Lean on Me – a support like no other

Support. Nurture. Empower. These are at the core of what Pink Elephants is about. Whether you’re on an infertility journey, have suffered miscarriages or both, we want to support you as you grieve, nurture you as you heal and empower you as you move beyond. We want to do this through the information and resources on our website, the building of a community, connecting you with others who are walking the same path, and building relationships with medical and holistic health care professionals to ultimately change the experience for women in the future.

If you have any doubts at all that a group like this can be one of the most valuable and meaningful parts of this journey for you, I’d like to tell you a story.

When hubby and I decided to start trying for a baby, I joined a well-known Pregnancy and Parenting forum. When I first joined, I mainly hung out in the Trying to Conceive section. I was full of excitement, eagerly charting my BBT (basal body temperature) and spitting on my Maybe Baby ovulation tester. I also became quite versed in the acronyms associated with conception – TTC, 2WW, HPT, AF, OPK, BFP, BFN, BD, LP, POAS.** (see below)

After we found out we needed to see a Fertility Specialist, I moved over to the Assisted Conception section of the site and joined a group dedicated to people doing IVF/IUI. I learned the relevant AC acronyms – FS, FN, IVF, IUI, OI, PGD, FET, NKC, EPU, HCG, P4, E2 – and hoped my time there would be relatively short.

As is often the case in online forums, I became quite familiar with the people on the forum, (or at least their usernames!) and we all supported each other through our individual journeys – egg collections, blood tests, hcg tests, peeing on sticks, injections, pessaries, successes and failures – checking in daily to see how we were all doing.

As time went by, one by one, members of this IVF group would become pregnant – usually within the typical 3 IVF cycles and associated FETs…often times, first go. Once girls saw a heartbeat on an ultrasound, they left and moved onto a DIG (Due In Group).

New members would come and then they too would become pregnant and move on to the elusive DIG. After a while, it became clear there was a group of us who weren’t budging. It was becoming harder for us to stay there, watching as new people came and went from the group while we remained behind. We were the atypical ones. The ones who weren’t falling within the law of averages. The ones who were fast running out of options – and hope. We decided to form a small private group where we could continue supporting each other in a more protected and more personal environment.

Within our new group, we found a true safe haven. But more than that, we found lifelong friends. It was (and still is) the most supportive and amazing group ever. I said to someone today that these women are my heart and the bond we have is like no other. No-one else knows the extent of what we have individually and collectively been through. Our souls were stripped bare and the rawness of our emotional journeys were laid out like they would never have been anywhere else. We all categorically know that without each other, things would have been significantly different and more difficult.

Between us there have been more losses than a group of women should ever have to go through. We’ve also supported each other through things like donor eggs, donor sperm, high risk pregnancies, ectopic pregnancies, surrogacy, adoption, divorce, health issues, deaths, and those who have had to come to terms with not having a child at all.

Even now, years down the track, we can still rely on each other, the emotional scars from the wounds we gained along the way still able to rise to the surface with an ill-timed pregnancy announcement, a loss anniversary, or an insensitive comment.

Most of us have met in person, some of our kids have met and some of us are virtually part of each other’s families. Of course some have stepped away, needing to protect and preserve themselves, packing the memories of those years away in order to be able to move forward with their lives. Whatever the case may be, one thing remains unchanged. We will have each other’s backs for the rest of our lives.

In creating Pink Elephants, if we could give you a gift like that group has given me, it would be more than I could hope for.

Gabbi xx

 

Acronym meanings:

TTC: Trying To Conceive
2WW: Two Week Wait – the time between ovulation and your expected period
HPT: Home Pregnancy Test
AF: Aunt Flo aka your period
OPK: Ovulation Predictor Kit
LP: Luteal Phase
POAS: Pee On A Stick – take a home pregnancy test
BFP: Big Fat Positive – a positive pregnancy test
BFN: Big Fat Negative – a negative pregnancy test
AC: Assisted Conception
FS: Fertility Specialist
FN: Fertility Nurse
IVF: InVitro Fertilisation
IUI: IntraUterine Insemination
OI: Ovulation Induction
PGD: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer
NKC: Natural Killer Cells
EPU: Egg Pick Up
HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin – pregnancy hormone
P4: Progesterone
E2: Estradial

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