Striving for Substance

I like to play a little game where I look back on my archives from a year (or two or three) ago to see where I was then and what I was writing about. I was playing this game recently and came across some really thought provoking posts from November of 2011. A quick comparison with my posts from this past month and one thing is abundantly clear. This struggle has totally hijacked my writing. I haven’t written much of substance in the past eleven months; my writing has been almost completely focused around our struggle to conceive.

That makes me sad. And somewhat disappointed in myself. I want to write something of substance again. I want to write posts that inspire the kind of comments that continue a dialogue. I want to work through my thoughts on an issue and test drive my opinions. I want to write something worth reading.

Because what I’ve been writing, at least for the past few months, is hardly worth reading. It’s just the same song, sung with different words; the melody never varies. And that melody is depressing and self-obsessed. It isn’t really useful to anyone but me. At least it doesn’t feel useful to anyone but me.

I don’t know. Maybe it is. The last month has made another point painfully clear; there is not much out there about secondary fertility. It’s incredibly difficult to find resources to help one work through the experience. Of course there are tons of books on infertility, what causes it and how to treat it. Ironically I had a lot of those books long before I actually suffered from the condition. But when it comes down to the experience of it, the emotional and social day-to-day? There just isn’t much. In fact, there is close to nothing.

Even as I search for blogs, most of the women struggling with secondary infertility already dealt with primary infertility. While there are many similarities between the two, it is a subtly different experience. Now don’t get me wrong, I devour the blogs of all women struggling to have their second child and their stories of strength are a salve for my soul. But I would love to find more stories of women who, like me, are also struggling to understand how it worked last time but isn’t working again. Who can’t fathom what is going wrong, especially when she reads of women who suffered from primary infertility but were spared the experience of secondary infertility. If some women are “fixed” by pregnancy, why is the opposite happening to her?

But back to the point of this post, before yet another entry is hijacked by my fucking bullshit struggle. I want to write more about secondary infertility, because I think it needs to be written about. The problem is I’m not quite sure how to write about it productively. To compound the issue, I’m not sure WHAT aspects about it I should cover. It’s also a hard subject to broach in a community where most women are dealing with an even more difficult challenge: primary infertility (I’m not trying to play pain olympics but I believe that primary infertility would be a much harder cross to bear than secondary infertility for me and I judge my own struggle against the struggles of others accordingly). So basically I’m not sure what to say, how to say it, and how to be sensitive enough of others when I make my attempts.

But I do want to try. I want this blog to be a place where people come to talk about interesting things. I don’t want it to be a sad, ugly diatribe; unwavering from one post to another. Certainly I will write those cathartic posts when I need to, but I worry that if that is all I write, I won’t have anyone reading at the end of this.

Looking back at those old posts, there were so many comments, and such a large portion of them were made by people who haven’t commented in months, maybe a year. I must have lost those people along the way. Heck, some of those long-gone commenters are women I considered good friends, who left me when my outlook became to negative and depressing (some have actually told me that is why the left). It’s clear that I can’t expect people to stick around while I circle the same issues ad nauseam.

So I shall endeavor to post some more though provoking posts. Because (1) I don’t want to be alone at the end of this journey, pathetically licking my own wounds and (2) I don’t want to become that person who has nothing else to talk about except her own pain and disappointment. I want to tackle relevant issues with thoughtfulness. I want to inspire dialogue and participate in the exchange. I want to write something that is worth reading again.

I want to be me, the woman I was before so much of myself was kidnapped by the pain and fear of this struggle. I want to show the world the person I am proud of being, even if I’m not a hundred percent sure she’s even here anymore. I guess I’ll never know until I try to find her.

And so I will. Wish me luck.

6 responses

  1. It’s so hard to focus on anything else when you’re in the midst of this struggle. Yes, sometimes posts reflect that. Since it’s all you think about (i’m talking about me here) it’s all you write about. My blog is a disaster. I don’t think I’ve ever written a thought provoking post or a conversation starter. I write about where I am in life and what I’m struggling to deal with in my life. I’m glad I have one reader, let alone a few. I have no idea how many since switching to wp. But I had 65 before I left blogger. People find a connection with you and read because of that. Sad or happy, thought provoking or thought vomiting, they’ll read because of the connection.

    I love your passion for wanting to write more posts of substance. I think there’s a fire there and you’re going to find it again. You want it bad enough, this post is evidence!

  2. It sounds like you’ve just hit upon a book that needs writing – the one about coping with secondary infertility. It’s important to chronicle the journey, even if it’s a sad and isolating one. When I decided to frame my blog, I picked to try to split my posts between professional-ish and secondary infertility-ish so I didn’t get too bogged down in the discomfort of it, so it’s cool that you are moving back to deliberately writing about other stuff too and makes a lot of sense to me. Just don’t undervalue the chronicle of the struggle. It’s very meaningful to at least me, and probably some other folks. I started reading your blog last January just for the chronicle of secondary infertility (and yep, I’m just one person, but I’m out here). And I’d also say not to fret about who’s commenting and who’s reading, unless you’re interested in the business end of things. In my opinion, blogs are for their authors first and the rest of the world second, so do what you need with your space.

  3. I’ve had similar issues with feeling like I’m writing the same posts month after month. Of course I would rather my life had moved on so my writing could as well, but, it hasn’t. I’m stuck so my writing is. I figure as sick as I am of living it everyone else must be pretty sick of reading it, and if they are I’ll miss them, not much I can do. Those that stick around are much appreciated. I won’t be here forever even if it does feel like the opposite.

  4. I have always enjoyed your writing – you tend to describe things very, very well no matter what the subject matter is. I find everything you write to be very relatable and not bothersome at all. When you’re TTC month after month – it is all you think about. We all know that!

  5. Hi, I used to blog, and used to be part of this world, and write away my frustrations about SIF and it was good therapy. A therapy that flip sided when all my Primary IF friends became mothers. I had to remove myself from the world to move on and focus on the good things in my life. Like my son. A good friend emailed me this blog post of yours asking me to reach out to you. I rolled my eyes, reluctant to delve back here, but to my surprise, i read and couldn’t stop. I think I wrote this blog.

    I have been preg 3 times in my life and have one son. He graduates from preschool tonight. All he wants to be when he grows up is a brother. It is a pain that I cannot describe. He was so easily conceived its unbelievable now to think we can’t. We have male factor SIF (low count 6million, 1% normal morphology = up shit creek). No warning. Just 4yrs of ttc.

    I think I’ve only met 1 woman on blogger who was in the same boat with SIF. I felt I never fit in, not in the real world, not in an FS waiting room, and not in the IF blogging world. I wrote a poem about SIF and entered it in the resolve comp a few years back. I’ll have to find it for you.

    Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I think SIF is under estimated, under diagnosed, and more taboo than primary IF. We know what we are missing. We suffer absolute guilt to our only born child who plays alone ALL THE TIME. I hate it. I was called a coward only last week by a naive person who thought an only child was a choice and I was too scared to go through the birth of another. A coward!? Broke my heart. I’d labour for others if I could. My sons labour was 5hrs and no drugs, I wasn’t scared one bit.

    I also stopped blogging as I always felt, as amazing as all the women were that supported me, deep down they thought I was lucky & didn’t ‘get it’. Now I see them having their 2nd and I’m still fighting the same battle. It got too painful and draining to keep up appearances. They called it ‘catching up to me’ when really I was with them on the starting line, never ahead. But really, I loved them and I thank the heavens that they wont go through what I am now.

    I have no idea if I’m making sense or completely off the chart here. But I know I wanted to say something. There is a lot of us out here, but typically SIF’ers, we are time poor, usually financially restricted, older, and are not able to put SIF on the top of our priority list. We probably have our own needs dead last. I know most primary IF are able to do anything possible to ensure motherhood. I know I would of. But that’s not possible for SIF.

    I wish you more than luck. I wish you another chance.. That’s all we want I guess..
    Tee xx

  6. I think that when you’re in the midst of this, you just need to explore your feelings as you’re feeling them – as you are doing. Put them in context, analyse them and learn from them in the future. Doing it now might be both premature, and too difficult. It’s hard for us to see perspective and be too thought-provoking in the middle of things. And it’s hard for us (any of us) to delve into debate when we’re in the midst of things – everything is just too personal.

    In other words, give yourself a break and don’t expect too much from yourself!

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