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Houston Fertility Journal

Finding the Infertility Sisterhood

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 29, 2016 11:00:00 PM / by Center of Reproductive Medicine   

Center of Reproductive Medicine

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There’s a reason for everything, right? At least, that is what I was thinking as I began my infertility journey. Before I started with my first IVF cycle, I was sure that it would be a success. When that cycle failed, I told myself over and over again that… “everything happens for a reason.”

When my second IVF cycle was unsuccessful, I searched and searched deep in my soul for answers. Why couldn’t I get pregnant? Was I supposed to keep trying? What other choices did I have? Questions that most of us who are on an infertility journey ask ourselves many times as we push forward to reach our goal – the goal of holding our precious bundle of joy.

Eventually, I came to the conclusion that NOT everything happens for a specific reason. How could the tragedy of infertility be part of some master plan. In my mind, infertility was incomprehensible – too horrifying for anybody to have to go through. Like I said, my thoughts have changed over time; today I am thinking more along the lines of…“good can always come from bad.” 

My husband and I spent many years of sadness and tears trying to get pregnant. I felt my heart break a little bit more with every failed attempt. Infertility treatment was expensive and, to tell you the truth, it nearly broke us. Our infertility journey, difficult as it was, also led us to the most awesome little boy. He is our greatest blessing – a little guy with the cutest smile and the most curious eyes – a little boy who won our hearts in a matter of moments the first time we met him. 

He is the good that came from an agonizing experience and we wouldn’t change any part of the process that brought us to our child, the child of our heart… Good CAN come from bad. 

Another great thing that can come from a tough infertility experience is entering the sisterhood of strong women who are battling with or have completed their own personal battle with infertility. It is a sisterhood of infertility. I had no idea what to expect when I started my infertility journey, but the women that I met along my journey have supported me through every step I have taken. These courageous women had just the right words of understanding and advice when I needed encouragement and comfort. I knew they meant every word they said.

In fact, true friendship has grown out of this sisterhood and I know that I will continue to share and learn from these women as I make my way forward with our little one.

Before starting on my journey, I had never met anyone who was experiencing infertility. Or, at least, no one shared their infertility struggles with me. I watched as my friends and coworkers got pregnant and had babies. They were happily building their families at a time when we were not. It wasn’t because we weren’t trying, though. 

Friends and family would ask us when we were going to have children, like we were silly for not family building when they were. It was heartbreaking for us every time someone brought up the subject of babies and children. I didn’t know what to say. Initially, I didn’t know who I could talk to about it. Nobody could relate to what I was going through, so they had no idea what to say either. (Understandably, if you have never experienced infertility or if you have never been told that you cannot get pregnant naturally, of course you cannot come up with the right words to say.) While I understood that my friends and family members could not relate, I also understood and felt that I was very much alone. We, as a couple, were very much alone.

At some point along the way, I started reading personal blogs written by women who were having trouble getting pregnant. I had no idea that so many women were experiencing infertility. I read many, many posts from women… they were putting into words the feelings that I had been keeping inside. I could relate to what these women were writing and feeling. Eventually, I felt confident enough to post my own comments and many responded back to me, relating specifically to what I was writing.

I could feel through their words that they understood my thoughts, my innermost feelings and my experiences.

I had never had any “online” friends; I had never even considered online friendships. Why would I? I had plenty of real friends, but those friends could not begin to fathom what it was like to want something so badly that it physically and emotionally hurt. They had no clue of the devastation I felt each time my period came or did not have positive pregnancy test results.

As I met new online friends, I discovered a sisterhood of women who were dealing with infertility. There are multiple blogs and forums available where women can connect to this sisterhood. It was truly amazing! Women were sharing information, telling their own stories, baring their souls completely, and even providing shoulders to cry on. The women in this sisterhood truly understood what I was feeling. They reached out to each other and to me, offering me support and hope when I needed it most.

As I became more involved with the women posting online, I was able to find women whose stories were similar to mine. I was able to connect with many of them personally and we became friends as we shared our deepest thoughts and concerns, offering support to each other whenever it was needed.

It has been several years since we finally brought our little guy into the world and I am still connected with many of the women that I met when I first sought information and online support. Of course, in many ways, we have all moved on over the years. Some friends finally were able to get pregnant through infertility treatments and others decided to adopt. We are busy raising our children, so time is often limited.

 

We have remained connected in some way solely based on our shared experiences and our ties to the sisterhood that brought us together. 

 

I would encourage all who are experiencing infertility to seek the sisterhood online for true understanding and support. There are many, many infertility blogs and forums available, so you can choose the one that is right for you…

Topics: Infertility, Infertility Sisterhood

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