Monday, February 20, 2006

I'll have the club sandwich

There is such a "club" for mommies. Now that I am part of that club, I understand why it exists, and I love my membership. Moms deserve the support they enjoy from others who share their experience. It is great to talk to friends and read in mommy-blogs about the amazing, exasperating, frightening and hilarious things our children are doing. But for years I wasn't part of the club, and I resented that I was an outsider and that others were enjoying being in. Although I wanted nothing more than to see those twin pink lines on a pregnancy test, month after month I was disappointed to find I'd started bleeding again.

I am back-posting some old journal entries I wrote when Chris and I were trying to get me pregnant, getting tested to figure out why our efforts were not working, and undergoing assorted medical procedures that ultimately led to me getting pregnant. Although I wrote the entries for myself (and most were never shared with anyone) by the summer of 2004 I started to talk openly about the fertility problems Chris and I were experiencing. Once we knew what was wrong, I felt more able to share my experiences beyond my closest friends. Getting more certainty about the cause of our infertility (if not the likelihood of overcoming it) made me want to let others facing this frustration know that they weren't the only ones without membership in the club.

At times during the years of unsuccessful attempts and medical interventions I felt really alone. Even though I knew that tons of other people were going through the same thing, my self-pity was pretty strong. When I did tell people about our problems, it was amazing how often I heard back that someone had faced similar problems, or that their sister/cousin/friend had undergone tests/taken hormones/faced IVF. It meant a lot to me to hear this from people, but I was frustrated that I didn't hear about these people until I brought it up. So I kept bringing it up. I still talk about it, and think that doing it in person is ultimately more meaningful than sharing it online. Often when I looked online for evidence that I was not alone, I often felt worse after reading the sad and frightened words of women facing infertility. Once people were successful, they often disappeared into the excitement of pregnancy and beyond. I did not find many people posting about the struggles and the successes. Maybe those women didn't want those of us still trying to feel jealous or resentful. I wanted to post my thoughts on the hard part, from the vantage point of a happy outcome. I feel so lucky that things worked out as they did - we got Ada, who is better than I could have hoped for.


  1. Isn't the "mommy club" the best! I would have never thought I would embrace it the way that I have. I think I was like you, and resented it because I wasn't in it yet. I can't imagine what it would have been like to move here and not be in it. It has been my key to meeting some really great people, in person and on the computer.

    I am so sorry you had to go through such a tremendously hard process to get pregnant. I cannot imagine what that would be like. But wow! Look at your little miracle now! Don't ya just want to do a happy dance everyday! I do! I am a total freak! I have never felt to darn thrilled in my life. Enjoy that sweet little girl and welcome to the club!

  2. Hi, Nora, thanks for dropping the line at LiveJournal. Even though we live in the same town, the internet still seems the place where we'll meet.

    I always want to encourage people to have kids so the club will grow, but it has become kind of touchy to do so. Particularly because many women who would like to can't.

    It doesn't always work out happily. I know several women who wanted to have children who couldn't. And as my kids get older, motherhood seems less like an all in a lifetime thing than it did when they were cute and dependent and full of unrealized potential.