Healing Salon

Updated 3/12/12 at 11:25 and at 11:36

Hello and welcome.  I’m going to work under the assumption that you’re here from the LFCA or from the conversation that’s happening over at Mel’s.  If you’re not, you might want to check the background posts to this discussion.

If you aren’t interested in the background reading, the summary is this: there has been a kerfluffle about the relationship between IF bloggers who are still in the trenches and IF bloggers that are parenting.  Words were written, feelings were hurt, and now we, as a community, are trying to recover and move forward.  This post is not one to describe my own perspective, but to allow YOU to participate in a conversation.  My express goal here is to engender discussion, not necessarily a conclusion.  I want to provide a platform for YOU to share your ideas, feelings, and experiences.

As a host/moderator, I want to outline my expectations for participation:

  • I am requesting that you, as the discussion participant, refrain from attacking or blaming language.  In support of this, here is a link to the Non Violent Communication model if you are interested.
  • I am going to be participating in the conversation.  I have selected these discussion questions because I am interested in them and interested in your response and experiences.  I will add my own perspective below, and I will be asking questions if/when I am unclear about your response.  I invite everyone who comments and everyone who reads to do the same.  Multiple comments are welcome.
  • I am also suspending my “normal” comments policy.  I will not be censoring or editing comments.  BUT!  As a moderator, I feel an obligation to maintain a safe environment for all participants to express themselves.  If you have a problem with another commenter, please contact me and we will try to resolve the dispute.

Now, for the discussion topics:

  1. If your infertility journey was resolved via parenting, do you think of yourself as a parent who dealt with infertility?  Or as an infertile who is now parenting?  Do you think that there is a difference between the two?  Does your self-image shape the way you write?  If your infertility journey was resolved (or ended, I’m unsure of how best to phrase this) without children, how did that affect your self-image as a writer in the ALI community?
  2. If your infertility journey was resolved via parenting,when you gave birth or were matched with your child, did you continue to post with the expectation that your readers now knew you had a child, move to a new blog space, change your blog name, provide “children mentioned” warnings in your titles, or some other path?  If your infertility journey was resolved without children, did you continue to post with the expectation that your readers now knew you were not longer pursuing parenthood, move a new blog space, change your blog name, or some other path?  What factors went into making your decision?  If your infertility has not been resolved, how do you view and/or respond to the transition of those who are moving between states?
  3. Whose responsibility is it to protect the reader’s heart, the author or the reader?  [This question to is very interesting to me because I have seen discussion on it outside of the IF community.]

Question #1 targets bloggers who are not “in the trenches,” so to speak, but I want to be crystal clear that this discussion space is for anyone at any stage: trying, parenting, adopting, living without.  If you have an opinion you would like to share, please do.  The doors are open.

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “Healing Salon

  1. I can’t fully comment on the first two as I am not yet a parent, but I do believe that infertility will always be a part of who I am and would likely continue to be a topic on my blog – no matter what stage of this journey I was at.

    That said, I honestly don’t think I would change the way I blog if I were pregnant or parenting. I tend to write about a wide variety of topics in my life, and just as I don’t give disclaimers if I am talking about dating one day rather than infertility, I just can’t see myself giving disclaimers if I were to write about parenting one day.

    I tend to view blogs as personal spaces and journals that are simply open for public consumption. The benefit to that is that while you are using writing to process your feelings on your own life, there may be someone out there who reads your story and can relate and feel less alone as a result. But if you aren’t being true to yourself or where you are – then what is it the reader is really relating to? I don’t believe blogging is good for anyone if the blogger is censoring themselves or shielding their readers from the truth of where they are in life. I truly believe that the most healing comes from open and honest communication, while recognizing (and understanding) that others may not be up for continuing along once certain milestones are met. And that is OK! But I don’t think it is a bloggers responsibility (or in their best interest) to hold back on the realities of pregnancy or parenting out of a desire to save feelings or preserve readers. If what is being expressed is no longer genuine, then it really isn’t helpful to the blogger or the reader anymore anyway. Yes, it is possible (and maybe even probable) that some readers will be lost in the transition, but that is true of anything. If a food blogger suddenly gains a passion for sky diving and starts posting about that all the time – they may lose some of their foodie followers. But in time, they will likely gain readers interested in sky diving while also retaining those readers who are interested in the bloggers life as a whole rather than just one subset of their story. I see this the same way. Readers can protect themselves by avoiding blogs that touch on pregnancy and parenting if they so choose, but the blogger should continue telling their story from the perspective of life they are currently viewing it.

    At the end of the day, the goal for ALL of us is to reach parenthood. But the reality of the situation is that pregnancy and parenting have their own frustrations as well. And that deserves to be acknowledged, along with some of the happier parts of reaching that goal. I personally don’t want to read any blog where I feel like the author is holding back, and I know I would never want to write like that either.

  2. I am a parent, who also happens to be infertile. I still get up in arms about anything infertility related, as if I were still in the trenches. I still educate people when the chance arises. When people ask me how old my son is, sometimes I respond with “11 months. But it took us 6 years to get pregnant with him.” I’m not sure why – I think it’s partly because people expect women in their (almost) mid-30’s to have a child that is older than (almost) a year and I want them to know that I TRIED, it just didn’t happen. It also opens a door for conversation, if they so desire, and warns them not to ask questions if they don’t.

    I do blog with the expectation that people know I have a child. It’s in my profile description, I’m in the “PAIF” section on Mel’s blogroll, and if you read more than a few sentences into any post, most likely you will see a child mentioned. The tagline under my blog name, before you even GET to the posts, says “learning to parent after infertility”. I have plenty of clues there. I know how much I hated starting a new blog that had no warning clues of any kind, only to get 5-6 posts in and “HEY I’M PREGNANT!” would jump out at me when I was still trying to get pregnant. It sucked. I’d rather there were subtle signs laying around (and maybe a few not-so-subtle ones). I DID move to a new blog space, but it was completely unrelated to having a child. I was hoping that a new space would breathe some life into my blog, net me a few more readers, help me post more often.

    My blog is my personal space. I write because I need to get things out of my head. I hope that people read it, I hope that it helps them, and I hope like mad that my posts will get comments. I try to write in a manner that will resound with people, but then again, that’s how I talk too. It’s natural for me. I try to protect my readers to an extent, but my blog is ME. I start writing and the words just run out of my hands with little censoring. I’ve been told my blog is “real” – probably for that latter reason. Think of my posts as a giant “stream of consciousness” on whatever is bothering me at the moment I am writing. It’s up to my readers if they think they can handle it. If they can’t, I understand. I’m not sure I’d read me some days! Readers change. I read blogs for the person, not necessarily the entire subject. I have people that I’ve been reading for several years who are not entirely…relevant? to me anymore, but I’ve been following them, and I’m interested in their lives, so I keep reading. I’m sure I don’t have all the same readers that I did 6 years ago. I also know that I’ve gained ones I didn’t have. And I’ve lost a few in the middle. That’s okay. I’m not relevant to everyone, they got bored with the seemingly unchanging and (used to be terribly) angry landscape.

    But would I change the way I blog in order to gain more readers? Would I hold back from writing on certain topics for fear of offending the few that I have? Not on your life. I couldn’t keep that up long-term, so why even bother? And why bother reading a blog if you know the person isn’t telling you the whole truth?

  3. 1. Do you think of yourself as a parent who dealt with infertility? Or as an infertile who is now parenting? Do you think that there is a difference between the two? Does your self-image shape the way you write?

    As someone who is still not parenting, I can only say that I BELIEVE that I will consider myself an infertile who is now parenting. There is a difference, I believe. Elphaba wrote herself that she wanted to write about parenting and NOT infertility. I, like SIF, cannot imagine separating the two. However, I have been TTC longer than most (10 years) and so I believe it has changed me in such a fundamental way that I could never “just” be a parent. It’s simply impossible.

    2. When you gave birth or were matched with your child, did you continue to post with the expectation that your readers now knew you had a child, move to a new blog space, provide “children mentioned” warnings in your titles, or some other path? What factors went into making your decision?

    I have been pregnant three times (so far), and I have blogged each time about it. I did NOT pre-empt any of my posts with “pg ment”, though most of my post titles gave that away. I didn’t censor myself when I was pregnant, and I wont’ censor myself if I move on. I don’t feel like those who do get to the other side NEED to apologize for it. If I can’t handle it (and often I can’t), then it’s on me to move away. Which brings me to:

    3. Whose responsibility is it to protect the reader’s heart, the author or the reader? [This question to is very interesting to me because I have seen discussion on it outside of the IF community.]

    I have thought about this a lot this week, and the conclusion I have come to is this: the blogs I keep reading throughout pregnancy and parenting are those who seem seamless about it. They don’t constantly apologize for it, nor do they focus an inordinate amount of blogspace on it. Yes, it’s there, but it’s there along with everything else in their life. I do not feel like a blogger should apologize for writing whatever it is they feel on their space. Again, if I can’t handle it, I will click away, or unsubscribe, or whatever.

    Thank you for some thought-provoking questions. I really hope that this discussion will help bring some clarification and some peace where it is needed.

    Hugs,
    Jo

  4. 1.Do you think of yourself as a parent who dealt with infertility? Or as an infertile who is now parenting? Do you think that there is a difference between the two? Does your self-image shape the way you write?

    I am an infertile parent, that’s the best way to describe how I feel about myself. I believe there are some people who view things differently after getting their miracles. Some people are able to leave the past in the past and some, like me, feel my struggles will be with me for the rest of my life. It’s all in how a person perceives their situation. Everyone is different, so yes I think there is a difference between the two. I still get stung by fertiles and their easy pregnancy announcements, even as my daughter sleeps in my arms as I read them. I still include IF things in my blog even though my writing isn’t as IF focused as it was while I was in treatment. But while in treatment I wrote about things non-IF related. So yes, my self image of an infertile parent shapes the way I write.

    2.When you gave birth or were matched with your child, did you continue to post with the expectation that your readers now knew you had a child, move to a new blog space, provide “children mentioned” warnings in your titles, or some other path? What factors went into making your decision?

    It took a while, but I did change the title of my blog slightly. I did not change the URL for 2 reasons, 1) I don’t know how, and 2) I wanted my story to still be available to those wanting to read a success story. So I went from “fertility frustration” to “mommy hood after fertility frustration.” It’s my version of a warning. The decision was actually inspired by a fellow new mom who walked through my pregnancy with me 2 weeks ahead of me, though I delivered 8 days before her 🙂 I lost some followers when I got my BFP. I was pretty sure those I had following during my pregnancy would stick around after the baby was born since they had gone through my pregnancy with me. However, I didn’t want to be THAT blog an unknowing newly infertile would stumble upon expecting me to be in the trenches based on my title and then cry as she clicked away because I had my miracle. LORD knows I had a few of those whoopses when I was still in the trenches. Before being inspired by my fellow blogger, I knew the content of my blog was going to include my miracle baby. I write for me and she is a huge part of my life. It was inevitable for me to include her. I held back from belly and ultrasound pics, but there was no way I wasn’t going to show off my miracle after all I went through to get her.

    3. Whose responsibility is it to protect the reader’s heart, the author or the reader? [This question to is very interesting to me because I have seen discussion on it outside of the IF community.]

    I don’t know if anyone should specifically be responsible. The author has the freedom to write what is important to the author. The reader chooses to read what appeals to the reader. I write for me. There is an underlying hope for my story to offer hope as those stories I read offered me hope during my darkest times in the trenches. I hope to continue to share my story and meet people who are in similar situations to me or have a similar history to me. To get back to the question, I guess I think both parties are responsible and neither are….does that make sense?

  5. 1. An interesting distinction I’d never considered. I guess I think of myself as an infertile who is now parenting, but can see switching that frame of mind when I am no longer trying to conceive. Currently, my infertiltiy is an active issue in my life. A year from now, I’ll either have another baby or be done trying, in which case it will be something I dealt with in my past. It will always inform who I am at my core, but it will not dictate my day to day. Make sense?

    2. When I came back to blogging (I stopped shortly after discovering I was pregnant because of difficulties with the pregnancy), I slightly changed the name of my blog to reflect that I’d had a child. That’s it though.

    3. I think for the most part, it’s up to the reader to know what they can or cannot handle. I think an author’s responsibility is to be respectful, but not to hold back from anything they want to write about. I think there is an exception if you are someone who profits off your blog. In that case, you kind of your audience something more, though I’m having a hard time putting into words just what I mean. I also think it’s an author’s responsibilty to use spell check.

  6. 1.Do you think of yourself as a parent who dealt with infertility? Or as an infertile who is now parenting? Do you think that there is a difference between the two? Does your self-image shape the way you write?

    I don’t write much about parenting, so I don’t think this applies much to me. I am a woman with reproductive issues (not necessarily infertility, until age kicked in), and a parent.

    2.When you gave birth or were matched with your child, did you continue to post with the expectation that your readers now knew you had a child, move to a new blog space, provide “children mentioned” warnings in your titles, or some other path? What factors went into making your decision?

    Again – doesn’t much apply to me. I started blogging when my daughter was about 2.

    3.Whose responsibility is it to protect the reader’s heart, the author or the reader? [This question to is very interesting to me because I have seen discussion on it outside of the IF community.]

    For the most part, I think we are responsible for our own hearts. I belong to a FB political discussion group, and it is often stated that we can choose to be offended by things or we can choose not to be. It’s a kind of litmus test for a statement – is it truly offensive, or is someone choosing to be offended by it? I don’t think talking about my child is inherently offensive. But, by the same token, if I go on and on about my daughter, I should expect it to be hard for someone without children to read. I expect my friends to be happy for me if something happy is going on in my life. However, I understand that there are people who cannot do that regardless of the circumstances. (And I think we’ve all heard stories of women’s jealousy/competitive attitude towards other women regarding when they get married, the size of their engagement rings, when they have a baby, how they’re doing at work, etc. I think it’s more pervasive than women are willing to admit.) If you can acknowledge that this is out there, and consider whether you’ve ever done it to someone else, you might be a lot better at protecting everyone’s hearts.

    Thanks for hosting…

  7. I cannot really answer on the first two as I am still in the trenches. But I would point out that from the beginning of my blog and since we first realized that pregnancy would not come easy, I referred to myself as infertile. When I finally get to have a baby (or bring a baby home) I will be a pregnant infertile and a infertile mommy. Infertility is part of who I am, its part of my life. A part of my life that will follow me. I will always advocate for the infertiles still in the trenches. I will always fight, I will always educate and inform others. Infertility will always be a part of my writing because it has changed who I am. But that being said, my blog is infertility themed but it is also me being me and it will transition as I transition. I will always welcome anyone to read, I will always refer to myself as infertile and part of this community, but when I have children, they will be a part of my posts because I post about my life in general now amongst my infertility themed posts. I will come to terms that some will find it hard to read my posts but others may find my posts and relate. A blog, like us, grows and changes over time.

    Saying that, to answer your third question, I believe that it is the responsibility of the reader to protect their own heart. As a writer its my responsibility to write what I need to write to accomplish my goal, but its the readers choice to read, and to comment. If I considered every possible readers reactions to my posts, then I would never post. I know that by reading any website, blog or article, that I run the risk of hurt feelings, problems, disagreements, anger or depression. I try to keep a level head when I read or comment, I try to see all options and viewpoints. Sometimes it makes me indecisive and other times I can’t find the words to comment. But I also know that I can choose to walk away from it or write my own thoughts and share them. But that being said, I have never written for anyone other than myself. Others reading my blog? That’s simply the icing on the cake.

    Also, I would like to thank you for hosting one of the many healing salons. I appreciate you willingness to help guide some of the discussions.

  8. In my mind there is definitely a difference between the two ways to think of yourself. I think of myself as a parent who dealt with infertility, but that is only because I was very strictly medically advised against ever attempting pregnancy again. Because another pregnancy would mean risking my life, we are done TTC and therefore technically done with IF (except for the other health concerns from the PCOS). If we were able to try for another child, I’d see myself the other way.

    I had (have?) a core group of readers who were in the trenches, and I feel so guilty about being done. About “abandoning” them. I know that after I’ve read a blog for more than a few months I get invested in the blogger’s story and I feel like I must keep following them no matter what. If my readers feel that way too, I don’t want to hurt them. So even though I stayed in the same space I write much less now and I censor myself heavily.

  9. I was delighted to see Outlandish Notions participating in this salon as I thought it would be a great way to re-engage. Sadly, I found it offputting yesterday (when I first stopped by) that the first two questions completely ignored that there is a yet another outcome when it comes to IF — those who don’t parent after infertility.

    What does this say about each of us I wondered…we both started out at the same place (and I still think of both of us as part of the IF community), but two of the three questions exclude me entirely.

    That leads me to question #3 Whose responsibility is it to protect the reader’s heart, the author or the reader? I think it’s both. Let me put it this way: if there is no seat at the table for me how can I participate?

    • PJ, thank you for bringing up an excellent criticism. I have updated the first two questions to try to open them up beyond those writers who have moved on to parenting.

      • Appreciate the rephrasing of questions, Sharah! Cupcakes for everyone…so, my answers:
        1) If your infertility journey was resolved (or ended, I’m unsure of how best to phrase this) without children, how did that affect your self-image as a writer in the ALI community?

        My self-image evolved as I slowly healed from my losses. I began my blog feeling akin to a “harbinger of doom” (oftentimes sensing that I was an unwelcome guest or flat-out nightmare) to those still “in the trenches …”

        In time I started to feel like more of a trailblazer — lighting a path that had always seemed shrouded in darkness. As it turns out I found more company in my niche of the ALI community than I expected early on. As with any transition onto a path that is thorny and not well marked, it took a while for my tribe to locate each other. I was definitely guilty of exclusionary behavior in the worst of my reconciliation but, truthfully, I needed some time and space away from those actively pursuing treatment or parenting after IF/adoption to get comfortable in my own skin again. While the pregnancy/parenting posts don’t sting any longer, I also don’t feel I have much to add to those particular conversations… whereas posts on books, films, sports, etc., different story.

        2) If your infertility journey was resolved without children, did you continue to post with the expectation that your readers knew you were no longer pursuing parenthood, move a new blog space, change your blog name, or some other path? What factors went into making
        your decision?

        I opted for a new blog URL and blog name — going from Coming2Terms to A Fresh Start. It was in every sense symbolic of a new chapter in my life. Do I still write through the lens of my infertility experience? Yes, but I do so as a way to reassure and encourage those new to this particular life transition. Given the shattering nature of IF, we’re mosaics in every respect. As with all difficult transitions, I think it’s important see and hear from those who can teach us something about what they’ve learned. I fully expected my readership would change significantly and it has.

        Still, the bonds I formed in my early blogging days will always mean a great deal. I drop by (usually unannounced and without comment) to catch up and see what’s new with those who’s lives are now on a different path.

  10. Well, I’m not a parent yet, so while I cannot concretely comment on the first 2, but I want to take a shot with the first, because it made me think about how things with be.

    I think a another way to phrase it is- what does your infertility journey leave you with? In my case, I have not been in the trenches long, but I have 2 pregnancy losses so far, after being pregnant for a total of about 5 months between the 2 pregnancies. Despite a lot of pain suffered, I think that it has changed me for the better. I’m emotionally stronger, it really help me grow up, and has given me a ton of empathy. I think it would help me be a better parent. The other thing my experience so far has given me is a ton of empathy, for people in any difficult situation. For example,I often had to go to a lab located in a cancer center- there were these rocking chairs with messages written on them. Previous, I’d walked by without really noticing- I remember walking by after my first loss- I stopped, read the messages and started crying, because it was the first time I’d really thought about what those people went through.

    Question # 3, I think it falls mainly on the reader.

    When you think about it (using an infertile and a parent as reader and author respectively), the reader does not feel bad because the author has a baby, they are sad because they do not have a baby. So reading about somebody elses baby is not a cause, but merely a trigger for bringing your own feelings to the surface. And your feels are always there, bubbling merrily. It has to fall to you to control them, because the triggers are everywhere.

    Of course, tact and respect is always required of the author (if only to keep from being labelled a tool) but one cannot expect them to stop talking about their life. If they are pregnant, they should be expected to post HPT pictures, ultrasound pictures, bump pictures. Parents should be able to talk about even the minor difficulties of parenting, without worrying about making somebody who is having a hellish time of infertility angry/unhappy. In another words, if something is worrying you or you want to celebrate something, you have a right to talk about it. This extends to all areas of life. Outside of infertility, married couples should (and absolutely do) celebrate all aspects of their married life, without hurting their single friends–I say this from experience- I’m single and while that does not make me jump with joy,I’ve never begrudged anybody else a moments worth of happiness and thankfully, other peoples news/experience/facebook posts/blogposts rarely ever acts as a trigger for my own unhappiness. On the rare occasions that it does, I take it on the chin and deal with it. It is my problem, not theirs.

  11. 1. Hmm…looks like I may be in the minority here. Just after Braden arrived, I thought of myself as an infertile that was parenting. Now, four years and two more children later, I consider myself a parent who survived infertility. Somewhere in there, there was a fundamental change of head space. Perhaps it came with much needed healing. While deep in the trenches, infertility was a fundamental part of me. Over time, it has shifted to a supporting role, and I think that’s not a bad thing for me. My journey will always be a part of me, and it deeply changes the way I view my children and how I interact with many other parents.

    2. I moved for a while, but realized that it wasn’t what was best for me. So, I moved back “home” to my original blog. I don’t preface my posts, but it’s at the top what my blog is all about and such.

    3. I think that it’s the reader’s responsibility, because only he/she knows what works best for them. Some people like to read blogs of those parenting after infertility because it gives them hope. Others find the very idea makes them break into a cold sweat. It would be tough for me to respect each and every reader’s sensitivities, because I have no clue who they are and what those buttons are. 🙂

    Love ya’ Sharah, and let me know about the chips and salsa!

  12. I’m going to add a follow-up question to #1 here based on a trend I’m seeing in the comments. I see several responses that indicate that you a) see yourself more as a parent who happens to be infertile and b) that your family-building efforts are over, by choice or by chance. Is there a correlation between that? By which I mean, do writers who still hold out hope for the arrival of a child see themselves more as infertiles than those who are done? Is the transition of self-image from more “infertile” to more “parent” part of the healing process? I can see where this might apply to childfree by chance writers as well — anyone want to offer up an experience about that?

    • I think three giant bandages helped heal my heart a great deal. I think the healing did cause the shift in thinking for me. I think you never forget your roots though. Once infertile always infertile. 🙂

    • I think I see myself as a parent who is infertile. Even though I have a biological child, one of the causes of my infertility (endo) is not resolved and still requires various treatment (BCPs but possibly another lap or more depending on how it advances.). We hope to have another child via surrogacy with our frozen embryos but we may not be able to pursue that goal. I think that even if we didn’t have the embryos and were done, I’d still feel infertile.

  13. I recently moved blog platform and decided to start over. That was because I wanted a fresh start and writing about all aspects of my life, not just Infertility, treatments and the stress of it. So I basically write mostly about were I’m at which for me is natural. And I definitely think it’s the readers responsibility to choose what to read or not. There shouldn’t be any need for censoring yourself.

    I was very clear when going through my loss that I wanted my pregnant followers to feel they could continue comment, I would be thankful for the support. At the same time I stated I might not comment as much back if at all in the beginning but I wanted to still see their happy ending since that would feel comforting (and frankly I got scared for them as well). I’m slowly getting back to a place of new hope and thus it’s easier to read and/or commenting back to them as well. That’s a long way of saying I think it goes back and forth all the time. Therefore I’m more comfortable with one community as base.

    I also believe if you have made connections over a longer time you grow interest in that person as much as in their journey to parenthood. You might have other common interests as well.

    I hope that made some sense!

  14. Thank you, Sharah, for hosting, and also for rewording the questions to better include bloggers like Pamela & me. : )

    1. If your infertility journey was resolved/ended without children, how did that affect your self-image as a writer in the ALI community?

    I began writing my blog long after my loss & after we decided to stop ttc, so my situation might be a little different. I was very conscious that I while I had insights to offer into loss & infertility, based on my previous experiences, I was among the few bloggers (then & now, although there are a few more of us around now) who was writing from a childless/free after ALI perspective. I appreciate all my readers, but I feel a special responsibility (?not sure that’s quite the word) to those living CF — particularly the newer ones, who crave reassurance that it’s possible to have a good life without children, even if it’s not the life we originally wanted or planned.

    I do read some parenting after ALI blogs but, as Pamela pointed out, I don’t have a lot of insight to offer if the topics are breastfeeding, cloth vs disposable, co-sleeping, etc.

    2. If your infertility journey was resolved without children, did you continue to post with the expectation that your readers now knew you were not longer pursuing parenthood, move a new blog space, change your blog name, or some other path? What factors went into making your decision?

    As I said, I began blogging long after I stopped ttc. When I started, I was specifically a blogger “living childless/free after infertility & loss,” as it says in my header.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to move to a new blog once the goal of parenthood is achieved (although I know many people do that). I kind of like the continuity. Whenever one of the blogs in my reader moves to a new blog or changes names, it takes me forever to remember “Oh yeah, that’s Sharah (or whoever)” when I see the new name, lol. Although perhaps a new name or tagline or a revamp of the “about” section might be in order to make it clear that this is now a blog that deals with parenting issues.

    3.Whose responsibility is it to protect the reader’s heart, the author or the reader? [This question to is very interesting to me because I have seen discussion on it outside of the IF community.]

    I agree with much of the discussion above. I think the primary onus is on the reader, although of course the author should be respectful of the audience. I don’t quite understand the idea that I shouldn’t be writing about certain topics because I might make some of my readers uncomfortable. It’s my space, and if you don’t think you’re going to like it, then don’t read it. : )

  15. I didn’t start blogging until years after I had achieved parenthood. I still consider myself infertile and part of the ALI community. I’m not a “mommy blogger” (Gah, I hate that term), I’m not a parenting a special needs child blogger, or a mother of multiples blogger. My community is the ALI community, at least right now. It took me 6 years to bring home my twins, and additional 2 years to bring home my daughter, and I am about to go through my last IVF cycle. If you are infertile and want more than one child, it isn’t like ttc or the adoption process stops for you. Right now, the fact that I’m actively ttc affects my writing because I am sensitive to the readers who are cycling with me that aren’t interested in reading about my kids. Also, I’m with my kids parenting all day, and I have lots of support in that area, but when it comes to ttc I’m still pretty much on my own. I need my blog to get me through that.

    I started my blog after I already had children, and I was looking back on the process. I couldn’t blog about it while it was happening because it was too intense at the time. After this last cycle, I will be moving forward, staying on the same blog, and dealing with infertility after parenting…with more on the parenting part of the equation. I have lots of ‘warnings’ that I am a parenting after infertility blogger, and that includes the PAIL badge. I never considered that would be alienating, I considered it more of a heads up, and a welcome mat for those who wanted to talk more about parenting with me, especially if they are interested in twin pregnancy or raising twins. I still hope that I will get more readers interested in that part of my life, I’ve been on Mel’s blog roll since I started, but only ttc readers are interested currently. Which is cool! I’ve got tons to talk about in that area, too.

    I think it is important to keep your audience in mind, but ultimately the reader is responsible for ‘protecting their heart’. I personally think that you have to be ready to put on your big girl panties. I think too many readers here aren’t tough enough. Infertility is tough, reading and supporting is the easy part. If you can’t even read about someone being pregnant, how do you make it through your day? At least on a blog you can be sobbing while you congratulate someone, and nobody has to know. We all have tough days where we have to look away, it’s when you have the strength to look back that you know you’re back on solid ground. The difference here in the ALI community is that bloggers here understand when you need to back away, and they know why, and they hug you with open arms when you’re ready. That’s what PAIL has meant to me.

  16. Good questions — and thank for you hosting.

    I think for me, I resolved my infertility separately from becoming a parent. Being a parent resolved my childlessness, it didn’t resolve my infertility. That is still something I am coming to terms with. Does it have the same hold on me today as it did 10 years ago, no. But I look at the two things as separate — my children didn’t fix me or cure me. I did that myself.

    I used to write “children mentioned” until another blogger wrote me to tell me that I was the only one who still did that.

    I think it’s the author’s responsibility to be mindful. For instance, I think imparting the basic information is the best way to go for any situation, and then allow others to ask questions vs. thrusting everything on them at once. If I wanted to post, let’s say, about a pregnancy appointment, I might bring up the information in a straightforward manner and include other observations that came to me during the day. I find the people who are interested ask me for more information. The ones who are listening to be polite walk away with enough.

    That said, no one should be reading things that are upsetting them. I found a website today that disturbed me to no end. If I was being pressured to read it daily, it would make me a wreck. If people are truly emotionally distressed by parenting after IF blogs, they shouldn’t read parenting after IF blogs.

  17. 1. I think the infertility-first label has gradually switched to parent-first. Well, maybe moreso with the arrival of our second – I really feel like infertility has lost its grip on the course of my life, and I feel like I’ve resolved a lot of issues and now no longer need to go over them very much. That said, they are still part of the story, but it’s more the back-story now. The adjustment is pretty much all made already.

    2 and 3. At first I moved blogs, but that was more about what I needed than what my readers needed. I have since moved back. I used to preface posts (on either blog) with content warnings. My readership changed to the point where I now very rarely (if ever) do (when I write at all). I don’t feel a blogger should have to censor themselves for their readers, but I do think a blogger needs to put some minimal effort (it might just be a paragraph saying what you expect the blog’s direction to be) into managing a transition to pregnancy or parenting to save hurt feelings, in some way or other, or into flagging themselves as a now-parenting blog for new readers (in the tagline, for eg). Bottom line: I believe people are responsible for making their own, informed choices, but to do that they need to be informed.

    Bea

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s