featured post: “let’s be clear…” by Sarah (aka SLESE1014)

I have said before that I am not really into blogging about blogging. In fact, I said that “There are as many reasons for blogging as there are blogs, and then some. However, within the ALI corner of the blogosphere an over-arching theme presents itself: community. And again, there are as many definitions for what that means as there are bloggers and then some more.”

So while I may not blog about blogging (erm, except for when I do), I have spent a lot of time thinking about it lately. Thinking about what to say and how to say it. Thinking about how I am a trimester away from resolving my physical infertility journey (though, not my psychological healing), while others that I care deeply for are still struggling with it every day. Walking the line between sensitivity and censorship. And so, paralysis sets in.

A conversation is starting again in the ALI blogosphere, and I firmly believe that it is one that we, as a wide and varied community, need to keep having. Important questions about being asked about reaching backwards and forwards along the journey. About wanting more children. About offering support versus withdrawing for self-preservation. About the Pain Olympics being played again.

Sarah (aka SLESE1014) at Mommyhood After Fertility Frustration posted something the other day that gave voice to many things that have been on my mind these last few weeks, though I lack the courage to say them.

A few things, from her post “Let’s Be Clear…” really struck me:

I don’t need to be reminded of those who are still struggling for their first child. I am well aware as one of my best friends who has suffered multiple failed IUI’s and a failed IVF and an IVF ending in miscarriage. I know how much it sucks to see your friends and strangers get pregnant and live happily ever after….I respect your struggle. I recognize the pain. My pain doesn’t stop because I have a child. Is it a little easier than it used to be, sure. But it’s still there.

and

The ALI community has been for me a place of solace and support. We all have different pathways on this journey. Yours may not be the same as mine…. We are here to support each other no matter what pathway we are on. To be judgmental of how someone travels on their journey because it’s not what you would do is the antithesis of support and the meaning of this community.

and

Until you have walked in my shoes and experienced what I have, you cannot know how you would handle my situation. And since none of us will ever have the exact same pathway, none of us should be judging the other for their choices on family building.

It is that last quotation above that is really sticking with me. You can never walk the proverbial mile in anyone else’s shoes. You can share the road, but you don’t see the same sights or trip over the same stones. You don’t know what the road looks like to the person ahead of you, and it may be hard to look backwards. But let’s walk together when and where we can. Let’s reach out hands when we can (and hold tightly), and help dress skinned knees and all the rest, each according to their needs and abilities.

Some days are better than others, for all of us. I will admit (and this may be difficult to understand) that some days, I find it difficult to reach backwards because it triggers pain deep within me that I simply cannot face yet. And so, to my shame, I say nothing. I wish I could do better in those times. I wish I knew how to keep reaching backwards while still doing what is right for my healing, for my place on the road. I think we need to keep talking about this, like Sarah is, lest we forget why we came here in the first place.

I encourage you to read the entirety of Sarah’s post (and the links she has provided to similar posts around the blogosphere) and join the conversation at her place.

*****

Sarah in her own words: I was blessed to find the man of my dreams and best friend. I was blessed again to marry him and look forward to spending the rest of my life with him. We wanted to add children to our family shortly after we married. Unfortunately, after years of trying to conceive a child, we’ve realized it’s not as easy as other people make it look. As we embarked on our journey, for the second time, with a fertility specialist we chose to keep it between us and a few random people, most of whom have been through some sort of infertility treatment. Needing a place to discuss my feelings and all the ups and downs of our journey, I decided to write about our experiences to help me get through it. My hope is someone else out there might get something out of this too.

*****

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