Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Problem With IF Blogs....

...is that, eventually, most of them turn into pregnancy blogs, and then parenting blogs.  I know I'm not the first blogger to write about this phenomenon, but its been circulating a lot in my brain lately.  Perhaps its the slew of personal anniversaries I've had in the past month, perhaps its the plethora of pregnancy announcements and births that seem to be ricocheting around the blogosphere as of late.  Whatever the reason, I am finding myself deleting more and more of my familiar blogs from my reader, and seeking out new ones.  The problem with new ones, of course, aside from all the little things that come with getting to know a new bloggy "friend" is that most of the newbies are just that -- new.  They are alternately full of enthusiasm or despair -- both of which I can relate to -- and yet neither of which resonate with me much any more.  I am full of tired, and have more than once found myself sighing "been there, done that" and clicking on.

I joined ICLW last month in hopes that it would bring me some new blogs, and it did.  I even gained a few new followers (hi, there!).  But even that list seemed heavy with pregnant or parenting-after-IF blogs -- much more so than in years past.

We've now surpassed that looming milestone that's been hanging like an albatross for the past 12 months.  We have -- unsuccessfully -- tried to conceive for a decade now.  Ten years TTC, six years post-diagnosis, four years of treatments, three years of blogging, two years since our first loss, and still no partridge in our pear tree.

The numbers keep swirling in my head, over and over and over again.

120 cycles without contraceptives.

10 months of Clomid.

4 IUI's.

2 IVF's.

1 FET.

3 miscarriages.

0 babies.

I'm exhausted.  I want to keep plugging along, but I just can't seem to find the energy.  I need a hit of adrenaline, something to keep me motivated, because honestly?  I've lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm beginning to think that we are living our life on repeat -- playing the same song over and over and over again.   Am I destined to keep chasing the unattainable forever?  Will what I want always remain just ahead around the corner -- right out of arms reach?

Or will this finally be the year that I can make that transition myself -- from IF, to pregnant or parenting?

If only I could see what the future has in store, this would all be so much easier to bear.

22 comments:

  1. It's absolutely exhausting when it seems like everyone around you is moving on to the next stage and you feel like you're stuck. I'm new to blogging and new to riding the treatment rollercoaster, but I've known about our infertility for over 8 years now (Hubby's known for much longer). For most of that time, I've been frustrated that we weren't moving forward and driving myself crazy going through all the possible outcomes in my head. Now I'm in a place that's probably very familiar to you, but it's been a long time coming. And we still have a long way to go. I wish I had a crystal ball you could peer into (and I'd take a turn myself). But until your future gets here, with whatever it has in store, just know that you're helping people like me, who are still somewhat new to this sick game. And I'll be thinking of you and hoping that this is your year!

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  2. your post makes me thinking of a country song (there are country songs for pretty much every situation, I think) ... 'I'm much too young to feel this damn old ...' I hope you will have a chance to rest, refresh, and find what you need for the path you follow next. I wish this wasn't so hard for you.

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  3. I hope life and the burden you are carrying right now grow lighter and brighter.

    {{{Hugs}}}

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  4. i hear ya!!

    we're 12 years this year [middle of the year] and it's just freaking mindboogling!

    for the most part i've stopped even bothering with iclw because it got to that point where every 2nd or 3rd blog i read the writer was either pregnant or parenting after IF and i just can't relate. and i know the reason for that - the reality is that MOST Ifers go on to win the Golden Ticket, get the prize, we are the minority but you know what we are still here and it would be nice if once in awhile the ALI community acknowledged that not everyone gets the happy ending - i know people don't want to talk about it because they don't want to talk about ending up with empty arms but hey it does happen, i just wish it was talked about more in the ALI blogosphere.

    sending lots of love from someone who understands only too well.

    ~x~

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  5. I am right there with you...and have been cleaning out my blogs that I follow, searching for new ones...more like me.
    Hugs!

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  6. (((hugs))) I keep having this weird dream that you and Mo win a free IVF and have twins. I raise this diet cola in the hopes that this dream is precognitive. :)

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  7. I'm somewhere in the middle of my journey - three years in to trying, two years of treatments, one year of blogging- but I can relate to it being harder and harder to find new blogs to read. Most of the ones I started reading when I started my own blog have moved on to pregnancy and parenting by now. I've stuck with most of them. It was one thing to keep reading about the pregnancies, but now, seeing all the babies is beginning to wear on me. I don't know if it helps you at all, but you are not alone in your emotions.

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    1. Right here with you. Most of the blogs I've been following this year are now pregnant; a few have had babies. Here's to patience, persistence, fighting the good fight, and hope...although I'd be lying if I said it was easy.

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  8. I'm so sorry. Your last sentence resonates with people at all stages of infertility, that if we could see where this will end up, we will finally have peace during the journey there.

    The absolutely worst infertility story I heard was in this book, "Coming to Term". One woman had many, many pregnancy losses, and was haunted by the fact she could never hold her babies. Through heroic efforts, she finally carried almost to term, but that baby did not make it. She finally got to hold that child though the night, and that allowed her to make peace with closing the chapter on having children biologically. Then the shitty universe finally came through for her- she was matched with a baby with adoption a short while later, so she did become a mother. This story and a few others stay with me always, to remind me what turns this journey can take.

    Just in case you have not come across these yet, these are 2 people from my bloglist who are infertility veterans who are turning to adoption.

    http://www.whitneyanderick.com/

    http://www.alittleblogaboutthebiginfertility.wordpress.com

    I hope all of you can depart to the parenting blog zone soon.

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  9. Read your comment over at Mel's house on deleting.

    I wanted to suggest you turn on comment audits to it is sent to you in an email. You never miss the details this way.

    Best best luck to you as you stay in the fight for your family. The revolving door hurts a lot, I agree.

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  10. I've noticed this trend on ICLW as well, and it honestly bothers me. Obviously, we're all rooting for each other to get pregnant. It's the goal we ALL have in mind. But at the same time, you want it to happen to everyone at the same time so we can all be happy together. I know there's a place in ICLW for pregnant after IF or parenting after IF, but I've skipped the last few months because I don't like it slapping me in the face.

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  11. I've never jumped on the ICLW band wagon for that reason. I find blogs of people whose blogs I can relate to..like yours...and that I can read without cringing. After all the years I've been doing this, the cheerfulness and naivete of some bloggers just rubs me the wrong way. And it's nothing against them...it's just me.

    I find myself in the strange position of having kids, but still struggling with IF and with pregnancy loss. Most of the parenting after IF bloggers are DONE with that chapter (they are much smarter than I am, apparently). But the bloggers who are still struggling are mostly younger than me and don't have kids. It took me a long time to get pregnant, it would have taken me a heck of a lot longer if I had waited more than 2 years to start using ART. Sometimes when reading a blog of a person who was infertile for about 15 minutes and then got pregnant with twins my brain starts to twitch.

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  12. I almost didn't comment because I'm one of those that isn't an IF blog anymore. And I didn't go through a fraction of what you and Mo have been through.

    But I remember the tearing grief that came with each passing month and no matter how happy I was for that fellow IFer that got to cross over, the jealous 'will that ever be me' monster was always on my shoulder.

    I also remember thinking that if I could be guaranteed a baby after X number of treatments or X number of miscarriages, I would happily do it for the pot of gold at the end.

    I wish I had answers for you. I wish I knew someone that could tell you the answers. Please know that I hold you in my heart and am sending you much love.

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  13. Seeing the future would be a game-changer. If it were "be patient X number of years, and by the way don't worry about hoarding leave days or peering at pee sticks or decorating a nursery until then - just live the hell out of your life" then that would be fine. Even if it were "never ever, but here's what you get to do instead," that would be fine. It's the demon hope and the endless, endless disappointment that grind a gal into the ground.

    I'm sorry about your very unpleasant anniversary. I'm coming up on my thirtieth birthday in just two weeks (I know, not as big a deal, but heavily fraught nonetheless) and I want to do some sort of symbolic burial of my fertility, youth, hopes, and dreams on a mountain at midnight in the nude or something, and my nitwit friend who adopted a baby in December suggested I would just love to have a celebratory dinner with the group I was sitting with (three women, five children - and me), and I want to see her dead.

    Happy Wednesday.

    And yeah, new IF blogs are pointless, not only because their experience is different but because the newer they are, the higher the odds they will be pregnant before you can even get a firm grasp of who they are, and now you have ANOTHER pregnancy blog to delete. Gah.

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  14. I am here from Mel's weekly blog roundup and nodding my head to everything you've said. I don't blog myself, but I read and follow other IF blogs. And, while we've "only" TTC for 2 1/2 years, it feels like a lifetime when I'm being lapped by bloggers and IRL friends having their second babies while I still haven't had 1.

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    1. wow. how am I just finding myself here? because I think this is where I belong. 2 IVFs, 2 FETs, 1 twin loss at 22 weeks, 0 live babies. All with donor eggs. Now we're exploring surrogacy and like you, need to carve more and more time out to trim my reader. I don't have a "you're pregnant and yer outta here" mindset, but I do have categories so I can pick and choose what I'm seeing when I'm feeling a little, um, fragile?

      I've had evenings where one blogroll has led me to another and to another and sometimes its a beautiful discovery. But many times, I've felt exactly as you've written here: " I am full of tired, and have more than once found myself sighing "been there, done that" and clicking on."

      Not that I can't relate but I can't relate right now, and sometimes it just plains stings to remember how hopeful and dramatic we were pre-loss. We haven't lost hope, but our glasses have lost any shade of rose and I tend to gravitate towards those who are more pragmatic these days, like me. Maybe it will happen; maybe it won't. Either way, we will find a way to keep living and loving and moving forward.

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  15. Hi, we started TTC in 2008, but in 2010 we've started surrendering to a future without any kids. I've never been pregnant and we've decided not to pursue any treatments nor adopt. Now that we're not TTC anymore, I feel that I can relate more with IFers who're in the same state (no longer TTC and no kids).

    Anyway, just wanna give you (((HUGS))) and wish you reprieve from the fatigue...

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  16. Thank you for writing this post. I think everyone in the ALI community needs to be reminded about the issues you raise here. I try to do investigative reporting in my blog about the shitty way our society and especially the media treat our community, but there's a mixed bag of other stuff in there about parenting and wanting more kids and I often wonder if I should be writing that stuff at all or maybe so keep my "Faces of ALI" and media critiqcue posts separate.

    Lots of food for thought here...

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  17. Hi, I know the feeling. I used to be a more avid blogger. Life just sort of changed. I am not saying this to compete in some "Pain Olympics," but, I'm the nightmare that most of you never want to think about.

    5 IVFs

    1 pregnancy ending at 19 weeks.

    Ovarian Cancer (TAHBSO)

    I'm alive.

    I have no children.

    Due to my age and prior diagnosis, adoption is very unlikely. Even surrogacy would be hard to pursue.

    On rare occasion I do look at the ALI blogsphere to see how some folks who were there for me in some very dark hours are doing. Occasionally, I see a post somewhere that moves me. Yours is one.

    I cannot guarantee you will get a happy ending. I can only tell you that you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other until you find yourself in a new place - with or without kids.

    God Bless.

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  18. Yup. My numbers are similar to yours, although not as many years TTC (we're almost at 5, with 6 IVF cycles and 2 miscarriages). I've long categorized my blogs in Google Reader into IF, Expecting and Parents, and now I regularly have more in the latter two categories than the IF category. And I feel jaded and cynical when I see new bloggers at the beginning of their (hopefully short) journey. Not pleasant, not fun.

    And I agree with misfit - it's the uncertainty that's the killer. If someone could tell you exactly what it would take, you could soldier through it. But not knowing what the ending is sucks.

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  19. Oh.. can I say I was thrilled to read this post (even when really all I hope is for everyone to graduate past the IF blogging...), but really, I too am tired and it is somehow nice to look around and see that I am not the only person at the train station with no real ticket out of here (but certainly not just arriving with new hopes that this is just a temporary phase). I am 6 years post birth control, one DE cycle, and no real plan at the moment.

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  20. Here from the Roundup.

    I'm one of the ones who have crossed over. I don't write *too* much about parenting, but I worry that I will lose the community of followers (and, really, friends) that I gained in the process of writing my blog in the first place. I know that I can no longer claim childlessness. I can still talk about RPL, but I'm not in the thick of it any more. And yet, this is where I want to be, mindful, supportive, present ...

    Sending you my thoughts, and keeping you in my heart.

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