Monday, March 26, 2012

Rules of Engagment?

My fertility clinic is unusual. It's a relatively young practice embedded in a women's health care center. The waiting area is filled with women from all walks of life at various stages in their reproductive life. Because of this, the waiting area is split into 2 parts: the part I and my fellow IFers inhabit is also where older patients waiting for mammographies sit. Across the way is the OB/GYN area, filled with expecting mothers and young women. Over time, the receptionists have gotten better about putting up dividers and trying to keep the two separate. Still, it's impossible not to run into large bellies and infants. Thankfully, this is the only minus of the place, so I've learned over time to breathe, keep my eyes lowered and to bring an iPod.

There was one incident, though, that could not be blocked out.

Last September, following our third and final IUI, Grey and I were waiting to meet with Dr. Optimism to discuss IVF. Our wait was longer than usual, as things were running behind schedule. As I was settling into a distracted state, I heard a loud bang followed by loud and angry shhhing. Emerging from the other side was a woman with her 7 children. Her angrily scolding them for being "bad" and shhing to quiet them. The whole time, the kids ignored her, hitting one another, crying loudly and creating a scene. As she approached reception, an older woman sighed and said something along the lines of I-understand-how-hard-you-have-it-because-I-came-from-a-large-family-too. The mother made a huge gesture of rolling her eyes and complaining about how difficult is was to parent such a large family, talking about how her husband came from a family with 11 kids (BTW: husband is no where is sight). It was then that the eldest stopped hitting his younger brothers with a plastic water bottle, turned and looked at the woman. Smiling sweetly, he announced "my daddy wanted 11 children."

Yeah. I had the same reaction

The past couple of days, I've been thinking more and more about that incident. Especially in light of the discussion going on in many of the healing salons. About how I never want to be that selfish, both to my children but also by exposing others struggling to expand their family to any pain.

Infertility is an awful disease that is poorly understood by the general populous. Because of this, IFers feel like outsiders while battling to expand their families. Finding this community is a lifesaver for many, giving women the opportunity to share their journeys and connect with others.

So what happens when you get a BFP?

Sunday, as we made our way in the second beta, my mind became filled with imagines from the past 2 years. Memories of those dark moments, where it seemed everyone around me was announcing their pregnancies. Feelings of isolation and loneliness during the months of negative results. And jealousy of women who were able to conceive without a second thought. Following our miscarriage in January, Grey and I struggled with just being a part of life. No one, outside of those who had lived through IF and a few close friends and family members, understood.

The results from Friday and Sunday haven't changed my mind-set. Despite having two excellent betas, I not all giddy and announcing to the world that I was successful able to POAS; I'm still holding my breath and proceeding cautiously. Because I know all too well that it can end.

My other problem is that this news comes on the heels of learning about failed cycles and miscarriages for fellow bloggers. Too much heartbreak for women I care about and all of whom do not deserve this pain. And if I could, I would wave my magic wand and make it so that every woman on this journey was pregnant with the guarantee that it would go smoothly resulting in a baby to take home.

So where does this leave me? Well, I'm still trying to figure that out. I plan on continuing to blog, focusing on infertility. Because I am infertile and I know that infertility is now part of my identity. But as I progress through this journey, no matter the outcome, I know that I will need to write about it to some extent. Hence, I'm at a loss. How can I proceed without hurting those I care about?

This is where I open it up to all of you. In hopes of gleaning some knowledge and insight from this community. You've taught me so much in such a short period of time, I know that I won't be disappointed.

Brief update on this end: Our first ultrasound is a week from Thursday. As many have suggested in the comments, the "T" word has been dropped a lot by the REs and their team. What will be will be.


  1. Our first ultrasound is on Wednesday! I'll be checking up on you. I know just how you feel about entering the other realm... I drafted a post today but will post it tomorrow once I have worked a bit more on it. Hope you can enjoy this pregnancy without the worries of "what if."

  2. I say keep blogging with sensitivity about your journey. I personally have stopped reading blogs once they get their BFP, unless their writing is good enough that I want to keep reading their stories. Your readers that enjoy your style and story will keep reading and the ones who can't handle the BFP (no judgement), will find other blogs.

  3. I'm still gonna be here no matter what you do. I can't wait to see how your ultrasound goes!

  4. I think the fact that you're cognizant of it is the biggest thing -- and the fact that you can mentally put yourself in many readers' shoes. And then you write the way you would have wanted someone else to write for you when you were in that position.

    All the while talking about what you need to talk about -- this is YOUR space and you need to use it as you need to use it.

    And I, for one, will be here because I started reading you because you're YOU, not because of your situation. And your writing style will still be your writing style even after the subject matter changes.

  5. Please keep blogging, Cristy! I know you and I know you won't be insensitive toward us infertiles in describing your journey. I for one will always care and will keep reading. :)

    In other news, I myself thought about the T word too! Such high beautiful numbers, it's entirely possible... or not. Could just be one extra strong little bean in there. Eeee now can't wait to hear what happens on the 5th!

  6. I just want you to know that I will follow your blog regardless what direction it goes in. Yes my ivf failed and I am learning to deal with the disappointment but you know what? You went through the exact same pain as all of us and worked so hard and cried so many tears and now you are blessed. You deserve every single second of this. I do understand not wanting to offend or hurt people but you also have to move forward and be proud and enjoy your pregnancy. I will be a huge supporter and looking forward to ultrasounds and belly pics.

  7. Ditto what everyone else said. I love reading your blog no matter what you're currently going through.

    I admit that I feel a little awkward sometimes commenting on blogs of pregnant women. I absolutely want to be supportive, but worry that my bad experiences with pregnancy (ie, miscarriages) will contribute to preggo's anxiety levels. Like, when people are asking for help with nausea, I feel very weird offering suggestions when my nausea didn't mean I was safe, pregnancies didn't end well, etc. Don't know how to separate my bad experiences from my comments unless my comments are completely vague ("sounds normal! good luck!"). So, while I may comment less, I'm still following you and here for you.

    Ok, rambling. Please blog about whatever you're going through! I'm not going anywhere!

  8. I think you have enough sensativity and care in your writing that I am not worried about how I will feel. I am happy for you and am so sincerely glad that you have another chance.
    As much as the negative parts of this journey and community can bring you down, it can also be uplifting and comforting. You are still an infertile and are still at the beginnings of your new path. Stay for as long as you want. This place, your blog, can also be about success and happiness.
    I wish you luck at your ultrasound and am excited to hear the results.

  9. Good Luck. I hope the ultrasound goes well.

  10. My opinion is that we are all made of strong enough stuff to handle posts of pregnant and parenting IF bloggers. If we can handle the pain of infertility, we should be able to stomach someone else's happiness. :)

  11. I agree with what everyone has said: You're aware of the sensitivity of IF and finally getting a BFP. That means a lot. Plus, many readers (myself included) follow someone because of how they write, not just what they write. I remember being in this exact same position and it's a tricky one to figure out how you want to proceed, but I'm sure you'll figure it out. :)

    psst, what is the "T" word?

  12. I can only speak for myself, but I continue to read blogs for lots of reasons, but the biggest is that something in the voice of the author touches me.

    I want to know how things are going for you, regardless of my lack of luck so far. I also hope that you can continue to write with the same honesty and insight that you have so far. So yes, sensitivity is important, but so is telling your true story.

    (I do tend to skip posts that answer the same list of questions every week. (Yes, I know you're still wearing maternity clothes/having a girl/etc.) I'd much rather hear their story. But that's just me, I'm not offended by it or anything.)

  13. I'm pretty sure that when you started this blog, you did it for you. Because you needed an outlet. And I'm pretty sure you continued to write new posts week after week, not for those of us that were following- but for you. I would recommend that you continue that. We are here as supporters that have chosen to follow along for any number of reasons. But this story, your story, is for you. Embrace it.

  14. I want to see and hear what's really happening with you no matter where you are in your process!

    I haven't really thought of my blog changing if I ever get a BFP because all along it's been about my experience wherever I am. The one thing that I do want to do if I get there, to be sensitive to others, is to NOT post belly or baby pics on Facebook. I'll set up a flickr account or something like that and post the link (without a thumbnail) so people know where they can go if they *want* to see pics, but I'm not going to make people choose between hiding my feed and scrolling quickly past pics in their news feed!

  15. Keep blogging however you want. talk about whatever you want. We know you have been through the same stuff we have so we know you understand and don't want to upset. But this is your space and you should be able to say whatever you want. I am still in the trenches and I will keep reading no matter what.

  16. Will be here every step of the way with you... I love your writing and I find blogs about IFers that are now pregnant to be inspirational and keep up my hope that maybe there's light at the end of the tunnel. Don't apologise or feel guilty for anything you write... you write in such a beautifully sensitive way that I'm sure no-one would take offence and you can be our light outside the trenches :)) Plus, like many have said, this is your blog and pregnancy after IF has it's own set of anxieties, so you have every right to express concerns and happiness along the way... and we'll be right along side you xoxo

  17. For me personally, I feel that this is your space. If people feel hurt, triggered or anything else by what you say they can step away and come back when they are ready. I would not want you to lose your space to be you. God knows there are so few places for us IFers/loss survivors to just be us. You have my unconditional support no matter what you write or how you feel.

  18. Hi Cristy! I've been sitting here catching up on all your posts I've missed over the last few weeks. I am SOOOOO happy for you guys!! I know you're still in a place with the recent events that your scared and nervous to get your hopes up too much. But know that those of us following your story will be your cheerleaders and are pulling for you all the way.

    As for how you continue to blog after a BFP, I agree with these ladies. We all blog primarily as an outlet for ourselves - to process our thoughts and emotions. The friends we've gained along the way are an added bonus and the truth is, we're all striving for the same goal.

    Through the support group we joined last year after our miscarriage, we've made several close friends. Out of us 4 couples, the other three couples are now pregnant again. Everyone but us. There is a little part of me that is hurt in this (as I would like to be right there with them), but the other part of me wants to be their biggest fan through all of this as there's no one else I could be happier for. They've all had losses at even later stages than us and I know what they have endured.

    When we are all pursuing a common goal and have shared our heartaches and our losses, it doesn't hurt like someone outside of this community. You've been where we are and you understand. It may sound crazy but that's how it's different for me.

    Much love and I cheering for you!


Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved