As I’m sure all of you remember, there was a big hullaballoo in the ALI blogging community a little while back — I wasn’t too involved in it, but I know it involved some harsh words exchanged between infertiles who were still in the trenches and a handful of infertiles who had finally, after YEARS of trying, become pregnant. As it happened, these three were also the hosts of a podcast about infertility, so some people felt this was hypocritical and they should be replaced. I’m not going rehash the whole thing because in my opinion it was pretty ludicrous — the whole point of going through infertility treatments is to get knocked up, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when this actually happens, nor should it suddenly discredit all the pain and struggle a woman has previously endured, pain that often includes not just repeated BFNs but horrible shit like late-term baby loss.
ANYWAY, it was a stark reminder of the weirder aspects of this world, specifically how the way in which an infertile behaves (or blogs) once she becomes pregnant is suddenly put under intense scrutiny — is she going to “forget” all that she went through and indulge in bumpdates and annoying pregnancy memes that compare her baby to fruit? Or is she going to “take the higher road” and constantly edit herself to make sure she isn’t offending anyone with too much baby stuff, and put warnings before any photos of pregnant bellies or ultrasound pics? Or is she going to close up her blog altogether and maybe restart another blog that is more geared toward the PAIL (pregnancy after infertility and loss) segment of the Interwebs? Whatever she chooses, there is much judgement.
What I’m realizing now, however, is that whatever a blogger chooses to do, it’s less of a reflection of how deeply she’s been affected by infertility and more a reflection of… well, just her. Period. Someone like Mo, for instance (I’m not going to link to her current blog because she’s asked not to be dragged back into the ALI scene) is the type of girl who is sarcastic and unabashedly critical but also self-deprecating — so, obviously, she’s not the type to get all gushy and dorky about pregnancy. Then you have someone warm and positive like Lisa, who made a very eloquent case for why she chooses to compare her baby to fruit and go into detail about her symptoms, baby shower decorations, weight gain, etc. Both these ladies have been through INTENSE struggles, both will NEVER forget their infertility pain, and yet, because they’re different girls with different personalities, they’re going to have different blogs, and I am all for that.
To bring this back to me (because I MATTER THE MOST), I was basically as curious as anyone else about how I would end up changing — or not changing — after I got that BFP. And I’m referring both to blogging and how I act in real life. Part of me thought, “OK, if you really get excited about the fruit thing, don’t hold back, just write about it and who cares if you lose readers.” I also told myself, “Don’t apologize for blabbering on at length to your friends and family about this baby because you’ve spent two years trying to reach this point and you deserve to indulge in conversations about due dates and cravings.”
But 10 weeks in, I’ve realized that I get very sick of talking about my pregnancy after about five minutes. This is because I get sick of talking about myself — in any manner — after about five minutes. As I was explaining to a friend the other day, I’m starting to have deja vu back to when I was engaged and the only thing people would ever ask me about was how the wedding preparations were going. I was happy to give a few updates, share a few anecdotes, but after a while I wanted to holler, “THERE IS MORE TO MY LIFE THAN THE FACT I’M GETTING HITCHED!” Now, I’m realizing that despite my struggles with infertility and how crazy-elated I am to finally be pregnant, this will not alter a fundamental part of my personality that has little patience for talking at length about one very specific part of myself or my life (in this case, the contents of my uterus). On a sidenote, I believe this is mostly due to having British parents — the approach to child-rearing in the UK is largely centered around making sure you never feel too good about yourself.
I haven’t really succeeded in making a coherent point here, but I guess I’m trying to say that: 1. We should all be accepting of how other bloggers decide to write about their pregnancies after infertility, because, 2. This probably has less to do with how infertility has affected them than simply how they approach life in general. So all the more reason to NOT criticize, but rather let everyone be preggo in whatever way they want to be. Fruit or no fruit. Self-awareness or self-indulgence. Just do what feels right.