When I started blogging some 27 months ago, I felt very alone. At that point, I only knew of one friend who went through infertility. She got pregnant on her first IVF and now has twins. I started blogging so I could meet other women who were struggling. I wanted to help them and have them help me. I didn't want to feel so alone anymore.
Over the next 20 months, I blogging became my community. A few of those women became close friends (even though I've never met most of them in person). Still, though, I felt entirely alone in my struggles on a daily basis.
Then, post September's miscarriage, I dragged myself (quite literally) to the local resolve group. Overnight, my world opened up. I met strong, beautiful, smart, independent women who were all struggling with IF, too. They became friends, but unlike my bloggy friends, they are right here and I see them regularly. Four of us started a small "mini resolve" group and decided to meet one other time in the month. That small group has grown now to 13 women and we revolve the meetings around our homes. We laugh SO much at these meetings and share so much. We help each other.
I also have become active in a Facebook group that one of my bloggy friends developed. Again, another group of women to lend me regular support. And then there's the amazing yoga for fertility class I've been attending (with the same mini resolve women) since December.
All of this has been amazing ... until now. Now that I am hopefully crossing over into the world of pregnant / maintaining a pregnancy / mommy, I am again feeling rather alone. There isn't a real life group for "pregnancy after infertility." There isn't anyone I can really talk to about the absolute terror that runs through my heart and mind on a regular basis. Sure, I could show up at a pre-natal yoga class, but I would fit in there about as well as if I showed up with my pet donkey (I don't actually have a pet donkey). For many women who have not experienced infertility, peeing on a stick means taking home a baby. If I showed up now, at 6 weeks pregnant, I would be terrified of moving too quickly or saying "I'm pregnant" aloud for fear the pregnancy gods would shoot fire arrows into my uterus, killing everything in sight.
I am back to feeling kind of alone. Two women I know from resolve who are now each 5 months pregnant suggested we start a "pregnancy after infertility" support group. I love that idea, but as I told them, I am not ready to be there. I haven't graduated from infertility yet (hell, I may never) and by the time I get there, they'll need an "impending child birth" support group!
The amazing IRL women who attend yoga and resolve are so supportive. I am still going to those activities and they are so excited for me, just as I have been excited for past resolve members who have crossed over. But still, it is not a totally appropriate place to share. To someone not pregnant, hearing a pregnant woman express fear of what might go wrong will make intellectual sense. But the non-pregnant woman would do anything to be pregnant, facing those fears. And then there's always the risk of hurting someone. At last week's big resolve group, there were two new women, each of whom has been fighting IF for 5 years. I'd never met them before and I chose not to mention that I'm pregnant. I could have told them "I've been through 3 1/2 years of this shit, with 3 chemicals, an ectopic, a failed IVF and a 9 week miscarriage" but I fear they would still only hear "I'm pregnant." They don't know me from Arthur and to the, I would just be "that pregnant woman."
Those of us who join these kinds of support groups join with the hopes and dreams of unjoining. Of getting out. And that is sad. These women have become my support and I theirs. But at the heart of it, we are all hoping that "this month's meeting will be my last." That is a sad realization.
So, too, is the realization that I am back to feeling very alone. And terrified.
Ultrasound on April 30.