It seems that this post has become a tradition 'round this here corner of the world wide web. I suppose I've gotten a little braver this year, by co-authoring the post from Monday and asking it to be published to other sites, realizing that it can (and hopefully will be) shared and that people I know in real life and who I work with could end up finding this space. A part of me is worried that might happen, but that is the part of me that worries what others think about me and that isn't comfortable in my own skin. As I'm writing these words ahead of time, so they are ready to be published on Wednesday, I still don't know what I will do about social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter. I already have a public Instagram board labeled "Infertility," though it's not quite as full as my private one; also, once more people I knew IRL started following me, I stopped pinning things to the public board regularly. There is something about putting our infertility "out there" that causes me to stop in my tracks. I can't explain it, though I wish I could. I've tried the past two years, and I still agree with all that I've written, yet there is more, I'm just not sure what it is.
If you've been reading here for a while, you will recognize what follows. If you are new, please read it, at least the original post from 2012. And regardless of how many visits you've made to this corner of the web, please know how much I appreciate your prayers for us. Each one is a gift to us; each one supporting us and giving us strength on this road; each one pointing us toward God and helping us to place our trust in Him.
Updated Post from 2013:
Mostly a rerun from last year. Up until yesterday, the start of IF Awareness Week, I really thought I'd post something this year. And now it's here, and I just can't. I don't know, maybe I think that putting it on FB makes it more real (you know, "Facebook Official" kind of thing). I don't know what about the past 2 1/2 years is not real, but maybe that's it. This way, I can pretend that we are just a happy married couple without children. I can pretend that baby announcements and u/s pictures and first days of school and holidays etc. don't bring pain I didn't really know it was possible to feel.
There is a part of me that still wants to post something. But maybe if I could turn FB comments off? I want to just post it and let it stand. Kind of like "yea, this is me. Period." But that goes against what social media is all about, doesn't it? I don't know, it just seems like sharing this would be the equivalent of posting naked photos of myself. It just seems too personal. And yet, I share it here. In ways that are so intensely personal I sometimes gasp when rereading what I've written. I have no explanation for this.
Which leaves me here. Scared of my own shadow in a sense and at the same time acutely aware of just how personal infertility really is. Even those of us who carry this cross do so differently. No two experiences are exactly the same. I don't know that I will ever say it better than I said it last year, the sentiments are the same now, with the pain a little deeper; the realization of what might never be a little clearer; and my Faith as the life-preserver that will get me through.
Original Post from 2012:
Today is the first day of Infertility Awareness Week. Last year, when this week rolled around, we had just passed month 6 of TTC using NFP - it was the first milestone to cross that would label us infertile. I remember seeing the posts of friends and family members on Facebook, friends and family members who had crossed over (most of them years ago) and thinking to myself, if we do not have a baby this time next year, I will post for all of us who are still suffering.
Oh, how a year changes things.
There will be no post on my FB page. There will be no Tweeting about IF. There will only be this, in this space.
Much like I chose not to share our story at work, I also chose not to share our story on FB - for lots of reasons. Many are the same as the work reasons, but there are a few others too.
But here's what I would say, what a piece of me is dying to say, if I were to post:
It would start with this picture:
In honor of Infertility Awareness Week: "This is for all of us who long to see two lines on a stick; who wish for labor pains; who look forward to being woken up every few hours of each night; who imagine first steps and first words; who dream of first birthdays; who hide tears, minimize pain, and straddle the fence of the life we have and the life we want; who suffer in silence; who bite our tongues at bad advice; and who just want to hear "I love you Mom". Those of you with children: Hug them tightly, tell them how blessed you are to have them in your life, say "I love you" just because you do, and praise the Author of Life for the opportunity to do so."
I wish I had the courage to not care about the reactions; to stand up and educate others about infertility; to explain our reasons for our treatment plan; to let everyone see the truth.
I don't. I couldn't even advocate for myself with a local doctor - let alone 300 some FB "friends".
But there is something I want to say to my IRL friends (and MIL - hi Mom!) who read here:
Thank-you. Thank-you for reading these words and hearing the truth - the good and the bad - and still loving me. Thank-you for not pushing me to share when I don't want to and for listening when I do. Thank-you for not ever making me feel embarrassed for tears or for making jokes to hide them. Please know that every. single. time. I thank those in the bloggy world for their support I am including you because you are part of this place as well.
So, while I won't be saying anything on Facebook - to everyone who is reading this thank-you for helping me to carry this cross. Thank-you for loving me, praying for me, and sticking with me. I don't know or how when this road will end, but I do know that you've made it easier and less scary.
Infertility Awareness Week 2014 - Today!