The Importance of Connecting with Others
By Sophie Sulehria, Peanut
I write this during one of those busy weeks. The diary is full to the rafters. Work deadlines are due. The cleaning needs doing. The whole household is sick with a cold. It is also Baby Loss awareness week, and while this date is always on my radar, I have never felt I can personally own it because we have never lost a baby or experienced a miscarriage.
And yet throughout the week I have carried my own sense of loss. For every IVF round that didn’t work, for every embryo hopefully placed back in yet never made it. Of course I realise this is not the same. Many of my dear dear friends have experienced the true trauma of losing babies, both inside and outside the womb, and I hurt deeply when I think of them all. And so I carried on with the week ahead, not allowing myself my own time, and instead lit a candle for those who had truly lost.
It was only when scrolling through the hundreds of images marking this year’s “Wave of Light” did I see so many had lit a candle for the ‘embryos lost’. For those babies we’d hoped for but didn’t make it past the two weeks. For others who’s hope ended at the clinic, without seeing their long awaited embryo being put back into the body they had prepped for weeks beforehand. The loss of chance, the loss of hope. It was then I realised how insular I had become this week, and without knowledge I had cancelled all the things in the diary that had been for me. All social engagements and calls with friends and family had fallen away because I wasn’t feeling up to it, and in their place came a feeling of sadness.
This happens from time to time, to everyone, and it takes a while to remember how important it is to connect with other women who understand. I preach this regularly! It’s very well documented that social connection lowers anxiety and depression, and in our current climate, the need for others has never been more important.
The coronavirus outbreak alone has dramatically changed our relationships. The way we connect with our families, work colleagues and with the people in our communities have totally transformed. Our physical connections have disintegrated and our usual ways to connect have adapted so we can keep safe. Now team this with fertility treatment, loss, or a trigger such as baby loss awareness week… we need each other more than ever.
Peanut is a great way to stay connected with other women who are trying to conceive or going through fertility struggles. The app introduces you to other women nearby who are at a similar stage in life so you can ask questions, get advice and find support. The app is a reminder that there is a whole community out there to support you. If you don’t want to leave the house, or you don’t know who to turn to, Peanut is a reminder that you’re not alone. When I needed support last night, I turned to the community, and they didn’t let me down.
To join the Peanut community, click here.