Support Group

I finally made it to my local Resolve infertility support group yesterday. I had been meaning to go since February, after I stopped seeing my therapist (who basically “graduated” me after just three sessions). I sort of chickened out of the first two months, when I was still somewhat hopeful that I might actually get pregnant. I didn’t want to be that infertile woman who comes to group once, then gets pregnant. (Hey, what do you know? I guess it IS possible to still be naive about some things.) April’s meeting was canceled due to the weather (I was totally going to attend that one, I swear!). Which brings us to May.

I can’t say I had any expectations going into it, since I had never been to a support group before. The thing I most looked forward to was simply meeting other infertiles. I have a great support system in my friends and family, but not a single one has faced infertility. My co-worker suffered for 10 years with infertility, but now that she has kids, she says stupid things like “It will happen when it’s meant to happen.” My online community is awesome, but it’s just not the same when you can’t look into someone’s eyes or touch her arm.

I’m not really sure what to think of the group. I didn’t do much talking, other than my introduction and abbreviated TTC history. It was completely unstructured, so those who were most comfortable and outgoing did most of the talking. As an introvert who was new to the group, I would have greatly appreciated some facilitation. There was a facilitator, a young therapist who herself has experienced infertility. But she didn’t do much talking.

I’m sure I’ll find my voice in the support group if I stick with it, which I think I will. I think it will be nice to have some “real life” infertile friends.

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15 thoughts on “Support Group

  1. Good that you went to the support group. I’ve been going to one for over a year now. We only meet once a month so it’s not too intense.
    I also have the same feeling that the discussion is often badly organised and that the therapist could do more mediation.
    In my case the group hasn’t been too helpful in making me find infertility buddies. But the girls are nice and we have been getting closer lately. I think it takes a while because every time a new girl arrives the ones that have been there for long are scared that you’ll come once or twice and then will get pregnant so you’ll make them feel bad. I guess that’s why it’s hard to make friends.
    Yet, the support group for me has been a huge source of help, both in terms of information I found and of sharing experiences. Sometimes it helps to hear of other people’s experiences since they can be just as hard as ours if not worse.
    I hope going to the group will help and that it will get better with time.

  2. I know what you mean, I have 2 friends who have been through IVF but both have kids now so it is different…it would be nice to have some IF friends but I still can’t bring myself to look up a support group…not even sure if such a thing exists in my area

    • I knew about our IF support group for months before reaching out to the facilitator, and then it was another few months before I finally went. Don’t feel bad. When you’re ready, you’ll get there.

  3. I think this is a great step. It’s something I’d like to pursue once we’re a bit more settled in a permenant location, because the support online has been so phenomenal for me, and I’d love to supplement that with ‘real life’ connections. I hope you find some real understanding and support there. Keep us posted!

  4. That’s great that you went! I hope you start getting something valuable out of it. There’s no Resolve group in my area, but I did find a small support group which I have yet to attend. I’ve been telling myself I’d go for months. It’s intimidating. But maybe soon.

  5. Funny, I also got, as I say, “unceremoniously tossed” from my therapist’s office when she decided I didn’t need her anymore. Right about then is when I founded my RESOLVE group.

    First, congrats on taking that big step. Believe me when I say I know how scary it can be.

    Second, thanks for commenting on what your experience was like. As group leader I always have this internal monologue of “Am I talking enough?” “Am I talking too much?” “Am I balancing humor with compassion and seriousness?” “Do I appear to be a total lunatic?” I can’t tell you how much it means to get first-hand feedback from group members about how they feel about the group, especially when it is a peer-led (not professional-led) group.

    Speaking as a peer-host, I will say that the tone and feel of our meetings from month to month varies a great deal based on who is present, where everyone is mentally and physically in a given month, and the time of year. A few months ago we had a very “down” meeting — it was a bunch of “frequent flyers,” we hadn’t had any good news for a while, everyone was sick of winter, most of us were on hormone-charged meds, etc. Then, this month, we had an injection of new faces and conversation took off and was much lighter than the month before. So, that’s a really long way of saying give it a few months before your final verdict. The feel of the group may change or your needs from the group may change.

    Good luck!

    • The group leader did point out that each meeting is different, based on who attends and where everyone is in their cycle or journey. I’m definitely holding off on making any final judgments. I know everyone needs to get to know me better, including the group leader, before welcoming me fully into the group and giving me the floor.

  6. I agree with the fact that the online community is a great resource and support, but I would love to have that face to face contact with other women who are struggling. I hope that you continue to go to the group and that it helps you.

  7. I’ve been struggling with whether or not to attend the support group in my city. I’m and introvert, like you, and the idea of crying (because I know I will) in front of a room full of strangers is really intimidating.

    • It really is. I hate crying in front of my therapist, even. I always apologize for crying, and she tells me not to apologize. Also, it’s exhausting having to recite my history again and again.

  8. I do have a local group in my area, and I have found it so helpful. I live in a small city, so most of us utilize the same fertility clinic. It’s nice to be able to “compare notes” in that case as well. I hope that you find the same relief/support as I do!

  9. I felt the same way I attended my first support group (which was not a RESOLVE group) but after a while you start to feel more comfortable. I just started a peer-led group for people adopting through RESOLVE so it’s definitely good to hear feedback from people who attend the groups. Our first meeting is in June and I’m really nervous about my first time facilitating.

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