I want to talk about my mother's breast cancer. That's not true. I want to talk about me. But bear with me whilst I come at it via the topic of my mother's breast cancer. It started when I was fourteen.

At the time, it was everything - our whole world. We ate it, slept it, watched TV around it, came and went from the house according to its will. My mother wasn't one to bore people with the gory details - even though she arguably should have because, just a heads up, gory details are a lot easier for your children to deal with than unexpected violent and seemingly irrational mood swings - but nevertheless it was there. Always there.

And now? Well, it doesn't come up that much anymore. Don't get me wrong - if the Cancer Council come around, our family donates. If my mother hears of someone who's been diagnosed she might say a word or two, and we all know it's not just ordinary sympathy. It happened, there's no denying, but it's not happening. It's one of life's traumas, like high school or that time you broke your arm, but it's finished, it's over. There's little else to say.

I was thinking about this because of all the infertility blogs out there by all the people who've tried and failed and tried again. And don't get me wrong - inspiring stuff, but frightening at the same time. I'm reading all these stories about people who've done huge numbers of cycles, had multiple miscarriages, spent years pursuing treatment, and still can't see a light at the end of the tunnel. But what I tend to forget are all the blogs that went bust along the way. All the people whose stories I started reading, who got knocked up and subsequently stopped telling the tale. And what about those who never had a blog, because their journey didn't get that far? How many of us blogged from the very beginning?

Logical Bea wants me to write this down. Because she's said it before but it's not getting through, and she's tired of seeing me worry out of proportion to my actual situation. So here it is: the blogosphere contains a selected subset of infertiles. And those with the longest, most heart-rending stories are over-represented. Because the rest? Most of them are like my mother. At some point they find themselves with little else to say.

I wonder if that'll make me feel better.

---
Two more sleeps til Fly Day.


12 Comments

Lut said...

You're absolutely right, the blogosphere skews our view.

I started my blog before going to my very first IF-related ob/gyn appointment. Back than I felt it was ridiculously early, and that I was a fraud. But I needed it.

Someday, I will have nothing left to say, just not someday soon.

steph said...

I run into this now, wondering what to say sometimes now that the treatment part is over. I even noticed there are 'commenters' that only pop up during bad news posts.
Then I decided I would keep going, because like I said in my profile, the blog will eventually be a place to post photos of babies. I also think it IS important for there to be a story that continues. It's too sad to think my life will be defined by my infertility struggles, and that no one will want to hear from me without them.
And if I can muddle through it and find myself at the end of the tunnel with a baby in tow, maybe, just maybe, someone else out there could use that as inspiration, education, something.

So, my point being, I will not shut up or quit clicking away at this keyboard. You can't make me. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
But I see your point~

Beagle said...

I think there is a lot of truth to this imbalance. If I were merrily on my way to motherhood, I would be spending a lot less time on line! I have also noticed that when I first research something for example donor conception or adoption I was struck with all the upset folks posting. The child who was adopted and resents never being told, the sperm donor who9 wishes he never had, etc. . . . while these views are very real and very valid, they may not be typical. The happy folks might just be too busy being happy to blog about it.

What that says about how much I blog and why . . . well. I'd prefer to ignore that for the moment!

:-)

Good post.

Also to what steph said, I have had the most comments on my saddest of sad posts. That's just the way t goes I think.

Meg said...

Yes, you're right, Bea. It's hard, and in some ways, well, it's destructive really, isn't it? I think that's also one of the reason why becoming pregnant makes it harder to be a part of this community. I think about the sadness and the loss, and it's hard to imagine a happy ending even now. Some of my initial withdrawal, I'm sad to say, has been about that, about knowing that sometimes it is not good for me to be online. Does that make sense?

HOWEVER - What I really wanted to say was: Happy Fly DAY!! Will be wonderful. xx

Jules said...

Good Luck Bea.

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, when you leave us.

BIG hugs. We'll miss you.

Jules xoxoxo

Bea said...

Steph (and others) - don't get me wrong - you keep typing! I in no way mean to imply that those who weren't instant successes you pack up and go home, and I also think those who move on from treatments to something else still have as much to say for themselves as the rest of us. Hell, those who have success from treatments still have as much to say, they're just less likely to say it, it seems. Worth bearing in mind.

I see your point about the sadest posts, too. The feedback might reinforce posting negatives rather than positives, although these blogs are often about unloading or venting, so that skews things, too.

Bea

Bea said...

That should, of course, read "saddest" posts, the other spelling sounds too much like a different word.

Bea

Vee said...

I think people come out at the saddest post because that is the time the blogger is more likely to need the supportive words of fellow bloggers.


Good Luck Bea,
Have a safe trip.
Now you don't go forgetting about us now you hear ?;)

StellaNova said...

I find it really hard to keep reading those that contain that positive and ongoing news of happiness. Like it's rubbing my nose in it and, whilst I wish nothing but great things for these people,it's hard. So,you're right. I only keep reading the heartache and failure - cos that's where I'm at too. I wonder if it actually worked for me, would I start reading them again? I think a lot of it is about shared experience - that's why we're here in the first place.

Two days - wow!!

Twisted Ovaries said...

I too am a fair weather chick. I'm one of those that can't handle a positive pregnancy site while I'm still on this roller coaster. I just can't. It does indeed make me a bad person, but it's what's keeping me from, oh, I don't know, alcoholism and sobbing depressions while watching daytime TV.

I watch those who have come and gone, I watch those whose dreams happened and those whose never did. Blogs are just as cyclical as anything else.

I'm glad you're around though.

Hopeful Mother said...

Yes, this is a skewed view of the world for us. There are, undoubtedly, thousands, millions even, of people going through IF that do not blog, and we never see those stories.

It's kind of like the "reviews" you read for products people buy online. You usually only go back to post a review if you're really pissed off, or the product has a problem. If things "work" you usually never post your opinion.

I don't know how I'll react (in terms of blogging) if we ever get pregnant - but for now, this is an enormous coping mechanism that I am thankful for.

Best of luck on your Fly Day!

Carly said...

I don't think I'd read a blog about pregnancy unless it was by a person I'd already been "stalking".
Then, I'd pop in & check up once or twice a week to see how things are going.

I hope the flight goes smoothly & you aren't stuck next to a pregnant woman!! Or a screeching baby.

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