Friday, January 11, 2008

Where Have You Been?

What in the heck happened? I haven't posted in 12 days. I used to write 2 and 3 posts a day. I refrained from publishing them all at once, for fear of looking like a Blogger addict. I wondered how there would ever be enough days for me to post all the stuff I wanted to chatter on about. I think it was Sunny who mentioned once that she creates posts in her head all day long. I used to do that too. Now, nothing.

I also didn't understand why some of my favorite bloggers sort of dropped off the face of the Earth once they got pregnant. Now I completely get it...

First, I was just too tired. So I didn't post.

Then, I was simply scared all the time. I felt like a giant whiner when I would write rambling posts about how scared I was. Nothing was going wrong, everything was on track, but I was gripped with fear all the time. I got tired of listening to myself fret all day in my head, and I couldn't imagine that anyone else wanted to hear (or read) about it. My posts were boring, and circular, and pointless. What's crazy about this is when other newly-pregnant IFers write fretful posts, I always jump in to comment and tell them it's normal and they will be okay. Why did I think that people would consider me an ungrateful whiner? Because I'm deranged. So I didn't post.

Next, I wasn't scared as much. I passed the point when my sister had her 1st miscarriage. Then I passed the point when we had our 1st miscarriage. Then I passed the point when we had our 2nd miscarriage. Then I passed the point where my friend's Snowflake melted. Then I graduated from the RE. Then I made it through the NT scan. Then I made it into my 2nd trimester. Then I passed the point when my sister had her 2nd miscarriage. Every day was a struggle, filled with milestones fashioned from experiences all around me. But I was starting to feel okay (both physically and emotionally), and that made me feel weird. How do I blog about being happy? How do I move from angst-filled IF chick to the pregnant chick who is supposed to be happy? I still felt so much like the IF chick, but I also felt like a fraud. Would you think I was patronizing when I continued to write posts about how much IF had jacked with my head, heart and life while I sat here being knocked up? Instead of running the risk of offending my dear IF friends still in the trenches, I just didn't post.

Then I made it through the "big" scan at 18 weeks. Another milestone passed that I never took for granted, especially after Ann's experience. I had gone back to being scared. I was feeling the baby move every day, but not all the time. Hours and hours would go by when I would feel nothing, and I would become irrationally convinced that the baby was dead. It never really occurred to me that I might give birth prematurely like so many of my other dear IF friends (especially Carlynn), although that could have happened at any moment. I chose to assume that the baby was just going to up and die one day without letting me know. I went for weeks where I lived in one of two states of being: 1) the baby was moving and I was reassured, and 2) the baby wasn't moving and I was just sure I had lost him. Unfortunately I spent 90% of my time in state #2 and very little in state #1. Again, I felt terrible blogging about it. Do you guys really want to hear about how I'm not feeling my baby move enough? That's just a stupid, stupid, stupid and insensitive thing to moan about to my IF friends. So, you guessed it, I didn't post.

Now, I feel him move all the time. I mean all. the. time. I'm actually a little worried that he's going to be a handful when he comes out because he's going to be so wild. In the past 2 weeks, I can count on one hand the number of times I've stopped and thought, "Hmmmm, I haven't felt him move in a while. Hope he's okay." By the time I get around to thinking that, he's already moved. Thankfully letting me know he's in there. But how do I blog about that?

I have actually written numerous posts about all the shit that is still going wrong. The incessant heartburn, the debilitating migraines, the round ligament pain, the sciatic nerve pain, the throwing up (yes, still, although not nearly as much). I thought that these would be more acceptable topics for an IF blog than the "good" stuff. But then I realized that it was just more whining and who the hell wants to read that?

I wrote even more posts about the great stuff. Posts about how I've managed to only put on 4 pounds and I'm 21 weeks along. (Don't be too impressed, I was 15 pounds overweight to start with.) Posts about how indescribably cute Megan has been since we told her about the baby (which we didn't do until Christmas). Posts about the crazy names she's come up with for the baby -- currently it's "Scuttle Pinata Grinch." No, I'm not kidding. Posts about how I actually managed to buy some boy clothing last week, in an amazing show of acceptance that this might actually happen. Posts about how we bought crib bedding (it was on clearance at Target, I couldn't resist) and I think it's so cute.

Most of those posts got deleted. They were too happy, too fluffy, too in-your-face with the "look at me, I'm pregnant" factor. But that's just stupid. Even when I wasn't pregnant, I still loved to read blog entries from my pregnant IF friends because I was genuinely happy for them. I liked being able to reassure them when they were scared. I liked being able to bask in their glow of happiness when they were enjoying the ride. I simply liked sharing the entire experience with them.

So I'm not sure why I thought none of these topics were acceptable to post about. But I did. I've continued to read my regular blogs every day. I don't comment as much as I used to, because I'm perpetually afraid that people will think I somehow come off as some sort of poser when I empathize with the IF struggle.

The reality is that I still feel more like an infertile than I do like a pregnant person. I guess I knew this all along, and that's why I was so guilty and conflicted. On the outside, I was a pregnant person. But on the inside, I still have all the crazy feelings of an infertile. The only thing that has really changed is I actually can see a light at the end of the tunnel. That makes a big difference -- but I'm also acutely aware that if I let my guard down too much and think things are actually going to work out, it could all be snatched away in the blink of an eye.

See, this is why I didn't post. I don't make any sense. I nearly attacked a pregnant co-worker the other day, berating her for constantly rubbing her belly. I bordered on rude, I'm sure, but I was sick of it. But why? It took me a while to figure it out, but I think I know. I am hyper-sensitive regarding infertility. I assume, at all times, that there is a woman within eyesight or earshot who is struggling with infertility. I assume that this woman is having a horrible day and doesn't want my pregnancy thrown in her face. I couldn't live with myself if she mistook me for one of those smug fertiles who don't understand the gift, the wonder, the miracle that has been given to me. I wouldn't want to cause her one single second of pain because of something I did or said. I am her. I might not even know her, but I know her sadness. She may never even know this, just as I may never even know of her unfulfilled dreams, but I am ever-present in my commitment to be sensitive to fertility struggles.

I know I still make my non-IF friends and co-workers uncomfortable at times. I can't simply accept a compliment or congratulations regarding my pregnancy without spewing the entire history leading up to it. When someone says, "Hey, how great that you are having a baby!" I know I should say, "Yes, isn't it? We're really excited."

Instead I say, "Yes, it was a long, hard road paved with lots of heartache, lots of work, and lots of money. It took us many years, lots of science, a couple of miscarriages, 4 IUIs and 3 IVFs to get here." Wow. That's heavy for a fertile or a man to comprehend. It's like I'm desperate for people to know how much I still consider myself part of the IF community, how much IF has changed me, how grateful I am for where we have gotten.

But at what price? Am I robbing myself of pregnancy happiness? Am I wallowing in my IF grief? In my efforts to make sure I'm not offending you lovely people who read my blog, am I actually driving you away by never posting?

Good GRIEF, can you tell I'm hormonal or what? Anyway, that must be the longest explanation ever regarding where I've been and why I haven't posted much. Please forgive me. Forgive me for posting so infrequently. Forgive me for not commenting as much as I should. Forgive me if I've ever inadvertently come across as flippant, ungrateful or ungenuine. I will do my level best to start posting again regularly, regardless of the topic. Some days, it might be happy stuff. Some days, it might not. I have to keep reminding myself that if you aren't in the mood to read my drivel, you'll simply skip my blog that day. But just know that I'll still be reading yours, and cheering for you!


Caro said...

Totally get all this. Oph and thanks for the update.

Susan said...

I'm glad you posted again. This time I'll be the one to tell you that it's okay. These are your feelings and with the roller coaster you've been they are perfectly normal. I'm glad the little guy is moving around and that you are happy.

TeamWinks said...

Whew that was quite the explanation girl! Feel better now? ;-)

Don't worry so much, we all understand. Post when you have a chance, about what you feel at that moment, and we'll be here.

Sunny said...

You are so cracking me up! I can just hear you going on and on in your head. I HAVE MISSED YOU! I love your posts. No matter if you are whining or shining I always laugh and smile at the end. Share your heart. Who cares what others think. OR don't share and who cares again.

I have just missed my friend.

Waiting Amy said...

Oh Leah, just be yourself! I want to know how you are doing. I'm facing many of the same emotions. Some friends want to congratulate me and act like everything is all fine. And I constantly have to say things like "its really early" and "things could still go wrong."

Don't worry about offending. Anyone knowing the long road of IF knows that getting pregnant doesn't change your outlook, you are still an IFer.

Glad Spidey is moving around lots and you are having more happy time. Tell us about it!

Delenn said...

I totally understand your post. It is hard to totally let go of the anxieties of being infertile, and when you finally start to feel happy, you feel guilty that not everyone can share in that same type of happiness. I missed seeing you post, so please, keep posting. And just be yourself.

Sticky Bun said...

I SO hear you, sister. About not writing. About feeling like a poser when you comment and commenting less. About it all.

But, we're all still very excited to hear from you. And I'm so glad to hear it's all going well. :-)

Fertilize Me said...

HERE HERE!!!! I am not near as far as you and meuratic about hte movements I do feel (ie. days apart and have bad bad thoughts)

So to answer all of your questions YES - i want to hear it!

I amglad lil spidey is going so well, sorryyou are feeling hormonal but glad for an update!

Michelle said...

Oh, I totally get it. My blog is dormant now, because who wants to hear me bitch and moan about how hard it is to take care of a newborn? I would have wanted to kill me a year ago. So I don't blog.

And I get the hypersensitivity about being pregnant. I always worried that my pregnant belly was making some other infertile woman sad, I almost felt apologetic about it and wished I could hide it. And that feeling hasn't gone away. We've got a neighborhood get togehter next weekend, and I'm already thinking about how painful it's going to be for the infertile neighbor who's been invited. There will be an infant, a newborn, a hugely pregnant woman, and another neighbor who has just announced pregnancy #2. If I were the infertile, childless woman, I'd definitely have something else to do, but I'm sure she'll be there with a smile. She's either a much bigger person than I am or screaming in pain beneath the happy surface. Either way, I know I'll spend the whole evening trying (and if past experience holds, not very successfully) to steer the conversation away from baby, baby, baby.

Kathy V said...

I am glad to know that you didn't fall off the planet. It makes sense that you find yourself in the middle of two worlds. You lived with if for so long that it is bound to make a lasting impression. I am not pregnant but often times feel like I live in two different worlds. I am glad you stayed loyal to your if sisters but it is okay to let yourself get happy too. And like you said if good news on your blog makes someone feel uncomfortable they can skip past it that day and come back another day. Welcome back.

Portia P said...

Oh Leah! I'm MISSED you.

I"m sure it must be so hard to be caught between two worlds.

Quit worrying and just give us what you got. If I can't bear it i'll put my fingers in my ears and sing loudly!

Of course I want to be where you are but i'm really, really pleased you're there and want to hear what happens next!


ps: thanks for your offer re place to stay - you're v sweet.

Hez said...

I get exactly where you're coming from. Even to the point of not wanting anyone to make a big (or small!) deal of my pregnancy IRL for fear that someone else (that I may not even know about) it struggling & think I wouldn't understand why their emotions are mixed. Thank you for sharing this!

Baby Step said...

This blog is for you to post whatever you want -- you should not worry about us! We WANT to read about everything you are going through, you don't have to sugar coat anything, okay?

Meghan said...

I've gone pretty quiet since getting our positive this week, just don't know what to say. So I completely get what you are saying.

But, I have missed you. Regardless of what you're writing about, you've got a fantastic voice and writing style. I'll keep on reading, whether or not you're fearful or excited

Bean said...

Welcome back! I WAS missing you. I'm sorry you've been going through so much inner conflict about blogging, but I must admit I got a chuckle out of your post. ;)

Glad that little boy is making himself known and making you feel a better (mentally). Sorry you're still not feeling so great physically though.

Anyway, I'm glad your back and I'll happily come read whatever you feel like posting!

orodemniades said...

Hi, stopping by from...someone's blog whose name I've completely forgotten.

I just wanted to say that the further you go along, the more the fear recedes. I totally get where you're coming from with the hypersensitivity, though. I rub my belly in public and hope that I'm not ruining someone's day by doing so. And y'know what? Commenting gets easier, too.

I think you should post as much as you can about the happy times, though. I know I don't want to forget the joy for the fear.

Besides, when you get hit with the constipation in a couple of weeks? Trust me, you will want to blog about that. I always thought pregnant women were being really dramatic about the constipation, but now? Ye gods. gods.

sltbee69 said...

I know I don't respond much but I do look for your posts daily. I've missed not hearing from you. I will add my 2 cents that I understand where you are coming from but really and truly, we want to hear ALL about everything. ((HUGS))

LJ said...

I never tire of your posts, missy. You best keep blogging, even if it is all perky and light. I know your deep dark & twisty side is in there :)

In and Out of Luck said...

Amen to all of this. I share these feelings totally. Thanks for expressing them for us!

Tam said...

I'm glad that you are posting again and it's good to know that's going on in your head.

21 weeks, where's time going? Glad that things with little spidey are going well.

Look after yourself, sending lots of love!

Grad3 said...

I still do the same thing. I am just letting most people figure out that I am pregnant- no announcements out of me!

A co-worker the other day was like "Congrats! Are you excited?" To which I responded, "I am still getting used to the idea- it's taken a while to get here."

It's hard. And strange.

Frenchie said...

It's YOUR blog!! (LOL) You should say whatever you want, whatever you feel, whenever you want. But, I think I can understand where you're coming from. You are a very sensitive person who cares about the feelings of others. That definitely shows. Don't worry about offending those of us that are still in the trenches. For myself, I can say I only check in on my favorite pregnant bloggers when I'm feeling strong enough to hear whatever they may have to say...and hope that one day I can blab (in as sensitive a way as possible, of course) about pregnancy symptoms on MY blog!

Hope as time goes on in this pregnancy you can relax and enjoy it even more. You deserve it.

Becks said...

I thought that was beautifully written and you have to remember your blog is about YOU nand if people can't quite take it that day they will move on, but if you need to write, just write, whatever the topic...we'll be here reading.

Grad3 said...

Glad to see spidey's doing so well. I understand exactly what you mean about movement and the scary stories.