In the past 18 months, I had considered writing on multiple occasions. Multiple barriers stopped me. I primarily used the excuse of lack of time from parenting an infant, working full-time, and then owning a new home. It was difficult to be reflective. But it was more than that. I was conflicted. I had forgotten, or more likely never fully understood, why I started blogging about infertility. So therefore it was difficult to know the future of an infertility blog once motherhood was achieved.
I couldn't put my finger on exactly what was so conflicting until just the other day. Something about Mel's 500th/600th Friday Roundup sparked an epiphany. I'm not sure what it was exactly, but I loved her explanation of how certain blogs stick with her and how she fishes for new gems each week.
I have found myself returning to read others' blogs more frequently within the past several months. Wanting to catch up on people's lives, people that I have begun to consider distant friends or pen-pals of sorts. Although admittedly I am doing this all without commenting or acknowledging my presence. I'm lurking and I apologize for that. This is what I used to do before I had a blog of my own. Because it feels awkward to comment on someone's post without having a link where they can return to learn more about me if they so choose. Because, to me, lurking seems like the better of two evils then a complete or even semi-stranger making it aware that they know about you. Part of why I started blogging in the first place was to "come out" and join the conversation.
I realized that other day that I was no longer scouring blogs just to catch-up. I was searching. I am still searching. I am searching for people who understand what I am going through. People who have been there before. People who have survived this. I am searching for answers to unanswered questions about what to do next and what the future might have in store for me. This feels like a direct parallel to how I felt in years past, in the beginning of my journey to motherhood, but surprising because I hadn't expected to be back to this place.
I have also taken to re-reading my old posts. Over and over. I find comfort in them, even the ones with raw emotion of uncertainty and despair. I have found myself looking back to clarify specific dates, or numbers, or stats that have faded from my memory with time. These numbers were once so important, and then no longer important at all, and now may again be important references. I also find myself wanting to empathize with the person shedding her soul. I have largely forgotten those emotions and reconnecting at this point seems helpful for some reason. As though some of the answers I am searching for are found in my own history.
This blog serves as documentation of my infertility journey. I am not a particularly outspoken person, but this blog serves to share my story, in all of it's raw and unflattering details. I do this for myself, so that I return to remember how far that I have come and never forget the toll of an infertility diagnosis even after the largely overcoming it. I do this for others, so that they might find answers and understanding in my words as I have also searched. I do this to be a part of a conversation that needs to become more vocal, less hidden and shameful.
This is not a parenting blog. A huge source of conflict was how to address my daughter now that she was alive and a very real person. Her anonymity and respect for her privacy is important to me. One day I will teach her about social media and all of its benefits and potential problems. But this if for her to learn and figure out how she is portrayed and what she wants to share. As much as I would love sharing about my joys and challenges of parenting, and I am sure that some of that will inevitably filter in from time to time, I could never figure out a way to do this in its entirety while protecting her privacy without turning the blog to private status. While having a private status blog works for many, this didn't feel right and I couldn't grasp why until just now accepting the purpose of my blog.
This is not a personal journal. Yes, I will write about non-infertility related topics at times because this can also be cathartic and can put the infertility journey in context, but that is is not the purpose. In general, my life is fairly mundane and primarily positive. I have stressors and daily trials like most, but I don't believe that these stories serve much of a greater purpose. Plus, journaling is always too difficult for me to maintain.
This is not an infertility advocacy or infertility education blog. I hope that it can serve a small advocacy or educational purpose to some, but that is not the primary reason I write. Honestly, I would love to have to the time to serve in more of an advocate or education role for the infertility community. Maybe someday this will be possible. For now, my time and emotional energy in spent on my family and my work/my patients.
Some day, I anticipate that my infertility story will come to an end. At some point we will be finished with our family and I will be content with the outcome. The remaining embryos will no longer be in frozen limbo. At some point, I do believe that this blog will be concluded, but not deleted. It will always serve as a document of one person's journey through this [often silent] diagnosis affecting 1 of 8. It will remain, in the archives on the internet, for myself and my child(ren) and, hopefully, for others to happen on and find solace, comfort, and answers to their own questions.
I am reminded of the moment of when I suddenly and unequivocally realized and accepted that I was a mother, not when she was first placed in my arms, but a quiet moment of breastfeeding when she was three weeks old. My first post in this blog was nearly 3 years ago, albeit with a 1.5 year hiatus. It is with a great sense of satisfaction and slight amusement that I can finally understand and articulate its purpose.