Several times throughout the year, Collin County Moms Blog features a local non-profit organization that assists moms and/or families in need. We love the opportunity to spotlight how local families can help out through volunteering, donating time or money and more, right in our own community. We try to pick organizations that our contributors know and volunteer for personally, and are eager to share the needs of our friends and neighbors throughout Collin County.
Anyone who’s tried to get pregnant remembers the feeling of knowing you’re ready for a baby. It hits you like a meteor–one day, you’re just going about your business, living your best life, and the next, you’re incomplete. You have a little hole in you that can only be filled by a giggling, cooing, drooling little baby.
So you start trying. It’s all fun those first few months, and your husband probably loves all the extra ~attention~ he’s getting in the process. And most of you know the excitement, anticipation, and relief that follows a few months later when you see those two pink lines on your positive pregnancy test.
But, unfortunately, not all of us get to experience that feeling. Some of us get to experience a completely different series of feelings: defeat, failure, and exhaustion. In fact, 1 in 8 couples experience infertility, and have trouble getting pregnant or staying pregnant. That means, odds are, someone you know has struggled.
My two-year struggle with infertility was the darkest, loneliest time of my life. I had no friends who’d been through it (that I knew of), and I was too embarrassed to talk about it openly. I lightly searched for support through my church and online, but I couldn’t find anything that felt right. So I suffered quietly, alone.
It wasn’t until after I’d had my miracle baby that I found the perfect group: Braving Infertility Together. Even though I’d “beaten” infertility since I had a baby in my arms, my struggle wasn’t over. Because that’s what no one tells you: you never “beat” infertility. It’s with you forever.
And that’s what really sets this non-profit support group apart. Where other groups’ support begins and ends with fertility treatments, Braving Infertility Together accepts and encourages women at all stages of infertility.
Juli Westcott, Co-Founder and Chief Information Officer of the organization, says it best:
“We believe no one should have to experience the emotions involved in the infertility journey by themselves, and that the best person to support someone going through it is someone who has been in their shoes. We purposely keep all of our members together, no matter what phase of the journey we find ourselves in, because we all have something to offer each other, and we all know the pain of infertility in our own personal way. This is what I love about Brave—if you have struggled with not being able to grow your family when and how you want, then you are welcome. Whatever point you find yourself at, you are welcome. This is who we are, and this is what makes our organization unique.”
So how can you get involved, if you’re struggling? First and foremost, the group primarily lives within Facebook, in a secret group–no one can see the group’s content or its members, and it won’t show up on your page or in your friends’ news feeds. I know that would’ve been my worst nightmare! To join the group, simply send a private message to the group’s public Facebook page, and the member coordinator will get you connected into the private support group from there.
While the Facebook group is wonderful for advice, encouragement, and community, the best part of the organization is the support dinners. Each month, they host dinners throughout the DFW metroplex, from Plano, to McKinney, to Rockwall, all the way out to Tyler. This is where the magic happens. I’ve shed tears, shared hugs, laughed uncontrollably, and met some of the best people I know at these meetings.
So if you’re struggling with infertility, please join us! And if you want to support someone who’s struggling, consider supporting this non-profit. In October, they’re hosting the second annual Brave at Heart 5k/10k in McKinney. You can even sign up to be a “virtual runner” if the thought of actual running makes you more uncomfortable than a vaginal ultrasound wand (infertility jokes…). I hope to see you there!
Braving Infertility Together