Are Infertility Bloggers Turned Mommy Bloggers Insensitive

Dawn Davenport

22

Are Infertility Bloggers Turned Mommy Bloggers Insensitive?

Once you’ve succeeded in getting pregnant are you still a member of the infertility sorority? What do you do about your infertility blog?

You’ve longed for it. You’ve agonized about it. You’ve worked for it. You’ve obsessed over it. You’ve blogged, posted, and tweeted about it. The baby quest defined you. And then, miracles of miracles, it happens. Infertility treatment worked, or an expectant woman choose you to adopt her child, or beyond luck you somehow turned up pregnant. Now what? For many, their new obsession becomes parenthood. Understandable, right? But what about their online and in person community of fellow infertiles?

I received the following email from one of our Creating a Family online community.

“Everywhere I look online, someone in my infertility community is posting about the glories of motherhood. I want to be happy for them, but it would be a whole lot easier if they wouldn’t rub my nose in what they are experiencing. For some reason it is easier with the ones who adopt, but still I feel so left out.

Last year I read a blog on this topic calling for the former infertiles to remember where they came from.

Unfortunately, when some get to the other side, they become Parent bloggers and begin gushing about everything their kids do … conveniently forgetting their readers as they gush.  Face it IF-Turned-Parent bloggers! You’re insensitive! You’ve forgotten the anguish of your IF readers — forgotten your OWN anguish! Need I remind you?
Perhaps I do …

“Sometimes I remember the days when it was just me and the spouse and long for them. The freedom! Romance! Naughty nights! Also, it would be nice to be … cleaner. Here’s an example: Today I woke up to a strange sound over the baby monitor. “What is that?” I wondered. Upon entering the nursery, a smell strong enough to kill lab rats surrounded me.
“Which of you was it?” I asked the twins. Neither responded, of course.  Throwing caution to the winds, I went in. “Whew! Not just farts, eh?” I smelled Dude’s butt. Poop! I smelled Dudette’s butt. Poop! I’m up to my eyeballs in poop. Poop! Poop! Poop! Fabulous, stinky, wonderful, sticky, awesome, smelly, amazing poop!
I change Dude’s diaper, and he sticks his hand in the mess and wipes it on his face. SO CUTE!!! I kiss his brown crap-spattered cheek. Some of it gets on my lip but I lick it away. Did I make a face?  Dudette is next and she squirms, causing the dirty diaper to fall to the floor. Ah well, more #$%* stains on the carpet! I’m thinking all through this dirty mess, life was never so wonderful. I’m in heaven. Heaven is made up of my twins.  I’m out of time, but next time I cannot wait to tell you about Dudette puking on me — 5 TIMES! So awesome!”

Your stories about dirt, crap and puke do not mitigate the experience. IFers still and always want what you have. Your glee is like a knife twisting inside. So please, please, try to remember where you came from.

Wow, talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place. Blogging and social network posting is supposed to be about your life. Your life is now consumed by the ups and downs of parenthood. How do you continue to blog and share online without being perceived as insensitive?

I don’t have any perfect answers. Some bloggers start a new parenting oriented blog, but I’ve heard from others who are reluctant to start all over building up a new following. One thing I do know: you should not take offense if one of your infertile friends chooses to stop following you or un-friends you. In fact, if you are particularly close to a couple of your online followers, I think it’s a nice gesture to send them a message that you know your subject matter may be painful for them and you are sorry for any pain you are causing.How have you handled it?

 

Image credit: Deannster

11/06/2012 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 22 Comments



22 Responses to Are Infertility Bloggers Turned Mommy Bloggers Insensitive

  1. Rach says:

    IMO There’s a lot of self abuse in the infertility world, just because it is a hurting world. Like continuing to read mommy blogs even though the resulting feelings are so negative, or thinking/feeling verbally abusive things about ourselves (like we’re “failures” for instance, that’s one I see brandished a lot.) If the self abuse continues that same negativity almost inevitably turns outwards, usually toward parent-folk, but I suspect former infertility bloggers turned mommy bloggers may be pretty tempting targets. That kindness/empathy/grace/et al that should be granted to others needs to begin by granting it for oneself.

  2. Carole Jeremy Shaffer Carole Jeremy Shaffer says:

    I say our own blogs are like own personal diaries that we choose to share with the world. If my readers only want to be there for me when I’m down add helpless and they only know how to pity me then I prefer they just stop reading my blog…. People who follow infertility blogs should have three common sense and realize that there’s a chance that this blogger will havea kid, that’s the whole plan… Anyways for me I chose to have my blog about everything in my life which infertility and adoption is part of, and hopefully some day parenthood. I write to vent and to update my family and friends anything beyond that really is a plus 🙂 or minus

  3. Erin Lobo Ly Erin Lobo Ly says:

    I am an adoptive mom. I remember vividly the pain and hopelessness of waiting for our referral. Even at the height of that, I never thought that other parents who completed their adoption or got pregnant should not share about that. I always thought that it was unreasonable to begrudge someone their own happiness because it’s something I wanted. And honestly, other’s successes gave me hope and I loved reading about it. Anyway, how is sharing on one’s OWN BLOG “rubbing” someone’s face in parenthood? I’ve always wondered if someone who is infertile is that unable to deal with other people having children is ready to parent, especially a child who is not biologically related. I understand that the pain of infertility doesn’t ever completely go away (I know, I live it), but perhaps if someone is that unable to cope, they need to come to some more resolution of their own feelings about infertility before becoming a parent.

  4. Carole Jeremy Shaffer Carole Jeremy Shaffer says:

    i believe a lot of people deep down still think as conceiving or having your own biological child is the ultimate goal or prime option and anything else is second best, whether they admit it or not. I think some people really want to experience pregnancy and they envy anyone who can, maybe she’s one of those people, not sure.

  5. Carole Jeremy Shaffer Carole Jeremy Shaffer says:

    i don’t think women who go through infertility should be made to feel ashamed or having to tip toe around their friends once they become blessed with motherhood. why is it ok for our friends x and y that never had fertility problems to post their kids pictures all over facebook while we give such a hard time to the people that have every right to bask in the happiness of something they’ve longed so long for?

  6. Vinita Hulyalkar Vinita Hulyalkar says:

    On the contrary, I know of many bloggers first hand who have had a hard time blogging about parethood once they’ve crossed over. . Speaking for myself : although I don’t blog , I have battled IF for 15 years before having my daughter. I still struggle from time to time (after 2+ years of her) enjoying my motherhood (like celebrating mother’s day, did family pic session recently for the first time, constant need to downplay my role as mom etc. ( or may be it has to do w/ my self esteem and not so much about the mommyhood 😉 There is this immense conflict. Either I feel I am doing a disservice to those who are in the trenches or I feel like how dare I forget so easily 10+ years of disappointments, grief, isolation and lonliness. I am sure sometimes I have been guilty of the things mentioned in the blog but I try to catch myself. I am stilll learning ….

  7. I try to write about both infertility and motherhood. I write about miscarriage and the struggles I’ve faced, but I also write about adoption and how it has impacted my life. I believe those who suffered from infertility and then became parents have a unique perspective in the IF community. They understand the pain, the anguish and the frustration others are experiencing, but they also know what it feels like to succeed at becoming parents. This gives them a wonderful opportunity to encourage and support others. And also show them that there can indeed be a light at the end of the tunnel!

  8. Lani says:

    I don’t blog, but I do read a few and have many close friends who have also gone through IF and some who still are. I guess I just have always seen it as even though it is still a sting when someone else gets pregnant, when an IF person/friend gets pregnant, adopts or finds their path to parenthood has been a beacon of hope for me. I also feel like it wouldn’t be fair to ask someone who has gone through infertility not to talk about it and be openly joyous when that’s been their challenging path for so long. I think it’s a matter of opinion though, and if you don’t like what someone is blogging or facebooking about, or it’s too difficult to read, then take a step back and distance yourself, sometimes we have to do that for our own mental health.

  9. As you say, if you find it hurtful or stressful to read a particular blog, then feel free to not read it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Adoptive mom here. Even at the most painful, hopeless feeling point of waiting, I never resented people sharing their joy at completing their adoption or getting pregnant or whatever. And it always seemed unfair to me that anyone would begrudge others happiness. Sharing a parenting journey on one’s own blog isn’t “rubbing someone’s nose” in the fact of parenting. I always wonder if people who are that sensitive have resolved their feelings about infertility enough to be ready to parent, especially a child biologically unrelated. I also very much wonder what it says that the letter writer doesn’t feel the same about hearing about adoption stories.

  11. A.Roddy says:

    “IF is painful no matter what and I feel that IF should not continue to “steal” normal feelings – like sharing complete joy over something and also the right to complain about those not so great moments that all parents have.”

    This is like suddenly coming into big money and buying luxury things then bragging about them to your friends and family who can’t afford them. You may say how wonderful it is to have these things but friends would sooner or later tire of your boasting and get bitter. You couldn’t blame them or feeling bitter. Obviously you forgot your humble beginnings which is the purpose of the post. Yea you have a right to enjoy these things but not constantly boast.

  12. Very interesting post! Hmmm…I almost don’t know what to say. I started my infertility blog AFTER I had my first baby. I wanted to use my experience as encouragement for families who were still going through the process of having a child. I have pictures on my blog but I don’t really talk about my kids there – and when I think about it, I’m not ashamed or hiding them, my focus is encouraging others to keep hope. I haven’t turned into a mommy blogger. However, if you follow me on instagram or friend me on FB – I do have lots of pictures of my girls. I’m torn for the women who are hurt everytime someone enjoys what we all have prayed for at one time or another.

  13. Michelle @ Bridge Communications says:

    Well, on a similiar note, I found single women who are considering single parenthood by choice ( ie… women in late 30s, early-mid 40s, not pregnanat teens) have an easier time going to baby showers of adopted kids. I think as in the piece, people assume anyone can adopt, thus even with infertility, or singleness becuase the dream relationship did not materialize, or both, etc.., people feel well I could adopt too and it is not off limits so I am ok with her decision. Little do they know not every one can adopt. Although some people seem to think they give kids out at the candy store it is a long drawn out process with numerous rules, costly finances ( often but not always), and limited supply of possibilities. It is not a given, which is why people are so annoyed with the comment ” Well you can just adopt.”.

  14. I didn’t read the link but think I have the gist from the comments. For me, I hate that IF can make parents feel like they have no right to complain about moments in parenting while at the same time make them feel they have to temper the outward show of joy of parenting out of respect for fellow IFers. IF is painful no matter what and I feel that IF should not continue to “steal” normal feelings – like sharing complete joy over something and also the right to complain about those not so great moments that all parents have. I will forever be envious (different than jealous) of anyone who can obtain and maintain a pregnancy but I do have genuine happiness for them and even more so for a fellow IFer who beat the odds.

  15. Geochick says:

    Interesting that the reader commented that reading about adoption is easier. Maybe it’s just the blogs she’s reading, because I went through a phase where I had to unfollow adoptive parents who were successfully matched while we were still waiting. They turned into total “mommy bloggers”. I still can’t read their blogs and my son is 1! Some straddle the line well, and others just want to leave all the struggle behind them. Personally, I strive to straddle the line well, although I don’t know how well I do it. And, you have to wonder sometimes, if in trying to straddle the line, you aren’t really moving on, but giving yourself an excuse to wallow in misery.

  16. anon WP says:

    Hmm. I guess I feel like personal blogs allow for individuals to share their experiences. Unless someone has declared that they are creating a community space, if we read the blog, we’re choosing to visit their world. When their perspective changes, we’re still visiting their world. If reading their posts starts rankling…well, they aren’t under an obligation to cater to me, and I’m surely under no obligation to continue to read their posts. People’s lives and perspectives are fluid, and so is the web. Wish ’em well and move on to another site. Sadly, there are a lot of people struggling with infertility, and there are always new bloggers to find.

    On the other hand, if someone has chosen to declare their space a community support/sharing site around a specific issue and that changes significantly, I’d recommend they mothball the old site and direct interested folks to the new one.

  17. Anon says:

    Honestly? I think some infertiles could take better stock of their own ability to empathize. Having gone through ART and then become a parent I can say that both are hard. I was the lonliest person with the darkest moments of my life while cycling, but I’ve had some lonely, dark moments parenting too. Of course I chose it and of course it is worth it, but the endless self sacrifice can break a person as much as IF can. I get that blogs are a way to seek and give support, but something bothers me about that inability to empathize once a fellow IFer has crossed over. I agree with you that a “warning : baby content” heads up is a good idea, but at some point learning to censure blogs that bother you isn’t a bad idea either.

  18. I think it is interesting that one of the women didn’t resent infertility bloggers that adopted, but did resent those who conceived and gave birth. What does that say?

  19. Do you feel guilty posting about motherhood?

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