Thursday, August 20, 2009

Feel free to delete me

So, I've noticed something strange online lately. I totally didn't expect it and am totally blindsided by it. I've read several bitter-ish comments on blogs about people in the IF community being rude enough to title their blog posts with how many weeks pregnant they are or updating their facebook status with pregnancy announcements, or being rude enough to "flaunt" their pregnancies by posting belly pics or ultrasound pics on what used to be fertility blogs. You are totally free to have your own opinions...but I can voice mine too...and if it bothers anyone, please delete me from your blogroll, I really won't mind at all. You've all been very supportive of me as I've struggled and stressed and I hope I've been supportive and will continue to be supportive of you in all of your struggles...

Here is my thought- we need successful fertility blogs out there! We need to see someone make a goal. We need to see beautiful, round pregnant bellies so that we remember that the goal is worth it and attainable and that there is some goodness in the world! I remember I was right behind 3 other women in the fall with my pregnancy. I used to check on their status daily in the first few weeks of my pregnancy so I knew what to expect and what to look forward to. Then I miscarried...and they supported me in my pain...and I continued to go to their sites knowing that I would have been just a week or two behind them but also knowing that I had to follow through with their stories so that I could see there was some good and there was some success and happiness does come for some of us. I followed through. They all gave birth just last month. To happy, healthy babies that keep them up all night. Do I miss that my baby (due July 9th) didn't get to be born? Of course...it was horribly painful to remember and know that he or she didn't make it...but it made me also feel good for these women who finally had their dreams realized. How could it not?

Another point- Why shouldn't women who have struggled for years, gone broke, ruined their bodies and just plain suffered be allowed to enjoy their pregnancies? Speaking for myself...I know I've left some of you behind...I think of you often and check your progress almost daily...and worry when I don't hear from you. I cry at your loss posts or your BFN posts. I still feel that....but dammit, I am going to enjoy this pregnancy! I've been you for 7 fresh IVF cycles. 6 times I've watched women pass me in this marathon. I think I finally deserve to be excited about my pregnancy and flaunt my belly and shout out my making it past the first trimester. If you don't agree -delete me. Its that easy. I'll notice and be fine with it. I'll be honest, I think that those of us who suffered have more of a right to post our pics than others at times. It never bothered me a bit - what bothered me? When Brett and I were taking a walk a few weeks ago and I saw a woman who was obviously late in her third trimester smoking a cigarette! That bothered me...I thought why is this easy for her? (b/c you know it was...the rest of us gave up everything- caffeine, smoking, gluten, sugar, dairy, etc...you name it, we gave it up to try for this). Why can't one of my IF "friends" have that child that is right now suffering cigarette smoke in her body? NOT FAIR. I do still try to be sensitive to you all - but when you get pregnant, I will be the first one insisting on belly pics and u/s updates and encouraging you to enjoy the hell out of it. This is what you've worked for and I don't care if you are obnoxious (I doubt you will be) but flaunt it - enjoy it! live life!

We have all been through a lot to get where we are. They say infertility is second only to cancer in the kind of stress you endure and the amount of extreme treatments people will endure in order to succeed. That is why most of us started these blogs - to find support and give support to others who understand what we are going through. Most of us have lost a lot of real life friends over it because infertility does make you hide out from the world in many different ways -from avoiding pregnant friends for some of us, avoiding showers, staying home b/c you feel like crap from all of the shots and hormones, staying home b/c you are depressed about a BFN, or hiding b/c you just suffered a loss that no one would understand or want to hear about. We lose friends...so we find each other. Then I see negative comments online -maybe directed at me, maybe not - but I have a big mouth so I thought I'd mention it. It won't change how I act, what I do, because truly, I've been through enough to really care. But, I thought I'd say something for others...it gives us a very bad image that we can't even be happy for other people who have struggled and finally reached part of their goal. Also I hope a lot of those comments aren't directed at me b/c I'm not even flaunting it - I'm still almost making myself sick I am so nervous about this ending bad. I am certainly not someone you want to "take down a notch", lol, b/c I don't have very far to go. I am finally emerging from the fear to say that I am going to start to enjoy this!

Finally I want to say that I have seriously learned something about myself. I can't keep my mouth shut about IF. Seriously, if I tell someone I am pregnant, I then have to say that we did treatments. I didn't know this about myself and I keep surprising myself. It seems I have a compulsion to mention it b/c I hate that it is always so hush-hush. I hate that miscarriage is also something that isn't talked about. So, I say it. I don't do it for attention or sympathy - I think I do it so that maybe they can relate. I had an older guy at the YMCA talking to me at the pool the other day. He asked me how many laps I swim, I told him and we started talking. Somehow I said that I just started swimming again on doctor's recommendation b/c I am pregnant. He congratulated me and I said that we tried with lots of fertility treatments. He said, "how long?" I said 3 years...turns out he and his wife waited 6 years for their first...and each of their 2 daughters have had fertility problems- including doing treatments and having miscarriages and they've both had success. It was a great conversation. I don't think there is anything wrong with the route we took to get pregnant, I'm not embarrassed, and so I guess I won't be shy about it. I'm annoyed when I hear people say that they are appalled by IF treatments...and if they say it to me, I will disagree and try to educate. Annoying, probably, but at least they will know more the next time they say something stupid to someone who did treatments. So, I seem to have passed into pregnancy still waiving my IF flag! Good or bad.

Anyway, I'm not mad at anyone who made these comments. I'm just giving my side of the argument. I think it is unfair to expect us not to enjoy our pregnancies. I know a lot of women cancel their fertility blog and start a pregnancy blog...but that seems silly to me sometimes. If you don't want to read my blog, please don't. However, people are used to my blog right where it is. I have friends and family who check in here. And, I like that my fertility blog has taken a happy turn.

21 comments:

Jennifer said...

I applaud this post. You deserve to celebrate your pregnancy especially after all you've been through. We do need successful stories - I've been following yours and it has served as an inspiration to me. Keep it up :-)

The Turner family said...

Well said! We do need successes out there!

Megan

Pie said...

You should enjoy it, and don't let others' negativity take any of that joy away from you. I love to follow "beyond IF" blogs, because like you said, it gives me hope. And I'm hoping to join your ranks soon enough. Isn't that the point of going thru all of this?

Jill M. said...

Sorry, not deleting you from my blogroll, I'll remain a faithful follower cheering you on! You deserve every ounce of happiness and don't for one second feel guilty about it.

Whatever comments you saw, shame on them. We all strive to have a happy ending, some get there sooner than others. The ones that get there sooner give hope to those still running the race.

Honestly, I'm so glad you posted this. I'm really tired of those that finally win the prize having to tip toe around those that haven't gotten there yet. I haven't gotten there yet, but let me tell you, when I do, you better believe I'm going to celebrate it and anyone who doesn't like it are free to delete me too. Ok, I could go on and on, but I'll stop.

Celebrate it girlfriend!

Not Your Aunt B said...

Your story is your story. I like reading it. I wouldn't want you to edit it based on what anyone says/thinks other than yourself.

DAVs said...

Of course we're still here! The way I handle this as a 'still fighting the fight IFer' is I organize my blogroll...that way I know when I get to one section I'm reading updates about PREGNANCIES...DUH! So why wouldn't you talk about it? As you said, it's inspiring and hopeful and yes yes yes keep posting and belly picturing and all that good stuff! I think the worst thing is when 'crossovers' just stop blogging entirely, although I get it that your life will become immensely different pretty soon :)

Angie said...

Well said! You are absolutely right ~ you (and those who have *crossed over*) give those of us on *this side*: HOPE. Is it hard to read about the pregnancy this or that and look at the pics? Somedays, yes; somedays, no. But I would NEVER not want you (or anyone one else) not to relish and ENJOY their pregnancy! Like you said, everyone has options: read or not read.

Thank you hun for continuing to share your journey with us!!! You are truly an inspiration! And share, share, share pics!!! :-)

heedpantsnow said...

Amen! While, I haven't struggled with IF, I agree completely that you shouldn't have to hide it from people. It's not as if you have made a poor choice that landed you in that situation. You have worked hard to overcome the hand you were dealt.

You summed it up perfectly and could have easily been speaking my thoughts about miscarriage. Loss is like a taboo subject and shouldn't be either. I don't need anyone's pity and I will speak freely about my loss becasue it is real, it happens to people and I did NOTHING to cause or deserve that outcome.

So, you may as well hang a neon sign on your blog announcing your weeks and days pregnant and include a thorough symptom update with every post. You've earned it and if you are starting to embrace this pregnancy...then live it up! Not only have you earned it for yourself but also in acknowledgement of the angels you lost.

Peace to you and your pregnancy!

Me said...

I do not continue to read all IF-turned-pg blogs. I do delete the ones I can't bear. And I do think some people take it "over the top". And I personally will NEVER have belly shots on my blog. u/s pics, probably not but possibly. Nursery pics maybe. And I will or will not have these things because they are directly related to what hurts the most for me to see as a still-in-the-trenches (for almost 4 years now) gal. And I do NOT ever get hope from other's success. Their IF and my IF are nothing a like. For every three first time IVF'er I've seen get a BFP, I have one friend who never did find success with her own gametes.

THAT ALL SAID.

My choice is mine and mine alone. Likewise for others. If I have a consistent problem with a bloggers content, I will, quite simply, stop reading them. I would never be so bold as to tell them how to manage their own blog. I am a live and let live kind of person.

Phoebe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DonnaPetit said...

It's so sad when people can't be happy for someone else's success. Especially when you have worked so hard to get to where you are. I guess misery loves company, and if you're not miserable, the miserable will do their best to make you miserable. It sucks, but you're absolutely right, let them delete you. The women that don't delete you are the women that you'll be there for.

About you feeling a need to announce your IF experience? I'm a big fan of 'if there's an elephant in the room, it should be introduced'. You never know when you'll meet someone that it helps.

Allison said...

Good for you! I am so glad that you have decided that you are going to enjoy this and celebrate how far youve come!! Education is key! Although I am not married and dont have any children, I am just like you when someone makes a bad comment about IF and treatments. Most people just dont know enough and I am only able to help others begin to understand because of blogs like yours where I learn so so much. I have been following for a long time and I will continue to follow for as long as you keep writing! Hoping for all the best for you! :)

kayjay said...

I for one would be really upset if you stopped blogging and I am glad that you have continued to post your experiences. Pregnancy after years and years of IF is completely different than pregnancy because your BCP didn't work! Once you get the BFP it doesn't end there...it's just the start of another journey down a different road. I stop reading the blogs that bother me but yours is definitely not one of those. You have shown such sensitivity to those who continue to suffer and I can only hope to have such wonderful empathy. You should definitely celebrate your pregnancy and enjoy every single minute of it - it's fleeting in that it will only last 9 months and after everything you've been through, you more than deserve to enjoy every bit of it. Re: the pregnant smoking women - I get irritated too by that kind of stuff. I practically tore out the pages in my book that talked about giving up recreational drugs and cigarettes. For real?? You have to tell people to stop smoking and not to do drugs??? I too think about all of the people I know who suffer from IF and why, oh why, can't they have those poor children? Keep blogging - I love reading your updates.

Amber said...

Amen. You said it perfectly.

JJ said...

Wow, I'm glad I haven't seen any of those comments, my feeling would have been really hurt if I had. You've said it all so well. I can't tell you the amount of times I sit here at my computer with tears streaming down my face over the infertility blogs I follow. I will never forget how hard it all is and I will always continue to support my blog friends who are still waiting to get pregnant. I think once you've been through it, it changes you forever. I used to get alot of hope from following fellow IF'ers pregnancy blogs as well. Please don't feel guilty about the joy of your hard-earned pregnancy. I just wish that no-one had to go through infertility.

Lost in Space said...

This one caught me a little off guard and I wasn't really sure what to say at first. I'm sorry you were hurt and upset at all.

I support so much of what you say...celebrating pregnancies (especially in the IF world), enjoying and sharing pregnancies, supporting one another through all the good and bad.

I am thrilled for all my IF sisters who are able to live out their dreams and continue to follow along and offer up support. Some days it is hard, but (as you likely agree) that has nothing to do with any of you...

I'm not a fan of "flaunting" pregnancy no matter how hard one has worked ...maybe just a little too extreme of a concept for my overly-sensitive head right now. LOL.

Not everyone will have that "when you get pregnant..." moment and aren't looking to pregnant-after-IF blogs for hope. I continue to follow you because I care about you and want to support you the way you have supported (and continue to support) me.

I don't plan on going anywhere and am so happy you are starting to feel more comfortable embracing your pregnancy. I, too, love that your blog has taken such a happy turn. Hugs.

I hope this all came out right. My intention is one of a positive vibe. I just hope for balance I guess...celebrating and supporting one another while remembering that we aren't all in the same place.

Phoebe said...

The great thing about blogging is that you can pick and chose what you read. I do continue to read pregnancy blogs, but I only try to do it when I'm ready. The thing is, I can not totally control my google reader. Some blog titles from IF turned pregnancy blogs are like landmines to me, and there are only so many triggers I can take in one day.

You have been through so much on your journey to pregnancy, and you should feel free to enjoy it as much as you want! I was and still am very excited for you. You have been very sensitive in what you write about your pregnancy and I appreciate that.

For me, I have made a personal decision on what I will and will not post about when and if I get pregnant. These decisions are based on my own experience of trying to follow IF turned pregnancy blogs, which can be particularly challenging to me depending on the day. I hope you do not take anything I write on my blog personally, as my intention is not to attack anyone. I've got my own baggage about my personal pain and anger around IF.

As much as we want those we have "left behind" to continue to support us when we get pregnant, I think that it is just not entirely possible. I wish it wasn't this way. Unfortunately, I've been on every side of IF, so I have experienced both sides (not pg, pg), except for actually having a baby.

And sorry, I'm not deleting you from my blogroll either!

Allison said...

I don't think you should change your blog at all. I think you should be happy that you are pregnant and that things are going well. I also had some bumps in the road during my journey, but mine is a little different as I'm having to use a surrogate. We were supposed to do our transfer back in February, but ended up not being able to. Two other friends transferred before we did and are now pregnant, but I was happy for them. I have to admit I was a little jealous, but that's just normal. But it doesn't mean that I won't continue to support them and be happy they are pregnant. My turn just hadn't come yet, until a week ago. :)

Good luck, I enjoy following your blog.

Jo said...

You should brag and boast about your pregnancy. You've earned it!! I'm getting ready to start my first IVF cycle but I couldn't imagine not stopping by your blog to see how your pregnancy is progressing - it gives us all hope!

Barefoot said...

Thanks for this post. I struggle with the same thing, but know how valuable the pregnancy-after-IF were for me before I got knocked up myself. So I say, be happy and enjoy -- it's not like you'll ever forget the struggle it took you to get here, or the others who are still struggling.

Good luck with everything as your pregnancy progresses -- and congrats on entering the second tri!!

MoDLin said...

This is an excellent post and I couldn't agree with you more. Enjoy every moment of your pegnancy and thanks so much for sharing your fellings with us.