As National Infertility Awareness Week comes to a close, we have a recommendation for your Netflix queue. Whether you are struggling with infertility or want to better understand the journey of someone who is, the documentary film, One More Shot is a powerful look at one couple's multi-year journey to becoming parents.
Maya Grobel and Noah Moskin are among the 12 to 13% of couples in the United States who have dealt with infertility. They met in a film class back in college, so it was natural for them to bring a cameraperson along to their doctor's appointments.
Watch our interview with the creators of 'One More Shot' here:
The film offers a first-hand look at what it is like to deal with the disappointment, shots, hormones, relationship upheaval and hope that prospective parents experience when using assisted reproductive technologies.
According to Grobel, the film grew from a planned five minute short for their future baby to a full-length documentary when it became clear that their journey was going to take longer than expected. They wanted to make the film to answer the question "How do you make a family when nothing seems to be working?" Grobel tells Motherly.
"We realized that it was a problem that so many people faced and our story became a version of the story of so many other people around the world," she explains.
When Moskin and Grobel began their journey to parenthood, they figured they might have to do IVF, but the journey in their head was more of a straight road to baby without a bunch of pit stops. The reality turned out to be a long and winding trip through a diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, trying IVF with donor eggs and then embryo donation.
The documentary is real and raw, and it can help people understand that dealing with infertility isn't as simple as getting some extra help from a doctor. "This expectation of how things are going to go and reality don't always match up," Grobel says.
Going into such uncharted territory with a partner can be hard on a relationship. Moskin says he needed to take a break from trying to conceive, while Grobel wanted to persevere. Understanding each other's perspectives was difficult at times, as was communicating. "Initially I was trying to fix everything or say, 'it's going to be okay," Moskin explains, "and I had to learn that just saying 'it's going to be okay'... was not helpful."
In making the movie, Moskin and Grobel worked out their communication issues. They also inadvertently built themselves an online community and support system. Their baby girl was born in 2015, and in the years since the couple has been hearing from so many people who have gone through (or are going through) their own hard but hopeful fertility journeys, even people who have seen the documentary and were willing to help them expand their family, if they wanted to. "We were offered embryos from several people from around the world," Grobel explains.
They haven't taken anyone up on the offer of embryo donation, but say it's heartening to know that there are fellow parents out there in the world who would do such a selfless thing.
Moskin wants parents who are in the middle of their own winding road of infertility to hold onto hope, because there is always hope and Grobel agrees, "Try to remember that this will not be going on forever. There is an end to this."
You can watch One More Shot on Netflix, iTunes and Amazon.