WHO THIS POST IS FOR:
- Couples going through IVF or infertility treatment.
- Friends of folks going through infertility (pass along the resources)
IVF SUPPORT GROUPS: A HOW-TO
I had NO IDEA a world of support existed until I started talking to new IVF friends. Quickly I learned there were a number of groups and therapists specifically dedicated to infertility. Why I found this surprising, not quite sure. It’s probably because I never thought of infertility until it happened to me. Because I was thrown in so quickly, support is and was exactly what I needed. I was referred to a group this past summer and LOVED it. I can not emphasize enough how much I would recommend finding a group.
REASONS INFERTILITY GROUPS RULE
- You learn you aren’t crazy. Women and men sit in a room saying the exact same feelings and thoughts that you’ve felt for months. It feels awesome to feel so validated.
- You learn about questions to ask your doctor. Someone might bring something up that you haven’t thought of and can bring back with you to your next doctors visit.
- It puts your situation into perspective. After leaving our first meeting my husband and I felt incredibly lucky to have insurance. While we do pay for procedures (and genetic testing is never covered… another story for another time), we never realized how privileged we were. We cant imagine going through this entire process and having to shell out close to $100,000 at this point in our journey.
- Husbands have men who understand them. When my husband shares our experience with his close circle, he is usually met with silence. I would say the majority of people just don’t know what to say. Women struggle to talk to one another about the subject and in this hyper-masculine world, talking about infertility for men is completely alien. Watching other men talk about their experience was super helpful and comforting to us.
- You make friends that you don’t have to apologize to for being nuts, upset, or a drag around. While I do not think I have to apologize to friends, I know I can be a bit of a bummer when I am on my meds. Good friends are friends through thick and thin, but I can’t help but believe it must be draining on them. Meeting friends who understand exactly why another post on Facebook “OOPS Im pregnant and now we are getting married!!!” makes you want to rip your hair out or why you hate that skinny pregnant lady on the street is quite comforting. It lets you relax and just be.
- No one will tell you to “just be positive and it will work.”
- You learn about alternatives. You may not have considered an egg donor, donor sperm or surrogate but hearing from people who have gone through it or are going through it is enlightening and helpful.
HOW TO FIND A GROUP
- Resolve is one of the best resources around. Within their Support section on their website you can find online communities, local meet ups, resources, etc. The world of message boards can be insanely overwhelming, finding a legitimate group through Resolve is the way to go.
- Talk to friends! Once again, being open about your experience may steer you towards someone that may have knowledge of local groups. Our group is listed on Resolve but I was actually referred through a friend.
- Ask your doctor! They may have groups their past patients have worked with that they can recommend. Doctors are all for you getting emotional support and I am sure would be happy to help.