Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The World We Live In

My husband and I had a fight this last weekend. It wasn't really a fight, so much as a strained conversation.

My husband didn't want me to blog anymore.

Okay, now I am exaggerating. He doesn't mind if I post, he doesn't mind if I get comments, he even doesn't mind if I go on to other "happy" people's blogs and read their "happy" stories. But what he doesn't like - and what I can't prevent so long as I am blogging in an infertility world, is that occasionally, I am going to run into some sad stories. There are a lot of stories out there. We were all following along with Mary Ellen when she lost the triplets. Even if you hadn't been a regular reader, the candles were everywhere, and you knew about it. I sobbed that night and told my husband all about it. Just as I cried in his arms when Maria got her negative beta, or Baby Molly's cardiologist said that things weren't looking good.

I also cry when cycles fail, betas don't double, heartbeats stop beating, or babies are born still. Even though these things are arguably "dfferent," they are all part of the loss and heartbreak that is infertility. I can't help it. I hurt when I read these announcements, as I am sure that you all do, too.

My husband wants to look forward. He doesn't want to look back on the past. He said that my blogging and telling him about the sad stories makes him worry for the future. Okay, I reasoned, I just wouldn't tell him. Yeah, right. My red rimmed eyes and hiccups make him think something is wrong with the baby, "It's nothing" doesn't suffice, so I either have to A) lie or B) tell him about the tragedy that I read on today's Lost and Found. And of course I have to go over and comment! I think about all of the wonderful people that have made their way here, picking me up on days when I thought I couldn't go on, holding Hope for me when I just couldn't do it any more. Comments keep me going and I think it's only right to give back to the community that has given me so much.

And even if no one commented ever, it is still very cathartic for me to write here. I have so many thoughts in my head, and no one in real life wants to hear them. I fear for this pregnancy every single day. It is rational? Probably not. But given what we have been through, I think that I have the right to the occasional or even every day fear, if I want. But like in all other aspects of our journey through the valley of infertility, no one wants to hear my dead baby thoughts. They think I am being negative. One friend said to me recently, "Don't worry until you have something to worry about." Another said that I needed to only share my "positive" thoughts with her because she thought my worries were "silly." I know they care, I know they mean well, but people, please. I tried that with Gummy Bear (and actually all of the pregnancies before that) and look what happened.

I think the very worst thing for me about losing that pregnancy was what a fool I felt like the day the ultrasound showed no heartbeat. How could I not have known my baby died? What type of a mother does not know that her own child, residing within her own body, has passed away? What kind of mother took fifteen minutes of the doctor's time asking about morning sickness when her baby was dead? I never want to be taken off guard like that again. I know it's stupid, I know there is no preparation for bad news. But I never want to have my heart flayed open like that, with no warning, in front of two kind but virtual strangers. So, I read my blogs, I hear about what can happen and I guard my heart just a little bit. And I'd like to think that maybe, just maybe, the support that I give to others helps if only in the smallest of ways. I like those grieving to know that they are not alone, even if it is a stranger on the other side of a tangled world wide web.

I do have positive thoughts about this pregnancy, but I am also scared. I love this baby so much, I can't imagine losing it. And yet the unimagineable has happened to us before, and I see it happen to others every day. Good people. Caring people. It's not like if I just sit here, think positively and be nice to everyone, my baby will be born healthy. I really don't believe that negative thoughts will harm the baby - if they did, I would have miscarried this pregnancy at week 5. Of course, my happy thoughts are coming more and more, and you would think by the cheesy grin pasted on my face that we had won the lottery - and in a way, we did in the baby lottery of life. But I still have my moments. And it is so good to come here and have the understanding of this community. The love and support that I can actually feel sustains me.

But my husband does not think this is healthy for me. And he does not like it being imposed on him.

Now, don't worry. I have not been asked to give up blogging. I have just been asked to focus on the more positive side and try not to share when I come across the sad stories. I am not sure how easy/realistic it will be. However, this is part of the reason why I decided on becoming a Clicker. In all honesty, I really wanted to be the Clicker for Pregnancy Loss, but I decided to be more positive and ended up with Pregnancy After Infertility or Loss. And it was quite inspiring to go through that long list and see all of those positive stories. This is another reason why I started my side bar of Celebrations. To remind myself and maybe even a few of you of all the good that does happen, even to those of us that have been kicked in the gut so many times we don't even know how to breathe anymore.

Have any of you had similar conflicts with blogging and your husbands or other family and friends? How do you handle both the happiness and sadness that resides here?


Amy said...

I completely understand where your hubby is coming from. But then again, I understand exactly where you are too, well kind of!

I have often thought what I would do with my blogging if we are blessed in the future. I know I will blog but to whom I'm not sure. It is my way of keeping William alive, therefore I must!

I know you are scared and there is no way to get over that but I do believe you will be fine!

Take care and please keep blogging!

Anonymous said...

I think your fear is normal. I asked my fertile sister if she had DBTs and guess what...she did. She never experienced a loss, didn't know anyone really well who had experienced a loss, and was generally naieve about it, but she had DBTs. IF, IMO, only amplifies the fear, but the fear is normal. I hope that helps.

As far as the blog vs hubby, oh yeah. Mr. W wasn't concerned about the blogs I was reading, but he didn't like the fact that I was spending so much time on them. He would much rather I stay away from Dr. Google, though. :-)

Good luck!!!

Christy said...

Oh my gosh! You guys are our alter egos. We regularly have such discussions. Every once in a while I need to step away from blogland just for a while to protect my heart. And you know what? I felt equally foolish the day of my ultrasound when we found out our little little no longer had a heartbeat. And my doc and I had just finished talking about my morning sickness. I felt so stupid for not knowing that our baby had died. Nobody understood what I was talking about. I'm glad you do, but I'm also sad that you do understand. That you had to be in a position to understand.

Anonymous said...

Katie, I acn't say that I relate to what your DH has said b/c my Dh doesn't really care. In a way I think it may be better that yours at least cares enough about your well-being (and his) to want to protect you and your unborn child. I guess in a way it is actually kind of sweet.

Oh and yes, your fears are perfectly normal. One thing for sure infertility has taught us is that you can NEVER take anything for granted again.

Samantha said...

I've been thinking the last week or so that maybe I need to let go a little of the idea that I'll get pregnant and also let go of IF running my life. I love my blogs and reading and supporting other people's blogs, and it's helped me get through things that I don't know if I'd otherwise be able to handle. But then I wonder being surrounded by blogs and spending so much time with them might be keeping me focused on IF too much. I think it's all about trying to find the balance you want and need, and that balance may shift as how you feel about things shift. I know your husband is just trying to find what's best for you too.

Tracy said...

I totally get where your hubby is coming from, because I've had the same thoughts myself.

I will always be empathetic to the infertile women I've met, and the ones yet to come (hell, I'm still one of them...if it weren't for a kind donor, I wouldn't be where I am today!) but it is hard for me to continue carrying the torch. I SO respect women like you and Mel who are strong enough to continue offering support where it's needed.

I still click over, on days when I'm feeling exceptionally strong, but after ME & Steve's loss, I just decided I couldn't do it. It was heartbreaking. Beyond heartbreaking. That situation opened my eyes to things that I do not want to think about, and cannot allow myself to dwell on. I know it's a reality, but I just have to, for my own sanity, assume that everything with my babies is going to be fine.

For me, and especially for our babies, I HAVE to operate from a perspective of self preservation. And for me, that means limiting my time on negative or unhappy blogs. Sometimes I feel really, really, really bad about that. What about the days when I was low? What if nobody had been there to pick me up?

But ultimately, I started my blog as therapy. I didn't really start it with the expectation that anybody would read it and subsequently try to make me feel better, so I assume that other bloggers feel the same way. It's such a big blogging community, I also have to assume that there are others there that will carry the torch when I cannot.

So that's why I see where your husband is coming from...he's just trying to protect you.


Kathy V said...

I suppose it is a hard place to be in. Some days when nes is really sad, I read but have to step away. Other days it is filled with all two lines and that makes me happy. I think there is happy and sad mixed in this community all at the same time. My husband asks everynow and then what is happening in the blog world but I am not so sure he want to hear the answers good or bad. I found this community as a way to vent how I was feeling and all that comes with it. There is no easy answer. I feel like I receive so much love and support that I want to give back too.

Thanks for posting my results on your blog. That was so nice.

Mazzy said...

I admire you so much, Katie!! While I completely understand where your husband is coming from, I have to remember all those down days I have had and how uplifting your sweet and heartfelt comments were for me. You have the kindest, warmest, most sympathetic heart and I think God gave you that gift for a reason. I think you'll be able to find a balance within your new clicker role (GREAT choice of beats, by the way) and you should be so proud of yourself for for having such an understanding pair of ears for those people's hopes, fears and everything in between to fall on.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the strained conversation with your husband. j and I haven't talked to much about my blogging - he knows I do it, and he reads my blog but he doesn't "get it" per se.

Personally, I have to balance out the good and the sad blog stories much as I would in real life. It's exhausting and overwhelming to get deeply "committed" to these women's lives where you're there for all the ups and downs. In real life, we all have our best best friends, our good friends, or acquaintances, etc. I try to be supportive to everyone, but I feel like I give an extra ounce of effort to the ones I feel closest to. It seems like the good has a way of balancing out the bad. And if I'm having a particularly hard day in my own life, I try to stay away from the sad stories for as long as I need to - knowing that eventually my mood will swing to the positive and I can be a better support system for the person feeling pain.

I think you're a fantastic blogger and an amazing person. Your heart is always in the right spot. If you need to take some time away from blogging here and there to make sure you're staying at an even keel, I don't think anyone would fault you for that. Hugs to you!

Maria said...

I'm sorry that you and your husband are disagreeing about blogging. I think what he's feeling is understandable and even normal after everything you've both been through.

But I do agree that blogging is healthy and feeling like you can reach out and help others with your comments is a good thing. Your comments ALWAYS help me, and I would hate for them to go away.

Cole sometimes feels like your DH, and thinks I need to take a step back. And in some ways he's right. I need to find more to my life that doesn't revolve around infertility, but he also understands that this is very cathartic for me and that meeting all my blogging friends has really helped me.

Stay strong and do what feels right for you. Try to find a balance with your DH, but don't give up something you love. Plus, we all really want to follow along with your story.


Jen said...

Katie, one of the things that I love about you is that you DO care so much! I mean one look at your sidebar shows just how much support and compassion you have for fellow bloggers during both the highs and the lows.

Dealing with the sad can be draining though. The good news is that I think most of us (certainly not all but most) find happy endings ultimately. They just might not look like we thought they would and the journey of getting there is treacherous and emotionally exhausting.

JJ said...

Im sorry Im just now catching up from being out of town: first, LOVE the ultrasound thumbs up=)
I do hope you can continue to blog for YOU--and its good that you and your husband could be honest with each other about the feelings you both have.
I feel like I have a family in the blogging world--good, and bad news. I cry, laugh, get sad along with all the stories--and you are right, its great to remember the positive side to all of this crap we all go through--glad to read the good stories on the side!

JuliaS said...

The sad stories are really hard to hear and I can kind of see your dh's point about that.

However, a lot of times, I was the one who needed the hand holding, the hugs, the shoulder to cry on and the listening ear - how could I expect it from those who would be my support system if I couldn't or wouldn't offer the same to them?

The thing is - when someone like you cries for my sad news or tells me you're sorry things are not so great at the moment - it means more to me than coming from those who have no concept or understand at all what I am going through - kwim?

So - better or worse, sickness and health, I plan on being around to cheer or to cry.

Me said...

I basically don't talk with my husband about the Blog-O-Sphere at all. He totally doesn't understand. It's mildly frustrating but then again if the men did understand we wouldn't necessarily be as in need of this community. KWIM?

I'm glad for your kind contributions to the IF Blog World.