Posts Tagged ‘HuffPost Women’

I was quite nervous about “coming out” on The Huffington Post – or perhaps, more accurately, also giving links to this here, on my everyday blog, and on Facebook, which meant including people with whom I have never discussed my infertility or pregnancy losses. But I don’t know if I needed to worry. I had some lovely comments and in receiving these, I thought about the people I didn’t hear from and realised that I’m not nervous about what they think – so I’ll be thrilled to get positive feedback, but if I don’t, I don’t really care if they talk behind my back, make judgements, or just think I’m being melodramatic, as long as they don’t tell me. I actually feel very zen about it all. (And no, I haven’t had a glass of wine yet, despite it being after 4 pm on a sunny Friday afternoon).

And then I read the comments on the Huff Post. Fortunately I’ve read quite a few articles about infertility or about child-free women on the internet, so I knew what to expect. I knew there’d be lots of people commenting “you obviously never wanted children.” I knew there’d be the vehemently child-free, wondering what all the fuss was about. And I knew there’d be the uninformed, unimaginative Just Adopt brigade. Of course, I didn’t really expect someone to say “Thank you God for not allowing this person to bring a life into this world.

But you know, it seems I have a thicker skin than I thought. Because – after a moment of indignation – I laughed. I realised that there is little to fear – especially from people who don’t know me, have only read a few of my words, haven’t understood those words, or had their own agenda for commenting. And there were some lovely, supportive comments that got me a bit teary – “Thanks for sharing your grief. It helped me.” –
and even an almost-proposition from a bloke who said “This woman to me would be a joy and a treasure. “ Blush.

Blog commenting in comparison is so different, and I suspect my thick skin would quickly become transparent if I got negative comments like that here. (Disagreements are fine though. I like a good debate! Don’t be afraid!) It is much more of a conversation, and real (I think) relationships can develop. I mean, the very fact that I’m considering a visit to the US (still undecided) – in part motivated by my wish to both catch up with old friends, and to meet a number of my new blogging friends – should point to the relationships we have developed, and my fondness for those who read my blog and whose blogs I read.

I’m going to give the final word to one of the ruder commenters.

Of course, she’s infertile. She’s old.
Can’t have your cake and eat it too, sweetheart.

No, wait. This is my blog. I get the last word. And here it is:

I can have my cake and will eat it too. It’s just a different cake, Sweetheart!

I think that will be my new motto.

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This week is National Infertility Awareness Week in the US.  It doesn’t seem to be recognised here in New Zealand, which is a pity. The theme this year is “Don’t ignore …” And so I had been considering posting about my infertility here, on my everyday blog, conscious that – by and large – I do ignore it in this space. Yet that’s exactly what I complain about over on my life after infertility blog. A small case of “do what I say, not what I do.” Sigh. Guilty as charged.

I had drafted up something, but wasn’t entirely comfortable with it. The thing is, our infertility is ignored – by my husband and I, most of my friends, my family. This can be explained because I have been quite private about it (yes I know, at the same time writing about it all over the internet so hundreds if not thousands can read some of my most private thoughts), because I’m now of the age where having kids isn’t really an option, and because we’ve been (just) a couple for so long, there doesn’t seem anything strange about us not having kids.  So talking about the subject where friends and family will see it is far scarier than talking about it with friends I’ve met on-line, who have always known this part of me. Hence my procrastination about writing anything; an explanation for why my No Kidding blog has never been linked here.  That fear of judgement and horror of pity is hard to shake.

Then I got an email.  Go to sleep, and wake up to find that I am published on The Huffington Post. Under my REAL NAME! Argh! Talk about coming out big-time. And I linked to it on Facebook. (Because, I mean, it’s The Huffington Post – why wouldn’t I?) Argh again!

My piece was originally posted under “The Secret to Happiness is …” headline – quite different from the “Did I grieve enough?” headline used by The Huffington Post. Still, I’m not complaining! You can read it here.

Note:  I’m too scared to read it in case there are dreadful errors and I sound ridiculous!

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