I couldn’t have gotten through all of these years of infertility without a support group. Without other women just like me, struggling and anguishing over the same thing.
Most of my support groups are online groups and I have become really close friends with these women. We share with another and we support one another. As the years went by, I found it helpful to find more specific groups of women to share with. So, I became part of a repeat pregnancy loss group. And, now I am a part of a surrogacy group.
There are plenty of places online to find forums and others to talk to. Also, there are groups in many cities across the country. You can check here to see if there’s one in your area.
And, if there isn’t one, you can start your own.
I live in Southwest Virginia and I knew that there wasn’t a group in our area and I knew there was a need for it. So, I took a leap of faith and started one with help from my church and under the auspices of RESOLVE. I’m so glad I did because some of the women that came didn’t really have anyone to talk to about their infertility journey. I just couldn’t imagine. I was blessed to meet these women and have enjoyed getting to know them.
Start your own group
I would really encourage you to start a support group if there isn’t one in your area. Don’t be intimidated by “starting” or “leading” a support group. Think of yourself as more of a facilitator. I found that you don’t have to do much leading. When you get together, it’s just an informal chat and everyone is so excited to have someone to talk to that conversation is never lacking.
Also, RESOLVE will provide you with support, training and resources.
You can do it! You can make a difference in your area. You can help others not feel so alone.
To start a RESOLVE peer-led group, just go to their website and follow the instructions. Basically you listen to a training call and then fill out an application. You find a place to meet and pick a date and time.
Ideas for promoting your group
- Make a flyer – ask a local infertility clinic if they would display it in their office, ask local OB/GYN clinics to do the same, post them around town at various places
- If you have a website, promote it there
- If you are comfortable, post it to Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Some websites allow you to post information on local events, so submit a listing
I wrote this in honor of this year’s theme of “Join the Movement” for National Infertility Awareness Week (April 21-27,2013). Learn more about infertility by checking out Infertility 101 and learn more about legislative issues affecting infertility.