Visiting Salvation: Laura of Paperwhites

** AS OF AUG 19, 2016**

*PAPERWHITES SEEKS NEW LEADER*

Please e-mail Laura at paperwhites.bermuda@gmail.com if you are willing or know someone who can help.

Visiting Salvation is your story.

Today’s post highlights Laura, the new leader of Bermuda’s Fertility Support Group, Paperwhites.  I started Paperwhites in 2009 while living in Bermuda in great need of emotional support.  Almost six years later and on the heels of Pam Fraser’s generous leadership, Laura recently volunteered to keep this sacred Bermuda resource available to all.

Paperwhites.  Pic by Erin Boyle.

Paperwhites. Pic by Erin Boyle.

Hello Laura.  What brought you to Paperwhites?  Can you share your own path of infertility?

I attended my first Paperwhites meeting in 2012 after experiencing a miscarriage from a frozen embryo transfer.  I knew I needed support.  While my husband has always been there for me I wanted to talk to others who might understand the pain of infertility and loss.

We started trying to get pregnant in 2006.  In 2007 I started acupuncture here in Bermuda hoping to find a quick fix.  Then in 2008 I met with a local OB/GYN who ran the standard blood tests, the HSG, sperm count and ultrasounds.  We fell in the category of unexplained infertility.

We tried Clomid in the summer of 2008 and I felt terrible while taking the drug.  I decided to try everything natural from acupuncture to homeopathy.  During this time I learned a lot about myself, lost weight, and discovered that I’m gluten intolerant.  It finally made sense why a cold beer would quickly end my night.

Fast forward to 2011.   We were living in Toronto and decided to go to CReATe IVF.  After going through all the same tests and more our doctor could find no cause for infertility.  We tried four rounds of IUI before moving on to IVF.

We had one pregnancy in 2012, from a frozen embryo transfer in March, which resulted in a miscarriage.   We were living in Bermuda again and had to travel for treatment.  We then attempted five more embryo transfers before becoming pregnant in April 2013.  Our baby boy was born January 2014.

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What’s it like going through infertility while living in Bermuda?

Going through infertility anywhere feels isolating.  In Bermuda it feels isolating and confusing: where do I start? where do I go for answers?   The fertility clinics are not here on island.  It can feel overwhelming to think about having to travel for treatment.

Can you tell me about today’s Paperwhites?  Who can attend?  Where and how often do you meet?

Today’s Paperwhites group is active both online and in the monthly Tuesday evening meetings.  Online we have a private Facebook group.  This means that your Facebook friends can’t see that you’re a member of the secret group.  In this group members share information and ask for support.  Articles are posted on infertility news.

Our meetings are open to all those going through infertility at any stage.  You don’t have to be going through IVF to join.  We talk about blood tests, ultrasounds, IUIs, medications, IVF, donor sperm, donor eggs, endometriosis, unexplained infertility, PCOS, etc.  I also like to remind people that those experiencing secondary infertility are also welcome (if you already have a child but having trouble the second time around.)  We talk about the doctors on island that the clinics we’ve been to.

Meetings happen once a month on Tuesday evenings at 6pm.  We’re currently looking for a new spot to meet so watch our website or Facebook site for more information.

What can members expect at a meeting?

Members can expect to feel welcome. I felt a huge sense of relief my first time attending. I met women who understood my feelings. They spoke out loud the private thoughts that made me feel very alone.  I listened to others talk about their journeys and eventually shared my own.

There are usually about 4 or 5 people who show up for a monthly meeting.  Usually the group is made up of women but men have attended and are always welcome.  We give everyone an opportunity to share their story or ask for advice.

We are a very welcoming group.  If any readers have been thinking about attending, please do!  Our next meeting is Tuesday, December 2 at 6pm at Ten.  Paperwhites is here to support you on your journey.

Thank you so much Laura for sharing your story and for your commitment to helping women and families of Bermuda.

Click here for more information on Paperwhites or email Laura directly at paperwhites.bermuda@gmail.com

Do you have something to share with the BPS community?  I’d love to read about experience with infertility, graffiti-gawking, bird-watching, motherhood or how much candy is too much candy – if there is such a thing.  If you’d like to Visit Salvation, erase my details, add yours and submit the form below.  I will contact you with next steps.

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