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The obligatory Roughly a Year Ago… post

Roughly a year ago, I’d just started writing this here internet web journaly thing. I’d been through four IUIs and was about to have the laparoscopy that would achieve…basically nothing. I’d recently asked my clinic whether there was any kind of support group I could join,  and had been told I wasn’t infertile enough to join their group. I’d been lurking in this community for a month or so, but felt like I couldn’t comment because I didn’t have an identity. So I decided to write. Indeed, I wrote a post while sitting in my large lecture class, administering a final exam to a bunch of sweaty kids, like I’m doing right now.

I’m not going to write a so much has changed in a year post, one about the fact that I never ever EVER thought I’d be one of the lucky ones who escaped so easily (and who knows what might happen in the next few months–I was just thinking this morning, hey, two more weeks and I’ll be officially in stillbirth [as opposed to miscarriage] territory!), or about how much having your support has meant to me or improved my ability to cope or made me feel connected (but re-reading my angsty first post sure makes that clear!), or about how long this sentence is. I’ve read a lot of brilliant posts like that and I just can’t compete.

Instead, I’m going to write a little something for the Me that might be out there, wondering whether she should start her own internet web journaly thing. You totally should. Maybe you think you’ll pour your heart out, and no one will hear you (except the spam bots). Hey, it’s possible. It’s possible you’ll be the most unpopular person on the entiiiiiiiiiire internet. Maybe you think you’ll be boring. Trust me, we’re all boring. Maybe you feel self conscious, like nothing you could write would be worth reading, like you could never be as witty and poignant as me. And of course you can’t, but I promise that there’s someone waiting to hear what you, and you alone, have to say. Whatever other reservations you have, put them aside and get started. It’s not that having a blog will get you pregnant. Though having a social support network is linked to better outcomes and better psychological recovery after unsuccessful treatments. And for true support, there needs to be reciprocity. (Just reading ain’t enough.) I think the main reason I’d urge you to start has to do with a general principle I tell these very students (most of whom have now finished their exams). Labeling affect allows prefrontal cortex to downregulate activity in the amygdala. In English: putting your feelings into words gives you control over them, and reduces their negative impact. So even if no one ever reads a word you write, it’s worth it.

Like last year, I’ve got a question on my final exam where students are asked to draw a picture representing their current state of mind. I promise to share any particularly brilliant ones.

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Fabulous post – I love that you're encouraging others to start a bloggy thing. It should be a required class in infertility school!Definitely want to see pictures from your students!

    December 9, 2010
  2. It's really interesting to look back at my own past year of blogging. I didn't get pregnant…quite the opposite. In two months I will officially be infertile! Ticker tape parade!!!But it has been so nice to have a support system around me. People who understand where I'm coming from in my sorrow and good times. I don't think I could have gone through this passed year without my blog. I mean, I would have gotten through it…but I feel like my quality of life is better for having a blog.

    December 9, 2010
  3. JB #

    My final exam picture this year? Me (well, a stick-figure-ish me) holding a captured unicorn by the scruff of its neck, in my mighty fist that is raised to the sky daring the universe to fuck with me. Cheers. Another year has past and for now, all is well with Bunny and with me. Huzzah!

    December 9, 2010
  4. Writing and (especially) reading others' blogs has helped me dramatically with all of this shit. I couldn't recommend it enough. Also, I can't wait to see if you have any good pics from your students.

    December 9, 2010
  5. Pictures please! One of my teachers in school gave us extra tasks for "gummy points", and we did get the corresponding number of gummy bears when we got back the exams. Once before Christmas we did get to draw a tree, but I forgot the details, nor do I know where that picture got…

    December 10, 2010
  6. I'm glad you administered that exam under such vastly different circumstances than last year. This is a very, very good thing. And I wouldn't say you escaped so easily, but I AM glad you escaped (and am also glad that you're continuing to post and that you're there for those of us who are still looking for that escape hatch). And you're absolutely right about the good that blogging does. It's made a huge difference to my state of mind. And this from someone who expected to try it for a week and desist!Current state of mind examples, please:) ("Dude, I am so totally going to get drunk after this exam!")

    December 10, 2010
  7. I love your final exam question! That's great and I'm sure brings some amusement for you in the depths of end-of-semester grading.And, yes, blogging is awesome and I'm so glad we're part of this community. I mean, not glad that we had to be here, but glad that we found it.

    December 10, 2010
  8. I'm so glad you started blogging! I've really enjoyed reading along and of course, celebrating your pregnancy with you :).Can't wait to see what your brilliant students come up with this year!

    December 10, 2010
  9. Happy blogging anniversary to one of my favorite blogs. Thank jaw you felt the need to speak. Great message to encourage others to do the same. Cannot imagine making it through this semi shit show without my resources – information and support. Best combo ever.Come back to Chgo some day and bring that baby of yours so I can love on him/her.

    December 10, 2010
  10. i can't believe its only been a year since you started blogging Bunny. I assumed you'd been around for A Long Time when I found you. You're such a great writer. I can always count on you for my daily dose of sarcasm and comedy (a perfect combination). Love your work.Bloggy to be lurkers should listen to your wise words.x

    December 11, 2010
  11. What egghunt said. And I am so glad you are going to show us more awesome pics from your exams. I loved that last year.

    December 11, 2010
  12. I agree I find blogging a great release. If nothing else it helps me think through what I am doing (and is great for going back and checking thing you think you'll remember but don't – like what does you were on the the second IUI etc). It also keeps me positive, not only because there are so many success stories out there, but also because I force myself to be as upbeat as possible so it becomes almost self-fulfilling.

    December 12, 2010
  13. "Labeling affect allows prefrontal cortex to downregulate activity in the amygdala."That's *exactly* what I keep telling myself… ;-)This is a beautiful post as always, and I really like your words for potential new bloggers. I have sort of moved into lurk mode here lately…but I'm still reading avidly and cheering you and Bun Bun on. Quietly. To myself. (go bunny and bun bun!)

    December 13, 2010
  14. I love how you write, and I love what you write. I am one of your most delighted readers. Of that I am sure (although, I sense that many are delighted too). Thank you for writing Bunny. I feel very blessed to read you and to receive your insightful and kind comments. And you sure know how to sweet talk the psychology contingent in this crowd. Really enjoyed the: "Labeling affect allows prefrontal cortex to downregulate activity in the amygdala."

    December 13, 2010
  15. Another great one!

    December 14, 2010
  16. Kt #

    I think you're right. I posted about my ever growing negative feelings when I find out other people are pregnant. I deleted it shortly afterwards, I wasn't sure I was ready to be struggling with the world (or the 4 people who read my blog) but my goodness I felt better for writing it. So for 2011 I might share some more with the world. God knows it is all I think of these days.

    January 3, 2011

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