Friday, September 11, 2009

Thanks for Dropping By, Please State Your Name

I should consider myself fortunate that I went three years without hurt feelings, or even so much as a heated debate, on my blog. You know, when I first started this blog it was on a website that didn’t allow comments. The only reason I began writing was to avoid the face-to-face questions (what treatments are you doing, are you pregnant yet, etc) from friends or family. It was just to let these people keep up with my progress. Then, I had to stop treatments because they were just plain too expensive. And that’s when I really started pouring my heart out on here.

I moved my blog to another site, and allowed comments. Friends would leave encouraging words, and I took comfort in that. Then one day I discovered I wasn’t alone out there. Other people had blogs that talked about the same things mine did! It was so exciting. For some people, sending an email or leaving a comment was the first time they talked about their infertility to someone besides their spouse. They took comfort in my blog, and I theirs. So, when I moved my blog to blogspot, and noticed I could make people sign in to leave comments, I decided not to go that route. It was nice to have an open, supportive forum to share together.

I feel the anonymous comment left on September 9th (“Anonymous #1”) was not done to hurt me. On the other hand, I strongly feel that the person who made that comment does not know me personally. If she does, then she doesn’t know me well.

I try to bend over backwards to show love and compassion to mothers on a daily basis, sometimes to my own detriment. I firmly believe, if someone didn’t know I had infertility, they would not be able to tell by how I treat those around me. That is my goal at least. I make that decision every day. And then, on a day where I was at my lowest of lows, pouring my soul out, I am told to be kinder than necessary. That just broke my heart.

Looking back at my posts, a truly anonymous comment is rare. If the commenter felt okay with what she had to say, why didn’t she give her name? I was left to wonder: Who was she? Did I know her personally? Had I offended her in some way?

I say this with respect and love… Infertility is hard enough without having to answer those questions as well. Infertility is hard enough without having mystery people tell you to see things from the other side, and chastise your friends when they are trying to hold you up. I don’t know how many times I can say this: I understand motherhood is hard! I know that someday I will have trials greater than this one! So now that I’ve said that, please give me this little part of the internet oblivion to release my deepest thoughts, and gain comfort from those who know me or are also experiencing this infertility nightmare.

This blog is my solace. No one is perfect. I never thought I was.

For Anonymous #2: Those close friends in my life, the ones who have held my hand through every trial and wiped every tear, they knew how that comment would make me feel. They came to my defense; that was their intent. They were trying to make it a little easier on me. They are good people.

The remarks made on this blog in the last few days have caused me to question my comment set-up. As much as it saddens me, I am removing the anonymous option. There is now a sign-in required to leave a comment.


Sharon said...

Hi Michelle,
I'm new to your blog - I stumbled across it last week while trawling the internet and I just wanted to tell you about the positive affect it immediately had on both myself and my partner. It's the only time during seven years of trying to start a family that I've ever registered or become a subscriber to anything like this. It's not normally my thing, but your writing was so compelling that I changed the habit of a lifetime and joined up! I felt moved to leave a comment last week, but, as usual, I held back. Then I read about what you've been dealing with this week and thought "ok, time to say what I was going to say last week". First of all, thank you for your courage and honesty in writing so openly about this most painful of issues. I hope you know how much you're helping other people through your work on the blog (even if we are sometimes too reticent to write and tell you!). The depth of your faith, in particular, had a profound effect on both myself and my partner. Through the combination of your faith and your writing ability, I feel like you've taken something ugly and painful and transformed it into a more beautiful thing: an opportunity for growth and healing. And, although you might not always know it, you're helping people around the world (we live in the UK), with our own growth and healing too. So thank you because, believe me, we know it's not easy (that's why I normally live below the radar - it's just easier than engaging with people on this subject and having to deal with what inevitably comes up). Both me and my partner (who got tears in his eyes while reading some of your posts) just wanted to say thanks for being such a source of inspiration and support. And we both wanted to send you all the support in the world for your ongoing journey. We're looking forward to the day when all of your prayers have been answered. Until then, hold on tight to faith and don't change a thing - you're doing a great job of dealing with this. PS: One final thing (for someone who never writes comments, this is a very long comment!) ... we both loved the song "I'd Die for That". It was the first time we'd seen it and, since finding it, we've played it many times. So thanks for the introduction.
Take care,

Poduska Family said...

Holy Cow, the comments section of your blog is a happenin' place! I have to admit, I always keep up on your blog updates but rarely read the comments other people leave until now... and its so unfathomable that somebody would be silly enough to leave these "anonymous" hurtful comments on YOUR blog. They should just keep it on their own blog. It got me all fired up and I felt like I did back in High School when we spent pretty much every living moment together... if somebody hurt you I'd want to punch them out. Not very grown up of me, but I never confessed to be a grown up anyway.
Long story short, look at all of these people you are helping... mothers and hopeful mothers alike! And while I cannot track down anonymous people and punch 'em out (although maybe it is a small consolation to you to know that I would if I could), I can say that those people can't deter or cast all the good that you do in a shadow. We all love you!

jbromney said...

Hi Michelle. I don't know you and you don't know me, but I have been following your blog for the past few months. I don't think anyone can understand what you're going through, but I wanted to tell you that I too went through a very hard time bringing my daughter into this life. I went through 2 devastating miscarriages that ended with me having to have surgeries. After 2 1/2 years of trying, our baby girl finally came to me. I can't even imagine how you feel, but I understand a tiny fraction of what you're going through. It's hard. I had doubts of if I ever would be a mommy, and that's all I wanted in life was to be a mommy. But I received many blessings, and family fasts and many prayers and I knew this was in Heavenly Fathers hands and that I would have a baby someday. There are so many of my friends that have been trying for years and years and had MANY(one even had 6) miscarriages and have finally had their babies come into their lives. A lady in our ward had been trying for over 8 years and she's expecting their little miracle in a couple months. I know Heavenly Father will bless you with your baby someday. I want you to know that I have been praying and fasting for you and your little one; that's just taking a little longer to come into your family. When I was going through my hard times I continued to read this scripture that I love " Mosiah 4:9 Believe in God;believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the lord can comprehend." That just helped me remember that we don't know why things happen, but Heavenly Father does, and that's all that matters. You will be a mommy someday. I know it.

Susie Demke said...

Wow. I am just so touched by the comments. You are inspiring and helping people everywhere. It's true, that there are blessings for us and OTHERS in some of our deepest trials and I can see that through your pain you are helping and lifting others as well. I know it's not exactly what you would want but I can only imagine the blessings that are in store for you just for that. You are remarkable and I love to read your blog. You have touched me and helped me with my own difficulties. I so appreciate your wisdom and insight and faith.
I'm still here, silently supporting you and cheering you on. Sometimes I don't know what to say and I can't find the words to tell you what I'm feeling for you but please know you are in my prayers. Always.

Luke and Nat said...

I'm glad you're doing this Michelle. I think it's good for people to put a name and face with the words they chose to have affect others. AND in response to your phrase..."I know that someday I will have trials greater than this one!" I really don't think that any trial will ever compare to all we deal with in infertility. Infertile for a long time or infertile for a short's the hardest trial I think anyone can EVER face here on earth. I also believe that's why God choses his elect to face it and to overcome it and they eventually become the strongest mothers for his precious children here on earth. :)

Amy Nielson said...

I had the thought tonight after reading your posts of how wonderful this blog is going to be for your children & you to read about down the road. Your kids will know how much you went through in your journey to bring them into your family. I wish I had written down my feelings and thoughts during my time of infertility.

Savannah said...

Your blog is what inspired me to start my own infertility blog. Since starting a place for just my infertility thoughts/vents/feelings I have been able to reach a new level of acceptance. I'm so glad I followed your example and started my own space to vent about my childless life. You are an inspiration to me.