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.
I completely agree. I was new to the ALI blog community when this was all happening, and it is certainly a difficult situation to be in. We all have the same goal – which is to graduate/resolve out infertility. For people still in the trenches, some stories may serve as inspiration one day, and agony another. Peopl who become pregnant/make their family ned to do what is best for them. And, I think a lot of teh responsibility needs to be on the reader: if you are not in a place to read pregnancy updates, DON’T! Protect yourself by reading the blogs and posts you can handle that day!
Yes, yes and YES! Brava to you for this post. As always, so well thought out and so well expressed. Good job comparing (and complimenting) both Mo and Lisa – great examples of how different we are as people even as we are brought together by IF. (And bonus lol about the British parents – haha! Exactly!)
I love your post!
Oh the complexities!!! I think blogs are inherently self absorbed… I mean, most people write about themselves. I guess not all people do, they write about other things in the world but they usually involve their own opinions. And I think many people start blogs up for themselves, not so that other people will read their blogs anyways. And I also think for many, blogging about wanting to become pregnant, or blogging about losing weight, or any other thing, is essentially a way to blabber your mouth about something that you wouldn’t normally go around telling everyone around you for fear of making them sick of hearing the same old story over and over again. So, we blog. Somehow blogging is better than personal journaling because occasionally you get feedback, you occasionally feel like someone else relates to you, or finds what you said funny, or interesting.
I suppose once you become part of an actual “community” I can see how that would change. Like you have certain responsibilities to that community.
As a person, I have found reading about people’s struggles with infertility something that interests me. Whether it’s for the right or wrong reasons, I think like I’ve said before it’s like watching someone play the lottery every month and just hoping they hit the jack pot and when they do it’s so freaking fun. But I’m coming from a different place than the long time infertility blogger so of course my opinion will be different. And, if a blog upsets me/bothers me or bores me… I just don’t follow it. :)
I hope you won’t drop off the face of the planet with your blog now that you’re pregnant. I mean, if you want to, that’s okay of course, but there are some of us out there who do enjoy the updates :)
Of course I won’t drop off! I’m way to into myself to do that… ;)
I get this, I hate talking about myself. Which is ironic since I love blogging!!
Yes! I have been wondering how to deal with this myself. I haven’t quite figured out how I will handle pregnancy and my blog. I, like you, do not love to talk about myself very much. I haven’t told too many people so I haven’t had to endure a ton of pregnancy questions, but I am dreading the time when strangers want to chat about birth stories and touch my belly. Um, I also don’t like talking to strangers so this is going to be a challenge for me. I guess I better start getting used to it.
Agree lady! It’s all about different personalities and really people should just… stop it. I mean if someone goes to goo-goo I just don’t read (simple solution!) or if I’m feeling like a particularly bitter or unfair person, then I don’t read (another simple solution!). It’s harder to imagine what I’ll blog like if/when I’m pregnant…. Although I seem to blog only a tiny percentage about infertility really anyway so that’s probably an indicator. But if I felt compelled to get all fruitesque and involved about it, I totally would. (Though I do give mad props to the women who put the ‘click here for an ultrasound photo’ stuff.. The photos don’t particularly bother me but I think that’s above and beyond considerate and makes me want to get involved with her fruit comparisons because she’s a badass).
Also I love you. Let’s make out.
Done! Let the Interweb smooching begin!
I have not participated in the ALI blog community and I had no idea that this was going on. I second everything you said here (which is all I’ve read about this topic). Everyone is different and if an infertile woman gets pregnant and wants to enjoy every little thing about it, then go for it. I doubt I’ll ever be pregnant, but if I ever did I would be thrilled and taking pictures of my bump every single week. I know that. And decorating the nursery and all that. We’ve been deprived of so much, why would we have to hold back on this?
Like Kimberly said, if you can’t handle pregnancy and baby stuff, like it happens to me every now and then, then remove yourself from it. I think everyone is entitled to celebrate their pregnancy as much and in whatever form they want.
Sometimes I wish I was more connected with the infertile blogging community. I get a bit jealous when I see all these like minded women commenting on someone’s post. Like, how do you guys find each other? But thennnnn….I read about the cattiness between some people and it makes me glad I sorta just stay on the outskirts. Clearly I miss all the drama that way. But good for you for addressing it, and doing what’s best for you. PS-I love talking about myself. So yeah, anytime you don’t want to talk about too? We can totally talk about me. Boom.
*you. not too. Doh!
It’s a tough place to be in. Finding your blogging footing after a BFP is hard. I have so many feelings of anxiety and that won’t fade for a long time but there’s only so many times I can write about that. I start to feel redundate. I don’t want to write about how sick i feel because it can seem ungrateful. I’m still trying to decide how to proceed right now. I’ll figure it out eventually (if this baby sticks and I get the chance to) but right now I’m still trying to decide what feels right. But i can say right now I will not be doing pregnancy memes or any kind!
I totally agree with you. I think that people should write whatever the hell they damn well please on their blogs. Especially infertility blogs. I’m assuming that most of us who have them started them as part of a venting/search for support combo, and the concept of censoring what you’re feeling totally defeats both of those. Infertility is hard enough without worrying about what other people are thinking when they read what is essentially, to me, your online diary. When I first started following blogs, I really didn’t bother reading or following anyone who was pregnant. Not because it hurt (although on bad days it did), but because I couldn’t relate! Now, after forming some friendships in the ALI community, I have several pregnant bloggers that I’m following (including yourself!) because I feel like these people have become my friends and I care about what happens to them and how they’re feeling. If they end up comparing their fetus to fruit (because let’s face it, there’s not a lot of other easily relatable objects that size up so nicely) or whining about being pregnant, that’s their right on their own little part of the internet. You’re not trying to sell a product or get elected. Everyone doesn’t have to like what you say. But if it’s how you FEEL, then you’re entitled to write about it and people who don’t like it can go pound sand (which is a phrase I’ve never understood but like to use). Rant over.
I think I love you! :) This is a great post, and you really summarized how I felt about the whole thing. Amen sister. I will read whatever you write!!! I am truly excited about your pregnancy and hope to hear more about it though! :)
Right on, sister.
Making the transition from trying to pregnancy is awkward and there’s a lot of “survivor’s guilt” that comes with it. I would hazard to say to none (or at least most) of us can forget the pain of getting here, and just because we don’t keep talking about it on a daily basis doesn’t mean we don’t still feel it. I know that I’ve lost readers, but I’m ok with that. I know that people have to protect themselves and I respect that. I’ve had to do it, too.
So true!!! I started my blog for the benefit of myself and my family. If I get pregnant I am totally going to be a Mommy blogger, and I don’t think there is any shame in that. If someone doesn’t like my blog, they don’t have to read it. Just like if I don’t get pregnant and I decide to switch to adoption I know I may lose readers, but I am completely fine with it. Thanks for posting this, it was a great read.
I totally agree on how sad it was to see such animosity in this community. As someone who is new to blogging, it definitely made me hesitant to put myself out there.
On a note not related to this post, I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks (I think I stumbled on it right before your positive pregnancy test!) and just went through my first pregnancy and loss due to ectopic. I had to have emergency surgery yesterday, unfortunately. I also have had an HSG that showed open tubes, and I REALLY wonder about the whole thing. Anyway, after 7 medicated cycles (two of them with IUIs) and only one pregnancy, I am seriously considering IVF. Seeing your success is really comforting to me right now, and I can’t help but think, “this time, sperm and egg were good and made what should have been a healthy baby” and it makes sense that bypassing the tubes might help.
Anyway! Long winded and off-topic comment, but basically my point is that you are relevant and reading you has really helped me suss things out over the last 24 hours.
So glad you commented!! And welcome to ye’ ol’ blogging world… I think you are totally ready for IVF at this point, at least going from our very similar trajectories. My opinion is that IUIs are really only useful if the sperm have difficulty getting past the cervix and swimming up through the uterine lining. Most REs in Canada seem to push doing at least five or six IUIs before turning to IVF, but I say if nothing has happened (except an ectopic) after two IUIs, fuck it — don’t waste anymore money and go straight to IVF. The other advantage is that if you end up with blastocysts to freeze, you don’t have to worry about your eggs getting older by the time you try for a second (or third) baby. Anyway, that’s my opinion; really sucks that you ended up having to do surgery and I really wouldn’t want that to happen to you again…
I totally second what Gypsy mamma said to a T
Great post. I agree with you that the pregnant infertile has the right to post whatever they want, and that the reader also has the right to read or not read. I do admit that when I was trying to get pregnant, I would usually be inspired and excited when a fellow blogger got pregnant, but when they finally got to the point where they were posting bump photos and discussing car seats, I had to not read or in some cases unfollow. I did not begrudge them their happiness or their right to post that stuff. It’s just that it was tough for me to read and I didn’t need it. I did make exceptions for people who I had more blog interactions with, but if it was just some random person I was following, I sometimes looked away.
Now that I am pregnant, I won’t be posting ultrasound photos or bump shots. It’s just not my style, although I can understand why somebody else would want to do all that. If I write about my pregnancy, it will mainly be as a way to process it and alleviate any anxieties about it. I feel guilty for saying this because I am thrilled and grateful to be pregnant, and I know that I’m lucky that I didn’t have to go through a lot, relatively speaking, but pregnancy after infertility is scary and feels so tenuous. I’m glad to see that you are also 10 weeks with no symptoms! I’m almost 10 weeks and in the same boat. I hope there is still something alive in there. =)