After the Night of Hope 2023: Maintaining Connections…

by Brandi Lytle
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Wobble Warning:  Many of the people I met through the Night of Hope are in the midst of parenting after infertility.  I mention this, as well as a speaking engagement I had with an infertility support group, during this post.

I’ve written quite a bit about the Night of Hope—finding the dress, writing the speech, experiencing the most magical evening, receiving the best compliment…  In my last blog, I shared that several days after the gala, I had massive unexpected wobbles.  Though I also shared how I worked through those wobbles and found my footing again, I just couldn’t end this series about one of the highlights of my adult life on a wobble post.  So, I decided that I must share about how I am maintaining connections made at the Night of Hope.  And how I am making new connections because of that magical evening.  So, if you’ll indulge and allow me to share one more blog about the Night of Hope…

Making Connections…Photo of Lisa Rosenthal, Brandi Lytle, and Sarah Ekis--Night of Hope 2023 Honorees--on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blog

In the blog about that magical evening, I shared that the other honorees were compassionate and drew my introverted self into the group.  Two honorees in particular were exceptionally kind—Lisa Rosenthal (Founder of Fertile Yoga and Illume Fertility’s dedicated Patient Advocate; Recipient of the Risa A. Levine RESOLVE Advocacy Legacy Award) and Sarah Ekis (Peer Leader of RESOLVE Support Group and Organizer of the Charlotte Walk of Hope; Recipient of the Hope Award for Service).  We chatted.  We took photos.  Sarah and I were actually assigned to sit at the same table.

Maintaining Connections…

Via Facebook…

After returning home from NYC, I became Facebook friends with Lisa and Sarah—their personal pages.  (I already followed their infertility work.)  While I had followed Our Misconception since starting Not So Mommy…, I requested to be personal Facebook friends with Candace (who I met in person at the NOH).

It has been lovely to follow their daily lives, not simply their advocacy work.  Sarah and Candace are in the midst of parenting after infertility.  Honestly, seeing the kid photos hasn’t been a trigger.  I’m truly happy that their journey ended with the little.  And I’m extremely grateful they accept that mine didn’t.  No judgements.

Via Support Groups…

Sarah invited me to be a virtual guest speaker at her support group, sharing my perspective as a childless by infertility warrior.  That was quite an experience.  I have been featured on numerous podcasts.  With those, it’s usually just me and one other person chatting.  And the host normally allows me to preview the questions ahead of time.  Speaking to a dozen women in the midst of the battle…  Not knowing what questions they might ask…  Praying and hoping that my words would be of some help, would offer a shred of comfort…  I think I was about as nervous before the support group meeting as I was before giving my speech at the Night of Hope!  But it went well.  I only cried once.  And Sarah assured me that my words did indeed help, did indeed resonate (with at least a few)…

Via Fundraising Efforts…

I will continue maintaining connections with Sarah, as I have tentatively planned to attend the Walk of Hope in Charlotte, NC.  I need to talk with Dane about this soon…

And I made other connections after the Night of Hope…

Via Podcasts…

Jacqueline Vazquez (entrepreneur, author, educator, speaker, and host of the Inspired by Jacqueline podcast) attended the Night of Hope.  After hearing my acceptance remarks, she contacted me, asking if I would be a guest on her podcast.  After checking out her website, I agreed.  We recorded in January.  Our chat (Episode 33) went live in March.  (You can listen to it here.)

So much good…

So much good came from the Night of Hope…  I got out of my comfort zone.  I was reminded that wobbles can strike at any time.  But I remembered that I can overcome those wobbles, too.  Even the massive ones.  I met people live and in person that I’d only been friends with via the virtual world.  And I met new people via the virtual world because they saw me live and in person at the Night of Hope.

I look forward to maintaining connections with fellow warriors…  And making new connections…

That’s one BIG reason I started Not So Mommy…  To help others feel less alone.  And that happens by making and maintaining connections.

Want to connect with me, fabulous one?!

If anything I wrote about maintaining connections resonates with you, please tell us about it in the comments.  (You can put your name as an initial if you’d like to remain anonymous.)
If you’d like to see photos from the Night of Hope 2023 Gala, just click here…
Do you appreciate the work I’m doing here at Not So Mommy…
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Featured Photo: Created by me; Using Canva

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