By Keiko Zoll
You might have heard of a little thing called Pinterest. With over 12 million users (and counting), Pinterest has become the fastest growing social network since its launch in early 2010. The premise is simple: users (called pinners) can create visual inspiration boards (called pinboards) by pinning their favorite images from around the web. It’s a where digital scrapbooking and idea gathering meet in the middle, with a dash of social media thrown in for fun.
I use Pinterest for a variety of reasons: keeping wishlist of decorations or design ideas for my home, collecting tasty-looking recipes and shamelessly pinning pictures of hunky Hollywood-types. But I also use Pinterest for an entirely different reason: I use Pinterest to remain hopeful and motivated throughout my infertility journey.
Searching for “infertility” on Pinterest brings up over 300 individual pinboards. And those are only boards with the word “infertility” in their pinboard name. That’s not counting any boards with titles that include words like “fertility”, “TTC”, “getting pregnant” or other common terms we use in this community. I’ve named my particular infertility inspiration board “Envisioning Hope” – you can follow it here.
Suffice it to say, I’m not the only person who turns to Pinterest as a source of motivation while living with infertility.
We all have those days where our infertility gets to be too much. Maybe it’s a pregnancy announcement on Facebook or on a fellow infertility patient’s blog. Maybe you got into a fight with your spouse over infertility-related expenses. Or maybe, for no reason at all, you’re just feeling blue about where you are in your journey right now.
Pinterest makes for a great pick-me-up in times like these. Sometimes seeing a lush graphic emblazoned with quotes like “You are much stronger than you think” or “Everything is going to be alright – maybe not today, but eventually” is what I need in these blue moments. And the visually addictive fun of finding new images to pin and repin helps me take my mind off of how crappy I feel because I just keep scanning and looking for more motivational imagery.
Connecting with other pinners who also have infertility inspiration boards is also comforting. I find myself visiting their boards just to see what keeps them going and repin those images that I find motivational. Pinterest is, in a lot of ways, the perfect place to find infertility support through its compelling imagery and tight-knit community.
Just beware: for every infertility board, there’s thousands of pregnancy, baby and child-centric boards. If these are emotional triggers for you, you might want to weigh the emotional benefits and costs of using Pinterest at all since you’re bound to run into triggering images. That said, for some people, those images and boards might serve as even more motivation by keeping their eyes on the prize, so to speak. You know your own emotions best.
Whether or not you use Pinterest, it’s worth it to give your mind and heart some kind of inspiration and motivation to keep in your emotional toolkit as you go through infertility.
If you are on Pinterest, have you used it to stay “pinspired” during your infertility journey? And if you’re not using Pinterest, how are you remaining inspired? Share your thoughts on staying inspired during your infertility journey in the comments below.