My first Circle of Hope Meeting, Latham, NY:
What an experience. I really don’t know what in the world I was thinking by waiting so long to attend my first Circle of Hope meeting! I have been a patient at CNY Fertility Center since December 1, 2011. Surrounded by women who are undergoing or have undergone the same cycle that I am was a comfort right away. I wasn’t alone despite that “all alone” feeling I have so often.
We were the first one’s to arrive- I dragged my husband along for support because I was scared, even though I would know of one person who was going to be there, a success story that was going to share her journey with the group tonight. Elaine, my fertility cheerleader, who I am so blessed to have, kind of fell in my lap solidifying how small of a world it really is particularly when it comes to infertility. She worked with my family member who put the two of us in touch and after several months of support urged my husband and I to come to the meeting to hear her journey. The seats quickly filled and the two women who were guests shared the ups and downs of their personal journeys with infertility. While they each spoke, I was reassured that this crazy emotional roller coaster that I was living was actually normal. I was normal!!! With my husband at my side, I began to sit a little bit taller, hoping he too would realize that his crazy hormonal wife wasn’t perhaps that crazy after all.
The hour and a half flew by, each person feeling emotional, tissues being passed, but smiles, lots of smiles, and laughter. I hadn’t expected that at all but then again, I really didn’t know what to expect I suppose. As things were wrapping up I quickly realized the most important thing I think no one has ever told me when it comes to infertility- everyone has a journey but each journey is very different. While we often have the same diagnosis or maybe even no diagnosis, we may even be on the same meds, the same cycle schedule, the same nurses and doctors, but we couldn’t be more different. The exact path of our journeys are so different and to finally realize this, well, that was my “ ah-ha” moment. I needed to stop trying to make myself fit into the mold of a story I read on the internet/book and not beat myself up because I didn’t. I am not a failure. I am different. And that is OK. I may not get pregnant in exactly 3 IUI’s and 2 IVF’s like patient A did, or pregnant on the first IVF like patient B, but we do share the same struggles, the same emotions, and the same yearning for a successful outcome. In the end it seems so simple but sometimes that one darn tree gets in the way of the entire forest.
Today I start my day feeling new hope, rejuvenated in my journey, stronger in my relationship with my husband, and just plain blessed. I will see my new Circle friends next month 🙂
Thank you for allowing me to share this.