Instagram changed my life – it’s true. If you’re not in the know, Instagram is a social media app people use to share pictures with their friends or other people who have like interests. On my Instagram account I share pictures of my dogs, or post videos of Rob doing funny things. In the fall of 2015 I started to use it for a different purpose, though. I created a “secret” account to connect with other women who are struggling with infertility.
My secret account was created not to hide my problems, but to connect with the infertile community without subjecting my current Insta friends to the realities of what was going on in my life. It’s personal. It’s open. It’s real. Do the 16-year-olds from church really need to be seeing everything I post? No. If you haven’t used Instagram to connect with a like-minded community outside of your real friends, you may never understand this, but these women are true friends, even though I’ve never met them.
1. I’ve found REAL relationships.
While I am very open about infertility, many aren’t. I don’t know many people in my life who have gone through IVF treatment. There is an immediate understanding when you find someone that knows what it’s like to be told they can’t have children without help, though. I’ve found hundreds of these women through Instagram, many going through way more than me. I’ve met several women who live in Ohio, one as close as Monroe (just one exit down I-75!). Several other Ohioans see the same doctor as me (all of them are pregnant now!). We send each other gifts and cards. We encourage one another with Bible verses and quotes. We celebrate the highs, and support each other during the lows. For some women, outside of their husbands, their Instagram friends are the only people who know about their struggle with infertility.
2. I learned IVF isn’t a guarantee for pregnancy.
My doctor gave me almost a 100% chance of being pregnant between two embryo transfers. After the heartbreak of hearing we needed IVF, his confidence was something to be THRILLED about. However, seeing other women journey through multiple rounds of IVF and not end up pregnant after so many tries helped me guard my heart and prepare for the fact that even IVF might not lead to a pregnancy for us. If I hadn’t seen that IVF can fail prior to starting our treatments, I would have had unrealistic expectations. When May rolled around I wasn’t pregnant and I had no embryos left, yet I would have been much more devastated had I not prepared myself for this possibility. And I might have been blindsided if I hadn’t seen the realities that Instagram offered.
3. I found a family.
Beyond the friendship in reason one, I have found a family on Instagram. My family lives in Arizona and they are wonderful. I love them like I would a sister, brother, and niece. I may have never met these people in person, but I’ve talked to them more than some of my best friends in recent months. They are
my family our family because they want to give us some of their embryos. She saw on Instagram that I was looking to adopt embryos, waited a few days to think about what she wanted to do, and contacted me about my wishes. I’ll have to dedicate a whole post to this topic, but Instagram did this for me. In my previous post I talked about not knowing if I’d find the right family, but this is it. They found me, just like I had prayed for.
Social media can change your life, and this is the proof. I can’t wait to share the full story with you in coming weeks. Good things are happening!