When I had my miscarriage I was desperate to connect with someone who had been through the same thing. Someone who knew that saying “You can have more kids” or “It was for the best” weren’t the really correct things to say. I needed to know that grieving was okay. I needed to know that completely freaking out during my next pregnancy was okay.
It took almost a year after my miscarriage before I learned about the Adoption/Loss/Infertility (ALI) community and found the blog Stirrup Queens. A section of her super-impressive blog roll is for people who have suffered a loss. As she says, “If you think you belong here, you probably belong here” so I got my blog added, making it public and searchable for the first time, and started looking for others who were feeling or have felt similar to me.
Stirrup Queens has done a lot for the infertility community and that’s awesome! I tip my hat to her.
But I’m not infertile. I’ve only had one (confirmed) miscarriage. It hasn’t taken me too long to get pregnant any of the times I conceived.
Not to say I haven’t worried about infertility. I definitely have. It took my mom at least a year to conceive me, and being 35 when she started trying, that’s a big deal. There was one time in college my period was a week late. Idiot-me didn’t think to make Hubby take me to the store to pick up a pregnancy test to be sure, but my period has never been more than four days late. Ever. A month before we actually started TTC I learned what a chemical pregnancy was. Since then I’ve always wondered if that is what happened in college. The time spent between my D&C and getting pregnant with G I realized that every few months my cycle is a few days longer than usual. But that’s a few days, not a week. I won’t ever know if I was really pregnant, but what if I was? What if I had trouble staying pregnant?
Not too long after I started following Stirrup Queens, the blog Pregnant and/or Parenting through Adoption/Infertility/Loss (PAIL) was started.
I knew I belonged there too, in addition to Stirrup Queens who also has a “parenting after” blog roll, but I sometimes I feel like an imposter. Sometimes I feel that both blogs focus more on the infertile aspect, and since I am not infertile it’s easy for me to feel like I am on the outside of something looking in. Though my story hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, and my view of TTC and pregnancy has definitely been altered based on events leading up to G’s birth, it isn’t as long or as dark as others on either blog roll (you know, Pain Olympics and all that jazz).
The last couple of months I’ve really enjoyed Stirrup Queens‘ IComLeavWe — a place to comment on a lot of the blogs listed on her super-impressive blog roll. Those blogs range from people still in the trenches of infertility and loss to parenting after to living their life child-free. I find I gravitate more towards the “parenting after” blogs, though I sometimes have advice to offer those who are struggling with loss. PAIL focuses more on the “after” part of adoption/infertility/loss. Having a baby after struggling with infertility does not make things better. Having a baby after a loss of any kind does not make things better. Adopting a baby after possibly struggling with both does not make things better. Getting pregnant unexpectedly the second time after struggling the first time doesn’t make things better. We’re struggling with the day-to-day just like the couple down the road who got pregnant with no issues. We’re all grateful for the baby(ies) we’ve worked hard and prayed for, but sometimes venting about the hard parts of parenting every parent goes through makes us seem ungrateful to those who haven’t been through the struggle. PAIL helps us explore those feelings. It gives us a space to actively connect with others going through the “after” part. Because “after” can be a messy mix of emotions.
Of course, I also find comfort in other so-called Mommy Blogs. I mean, I am a mom. I really like knowing the day-to-day struggles I have are ones that others have too — that my kid is really just a normal kid, even if he’s being extremely trying at the moment. Whether it’s the parenting community or the ALI community, knowing there are others out there feeling the same way as I do is a huge comfort. Having places I can turn to and feel accepted is a relief.
I just like knowing I’m not alone.