|Photo courtesy of sicx at Freeimages.com|
Babycenter.com is a website for all things baby-related, including getting pregnant and infertility. I joined in February 2012 and found the AT:TNL board and stayed there because I felt those women knew better than anyone else I had talked to what its like to truly struggle with infertility. This is just one example of many infertility forums out there. TheBump.com has infertility groups, and there are websites like TTCsisters.com and FertileThoughts.com that have active forums to connect with other women from all over the world.
I was very active on Babycenter for a while but then I migrated to Facebook. There are a TON of different Facebook groups dedicated to TTC, infertility, and ART. Just search the groups and you can find some of the larger ones with thousands of members, or you might find a local group that is smaller and a better fit for you. I have found wonderful support through the women I've connected with on Facebook.
There are also ways to find support through other social media, like Twitter or Instagram for example. Just search the hashtags for #infertility, #ttcsisters, or #infertilitysupport and you'll find other women (and men) who are trying to conceive and looking for support. Blogs are also a great resource, and you can find a huge list of infertility related blogs on Stirrup Queen's blogroll here. Or check out the Infertility Survival Kit for a list of resources and blogs (link in sidebar).
Now, what if you would rather meet with people in person? You can find groups for that too! Resolve.org has a list of local infertility support groups by state. Hopefully you can find an existing group to join, or you can even create your own! They offer professionally-led support groups, and peer-led support groups. Some of the professionally-led groups may cost money since they are led by a licensed therapist, and you may have to commit to a specific number of meetings. But the peer-led groups are 100% free to join with no commitment or obligation.
The best way to get support is to find a group that makes you feel comfortable, and to start supporting other women, either by answering their questions or leaving a supportive comment or "hug." The more support you give, the more support you'll receive. And we could all use more support during one of the most emotionally and physically challenging journeys of our adult lives. And you'd be surprised how much of an impact someone can make in your life, without ever meeting them in person.
Infertility can be an extremely lonely journey, don't let the shame stop you from seeking support! I promise you, it will be worth it!
Are there any other sources of support that you've found along your journey? Feel free to share in the comments below!