The Space In-between

Thank you all so much for your support on my Facebook announcement. It meant a lot to me that this community thought it was tastefully done. The last thing I would ever want to do is offend someone, especially a dear friend in this community.

Creating and posting that FB announcement was a really interesting exercise for me. It made me realize once again how in-between I feel when it comes to the IF and “general” communities. In putting up my announcement I REALLY wanted to include our struggle, not because I needed it to be acknowledged but because I wanted to make sure that anyone else struggling would know that others are or were struggling as well.

At the same time, I was worried the general community would feel I was dwelling on our “bad luck” as I’m sure they see it. I assume people think my ownership of our secondary infertility has more to do with my impatience than any medical diagnosis (and I did receive one comment on that FB announcement suggesting just that). I was afraid that even those who knew me and had a better idea of how hard the past 18 months have been would disapprove of our announcement. Heck, I was even worried Mi.Vida would find it unnecessary; I mean, we’re pregnant now, does the rest of it even matter?

The sad truth is, I didn’t even SHOW the announcement to Mi.Vida before I put it up, that is how worried I was that he would think the mention of secondary infertility was unnecessary. He never asked to see it and I specifically didn’t show it to him. When he showed up on my gchat yesterday morning I meekly asked him what he thought of the announcement and to my delight he absolutely loved it. It wasn’t until after he had given his approval that I told him how scared I’d been that he wouldn’t like it, that he would feel it was unnecessarily negative. I explained that I felt it was important to mention our struggle and he absolutely agreed. I can’t tell you the relief I felt when he said that. It was yet another reminder that I have to have more faith in him, that this whole experience was as traumatic for him as it was for me.

The realization that I was afraid even my own partner wouldn’t understand my need to mention our struggle in our announcement just shows how many times I’ve been chided for “dwelling” on our struggle. It frustrates me to no end that most people just won’t abide honest conversations about the way secondary (or primary) infertility makes its sufferers feel. The always-happy-all-the-time vibe of Facebook has always bothered me and I find the new constant sharing of inspirational memes even more off putting than everyone’s perfect personal pictures used to be. I’ve frequently been the curmudgeon posting less than cheerful status updates that I’m sure few people appreciate. It’s not that I want Facebook, or life, to be a torrent of negativity, I just think a more honest reflection of reality wouldn’t be such a bad thing. And it pisses me off when people just won’t abide by those who want to present their life with a grain of salt.

Of course, there are people who argue that Facebook is meant to be an escape and they don’t want to come across any negativity there. And I can imagine honesty might soon turn into bitching and moaning, which I’m not all that interested in myself.

Anyway, I didn’t meant for this to turn into a rant about or against Facebook. It’s obvious that the unwritten rules I perceive about conduct there played a big part in how I fashioned our announcement. I felt a lot of pressure to be honest and yet remain hopeful. It felt almost impossible to create an announcement that both honored our experience and remained saccharine. I mean, our news was very good news, it would be unforgivable for it to be drown in the sadness of struggle. And I wouldn’t want it to be.

And yet, I added and deleted the word “likely” to the penultimate square a dozen times. It felt so presumptuous to declare that our secondary infertility struggle WILL have a happy ending. I so wanted to say that it will LIKELY have a happy ending. And yet in the end I determined that such an admission of a possibly negative ending wouldn’t be allowed on Facebook, and I pulled it out.

I’m very thankful that I found a format that I like on Pinterest, one that lent itself well to sharing our story. And it seems that my efforts were appreciated, as the vast majority of people seemed to receive our announcement really well. I’m really pleased with the final product, both what I created and how people responded. The whole exercise just reminded me how exhausting it is to walk that fine line between honoring my story and offering a story others want to hear. Ah secondary infertility, you are a complicated mistress.

4 responses

  1. If we get to the point of posting something on FB, I KNOW that my husband will not want me to reference the fact that we used IVF to get there. I also am too chickenshit to post that for all the world to see as well. But I hope that he is at least okay with me mentioning just how long it took us to get here- so at least if there are friends out there struggling with IF they know that they are not alone.

  2. I don’t have a FB but when we announce to the family and friends we will make sure to include something about our struggle. We’ve come too far and I’ve hidden it too long to just brush it aside. I loved, loved, loved your announcement! I might have to steal it to tweak and use for our own announcement! 😉

  3. Your announcement was the best one I’ve ever seen. Joyful yet acknowledging the difficulties.

    I am learning now, much later, that talking to your partner is key. I hid my feelings for a long time because I didn’t want to be a bummer, but I shouldn’t have. I should have trusted him more. He would have been there for me, as he is now. Just my 2 cents from a battle scarred veteran of infertility…;)

  4. So glad you and your man were on the same page about the announcement. And also, I don’t think it was negative at all! If anything, it was EXTRA positive because it’s good news that’s coming out of a place of struggle, it’s a miracle that happened against all odds.

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