Infertility is incredibly lonely. If I am being 100% honest, even though I talk openly about it now, I still have to force the words out. Talking about it is not easy for me. It’s not easy now and it certainly wasn’t easy while I was going through it. There are feelings of isolation and of being misunderstood… feelings of failure and broken-ness… fear, sorrow, anxiety… and that is only a few of the difficult to explain emotions that consumed me. But, even if I was super comfortable talking about it, people are not comfortable hearing about it. I do think it has gotten a little better with time, but not much. It’s a sad subject and no one knows what to say.
I had some close friends at the time that I dove deep into my infertility journey and I leaned on them… I leaned hard. Unfortunately, I leaned too hard on one, who I don’t think ever understood my swirl of emotions and how it had nothing to do with her. Another was amazingly supportive, even when I miscarried my first baby and had to come to terms with watching her pregnancy continue on virtually the same timeline that mine should have been. And a few others tried… but I know it was a tiresome subject for them. They just didn’t get it. They tried their best to be good friends to me in my dark place, but they didn’t get it. How could they?
So, I did what a lot of us do in this day and age… I turned to the internet. Mind you, this was 10 years ago, so it wasn’t even as commonplace as it is today. I do know this though… without the online friends I discovered, I would not have made it through the journey. It was in the virtual world, where I found them. Women who spoke my language. Women who understood what it was like to go to the doctor every other day. Women who didn’t need me to apologize for not being able to talk about anything else. Women who mourned with me, hoped with me and celebrated with me.
So as I continue this series in which I talk about my infertility journey, know that I talk about it so that others will not feel as alone. You are not alone. Below are some amazing resources I stumbled upon along the way. Feel free to share additional ones in the comments as women facing this challenge need all the support they can get.
- Babycenter Community – I can’t refer you to my specific group as the women I traveled this road with are no longer part of it, but it’s worth exploring to see what/who you can find out there.
- Facebook – I can’t speak to this personally, but I do know that FB groups have exploded in recent years, so I am willing to bet you can find something there too.
- Navigating the Land of If: Understanding Infertility and Exploring Your Options – I can’t say enough about books and their ability to explain and support. This one is one I discovered after the fact, but it’s a good one.
- The TTC (Trying to Conceive) Dictionary – If you are just starting out on this journey, the lingo will be like a foreign language to you. A language you will likely become fluent in very quickly.
- Resolve Support Groups – Cincinnati General Infertility Support Group meets on the first Monday of each month at 6pm at the Oakley Recreation Center. Please contact the host, Gina at 513.417.6024 or by email at [email protected] before attending your first meeting.
- Parental Hope – Raising infertility awareness and providing emotional and financial support to hopeful couples battling infertility.
Finally, find those women. Don’t be afraid to talk (and listen) to those who are walking this path with you. I can’t speak enough gratitude to the ones who entered my life and who saved me from drowning.