I'm not sure how I would feel about this last year and everything that happened during it if it weren't for the Internet.
In real life, I have a couple of friends whom I've struggled alongside to get pregnant. We all have our own very individual, unique issues, and having these couples in my life has produced sanity for me. I just can't imagine being the only one of my friends dealing with this. And while I wish my friends didn't have these problems, I selfishly am glad I know people who get it. Everyone says it and it's true: You don't get it unless you've been there.
When it first started to become clear that getting pregnant wasn't going to be as easy as I'd believed it would be, I must have said something somewhere on the Internet about it. And Libby saw what I said and, maybe jokingly, said she and I should start a blog about exactly this problem. I roped Christina into joining us, and here we are almost 9 months later, all of us battle-scarred and -- there's no denying it -- pretty pissed off.
But what I didn't know until we started this blog was about the entire, enormous community of women out there who call themselves infertiles and blog about the things they go through. The things I've been through pale in comparison. It ain't nothing compared to five failed IVFs. Can you even imagine?
For the several weeks that I was pregnant in the summer, I read their blogs and wept. It was probably survivor guilt, although there's no denying what they have to say is heartbreaking. And I follow so many of them out of fascination and a sense of sisterhood, that when I became pregnant, I noticed when other self-professed infertiles became pregnant at the same time. Look at us! Pregnant together! There was something really bonding and strength-building knowing myself and these women were pregnant together and would have children around the same ages.
Then about half the infertiles began to have miscarriages. Why? I wondered. I read their profiles. Multiple miscarriages, been trying to get pregnant for ten years. Stuff like that. Unexplained infertility. (Few phrases enrage me as much as "unexplained infertility." It's the biggest load of bullshit out there)
And some kept their babies. They're coming up on five months now, getting over morning sickness, starting to get their baby bumps. That would be me, too, I can't help realizing when I read their updates. I'd never wish otherwise for them, but I still feel raw and wounded when I think of how it could have been me, too, with a viable baby.
I think the infertiles of the Internet (and other wonderful friends) kept me sane during the darkest times. There's just something about knowing other women have been through it, and whether or not it's just in my mind, I sensed a warmth, a cushion of support that, in my mind, was the collective voice of these women holding me up. It can't be overstated -- this kind of support is life saving. It'll never take away the hurt you naturally have to go through, but it will make it easier to endure, and easier to see the light on the other side.