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Surviving The Socials When TTC

Posted by Kobi McCardle on

Guest blogger: Cat @tryingyears - Instagram


surviving-the-socials-when-ttc-cat-tryingyears2007 and I had had one too many Facebook requests to continue the sign-up resistance. Plus, I was on the other side of the world to my family and friends so the opportunity to share pics of diving the barrier reef, sunbathing at Byron Bay and BBQing in Perth – and of course seeing the pics of them at home! – was too much to pass up.

 

Over the last decade though, my love affair with Facebook has waned somewhat. If you follow me on Instagram you might be surprised to hear that I don’t ever post on my Facebook account, I’m only on there now because of work pages. Another confession, I don’t do Twitter. I have dabbled with it, again for work, but I prefer the visuals and creativity of the squares.

 

Another factor in my sporadic love affair with socials is my ongoing #TTC journey – and yes, I have totally succumbed to hashtags! (Fear not, I’ve included a glossary at the end of the article for all #s and acronyms used, I’ve tried to keep them to a minimum though). To the uninitiated one might be surprised the impact social media has on you when you’re going through it, but the impact can be real.

 

Whether you are at the start, midway through, or have that little miracle growing inside you, here are some top tips for navigating social media. If you are a friend or family member of someone ttc please don’t stop reading now. The more you can understand what they need to do to protect themselves, the better placed you can be to support them.

 

I think the best way for me to do this is to break it down by platforms. Given what you have read above, you’ll know I haven’t got much experience of all of them, but my trusty friends (because no word of a lie that is totally what they become!) over on Insta have helped me out with a few of their own ideas too!

 

Let’s start at the beginning – Facebook

 

Generally, it seems a no go. Too many baby announcements, scan pics, baby shower invites, and then, once the baby is here, first step videos, first day at school snaps and everything else in between. On the downside, because it was one of the first, and I would say is the most ‘personal’ platform, you are often tied to remaining ‘friends’ with your IRL friends and family. On the (massive) plus side though, the ‘Unfollow’ button means you can remove the aforementioned offending posts without causing massive upheaval in your social circle – phew!

 

Chatting to lots of the TTC community most, if not all, have removed themselves from FB at some point along the way. Many, including me, have deleted the app from their phones so that we can’t access it easily. Others go a step further and remove themselves completely. My long-term excuse for not doing this, alongside work commitments, was that lots of IRL social meetups were organised by messenger. TBH though 1) I’m not even sure you have to have one to have the other and 2) you can use Whatsapp instead.


Next, Twitter

 

As I mentioned my own experience of this has been work based predominantly, and even that was years ago. My impression – confirmed by Insta friends – is that it is generally a safe place as long as you don’t get involved in a pregnant/new baby # which, let’s be honest, should be pretty straightforward to avoid.

Conclusion, if it’s your bag, Twitter is a go!

 

My fave – Instagram

 

If you know me from Insta then you’ll know that I am pretty prolific at posting whether it be on the squares or in stories. I do genuinely love it. I have two accounts and whilst it’s @tryingyears that I use daily now, that’s not where I started.

 

I followed a couple of TTC people from my original @catstrawbridge account, which then led me to set up a fully-fledged TTC account. I’m now pretty vocal about TTC and creating this second account is definitely to blame for all that and I couldn’t imagine myself without it now.

 

Having said that though, it’s not all roses. I follow a lot of TTC accounts and alongside posts about the intricacies of IVF rounds, heartbreaking BFNs, MC etc are some fabulous, hard-earned BFPs. With the BFPs often come scan pics, growing bumps and then very gorgeous babies.

 

But isn’t that exactly the reason I don’t use Facebook anymore!?

 

It is different because as soon as you know someone has struggled to get their miracle you really are rooting for them and personally, over the years I have found a strength when it comes to seeing these pics. But even I have days where they can break me, so what do I do then? The truth is, I unfollow them. Not always but it definitely has been known and you know what, I’m totally ok with that.

 

Would I prefer to be in a place where I could fawn over their pics? Yes.

 

Am I in that place? Unfortunately, no.

 

Does my own mental health have to take priority in this situation (well in all situations surely)? Yes.

 

Do I wish them a safe, healthy and happy pregnancy, and a gorgeous, healthy bundle of joy at the end? Absolutely!

 

I know that many people feel bad about unfollowing, but if you need permission – and you think I’m a person that can give you that – consider the act approved. I will also add that Instagram has actually now created a ‘Mute’ button, much the same as Facebook’s Unfollow, so all of the above is no longer necessary, but I only found that out as I was writing this, and I have to admit that I do find it somewhat disingenuous.

 

Will I use it though? Probably.


YouTube

 

Ok, so I will tell you (if you don’t know already) that I recently started a YouTube channel. I host an #instalive (another good thing about Instagram) every Monday evening at 7.30pm GMT but they only stay on insta for 24hrs so I started recording them for those that couldn’t make it. YouTube felt like the best place to keep them permanently.

 

If you search YouTube for fertility or ttc you’ll hit a lot of results. Everything from how to inject progesterone, to IVF diary entries, eating for fertility and much much more. It’s a fountain of information – some good and some not so, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

 

Let’s face it, videos can be a great way to absorb info if you’re not a reader (and if that’s the case, well the hell done for getting all the way down here!), and because you don’t have to Subscribe to someone’s channel to watch their videos (for the most part I believe) you can watch or not watch guilt free. What’s not to love?


Whatsapp

 

Now I wouldn’t traditionally include this as a social media platform, but when I asked, it did come up so I think it makes sense to include it. And when you think about how many groups you are part of, it is in essence very social indeed. I’ve only had one ‘surprise’ scan pic in a message, but I do get a lot of niece and nephew pictures which I’m ok with.

 

However, you may be in large friend groups in which you are bombarded with triggering pictures so what do you do then? My suggestion would be to have the conversation with others in the group and ask if they can create a separate one for those topics. Having chatted to a couple of different people on this topic the responses can vary so you’ll have to make the call on whether or not you broach this.

 

Otherwise, the ‘Mute’ button can come into its own here too – although there is the definite possibility you might miss out on IRL social engagements. But let’s face it if that’s a baby shower you might be well out of it!

 

I hope that gives you a bit of a head start on how to survive the socials when TTC. Obviously, this is based prominently on my own experience which I know may differ from your own.

 

What I would say though is that any sort of social media is really supposed to be there to enhance your life and there is so much positivity, support, comradery and friendship to be found on all of the platforms. But when looking into other people’s lives there is always the risk of comparison which, particularly when we’re feeling low, can have a negative impact. If you find yourself in that situation, don’t be afraid to walk away for a little while. Hopefully, within a few days, or even weeks, you’ll be able to get back on the horse and whatever the platform, the true friends – IRL or not – will understand and be there for you.

 

If you need any more tips or ideas do feel free to come and find me over on Insta and ask.

@tryingyears

@catstrawbridge

YouTube channel


Glossary:

TTC – Trying to Conceive
IRL – In real life
TBH – To be honest



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