Friday, September 4, 2009

Jumping Ship and Judgement

We've had some "happy knocked up" news in the ALI blogosphere lately, lots of "happy knocked up" news to be honest, lots and lots of InFertiles are finding themseves knocked up with a sprog in the making.

This is fan-freaking-tastic. Even though my previous post showed how vulnerable my emotions are to these announcements, my happiness for these InFertiles is always there, it's just not always visible nor forthcoming because it's fighting with many other emotions.

The comments I received on that post, showed that I'm not the only InFertile that is struggling and does struggle on hearing "happy knocked up" news and let me tell you that's a huge relief. I was told several times via the comments how honest I was and while I admit to not sugar coating my feelings, I'd hope that others would do the same thing, tho I realise that this is always easier to say than put into practice. I suppose the reason why I don't sugar coat my feelings and let them show through on my blog is that if I didn't, then how would people know when I needed support? If I was constantly putting a mask on and appearing 'happy' when perhaps I wasn't, how would people know if I was sad or not coping? They wouldn't, so I make sure my blog is a place where I am totally 100% me, bad feelings and all, this is where my soul comes to bare itself, recoup and ask for a hug occasionally, it feels safe here. Why does it feel safe? Well I think alot of the safety comes from knowing that my words are read by other people who are in very similar situations to mine, not the same as we are all unique in ourselves and our struggles but definitely similar. People who read my blog possibly know what it's like to struggle with something that really should come naturally; possibly know what it's like to suffer such a heartwrenching loss that you're not sure if you can ever breath properly again; possibly know how hard it is to see everyone else around you manage to get what you so desire. Safety also comes from knowing that people who care about me and what happens to me read my words too.

In general the ALI blogosphere is such a supportive non judgemental community.

The fact that I think this is perhaps why I was so troubled to read some of the comments of this post by Murgdan. In it she made a comment about the fact that she has had a multitude of readers who have unsubscribed and jumped ship from her blog since she posted her "happy knocked up" news. Various people, and there were quite a few, who later commented felt the need to question why people would jump ship just because Murgdan was lucky enough to find herself now knocked up, some even went so far as to leave comments that were littered with words like rude, fairweather friends, find them sad, boo-hoo to those who left, never truly readers, how rude(!!). While these people are entitled to their opinion and Murgdan herself said she 100% completely understood WHY readers had left her blog once she announced her "happy knocked up" news I felt that there was a fair amount of judgement coming out via those comments and it left me feeling very sad.

I posted a comment trying to defend why some of these readers may have jumped ship but it appeared to fall on deaf ears. Normally I would have just posted a congratulations comments but these people could have been talking about me had I not already decided (against what my heart was advising me to do btw) to keep reading Murgdan's blog.

The problem I have with these comments is that these people are really judging people from afar without really knowing their back stories, their struggles or why they were reading Murgdan's blog in the first place. When I first started this blog, as I came across blogs from all aspects of the ALI blogosphere, I read their stories and if I like them, identified with them in anyway or just enjoyed what they wrote I'd add them to my list of blogs to read. The more I read the more aware I became of the amount of different struggles so many of the ALI community go through, how even though we are all linked by InFertility of some kind, we are all different, our struggles are different and yet our end goal is the same - to become a parent. I learnt quickly through reading these blogs that I could no longer judge anyone before I knew even a little of what they'd been through, it just wasn't fair and after all who am I to judge someones feelings or how or why they struggle with something? Answer, I'm no one but a fellow InFertile and rather than judging them I should be offering them support and trying to understand where they are coming from, rather than seeing where I think they should be headed.

When I read Murgdans "Just Relax" post, I'd had 15 "happy knocked up" announcements that week already and it was only Wednesday. At that point, reading her post and her second Beta post could have had me clicking delete on her blog but something stopped me, I'm not sure what but something did. Despite my very dark place at the minute regarding all knocked ups, I've actually kept reading all the knocked ups blogs whom I read when they were still ttc. It's been hard but I followed them on their jouney TO get knocked up and so would like to see the end result. Sure I have days where I just cannot read their blogs, it happens but I don't delete them, I just realise that some days I can't face their "happy knocked up" pregnancy updates.

There will come a point where I just can't handle it anymore and believe me when I say that that point has almost been hit a couple of times recently and when it does hit, it will be buh bye to every single pregnancy blog in my reader. I will stop reading them whether I've been following them for days, months or years, my sanity, fortunately, will come before whether people consider me a rude, sad, fairweather friend who was never truly a reader or not. Perhaps the people who unsubscribed to Murgdan's blog had already reached that point? I don't know, I can't say and I can't judge because I don't know them but if they had and thats why they did, I completely understand, just like Murgdan does.

After all my rambling, I suppose my point of this post was to hopefully get people to really think before they post a comment, think about the people that they are passing judgement on. Perhaps like me, they've tried to have A child for 10 years, have suffered 4 miscarriages and had just endured their 15th "happy knocked up" announcement that week......and reading about another much longed for pregnancy was just too much for them to bare anymore....


  1. For me, no matter how much a fellow IF's PG news may hurt, I wouldn't unsubscribe from their blog. But that's mostly because I've been following a selection of blogs over a period of more than a year and I feel like I've built relationships with these women, so to simply unsubscribe would be like ending a relationship so to speak. I've chosen rather, to be selective in what I read on their blogs, on the days when its too painful, I'll not read them. I guess that that's what perhaps got some people a bit upset, the sentimentality of it all. Having said that, I place no judgement, just giving my opinion. We all have to do what we need to do to get us through this God awful journey!

  2. Women can be so judgmental anyway....I say this from loads of personal experience. Throw a hefty dose of infertility and the stress and heartache that comes with it on top and it's a recipe for over-the-top judginess. This "journey" is so hard on everyone, and we have to do what we can as individuals to protect ourselves, and as a community to support each other. What that requires just means different things to different people.

  3. I want to add, too, that I have noticed the reverse effect of jumping ship - once bloggers I have mutually followed get pregnant, they disappear from my blog within days. I have yet to experience it, but maybe once you're pregnant you don't want to be involved with infertility struggles from the "other side" anymore, now that you have new things to think and worry about. The point here is that it definitely works both ways, people jump ship on both sides.

  4. No matter what we say or what we read, we should always try to come from a place of understanding. I'm sorry that she didnt get that from some people and that her missing blog followers didnt get it either. It's hard on both fronts. I can understand being hurt by suddenly having followers leave; after all, what if the worst happens and your baby dies? And your support is gone? But at the same time, as someone who also tried to get pregnant for a decade, has had 3 miscarriages and 3 infant losses, it can be hard to read and follow when you are wishing it could be you. So, it comes from both sides and there are reasons to stay and go on both sides of the fence.

  5. I'm sorry that people weren't understanding.

  6. you are clearly a beautiful woman. you do whatever is the right thing for you. You are the only one looking out for your interest. it actually shows an incredible amount of self-respect to know yourself, and know what you need to kee your self sane.

    anybody that doesn't respect a self-respecting woman... well, that's their problem.

    i am so sorry for this tough tough time..

  7. De-lukring so I can say your comment on Murgdan's blog made me realize I am only human and normal. I bawled when I saw her post, and I felt guilty for my anger an bitterness. I kept checking her page comments only to see if someone, anyone felt like I do beacause all I kept seeing was happy congratulations and bashing those who couldn't handle it. I felt even more horrible as a person when I saw no one felt like I did-but I have since learned they just didnt let out how they feel. You did. You spoke your mind and I appreciate that so much. I have not struggled near as long or have had as difficult a journey as you, but lately I have been in such a dark miserable place with no light shinning in. I was feeling more an more alone until you spoke out. Thanks for defending "us" who do need to take care of ourselves and are judged for such a thing.

  8. You and I aren't in the same place. If you stopped reading my blog. I would get it. Completely. But I'd still show up here. Cos I'm an integral part of your cheer squad now.
    You are a inspiration to keep up the fight. I really hope that you are getting great advice from good drs. And if you need a good GP let me know. (I have the inside track on them!) You really articulate so well what your journey is like and I thank you for sharing.
    Hugs xxxxxx

  9. A very well written post! We are in the same place right now and I'm so sorry that you are feeling the way you are because I know the hurt of it all too well. I look forward to the day you get your BFP!

  10. Good thoughts! Ultimately blogs are our outlet and support system. We should use them to benefit each of us. Whem choosing to read or not read a blog - make the choice that feels right. We come here for the pleasure of it, not as something to endure. Same about posting; some feel guilty when they don't post for a while. I say, take a break if you need one! The internet will still be here whenever you decide to come back.

  11. I just found your blog from another IF blog. First of all, may I say that still in it after ten years - you deserve a huge gold medal for maintaining your sanity! Often I feel mine is hanging on by a thread :). With regard to the knocked up news - I certainly haven't read 15 in a week, but my reactions have been very mixed, as well. I find that with a few exceptions, I can be just plain happy when I hear the initial news. Early in blogging I had to cut a couple of gals because they had been interesting people when I started reading (they were pregnant then) and they had turned into gelatin-for-brains zombies shortly after the children's birth. I was floored to read one woman's blog - she had actually become an IF activist just before her BFP, raising awareness, IF was her cause. Certainly the cause of her blog. And yet she had multiple posts where she told her readers that after being patient enough to read a blog post, they needed to be "rewarded" with a picture of her child. I just don't know what she was thinking. I have a very low bar for baby pictures in this context (like maybe less than one a week). I save all my baby picture energy for people I know IRL - not in the infertility blogosphere.

    Other than those two, though, I haven't cut anybody (except for severely annoying me about politics, something I try to avoid in my blog). But I'm realizing that I've unconsciously come up with a limited reading/commenting policy for people late in their pregnancies. I usually try to read every post and comment on most of them, but I feel this sort of instinctive avoidance of at least, I don't know, 50% of "__-week ultrasound pics!" and the like. I want to read enough to be supportive, but I'm reading in SPITE of the topic, not BECAUSE of it - you know? I'm happy about the pregnancy because I'm happy for THEM, but it's still a cross for me. OK, enough rambling. I want to say: I get it. You're 100% right. And Murgdan's commenters are, unfortunately, clueless.