When I signed up for NCLM, I did it because I thought it would motivate me to comment. Mel's exhaustive (and exhausting) list of 200+ blogs thrilled me and though I hardly needed any additional feeds, I jumped in enthusiastically. At first. As I started to click through the blogs on the list, I found most of them very hard to comment on. I don't know what to say to women still battling, and the language of infertility is a tongue I no longer seem to know.
It's been almost three years since I last did any sort of treatment. I was a treatment slacker back in the day anyway, with an indifference to protocols and a distinct lack of care when it came to scientific terminology. At least back then I was in the middle of it there was the occasional glimmer of recognition when blog-reading.
When I come across a new infertility blog, it is hard for me to recall that part of me. That is not to say that I've got my kid now and my past has been erased, but I feel like I have lost that connection with infertile women who have yet to be mothers (by whatever means). I'm sure they feel the same about me - it is hard to come up with much to say about babies and toddlers when you have yet to have that experience. I always felt that way before P arrived.
The added difficulty is that the infertility blogging circle has widened greatly. Obviously this is great because it signifies increased awareness and community, never a bad thing. I clicked through blog after blog and no name was familiar to me. None of the commenters names were familiar, yet there were thirty or forty for each post. Back in the old days, I felt as if I knew of most IF bloggers, though I certainly didn't read or comment on all of them. It's really odd to be a part of an online community for a number of years (ok, 3 1/2), and find yourself moving from the inner rungs to the very outer circles without ever noticing your gradual marginalisation.
I suppose this is what happens when you achieve the main objective of that circle and you edge further and further away from what you once were. Before my successful IVF I defined myself as an infertile. Now I'm a mother who sometimes forgets this previous identity, a former self whose acquaintance I am rather happy to leave behind.
I got an email today from a good friend in my Mums and Hellbeasts group. THE email. You know the one - "Hi, I'm pregnant with number 2!" Three years ago this would have decimated me. Well, I guess technically I wouldn't have known her since we met through this group, but nonetheless...When I read it my heart didn't sink, I didn't get teary. However, it still made me sad. I'm happy for my friend of course, but there is still a sliver of Her around reminding me that this feeling will never completely pass. I may not be able to expound on ECM, FSH and luteal phases with all of the women still trudging on through, but unfortunately I will always know the sting when those words are said.