By V.R. Graduate of Blooming Hope, November 2018
It was a Monday night and I sat there, literally all by myself. Yes, queue the Celine Dion song because it was the perfect way to describe how I felt. I was all by myself for so long and I didn’t want to be anymore. I had been on this walk of infertility for over two years. Yes, I had my husband and I was not alone. But, deep down, we knew we were both alone. We were on an island, just the two of us. Isolated. Misunderstood. Unheard. Feeling ashamed. Lost in a world where we didn’t fit in.
Yes, we know the statistics. One in eight women struggle with infertility. So, how was it that we were alone in our circle of friends, family, coworkers, and our church community? Why could we not find another couple who was struggling with infertility just as we were or who could relate to us or understand our pain?
The bottom line is that although we have all of these people in our lives who love and care about us, these people just do not understand what it is like to struggle with infertility. We love these people back. But, what we needed, unfortunately they could not provide. And, to be honest, we didn’t know what we needed and I especially didn’t know what I needed as a woman.
So, here I was in this conference room afraid and unsure. I was at my first support group meeting. I did not know what to expect. I knew the purpose of a support group. But, I had never truly attended one seeking just that, support.
This first night was amazing. I felt so much freedom. I felt so much love. I didn’t even know these women but I was intrigued with their stories. Our leader/facilitator/therapist was someone who experienced the struggles of infertility herself. So, we were led by someone who shared in all the feelings that we all felt or were feeling at the time. And, although all of our stories were different, we had a common desire and that was to be a mother.
This incredible process of joining a support group was one of the best decisions I could make for myself. I learned and gained so much from these women. I felt part of a sisterhood that I had not felt before. I was encouraged to see other women remain positive and hopeful despite all that they had been through and it motivated me to keep fighting while trying to remain positive as well. I also got the validation that I needed and wanted. It was ok to not be ok with all of this. It was ok to feel angry. It was ok to question my faith. No one judged me for my feelings and I didn’t judge others.
Those 8 weeks were amazing and overall a great experience. Although it took some courage, I wasn’t alone anymore. I wasn’t by myself anymore. I was somewhere I belonged.