Drama in IVF land

I wonder if any of you have come across this in your journey. I’m in an IVF group on FB and in an ideal world, everyone in these groups is supposed to get pregnant and have babies and then the IVF group will transition to a Mom group. Everyone is happy and life is grand and we’re all super close and we all plan a great big meet up with our precious miracles and we’re all BFF’s. Right?

Wrong! Our group is in that awkward phase now. Majority of us are pregnant or have babies and majority of the posts are pregnancy/baby related. So like any infertile, the minority of us have stopped posting. For me personally it’s a mixture of not wanting to ruin the happy vibe, not feeling connected to that many people anymore, and feeling overwhelmed with all the baby stuff. And I know the majority in the group are struggling with extreme happiness and extreme survivors guilt, so I want them to have their happiness and I’ll rather keep quiet so as not to trigger their guilt. I don’t think that’s the right way to handle it, though.

So we’re in this weird “elephant in the room” phase. This phase in any group like this is a precarious balancing act and today it all came tumbling down.

My bestie in the group (the one who I mentioned before got pregnant after 7 rounds) happened to mention to everyone who is pregnant or has babies to be mindful of everyone still in the struggle, when they post baby stuff because the ones still struggling might be a bit overwhelmed.

Man… Things were said and feelings were hurt and at least one of ladies quickly quit the group. I won’t go into details but I don’t think anyone was wrong. Everyone is entitled to their feelings but I wonder if an IVF group that gets bigger and bigger is doomed to fail. Not everyone has the same values but everyone’s intentions are good. Our IVF group started off very small. Maybe around 10 of us. In fact, of that initial group, I think I’m one of 2 who’s not pregnant. I’m definitely closer to some of these ladies but we’re now up to 35 women in just one year and I don’t know any of them and there are now about 5 of us who aren’t pregnant. Our voices are very much drowned out. And honestly, the “discussion” wasn’t pregnant vs not pregnant. It was originals vs newcomers. And only 3 non-preggo’s weighed in. As a group, we might have some underlying issues. haha.

I think everyone is placated now. We don’t have any hard and fast rules in our group as far as saving anyone from being hurt or feeling left out but I’m sure after this we’ll put some in place.

Anyway, this was just a quick story about FB IVF groups and generally having too many people with different stories in one room, so to speak. In instagram and blogging it’s a little different. You can follow and unfollow anyone who doesn’t appeal to your needs. In an IVF group it’s not as easy to do the same. Of course, I could just leave the group since I’m not that active anyway and I talk to the ones I am close to, outside of the group. And who has time for drama, right?

 

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24 thoughts on “Drama in IVF land

  1. Can totally relate. I used to be in a FB infertility group that started out small and gradually grew much larger. I had some hurt feelings myself by the creator of the group, and I ended up leaving. I really dislike FB groups and much prefer insta or blogging as you mentioned. Hope all clears up for you and people are more mindful!

  2. Yep – been there too. Back in the day I found a group of women through Baby Gaga. We filled up thread after thread and posted daily, pages among pages. Our group overall stayed around the same number. I believe there was about 20 of us. Over time and after Baby Gaga started making changes we all migrated to Facebook. After that it all pretty much went down hill but it definitely started before that when we lost one of our group members to cancer.

    I was the person running the group and yet I was the only one who didn’t get pregnant. It got to a point where I felt like I couldn’t relate to them anymore and then when we decided to pursue foster parenting I felt as though I didn’t get any support, and after supporting them and their treatments and pregnancies it hurt pretty bad and I left the group.

    I have since re-joined but no one has posted anything in months. There is a few of us who stay in touch but overall we just stay Facebook friends and keep in touch that way. I think it’s just kind of how life goes. People move on and change and especially when it’s a bond over something that is hopefully temporary like TTC.

  3. “Having too many people with different stories” – I am in an IVF group for ladies who are doing PGD/PGS, and while I think it started out as being relatively homogenous (ladies who were testing to prevent passing on a genetic issue or to screen chromosomes because of a translocation), it seems like we are experiencing growing pains. A number of women have joined for gender selection (NOT what the group is for) and a number of women are testing for peace of mind because of age or unexplained infertility. I don’t have a problem with people testing for different reasons, but our stories and expectations for treatment are very different, and that is leading to misunderstandings and insensitivity.

    I think of it this way: if you are a clinician recruiting participants for a support group, you look for people who have similar problems and experiences. It’s very hard for a support group to function when participants can’t relate to one another.

    • Yes! That’s very true. We have all kinds of women with all kinds of infertility diagnoses. It started as a group of infertiles who wanted to push each other to exercise and eat healthier during IVF. It just grew and we don’t even talk about exercise anymore lol.

  4. I belong to my local infertility Facebook group, we have two groups…one for all infertiles, and one for ‘continued…’ Aka…for those who ‘graduate’. So I’m a member of both now…but I can still contribute and support those struggling, but talk about pregnancy related discussions on a different page. It works out really well!! Perhaps this could be suggested as a way to be sensitive to those who need it the most but allow the pregnant ones to keep on their discussions because even after a positive test the support is still needed 😊

    • This is exactly what I was going to suggest as well! I too am a member of a Facebook group that my clinic set up for patients. They also set up a group for “graduates” of the clinic – those who are pregnant and have been released to regular OB’s and those who have delivered healthy babies. This seems to work out fairly well. Sometimes we still get some dramatic/passive aggressive posts but for the most part it’s a great environment.

  5. I was a member of the Beat Infertility FB group and similar to what thegreatpuddingclubhunt says, there was a ‘graduation’ group, so that the infertility group remained for that topic and pregnant women moved to a different group to discuss pregnancy. I honestly found the group really great & very supportive (and it was huge – about 800 members). I think that was helped by some really clear rules and good group moderation. The only thing I noticed (and this echos comments about there being “lots of different stories”) was that because the group seemed to be mainly straight married women, I got the impression that others (e.g. gay couples and single women) may have felt like they didn’t have so many people in a similar situation, which is a shame. That said, the group moved to a specific app where you could easily find people within the group who were in a similar position to yourself (whether that was diagnosis or what part of the ‘journey’ you were on, or whatever)…. Aaaanyway sorry I’m going on a bit here, I actually wanted to say sorry you’re having a not so great experience. I hope you can find a group which gives you the support you need xx

  6. I’ve never been part of a group like this, but I can imagine it would get uncomfortable once people start to transition to different phases of their life. Maybe you could start a branch-off group for those who have become pregnant? Then those still going through IVF can continue to speak freely and not feel shut out, and those who are pregnant can do the same. Then maybe it can even go on to start a 3rd parenting group. Everyone should be able to feel comfortable talking and not feel like they should stay quiet. Just a thought!

  7. I think it’s the nature of FB groups. Pretty much every one I’ve ever been in seems to attract drama of some sort. Including those about adoption, or just living in the same area! I guess it’s a problem of people who don’t actually know each other being connected in some way. As you mentioned, other types of social media mean you can unfollow and follow certain people as and when you need to, and also it’s not reciprocal – so people can follow people who don’t follow them.

    For infertility, I only stick to blogging as my FB is personal and identifiable and my blog is (sort of) anonymous. I feel that I can be far more open without the worry of people I know in real life judging me. For adoption, I use FB groups but I’ve posted before about the challenges of those. Some of my blog friends have moved over into FB friends but to me it’s still quite distinct and controllable.

    In terms of babies and pregnancy I have definitely unfollowed or reduced interactions with some people, but it really depends what kind of “relationship” we had before that happened. I think naturally your interests and aspects in common change… That’s okay. For me the best support for infertility is someone who’s been through it and understands, and some people can carry that understanding through to motherhood and others can’t. Those that can, I think they offer hope to people in my situation. But those that can’t get unfollowed!

      • I’ve seen a lot of FB groups go this way. I honestly think you have to try and detach yourself from the way they behave. I was really upset when the group I set up for our apartments went that way… But then realised people naturally seem to get bitchy when they’re in FB groups! Occasional breaks seem to help. And definitely in your situation I think if you are finding it difficult with all the pregnancies, it’s good to remove yourself from that. X

  8. I was a member of an April/May facebook group and at first it was fun that we were all doing IVF at the same time and supporting each other. But then when it failed for me I found it really hard seeing all the posts from women who were pregnant around the time I should have been and posting pics of their ultrasound etc.. I basically just changed my settings on facebook so I don’t get notifications any more and I just look at the group page occasionally now.

    • I’ve done that in the group too. I just must everyone that I don’t want to hear from. And I know what you mean about cycle buddies. It hurts even more when they have the same timeline as you.

  9. I was a member of a group like that and I was the only one who didn’t get pregnant. It sucked 😣. I felt disenfranchised. They were great women and they stayed supportive and mindful of me, but once everyone had babies I stayed for a year and then left. It was too much of a drift.

  10. That’s hard. I’m in a TTC after loss group. When people get pregnant in there, they share that they are pregnant, but then move to a pregnant after loss group that was created. That way all the pregnancy related posts aren’t being put in the face of those still trying.
    I’m still a member of the TTC after loss group, so that I can follow the journeys, but don’t post anything in there about my pregnancy.
    I think someone is about to start up a rainbow babies group now, as there are a number of people nearing the end of their pregnancy.

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