Thursday, March 1, 2007

What to do with pregnant infertiles?

The other day, I was looking through my blogroll and realized that the vast majority of "infertility" bloggers that I check on regularly are either pregnant or new mothers. The same is true of most of my dearest friends in the computer (you know who you are).

A few times, I've flirted with the idea of separating my blogroll into categories (in the trenches, on a break, pregnant, graduates, trying for #2, etc.) However, I just can't bring myself to do it. Why? Well, I've given it a lot of thought, and in the end, I think that in many ways infertility colors all of your experiences, regardless of which category you happen to find yourself in today. I don't mean that we can't resolve our infertility and go on to lead happy healthy lives, hopefully free of lasting emotional scars. I hope that for all of us. I have to believe that one day infertility will not be the focus of my life.

Rather, I mean that infertility isn't just a temporary phase that you go through, like teething or thinking that wearning a plastic miniskirt is a good idea (oh cursed youth!) I have been changed permanently by this experience, in ways both bad and good. I now know that the line between "pregnant" and "in the trenches" isn't as solid as one might hope. Having watched so many dear ones go through heartbreaking losses, I simply can't assume that one of my friends in the computer will go on to live happily ever after just because of the results of a blood test (or, more often, about a hundred million hpt's). I also can't assume, or even hope, that they will ever be "normal" pregnant people. While complications of pregnancy seem to be fairly equal-opportunity, the thoughts and feelings of a pregnant and infertile in reaction to these complications will inevitably be different. The stakes just feel so much higher, and the probability of a good outcome so much more tenuous when you've fought so hard just to get to the starting line.

Then when the infertile becomes a mother, so many new issues arise. The former infertile can be particularly hard on herself when she realizes that she's not a perfect mother, just a human being. There are also often lingering body-betrayal issues. ART mommies having multiples face additional issues. It's all very complicated. And then there's the issue of TTC #2, or #3, or #4. Sadly, having won the fertility sweepstakes once doesn't in any way guarantee smooth sailing the next time around.

In the end, though, I like to keep all of my infertile peeps in one place, and close to my heart, because I need you there. You serve as a shining example of how to keep moving forward during good times and bad. I hope that someday we can all move into a new category called "resolved", but until then, I think we should stick together.


AshPash said...

HI Sara! I just made my way to your blog from one of the Cyclesista lists and have so enjoyed your well-written posts. It's late and I need to go to bed but I wanted to say "best wishes" as you endure your 2WW. Hope to find some good news when I check back. :)

Mands said...

You are so right. Pregnancy doesn't suddenly make everything alright.
Wishing you lots of luck in your 2ww - keep us updated on how it's going!

Baby Blues said...

I did the same thing with my blogroll. I decided to place everyone together in "My Support Group" I agree, there's no need for categories.

Wishing and hoping for good news Sara.

Infertile Girl said...

I like your outlook. I desperately try to separate them because I fear someone will visit and stumble upon a pregnant blog....and basically go postal. But I agree they will never be the same as someone that it was easy for. On a side note, I do get concerned that when I move them over to ah hum pg, they will think I jinxed them. Good post, I now have to ponder this...I was just updating my blog this morning. Thanks.

Marie-Baguette said...

Sara, I loved your post. And it is so true that being pregnant does not resolve our infertility. I took the choice to seperate my fav blogs into trying and pregnant because when I was trying there were awful times when I could not bear reading pregnancy blogs. It would just make me too sad about my situation. But before a cycle, I would need to find as many pregnant-after-the-same-type-of-cycle (be it FET #1 or IVF#2) I could find, to give me hope. I wish I've had your strenght to be able to look at all infertility blogs without discrimination, but I was not. Even discovering that Journey to the center of the egg just had her baby was a stark reminder for me that my IVF#2 did not work out (we cycled on the same days). I am really happy for her, and damn it, I am pregnant, but I still think "yeah, if IVF#1 or 2 had worked, I would be a mum now". I wish I was a better person than I am! :-)

Sarah said...

yay, i'm all for sticking together too!

hope you're surviving the wait okay with your sanity (mostly) in tact.

Lut C. said...

What you say is very true. Still, I decided to make categories in my blog roll. When I was first exploring IF blogs, I looked through the blog rolls of some of the high profile IF bloggers. I was a tiny bit frustrated to find that most bloggers were either PG or had kids.
Of course, seeing that success is fairly common is encouraging, but I was looking for people who were in my situation.
Cyclesista didn't exist then. :-)

Not that I'm trying to convince you, not at all.

Susan said...

I love this. As a newly pregnant infertile, I am happy and cozy right in the same spot I was before. We're sticking together. Thank you.

Tinker said...

I've been wrestling with this one too. I don't want another reader, sensitive to bellies and babies to stumble into an infertile's pregnancy story. Bit I'd also feel awful moving someone to the pregnant camp only to have to move them back to the trenches far too soon.

Twisted Ovaries said...

I'm with you, babe. People are part of the IF fabric, no matter where they stand in the success/non-success side of things. I have seen my name moved to other lists recently, and it freaks me out.

Thanks for keeping me grounded :)