“God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things.” 2 Corinthians 1:4, 6
God never intended us to go through life’s struggles alone. He desires for us to be in community with others and to love, support, and share. But sharing what is really going on in our lives can be difficult, especially when it is so much easier to share just the “perfect” things in life. In today’s digital age and social media craze, we’re more connected than ever. Yet so many are left feeling alone and lacking in community. Thankfully, I was able to utilize social media in a way that helped me feel more connected and comforted than ever before.
When my husband and I decided we were ready to start a family, we had no idea how difficult the journey would be. After a year of trying and irregular cycles, we knew something wasn’t right. We were referred to a fertility specialist and diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a septate uterus, and mild Male Factor Infertility. After months of unsuccessful fertility treatments, surgery, and two miscarriages, I was left feeling frustrated and alone. Why didn’t I know anyone else with PCOS or a misshaped uterus? Why was I the only person in my circle of friends struggling to get pregnant?
Through fertility treatments and the grieving of our losses, I had incredible support and encouragement from family and friends. But there’s something unique and special about being comforted by others who have endured the same struggle. So one day while skimming Instagram, I decided to search the hashtag #infertility. I scrolled through the public accounts that used the #infertility hashtag and came across a plethora of women who were sharing their battle with infertility. It was a breath of fresh air to follow their journey–I really wasn’t alone! Because many were now pregnant and continuing to share their stories, these women also gave me hope. I decided to create my own separate infertility Instagram account in hopes to connect with these women. I had no idea how it would drastically change my infertility battle for the better.
Once I joined, I realized there were thousands of Instagram users just like me who dedicated their accounts to sharing their journey. I was able to share with women all over the world who struggle with PCOS and a septate uterus, gain insight into which supplements to take and fertility treatments to pursue, questions to ask my doctor, books to read and so much more. We still send each other gifts and cards of encouragement when someone yet again gets a negative pregnancy test. We pray for each other and post scripture verses for comfort. We vent and know that we’re understood. I’ve never met them, but I consider them my sisters –“TTC (trying to conceive) Sisters.” Some TTC sisters struggle with Endometriosis, low AMH, PCOS, unexplained or Male Factor Infertility. Some are trying their first round of clomid, while others are on their fifth round of IVF. Our stories are not all the same, but we all share a common denominator that keeps us connected.
By God’s grace we finally became pregnant and had our beautiful son, River David, three months ago. It was not an easy pregnancy, so this Instagram account continued to be a place I could share my story, ask advice, receive encouragement and connect with women who were also going through similar situations in their pregnancy. Many of us have now had our miracle babies, so we continued our friendships by creating a Facebook group where we can ask questions and navigate motherhood after infertility.
I thank God everyday for redeeming my struggle with infertility and loss. I am grateful that social media helped me connect and feel comforted, because I know it can be a place where many feel alone. Even though I had my son and my infertility battle is “over,” I continue to use my account to follow the connections I’ve made and be a hope and encouragement for others that are just embarking on their journey. I’m able to share my experience navigating fertility treatments and give advice to those seeking it. I also post encouragement and scripture verses that helped me when I was struggling most. And that, I believe, is what God intended for us when we go through painful circumstances. In today’s digital age, we have the opportunity to exponentially reach others and share our struggles and encouragement with those experiencing something similar. Thank you, God, for giving us an outlet like Instagram to connect, comfort and glorify you!