What I was trying to say was…

Well that post got pretty much the response I was expecting, somewhere on the spectrum between no response and a slightly negative one. It actually prompts me to write a post about when and why people comment, or maybe more specifically when and why they choose NOT to comment, but I think I’ll save that discussion for a later date.

What I want to do now is explain where that post came from and why I chose to write it. I also want to clarify my feelings on the matter. I am not sad that I don’t get 30+ comments on a BFN or a BFP post. I am just using that comparison to prove a point. And it’s absolutely possible that I have fewer followers than those who get many more comments than I do on good new or bad news posts, but I think that reality also proves the point I was trying to make, that those undergoing treatment find followers more easily than those who don’t.

I’m not trying to imply that women in this community specifically avoid bloggers who are not seeking treatments–or who do not yet qualify for treatments–because they don’t appreciate their struggle. I would guess it happens because we gravitate to the blogs of women who are walking a similar path. We want to see how someone else deals with the struggles that seem overwhelming to us. We want to open dialogues with people who have an understanding of what we are going through, who can provide empathy. And if you are in throes of IVF, reading about some woman getting BFNs month after month while she waits to make an RE appointment is not in the least bit relevant. It doesn’t help the IVF veteran deal with her fourth medicated cycle resulting in a BFN. The two experiences are just totally different.

And that is really the point of my post, that being in the no-mans land where I find myself is doubly isolated. No one if the fertile world understands me and only slightly more people in this community are in a position to relay support. I don’t fit in with the fertiles OR the infertiles and that makes the whole experience that much more isolating.

That is really what I was trying to get to with that post, the isolation of it. I don’t have any peers, anywhere really and that makes this a lonely path to walk. I’m not saying it’s as difficult a terrain to traverse as infertility but it provides its own challenges. And it’s also not the skipping through the daisies that everyone seems to enjoy in real life. And I know not everyone in real life enjoys that, but if I don’t know what they are going through, it doesn’t really matter what it is. Their possible struggle–if I’m totally ignorant of it–doesn’t make my journey any less lonely.

So that was my intent, though I don’t think I realized it until I got the few comments I did on this morning’s post. It’s not that I CARE that members of this community aren’t as drawn to my story because of it’s irrelevance to their own lives, it’s not that I’m trying to compare myself to other bloggers who may seem more popular. I’m just trying to explain how isolating it can be to walk my specific path. And I know it’s not such a horrible path. I have a daughter and a partner and a house and a job and my path could be so very much worse, but it’s still difficult to walk alone. It’s still difficult to struggle with sub-par fertility and mental unhealth when the real world presents an assumption of fertility and health and this community presents an assumption of medicated cycles and prolonged struggle. It’s difficult not to belong.

That’s all I was trying to say.

17 responses

  1. I’m sorry I didn’t manage to comment on this morning’s post; I thought a lot about it on my way to work and just didn’t get a chance to comment until now, given my day.

    Anyway. I used to think that it would be good to have people in the same place as me. And for a while, it was. I had cycle buddies and it was good. And they had kids, and I had failures. And they moved on. Lucky for me, I did get pregnant with Lucky, eventually. And I started trying again for another baby with a lot of people trying for their second children.

    And they got pregnant and I didn’t.

    And here I am, facing the reality that I probably will only have one child. And I can tell you, where there are a couple of bloggers I read that are in the same place, but it’s few and far between. IRL, there are NO people in my close circle of friends that have an only child.

    Medicated and prolonged struggle, yes, that I have. But I, too, feel alone, walking my specific path. So, um, you’re not alone in feeling alone?

    I suspect that there are many of us, on our own journeys, that feel alone a lot. That’s what being infertile (which, by the way, includes sub-fertility) does to you, you know? It’s insidious, and it makes you feel alone, like no one really GETS it, even your partner.

    Anyway, this is a long way of saying that I understand what you’re saying and I actually feel the same way, even though I am infertile and have been doing treatments for way too fucking long. 🙂

    xoxo

  2. This makes complete sense and I am so sorry to hear that you are feeling isolated 😦 I understand this totally, and I am so sorry 😦 My comment was dumb: I was trying to understand why I personally comment more on the ART cycle posts (and I oversimplified and assumed: always a bad move), but none of that is relevant to your situation.

    My most humble apologies.

  3. I just read this post and your previous post for the first time. I am sorry you feel so isolated, but understand why you feel that way. I think we just tend to think, as humans, the more extreme measures someone has to take to do something (anything, not just conceive) the more they earn sympathy, congratulations, or whatever. I find this to be true in the special needs world, as well, which sometimes I feel very isolated in, too. And yes, we do tend to read blogs and offer comments to those who we relate to the most. You are always so honest in your writing, and I know your regular readers appreciate that so much- I know I do. Continuing to cheer you on and hoping you get that BFP very, very soon!

    • I just want to comment here and say that I agree with Elizabeth in that I appreciate your honest writing so, so much. And as you know, I am here to keep cheering you on.

  4. “Well that post got pretty much the response I was expecting, some where on the spectrum between no response and a slightly negative one”

    I’m quite interested to know where you got ‘slightly negative’ from, because I saw nothing other than supportive. I assume the last post you refer to is the Actions, Words and Reality?
    Ten comments?! In less than 24 hours? Can’t remember last time I got 10 comments on my blog, not including my own replies. Is it really all about the replies? I feel like whatever I had to say is completely irrelevant and just shouldered to the side for not saying whatever I’m not sure (if you wanted to hear something in particular), but maybe that’s my projection?
    And if you read something ‘slightly negative’ into my comment please, do enlighten, because clearly I need to work on conveying myself better in writing when I think I’m merely responding to your post as authentically as I can, without anything negative being felt as I wrote it.

    Or have I massively misinterpreted something?

    • I am truly sorry if my response made you feel like I didn’t appreciate your comment. That was not the case but I can understand that you felt that way.

      I wrote that post when I had received four comments on it. After I pressed publish I had more comments. And they were more supportive than the few that didn’t feel that supportive originally. I am sorry that, because I didn’t bring attention to the positive post, you thought that meant your comment was negative. That was not my intent. I apologize for any hurt feelings.

  5. A long section of the first post was about how to announce your BFP, and I think what bugged me is how DOWN you were on your future self and what it would mean for YOU to be pregnant. This is what you want so badly right now. You may not be doing medical treatments yet (and hopefully won’t have to) but does that mean you want this child any less than others who do? I would hope not! The TTC, while a horrible, awful mindfuck, is really only the beginning and even in the very heartbreakingly tough stories is still a very small percentage of the future child’s life (again hopefully!), and all the effort, and joy, and pain, and wonder, and frustration, and hardship you will go through with that new person. I would hate to think that anyone would actually believe they want or deserve their child more than everyone else who is trying to have a baby, because of their TTC experience being bad. While some may feel this way, I have to call narcissistic if they do. Because then the desire for that child is starting to be a lot more about them and that person fulfilling their OWN desires than about the actual human being they are trying to create.

    I guess this struck me because in the first post its almost like already, you are stopping yourself from being fully happy or feeling like you are “allowed” to be seeking love and support from anyone online in advance. Already, before anyone has even been allowed a chance to react to this news, you are not allowing yourself to “belong”, or to fully enjoy, share, or even feel you deserve it. That’s not good! Yes, I know people in the ALI community really want to avoid hurting others callously. But I really do think this can go too far – almost like if one of us gets the thing they wanted so bad it has to come hand in hand with not only worry but also with guilt, social anxiety, “low pregnancy-self-worth”, lol. It’s one of the things I don’t like to see so much as I think it contributes HEAVILY to schisms in the community like we saw with the PAIL thing – I think the PAIL thing just brought to the forefront a schism that is already there and that starts with some of this stuff. Not to mention it can result in one losing enjoyment over something they worked so hard to achieve and wanted so much, which I don’t think anyone on these journeys deserves. JMO though.

  6. I had typed out a comment this morning but it seemed so STUPID, I never posted it. It went like this: “Meh, people are dumb.” Really articulate, right? I did want to let you know though that every pregnancy that is desired, whether hard-won or not, deserves to be celebrated. (And see, now I’m hesitating to post this because THIS also just seems so stupid. But I do want to let you know that I’m reading along and I’ve got a big ol’ “YAY!!!” waiting for you for when you get your BFP) 🙂

  7. E, do you think there will be some measure of relief for you if/when you reach the point of actively undergoing ART? Obviously you hope you’ll get pregnant before that (I hope you do too!), but when I read your last two posts and put myself in your shoes I thought that in some ways I’d be relieved to reach the point of ART. Partly because then I’d “belong” and partly because I would be able to justify to myself (and maybe to others) why the TTC process was so difficult. I was just wondering if you feel a bit like that too.

  8. I am a bit confused – was my response negative?

    I guess all I wanted to say was don’t sweat the small stuff.

    Each journey is different and each journey if it ends in a positive pregnancy test deserves to be congratulated.

    Can I also be honest here E – and I don’t mean to be offensive in the least but sometimes I find myself hesitating to comment on your blog because I fear being taken the wrong way and the subject of your next post. It’s not a criticism but maybe I am not alone. It doesn’t mean I am not here internally cheering for you and I am hoping desperately that you will be pregnant again but sometimes there is such anger underlying your posts that I don’t want to unwittingly say something that could hurt you so instead I say nothing at all.

    • No, your response was not negative and I’m sorry I insinuated as much. And thank you for telling me honestly how you feel about commenting on my blog. It is really good for me to hear that. And honestly, while hard to hear, is not surprising. I think I’ve always been like that, dishing it out but unable to take it. I am entirely too sensitive and if I’m going to be writing about stuff like this here, I need to develop some thicker skin because most of the time people are trying to be supportive and helpful and when I suspect otherwise it’s probably my own shit. Anyway, I’m sorry if I offended, or even just confused you, with that first line in my last post. And I really appreciate your comment here. I will take it to heart (and probably mention something about my reaction to it–all positive I promise–in my next post).

      • You definitely didn’t offend – just confused me a bit. And as a hard as it is, honestly don’t even stress about people commenting. I have found that it is better to get support from a consistent true bunch of friends that have followed my journey than random comments here and there.

  9. Hi, there, Esperanza! I don’t read you regularly but I clicked over from Courtney’s blog this morning and just had to comment on this post.

    I understand why you feel isolated. It is hard feeling like you are the only one going through something that is extremely frustrating personally, but I believe that you can find support in unexpected places. Allow me a metaphor if you will… I’m an American expat living in Spain. When I first moved back here with my husband (a Spaniard) I had a good 7 month wait before I could start working. I felt so alone during that time because it seemed like no one could truly understand me. I searched out other expats, but I didn’t want Canadians or Australians or Brits. I wanted Americans. Because only they could understand me. And I didn’t want young Americans who were there teaching English (read: me, 5 years earlier). I wanted professional ones who understood my worries about assimilating Spanish corporate life. But even then, I didn’t just want professional American women. I wanted ones who were married to Spaniards too, because only they could really “get me.” Over the months I managed to find a few women who fit the bill. In the process I found many others who didn’t fit all the characteristics I’d wanted but who still managed to understand my frustrations/worries/complaints. In the 5 years since then, the friendships that I forged in those early months have mostly disappeared, but some have hung on and passed the test of time. And you know who those women are? Out of 4 women, ONE is a “perfect match.” ONE. The others? Well, the others are just wonderful, loving, caring, supportive women. If I haven’t given them a chance, if I had stuck to my desire to find women in my EXACT same circumstances I would have missed out on some wonderful friendships. In the early days it wasn’t necessary easy to open up about certain things because I felt like they simply wouldn’t understand, and, frequently they didn’t, but they TRIED. And that made all the difference.

    And, let me say, there are days where I still feel I do not belong. There are days when I want to run screaming from this country because I cannot take ANOTHER misunderstanding. And it IS hard to feel that way. It IS hard to feel alone. But I know that I actually AM NOT. And from the support you’ve received on this post I think it’s clear that you aren’t either, even though you may feel that way. Yes, your path is unique in a way. But you are not alone.

  10. I felt a lot like Chon and Stinky. I sent you a long & detailed email about how much I related to what you were saying and how much I felt the same. And thanking you for writing what I didn’t have the guts to (as usual). And then I found myself wondering, did you not receive it? Because how could you feel like you got no response, or an unsupportive one?

    I don’t know, E. We are trying. We are trying to be supportive. It may not always be perfect, but I hope you can see it.

    • I didn’t see your email until really late in the day. I don’t check my blog email at work at all and had no way of knowing that you emailed. And when I did see it at 10:30pm I didn’t have time to respond, but I will.

      I wrote that second post after getting three comments, a few of which I felt indicated I had been misunderstood. So I tried to better explain myself. Besides on brief sentence I felt my post was just a continuation of the one before, I was just trying to say something more. And I understand that people are frustrated with me but I also feel like I have apologized and people are still coming at me about it. I’m just doing the best I can. I’m sorry.

      • Yes, I kind of figured that you wouldn’t be able to check your email at work, since you’re a teacher. That’s okay. But I didn’t see your folow-up post until almost 24 hours after the first one, so I was confused about when you said the first hadn’t gotten many comments. Maybe it’s just the time difference and when things show up in my reader?

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