04 May, 2020

No Kidding 2020 Project: Day 13 - Connect

One of the reasons why I was able to move to acceptance was knowing I was not alone. But that’s not always easy. At the very time we move into a No Kidding life, our peers are often all either pregnant or busy with their children. Couple that with the frequency illusion that has us suddenly seeing pregnancy and parenthood in every context, we feel very much alone. We might not know anyone else without children. Or maybe we don’t know anyone else without children who, we know, wanted them. So we feel alone. We feel different. We And at the same time, we’re probably not being very kind to ourselves either – unforgiving of our bodies, blaming ourselves for not wanting “it” enough or trying hard enough, or for waiting to try for whatever reason, thinking that we didn’t deserve it. This can all be very isolating. We don’t know where we fit.

So one of the best things we can do is try to find our tribe. But how can we do this? Initially, for many, this is online. It might be through social media groups, or forums on a website, by reading blogs, lurking silently, or tentatively asking questions. Maybe you’ve started a blog or Instagram account yourself, hoping to find like-minded people, or just to provide an outlet for your thoughts and feelings. If you’ve found your way here, then you probably know there are lots of blogs and other resources available. You can start by using the links I’ve provided under Other No Kidding Bloggers, and explore from there. You are not alone. The No Kidding world has changed greatly in the last ten or 15 years – we’re everywhere!

Making online connections is a good way to start. There are real advantages to these:

The first is that we can do it anonymously. If you’re still in that phase where you are still figuring out how you feel about your situation, and about yourself, anonymity online can allow you to start feeling your way through the resources, and introduce yourself to the community, without feeling exposed. For me, it saved me, as I really didn’t know who I was, and I certainly didn’t want to “go public” because I didn’t know how I felt about that.

The second is that it gives you time to think. You don’t have to have instant responses to questions, or to worry that someone can see the tears streaming down your face as you react to something – positive or negative. You can read something, go away, and then respond later. You might find, like me, that by writing things out, you find you’re solving some of your own issues.

The third is that you can make real connections online. Sure, they’re rarely “in real life.” We may not be able to link up online with someone we can meet for a coffee (in the No Kidding community at least) and a chat and an understanding hug, but the connections we make are, nonetheless, real and comforting. Knowing that there are others out there who are experiencing the same things that we are helps us feel less alone. And having others who can talk to us, and understand what we are going through, can relieve our everyday relationships from the tension that sometimes arises when they don’t quite understand. I found the depth of the relationships quite astounding. We didn’t know what each other looked like, sounded like, or how we voted. But we often knew their innermost thoughts, and they knew ours. As a dear friend of mine said once, “we get to know each other from the inside out.” I’m still in touch with friends I made back in 2003 after an ectopic pregnancy. I expect to be in touch with them in another 20 years too.

Many of these connections are global connections. There are advantages to this. There’s no danger that you’re going to run into the person down the road (or the odds are really low) when you start talking online. (That may not be a fear of yours, but it was – initially – a fear of mine.) The other advantage is that if you’re having trouble sleeping – which often happens when we are going through trauma – there is always someone awake. That was of great comfort to me.

Not all connections will be online, of course. Maybe, through online groups, you will manage to find groups or friends locally who can provide friendship and support. Maybe you already know people who can help. Regardless of where you meet people, in person or online, the important thing is to make connections. Connections help us feel normal, help us know we are not alone, and teach us that there is life after infertility. They’re a really important part of finding our way out of grief, and moving into our new No Kidding life. 


  1. At the beginning of my blogging journey (which I started due to IF/adoption), I was so scared of unknown people finding me that I was completely anonymous -- or at least tried to be. Many people were. You knew who someone was only by their "voice" and by their blog's masthead. Out of that, though, some deep and enduring friendships have taken place.

    You're right about so much in this post. The shame of suffering alone and the balm of finding a tribe who understands. And online interactions do give you space and time to process complex emotions.

    Connection is a huge factor in healing. In living, really, as we are getting super creative in finding new ways to connect even amid the quarantine.

    1. You're absolutely right, of course. I forgot to include the need to connect at any time, and especially now.

  2. I love that, to know someone from the inside out. Blogging is a great way to lay bare your thoughts and fears without necessarily having people know who you are, and to feel not alone. I am so grateful for the blogging community seeing me through the transition from striving to resolution, at every step. I often felt "seen" most by you guys, most of whom have never seen me in the flesh! This connection is such an important part of healing. It's such an isolating experience. The connections of this community help break those walls down.

  3. I don't know how I would have survived the past 22 years without my online friends -- first through an pregnancy loss email list, then infertility & then childless/free message boards and blogs. I've only met a handful of them but I've felt more "seen" & supported by people like you, Mali, than many of my friends & relatives. I too expect to be in touch with many of my online friends for years to come. :)