I am adding blogs as fast as my little hands can type. One question my husband raised as we began this project was whether there was truly an "infertility community." He questioned whether people identified as infertile in the same way that they identify their culture/place of origin/nationality/religion. Do I put it down on forms? No. But, then again, forms outside my ob/gyn's office rarely ask me about my fertility. But do I think of myself as an Infertile Jewish American? Definitely. It shapes my landscape and mindset just as much as any other cultural marker. It's not something I'm happy about, but it's definitely something that has changed who I am and still affects me.
As you can see when I watch television.
I think that people who have never experienced IF watched that episode and wrote it off as a simple story of post-partum depression, preemies, and a crazy IVF mother (who, by the way, talked her husband into having more kids when he was happy with the triplets they already had. So not only was she selfish, petty, and small, but she also was the stereotypical IF woman who bulldozes over all reason because she is a crazy, hormone-striken, baby lusting fool). It fit into the general perception of A.R.T.
But I watched it and cried. Because it reflected all the hard choices that IF parents make. I understood completely why she would want to use 5 embryos while other viewers judged her because I would want to use 5 embryos if finanically I had one shot at IVF. And I understood why she wouldn't want to do selective reduction because even though it is the intelligent choice and the rational choice, it is also the difficult choice. And when it comes down to it, I am selfish. And I am scared. And I go into too many what ifs which turns me more selfish and scared in our decision-making.
I am obviously taking a television show a bit too much to heart. But I think that's what I mean by identifying as infertile. In the same way I am affected when I see Jews portrayed as a stereotype on television, I am affected by the flippant way they dealt with infertility on Friends (and Monica/Courtney Cox was going through IVF and miscarriages! How could they not write a better script?). And as comments have already said, I think the general public doesn't want to hear the real stories--the average stories. They don't want to hear about so much love and hope coming together to form one child. They want to judge. They have a preconceived idea about A.R.T. and they want it fulfilled. Tell me the good portrayals of IF/A.R.T. and I'll show you an infertile artist who created them. The new Dixie Chicks song. The... Well, I'm drawing a blank on any other positive outpouring of emotion that reflects the full reality of A.R.T. rather than just the outlying possibilities.
What I am trying to say (in as long-winded a way possible) is that this blog won't change over time because I will always identify myself as infertile, even after my last child is born or adopted. And I think that's why we wanted to keep it going as a clearinghouse for information as well as discussion/debate. Because the landscape keeps changing and hopefully each blog that is currently listed in another category will move into the "pregnancy or parenting after IF" category. Other blogs may come and fill the empty spaces (unfortunately), but we wanted this blog to remain the same. It can be your TTC friend that won't leave you behind and start blogging about pregnancy and beyond. Because other blogs need to do that, but ours doesn't need to be any place but here. It will still be here after you go through your first pregnancy and then jump back into IF again through secondary infertility (oy vey--if that happens, I have an emormous box of Kleenex that I'll mail you). Which means you can drop in and out whenever you need to be here. Because that's the purpose of community--it bonds and defines you while leaving the possibility for growth and change.
We'd love it if you could put a link to our blog on your blog in order to help others find there way here. Stay tuned for our next big project--Operation Heads Up... Details coming soon.