Trying to conceive can quickly escalate from a fun, flirty couple’s project to an emotionally intense and overwhelming medical undertaking in just a few months.
I know this firsthand: my husband Brad and I spent years trying to conceive and it was the toughest time in our relationship. What started as something light-hearted and beautiful (“We’re going to have a baby!”) quickly deteriorated into something stressful, expensive, and completely overwhelming (“What if this never happens for us...”). We went from being a healthy, happy 30-something couple with every opportunity ahead of us to broke, hormonal infertiles who avoided parties, travel, and all the things we once loved. And while our usual support network tried to be there for us, it was really tough for anyone who hadn’t been through it firsthand to understand the intensity of the ordeal.
This empathy gap and lack of understanding is why 61% of women going through infertility don’t tell anyone about this struggle. Not their moms. Not their friends. No one. Which is absolutely heartbreaking, because the only thing worse than going through infertility is going through it alone.
Infertility is a complicated, emotional, messy-as-hell experience for 1 in 8 couples (1). The whole ordeal can quickly hijack your life, because when you’re dealing with fertility issues, you’re also dealing with marriage issues, medical issues, financial issues, friendship issues, and oftentimes mental health issues. That’s a lot of issues!
The good news? Today, suffering in silence is completely optional. There are many ways to find new TTC (trying to conceive) friends who know what you’re going through and can support you in a real, meaningful way. In fact, there’s a whole underground world of women sharing their journeys and supporting one another right under your nose.
So how can you find the emotional support and community you need when trying to conceive? Here are a few awesome ways you can start connecting with other people who get it.
What resources have you found useful? Please share your favorite TTC communities and why you love them in the comments below. And remember, you do NOT have to go through infertility alone.
About the Author
Elyse Ash is the founder and CEO of Fruitful Fertility. It took her and her husband Brad 3 years, 2 rounds of IVF, and 1 frozen embryo transfer to see their first positive pregnancy test which brought them their daughter, born in March 2018. Elyse lives in Minneapolis and loves poetry, hockey, social justice, Beyoncé, and pretending she’s into yoga.