I've had this floating around on my heart for a few months now and man I just don't know how to write about it. These are really hard words and feelings to express because I am so concerned I will offend someone. But, sometimes the really hard things really need said.
The infertility community is pretty gosh darn tight-knit and
got me through some really dark hours. Because of this, I felt a lot of guilt
when I got pregnant with the twins and really struggled with guilt when I got
pregnant with a "unicorn" so quickly afterwards. I have a heavy heart for many friends who are
still TTC (trying to conceive) or who have made the tough decision to live
childfree. These women are my friends and I truly care about them. I care about
their amazing childfree adventures, I care about their adoption journeys, and I
care about their failed treatments. I care about them!
I should couch what I am about to
say. Even in the midst of infertility, I rejoiced in pregnancies. I taught in
the children’s program at church. I hosted baby showers. I took meals to new moms. I felt jealously (obviously) but I never
allowed it to get in the way of my life. I never allowed infertility to steal my joy. For more on this see this post from April 2012, before I was pregnant and when I thought I would likely never have kids
after our first RE refused to do IVF unless we used donor eggs. I have always
thought infertility sucks. It sucks so
much that I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.(In fact I once joked with friends that they should all thank me because
I was the 1 in 8 (the number of couples who struggle with infertility) so maybe
they wouldn’t have to be. Yes I know
that it doesn’t work that way. My point
is, infertility is unfair. But, it is
also unfair to treat your friends with kids like crap just because they have
what you want.
Well, now I am on the other side. I’m the friend with kids. And just like I thought it was unfair of me
to treat my friends differently because they had what I wanted, I think it is
unfair how differently I am now treated. I have lost friends who are still
struggling because I no longer am.
The infertiles who are TTCing always cry out that those with
kids need to be more sensitive and post less about their joy. Ironically they
also cry out that those with kids need to post less about the struggles of
parenting because at least we have kids.
My response for a very long time was to just post less. No tweets about
the good or the bad, because I didn't want to offend. But, I still want to support these friends. I still think about them and their journeys
frequently. So I'm back posting and tweeting and have been for a few weeks.
But it's different. During my complicated twin
pregnancy I received little support. During the complications with James’ pregnancy I received no support
(and in fact got beat up a bit on twitter but that’s a whole other post that
will never be posted because I don’t want to revisit those times or give that
individual that much of my time). And that's okay. I'm not asking for people in the midst of their own hell to support folks who are pregnant. I'm not asking them to ignore their own pain. But, people who are pregnant and who have kids have feelings to.
So I am asking that people stop making it so difficult. Stop nitpicking every 140 character tweet for the perfect language usage. Stop with the cliques who attack. We were all once friends. No matter where you are on the parenting journey, no matter your story, this kid thing is rough. Getting pregnant is rough. Being pregnant is rough. Parenting is rough.
And I know the kids no kids line changes a lot, but does it have to change everything? Can people who have "crossed over" stay active in the online infertility community? Can you be genuine friends with people who are still TTC? I hope so! Just because I am no longer trying to have a baby doesn't mean the hurt, the struggles, and the sadness goes away. I remember. And I always will.