Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A little more about the ColoBloggers, now with picture!

Thanks to Heidi who thought about actually taking some photographic evidence of our meeting. Here is the end result of all the planning done by Lori:

From left to right: Heidi, Nancy (me!), Denise, Meg, K, Lori, and Duffy.

I wanted to take a moment to say something about each girl I met. I don't want to go and talk about their stories, as you can find them out yourself, but it's just what I brought away from the meeting. I'll just go ahead and go in order of the picture.

Heidi: A little back story to me before I go onto what I have to say about Heidi. I like to talk about people to others. People I know and people I may have not had any contact with - maybe just reading their blog. Nothing bad and gossipy, but I do like to discuss how I feel about some people. It's nothing I wouldn't say to the person's face if it came down to it, I wouldn't lie to them, but it is stuff I wouldn't go out of my way to tell that person. I hope you understand what I mean ... it's that I like to get feedback in how I feel about some people in case I have the wrong impression. And to be honest, I've gotten my opinion changed before because of the input of a 3rd party.

Anywho - whenever I mentioned something, Heidi went right to the ~good~ of anything she could find in the person. For example (not something I actually said), I would say "Has anyone noticed how touchy 'Susan' is about the color yellow? Whenever I mention yellow, Susan seems to get agitated with me." To this, even if Heidi has never even heard of Susan, she'd say in response "Maybe she had a horrible thing happen to her when she was painting her room yellow. If it was me, I'd probably be really rude whenever I had to talk about yellow too".

So she was able to stop me in my tracks each time. And even though I wasn't actually saying Susan was a bad person, Heidi made me feel badly about even bringing it up in the first place. This is nothing bad about Heidi - this is actually really good. She was able to get me to think about only the good in someone so I would never had to bring up the discussion to begin with. It tells me that Heidi wouldn't be a great shit-talking partner, but bottom line, I think it's a great quality to have - a quality I don't have.

Denise: I was really excited to meet Denise and I'm so glad she was able to make it. What I wasn't expecting was how quiet she was. I don't know if this was because she was shy or if she was just simply allowing others to talk while she was soaking it in, but she definitely wasn't overtaking the conversations. Or, maybe it was because I was talking so damned much (it's a horrible issue of mine) and with me talking, I didn't give her the chance. (i suck!).

She kept her scarf on the entire time though and it made me think that she must be super hot. Then I thought that she was hiding a bunch of hickies. heh. I didn't ask her though.

Meg: Meg was awesome. We have the whole uterus thing in common, as something is "wrong" with both of ours. She's just in the place where the first service man stopped by her house and told her something was wrong, but she hasn't been given her estimate yet. It may not be a big issue, but yet it may be. It's a tough place to be in - a place I remember too well. The aspect of waiting for parts is one of the hardest things I've had to deal with. While other women get to try to cook up that perfect dinner every month, I had to wait. And then wait to see if it would work. Then wait for parts again. Over and over.

It's not just her oven that I took away from our meeting. I took away some understanding too. I was able to discuss a bit about my secondary infertility feelings and she actually seemed interested in my feelings. You don't find that much in the primary IFer. Maybe it's because she's a nanny and she's around children like I am each day, practically mothering them. I think she's actually in that place where she's a primary IFer, but knowing how a secondary IFer actually feels. That's rare.

K: K didn't talk too much, being on the quiet side along with Denise. She was the other secondary IFer in the group and I could see she was very wounded with her journey. My heart went out to her to see her emotions so visibly. We read blogs all the time where the author says they are crying, but it's another thing to see it right there in front of you. No, no one ended up crying at the table (which would have been completely okay if someone did), but there were some tears. I think I actually made a tear happen due to something I said, which made me feel a flash of guilt. I know it's the journey itself that creates the emotions, not anything I said, but still. When you are the person who's words create a tear in someone else, it's going to affect you.

K doesn't blog so I didn't have any preconceived notions of her, so the only thing I took away was everything I met at that meeting. She's part of our group now and she's sharing her story with us now. Maybe she'll get to blogging, maybe she won't. But I am delighted she has our little groups with to share those feelings. Hopefully she'll find out how sharing these emotions are really cathartic. There's nothing less I would want her to find out about this sharing process.

Lori: I instantly liked Lori. She's the one who brought us all together and I couldn't be more thankful. But what really struck me about Lori that I hadn't thought about much before was how much she still cared about the IF world. Yes, she was part of it big time. Since saying no more to treatments, she's successfully had two adoptions that the stories behind them couldn't be better. But she hasn't forgotten where she is from. She didn't just "take the kids and run" away from the infertility world. I've seen too many women who've had a taste of IF just forget it all once they get pregnant. There is a lot more to the "parenting after IF" world than just saying you went through infertility when asked about your ttc past.

I can't tell you how many girls I know who fit into this explanation. They will still say they know all about infertility and will be the first to raise their hand to tell their story, but they no longer support. They no longer talk about it in general - they only talk about it in regards to their own experiences. Not Lori. Lori is no longer in the trenches, but you wouldn't know by the way she is still in the war. She didn't go home with her purple hearts to talk about HER purple hearts when the subject arises. I felt she was no less dealing with IF than anyone at the table. And for that, I thank the world for her.

Duffy: She's a brand new blogger and I didn't know much about her story when I met up with her. I liked her right off the bat. She's going to go through IVF soon too (gosh, many of us are in the planning - Denise is going to go through another FET immediately, my IVF is March and both K and Duffy are doing an April IVF). I actually don't have anything specific to say about Duffy, which is weird for me right now, because I liked her a lot. She is someone I would love to have as a friend and I had a good time with her. I feel like I'm doing her a disservice right now for ~not~ having something specific to say! We hung out and walked around the mall, along with Meg, after our brunch and we had a great time. I thought she was funny and we has a good time. So that's what I really have to say about her - that she just immediately felt like an "IRL" friend. And that's a good thing.


I did want to mention my own "negative" feelings about the meeting. While I did love it and will meet anytime we all have another meet up, I was a little sad that I didn't "buddy up" with anyone. Everyone else seemed to just immediately connect with one another, but I felt like a hanger on. Meg and Duffy were going to go walk around and I asked to join. And while they were great, I could definitely see their connection with one another. While we were all together, we all would talk and laugh, but when I stepped away to shop, they stood next to one another, seeming like long lost friends deep in conversation. Don't get me wrong, I am tickled that so many people found each other, I just wish I had that some connection with someone.

Another thing that bothered me was I felt somewhat of a fake. While no one told me this nor even eluded to it, having two little kids without ART made me feel like I almost didn't belong there. I know it was unfounded, but it's how I felt. K has a son too, so I wasn't the only one dealing with secondary, but for some unknown reason, I didn't feel that K and I were in the same place. Maybe it's because she's gone through so much more than I have, I don't know. Plus, I have insurance and in just such a lucky place. It makes me feel so guilty about it all. My kids, my history, my ivf coverage.

It's like feel I don't have enough "cred". It's silly, I know. I've had 3 failed IUIs. I've has 1 failed mock IUI (medicated/monitored cycle, but with timed intercourse instead of IUI). I've had 3 HSGs, 4 HSSs, 4 surgeries (2 laps, 3 hysteroscopes), countless meds and ultrasounds. I'm only newly covered by insurance. I've gone through 34 cycles ttc completely out of pocket. But I haven't failed an IVF yet. I haven't paid out of pocket for an IVF cycle. I haven't had a known loss (although I'm almost convinced there has been at least one chemical pregnancy, just nothing that was confirmed). I'm on cycle 36, succeeding on C19 & C20, yet I didn't feel worthy of being a part of this group. Maybe it's why I felt that no one connected with me. Or vice versa - maybe no one connected with me because this is how I felt. And again, no one made me feel like this. This is how I made myself feel.

We're planning to continue to meet and I couldn't be more thrilled. I hope more ColoBloggers can meet next time and definitely hope to hear some good news from more than a few of the girls.


Lori said...

Now you're making ME cry.

Thanks for your sweet words. Sometimes I feel like *I* am the one who doesn't fit. Thank you for making me see otherwise.

Can't wait to see you again, too. I'm thinking April...?

Jenera said...

First, I think it is great that you were able to meet up with some ladies in the same place (or near) as you are right now. That's awesome.

Second, I can sympathize on feeling 'outside' of a group even when we have things in commom. For me it really is my own insecurities. I always think that i'm not 'cool' enough and that no one will like me. Even if the other people are truly sincere and nice.

When you have a new group of women meeting for the first time I bet EVERYONE felt that a bit.

JJ said...

Nancy--what a great account of all these beautiful women! Thanks for letting us be a part of your group in a virtual way=) Wish the NC group could meet up with the CO group!

Spicy Sister said...

I just typed out this incredibly long comment which really became a blog in and of I decided to try again and keep it brief:

1. I liked you too! I especially like that you were talkative and funny and said whatever you thought. I think sometimes I can be this way too, but then I judge myself for it and feel bad for it. You made me feel like being less apologetic for my extroverted, witty, and sometimes sarcastic side. Thank you!

2. I really appreciate you sharing your "negative" feelings. I have felt those same things so often in groups, mostly due to my own insecurities, but I have rarely admitted them - and never quite so candidly and eloquently. I think it takes a lot of courage to say "I felt left out" and to be able to point to why shows a lot of insight and perspective. All three qualities I really like in a friend. Thanks for putting it out there. I know the weirdness of feeling like you don't quite exactly fit. even when you feel so much like you should. It's yucky. Thanks for giving us all permission to acknowledge that we feel this way too - and for helping us to remember what that's like for others.

3. Basically, you rock!

HeidiM said...

OMG I didn't realize I was so intolerant of people talking about people...I guess I just want everyone to get along. But I totally understand the need to process other people's behaviors and put things in perspective. Sorry if I offended in any way, and thanks for seeing it as a good thing. Maybe because I've spent the majority of my life around guys (maybe you can relate somewhat since you're in tech?), I don't always "get" the girl culture. As far as you feeling like secondary IF isn't as worthy a cause as primary IF, that never, ever crossed my mind. If you and I want the same thing (i.e. to get pregnant) then I'm happy to share the journey, even if you have 10 kids already.
One thing that ocurred to me while reading your blog, is that I already like people in CO better than people in FL. Sorry to stereotype, but I've found people to be far more authentic and less superficial here. I think bloggers are maybe the top rung of authenticity, and I like it.