Tuesday, November 18, 2008

::crickets::

I have noticed, while reading infertility blogs, that oftentimes once the blogger becomes pregnant the blog becomes stagnant. Once overly verbose writers clam up, posting nothing more than the occasional ultrasound update. I often wondered why pregnant infertiles suddenly go quiet and sometimes deduced that they were too blissfully happy to bother updating us who were still miserable, bitchy and barren. And maybe that's true for some of them.

But having officially become The Pregnant Infertile Who Shuts Her Mouth, I can tell you that in my case it's definitely not a matter of being so consumed with the rays of light shooting forth from my womb, but rather an inability to process my own thoughts and feelings within my own head, muchless in a readable way, sanitized enough to share with the public.

As an infertile you have months, years, to adjust to the life you're living. A woman new to the world of IF blogging is still quite experienced in feeling and thinking in the way of an infertile. Even someone newly diagnosed has likely had a year or more to come to grips with the fact that she is not like everybody else. By the time pen is put to paper, fingers to keyboard, she has likely processed countless failed cycles, a diagnosis, endless friends and their "oops" pregnancies and have begun to identify as one of the barren bunch. Pregnancy, it turns out, is the reverse. After spending 2 1/2 years adjusting to the concept that you are not pregnant (and aren't likely to get pregnant without remarkable acts of god or science) suddenly you're thrust into a new identity. Sure, it's an identity that you've strived for over the course of a lifetime, but it's also one you've fought to accept you might never have. Where the hell are you supposed to go with that?

I have now known about the pregnancy for 5 weeks, but I am no more adjusted to the reality of this reality than I was the day I found out. I am thankful that I haven't come out to most people, because honestly I don't know how to be pregnant. When friends who know ask how I'm feeling I don't know how to respond; I find myself uncomfortable discussing even the most mundane pregnancy details. I've spent so long feeling so raw when hearing the details of others' pregnancies...I just never imagined I would feel the same way myself. And I cannot lose the understanding that my pregnancy details could be excruciating for someone else to hear - someone out there doesn't want to know about my morning sickness the fact that I'm already in maternity pants, worrying instead that they will never have the discussion themselves. And as it turns out, maybe they won't. At least not out loud.

I don't know who this woman is or how she's supposed to feel. I don't know what to say, what life to live. So the days tick by, the counter creeps further towards 40 weeks and I wait. Hoping that someday soon I will know once again who I am...likely just before having to adjust again, this time from pregnant woman to Mother.

24 comments:

Tiffany said...

I can't say that I understand how you are feeling, but I can say that I enjoy reading your blog and I can imagine how it could be difficult. Us IF's have been scarred, and changed. I believe it would be unsettling and unknown, but with that being said I welcome hearing about your journey and I look forward to more unknown times for both you and I ahead.

Foreverloves said...

I used to always get frustrated when I wasn't pregnant because I'd stumble on all of these links to IF blogs and everyone was always pregnant when I got there. I started thinking, WHERE ARE THE 'REAL' IF BLOGS? Of course, I'm pregnant again...but I still write. I write because I'm insane with fear, and what better outlet is there?

Amy C said...

God Amber, I understand so much of what you wrote! It's surreal and scary and you really don't know how to feel. I do know that you should feel elated, happy, amazed, etc....and don't stop writing :-) My first u/s is tomorrow morning!! Are you still seeing Dr. Roach or has she released you to your obgyn?

Lisa said...

hey Amber, just glad to hear you are doing okay. It must be really scary - I look forward to reading how you make it through.

Emily said...

I love reading your blog and hope you continue putting your thoughts down. I'm sorry it is hard - I imagine it's quite an adjustment!

Your story gives me hope and I need my dose of hope every now and again!

Thanks for the supportive words today ;)

Viula said...

amber,

i don't have any words of advice or anything else, but i am glad you updated as i have been thinking of you often. xoxox

Amy C said...

Thanks Amber!! I am stil in shock! It's just so weird cause I don't feel pregnant...do you?

Kymberli said...

I understand exactly how you feel. I wrote about my first pregnancy, but it was in a fertile platform so it was easy for me to at least pretend to be normal. All of the pregnant after infertility stuff stayed squished inside with the plain infertility stuff. At the time, there wasn't really a niche for infertile voices, and I didn't have the gumption to crack open a space in the internet to create one.

Now there is such a niche and I have a voice here, but it's well after my personal struggles. So I feel like I walk sensitive lines. All of the repressed infertility stuff is still in there jockeying for position to get out, but I also have kids...and now the "mommyblogger" (for some reason, that term skeeves me out) side feels shaky and uncertain. But, here and there, I try to get out of my comfort zone of not talking about them, because I know it's not a bad thing to talk about them. Oddly enough, I get the most hits and comments from within the IF community on the posts where I dotalk about or post pics of my children. It's an odd rope to walk on, but I do try to be sensitive to my readers.

If I could I'd offer suggestions for trying to feel comfortable writing in your new skin, but I'm still trying to figure it out for myself. :)

tripmom827 said...

Hi there. Visiting from ICLW and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate how wonderfully you worded what I felt during my pg after IF and couldn't quite put into words. It was even worse when I found out i was having triplets! Best wishes for a H&H 9 months.

alicia said...

very well said! I found it so hard to write when first PG, because I was soooo sick and felt bad about complaining! but you have said it well.

good luck wiht your PG!

here from ICLW

MsPrufrock said...

It's an odd place to be, that limbo between stages. It is also weird once you become a mother, because you never quite feel like you fit in with all the "normal" mothers who blog.

We stick out, regardless of which side we're on.

Mo and Will said...

Hi! Here from ICLW. Great post. you're right that you are thrust into a whole new role once you get pregnant. It's a strange and vulnerable place to be a pregnant IF'er. I've been in both places. Unfortunately have had multiple losses, but when I imagine getting pregnant again (we're currently in the middle of IVF #3), I am at a loss to think how I will feel/process/or as you said, even begin to put into words the complicated emotions involved.

I wish you all the best. And I think it is great that despite not knowing quite what to say, you are saying something quite articulate.

Glad I got to read your blog.

Best,

Mo

www.lifeandloveinthepetridish.blogspot.com

Amy said...

While I'm not pregnant (and never have been) I know how you feel. I've been waiting so long for it I'm not sure how I'll react when I am, with joy of course. But I've spent so long in this mindset of not being pregnant that that will be a hard thing to break out of. Give yourself some time to adjust and try to enjoy this pregnancy for all its worth. Good luck!

ICLW

Cara said...

What a great post. Very insightful. And, on a few levels similar to how it feels after losing a child.

The main exception, of course, that grief is joy - represented in your womb!

Don't rush into your new identity. Let it grow on you.

ILCW

Andrea said...

Great perspective becasue I've noticed the same thing regarding IF blogs suddenly going quiet. Thanks and good luck with your pregnancy!

Rebecca said...

You know, it's funny, even though it took three IVFs to get pregnant with my third child and another IVF to get pregnant with the twins (currently 13 weeks along) I felt that once I had my first child the bitterness of being an infertile seemed to disappear. I still get a little annoyed at people who can conceive so easily but it doesn't bother me like it used to. I know a lot of IFers hold on to that bitterness, even after pregnancy, but I just couldn't. So, now I don't write as much about infertility and write about my pregnancy and my beautiful child.

Danifred said...

You can't feel guilty for being in a different place now. I experienced secondary infertility and now that my second has arrived, I feel guilty even commenting on infertility blogs. I think it's a hard thing to deal with no matter which side you're on.

Beautiful Mess said...

Hugs to you! I hope you can find out who you are SOON and then have to readjust because you are taking care of a beautiful new baby.
Thinking of you,
-D *ICLW*

Elana Kahn said...

It is difficult to come up with new things to post every day or every few days once you're pregnant. I felt like no one wanted to read about my symptoms every day lol. But, whatever it is, people keep reading, so you should keep posting! Here from ICLW.

Stacie said...

This was a great post! Being pregnant is a whole new world, and for so many IF'ers, it is scarier than hell.

I do think that you should write your feelings, whatever they may be. People come to blogs because they care about the person they read about, and that means they want to celebrate, comisserate, or vent right along with you.

I wish you luck with your pregnancy. ICLW

Kristin said...

Pregnancy after infertility (whether primary or secondary) is a terrifying time. Its hard to know how or what to feel.

ICLW

IdleMindOfBeth said...

As a still (thus far) infertile IF blogger, I can say that I would love to be able to read how others in my situation transition themselves into that new role, that new identity.

I'd like to imagine that it's all sunshine and roses, but that's because I've worked up quite the pregnancy/parenting fairy tale during the 4.5 years my infertile imagination has had to wander.

Whatever you decide to do with your blogging endeavors, I thank you for sharing this perspective. It's not one I've seen before, but my guess is that women that are going through it aren't sure how to verbalize it, as you so eloquently stated.

So, thank you.

ICLW

KandiB said...

Thanks for sharing...feeling so in the same boat. I'll be checking back often! ICLW

CappyPrincess said...

I think it's hard to stand with your feet on both sides of the fence and then try to talk about it on top of it.

I wish you great joy and sucess with this pregnancy.

iclw