Friday, February 11, 2011

Time to Clarify

Ugh, the pitfall of blogging... writing/reading is not the same as seeing and hearing someone's soul through their spoken words.

My last post was misunderstood by many, and I just want to make a few clarifications. (I usually end up confusing myself and everyone even further when I do this, but here goes!)

We are one community in Christ. We are friends, supporters, helpers, pray-ers, confidantes, and sisters. But within this community there is a divide in our small little "circle" of Catholic Infertility. And as much as we want to reach out and tear down that great divide, it just can't be done. Luckily, we CAN reach across it, peak under it, hug over it, and send prayers through it. But it is, and always will be, there.

That was my main, and really only, point of yesterday's post. As I wrote:
"It's a question of relating. The haves can relate to the have nots because they were once there. The have nots cannot, and will never relate to the haves." Not because of lack of wanting, mind you.

My opening paragraph dealt with the article recently written about the Catholic Infertility Blogging Community, and in light of that article, I was putting myself in the shoes of a typical reader of that article, who then comes stumbling upon our community.

That is the mindsight in which I wrote the post - thinking from the point of view of a typical reader of our blogs.

Someone who just found out they may need to go on Lupron for their endometriosis, and they have been trying to conceive for 2 years, are 39 years old, and don't want to be forced into early menopause. As a Catholic, they quickly google Catholic infertility to find the article (perhaps), and then find our blogs.

For that reader, I find it most sensitive ON MY BLOG to keep the blog titles of the Pregnant and New Mommy blogs hidden. She probably would not be prepared to click on a "Catholic Infertility Support Blog" to find words along the sidebar about baby's first tooth and cloth diapering.

But the blogs themselves I keep proudly displayed and labeled, so that when a reader IS looking for a tale of hope, or just trying to "get lost" for a while in the joy of a new mother (and yes, believe it or not, we do that!), they will know exactly where they can go to find those posts. What I am trying to avoid for my readers is a "sneak-attack" upon entering what they feel may be an anonymous retreat to a land where everyone knows exactly how they are feeling.

That being said, in hiding the blog titles, I have accomplished what I wanted to accomplish for my readers (and myself, on the 2 days before AF arrives, i.e. right now, lol!) and therefore, NO ONE NEEDS TO CENSOR OR SHOULD FEEL A NEED TO CENSOR their blog titles, their blog pictures, their blog music, their blog whatever! That is YOUR space to go and talk about your feelings as you navigate the new crosses of your life. Additionally, do not feel like you are on the outside looking in, or that you have been ostracized because of your status on the Other Side. Once part of this community, always a part of this community (whether you like it or not, haha!) Goodness knows I NEVER plan to censor what I have to say, no matter what I am going through in life. Honesty is my policy, and I expect that from others, too!

The other misunderstanding that seemed to come from yesterday's post was that I was somehow hurting, or had been hurt, by those on the Other Side. I was a little surprised to see more than one commenter say something along the lines of "I'm sorry you're hurting," when I was feeling just fine :) Sometimes we are more sensitive than we need to be, but thus is the life of a Catholic.

In closing, I will share some amazing words of support sent to me by one of my new readers, who just happens to be a part of our Catholic Infertility Community (but doeesn't blog), and who also happens to be my FertilityCare Practitioner:


First, I want to say, your blog is a beautiful witness of the truth about infertility and your faithfulness to Christ. I just started reading it recently and it brought back a lot of the very painful feelings that I had before we adopted A (not saying this in a bad way), as well as the beauty of the Cross of infertility, and the strength it requires to carry it (though most of the time I felt crushed, I mean severely crushed, beneath the weight of it).

I wanted to comment on your last post but I feel like I need a "code name" so thought it'd be better to e-mail you.

I am one of the ones on the other side of the schism since we've adopted too. But I will say, I always felt the same way you did about other people getting pregnant, especially those who had been infertile for awhile. I will be honest with you too - a lot of the deep feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, painful longing - they fade after adoption / birth.

That being said, the HAVE bloggers knew your pain (and still have it sometime, though I won't go into that because you don't need to hear that) and they should empathize with what you are going through more.

Have you read Jennifer and Jamison Taylor's article on Babies Deserve Better? I'm sure by this point you have, but there are a few paragraphs worth reflecting on again and again (I come back to them often)....

"Given that children are the 'supreme gift of marriage,' it might seem strange to think of infertility as a blessing. No doubt, infertility contradicts nature’s intention. The gift of infertility, though, is one that transcends the natural order. It is a sign of divinity, of God’s power to bring life out of a situation where nature is powerless. In this way, infertile spouses are like empty vessels, vessels that can be filled only by the intangible gift of grace. Even more so than those who can have their own children, the infertile couple is called by God to be a channel of spiritual fecundity (CCC 2379). As such, these couples are a sign to the world that the fullness of life is found in the gift of love rather than mere physical existence."...

.... The physical and spiritual suffering caused by infertility is usually hidden. To use an analogy, the generosity of the couple who chooses to have a large family is like a brightly burning sun with beams that produce beautiful flowers that everyone can see and admire. While their love might shine just as brightly, the infertile family has no flowers of their own. Yet, as Fulton Sheen perceives: "There is no sign unless something happens contrary to nature. The brightness of the sun is no sign, but an eclipse is." Like an eclipse, the sign of infertility is incomprehensible without the gift of faith. It is a sign that is usually missed because it is veiled by disappointment and failure. But God is the master of bringing success out of failure and life out of death. If we allow God to reveal himself in the poverty of our infertility, he will give us a harvest of flowers more beautiful than we could sow on our own."

And there you have it... the HAVES are now the HAVE NOTS, and the HAVE NOTS possess God and His grace in a way that others never will.

Blessings, prayers and love your way,

Practitioner with the Mostest
(she didn't really sign off that way, hahaha!)

So I hope everyone realizes where I was coming from now.
Have a lovely weekend! Love you all!


Sarah said...

Um, you have an awesome practitioner. That is one of the most profound things I've read in a long time. Great clarifying post!

Mary said...

AMEN AMEN AMEN!!! I love it! Some of these words are EXACTLY what I've been trying to express to people close to me lately. Oh thank you so much for sharing that!!! Thank you!!

Cathy said...

That was amazing.

Second Chances said...

Gotcha. You separating your blogs makes TOTAL sense to me. Even hiding the post titles. I can see your point totally. Rereading, I think what really upset me were the sample post titles. I was offended by them. But your clarification makes sense to me. Thanks for this post and your email :)

Little JoAnn said...

I think you are riotously funny and take no offense whatsoever in your psuedo titles of baby-crazed cross-overs. I loved them!

I seriously had only 2 modes during IF, mad and furious.

Your kindness, understanding, compassion, insights floor me over and over and over again.

I will never tire of reading your blog. And, I can't wait until you find yourself hitting the submit button knowing that your over did it, gushing just a tad too much about your babies this and that adventures.

I can't wait to read how the eyes of Motherhood transform your feelings into words, your love for your future son or daughter, I can't wait to see it splashed across these pages.

NOTHING you can ever write about being IF and or feeling left out or misunderstood or angry or anything will ever, ever offend me.

Nobody in this community comes even close to all the crazy things I said to people when I was fighting IF.

To me, you are a class act all the way.

And, I do think those of us who have crossed over have some kind of duty to rejoice without over-doing it. Precisely BECAUSE we are part of a COMMUNITY.

Anonymous said...

So we are kidding ourselves if we think that the relationship is reciprocated once an infertile has a child, correct? Gotcha.

I noticed you changed your sidebar a while ago and I had guessed that something along these lines was behind it. There's nothing I hated more when googling infertility and clicking and finding out they had a kid now. Your clarifying post helped me understand where you were coming from or rather, who that post was directed to. As far as thinking you were hurt, I think it was the closing sentences and unhappy face that made me think you were hurting...sorry for assuming so. I get what you were trying to convey now!

mrsblondies said...

Great clarification. I can definitely understand the reasoning for separating the blog into categories and hiding the titles of the post of those on the Other Side.

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

Moonheads, you`re too deep for me :) All I meant was we`re kidding ourselves to think the schism doesn`t exist. But your assertion is an interesting one to ponder.

Molly M. said...

What an awesome passage! I plan to remember and reflect on that often on this IF journey. Thank you to you and your practitioner for sharing that.

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

I'm so glad to read this clarification-as I wasn't sure what to say to the last post.

As someone who JUST crossed over-I still want to support those who are dealing with IF and am beyond grateful when they offer their prayers and support for me.

Even with the bumps and detours of the "schism"-this is an amazing community.

E said...

Whether we have babies or not, we have crosses. When (and I say "when" deliberately!) this particular cross is lifted from you, there will be other crosses, some even connected to motherhood.

I guess my point is that no matter what our situation or vocation is, we are all united by our suffering.

Some of the commenters on your blog are really expressing profound sorrow and a sense of rejection by God. I think that when we feel that way (and we all tend to) and resent new moms, it's really important to implore God to remove that from our hearts, because this will just ruin our spirits. Having had my own envy and bitterness removed by Him recently through a mini-conversion, I feel SO much more free to be myself now that I am not comparing my life with others' lives. I see life differently.

I wish this for all the women who suffer/comment here, and I pray for them all to know one day soon how precious they are in God's eyes. We can't measure our worth in His eyes by how many babies we have/don't have. He loves us just because we exist and belong to Him, and that has to be enough for us. I think that's what life is all about: coming to this realization and being able to say to Him, "Your love is enough for me." That's hard for us to do.

Having lost many loved ones and suffered at least one miscarriage, and going through infertility yet again, I can safely say that infertility and death are one and the same pain, except the pain of infertility is always raw. I grieve with you all, and I agree that we all have to find common ground while ultimately putting our trust in God alone.

The Comeaus said...

Oops, that comment from "E" was actually me. ;)

WheelbarrowRider said...

Sounds like I missed a juicy post :) Seriously though, I appreciate your writing on the subject and putting these thoughts out there. I love what you are doing for your readers in terms of the blog displayed, etc. and, it does not surprise me what an amazing teacher you have. The best deserve the best! Did I jsut read that Kaitlin has read you blog recently?!!! That is high praise, girl!

WheelbarrowRider said...

Okay, now that I have read it...loved it! Very honest. And if you can't be honest to your best blogger girlies/perfect strangers than who? I think it needed to be said. Look how many have nots were fantastically grateful for your post. I like people who talk about the elephant in the room and you did it eloquently.

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

Thank you for the clarification!

JellyBelly said...

Your practitioner sounds like an amazing lady!!!

I really appreciated your last post since I know exactly how you feel (and I'm thinking of copying your sidebar idea as well!).

Hugs and prayers, my dear sweet friend!

Blessed and Broken said...

What a phenomenal letter from your FCP. Beautiful! wondering if I know this chick. :)