Today we are going to talk about IVF support, nine places you can go to feel less alone and more supported through infertility. When I was going on my journey and the feelings I had, it was a big feeling of loneliness and of no one really understanding what I was going through. I felt that so deeply on my journey.
But as I’ve gone through the years, as I’ve learned so much on my journey, there are so many places that you can go for support, especially during IVF. There are so many places you can go for community and for love.
The first place to go for support during IVF is Facebook groups. Facebook groups can be amazing for community. You need to pick your Facebook group correctly. But my Facebook group, I’m obviously a big fan because it’s my group. We have things that we do on certain days of the week, so on Monday it’s manifest Monday and we just say, what is everybody hoping to have this week? On Thursday we started this thing which is probably the most popular one, which is Thursday vent day. Sometimes in real life we can’t tell people how frustrated we are, but we have this beautiful safe group in the Fertility Warriors Support and Chat Group, which is where we get to share. When we feel so lonely sometimes we just need to step out of our shells and actually connect with people who get it. We need to connect in a safe private place and it can be people from all across the globe, through Facebook groups. So I know that you may be trying to limit the time that you spend in Facebook – I would recommend unfollowing people who you don’t want to follow. That way you can really start to manage what you see and what you don’t in Facebook.
your fertility clinic
Another place you can find IVF support is your fertility clinic. Go to your clinic and actually talk to the other people who are sat next to you. All it takes is for you to say, “Hi, how are you going? Have you got a busy day ahead?” Or, “Hello? Oh, I’m here again. I’ve been here four times this week,” or just talk about the weather! I did this on so many occasions at my fertility clinic and it was always a really beautiful conversation when you’re waiting in the waiting room to get your bloods done. It can start off your day in a really nice way to just put your phone down and say hello, and start to build community in real life at your fertility clinic. If you chat to someone and make friends, then the next time that you go to your fertility clinic, you can say hi again and start to get to know people. Trust me from experience, you will feel so much less alone if you engage with people in your fertility clinic.
The next place you can find IVF support is Instagram. There seems to be this underground community in Instagram, and it’s a beautiful way to connect. It is called social media for a reason and that’s because we need to get social. If you’re not a fan of Facebook at all but you do feel like you want some connection, Instagram is great because there are a lot of people who start private Instagram pages. My advice is to put the social into social media and really engage with these people.
The next place is in real life. Yes, you can actually find support during IVF in real life. I encourage you to open up to your friends even if your friends don’t have infertility. Let it out on your journey, because you would be so surprised at how many other people are going through this and even if people aren’t suffering with infertility at this current moment, there will be so many people come out the woodwork and tell you that they are also suffering.
I have experienced this time and time again. I first started my journey at the beginning of 2012. It was under wraps until about 2014, so that’s been five years now. And I have one or two people every single month who are in my friendship group come to me and say, “Yep, now we’re doing IVF. Now I’m gluten and dairy free because I’m trying my hardest to conceive and it’s not happening.” And you can form a really nice community with these people. You can be the veteran who is blazing the path for these people who are coming into the fold. But they won’t know and you won’t know unless somebody breaks the ice and opens up about their journey.
Real life can be a really amazing way to connect. And then when you’re looking at your social life and feeling like you can’t go to things, you will have these people who you can then connect with.
your ‘fertility team’
The next place you can find support during IVF is the people who are on your team – i.e., your nutritionist, your naturopath, your acupuncturist. My naturopath was one of my biggest sources of support on my journey. She is my dear friend now. I’d go to my appointments with her and feel like I had someone who cared about me and who I could just download to.
If you’re ever searching for someone, even whether it’s via Skype or something like that, then and you need some recommendations, feel free to Instagram me and I will always try, and find you someone within my network. I don’t know if you know, but I have a big group, a Facebook group that I lead of all these types of people, nutritionist, naturopath, acupuncturists, Reiki people, all of that jazz. I have a Facebook group for fertility businesses and I would be most happy to recommend someone if you would like someone.
The next place that you can go to feel less alone and more support during IVF is my book, Screw Infertility. You can get it on Amazon. There’s some cool five star reviews on there of my book, but it’s basically my story of trying to conceive Chloe through IVF. It’s a pretty short read, but it’s just a way to understand exactly what was going on in somebody else’s head and get the full story of someone else’s journey. So many people have come to me, have messaged me saying, “Wow, I really, you read my mind. All of the things that you were going through was exactly what I’ve being going through, but I haven’t been able to put it into words.” And have just come away feeling a lot more hopeful,
The next place is kind of somewhere that is coming out and that is in my membership. I have a membership coming up. I have big plans for this membership; we’re going to have an amazing time there and really connect. I’m going to share so many lessons with you on a regular basis. I’m a big fan of memberships. I’m actually a part of several memberships for different things myself and it’s a really great way to get tools and resources, but mostly also the community that makes things feel amazing.
in-person support groups
The eighth place that you can find more support during IVF is an in-person support group. So this can be a little bit harder to come by, but I definitely know of lots of places where they exist. Our Fertility Warriors Support and Chat group has in-person meetups in Perth, and we’ve had them in New York in the past. You can also check meetup.com. Resolve in the United States has in-person support groups, and so does Infertility Matters Canada. So there are definitely are in person places that you can go.
You can feel really nervous before you go to your first in-person support group meeting, but I guarantee you once you get there, once things start happening, it can actually feel really invigorating and exciting and relieving to know that there are other people going through the same thing as you.
start your own group
The very last way that you can go to find support is if you’re a crazy enough like me is to start something. That’s what I did. I started a blog, a website which has now morphed into a business, a Facebook group and an email list. It has been my therapy, its really helped me talk more about my journey, be open, find other people going through the same thing and support them.
I’m like a big sister, someone who’s been there before. This is how I’ve tried to share my wisdom and find community. I’ve made my own community of people, essentially. Now I have the Fertility Warrior Support and Chat Group for when women then fall pregnant and have babies. I’ve got the IVF and IUI Mamas Facebook group. I have another group for businesses and things like that. It takes a lot of work, I’m not going to lie, but that’s also a really good way for you to find support, feel less alone and find community on this journey.
I’ve given you nine ways to find people, so hopefully you can take away at least one or two of those and really start to feel more connected all in your journey.