After I understood this baby thing wasn’t going to be a piece of cake, I looked around at the people in my day to day life (besides my husband), and realized there wasn’t anyone I could turn to for support. I felt very much alone in this horrible, consuming infertility struggle.
In the hopes of belonging, of being accepted, of sharing heartwrenching experiences, and hopefully victories, I joined a handful online groups. In reality though, I was just so tired of doing this alone, of feeling alone and going through every single day, alone.
What I could not predict, was what a life lesson this step online would be for me.
During my first IVF cycle, I met some truly amazing women. *waves* I was going to list them here, and then I realized, there are simply too many to list. That right there demonstrates what a huge support the online infertility community is, and continues to be for me. But inadvertantly, in the infertility community, people either move forward, or get left behind. And it’s so very hard, and it compounds this feeling of alone alone alone, when you are left behind.
When my first IVF cycle did not go as I had planned (which is well covered territory in this blog), I withdrew from multiple online support groups I had joined. You see, I was hurting so badly and I needed time to come to terms with the results of my IVF cycle and my own expectations. I felt envious of everyone who succeded where I did not. It’s so very hard to be left behind, again and again. And did I have irrational and petty thoughts, yes, I did, but deep down I knew I was just working through my own demons, and slowly healing.
I have said this before, but it bares saying again: everyone has their own journey. There are woman I know who got pregnant during my last IVF cycle that went through hell and back just to get there. These women deserve to be elated about their pregnancies. They deserve to shout it from the rooftops. I feel terrible that they have to censor themselves online. What is it, once you’ve finally conqured infertility you then become consumed with guilt? There should not be guilt. I wish there wasn’t guilt. But life isn’t always so black and white.
What I am not touching on here, deliberately, is some of the hurtful and thoughtless interactions I’ve witnessed, or in fact, been directly kicked in the shins with, in these online fertility forums. Because after some thought, I realized that handful of negative crap has nothing on the good, and nothing on the positive love and support I’ve received from women like Sarra and Quan and Julie and Debra and Rachel, and frankly all the ladies in my PGD group, and so many more. And woops I wasn’t going to list names here, but oh well, I did.
Like in my real life, I can choose my friends here, and who I interact with. Lucky, lucky me.