Here are a couple reflections from people in the RESOLVE support community and a video segment from the “TODAY” Show. An article about the importance of infertility support groups (published by FertilityRoad.com) is here.
If you’re anything like I was, you’re probably both curious and a little skeptical about joining a support group. Before joining a group, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had imagined various scenarios, all of them based on something I had seen in a TV show or a movie. It was a little intimidating.
In the end, it ended up being a group of men and women sitting in a circle talking about their lives. In other words, it ended up being the most normal thing ever and far less dramatic than anything I had seen in a movie. It ended up being a place where people understood what I was going through, and because of that, could support me in a way that friends and family sometimes couldn’t.
Joining a support group made me feel less alone and it gave me a safe place to talk about my feelings. I made friends. I learned from others’ experiences. I learned to cope.
I started a support group because I wanted to create a safe space for all of us to connect. While building a family is worth it in the end, it can be a stressful and confusing process. My hope is that we can help each other navigate this process together.
— Used with permission from Anna Slager, who runs the Philadelphia RESOLVE group
One of the benefits of joining an infertility support group, as described in this video segment on the “TODAY” Show, is that regular participation in a support group increases the chances of conception by 20 to 54 percent! Apparently, according to Harvard Medical School, the emotional support is a kind of mind/body medicine.
This is a place that provides women and couples struggling with infertility a safe environment to find refuge as they tell their story and find hope.
It’s a place that provides peace and restoration.
A place that encourages.
A place where you can take a deep breath, relax, let your guard down, and be yourself as you disconnect with the world while you reconnect with others who know how you feel.
A place of retreat.
A place of healing for the grief of infertility and sorrow from loss.
A place where we hear from others who have gone before us and have a message of hope.
A place where if we need to let out a good ugly cry, we can. And with no judgment.
A place that after we leave, we feel re-energized to fulfill our dreams and live out the fullness of our life, and be empowered to defeat the enemy of infertility…
A place to find fun, laughter and joy. Even in the context of despair.
And it’s a place for everyone. It is for the woman and couple who is in the trenches of infertility, whether primary or secondary. It is for those seeking adoption. Or those feeling scared and alone as they are in the midst of fertility treatments. It’s for the woman who has experienced the pain and devastation of a miscarriage or the heartache of failed treatment cycles. It is for those battling PCOS, endometriosis or any other type of issue.
It is for those with broken wings and hurting hearts. It’s for those who need to share their grief, their pain, their hope, their story, their love…basically, it’s for everyone. Because we are all a part of this family. And we can all provide hope and encouragement to one another.
— Used with permission from Elisha, author of the blog, Waiting for Baby Bird.