I had a hard time starting this here internet web-journal thingy. I never imagined myself being one of Those People, creating an anonymous–and therefore totally glorified–version of myself for consumption by strangers. But I’d been reading IF weblogs and then wanting to comment and then feeling like I had my own things to say and then really wanting to say them…so I did it. Even though I was pretty embarrassed. Because the difference between this space and my hand-written journal is you, the audience. Once you have an audience it becomes hard to pretend you don’t believe, deep in your deepest heart, that what you’re writing is worth reading. That you’re interesting. Which is so obviously not true in my case. But I was able to get over my self-consciousness and start writing because our community is based on a need to give and receive support. Even boring people can give and get support. And I figured that when I got securely pregnant, I would stop.
Of course, there were a couple of factors I failed to take into account. First, the attachment I’d feel to people. And sure, I could just follow your stories without contributing my own, but then it wouldn’t be a conversation. I’d miss that. Second, the fact that I’d still want support. Yep, I’m now deeply needy and can’t do without you. So even though I’m still embarrassed, I’m going to continue writing.
But I do want to give you fair warning. Infertility changes you, thus parenting after infertility is different from plain old parenting. However, I can already tell that it shares one important feature: the need to complain. I’m going to need to express frustration, despair, anger, annoyance, fear, even though I’m aware such things might not make enjoyable reading. I thought about having a symbol that would warn people when they were in danger of reading something that might seem ungrateful or insufficiently sensitive to the feelings of people struggling to build their families. You know, like the chili peppers you see on a Thai menu warning you when an item is particularly spicy? I was thinking it would be a Black Bunny of Ingratitude and Callousness. But then I thought, when would I not want that symbol to appear? So I replaced my header.*
Henceforth, let the Black Bunny of Ingratitude and Callousness apply to all posts. Any post may contain material that seems ungrateful and insufficiently sensitive to the feelings of people still struggling to get that take-home baby. If you can’t bear to read about these things, you know what to do. I will miss you, but I will fondly dream that you might come back some day when you’re experiencing some of the same things yourselves.
*The image comes from a beautiful Japanese print.