If you’re just tuning in, this whole baby blog of mine originated because my main purpose is to get a local support group up and running in Connecticut. No matter where I go, there are flyers for every type of support //addiction, grief, breastfeeding, divorce, raising multiples//. Yet, not even in my OB office or RE clinic, have I ever seen a flyer offering infertility support. Why is that?
The answer is two-fold. First, it’s because there’s shame, embarrassment, possibly religious reasons, but essentially an abounding stigma regarding infertility. Second but why? Why when 1-in-8 couples are struggling does this need to continue to exist? Why are we any less in need of support? Is infertility not a grief or loss? Is it not quantified as a disease?
I often struggled with this myself because I’d say “it could always be worse.” But could it? For me, becoming a mom was my notion of a fulfilled life for as long as I could remember. So while it’s a different battle than something like cancer or death, living a childless life, for me, felt like worst case scenario. There’s still an undeniable pain, a grieving process that comes with infertility, like any diagnosis. I think the more we accept and acknowledge that, the more open we’ll become to receiving support.
Here are 🔟 reasons why a support group is for you:
1️⃣. You can share as little or as much as you’d like.
This is your group, your support system. You can choose to open up as little or as much as you’d like about your infertility. You choose your level of comfort, no questions asked. And it doesn’t matter where in your journey you are because we can all relate.
2️⃣. Nobody knows what your experiencing other than someone who has or is going through it themselves.
There’s something about infertility that binds us as women. Not even our spouses can fully grasp the daily inner dialogue we struggle with. It’s consuming and exhausting. Hearing that someone else is experiencing the same emotions and anxieties as we are is so validating. A support group would offer you this opportunity.
3️⃣. Your hope can be restored by the success stories of others.
I love to preface our story by saying we had a 0% chance of having a baby without interventions. It makes the girl on the other end think 💭”Hmmm. If they were able to have a baby, so could we.” Success stories are what kept my faith alive that it’d be our turn sometime. I’d google every possible combination ‘success with MFI’ ‘BFP after TESE’ ‘IVF with ICSI success rate” I’d go on an on. I want to be that success story for YOU!
4️⃣. The answers will be there for you.
You won’t have to use Google or an online group of women in the UK as your answer guide. You’ll have a table full of women with a) either the same questions or b) an answer to your question.
Did you do gonal or follistim? Do I have to change the gage on this needle? Where did you do your injections? Did you do them yourself? How many follicles did you get? What were your side effects?
Imagine the satisfaction of being able to ask all and get an answer, without having to wait for a typed reply.
5️⃣. Consider it a ‘girl’s night’ & ‘me-time’
We all agree we need at least monthly ‘girl’s nights’ and ‘me-time’, right? What a better excuse than attending an infertility support group. It’s a win-win in my opinion.
6️⃣. It’s completely confidential.
One of the common excuses I hear is we are keeping this private. You can do this while still participating in a support group.
There’s no exchange of emails, phone numbers, even real names if you don’t want there to be. Your attendance and what you share is completely confidential. I promise I won’t set up a banner saying “Resevered for the Infertile Girls”. This makes me think, we probably could’ve had our own table in high school. #allgirlhighschoolproblems #yourtableislife #wheremySHAgirlsat
7️⃣. The best advertisement is word-of-mouth.
I know my RE is saying ‘amen’ 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 to this. Seriously, though, this is one of, if not the most, important choices in your life. What better way to decide on a fertility clinic, urologist, oR OBGYN than to hear first-hand experiences? Maybe you already have an RE but are not sure if it’s the best fit. Connecticut is small and there’s just a handful of fertility clinic options. Someone’s personal referral might just be the ticket to your destiny.
8️⃣. It takes a village.
Build up your village by increasing your circle. There’s such a sense of relief in knowing there are many there for you when you fall. Use them.
9️⃣. Be part of the movement to spread infertility awareness.
If it’s right for you, we could use our support group to increase awareness and advocate for better infertility insurance statewide. We could become the voice of infertility in CT and a small part of the bigger mission of RESOLVE, our national infertility awareness organization.
🔟. You could make a difference in someone else’s life.
You could be ‘that’ person for someone just by showing up. Enough said.
So where my CT girls at & who is with me for a first official support group meeting in March?!