Now that I'm on the other side

Do you remember the first place you reached out for infertility support?

I haven't thought about this in years. In April 2012, I created Who Shot Down My Stork? But that wasn't the first place I found support. There was (and still is) a website called Daily Strength. I don't even know how I found it. But I registered, created my own little profile (sans picture because I didn't know how to upload one from my laptop's photo library) and saw a space where you could link a website or blog. So guess what? I created this blog so that I would have a link to put there, because apparently that's what the other cool cats were doing. And when I say cool cats, I mean the girls who all had user names like Wishing4Baby23.

I became "friends" with the other women on there and actively commented on posts for a few months.  I then started writing regularly on this blog that following December and that is when I found my community.

Every blogger knows that the way to get others to read your blog is to read others' and comment. Commenting used to be a big thing. I remember excitedly telling Chris about the first comments left on my blog. About when I started actually getting followers.

We had our first appointment at the fertility clinic later on that month and I remember making a post on Facebook, my very first "coming out." I was terrified no one would care. When I created my Facebook page for my blog, I was terrified no one would care. Because let's be honest. You create a blog for other people to read. Those who say they have a public blog to only write for themselves are lying. We want others to read our blog. We want to share our story. We love comments. I was no different. I commented and followed other blogs so that they in turn would reciprocate. I had dreams of becoming a big blogger. I wanted a big following. One because I'm an attention-whore. And two... I'm an attention whore. I wanted to be heard. I had no control over my fertility, but this I could control. I could gain a following. I could be a voice for others. And selfishly, I could surround myself with people who understood.

Eventually, I became part of a big group of women who blogged about their infertility. We all got to know one another. We gave each other blog awards. We did sock exchanges. We did ornament exchanges. We all participated in ICLW.

95% of those bloggers I followed got pregnant or adopted. About half stopped blogging. A quarter post once a month (like me) or less. Very few continue to post regularly.

Over the last year I have sought out some blogs who are in the throes of infertility. But it's not the same. ICLW has ended due to a dwindling number of people willing to do it. There are no more silly blog awards. Commenting has decreased. I've noticed it on my own blog. People comment much more on my Facebook posts now.

Now that I have my daughter, things aren't the same in this space anymore. And that kind of makes me sad. I mean, I have a baby. I got exactly what I wanted. And my blogging friends, most of whom I am now Facebook friends with, are parents. Some are on their second and third child. And we all comment on our own Facebook statuses and pictures of our kids. So I mean, my community is still here, it's just evolved into a more personal relationship.

I've read a lot of blog posts about parenting after infertility. I read about the guilt and uncertainty about where these women now fit. Are you still an infertility blogger when you have a baby? Are you a mom blogger after spending so many years trying to get pregnant? Where do you fit in?

I am to the point where I don't feel guilty for being happy. I spent so many years struggling. I have cried more in these past few years than I ever have. I have exhausted funds and pushed my body to its limits in terms of hormones and injections.

Do you want to know what I think about infertility? I think it sucks. I think it's unfair. I think people are so ignorant about infertility that it makes me stabby. Having a baby hasn't erased my bitterness toward the overly fertile. Dulled it? Perhaps. But I still have inappropriate reactions to pregnancy announcements. I have a strange stalkeresque instant bond with people who have gone through infertility treatments. Like I have the need to completely overshare about my vagina and Chris's sperm. (More than my usual need to overshare on these things that is.)

We do want another baby. I mean, I'm still infertile. Nothing has changed. I'm not going to get pregnant on my own. Around Olivia's 2nd birthday we are planning on flying back to Houston for an FET, and I know I will blog about that. I will post about shots and doctor's appointments and lining measurements along with Olivia updates.

So what I'm trying to say is that, I still need this space. More than once I have thought about quitting it. I wonder who cares to read about baby updates. Everyone has babies. Olivia is a miracle, but my posts have become more parenting thoughts than infertility. But then I realize how much I need this space. Whether it's for monthly baybee updates or whining about my uterus. I need this blog. And if I can be honest, I want people to still read. It's why I have made more of an effort to comment on blogs again. 

As long as I feel I have something to say, I need to continue to write.

My story. Clearly it's not over.

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