In Lieu of an Explanation

In the past, when I heard writers say that they had both public writing and private writing, I did not understand why they needed both. This space has been topical; I wrote about my infertility and I processed all I needed to deal with in one place. Looking back, I can see why that worked for me — infertility WAS my focus. It was what I thought about day in and day out. How it affected me, how it affected my marriage, how it affected my outlook on life. Having a topical blog where I could write about the one thing that defined me was all I needed.

I’ve been quiet here, for a few reasons. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been processing a lot internally. Just after the new year turned over, I got an IUD. The transition from “infertile and wanting children” to “I have two and that’s all I can handle right now” has been jarring. It took us four years to get Mini, but only four months to get Smaller. My headspace was all shook up, and it had to do with the realignment of my self-image with the life I am living now. Making a conscious choice to NOT try for more kids in order to allow my body to heal and my family life to settle down was unnerving. I remember looking at Manly and saying, “Do you realize this is the first time in seven years that we are NOT trying for more babies?”

To use Smartness’s terminology, I am still very emotionally infertile. It’s how I filter the world, even though physically I am now in possession of two lovely small people. We do not think that we are done having kids. We would like one more (I’d like two, but that’s more and more unlikely — another angst for another day), but given our history, it could take us years or it could take us months. We never resolved what the problem was, we just got lucky. And the fear that comes with not knowing the WHY lurks in the back of my mind.

This has been my home base for the past five years. During that time, I’ve watched blogs come and go, friends for sometimes brief and sometimes long stints. My tribe has expanded, contracted, gathered new, and lost old. Where I sit now, most of my friends have passed the point of expanding their families. Most of the bloggers I read now are no longer trying — they are parenting, or going back to school, or changing careers, leaving infertility behind. They are becoming general writers, diarists, or changing topical focus. My reader is filled with different subjects, different voices. I feel like I am being left behind, the last one at the party left to clean up the empty cups and put the leftover dip in the fridge.

I have been re-evaluating what this space is, what I want to use it for, what I want it to be. Because of our plans to attempt more children in the future, I feel like I need this space to remain as it is, a place for me to process. But I am also in a very different place than I was when I started writing here. I have had two successful pregnancies and have two lovelies at home. I’m not just focused on my infertility now — I am a mother, an engineer, a wife, a feminist, a runner, a manager, a searcher. And those roles are clamoring for attention as well.

Recently, I started writing privately (at 750words.com). Writing without any pressure to make a point, just to clear the garbage out of my head and make room for some kind of productive thinking. Processing emotions that make no sense, getting that primal headscream out. It’s been good, it’s given me some clarity about what I want out of life. When I write here, I feel an obligation to make some kind of sense, have some kind of point. There, it doesn’t matter that my train of thought takes off and I end up at a whole different point than where I started. It has let me exercise my voice outside of infertility, to start letting the other parts of my life into the light.

Which is a long way around to the point that I have changed, and the way I think is changing, and the way I write is changing, and what I write about here is going to change. So thanks for hanging with me all this time, and I hope you’ll stay around as other parts of my life start to get some air time here.

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3 thoughts on “In Lieu of an Explanation

  1. I am very intrigued by the idea of a separate private blog to clear headspace…I’ve never heard of that but it makes a lot of sense. I’m not sure what my blog is either (it may be becoming generalist) but infertility still taints almost every post.

  2. That is a great idea, a place to clear your mind. I was lucky as well to get pregnant, I would never have been able to afford IVF or anything related to that.

  3. Sorry I left this so long in my read-but-marked-unread-for-later-comments folder – I’m still here πŸ™‚ I read a LOT of secondary IF blogs (clicker for LFCA) and many of them are where you are now – got the take-home-baby, not ready to go for another one right now, but not ready to say this book is closed either. It is a weird, liminal place to be. Hope blogging it out helps πŸ™‚

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