Infertility: With a little help from your friends
I attended my first RESOLVE (The National Infertility Association) support group meeting with much trepidation, and now that I’ve been attending for over a year, I have a strong tribe of equally determined women surrounding me.
I remember the first time I visited the RESOLVE website to find a local meeting. I had been crying copious tears after receiving a phone call from my RE with another negative pregnancy test result.
My husband was away on a business trip and my son was napping. I have many friends who are familiar with our struggle to have a second child that I could have reached out to, but I didn't want to be a burden. In that moment, I felt so alone. I soon realized no matter how well I thought I was keeping it together, inside I was a mess and needed help in the form of peers — other woman going through exactly what I was.
Someone to lean on
Over a year later, I am still attending monthly RESOLVE meetings and consider several of the women I have encountered friends. I am grateful for each and every woman I've met through these gatherings and appreciate their insight and personal stories.
I feel like a member of a band of strong-willed women with a common longing. There is a lot of comfort knowing nothing I can say will shock these women into silence and that each of our successes and failures are shared and accepted.
Finding support throughout your infertility journey is imperative! Sometimes we like to think we are invincible, capable of handling whatever comes our way, unwilling or unable to share our deep dark secret, but facing something as difficult as infertility requires being able to lean on others, ask for help and know without a doubt we are not alone.
It is through the support of others we become empowered, gain empathy and strength to face each new infertility hurdle.
You aren't alone
Support can come in many forms: online communities, group meetings, one-on-one therapy sessions or sharing candidly with trusted family and friends.
According to RESOLVE, "one of the most important benefits of participating in a support group is a decrease in the sense of isolation so many people feel when they are experiencing infertility. Plus, a study conducted in 2000 found that attendees of RESOLVE support groups had higher pregnancy rates than women who didn’t attend a support group."
Wherever your comfort level lies in regards to seeking support, there is no shame in it and no getting around the fact that daily strength is needed to face the challenges of infertility.