Are RNE groups only for women?
RNE peer groups are open to all gender identities, unless specifically indicated for a particular group. Additionally, some people attend groups as individuals, some in couples.
What typically happens at an RNE group?
RNE peer groups provide an open forum for discussion, networking and support. Groups generally meet for 1.5-2 hours and have a varied number of attendees (though usually less than 10). Groups are for you to use in whatever way you find helpful, and no commitment is required. We do ask attendees to maintain confidentiality and ensure a safe, respectful environment for all. All discussions are personal and should not be shared outside the group. Also, please keep in mind that any opinions expressed in this group are personal opinions and not necessarily reflective of the opinions or policies of RNE.
Who leads the RNE groups?
RNE groups are facilitated by volunteer peer leaders, who bring personal experience with fertility and family building struggles. Most of the leaders are not mental health professionals. Though the RNE group experience can be helpful, therapeutic and meaningful, none of the RNE groups are meant as a replacement for counseling. If you would like more information about mental health care, you can review RNE’s professional directory or contact RNE for assistance.
Will the group leader tell me what I should do next?
RNE does not comment on or make recommendations regarding medical practices, providers or individual situations. It’s important to note that although we share a common struggle, we are all different people. We must find our own paths, our own meanings and our own solutions. That diversity, as well as the benefit of giving and getting support, while traveling a highly personal journey, provides richness to the RNE community. Staying focused on feelings, rather than individual choices and decisions will help you share, as well as receive wisdom and strength, without judgment.
How should someone handle pregnancy or have other family building announcements as a group member?
Once you are part of a community, it is natural to want to share news with your peers. If you conceive or have updates of a pending adoption or surrogacy match, etc., we ask that you notify RNE by email before attending your group. We do this out of respect for your fellow group members and new members that might attend any given session. Once you have notified RNE, the group leader can make a determination on how to best to share your news with the rest of the group.
RNE also offers groups specifically for people expecting after infertility and/or loss, including those waiting on adoption or surrogacy. Here is one article about the emotions you might be feeling expecting after a struggle.