When writing here, I sometimes reflect on what it was like when I was trying to conceive and carry a child, and I frequently (as I am sure, other No Kidding bloggers do this too) recognise myself in those who are still trying to conceive or resolve their infertility. This recognition, this hindsight - knowing now what I wished I had known then – causes me to reflect, to think about what would have helped, and to be – at times – brutally honest about my emotions and thoughts at the time.
I don’t believe that, in reflecting on and analysing our own feelings and experiences, there is any actual or intended judgement of the actively infertile, but I do understand that our thoughts and discussions (in blog posts and comment threads) can at times feel judgemental to those who are still stressed and emotional, still vulnerable and fearful, who feel perhaps that their choices are under attack, even though many or most of us made those same choices, and trod the same path.
Yet I firmly believe that we make these comments as a recognition of ourselves, of what we didn’t and indeed couldn’t understand at the time, and from the benefit of knowledge and experience and hindsight and time. I think that we look at these issues in an effort to understand not only ourselves, but often also the commercial and societal environments in which we are living, and in an effort to improve the environment or to ease the process for those who come after us.
Saying, for example, that it is possible to be scared or stuck on the treadmill or immersed in grief (as examples of words I have used) is not an insult, although it can be and has been taken as such, just as recognising societal pressures or problems in the fertility industry is a systemic discussion and indictment of structural and societal issues, not of the patients who, of necessity, use the industry’s services.
My intention at least is that when I think of those still on their infertility journey, I do so with love and empathy, having been there myself, knowing how hard it can be, understanding the pain they are going through right now, the pressure, the doubts, the fear, and that I write with the hope that their paths might be eased as a result of our discussions, our reflections, and our sometimes unwelcome honesty.
But I wonder, how successful do you think I am, and perhaps the No Kidding blogging community is as a whole, in remembering where we have been?