I started blogging because I was encouraged by the likes of Pamela Jeanne and M at Thin Pink Line (which is password protected). I was astounded at their candor, their rawness, their audacity at putting it all out there on the line. I'm an actress and I could relate to that. You can't be a great actress and not risk opening up your guts to the world ... on cue. You are asked to remain an open vessel for directors and playwrights. You put a little bit of yourself into your work. And when you see a performance from an actor, one that really makes you stop and feel something, it's an incredible thing. That's why there are actors - they want to reach you, make you feel something. They want a connection to people they don't even know.
It's the same with writers I think. And whether you are a professional writer or a blogger, you want someone to get you. You want to share yourself. Is that an obsession? I guess if you neglect your husband, kids, work, real friends, don't answer your phone type of thing. I don't know if that's the right word. Some of us work, some of us don't, so we have time. Some of us even have meaningful work and kids and hobbies and still blog.
Is it the subject matter that counts? Infertility causes misery. And misery loves company. So are we just a support group with no time limit on our meetings? We all get to talk as long as want about ourselves without a facilitator. And women love to talk. And not just about the weather, but all the gory details. We don't have to get in a car and find parking and pay for coffee. We can blog in our pyjamas while the spouse is asleep or even at the office while we eat lunch at our desks. Heck we can even blog with each other while watching award shows. We talk about our husbands, our friends, the nosy neighbour, the grocery clerk who wants to know why you're buying a pregnancy test kit.
Would it be different if I blogged about politics? If I fretted more about Obama or Hilary? What was on the news that night? Those matters can certainly make you miserable and stay up all night wondering if this world is going to hell in handbasket. What if I decided to read political biographies, watch CNN all day long (which would make you paranoid) and then maybe decide to run for office? Would that make me obsessed?
What about those who blog about cancer? The chemo treatments, the radiation, the hair loss. Would that be okay to do even if one had survived it? Could one blog for years with other cancer survivors and egads, even meet them in person? Would one invite them home for tea? I know a woman who survived breast cancer, and she turned it into a one woman movement. She performs, she sells T-shirts, she's made it her mission and a career. I've seen her perform and she was wonderful, incredible, honest and funny and touching. I wonder if anyone has accused her of being obsessed. I know infertility is hardly the same thing. It's more like psoriasis. Annoying, painful, embarrassing but .... most people don't have it. Infertility is not a life threatening disease, is it? Well, not unless you undergo treatment and have some sort of violent reaction, right? Anybody?
I mean it's not like I mortgaged my home, sold my car, crafts or cookies, organized marathons, benefits, wrote a play/musical/book, organized a massive collection of blogs from all areas of the IF/adoption/miscarriage/stillbirth/pregnancy/donor IUI/donor egg/surrogacy world. That would be obsessed, right? Who would hire a fertility coach, change specialists, fertility clinics, pay thousands of dollars to be in the less than 10% club? I mean, honestly, who would then shell out thousands more for adoption, pay someone to come into your lives and pry into your business, get fingerprinted and fill out tons of forms, fly halfway around the world, risk heartbreak and disappointment just for the privilege of raising a child or two? That's just crazy, if you ask me. I mean it's not as if one gets paid for all this. Well, some people get paid and paid and paid. If I made money at this, would it still be an obsession? Would it be socially acceptable? Oh, I get it now. It's only an obsession UNTIL IT WORKS.
What if a few of us banded together, kind of like a super hero team? We could be like - The Fantastic inFertile Four or the Super Bitter Barren Bitches or Team Rotten Eggs. One of our team has gone through the fires of IVF and after her 25th effort, she became pregnant with ten babies(I'm sorry I don't know the name for that) and at times the other team members gripe at her when she complains how tired she is. ("We'd love to be as tired as you. We'd love to have 10 kids at once, so kwitcherbitchin'!) Make up your own team name! Hell, why not T-shirts, bumper stickers, antenna flags! Does that sound obsessed? Do you remember how weird it felt to wear the pomegranate bracelet that Marie of Bella Vida made? What if someone asked you what it meant? It's not like it was the yellow or pink or blue or white or red bracelet.
There are support meetings with Resolve or the IAAC. Why didn't I go to one of those? Too lazy (or crazy) to leave my house? I had a chance to join a support group while I was in treatment. It was held once a week early in the morning of a week already full of early am blood draws and ultrasounds. Oh, I know. I didn't want to wallow in someone else's complaining and misery because I was so certain I was going to get pregnant and I had plenty of support. I didn't want a hair of negativity to touch me. Later, I didn't want to share the shame of a BFN when my smug optimism failed me. I didn't want to encourage other people and ignore the fact that I was miserable myself. I feared watching a "stitch and bitch" buddy leave me behind when they finally became pregnant. Yeah, I probably should have gone. But I didn't. I kept it all inside and held it together. Well, not exactly. Now, it's time to join the world of waiting adoptive parents. I registered for parenting classes. I can solve the childlessness part of my life, just not the infertility. I'm moving on, or have I?
This blog will eventually turn into an adoptive mum blog and will I have the time to do it? Will I be less obsessed? Of course, being a mother is a good type of obsession, right? It will be okay then to talk about my blessed child non stop to anybody who will listen, 24 hours a day and google the colour of her poo to see if she's okay or not. That will solve everything. Quick, get her a child so she'll shut up and be happy. She'll be quiet, she'll be - WHOLE. Or maybe it's just time to live childfree and unfettered. I thought about it. Life would be way simpler. I could have more shoes. I mean, who likes to wake up really early, change diapers and be worried about sharp cornered furniture? Who wants to deal with lawyers, birth/first parents, social workers, nosy questions, mounting debt, tainted apple juice and car seats that are a mystery to buckle up? You'd have to be crazy, huh?
I know a woman that is still waiting for a miracle, she is one year older than me. She's still has the TTC bug after continued negative results. Is she obsessed? And it's happened, you know. Google it, there is still a 49 year old who conceived naturally. Oh, I forgot, you already googled it, haven't you, admit it. Forget the stats for Down's Syndrome, a child is a child is a child and one couple I know are so proud and happy to have their adored son.
So you can figure out now that it touched a nerve and perhaps there's a good reason for that. But I don't give a shit. That's another post. I know I'm okay. I just like to process til the cows come home.
The women in my Buddhist district got together to chant for an hour. One woman had her 1 year old baby with her. A year ago, I couldn't bring myself to attend her baby shower. Her little boy pulled himself up to me, he looked at me and smiled and it made me feel good. Not bitter. Not where is my baby? Or why not me? He was just a little baby looking around, checking out the faces in his world. His mum hovered nearby moving all inappropriate objects out of his way, cooing and tickling him, right by his side, her eyes only for him. Totally in love. There was a time when I could have barely tolerated this scene. I would have been angry or upset in some strange way that I would feel shame. Now I watch and learn, my chanting (daimoku) warming my heart. I guarantee you that with a child in my life, I will probably gripe because I haven't had a schedule since 1980 something. I moan when I have to walk the dog in the pouring rain. I'm old and spoiled now.
Life goes on, but I am forever changed. Forever fucking infertile until the day that I am not. Maybe I'll never "get over it". Maybe I will. And maybe it doesn't really matter. I am happy with my life, I've accepted the holes, I still struggle every now and then, and I know there will be many struggles ahead, but I am not defeated. I have my mission. And I am not ashamed.