Wednesday, October 6, 2010

around

Popping in to let everyone know that I yet live. However, I shall be bloggingly absent for several days again, as my DH planned a long-weekend trip for us (a surprise for our fifth wedding anniversary back in August, though he has now told me where we're going). It sounds fabulous, and I expect to have beautiful pictures to share when I return.

An interesting thought...I still have so many things to work on in my life, and can claim to no particular progress. Certainly restoring the closeness in my marriage after all the travel and separation is high on the priority list, and in truth I've no idea what best to do to tackle that. But (here's the interesting thought) in the past few weeks I think I've felt less misery associated with the IF specifically. I still feel that the medium-term future is a blank and I don't know what we'll be doing with our lives (and have developed some ideas about what I want to do, but not any real hope of being able to accomplish any of that). So it's not that all is rosy. But while I know I still have a lot of growth and grieving and resolution to get through, I don't feel the sort of wretchedness over being childless that I think is often there below the surface.

Do you know what I realized? I've been blogging a lot less - just haven't had things to say, in many cases, I guess. I don't think that it's reading IF blogs that makes IF harder to bear. (Maybe I'm wrong.) I think it's reading about other people's babies that does it. I have to deal with babies to some degree in my real life, of course, as is natural (although fortunately it is to a limited degree, because it always carries some degree of stress). But as far as I can discern, reading about others' parenting experiences and small children and pregnancies and deliveries is a poison in my life - brings suffering with no alloy of joy or goodness at all. I can pretend to joy and occasionally be happy that someone else has a blessing and is happy about it, but I'm not happy about the baby, don't want to hold the baby, don't want to see the baby, nor pictures of the baby. If I don't have to hear about babies at all for even a few weeks, my life is perceptibly more peaceful.

And for anyone who is struggling with the question of what to do with crossed-over infertile mommy bloggers when it is hard to read them - I found that separating into "with" and "without" babies blogrolls (I still have to update a bit), though a symbolic gesture, made all the difference in the world. It was effectively giving myself permission to stop torturing myself. I don't check the second blogroll every time I do a run-through to see what new posts I've not read yet. And I've fallen behind on most of those bloggers' lives, and that's regrettable in a sense, but honestly, with few exceptions, even when I kept following the mommies and commenting, they stopped following me - not after the births of the babes, but within at most weeks of the BFP. As I said, there are exceptions (those blogs I still read every time I check in!).

It's life, like sisters and cousins we would never want to experience IF but whose babies torment us all the same; and giving yourself permission to acknowledge reality is the kindest thing you can do as an infertile woman. You don't have to go to baby showers (let alone throw them). You don't have to look at baby pictures ("No, thank you" is polite. You can say it. The world will spin on). You don't have to go to BRU ever. You don't have to visit a new mother in the hospital unless she is your daughter. You don't have to listen to labor and delivery stories (*smile* "I'm afraid I have trouble listening to that sort of thing. Can I get you something while I'm up?" is polite too). You don't have to read mommy blogs. You don't have to ask to hold the baby just because the other girls do. And if you want to do those things, then you can do them, and if you usually want to but on some particular day you don't want to, you don't have to. You don't have to.

Finally, though most everyone has probably heard this already, I "hear" these but don't hear them often enough, so here is this Sunday's first reading:

How long, O Lord? I cry for help
but You do not listen!
I cry out to You "Violence!"
but You do not intervene.
Why do You let me see ruin;
why must I look at misery?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and clamorous discord.
Then the Lord answered me and said:
Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
if it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
(From the book of Habakkuk. I look forward to a "vision that will not disappoint," even if its identity is unknown; even though I know by now that this does not mean I am to hope for a baby.)

21 comments:

  1. As always, you say things perfectly. :)

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  2. Aw, thank you, lowly! And I see that you have a new blog (or you're a new lowly??). I look forward to following it!

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  3. I think that's completely understandable. I never used to read mommy blogs, or ones about pregnancies, unless I was in a particularly bad mood and wanted to torture myself. And I was always the one who would wait two or three days to leave a congratulatory comment on a bfp post (as if I just hadn't been online or something.. ya, right), because it was just too hard. Blogging has definitely been a blessing in my life but it's driven me crazy at times, too.

    And I LOVE that reading from Sunday.

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  4. I think it's very healthy to realize your limitations, and what is good and not good for you to do. I'm impressed. Enjoy your long weekend!

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  5. This reading from this past Sunday really spoke to me! Thanks for posting it.

    I've been wondering where you were.

    I agree with everything you've said here. I, too, found that for my own sanity I needed to separate the blogroll, BUT also for my readers/lurkers. If someone just happened to stumble upon my "Catholic IF blog" and then wanted to see what other "Catholic IF blogs" were out there, I didn't want them to be sneak-attacked by a big ol' preggo belly or an adorable baby (or both) without suspecting it, if they weren't in the right frame of mind to handle that. It was the fairest thing to do for my readers, in the end.

    (May sound like a cop out answer, but it's the truth!!)

    And like you, I too see that once IFers "crossed over" they were less apt to comment on my blog. I *think* (or maybe I hope?) it's out of not wanting to hurt me with their presence rather than the fact that they have passed over to a cooler clique and no longer have anything to say to poor little barren me ;) But, the fact that I still comment on all their blogs SHOULD be evidence to the fact that I am not hurt by their presence (at least, not all the time... on those days, I just avoid their blogs, as you so clearly suggested).

    Anyhoo. Just wanted to say I'm there with ya. And SO HAPPY to hear that you are starting to feel a bit better about the future, EVEN IF it remains childless... which I'm not convinced it will, but our joy should not hinge on it.

    Hugs and God Bless.

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  6. I too, have been absent from blog-world for the very same reason! I LOVE your idea of separating the blogs into "with or without" babies - ha! I love it. Also, I found the "infertility link" with last Sundays Psalm, but I can usually find a link to any/all readings - ha, ha! But in all seriousness, you made my night :)

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  7. I agree, you need to do what will protect your own emotinal, mental, spiritual health - even if it means taking a pass - and not gritting your teeth through something to be polite. Don't we need to respect and be gentle to ourselves as well?

    thank you *so* much for that quote from Habakkuk. I will need to look it up. It really expresses what I feel right now - I'm getting caught up in the misery, failure and darkness, and losing or forgetting the hope that there is a vision that will come - eventually.

    I hope that vision, whatever it is, comes sooner for us both rather than later! (and yes I realize that vision may not be at all what we imagine it to be ... but then again, you never know, do you?)

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  8. Whay you're feeling sounds perfectly natural to me. I always wanted to be happy for the cross-overs - and I think I was - but it was hard at the expense over my own sanity. So I kept track of their blogs - I even read them - bu I comented less. Now that I'm one of the cross-overs, I realize I'm the one who's causing others pain. I don't like it. Not that I'd ever wish to be in any other place . . . . I guess it's a necessary evil. The only thing I can say now is that I understand where you're coming from. I was there not long ago, and I will never forget it.

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  9. As long as the babies are family, I'm okay because I know there will be a lifelong bond b/w me and that child, but keep me away from other people's kids. I love them...but it's not fun. They don't know me as aunt, just the sad infertile girl who stares longingly at them (okay, they may not pick on the sad, infertile part, but it feels like it sometimes). And really, it's the pitying glances from their parents that are the hardest to bear...
    Pregnant women too. Not interested in hanging around them either.
    Now, currently, there must be something going on for some of us long-term IF'ers - we all seem to be a bit more content lately. I would say September for me was one of the best months on the infertility side of things (obviously, there were other stressors), and after such a long, painful, emotionally fraught summer...I am really enjoying this newfound sanity.
    I'm glad to hear you're not feeling so wretched lately :). What more can we ask sometimes, right?

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  10. You are a wonderful writer! You somehow manage to put into words what I think all of us IF girls are feeling.

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  11. I'm glad you're around. I've been absent for the past few weeks due to lack of energy for doing anything beyond reading. My computer time is more limited and I have gotten so overwhelmed with posts to read lately.

    I'm glad to hear that you, like TCIE, are feeling more peace about life as it is right now. I hope that the time reconnecting with your husband is wonderful.

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  12. Well, I'm still barren as a brick and here reading. :) I always enjoy your posts.

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  13. I'm glad you point out that it's ok to remove yourself from hearing and seeing things baby. we don't all have to be gaga over newborns, pregnancy announcements and baby showers. I avoid many things baby. The pain is just too much to bear.

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  14. So many other commenters said it much better than I could, so here is my thumbs up and I will leave it at that! Have a great weekend on your surprise trip with the hubby! ;)

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  15. You may already be on your weekend away (what a lovely idea from your dh). I will be thinking of you and hope that this is a peaceful time for you both and a time to reconnect.
    Yey for less misery! I hope very much that this is the first step in the direction you hope to go, and of the growth you are hoping to achieve.
    *hugs* hedwig

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  16. I glad you're still around. I've missed you.

    Good for you for taking care of yourself and guarding your heart. It really is okay to say "I can't hear that now."

    Have a good vacation with your husband. I can't wait for the pictures.

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  17. i'm still here - even if i don't comment (it's because i don't know what to say) - but please don't ever feel obligated to keep up with my blog, ok? i really mean that.

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  18. I’m so happy for the reminder. I’ve been meaning to separate. I was hopping around recurrent pregnancy loss blogs & it would sting a bit to click on the blogrolls and see people who suffered from RPL years and years ago, but now, swarmed with kids. But in separating my blogrollo, I hated to see how many of the IFers are more mute now. I remember when we all knew what cycle day everyone was on! Ha!

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  19. I have mine separated, too, and I think the best part is that you can just not even visit the "have's" on a particular day if you can't handle it. You can just stick to the "have not's"!!

    That is so exciting about your trip!

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  20. I need to separate my blogroll too; thanks for the reminder. And to echo one of the previous commenters, sometimes I don't know what to say either. :(

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