- Diagnosis &
- Family Building
- Support &
- Give Back
- Get Involved
By Jennifer Poineau Brown, RN-BSN
Published in Resolve for the journey and beyond, Summer 2012
Healing from infertility does not happen all at once but in waves. My journey lasted five years, a few doctors, a couple of diagnosis, a ton of Clomid, laparoscopy, and IVF. Late one night, at the peak of my journey, I found myself seeking refuge in an online forum. They asked me to type ‘my story’ into a box that would only allow a few hundred words. My emotions were tangled and my head was a mess. It was impossible for me to sum my story up as I did in this paragraph.
That night I began typing. I started at the very beginning. I felt better with each typed page. By piecing together the highs and lows of my experience I was able to feel a deeper connection with my story. In the past, each time I found myself starting to heal from infertility something would cause the healing to stop. The wounds would become fresh again. Writing became my way of surpassing the pain. As a modality for healing, I also found a way to create.
My writing eventually became a self published book. I hoped that by publishing my story I could bring comfort to those still trying to conceive. I felt very lonely on my journey. I want others to know that they are not alone in their quest toward parenthood or the prolonged grief that it causes. After publishing, I realized the necessity of infertility awareness. The myths and misconceptions are overwhelming to me.
My desire to give back surfaced as soon as I became pregnant with my first daughter. I did not understand why I was blessed and so many others were not. My gratitude could not be measured. I needed to give in order to restore some sense of balance within myself. I started using social media as a vessel for getting my word out to those that I thought needed inspiration the most. I found myself interacting daily with those still trying to conceive. Facebook and Twitter have progressed beyond the chat rooms and forums; allowing virtual support to meet many needs.
Through RESOLVE’s Facebook page I was introduced to many people and pages that share infertility as a common thread. I have created friendships with men and women from all over the country and across the world. I have celebrated with them as they posted their first news of pregnancy and I have grieved with others as they shared their dreams shattered by miscarriage. With these relationships, I have mourned my own angel babies and shared valuable knowledge (like where to find the cheapest pregnancy tests). I have learned that many of the emotions I lived with are common amongst all women experiencing this disease. This sense of validation has been such a gift for me.
In the wake of infertility I have found my way of offering insight, inspiration, and love to those still on their journey. As a result, I was surprised to find that even though I am blessed with two beautiful miracle babies, the scars of my quest still existed. Each day I find myself healing a little more. Each day I feel a little more whole. Once the stress response from infertility had subsided I was capable of viewing my story from a different perspective. I have been processing my lingering grief.
One of my favorite relationships formed via Facebook has been with a wonderful woman from Australia. Her journey lasted 10 years and she is now a fertility coach. Together we have created a lasting friendship. She has organized a Blog Talk Radio show called, “Fertile Dreams.” The show airs monthly. Together we discuss the many facets of infertility. We are a couple of girlfriends many miles apart but with a world in common.
The gratification of the bonds I have formed inspired me to volunteer with RESOLVE. As a volunteer for their Professional Outreach program I have been bridging the gap between family building professionals near my community and the national organization. I have also been able to further community awareness. RESOLVE has become my hub in the circle of infertility and the process for healing.
I have even been dreaming of ways to combine my occupation as a registered nurse with education and holistic care of those journeying toward parenthood. I am hoping to pursue my career as a wellness nurse in a fertility clinic; empowering those trying to conceive to receive optimal results. Together, I can help couples create plans and goals specific to them.
There is a time to give and a time to receive. Now may not be the time for you to give back or volunteer but I deeply urge you to plant the seed of hope for others when it is your turn. What started with my late night writing evolved into something much greater than me. By taking the time to give back I have been able to slowly heal my wounds. I have found resolve long after the journey. This may not be the life I expected but I found it easier to embrace it than to fight it. This path has opened so many doors for me. I realize we each have our own process toward healing but we are all in this together and never alone. United, we are a loud and courageous voice.
Jennifer Poineau Brown, RN-BSN is the proud mother of two beautiful daughters. She enjoys lakeside living with her loving husband. After her second child was born she decided to take a break from her nursing career. She is currently a stay-at-home mommy pursuing her inspirational memoir, Turtle Hope.