Monday, January 23, 2012

An Infertile Rambling

Over the past few months I have been really bad about blogging. Updating and reading. I keep throwing out all of these excuses, but none of them were the real reason I have been absent. I have admitted to myself several times why I've been away, and to a few people here and there. But I have never posted why. Maybe if I do, I will get back into it. I mean, I've been a blogger for over 4 years now, and up until a few months ago, it was a significant part of my life. But here's the catch, it was a significant part of my life because I was actively dealing with infertility.

My blog was my outlet for my feelings, and my way to deal with being infertile. Since 2006, being infertile was how I defined myself. No matter how hard I tried to break free from the label, I couldn't. It made me who I was. It was a life changing disease. I learned and grew so much as I fought to have a child. I made friendships all over the place as I came out of my shell, both in real life and in blogland. I became open. I shared with anyone who wanted to know about my experience as an infertile. I single-handedly educated the fertile world on what it was like to do whatever it took, to spend any amount of money to become a mother.

Then after Baby Bean was born, and I had my uterine rupture repaired, I wanted to get away from the drive to have more. I had to get away from those feelings because I knew if I didn't, I would waste my daughter's life chasing a dream instead of enjoying the one I was living. I feared she would grow up to resent me because she would feel that I didn't think she was enough.

I was torn because I finally had what I had been trying so hard to achieve, but at the same time, I knew the fight to her was worth it, and so it would be worth it do it again for another one. So in August of 2010, we started trying for the first time since Baby Bean was born. I was so sure we would get pregnant right off. As the months passed, my hope faded, and it took everything I had to keep from falling back into those old bitter feelings. I didn't want to feel that way again, and I didn't want my daughter to watch me feel that way. I didn't want it to shape her life in a negative way. Children pick up on these things, and they make them who they are as adults, even though they have no recollection of the events that shaped them. So I began distancing myself from my infertility, and began trying to enjoy the life I have.

I went through the motions with medicated cycles, and with each failed cycle, I found it easier to distance myself from caring about the outcome. Getting pregnant would be nice. Another baby would be a dream come true. But I didn't have to have another one to enjoy what I had.

Then in May we went on our first family vacation, and this is where the final straw did its damage. It was so easy to travel as a family of three. It was so affordable. The vacation was a dream. As I lay, floating on my back in the endless pool at the hotel, looking up at the clear blue sky, I began to think about how much easier life is as a family of three. I thought of every respect in which it is easier. I thought of how much more I could do for my daughter than I could if I had to divide everything between multiple children. I thought of all of the places we could go and the vacations we could take. We could easily go anywhere in the world.

Oddly enough, I thought I was pregnant while we were in Cancun. My period was late, and I had all kinds of pregnancy symptoms. But I didn't care.

That vacation was the end of the battle for me.

When I got home and found out I wasn't pregnant, I didn't care. I had had my vision of everything my family of three could do.

What I didn't realize is that tossing my infertility aside came with other costs. For one, my blog. Getting on the blogs reminded me too much of where I had been and no longer wanted to be. So I tried creating a new blog that wasn't about TTC, but I found it difficult to separate blogging from infertility. What was there to talk about if I wasn't cycling? My day-to-day life just isn't that fascinating, and I had lost my writing mojo. It was easier to just back away than try to force myself to overcome writer's block.

When my blogging slowed down, so did my ability to really talk to people. I found I no longer had anything interesting to say. So I became even more of a listener. I surround myself with people who love to talk, and I listen.

In some ways I feel like I have pulled myself into a shell. But I am content here. I don't feel like I need to pull myself back out. I only feel slightly bad that most people in my life didn't even know I was having surgery. I don't know why I didn't feel it was newsworthy, but I didn't. I think only 6 people at work knew. I know at least one, if not two of my siblings didn't know.  But what was there to say?

I don't know emotionally where I am right now. I'm kind of in a place where I don't have choose not to deal with the emotions of failed cycles, money flushed, time wasted. Telling people about the surgery or failed cycles forces me to think about things I would prefer not to care about. I think that is really the reason why. If I talk about it, then they want to know more.

"What is the surgery for? Oh I am so sorry to hear that. I really hope this does the trick for you. I am sure this will fix everything. You'll be pregnant in no time."

That is sweet, and meant in earnest, and I appreciate those thoughts, feelings, and words of encouragement and hope. But if I go there, if I a give a moment's pause to those thoughts, then I run the risk of disappointment if the surgery didn't fix the problem. And then Alice tumbles down the rabbit hole she just crawled out of.

I risk going back to that place where I want what I can't have and not being happy with what I do. I risk missing out on the great life I have been blessed with because I feel sorry for myself and my inability to bear another child. I risk falling back into feelings of bitterness and resentment. Why would I want that?

And then we come to the big question: Do I really want any more kids? I'm not so sure. I kind of dig this family of three thing. So if I don't really want any more, why would I care if I spend $300 to get pregnant and don't? Exactly. I don't care. But I can say I tried. And that is all I need right now, to say I tried.

This is the other big reason I keep going back, cycle after cycle, surgery after surgery. So that I don't look back 10 years from now and wish I hadn't given up. To me, that would be a life failure. 10 years from now, I definitely won't stand much of a chance at getting pregnant. You have to strike when the iron is hot, even if you don't want to right now. Regret is a bitch. And I determined when I was in college that I was going to live my life in such a way that if I should live to be 100, I don't look back with many regrets. I'm doing good so far, and I'd like to keep it that way.

With all of that said, my goal now is to get back into blogging. Into reading and commenting, and setting aside a night each week to blog. I've had some really great post ideas lately, and I am ready to put them into action. I am determined to make this year a good one, so I should have plenty to write about. And for everything in between, there will be some fun posts.

If you've made it through this post, and more importantly, stuck around with me through my hiatus, give yourself a big hug from me. Because in my book, you are a definite friend.


Heather said...

I guess I've been reading a long time, but for me, none of this post was a surprise. It is all things I know you've felt and it kinda felt more like a recap than a revelation over why you werent blogging.

Speaking as someone who writes about their daily life, I can say that sometimes it's boring to read and sometimes you're amazed at what people will find interesting about your day.

*Jess* said...

I can't wait to read your blog and see where your life takes you next :) I strive hard not to make my blog about ONE thing. There are so many autism blogs, pregnancy blogs, infertility blogs, photography blogs... I am all those things. Why would my blog just be about one thing?

Viva La Marla said...

Both the above commenters are absolutely correct. While I considered myself an infertility blogger at one time, I made it a point to steer clear of that path for a while now. Not that I don't want to be associated with infertiles, but it's such a limiting topic. And so many bloggers just stop blogging when they have a child because they feel like they don't fit in any more.

Personally, I feel that there is nothing wrong with redefining a blog. And there's also nothing wrong with just blogging about your boring old life. As Heather said above, you'd be surprised to find out what other ppl find interesting about your life. I read quite a few "infertility" blogs that are also "life" blogs. They've successfully made that switch, and so can you!


Mazzy said...

You know, it wasn't my experience, but I truly believe that secondary infertility has to be more painful than the first. Because? You've already freaking been there, done that. You ovulated, you conceived, you carried full term, you HAD A BABY. You know your body can do this and it feels like it has to be utter BS when it won't just up and do it again when you want it to.

Also? You know how awesome it is... you know what you are missing out on every failed cycle instead of just a "what if" dream of some unknown motherhood.

I'm with you on regret. Another blogger recently said something that she wasn't sure about having another because life seemed so balanced but she knew that later in life she would NEVER regret having that next child. But she might regret not even trying. Life with regrets is painful.

You're in my prayers. I know it probably is just words, but I mean it.


Potters said...

I look forward to reading your blog posts no matter what you are blogging about. You have a great way with words. You have helped many people with your words.

Anonymous said...

Yeah back to blogging!!! I hope your recovery is going smoothly lovely lady and yes this weather sucks, our lawn is dead from lack of water and what is it with princesses? Babe wants a princess party too and we're contemplating an actual kiddie princess castle for the main event.

Suzanne said...

Oh I know how you feel. I think that's one of the reasons I haven't been blogging that much as well, aside from the fact that I'm studying for my comprehensive exam in March and we're still trying to finish up the adoption process (waiting for the fire department to come and do a fire inspection - it seems to be taking forever! and trying to finish our autobiographies). It seems like I'm in such a state of flux. I don't know what to write about or what the future holds and I don't want to revisit the pain of my infertility.

That said, I think that the fact that you feel like you could be content with a family of three is a good thing :) It's important to appreciate the blessings in your life instead of focusing on what you can't have. And as an only child, I can tell you that being in a family of three was truly amazing! We went on so many vacations. I had swimming lessons, ice-skating lessons, horseback riding lessons, and went to summer camp every year. It was a wonderful childhood! And okay maybe I was just a little bit spoiled.

But I can understand that you want to try everything that you possibly can. Nobody wants any regrets.