support groups

Online Infertility Support Groups are Better than Real People

When I suggest people try online infertility support groups, I'm sometimes met with: "Why would I want to tell my personal infertility business to total strangers?" That's it. That's exactly why you want to go onto online infertility support groups: Because everyone is a total stranger.

The Benefits to Online Infertility Support Groups (over your friends and family):

  1. Nobody judges you in online infertility support groups because:

a) They're in as bad a shape as you are:

How is somebody who acted like a screaming maniac last week, going to say to you: "Shut up! You're acting like a screaming maniac!" next week?

b) They don't have to deal with you at holidays:

As opposed to those close to you in real life: No matter how bad you behave online- no matter how you whine, cry or vent- nobody who's reading it is thinking: "Great. What if I get stuck sitting next to this nut-job at Christmas dinner? Well, last year she was way at the other end of the table. Same seats! I call 'same seats as last year!'"

2. Online Infertility Support Groups have no dreaded follow-ups.

This is why I rarely told anyone close to me about my infertility issues or adventures. What if I told them on Tuesday: "I'm going today for a test to check my hormone levels." On Wednesday, that person would want to follow-up.

"So how did it go?"

But maybe it hadn't gone well and I didn't want to talk about it. That's the bad thing about giving infertility details that have a beginning and a wind-up. Sometimes you're so excited about the beginning that you can't help telling everyone and then the wind-up sucks and you don't want to tell anyone and now they're all lining up waiting to hear all about it: "So how did it go?"

So now I had to either act stupid like I didn't know what they were talking about or convince them they had me mixed up with someone else or downplay that it was a big deal in the first place. The easiest thing to do was just to avoid them altogether- take alternate routes to the bathroom at work. Stand behind doors. Duck under desks. Thank Gd for caller ID.

With online infertility support groups, you just don't log in. You lay low for a while. That always works. Not only do people understand if you don't want to talk about how it went because they have plenty they don't want to talk about how it went, but everyone is so embroiled in their own personal tsuris... You're not in the mood to whine, cry or vent? Don't worry about it. Many many many others in the group are. Trust me, the group will not fold under the weight of your silence. That's the biggest problem with our real family, friends, neighbors & coworkers... Not one of those bastards has a log off button.

And what about all of those creepy people skulking around in the internet shadows?

I've become quite a fan of the MTV show Catfish where people, for various reasons engage in online relationships and it's revealed that they are someone totally different than the person they claim to be.

Yeah, I don't see that being a problem on the infertility support group sites. The only thing I can think of more insane than a freaked out, exhausted, overwhelmed, hormoned-up infertile woman is someone pretending to be a freaked out, exhausted, overwhelmed, hormoned-up infertile woman so that she can be befriended by a group of freaked out, exhausted, overwhelmed, hormoned-up infertile women.

And unlike Catfish, nobody on the infertility support group is trying to date you (that would be quite the red flag-- and if any nasty guy tricked a woman going thru fertility treatments into sending half-naked pictures, that would serve him right. I know the pose I'd forward: Me in a hospital gown with my feet in stirrups and a doctor's head leaning on my shin.)

And, also unlike Catfish, nobody in the online infertility support groups ever asks you for money-- unless, of course, it's in exchange for some leftover Clomid they've got laying around.

Thanks a lot for stopping by & reading my smart-ass rants. If you'd like more of it-- please sign up for my monthly newsletter and take a look at my little eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's my own personal infertility adventure that's been downloaded by 1000s looking to get some laughs during their own adventure. (Reviews by top fertility experts around the US in "look inside") Available on all Amazons, Nook, & Kobo.

Newsletter sign up: http://laughingisconceivable.com (top)

eBook on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Infertility Support Forum (Friday)

(Start with Monday if you can. Every post this week, I assure you, has been a gem. The Hope Diamond or Cubic Zirconia? You decide.) So, what were talking about? Oh right. Some of the angrier crew running a few of these infertility sites. Yeah, I once read a "Welcome!" page and knew immediately by the demeanor of her "greeting" that I was asking for trouble. But I went ahead, against my better judgement, and signed up anyway.

The mandatory blurb explaining why I wanted to join went something like this:

"I've been through infertility and IVF. My humor blog is designed to de-stress others on the same journey."

Well that did it. I somehow triggered a rampage response. This woman did everything but kick me in my proverbial nuts:

"I know that humor is important but how DARE you make fun of people going through such a devastating whatever whatever whatever whatever whatever whatever whatever whatever whatever whatever whatever!"

Okay, so whose blog was she talking about? You know I was dying to ask her that but I thought the only place left for her to go was to burn down my house.

One thing on these infertility support sites has had me baffled since the beginning:

I don't understand any of the abbreviations. (How's that for a segue?) I admit, I'm confused by all text-speak and I have a pet peeve about people who text and drive. Half the people can't drive and drive, now they want to look elsewhere while going 60 M.P.H?

I literally know 4 phrases:

BFF: -Mine is my husband. I'm not sure if I'll get the "awwwww" reaction or  "Really? Gee, that's kind of pathetic isn't it?" Ya got nobody else huh?

BRB:- Need you know that I stopped typing momentarily because the Taco Bell kicked in?

LOL: If a humor writer has to alert you that something she just wrote is funny, there's trouble in Humorville.

BYOB... That's not text-related is it? Okay, so I only know 3 phrases.

It took me about a year to figure out DH mean't "Dear Husband" (doesn't it?). One woman in discussing her husband called him: "AH" and I thought: Okay, I'm familiar with that one. I've never called my DH that, but I could see how a wife might call a husband that. It turned out to be a typo. I could see how that might happen. The "A" and "D" are pretty close on a keyboard.

One woman was incensed that someone who was single wrote DH when actually she only had a BF. Okay, so the woman who brought this to her attention clearly has WTMTOHH (Way Too Much Time On Her Hands).

If I noticed this single/married discrepancy, personally, I would have just tossed it into my "W" file: (Who Gives a ....?"  

All of these abbreviations remind me of convoluted personalized license plates. I sit there behind the wheel, waiting for traffic to move, squinting until I have a headache, while I'm sounding it out like I'm on a game show. (I've come close to running up a few tailpipes).

If I've followed/stalked somebody six blocks trying to figure out what their plate says, it had better be worth my while. Occasionally it is.

One time I blew past my exit to decipher a guy's license plate that spelled out: "Don't fk with me" in Spanish.  Then I went another two miles out of my way  just so I could drive up next to him and give him a thumbs-up.

But if I've wasted ten minutes of my day trying to unscramble "I Love My Cub Scout!", that's the moment I realize why I was never meant to own a fire arm.  

In case I ever do decide to purchase a pistol passenger, I probably should forewarn lame license plate owners everywhere. Maybe I could buy that personalized plate off that latino guy. It's not like I don't know how to find him. 

Listen I gotta go. My husband and I have to start our annual autumn ritual: He schleps me to every place within a 200 mile radius in hopes of finding (which he never does) pumpkin seeds in the shell.

Tomorrow we'll start on some local farms. By late November he'll be so desperate, he'll be taking me to Home Depot... because they sell pumpkin colored paint.

I'll talk with ya Monday.