Anasara recently attended the Resolve of New England's super conference. I say "super conference" because it sounds like it was truly amazing and I wish I had had the opportunity to go to one out here (Pacific Northwest). Her positive experience got me thinking about RESOLVE in general and then got me weepy about how much credit I give the RESOLVE Portland group for helping me get and stay pregnant.
If you've never been to a RESOLVE meeting and happen to have one nearby, I urge you TO GO. GO. GO. GO. I suppose there is always a chance you'll regret it but I can't imagine that chance actually coming true. To even the most shy person, who doesn't like to interact with people regularly, I urge you TO GO.
Why? The power of being in a room with women who "get it" and who are going through what you're going through is absolutely, positively PRICELESS. I had looked at going to my first meeting back in spring 2012. The meetings here happen on the third Tuesday of the month and it turned out that I learned about it just after it happened. And then I managed to forget I wanted to go. It wasn't until two weeks after my miscarriage and D&C that I went and let me tell you my ONLY regret: that I hadn't gone sooner. That regret is one I heard from most women who showed up at the meetings. They all wished they found the group sooner.
That first meeting, I chose to open up and talk about our experiences. As I sobbed my way through our "resume" and ended with our recent miscarriage of two weeks earlier, the "ugggs" and groans I heard did not make me sad. They gave me strength. I realized I was in a room where it was ok for me to sob and to talk about having no hope left. And it was also a room full of women who would help me get my hope back and get back into the saddle to try again. I did not go there seeking pity. I don't know what specifically I went there for - it was absolutely a last resort of a zombie me just going through the motions - but I found it, whatever it was. I also found: friendship, safety, understanding, a place to vent, love, similarity and acceptance. I also saw that I was NOT a two-headed monster completely alone in this world of infertility. That this is an epidemic that picks anyone as its victim. And that first night, the other victims were smart, funny, educated, kind, beautiful women who helped me begin the healing process that would allow me to see myself as those positive things once again.
By November, we had a "small group spin off." Four of us met one off-Tuesday at a Japanese restaurant. That was the first and only time we met at a restaurant. Since then - over a year now - the small group meetings have been happening at someone's home. There were only four of us that first small group meeting. The group size has now grown to over 15. Of the four of us who started the small group, two are new moms, I am almost there, and the fourth is 7 weeks pregnant. Of the 15+ in the group, there are at least 6 others (not including me or the 7 week pregnant lady) who are pregnant and on their way to being RESOLVed.
Do I credit RESOLVE with getting me and all those other women pregnant? Not entirely, but certainly to some degree. There is research out there showing that the power of being in a support group is astounding. That women who are engaged in some kind of in-person support group of some kind get pregnant faster despite years of infertility. The power of the hugs and cell phone numbers (for emergency texts in a panic) was invaluable.
Many of us now attend what was initially dubbed "pregnant
after infertility" meetings, another group we started. But we don't talk
about infertility much at all, and even changed the title to "future moms
and beyond" because two women from the small group who are pursuing adoption
now come. We talk about car seats and bottle versus breast feeding. We
talk about pregnancy symptoms and stroller options. We exchange maternity clothing and any baby items we don't need or got duplicates of. We ply each other
with so much information that we walk away happy and content, filled
with more than just anxiety about being pregnant. We are filled with
love, hope and excitement for what is coming our way.
If you have a RESOLVE (or other) meeting nearby and have been considering going - or even if you have decided you don't want to go - I urge you to get your butt there asap. You can always choose to not go back, but I do suspect you won't make that choice.