Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Connections

Remember way back in January 2009, when I started going to the Over Forty IVF Support Group even though I was, and continue to be, younger than forty?

Well, would you believe this group is still going strong? We long ago shed the group leader and became more like a group of friends than a technical support group but we still meet a couple of times a month.

It is such a pleasure to meet with these women, to see how people's trajectories have developed over the past year and a half, to just continue to show up for and encourage each other.

It's funny too how our roads are turning out to be quite different. It seems that of the six of us, many of us are taking different paths to becoming parents. Sitting with four of the group this week, I was struck by how we could almost represent an HBO documentary at this point, something like "Extreme Infertility Stories: the heartbreak version." Because none of us has turned out to be the typical IVFer, who does treatment once or twice and has a happy ending. We're all veterans at this point.

There are two "successes" so far: One woman, after multiple IVFs, did donor egg at 43 and now has a son. And another got pregnant naturally and had a daughter, but this after three IVFs and four miscarriages (one at 19 weeks).

And then there are the rest of us:

One woman, after multiple IVFs and miscarriages, has been waiting 9 months so far for a referral for domestic adoption.

One, also after multiple IVFs and no pregnancies, has just been matched for an anonymous donor egg and is about to transfer in a couple of weeks.

One has major health issues and POF and so is using a gestational carrier in addition to anonymous donor egg. Her situation is complicated even more so by the fact that she is from a minority ethnicity, which has made finding the right donor egg situation super complicated.

And then there is me. The under 40 person. The one still trying with my own eggs in my own body. The one doing the frankenstein lab maneuvers to try to get some normal embryos ready to go.

What a group, huh? Kind of a motley crew in a certain way, but a roomful of women who have made it so much easier to go through all of this, because every other week or so, I can count on sitting down in one of their living rooms and just sharing how hard it is, knowing that they all get it, are going through their version of it, and are getting through it somehow. Some days better than others, but getting through it nonetheless.

You guys, too, are such a godsend. To find all of you out here on the Internet, some of you bloggers, some of you just commenters, some in situations similar to mine, some in very different circumstances. To find that we can reach across our experiences and connect. I wish we weren't here, not a single one of us. But since we are, what a wonderful thing to have found each other.
Mo

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18 comments:

Auntie Em said...

How wonderful that you have found that type of support! I am so thankful for fellow bloggers who are willing to lend support, such as yourself. : )

Nepsi said...

While IVF sucks... I am privileged to have met many wonderful people along the way.

TeeJay said...

That is quite a group you have there, Mo. I'm glad that you have found these women and that they have found you, too. Also, I agree with you on the Internet being a saving grace for when we are going through tough times. We would be nowhere without support.

Pie said...

I couldn't agree more. While I don't have an IRL group like yours (which sounds wonderful, that support) I also value the internet support I get. It truly gets me through the days, the ups and downs.

It is a funny side effect of all this struggle, to know you are not alone. It's a powerful thing.

gwinne said...

Absolutely. This community is something to be cherished in these trying times.

Expectant Duck said...

i love my bloggy people too.
I tried a face2face group once before and it was a SCARRING experience, the leader of the group kept making fun of how young I was (i look young and i was under 30) but i was also the only one there who had to work with a surrogate!
Glad that your over 40 group is so much nicer.

gina said...

How did you go about finding your support group? I've been looking for one in my area but no luck. I live in Chicago.

Mo and Will said...

Gina - I found the group originally through RESOLVE. But it was tough getting accepted (I was 36 at the time and it was for women over forty). after a while we shed the social worker and turned it into a more social thing...

I wonder if you could start a group through something like meetup.com?

Mo

Kate said...

It really helps to know" others goig through similar or even more screwed-up routes to parenthood, doesn't it. Glad you met that great group of women!

mekate said...

Amen.

I am grateful every day for this community. I am sure I would have gone insane without it!

xoxox
Kate

Claudia said...

Yes, yes, and yes. I went to my normal mothers' group today, and while it's nice... it's the internetz who 'get it' that I feel like I REALLY need.

gina said...

Mo - thanks for the reply. Trying to start a group on meetup myself has crossed my mind. But, I don't know the first thing about facilitating a group like that.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

What a great group to be a part of... I wish I had one! But, I agree, finding people via the blog has been so beneficial to me as well.

Ceejay said...

That's so great of you that you started a support group! And what a blessing for you and each of them! I think if I didn't have the online community I would be in dire straights. I thank God for it all the time!

Danielle said...

What a gift to have a group like that. So glad you all found each other.

Peaches said...

I think it is wonderful that you have found a welcoming group who "gets" what you are going through...So tough these days to feel connected! Keep going...and thanks to you for honestly sharing your journey to parenthood. You inspire me every time I check your blog :)

Dora said...

Oh, yes! This community means so much to me. So many who've been with me through all the ups and downs. The cancelled cycles, the negative pee sticks, etc., then waiting with me as a faint line became darker and darker. It's hard for outsiders to understand. It rocks when bloggy friends become real life friends. So looking forward to meeting more at Mel's NYC party this Summer!

musicmakermomma said...

Glad you have this group of real life women to share with - I live in the backwater and while there is a IF support group (very small) - they consist of the "leader" (more of an organizer really, our meetings are just gab sessions) but anyway, she just gave birth to her 2nd child (after MANY IVF failures and eventually turning to DE), a woman who did adopt a couple years ago, and a woman considering adoption.

Of course I am super grateful for any support, but the adopting women just don't get IVF thing. I feel very alone IRL - thank g-d for the internet!

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