The internet and social media have been a blessing in going through this infertility journey. It’s been a great resource for information as well as being able to connect with some great people that I’ve learned so much from. However, it’s also been a curse specifically with Facebook. Facebook for me has been a reminder watching friends and family sharing pictures of their children of what doesn’t and may never exist for my wife and I. I’ve been able to limit its impact by blocking the newsfeeds of certain people who do nothing but post pictures of their kids. It’s not that I am not happy for them it’s that they are just triggers for me.
Recently I came across a piece written by a woman who runs an infertility site called “Baby Hopeful“. I highly recommend her site for anyone going through infertility as their are a lot of great pieces on the site. In her piece “Facebook: The Enemy?” she analyzes many of the range of emotions people who are infertile go through being regular Facebook users. Like her I thought about closing out my account but that addiction she talks about kept her coming back:
A few months ago I decided that it was unrealistic to quit FB when I have so many friends on there, especially ones who live far away who I don’t see often. So, I’d literally share a few holiday snaps now and again, but did not look on peoples pages anymore. The odd baby or bump picture that popped up on my page was not too hard to cope with (although I have to admit, seeing friends with their second pregnancy or baby was pretty tough).
Well, I went on Facebook again today… why did I bother? Now I just feel sad. I have no bump photos to share, no pregnancy symptoms to moan about, no baby pictures to post, no lack of sleep complaints (because of my newborn) and no happy family outings to comment and share photos of.
For me the blocking newsfeed option has made my Facebook experience more enjoyable. But I understand where she is coming from and why she quit Facebook because a lot of people in our shoes are and have been going through the same thing. It’s just the curse that balances the blessing of the internet and social media for those going through infertility.