so in the process of surviving the miscarriage and enduring months of infertility, i locked in with an amazing group of women who had been through some sort of infertility/pregnancy loss themselves. i have mentioned them a lot in this blog because their support has been invaluable to me and their demonstration of strength and selflessness is awe-inspiring.
and although i know from experience that learning a friend is pregnant brings you both joy for them and grief for your own yet childless state, as i have told them our news this week they have been amazingly kind and supportive. so loving and excited for us. again, selfless to the nth degree. amazing. i thank them a million times over.
but it occurred to me that not everyone who experiences the shit-storm of emotions associated with trying and failing to have a child has this same network. it’s so helpful to have other people who share your experiences so that a) you know you’re not crazy with your reactions to what’s happening (or not happening) to you, and b) you can really be heard and understood in a way no one else can get you.
so i encourage anyone who is going through these agonizing experiences to reach out to each other. my church is cool and so recently started the group i attended…but i think this is pretty rare. so if your church or community or group of friends doesn’t have a gathering like this, look to the interwebs for some info and guidance. MY WARNING- there are a lot of dire stories out there. you will hear people talk of painful years of no success or multiple losses, etc. those are some people’s struggles, but that doesn’t mean they will be yours. i found it challenging not to start to anticipate my own failures for the future as, i guess my empathy for their woes morphed into a personal catalog of fears. so be careful not to do that. because positive thinking is very important and very hard to maintain. make yourself read the success stories, too, ya know?
some sites i found helpful-
“Taking Charge of your Fertility” by Toni Weschler is a book with a software program that i used and liked and a webite that is very helpful. she does natural family planning with basal temperatures, cervical mucous, etc…and explains it all very clearly and comprehensively.
“Hannah’s Hope” by Jennifer Saake is a book about one woman’s struggle with the gamete of fertility/miscarriage/adoption woes and how she deals with it and how God plays a role in everything. hannah is a woman in the bible who struggled with many years of infertility. the author gives many other examples from the bible and from individuals she knows. it is emotionally difficult to read parts of it, but it is also hopeful. and there is an online community with chat rooms and forums and such.
these on-line venues aren’t as personal as family or friends, but you won’t be disappointing any of these strangers by not bringing them grandchildren fast enough and you are less likely to hear stupid advice from them like “you know what you need to do? just get really drunk one weekend and you’ll have enough sex you’ll be sure to have your baby!” you can totally be yourself and spill everything you’re going through because chances are good someone out there has been where you are and will get it. the one challenge is that they use crazy abbreviations for everything (BMS= baby-making sex, COW = Curse of Womanhood (menstruation), or FV= Fertile vibes). check out this site for translations.
if anyone else out there has any helpful books/websites, please add a comment to share with the rest of us.