If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge #supportlocal, #shoplocal, #eatlocal, #drinklocal community enthusiast. I love all things Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I am a Hattiesburger, through and through. So while I am so very appreciative of the inter/national support I have found online, and even the dear friends I have connected with across the state that have been instrumental in our journey, I (selfishly) want something (surprise!) local.
So we did that thing where WDAM did a follow up story on Mister and me, (first I was a straight brunette and then I was a cropped wavy #bronde! Its like watching hairstyles change on Friends all over again) and in it, we talked about a Fertility Care group we we’re offering (again), beginning last night.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have anyone stop by (again). But that’s ok.
We knew that was a possibility going in. We’ve been contacted individually by a handful of people that are excited and ready for this kind of group, and either had scheduling conflicts, privacy concerns, or just general jitters. And that’s ok. This is kind of a big deal.
To combat those issues and provide a safe sense of security in community, we created a private Facebook group specifically for our local area. You cannot search for this group and find it unless you area member. You must be invited and approved in order to see the group, posts, or any other members.
Below are a few “rules” for the group that Mister and I created.
This is a *private* group meant to be a community of support for families in the Pinebelt struggling to grow their families biologically – whether that be through infertility, secondary infertility, miscarriage, or infant loss. One in eight struggle with infertility, so statistically, there are 1000s of families in our little corner of the state that are hurting and struggling, many of them alone. In our opinion, that shouldn’t be! We were made for community, and we are better together.
As this is incredibly sensitive and personal subject material, involving other’s personal health and choices, we ask that you abide by a few ground rules or not participate in membership of this group:
1.) This group is like Vegas: What happens/is said here, stays here. We are individuals you will likely see around town or may know personally, professionally, etc., and we are choosing to share very intimate and difficult details of our lives that we may or may not be public about with other friends and family. Be cool, and keep it in the group.
2.) Everyone’s situation is different, as we are all different people and families. Understand that what may be a right choice for one is not the right choice for all. This group looks to support and educate others on options, but there is no “one way” about this struggle, and this group exists to offer support to families as they find their own way – whatever that may look like.
3.) Matt and I seek to glorify the Almighty in our fertility choices, and choose a biblical view point in our ethical approaches to our choices we have made. We understand that not everyone may believe the same as we do, but we’d like to be upfront and identify and align ourselves that way. If you are of a different belief, we still welcome you, and would love to get to know you, and will be a listening and understanding ear. We are followers of Christ, but we do not subscribe to a “prosperity gospel” regarding anything, including infertility. We are Believers, and we are realists, and we have seen the power and beauty in God-designed science.
4.) This is a group for both men and women. We feel very strongly that this is a family issue, and not a female issue. The men who are involved in an infertility journey need support and encouragement just as the women going through the brunt of treatment. These struggles effect every aspect of life, and therefore we believe support should involve both contributing would-be parents. If there is interest in a private group to discuss issues you may not feel comfortable communicating in mixed company, having another separate male/female group is definitely something we can do and moderate/facilitate. We do feel it is important, however, to make this a family discussion first and foremost.
5.) This group is invite only to keep it as private as possible. If you know of others who may be struggling in this area, please invite them to join or send them directly to me/Mister, our profiles are public. We will approve new members as they are added and make sure the above rules are understood and agreed to. We want to grow this community, but also keep it a safe space for the aforementioned intimate and difficult life details.
6.) Mister and I are (quite) public about our journey, as was our personal choice. If you see us in town, out and about, please don’t hesitate to approach us or ask us about our journey or this group. Please let others in this group make the same statement of publicity before doing the same to them. Mutual respect will go a long way.
7.) Please keep any Direct Sales to your public personal page, unless specifically solicited by a group member. Even with the best intentions, even if it worked for you, to push a product on a struggling individual or family that is at their wits end can be extremely hurtful and honestly, irritating. I guarantee you, we’ve all researched just about everything if you’ve wound up here, and if a group individual is intrigued, please let that individual reach out. Individually.
8.) Please keep celebratory/success posts to one initial post. We all want to rejoice with you in your success, but I know we’ve all struggled with celebrating other’s joy from time to time, as we are often still in the midst of our own struggle and heartache.
9.) The tone of this group is not to be a source of bitterness, nor the opposite as a source of false prosperity. This group’s tone should convey “realness” above all. That varies from struggle and heartache, to hopefulness and joy, to confusion and stress. Its all there, its all real, and we feel it all.
There is still great interest in physically meeting together, and I hope that we can figure out a time that works best for everyone’s schedule and comfort levels to do just that.
If this is something you or someone you know would be interested in, please reach out to me. My Facebook and Instagram are both public, and you can reach me at this blog in the comment section as well (all comments require my approval to be public, so if you don’t want said comment to be public, just let me know!) I can add you to the group and get the ball rolling on building our little local community.
We are so looking forward to getting to know our community. We know that there are thousands in our little corner of the state that are struggling, hurting, and feeling alone, and that shouldn’t be. We’re not counselors. We don’t have it all figured out. We’re most certainly not professionals. We don’t have all the answers. We’re just volunteering to be head sheep of this weird little herd in our area, with every intention of pointing to our Shepherd. Sheep aren’t real smart, FYI. We know that we know you. We’re better together. Give us a shout. We’re fun folks, and we get it. I promise.