I was reading tweets in the wonderful world of Twitter the other day, while trying not to brain myself waiting for what seemed an eternity in a doctor’s office, and I came across a post that saddened me. Pretty much the only people I am associated with on Twitter are persons that are somehow involved with infertility and its various issues. I read a post from a woman who said that one of her followers (that is a cultish sounding Twitter term is it not) had “unfollowed” them because she had become pregnant. Basically a person did not want to hear about a friends (virtual friend or real friend) success. I clearly understand that when you are in a long fight to become pregnant it seems that everyone is getting pregnant including the neighborhood cat who was fixed three years earlier. It is heartbreaking and it can be a confidence killer. Oftentimes people will join support groups to share stories, get answers, and to hopefully understand that they are not alone in their fight. When people join a support group the issue that the support group effects normally is life altering and long-term. Alcoholism, Sex Addiction, Rape Victims, Abuse Victims, Cancer Patients, and MADD are just some of the support groups that have longterm life changing consequences. Infertility Support groups are no different from the afore-mentioned groups in practice. With infertility it is never truly conquered. If a woman becomes pregnant it only gets scarier because she has likely suffered a miscarriage in the past. The entire time she is pregnant she may very well be waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was that way for my wife and I. Until the day our daughter was born we just refused to believe we were going to become parents. We were not willing to get excited about becoming parents because if we miscarried the fall would be more painful. If someone in your support group becomes pregnant the victory is far from a guarantee so why would you not continue to support them? The newly pregnant person should be careful not to “gloat” over being pregnant openly in support group activities but they still may need you and trust me you may need them if you get pregnant. Support can be difficult. You may admit to feelings that would never enter a conversation with your regular social group. Support is raw and without judgement because it’s members share an issue.
It takes strength to join a group but I think you have a responsibility to support as much as possible everyone in the group no matter their stage in the groups issue. I became more involved, after our success, in infertility groups. I learned that someone always has or had it worse than you did. For me it is very important to hear things out. I know I can’t fix others but I can share our experience when appropriate or just hear someone out. When you have fertility issues it is very understandable to be selfish from time to time and not want to hear the good news of others but please try to use the strength that gets you by everyday to cheer for others that are walking a similar path to you. I love you all and wish you the best.