Sunday, January 6, 2008

I'm inspired.

And I am not creative enough to think of an appropriate outlet. I'm hoping that simply taking the time to type this may help.

When I first started blog stalking, I would peruse Mel's blogroll of all blogs concerning IF. At first I started clicking through the secondary, general, unexplained and 'in the beginning' IF blogs, always "favoriting" anything that caught my eye. I also started reading many loss/stillbirth/neonatal death blogs. It's true that I have not had a loss of my own, but early on in my adulthood, before I knew anything about ttc, I've had friends who have been met with this tragedy. I was always the one they said, after the fact, I was of most comfort to them. For some reason, I felt comfortable in allowing myself to enter into their grief so I could lend a hand in any way. So I read these blogs in case I can bring that word of comfort to someone when they may need it.

As I made my way through my own journey, I started reading the IUI/IVF blogs and TTC after 35 category, because I have since joined their clubs. I then became a clicker for the parenting after IF and I click through them for any pregnancy/IF news/support for lost and found, but it's one of the harder categories I read because even though I'm a mom myself, it's hard to read about babies.

Through following comments made on my own blog and comments made on blogs I comment on, I've found my way through many other categories: Gay/Lesbian, Single Family Building, Donors, Health Issues, Male point of view, etc. I think I've made it through them all at least once now. But there was a category that although I have clicked through, I didn't (or couldn't) spend my energy on. This was "Living Child Free After Infertility or Loss".

It's not really true when I say I don't/can't spend my energy with them. I've been reading Pamela Jeanne for awhile now and I've "known" Tigger from a message board for years. But while both are in the "IF Blogs" folder in my web browser's favorites, I don't treat them the same as I do others blogs. Most blogs I click through and see what the new news is. Where they are - maybe some support is needed, maybe some cheering. But this category isn't like that. These blogs are more in depth with their feelings and where they are. Their posts are more poignant across the board. Have you been reading Pamela Jeanne's Coming2Terms blog? Cause if you don't, you should. Her blog explores so many concerns and thoughts, I get lost in them. They always make me think and sometimes I am at a loss for words.

Back to about not being able to spend my energy. I do not mean this in a trivial or rude way. I don't even think I can explain this to my satisfaction. It's like this category of blogs scares me. In a community where I would feel comfortable giving anyone support after something terrible, like a loss, I don't know how to 'help' someone truly trying to "coming to terms" with living child free. I ~want~ to help. I ~want~ to support. And I feel like a phony. Like someone like me shouldn't even be allowed to try to understand what they are going through. I'm afraid someone is pointing their finger at one of my comments screaming "you have NO right to care!!" (I know this isn't happening and I think Pamela is a wonderful and beautiful human being). But it's just this damned category that makes me feel helpless.

This is where I am inspired. I am inspired to help, support, DO SOMETHING for these women. Women who may have already made the choice to end their ttc struggle and have stopped trying. Women who may still be trying to conceive, but have been doing so for years and years and may have said "no" to more treatments. Women who may still be trying to conceive after years and years and may already know they won't be moving on to treatments for whatever reason (money, religion, etc). I'm not making a distinction of hopelessness, but I am looking at a group of women who know where they are in their journey.

I want to do something for these women that I don't even know how to help, except give them a shoulder to cry on. Or an ear. But I want to do something concrete. You know the Infertility's Common Thread? Something like that, but of course, not that. Something tangible. Something substantive. Something that can be continued when anyone else runs into a woman fitting the definition. To show that woman she is someone special. She's not run of the mill. She fought a very long battle and may still be fighting it everyday. She may never stop fighting it.


Searching said...

I think that is a wonderful idea. I feel that way about alot of things, but feel like I don't fit anywhere for real, like an imposter everywhere I go. But I still want to help others even if their circumstances are different.

I'm afraid of the sans child categories. I'm deathly afraid I'll get moved there. I can hardly handle the thought so I try not to think about it but it seems that's ALL I can think about. It's difficult. Maybe one day I will venture over there, take a deep breath, and start preparing myself for what may be my own future.

Jenera said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Don't worry I understand why you had a long absence in visits-I've been checking in with your blog and I know you've had a bunch of stuff going on with you. No worries here :o).

We've got a lot going on right now ourselves and I haven't been able to visit many blogs myself. Between our loss, ridiculous family drama, and just life in general I have enough stress in my life.

Anyway, this got long. I tried commenting earlier but computer tweaked so I don't know if it worked.

Thanks again!

The Town Criers said...

It's a gorgeous post and a gorgeous idea. I'm going to sit with this tonight.

Pamela Jeanne said...

Dear Nancy,
Your words are a gift unto themselves. I'm humbled and touched to the point that I had to use three tissues while reading your post aloud to my dh.

My "category" is off-putting for all the reasons you've outlined but your desire to help, to acknowledge the long and difficult struggle those like me have faced and continue to face means so much. In a perfect world I hope there will come a day when all parents understand that just because couples like us are childfree doesn't mean we didn't give it our all or that we didn't love our children-to-be as much as they love theirs. Thank you for this post, and for continuing to help others understand that our IF pain, while not readily apparent, lingers on long after the treatments end. And with that, I wish you much success in your efforts to conceive.

loribeth said...

As someone who falls into that childless/free after IF/loss category, I found your post interesting, and your feelings understandable. And I'm touched that you want to do more than just lend an ear/shoulder(eye?? -- this is blogland, after all, lol). As usual, PJ has a wonderful response. I'm going to give this some more thought & perhaps write about it in my own blog.

niobe said...

You've done a great job of putting into words what I often feel. I try to offer support or encouragement, but I often feel that, since I haven't experienced many of the same issues that others are struggling with, that my words might be viewed as insincere or condescending or pitying.

Yodasmistress said...

I read PJ voraciously... in fact I'm coming over from her blog right now. She has sort of super hero status in my world. I admire her strength and introspection deeply and profoundly. I sometimes feel a little weird commenting on her blogs because I doubt that anything I say could possibly give her much comfort since she's been in my shoes but I've never been in hers. But I keep going back for more just the same. After all, just because I probably don't really understand doesn't mean I won't keep trying. Thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one who feels inadequate though. It's nice to know I'm not the only one.

Wordgirl said...

Your post IS the gift.

Really, as a person in some sort of strange self-induced treatment break...not knowing where I am in the whole community... I have a step-son -- am I in motherhood blogs? But I'm a step-mom and there's no blended family blogs...and I can't conceive...but I haven't exhausted all my avenues quite yet, not even sure if I want to if nature can't oblige... *sigh*

I really was touched by this post.

Thank you Nancy.


Anonymous said...

I'm inspired by your thoughts. Your mission reminds me of a fertility retreat I just went to- the whole intention was about reconnecting with ourselves at whatever stage in the fertility journey we might be in. Randine Lewis completely inspired me. If you haven't already check out her retreats at it might be a useful tool for you to recommend to all the women you want to help! I admire what you are doing:)

Anonymous said...

Great useful entry. I read from a testimonial online that the best way to raise the hopes up of getting a baby is actually doing a tubal reversal. You should give this thought a try. Thanks for your blog, btw. Here, visit this: