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It’s Complicated

Trinity said it best when she summed up parenting after infertility blogging as complicated.  It is not exactly cut-and-dried beforehand; plenty of bloggers struggle with the should-I-press-publish conundrum.  We all worry about offending readers, not because we’re hung up on keeping people around (oh please stick around please stick around) but because we’re human beings who actually care if people are hurt by something we write.  Though the reality is that blogging is not like a one-on-one conversation where you have a sense of the other person.  Blogging is like playing a game of ski ball blindfolded: you know generally where to roll the ball, but you don’t always know your aim until after the ball is out of your hand.

Trinity raised great points because — and I include myself in this description — we are a conflicted bunch.  The twins are here (and I actually started blogging after they were here and we were trying for our third child, so I have always been a parenting blogger).  I can’t deny their existence and to not mention them at all is strange: they take up an enormous chunk of my time and thoughts.  I want to talk about them.  I like talking about them.  I learn a lot from being around them.  And perhaps I’m reading too much into other people’s compliments, but I think they’re the sort of people that others usually enjoy being around, whether that is face-to-face or in the flat medium of the computer screen via a story.  They — at the very least — say amusing things.

And yet I also know that many people probably don’t want to hear about them.  That it is actually painful to hear about them.  That instead of laughing over a story, that it may even be making you cry.

Which makes me pause — often — before hitting publish.  And sometimes I don’t hit publish.

I think of my blog in percentages much in the same way I think of food in percentages.  I sort of take an overview of my day and see if I’m eating a large enough percentage of vegetables and a large enough percentage of protein.  If I didn’t think about it at all, I know that I’d probably eat pasta for every meal.  Or melba toast.  I am such a fan of melba toast.  But I know that it isn’t good for my body to focus solely on one food even if that food happens to be my favourite and taste good.

And I think about blog writing in the same way.  If I stuck to a single topic and kept a microfocus, it may feel good in the moment to write like that, but I think overall, it probably isn’t healthy for me to deny large chunks of my life in order to only explore a single idea.  So I sometimes step back and take stock for a period of time.  Have I written a bit about blogging and social media?  A bit about infertility?  A bit about the twins?  A bit about melba toast and my enormous love of it?  If I have, then I have a balanced blog, which feels — for me — a bit healthier mentally.  Meaning, I feel healthier mentally when I don’t allow myself to have a solo focus.  Other people may feel much better if they’re only writing about one thing.

There’s more than one way to blog. (Actually, there isn’t; there is only my way, but I feel like I have to say that to get back to that first point of trying not to offend someone.  I’m just kidding.  I’m not kidding.  Crap, this is one of those times that I shouldn’t have hit publish.)

This post is from the viewpoint of someone parenting after infertility; who still has one foot (at least that is how I view myself; perhaps you don’t view me this way at all) in the infertility world and another in the blogging and social media world and another (yes, I have three feet) in the parenting world and another (I lied, I have four) in the melba toast world.

The ALI community is a community that is situationally-based, which leads to tension between those who are still in the situation and those who are out of the situation and those who are sort of in and sort of out at the same time.  We have all these overlapping ways you could be here, and some of those overlapping ways actually create conflict — such as those who need a safe space to not have to see sonogram pictures and those who have a burning need to post their sonogram picture because they’ve waited so long to have one to upload (and perhaps need to upload it to also feel “normal” after feeling on the outskirts for so long).  And we still need to find a way to live with one another.

Regardless of which side of the trenches you stand (or if you’re sort of half-in and half-out of the trenches, munching a piece of melba toast at the same time), do you find yourself holding your tongue for the sake of the community?  And how often?

I guess what I’m really seeking is whether or not through discussion, we can all come to a place of comfort.  That I can post about the twins without feeling the need to hold back beyond the normal amount of holding back (because I get that other people aren’t really interested in hearing about them non-stop) and you can feel safe to read IF blogs without feeling as if you are walking across a minefield.  Or vice versa.


1 a { 12.14.11 at 9:44 am }

I think everyone holds back something – whether it’s because there’s an image they want to portray, or they have a focus, or they have privacy concerns, or they’re just being sensitive. No one really lets it all hang out.

Can everyone come to a place of comfort? Maybe on the surface – I think most people can be happy for their closest friends even if they’re feeling sad for themselves. I think it’s more of an “I won’t get offended by you walking away right now, if you won’t get offended when I have to do the same thing” kind of agreement. That’s not very comforting, but it can allow for a working relationship.

2 Louisa { 12.14.11 at 9:48 am }

I really hope we can come to a place of comfort and balance. There are plenty of times I have started reading a blog entry and thought “hey this isn’t for me I think I’ll stop now”. I don’t exspect to be able to relate to everything you or anyone else writes.

3 Kristin { 12.14.11 at 9:51 am }

This is a very touchy situation on all sides. We have all been in the shoes of the person who has yet to realize their dream of being a parent and experiencing those emotions. It sucks, it is a terrible place to be. For some of us that dream has become a reality and we want so badly to share it with the people we have become so bonded with through this struggle. So, when we are told we shouldn’t post sonograms or pictures of our newly adopted child or that there is something wrong with us being excited from the very people we trust so much it breaks our hearts. I think your blog is perfectly balanced you have a little of everything and that is what it should be about. It is a place where people from the whole infertility spectrum can come and feel safe and that is important.

I guess what I am saying is that it would be nice to not have to hold our tongues but we also need to remember the pain we felt when we read other people’s happy news and be careful to not purposefully rub salt in others wounds. Iam sure I am guilty of not always holding back as much as I should but it is hard to do when you have waited so long.

4 Lucy { 12.14.11 at 10:11 am }

I like your description of a balanced blog, but I also think that’s a good description for how blogging works best for you, and I feel like blogging is so very personal. There are many different reasons why people may blog–journaling, stress relief, documentation, sharing, marketing and moneymaking, and so on. So I think you have to stay true to yourself and what you need from your blog. And while I think you have a responsibility to be okay with standing behind what you right–and that would include, not being insensitive–I also think a blogger has a right to make her/his blog what s/he wants it to be. If you set out to write solely for other people, I wonder what the quality of that blog will be. So, if you’re pregnant/parenting after IF, if you are only going to write for the IFers still in the TTC space, that will leave you with little content. And what about the IFers who are pregnant/parenting? They often feel like they are in a different space then fertile parents…I know I do, when I’m at a moms group meeting, for example. IF still colors my world, parenting an 18month old and now pregnant again, both after IVF.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that for me at least, my blog is my blog, and while I stand behind what I write, it’s my space, and while I still identify with the ALI community and want to be a part of it–which is why I still want to be on your blogroll, and I follow fellow IFers mostly–I want to write what I want to write about. And I want to follow those whom I enjoy reading. I do share pictures and parenting stories, and I have to trust that people who aren’t in a good place to follow me will take care of themselves first and foremost (good advice from your IF book), and not follow me.

But I’ve got a tiny following, and it’s nothing compared to Stirrup Queens. It could also be, as the “Queen of the ALI Bloggers”–not something you claim to be, but something I see you as–that you feel a great responsibility to your following? I respect and admire that. But I still feel like my blog is different…

5 Justine { 12.14.11 at 10:16 am }

Great post. I’m still snickering about melba toast.

I rarely write about my kids. Less because I’m afraid of offending people, and more because that’s just not what I’ve focused on. But I do worry that I don’t write enough about infertility (so, sort of the opposite problem); we’re done family-building, and so now I’m on the other side of the trenches, I guess. But that doesn’t make me feel any less like a member of this community. I still feel a weird pang when people get pregnant easily-or worse, by mistake!-and I even feel oddly jealous of people who have easy pregnancies and live babies.

Most IF bloggers I know, when posting about children, start off with some disclaimer about the post. And few of them seem to turn into mere mommybloggers. I think that cheering people on from the other side and being openly sensitive when we post can go a long way towards building a community and a space online that will feel safe. And I think once you’ve built a relationship on mutual respect and trust, it’s a little easier to navigate the complicated waters.

6 Lollipopgoldstein { 12.14.11 at 10:18 am }

I definitely agree that there are a multitude of ways to do it. Some people start and entirely new blog, some people keep writing in the same space, some people stop writing altogether because their blog was a way to emotionally deal with the situation (and with the situation gone, they don’t need the blog). But I got from the comments on the last post that a bunch of people struggle with this — how to keep the same friends you gained from your IF blog when you are no longer in the trenches. I don’t know if it’s something people think about if they’re using their blog as a receptacle for stories and pictures — a digital scrapbook. But if you are building online friendships, I think that awkwardness comes up when the two people bonded initially over a shared situation and now the playing field isn’t exactly the same even though they still have that shared situation in common.

Are people struggling with this? That was the sense I got from the comments, but it could just be that I struggle with this and put it on everyone else 🙂

7 BigP's Heather { 12.14.11 at 10:19 am }

I do not blog about some things because i don’t want to offend or be labeled.

Also, I’m not a fan of melba toast. Can we still be friends?

8 Esperanza { 12.14.11 at 10:44 am }

I definitely think long and hard about what I say. I don’t usually avoid a topic because of who I know is reading but I do consider carefully how I present that topic. One thing I’m always trying to convey is how grateful I am, how I realize that what I have should never be taken for granted, how I know that so many people want it so desperately and can’t seem to attain it. I think that is important to me because it’s the thing that most bothers me about fertiles, that they don’t realize what a gift it is, that it’s not always a forgone conclusion, that in another time or place they might not have been able to have it, that others can’t have it no matter how hard they try. So that is what I try to convey when I post on my blog.

Does that mean I avoid discussing how hard it is? Absolutely not. I think it’s really important that we discuss how difficult parenting is, even after (or in the midst of) IF and loss. Because it’s hard. Incredibly so. I didn’t realize how hard it would be, I’ve been blindsided by it and I feel like that is what I need to work out for myself and for others who come after me who might have a similar experience.

It’s definitely hard to write about the difficulties of parenting while also expressing our gratitude for those difficulties but I think it can be done. And I think it should be. It’s unfair for those of us “on the other side” or “straddling the divide” to give a dishonest or incomplete account in an attempt to protect others. It’s not fair to them or us.

9 Lollipopgoldstein { 12.14.11 at 10:48 am }

One of the best moments I got out of a women’s group I was once in was that this woman brought her baby to a meeting and was holding her while we spoke. And at one point, she looked down at her with a look of such intense love on her face, but she said in the softest voice: “I never knew it was going to be so hard. No one prepared me for how hard this was really going to be.” I thought what she said was so important for everyone in the room to hear. That when we’re not honest with each other, we don’t prepare each other. And then what is the point of reading about someone else’s experience if you can’t glean facts from it?

10 Jendeis { 12.14.11 at 10:53 am }

As I’ve mentioned to you before, it never bothered me that you had kids or wrote about your kids and infertility as well. Maybe because I always knew you as a person with kids.

When I was going through bad times in our struggle, I would stop reading or stop subscribing to blogs where I felt sad, uncomfortable or just plain ol’ jealous where the author was pg or parenting after IF or dealing with secondary IF. It was just too much for me to handle.

I think that’s ok. I think most (if not all) of us in the ALI community understand that these sorts of things/feelings/what have you come up and we all do what we can to protect ourselves and each other.

11 Denver Laura { 12.14.11 at 11:28 am }

I’ve had a kid in the house for over a year and I don’t feel like I’m parenting after IF yet. I guess when the adoption papers are final I might.

I stopped posting about all of the kid stuff on my blog. Mainly because I am aware that not everybody cares if my kid is teething. Although they might get a kick out of one or two things she says/does, I don’t blast the fact that I have a kid all over my blog.

I am also very aware that when I meet ALI friends IRL and I’m “on duty,” I ask if it’s ok to bring the kid. Even if it was OK the entire time, I don’t want to surprise anybody by bringing the kid.

I like reading bloggers who are parenting after IF. If it gets to be too much for me, I take a break. If I can’t handle something at any given moment, I don’t read the post. I might even unsubscribe. That pertains to posts about publishing books, gardening, fertility clinics, yoga, whatever doesn’t pertain to me at that particular moment.

12 sunflowerchilde (Stacey) { 12.14.11 at 12:55 pm }

I don’t have time to write a long comment, but I wanted to say that as far as reading parenting blogs, there were some I loved to read even before I got pregnant, and some that I hated. And when I was reading infertility blogs there were some in which I rejoiced when they got pregnant and others when I felt really sorry for myself. I think it has to do with both the overall tone of the blog (and not any specific blog post, usually), but also with how I am doing at any point in time.

13 Maria { 12.14.11 at 1:46 pm }

I can totally relate as I didn’t really enter the world of infertility until after I had one child. Then, my issue with infertility was different because my issue was staying pregnant rather than getting pregnant. I was always afraid that I would offend people because my miscarrying meant that I wasn’t infertile… I was or had been pregnant with a cuddly 18 month old at home. Then, now being infertile by the definition of infertility and having two healthy children puts me in a strange class of infertility. I am always concerned that someone without children doesn’t want to hear about my struggles with having a 3rd child. But… after trying to edit myself so much, I have come to terms with the fact that my blog is supposed to be about my story and helping others. I’m doing a disservice to a reader who is in a similar situation if I edit myself.
Great post! So important to see that I am not alone with this internal dialogue!

14 Jonelle { 12.14.11 at 2:10 pm }

I think it depends on what mood I’m in, and what phase of my journey I’m walking, that determines what kinds of ALI blogs I read. But because I haven’t “crossed over” sometimes reading some of the pregnancy after IF, or the surprise pregnancy during an adoption process are a bit painful to read. I read them sparingly because I’m genuinely curious to see how they are doing.

I think that it really is all about balance, but some blogs don’t have that and as soon as they “cross over” the blog becomes very overbalanced with things I can’t relate too. I won’t criticize the blogger, its her new life that she has been waiting for. She is in a place and a new role that I wish I was at…but at times there aren’t any new posts about how *she* is doing, just how the baby is doing. And for me, I want to know how she is doing as well (does that make sense?)

THere are things I don’t blog about, but mostly because I’m afraid of offending IRL friends and family.

15 Sarah { 12.14.11 at 3:01 pm }

I’m right there…in the heat of the conflict. After 4 1/2 years of struggling with IF, I gave birth to my daughter on December 4, 2011. I published my birth story and one about my L&D nurse. From here on out, I’m not sure what to publish. I know we’ll be doing a FET late next summer or early fall. My chances of getting pregnant any other way are pretty low. My husband and I want more children, although we’re barely adjusting to my newborn daughter.

I don’t want to offend my readers, but my story isn’t done yet. I want to share my experiences as we struggle with parenting after IF and begin treatments again for baby number 2. I’m more concerned with offending my readers who are still struggling with IF.

I hope my story brings hope to them as those success stories I’ve read brought me hope in my times of darkness. But there’s a part of me who feels like I don’t fit in the IF world any more. However, I certainly don’t fit in the fertile world either as they have no idea what it’s like to struggle like we in the IF world understand each other.

It truly is a complicated place to be.

16 Mina { 12.14.11 at 3:25 pm }

The thing is, while I can understand the yearning, the burning desire, the craving, the aching heart and the hollowness of the empty arms of those who wish for a child and do not have one, I also understand that precisely those feelings prevent them from empathising with my 14 months of poor, broken or simply lack of sleep. Because they would so trade the “not sleeping because of not having a child” with the “not sleeping because of having one who doesn’t sleep well”. I know. Who wouldn’t? I don’t blame anyone. I wish they all get to cross over and for them all to get efficient sleepers who eat like champs.
I lost a couple of followers when I got a bfp for my birthday this year. I don’t begrudge them. But I also never lied about who I am.
I think I blog more as a way of journaling. Mine it’s definitely not balanced, it’s a very parenting oriented blog where I complain a lot about my MIL (she is a gem).
So, indeed, it is complicated, because no one wants to be an ass’ole (pardon my French :-)) on purpose, but we often are without ever meaning to. Some who become parents stop blogging, some start new blogs, some just keep on and trade stories and secrets and tips and commiserate whe needed. Because parenting is not easy. We all know it intellectually, but when we get to the decision making, and the incessant worrying, and the self doubting and the physical limitations, it is overwhelming. And it is truly a house of glass, parenting, yet we are ever so eager to throw at least a tiny judgement if not a pebble. It also has its rewards, and these are what we try to focus on.
I think what I want to say is that life is crossing bridges when one gets to them. And by publishing some posts, we might be burning some of those bridges. It is not fair. And certainly not simple. But we try to do our best. And we hope this is good enough. Even though sometimes it is not. We’re only humans after all.

17 Mina { 12.14.11 at 3:33 pm }

I forgot to include those who want another child and cannot have that. Secondary IF is equally painful, and I never meant to exclude that.
Also, we try to focus on the rewards of parenting, as in having and raising a child/ren the best we can. Not that parking nearer the supermarket entry is a reward.
I did not want any misunderstandings just because I am scattered brained. I’ve been sleeping better for the last couple of months, but not enough.

18 Angie { 12.14.11 at 3:33 pm }

Thank you for writing about this, and bringing this topic up. I have wrestled with this continually for the last year or so. I already had a living child when my daughter was stillborn at 38 weeks. So, I meant the space to be about parenting while grieving, then I had another child. I have always written about them. But it is the grief part that is hard now. At some point, I started another blog that was just to document my art and craft projects. I began writing more about mindful parenting and tutorials and stuff like that. I love that blog. I would love my grief and art to be together, because I am one person. I will lose grieving mothers who don’t want to read about crafting. But I feel like the space now is not representative of me or of grief at three years out. See, now I write a blog post about a moment in my week. A moment I miss my daughter, or think of her death, or I cry about our loss. It is a moment. Mostly, even our daily rituals that started as sacred grief rituals, have just become part of our family ritual. We don’t reflect on grief or Lucia. But that post is given equal weight to posts I wrote at 6 months out, when my whole day everyday was a moment of grief, when I was inconsolable. Maybe part of what I want to say about grief now is that it isn’t as demanding and my life is happy. Incredibly happy and full. What is interesting is that the post on my blog that gets the most hits is one I wrote about teaching children to meditate. It has been reposted and linked hundreds of times. So, I know there are people visiting from other places for other reasons. But I also want people looking for writing about grief to find it, like I found it. It is so effing complicated. Ugh. I still haven’t figured out what to do. What I want to do is buy the domain stilllifewithcircles, and bring both blogs into it. And just let people decide if they can’t read my work anymore.

19 HereWeGoAJen { 12.14.11 at 3:35 pm }

I’ve always thought that the greatest thing about our community is that there is always someone else. If I don’t have it in me to congratulate you today, there is someone else who will. If it is too much for you to read a pregnancy blog, I can pick up the slack today. We all have our moments of being okay and being not okay, and thankfully, those moments don’t all happen at the same time, so there is always someone who is ready to be the listener and the commenter.

And I would read a blog that you wrote that was nothing but stories about your twins.

20 jjiraffe { 12.14.11 at 3:48 pm }

Mel, thank you for writing these two posts. I think we all grapple with what to say and how to be sensitive to all our readers but also stay true to what we want to write, too. It’s a daunting task sometimes.

Like you, I became a blogger after my twins were born and after a subsequent miscarriage. My first post was about how I shouldn’t feel badly but I do and wondering if anyone could possibly understand. And you responded and brought in the whole ALI calvary. I’ll never forget that, and how welcoming and comforting you all were. It was a life-changing moment.

I do think carefully about what I post, and like Esperanza, have been pretty honest about the difficulties of parenting after IF, which were greater than I expected. I also think infertility leaves a permanent mark on almost all people, and I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t impart what that’s like.

Thanks again for these posts.

21 Frenchie { 12.14.11 at 3:49 pm }

I definitely self-edit–or just don’t post–because I don’t think others will want to hear me gush about my children–or worse–hear me complain about the mundane and sometimes crappy parenting stuff. Then, there have been other times I’m just like eff it, and I hit publish (for instance) with a belly photo (back when I was prg). Because, I, like others, had waited so long to have a belly photo. But, I did it knowing I would lose readers. But I couldn’t blame anyone for not reading because there were sooo may blogs along the way I stopped reading because I couldn’t stand to see another sonogram photo (I refrained from posting sonogram photos on my blog btw). Anyway, I guess this is why I have decided to transition over into a new blog, to have a new place where I declare from the get-go to whomever may stop by that I will be talking about children, about parenting and about infertility, and maybe about melba toast. (Well, maybe not melba toast but maybe chocolate). I have felt constrained by my Infertility moniker of my existing blog and have not said so many things that I wanted to share about my parenting experience (both good and bad) which was sad because I could have really used the outlet and the support I might have gained from the community.

22 Kate { 12.14.11 at 5:01 pm }

I think it is a testament to your balance that I didn’t know this was an infertility blog until I had been reading for a week or so and started looking at the side bar. I just thought you were into horseback riding…. I was discussing this topic in general about if I’m ‘in’ or ‘out’ since I have an honest fertility issue, but, have managed to have kids. I still sympathize with anyone with trouble and want to punch people who announce they are 3 weeks pregnant but thats just me.

23 AlexMMR { 12.14.11 at 5:36 pm }

I’ve been wrestling with this. The fact is, the ALI community is by its very nature, a temporary club. And everybody is working every day to get the hell out of it. I’m currently pregnant with twins, again. But I still keep a toe in because honestly, I didn’t make it to birth last time and I have no faith that I’ll make it to birth this time. I need the community of MC Mamas and IF’s to be there for me in case I find myself back there again.

As life situations change, so do friendships. Just like when we graduated high school, we lost touch with most of the people we used to call friends, and maybe one or two people continued to be a part of our lives because we were particularly close and put in the effort to remain close. But when your lives head off into different directions, it’s natural to drift apart and build new friendships within the new communities that you become a part of.

My intention is to blog my life as I live it. If it becomes a blog about raising twins, awesome. Google will still point people who are struggling with IF back to the pages I wrote when that was my focus. Hopefully, when I leave that community, I’ll have left some words behind for the new people entering the community.

I don’t want to hurt anyone. But I can’t deny that I no longer belong to the community as I did before. I can only belong and write about where I currently am.

24 Becky { 12.14.11 at 8:06 pm }

I only started blogging after our first son had been born (and come to us through adoption), while we were waiting for a 2nd child. I don’t really edit for the ALI community, though I do edit other things (i.e. for the boys’ birth families who may find me one day, for our families some of whom do read). I think most of us edit ourselves in some way/for someone.

25 Trish { 12.14.11 at 8:46 pm }

I struggled with this a lot. Then when Robbie was born, the outpouring of support during his NICU stay.. it was natural to talk about him. Then his first year was so tough.. I couldn’t not talk about him. I considered a new blog, but ultimately decided that the theme of my blog has always been hope.. and I still had hope.
Eventually I realized that ALL I was talking about was Robbie, though, and endeavored to discuss other things, too. So I do try to be balanced, but in the end.. I talk about my life. Period. I try to be sensitive in the way that I write things because I FEEL sensitive in the way I think about things. I hope that comes through.
In the end, I know that I’ve probably lost readers who don’t care to read about parenting, but I’ve probably gained some, too. In the end, I just hope that my blog is helpful to those looking to hear about the things I write about.. and that won’t always be the same people.

26 Meghan { 12.14.11 at 9:46 pm }

It is VERY Complicated… I was just pondering this tonight as I’m rather dumbfounded on what to post. 4 years of infertility, 9 months of pregnancy, almost 14 months of parenting, and anxiously awaiting my first post partum period so we can TTC #2 puts me, well, I’m not sure! I read infertility blogs as well as parenting after infertility blogs. Always have. I kept the same space but changed the name to reflect our current situation.

27 Mali { 12.14.11 at 9:54 pm }

I think this is your blog, and it needs to be right for you, first and foremost. If it doesn’t feel right for you, then it won’t feel right for us, the readers. As someone who will never have children, I know I make a conscious choice to read your blog, a blog written by a parent. So I know what I’m getting. It’s not always easy for me, but it is my choice, and I love some of the posts about your kids. You definitely write from the perspective of a parent, but it would be crazy if you didn’t! And it would be crazy for me if I wanted or expected you to ignore the fact you were a parent. You can’t do that any more than I can ignore the fact I’m not and never will be a parent, and also write from that perspective. In fact, if I’m honest (and that’s what you’re asking for), I view your blog much more as a parents or social networking/blogging blog than an IF blog, even though you do such a wonderful job of uniting the IF blogging community. But you notice something? I’m still here, reading, and commenting.

I think blogging is like life. We make friends, and as our life changes (children, or no children, or new job etc) we keep some friends with us, we lose some as our lives diverge, and we make some new ones. That’s okay and that’s natural. I don’t think bloggers can or should expect to keep all their readers as they go through life changes. You/we can’t be all things to all people, and we have to be true to ourselves.

28 Meim { 12.14.11 at 10:55 pm }

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. It’s pretty much exactly what I am struggling with in my own posts. I’m glad that you “get it.”

Personally, I love your posts and I find that for me, it is perfectly balanced. Reader for live. =)

29 slowmamma { 12.15.11 at 12:20 am }

It IS complicated. These posts are a reminder of why I love this community so much. We are happy to examine ourselves, look for ways to be more compassionate and understanding and reach out to our fellow bloggers. Interestingly, I realized that I feel very safe as long as I’m in IF blogland. I have found things IRL to be much more difficult to navigate. Recently a fellow trench dweller managed to seriously wound me with what was probably a very innocent comment. At the same time, one of my dearest and most effortlessly fertile friends is having a difficult time with my pregnancy because she desires a second. Complicated indeed!!!

30 gwinne { 12.15.11 at 9:36 am }

I’ll second what others have said: that the nature of infertility is, one desperately hopes, a temporary condition, which makes the community even more an ephemeral group than some others. I know my readership has changed somewhat, just as my blog reading habits have changed, along the three years of my journey. For a while I couldn’t read pregnancy blogs; then suddenly I had one of my own.

That said, I like what you have to say about balance. I hope that my blog, too, reflects the multiple parts of my life. It’s certainly been obsessed with new baby things lately, but I’m guessing as things settle down I’ll be writing about a wider range of topics… I’ve thought about writing a post-IF/baby blog and shutting down my current one, but I like the way one continuous blog reflects a LONG journey, with many twists and turns. It’s an SMC blog, a secondary IF blog, an RPL blog, a DE blog, an academic mommy blog, etc.

31 Esperanza { 12.15.11 at 5:17 pm }

I love that you asked us to go back two years and see what we wrote. I do that all the time, search back through my archives to a year or two (that is as far back as my blog goes) to see where I was. It’s great for gaining perspective and is one of the things I love the most about having my blog.

Before I even looked back I knew what entires I would. This time two years ago my NTU was being botched, which sent pregnancy my anxiety into a tailspin that eventually led to me starting anti-anxiety medication for the first time in my life. (I’ve been on anti-depressents a lot but never anti-anxiety meds.) Interestingly my partner and I just had a conversation in which he told me that frequently I put my anxieties before the wellbeing of our relationship and that doing so is caustic and detrimental to us as a couple. So despite the situation changing completely (the daughter I was so anxious about losing arrived safe and sound and is nappy as we speak), things aren’t all that different. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?


32 kateanon { 12.15.11 at 6:22 pm }

I hold my tongue now. Like it isn’t OK for me to still feel some of the things I feel because I’m not actively going through treatment. Or because I “gave up” by choosing childfree, my opinion is different. I feel weirder about hitting publish, even though it’s been my policy to stay uncensored.

33 Misfit { 12.15.11 at 6:44 pm }

For many of the blogs I read, I have become involved with the person’s story, and not how I relate to that person’s situation. I really like these women out here and having a wry infertile often makes a wry mommy. I love your twins posts because I get a glimpse into your day-to-day and your wiring makes it interesting. The hardest thing to buck up for was a group of ladies who were pregnant at the same time only to have babies and me with another loss. But, they had all faced hardship, and following along turned out to give me more hope for my own future. And them documenting the difficult bits have given me a roadmap for that moment when I might need extra direction.

It is complicated. We each find a path that causes the least bit of emotional harm. It’s a worthy topic. At this point, if I gave in to every anniversary or trigger, happiness would be as elusive as winning the lottery. I try to take and leave as much joy as I can while being aware that both happy and sad moments on the blog are triggers for my readers.

34 Mike Maynard { 12.16.11 at 6:09 am }

WordPress suggested I link to you blog; I couldn’t see why and then I came to melba toast. Is your Melba toast gluten free? It’s strange how many people have celiac disease and also blog. I was diagnosed many years ago when jejunal biopsies were a nightmare! I had another a few years ago and hardly remember it. Anyway, very interesting blog; I’ll be back when I have some time.
Best wishes from England…

35 Heather { 12.16.11 at 11:56 am }

Thanks for the inspiration Mel, I’ve gone and written a whole post on this. I’ve also googled other bloggers who have written on this “infertility survivor guilt” and gotten some quotes from them. I think it is a very relevant topic, and creating that balance between joy at my pregnancy and being sensitive to those who don’t want to know about it is something I will continue to work on.

36 Kir { 12.17.11 at 10:31 am }

Well because I started blogging to navigate myself through the infertility..I can safely say that I know exactly how this feels. I was infertile…then I was pregnant, then I went on bed rest and then had the twins. After that I was lost, confused and my heart was so conflicted and 4 YRS Later I still am. Than I wanted to write, flex my fiction wings and so sometimes I feel like I don’t talk ENOUGH about infertility and when I do am I being looked as “well sure she can say that now..she’s over it.” It’s a really hard place for me and my empathetic heart to be..I still have a pretty big dose of survivor guilt.

I like the way you explained it..about how your blog should be balanced..and I agree…I think I’m doing a better job of doing that …and my hope is that 2012 allows me more room in my heart for doing it even more. As always you give me a lot to think about..what would I do without your words???

37 Bea { 12.18.11 at 6:56 am }

Wow. I have a lot of posts of yours to catch up on. You wouldn’t stop writing for a bit to let me catch up would you? Would you?

Right. So.

I blog a bit differently to you. My blog is mainly about one topic, and I guess I like… I don’t know… I like being able to collect my thoughts on that topic into one space, and not have it complicated by thoughts on other topics. Or something, I’m still working it out, to be honest. As evidenced by my low rate of posting.

I believe in reasonable efforts. That we should all make a reasonable effort to be sensitive to those around us based on what we know about life, not just on the specific information available to us concerning our friends and acquaintances. What I mean there is, even if you don’t specifically know that so-and-so is facing infertility, you know that 12.5% or whatever the latest stat is face infertility, and that’s worth bearing in mind as you go about your business. It doesn’t mean, however, that you stop going about your business. That would be *un*reasonable. It just means you conduct yourself with a little bit of humility and respect.

The same can be said about blogging. And you and other commenters are right in that there are various ways to go about it and that it can be a difficult balancing act, so I don’t think this necessarily removes the struggle and it definitely doesn’t remove the mistakes.

I guess what I’m saying is good intentions count more than getting it right all the time. The worst thing in the world would be to give up trying to show care for people because you’ll sometimes fail to please.


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