So, I should preface this post by saying I am a message board geek. My obsession with interest-based online communities actually began when I was 12 or 13. Anyone remember what a BBS is? If not, get a blast from the past here. I used to belong to a BBS with a bunch of other teenagers. We would chat online in chat rooms, post in forums (often song lyrics and deep, angsty poetry), and occasionally would meet up at a mall or some other public venue. Obviously online safety was not a concern back then. :)
Anyway, from then on, if I was into some specific interest at the time, I usually went online and found like-minded folks. When I was in college, there were blogs and chat rooms for area college students. When I went through a major weight-loss effort several years ago, I was addicted to Weight Watchers forums and joined a buddy group. When I was very focused on cooking, I was reading culinary blogs and boards. You get the idea.
So, as you can imagine, when we started TTC, I found several online communities of women who were in the same boat. Although I do have a few friends IRL that have undergone infertility treatment, etc. sometimes the anonymity of these groups is appealing with very personal issues. On the boards, I post questions, answer the queries of other members, and have been an active member of 2 smaller buddy groups almost since the beginning.
The first was a group I joined in the spring of 2010, when we were all TTC at the same time and had similar humor. The women (about 8 of them) are all very friendly and over the weeks and months, we got to "know" each other relatively well. With some I even gmail chat or FB chat. Now, obviously, when a group of women are trying to become pregnant, most are successful within a year. So, as of now, I am one of two women left in the group who has not had a successful pregnancy since the group started. The other woman is 40+ and has a daughter already. It has been increasingly difficult for me to take part in the group as almost all the posts are about being new mamas, or mamas-to-be. I feel like Debbie Downer when I give updates on my lack of progress and have trouble relating to breastfeeding issues and such.
Then, after the miscarriage, I joined a second group comprised of women who are 30+, have had a loss, and have no children yet. This is a smaller group (about 5 women) and I found it incredibly helpful to talk to women who knew exactly what I was going through, but were not connected to me in real life. Well, lately, nearly all of those women have become pregnant too. The rules of the group dictate that you leave when you leave when you get a BFP out of sensitivity to the other members. So, all of a sudden the group is pretty much silent.
I am actually VERY happy for them. I am truly and sincerely happy for anyone who gets pregnant, but especially for those who have battled infertility and loss. I know the intimate details of the pain and suffering many of the women have experienced, and they SO deserve this happiness. But, I must admit, I am avoiding the boards like the plague. It is just too hard. The logical part of my brain says, "Why would you want to feel stress about a virtual community when you have enough stress in real life?"
Still, I can't help feeling like the last kid picked for the kickball team! Sheesh! I know I am doing all I can do to join the mommy club. But man, hurry the fuck up ovaries.