Making the decision to join a support group in general can be challenging. It places us in a position of vulnerability as we admit that we need help and we need support. It also causes us to admit that the avenues we may have attempted to get support from – friends, family, etc. – have not led us to a place in which we feel supported. Since our attempts have left us dry and feeling alone, we may end up feeling apprehensive about seeking help elsewhere.
What is a Support Group?
The dictionary defines a support group as, “A group of people with common experiences or concerns who provide each other with encouragement, comfort, and advice” (www.googledictionary.com, n.d.). So guess what? In an infertility support group, you will be surrounded by women who are experiencing infertility, have gone through infertility treatments, who have experienced loss and grief, and who can definitely provide comfort, encouragement, and advice for those who attend.
Why Should You Join a Support Group?
Below is a list of some of things you can get out of an infertility support group (in no particular order).
Validation. Let’s be real, we need a lot of validation. Experiencing infertility is one mother and a load of crap. You want to feel heard and you will be. You want someone to tell you that it’s ok to feel angry, to feel sad, and to be upset with pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, and baby shower invites. Trust me when I say, you will be told it is ok to feel the way you feel.
Connection. Connecting with another human being who can express their feelings to me and who I can express my feelings back is so much better than reading blogs, books, and websites. It also gives you that connection you often don’t get from the doctor’s or treatment center staff members.
Support. There will be times in this journey where you feel like you cannot go on anymore. You want to give up on your dreams and let go of your hope. But, having a group of women encourage you and support you goes a very long way.
Freedom. This is important because everyone wants to have the freedom to express their true, authentic feelings around their journey. Again, trust me when I say, you will have that freedom because no one will judge you and you will be understood.
Education. You will learn about different options. You will learn about others’ experiences through treatment, protocols, meds, and even ways to help make the shots easier to deal with. You will also learn about methods that the doctors may not necessary review with you, such as aromatherapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture.
Self-Care. Along with education, you learn about self-care. You will learn ways to take care of yourself through this process. This is very important in the walk.
Sharing. They say that sharing is caring and in this case, it’s true. Sharing your story is vital. Listening to others share their stories is equally important as well. This is how you discover that you relate to these women and/or share some commonality.
Sisterhood. Once you learn more about other brave, strong, and courageous women who are going through infertility with you, you feel like you belong to a very special sisterhood. This is my far the best reason for joining an infertility support group.
So, what are you waiting for? Join a group soon.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for up to date info on support group dates and times.