Today I want to introduce you to Liz, who won her battle with infertility after three rounds of IVF (all of which occurred while she was busy working on the historic final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show…can you even imagine the stress?) Liz found comfort in a small group of women she found when she dared to reach out for a little support. She was the last in her group to get pregnant…but her friends never left her side. I love this story, and I know you will too. Liz now blogs about her happy ending (among other things) over at Posie Pie Productions, so be sure to find here there.
The Benefits of Having Internet Friends
Byline: Liz Kozak
Almost two years ago, I was starting the process of IVF and was feeling totally scared. I didn’t know anyone else that had ever done it, I had a million questions, and I wanted a buddy or two who knew what it was like to walk in these particular shoes. So I did something scary– I reached out.
I posted a message on a message board at BabyCenter asking if anyone else out there was also about to begin the process. And something awesome happened: I met five other women all across the country, all in the same boat, who my husband named– in no particular order– Upper East Side, Bloomington, Texas, Oklahoma and Portland. Some of his geography was a little off, but I guess it helped him keep them straight.
We communicated daily for the next several weeks about the injections, the side effects, how our egg retrievals went, how our husbands were dealing with things, how WE were dealing with things. And then, something not-so-awesome-happened:
ALL FIVE OF THEM GOT PREGNANT.
In real life, that would have been a real friendship test. In the internet-friend world, it would have been easy for me to retreat. But it was too late. We were all in too deep and cared too much, and they knew almost exactly what I was going through. I stayed in the group. And six months later when I finally DID get pregnant after two more tries, these five women were the first people I told. After two years, they are no longer my internet friends– they’re my REAL friends (even though I’ve only met one in person).
This week marks the 1st birthday of the first babies (twins!) that were born out of our merry little band of mothers. Six women; eight babies. I was so lucky to find them, and it turns out they might have actually literally helped me get pregnant. Harvard-led research indicates that women experiencing infertility are more likely to conceive if they participate in a stress-reducing program, such as a support group. So if you found out that having a baby is going to be tough for you, I encourage you to reach out and talk to other women in the same baby-boat.
Epilogue: We’re all still very much in contact and have taken our relationship to the next level… Facebook.
Doesn’t this story just warm your heart? Introduce yourself to Liz in the comments…you never know…she just might help YOU get there too. Support matters.