Forums, blogs, social media – the internet certainly feeds my obsessive, anxious soul. I have googled every imaginable aspect, question or concern about fertility, conception, infertility, IVF, pregnancy and pregnancy loss. I have read it all. I have an insatiable appetite for information on the subject. While it can be highly addictive it is also unbelievably comforting.
The kindness of strangers has been astonishing. I have found blogs and forums, particularly Mumsnet, incredibly supportive. Women from all walks of life connect over their shared desire to be a mother. They talk about every possible topic imaginable. I have, over the last 18 months, participated in numerous Mumsnet talk forums. They have included, in this order, conception, infertility, pregnancy, baby names, antenatal tests/choices, miscarriage/pregnancy loss and bereavement. What a journey. Only once did I receive any negative comments and immediately hundreds of women came to my defense. Mumsnet even apologised.
At each stage of my journey I have met women who have shown incredible interest, empathy and kindness towards me. I have seen such compassion as women share their deepest emotions – fear, pain and loss – with one another. I have read posts where I feel as if women are writing my exact thoughts. They are in the same boat. They understand. While our friends and family can listen and support us, these women really feel the same way. They offer reassurance, endless sympathy and good wishes for the future. It is girl power at its finest. Ultimately it makes you feel that you are neither mad nor alone.