Friday, March 1, 2013

A great new resource – Shine Chicago

I was recently introduced to an amazing resource that I wanted to share with my readers, a company called Shine. It is a support community based in Chicago for women who are living with infertility. They offer both peer support group meetings as well as relevant educational talks for members on a monthly basis. I met with Katie, the founder, and she told me a bit about how she got started with this venture and the purpose of Shine.

Katie conceived her daughter through IVF in 2010. Before that, she was a fertility patient with many of the same struggles that I had. It took a lot of time, effort, and physical and emotional trials before she was rewarded with a pregnancy. Once she finally had her daughter in her arms and was reflecting on her experience, she realized that women could use a place to vent their fears and frustrations, ask their intimate questions and hold each other up during this stage in their lives. It was a badly needed haven and Katie decided to create it.

I’ve mentioned before how important it is to have support as you travel this journey. I would add that, in my experience, it’s also incredibly helpful to have a community of other women who are going through the same thing you are. Even the people who love you can’t always understand your anxieties and emotions. And sometimes it is easier to talk to a stranger about getting shots in the butt (surprisingly). I found this both at my fertility yoga class and through online message boards, and I still keep in touch with some of those friends.

Now, I’m excited to get involved with Shine. It’s exactly the kind of thing I was looking for when I started having fertility issues a few years ago. And since I may soon be a fertility patient again, it’s still a good place for me to be connected.

If you are interested in checking it out, Shine has a freeevent coming up that I would recommend to anyone. Shine will be hosting a guest speaker, Sara Connell, whom I can attest is amazing. She leads motivational workshops for women and also went through her own (Oprah-worthy) fertility journey. Remember that visioning retreat I mentioned awhile back? That was lead by Sara. She is inspirational, uplifting and motivational. I highly, highly recommend this event and will be attending myself!  Here are the details:
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