirational people, Barbara Collura, Director of Resolve, Risa Levine, Senator Patty Murray D-WA, Whitney Anderson, Jen Rutner and Cyndi Flynn of CA bringing me and others to tears.
It was then time to set out to your appointments. For Connecticut we had myself and Tracy Barclay representing the State with Ruth from EMD Serono who covers Connecticut. She joined us for all of our appointments as a supporting sponsor. Most of our appointments began in the afternoon so we were able to do our drop off materials to other Representatives plus we stopped in on Senator Kelly Ayotte's office of New Hampshire and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. Her Legislative Aide sat down with us for 10 minutes to hear about the bills we were advocating for. That was a great feeling when they had the time to show an interest. Ruth from EMD Serono had a special relationship with the Senator and to the district so we represented New Hampshire and Connecticut in the morning hours.
We a had a brief break and we were able to attend the de-briefing to get a drink, have some cookies and re-group before our last two meetings. Representative Elizabeth Esty's Office was next and we actually had the opportunity to meet her personally for a few minutes before her staffer came out. She invited us to a screening for a documentary but we were unable to attend due to our schedules. Then it was off to our last meeting and that is when the heaven's opened up; it was pouring rain. We attempted to start to walk with our umbrellas but we were getting soaked. In order to be on time we had no choice but to grab a cab.
Finally, we arrived at the Hart Building, for our last meeting with Senator Blumenthal's Office. On our way up to the office we ran into the Actor Val Kilmer, he said, "Hey, ladies!" We were also greeted by another representative for our meeting. The staffer was running late but definatley worth the wait to hear that Senator Blumenthal just signed on the Women Veterans Act Bill that morning. It was such a great feeling to hear that, where we had a brief pause, not expecting that. I must have thanked her over and over making sure that I could announce the support to the other Advocates. I had to make sure I saw Senator Blumenthal's name as a new co-sponsor before announcing on my pages.
If you walked in our shoes today on this day or in our shoes down the path of infertility you would understand why we do what we do. This is a true passion for me to help others build their family like I did. If I can share my voice surrounded by so many others and make a difference then that is what I will do!
Thank you to the Resolve staff, volunteers, Advocates and to the Representatives and Senators staff for hearing our voices for Infertility! Standing together allows for less fear and more confidence, knowing we were all there for the same cause!
The hardest part of attending Advocacy Day was leaving my son. I missed him so much but I knew that someday he would understand why I go and he would be proud of his Mommy!