25 May, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: Hope

This is my quote, but I've also heard it from Pamela, Loribeth, Lisa, Klara, and all the other No Kidding bloggers and No Kidding internet friends I've ever talked to online. Maybe not at first, but after a year, or two. Lisa's most recent post, announcing that her life is pretty perfect, is a classic example of this. It may take us a while to get there. But the one thing I can say after observing this for almost 14 years is that we all get there in the end.

18 May, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: “Getting Over it”

When we lose a baby, or find that we are never going to have children, or both, people just want us to “get over it,” to stop hurting and forget. I took offence at this, the unthinking suggestion that the magnitude of my loss was something that I could easily “get over.”

But what does “getting over it,” mean? Does it mean we forget? Does it mean we can ignore it, or that we never hurt again?”

In my mind, “getting over it” actually means something different; it means learning to live with something, absorbing the experience as part of us, remembering but no longer reliving, no longer hurting every minute or even every day. I think it means that we learn from our experiences, and move on with our lives - changed forever, never forgetting, but happy again, stronger, wiser, more compassionate.

And on that basis, I’m happy to reclaim a phrase that once caused me great pain, and say that - for all intents and purposes – I am, in fact, “over it,” and you will be too.

11 May, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: Recap of That Day

I felt quite emotional yesterday for a number of reasons:
  • I got news on Friday that was predictable but still disappointing.
  • I spoke to my mother, and was just reminded how every day is a struggle with this diagnosis.
  • I was annoyed that my husband doesn't seem to realise that Mother's Day might upset me, or that when he does (which I suspect is the case), even after all these years, he thinks that silence is the best policy because mentioning it might upset me.
  • I felt that not a single person in my life thinks of me on this day (even though I know it's not true, as my EPT and blogging friends surely do, as I think of them).
But then I visited Fb - rashly, as you'd think I'd have learned by now <rolling eyes> - and saw a number of Fb posts that reminded me that this day is difficult for many people, men and women, and knew that at least one of those friends was hurting much more deeply than I was.

The wife of a cousin, who I know struggled with infertility, posted that she knew how lucky she was to have her (adopted) daughter, and I knew what she meant behind those words.

And another friend said Happy Mother's Day to "... all people doing the loving and demanding job of nurturing other beings" which allowed me to smile, and shake those negative feelings.

09 May, 2015

Looking for the light

Across at A Separate Life, I'm doing NaBloPoMo - posting every day for a month on the subject of photographs. I'm following blog prompts from BlogHer, and cross posting to BlogHer from time to time. I thought this post would sit well here too, just in case you haven't seen it elsewhere, although there are more photos on the original here. Today's theme was Light.

Photographers chase light, perhaps in the same way that many bloggers chase enlightenment. Much of the time though, we have to work with what we have. But every so often, after a long stretch of doom and gloom, we find ourselves in the right place at the right time. It is our reward for sticking through the darker, less rewarding times. So we should really stop and appreciate the light, figure out what is happening, and take a snapshot of that moment – mentally, or physically with a camera – so we can remember it again when we’re back in the clouds.

05 May, 2015

Finally Heard

I came late to blogging in the IF/ALI context. I started here at No Kidding in 2010, almost nine years after my first loss, and seven years (and 23 days) after learning I would never have children. I’d done (most of) my grieving, with much wonderful support online, but many of those who had supported me through loss were unable to support me through a no kidding life. I wanted to find more members of my tribe, and I wanted to share what I’d learned. I had already been blogging for several years, but for some reason I had never thought about looking for infertility bloggers.
When I did look, I found Pamela. Here was a woman around my age, doing much the same thing that I wanted to do. She was a pro, with a deservedly wide reach. Her voice was being heard, even though she’d written a book called Silent Sorority. I promptly purchased and read her book, and knew that I’d found my tribe.
Pamela has not faded away. She is still at the vanguard of those of us without children who wanted children, making her and our voice heard, speaking up even when it might be unpopular. She critiques the fertility industry, something those who get their babies don’t always feel able or willing to do. Pamela has been able to step back, and look at the wider picture, and ask the question, “is this right?”

So her new book is very aptly named - “Finally Heard: A Silent Sorority Finds its Voice.” She goes beyond just the intimate emotional issues of infertility and not being able to have children, and reaches into two areas rarely discussed - the predominant societal attitudes towards infertility and the childless (I use that term because this is how society sees us), and the dangers of an unregulated infertility industry.

I for one am very grateful to have her intelligent and articulate voice speaking out and being heard on our behalf, and hope that she is never silent again. Thank you Pamela!

I urge you to read it, whatever stage you are at in your journey, and you too will know you’ve found your tribe, and your leader.

(And don't forget to review it on Amazon!)

04 May, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: It’s that Day-that-shall-not-be-named again

Yes, it’s that time again. Unless of course you live in the UK and have already blissfully moved past this day, but are now plagued with images of the new royal princess, as well as the joys of an election - know that I feel your pain.
Recently I found my way back to a post I somehow missed last year from Beef Princess, who wrote about reclaiming Mother’s Day; a lovely perspective about honouring your dreams of being a mother, your loss and pain, so you can then re-enter the world fully and embrace life.  
As for us, we tend to avoid restaurants and cinemas on Mother’s Day, and thanks to the joys of public commercial-free radio, and streaming or pre-recording anything on TV, I rarely see any ads for the day, and so can get through it relatively unscarred. 
Still, last weekend in the newspaper there were five hints on how to behave for Mother’s Day, including advice such as “don’t give your mother a new vacuum cleaner, but offer to do the cleaning for a week.” The last piece of advice was a good one, suggesting that people be aware of those who don’t like the day, like “those who don’t like their mothers, or who don’t have them anymore.” It was a pity they ignored those women who aren’t mothers, but nurture and love others just the same. 
So I’ll do it here, and honour all those M.O.Ms (Mentors of Many) who visit here, and thank you for your kindness and compassion and wisdom over the last year.