11/07/2006

Era of the Undefinable

First of all, enormous thank-yous to all who commented and sent emails regarding my last post. It means so much to me that there are other people out there that understand the agony that can be the first few months of your child's life. For those not fortunate to have gone through it themselves for whatever reason, I'm so pleased that you took the time to comment even if you didn't feel as if you could contribute with your own experiences. Just knowing that people care enough to say something is very moving. During the particularly rough times I was finding it difficult to get through each day, so each word gave me brief respite. Thank you so, so much.

Now, an update. P.'s body has appeared to adjust to the Gaviscon. In a bold move, we have recently upped her dosage as well now that she has gained some weight. To say she has become a different baby is a massive understatement. I now consider my days spent with her to be enjoyable rather than an exercise in torture, so that's always good when talking about your child. I try not to think that all of this could have happened months ago, because there is no point lingering on what could have been. The fact is that she's a happy baby now, and I'm a much more cheerful mother. Well, as cheerful as I'm capable of being anyway.

Moving on...today I came across a post at Jenn's regarding the nature of a blog once a baby (or babies as is the case with Jenn) is born. Pre-babies, Jenn wasn't keen on some blogs that had once been IF-centred but eventually descended into mommy blogs. I also felt that way before P was born, and I would often avoid new mommy blogs because I found them cloying and completely unrelatable. In some cases I wondered how these women could leave infertility behind so easily. Jenn and I find ourselves in a similar predicament - now we are on the other side, so have we become the dreaded mommy bloggers?

I hesitate to group myself in with mommy bloggers because I feel as if most of the members of that set are not cynical, jaded and pessimistic like me and where is the fun in that? However, I also acknowledge that I am a mother now, so chances are I will blog about my kid. I would love to consider myself an IF blogger, but I wouldn't have much to talk about. I had enough trouble finding stuff to talk about when I was going through treatment, so I think I'd really struggle to discuss many IF things now. I hope that any kid-related tales I do tell occasionally reflect my background as someone who knows what it's like in the trenches, but I can't see myself relating everything I write from now on to infertility.

I suppose my post from a month or so ago about masquerading as a fertile person has not inspired confidence as far as me keeping it real. I would like to clarify that at no point have I forgotten what it's like to be infertile. I feel like that woman every day, that the kid I look after is not really mine, but rather just a trainer baby for that one day when I may have one of my own. The post was written to say that for that brief, fleeting period of time in which I hang out with moms who have from-sex-babies rather than Creations by WHYBAML-babies, I like to pretend my insides aren't fucked up. It's so nice to do that if only for an hour every couple of weeks.

So what is this blog? I don't know. Maybe this is my opportunity to expand on other topics that this blog could include. I am an American expat living in the UK, and as of tomorrow, I will be an American expat living in the UK who has applied for residency status in Canada. I never really talk about my expat experience, because I know you usually come here for the swearing and stay for the infertility. As my infertility connection is only in retrospect at this point, maybe I should mix up the kid stuff with expat things every once in awhile. :::cue people exiting blog stage right:::

I like to think that even if I am classified as a mommy blog by some, it's from a perspective that is unique - that of a recovering infertile who refuses to elevate motherhood to a position of deification. I'm still me, and do not want to be defined solely as "mommy"...or "mummy" as I am here in the UK. I am soooooo not that girl. A long time ago in a blog post far, far away I wrote an entry entitled "So you reproduced successfully, what do you want, a fucking medal?". I stand by that statement now, so if you ever feel as if I'm crossing into that dangerous territory of mommyblogdom whereby I think the sun shines out of my childbirthing cooter, please, for the love of all that is holy, tell me to get off my pedestal.

18 comments:

Jenn said...

Yeah, what you said.

I think someone must have snuck in in the night and replaced our evil babies with good babies because things are slowly getting better over here too.

Suz said...

I agree and think that there are some general differences in how infertiles write about motherhood. I'm so glad that things are getting better for you.

Mary Scarlet said...

Hey, all the baby talk is cool, as long as includes both the cute stuff and the barfy parts. Like, how much toe jam is there? They wear socks but they don't walk, so does toe jam happen? It's like a science experiment. Oh yeah, and I've always been curious to hear where you have and where you haven't let the British accent seep in. Five hours in Texas and I was y'all'ing, so we want to know if it's skedule or shedyool? Do you call people "git" ever?

Seriously, Pru, I'm really glad to hear Ms. P is doing so much better. You can write about your belly button and I'll read and love it.

julia said...

I'm glad to hear she's doing better and that you are, too.

I never know if I'm a mommyblogger or not either. I do mention my kids, but I don't think I dwell on them. At least I hope I don't because I can't stand that. I certainly don't think the sun shines out of their collective asses. I do think I've managed to retain a healthy sense of cynicism and skepticism and snarkiness.

I think you can talk about your kids sometimes and still retain your sense of self. I don't know that I'd want to classify myself as any certain type of blogger. I like talking about too many different things to call myself a mommy blogger or a diabetes blogger or an anything blogger.

Which is a nice way of putting that I spout seven shades of shite.

Flicka said...

In order:

Yeah, you mommy blog a little. It's okay. We know you havne't forgotten. But if you do, I'll know your block right off that pedestal so quick you won't even have time to blink.

Residency in Canada? What, living in two different countries wasn't enough? You had to go for a third?

Glad the faeries took back their evil changeling child and gave you the real Ms. P.

Flicka said...

*knock, even. Blegh, am still not awake right now.

~Flicka

DD said...

Make your own niche in Mommy Bloggers. There are some I have come across that are so sacharine, that I come away from reading with a toothache; and there are some Mommy Bloggers who never experienced IF that rock my socks.

Being a "Mommy Blogger" doesn't have to be mean whoreing out bunny farts and butterflies. It's keeping real. And Mary Scarlet said it best: you could write about your belly button and I would still be here. Because it's YOUR belly button and it's attached to someone who is smart, funny and honest.

May said...

I am so, so glad that you and your baby are feeling better and enjoying each other.

I found your blog because I was looking for Infertiles to pity-party with, but stayed because, well, I like the way you write. And I'm now genuinely interested in you and your baby (blog-stalkers! Blog-stalkers!). Also, and I aplogise if this sounds utterly bonkers, but I feel my favourite infertiles (now there's a phrase) deserve to blog about their babies, when they get them. And I want to know how the motherhood part goes too. I feel sort-of abandoned by bloggers who go 'Right, I've given birth (or even, got pregnant) and that's me done! Bye bye!' It's as if they want to reject all that they (and we) go through. They've made it past a sacred dividing line that we infertiles may not cross, and they no longer care to consort with us. So, thank you for carrying on blogging and sharing with us.

Rachel said...

I just have two blogs. One is my "real" blog, which I have had since 2001 or something, and that's where the more or less non-baby things go. Then there's the baby blog, where I can get all Mama-fied on the Internet's ass. That way, people who read my blog before aren't inundated with baby poop stories and people who found my baby blog aren't overwhelmed with my delusions of grandeur and general snobbishness.

PortLairge said...

Glad things are better Pru. I would love to hear about your ex-pat life in the OK. As an ex-pat here in USA- we are constantly comparing and yes- taking the piss out of this country- I would love to hear your thoughts on being an American in England. I'm sure your particular style of sacasm would lead to some hilarious posts- Please, please, please??

Beth said...

"that of a recovering infertile who refuses to elevate motherhood to a position of deification"

Hear, Hear. Although I am gratefully, vomitfully pregnant after infertility - I still like to pretend that I am something beyond a damn PICC line sporting, gestational machine. Write what you want - I like to read it all although my commenting is rather sparse these days.

Glad P is doing better and you are in turn as well.

Ova Girl said...

Pru I am so glad things are getting better with Miss P. I think it's hard to know where we sit but I also know that you should be able to write whatever the hell you want to and if that means you want to share the love that's fine and if you're going to spit the bile that's fine too.

Lut said...

Ooh! New and improved baby! As seen on tv!

I can see the 'mommy blog' label makes you uncomfortable, perhaps because there are hordes of sugar-and-spice-and-all-things-nice
mommy blogs out there.
But your readers don't care about the label, we're here for you. MsPruFrock who tells it like it is.

Mollywogger said...

Oh yes, Mary Scarlet, that British accent peeks its way in here and there. I made fun of her the first time I talked to her on the phone. So posh.

Write whatever the hell you want. I'm not going anywhere.

elle said...

Thank the heavens above that little Ms. P has had a change of disposition. I can't imagine the paradigm shift this must be for you - congratulations!

As for the mom part - I get it. Like what, now that we've had babies our shit don't stink? My moms' approach to all this is that you don't tell. Don't tell your sister the excruciating agony of labor, don't tell that the first couple of months are hell, etc. Well, I"m telling and so are you. This is what it's like, it's not always (or ever?) like a technicolor 1950s family sitcom. Fight the power.

fisher queen said...

What Elle said- I'm reading in large part because you are telling it like it is. I always think of "mommybloggers" as the ones who don't.

Hetty Fauxvert said...

I think the mommybloggers who are all sweetness and light and full of sh!t were that way loooooong before they got knocked up. It's just that now they have a socially acceptable way of expressing it, all about their kiddie-poo-darlings.

You, by contrast, are not full of anything except slight grumpiness, truth, and good writing. Keep going. I'll keep reading!

Her Bad Mother said...

I don't think that there's any shame in acknowledging that, once a mother, one writes from the perspective of a mother, whatever that might mean. For some, that's happy cheery look-at-my-kid blogging; for others, it's hand-wringing (me) or snarking or some combination of all of the above.

I hate that the term 'mommyblogger' has become a slag. It diminishes all of us, anyone writing through motherhood in any way, shape or form. All that matters is good writing - which is exactly what you've got going one here.