Saturday, September 5, 2009

All Aboard

The Topic: Jumping Ship.

The Objective: Discuss.

The phenomenon of bailing on a blogger the moment after she posts her "finally knocked up" news is swirling around the infertile blogosphere like purple haze. I can understand completely, since I've done it. It's not personal. I've lurked on blogs and then simply deleted the link from my bookmarks after the announcement comes. I've become lazier about checking infertility-turned-pregnancy blogs on which I used to comment. For some who have mutually followed my blog, I try to keep up with encouraging comments because I enjoyed the exchanges when we were still in the same boat, and I genuinely care about how they're doing. But we are in different boats now.

It seems the general impression is that I, the still-infertile, am the one jumping ship from the newly-pregnant-infertile blogs. I see it another way: the freshly minted pregnancy bloggers jumped my ship. I haven't seen as much as hide nor hair from a few now-pregnant bloggers who used to comment and give support on a regular basis. Guess what? That commenced immediately with their announcements. It is a two-way exodus. And it's not personal. For those of us who remain infertile and unpregnant, it is difficult to read about the beginnings of a pregnancy we have not yet experienced. There is comfort in commiserating with fellow bloggers on the same cycle, riding out the same physical and emotional choppy seas. When that changes we can't relate anymore and for the still-infertile, the combination of hardship in reading about someone else's pregnancy and the subtle chipping away at an online support system - well, it takes a toll, and sometimes the solution is to abandon ship. I've stuck with a few newly-pregnant bloggers, but am not sure they've stuck with me.

Most of the bloggers I followed closely when I started IVF (I had not blogged during my pre-IVF infertility phase) got pregnant right away, and suddenly my cycle "buddies" were gone. I viewed (and still view) my blog as a place to unload my mental burden, when the thought cup runneth over, and not necessarily as a way to make interweb friends in the online infertility world. I don't rely on camaraderie with anonymous bloggers as a support system, but it seemed to naturally arise and that is certainly comforting in a stressful time. But just as quickly disappears. Imagine you happen upon a party taking place in a new neighborhood. It's not a particularly happy occasion, this party, but people seem to be engrossed in conversation that feels relevant and interests you and so you make a few friends, enjoy a few proverbial drinks, tell some jokes, laugh a little, cry together, and then *POOF* everyone at the party gets up and leaves; all at once you are standing in the middle of the living room with an empty glass and no one to talk to. have to wander around the neighborhood in search of another party, and make new friends. You keep up with a few people from the first party, to see how they're doing, and because, hell, in this party scene they could end up back in that living room with you and an empty glass at any time.

Infertility is just effing hard. I don't want my outlet for the pain and frustration of it all to become a secondary source of frustration because support that I once enjoyed dries up. But, like all things infertile, it is what it is. I am still riding out the high seas of waiting-for-my-announcement-so-someone-can-jump-my-ship. All aboard.



BB said...

I probably count as one of those persons who jumped the boat (though I am still pretty scared that I might be in the air and not have landed on the other boat). When I had a chemical pregnancy in May, there were a few blogs I was following (cycle buddies) and those gals are close to 18 weeks pregnant now... I still like to read up (and comment) on them. I have realized that I have chosen to continue reading and commenting on blogs even if our boats are not sailing together because it just gives me a lot of hope and courage to beleive that it can happen and you can reach the shore some day with a baby or two in hand (hopefully soon)! However, I am affraid at times that by me still being active on some of the blogs I might be rubbing it in (unintentionally) (for the still unpreggers buddies). I am praying from the bottom of my heart that this cycle works for you! {hugs}

'Murgdan' said...

There is a difference between 'jumping ship' by not commenting and simply unsubscribing. My comments regarding jumping ship were about some unsubscribers, since I don't tally daily comments. I noted that I have done the same and that I completely understand said jumping ship phenomenon.

I have unsubscribed. Though my unsubscribing generally had more to do with my relationship with the blogger beforehand. If it was someone I commented regularly with and had formed a rapport with, I probably never went anywhere--though I obviously didn't comment on every pregnant post since I could relate to so few of them. If I only lurked on their blog, or if I found their writing, well, boring...I generally just tapped the buh-bye button.

As for the vice versa...I have suddenly had comments from almost every pregnant blogger I stopped commenting on or unsubscribed from over the last year or so. Guess what, I don't have a shit ton of new subscribers. Those pregnant bloggers, they were there the entire time. Reading me. Silently supporting me. Probably not commenting because they knew their comments were sometimes unwelcomed.

You see, jumping ship and simply remaining silent because you know your 'situation' actually contributes to another person's pain....well, that's another thing. Similar? Eh, maybe.

I have a pretty good idea where I am unwelcome now.

I only wish those anonymous commenters who felt the need to tell me how angry I made them would have not been anonymous. I'm not quite sure where to comment anymore. Believe me, it makes you 'type on eggshells'...not knowing who secretly doesn't want to hear from you anymore.

And for the record, I haven't unsubscribed from not one infertile blog...though I will be silent on some. Again, I have a pretty good idea of who doesn't want to hear from me.

The saddest thing is those who leave so soon...because if there is a loss...well...I've sure felt like a shit re-subscribing just because I felt comfortable reading about someone's pain more than their happiness.

I'm sad because I think my feelings on jumping ship were assumed to be the same of the people who commented on that post, some of whom made some pretty nasty comments about 'jumping ship'. As I said then, and I repeat now, I completely understand it.

Will be standing by supporting you. Silently if you want.

Katie said...

I actually started reading and commenting on your blog, AFTER our IVF worked, because you left comments on mine. So I guess I broke the mold. I'm a big fan of if you read and support me, then I will reach out and support you. But you are right- sometimes our comments feel not right because we are no longer commiserating with some fellow bloggers, but simply cheering on- which sometimes can feel like it comes out hollow. Also, we know too well the hurt that comes with being reminded of what others but you have and don't want to contribute to that. So unfortunately, sometimes the blogger supports on the sidelines, quietly. It is hard to know what is best for each individual person and what they want and/or need.

And when all else fails- it is back to school time, and lots of infertiles are teachers and are super busy right now, including me. I try to keep up by reading when I can, but that usually doesn't leave a lot of time to comment. I'm guessing there are others in the same boat.

JB said...

I truly appreciate each one of you and your support (and others who either did in fact jump ship, or are still reading silently). Thanks for entertaining my high-maintenance moment there. I just kept reading this stuff on blog after blog last week and thought I needed to get it flushed out of my mental toilet.

And, Murgdan, your post this morning doesn't have a comment option (on purpose, I would presume under the circumstances) - so let me say it here with some outrage: People commented that you don't deserve to be pregnant because it happened on the second cycle? Holy fuck. I can completely understand sadness, jealousy, pain, anguish, envy, and lots of other reactions, but vitriolic would never cross my mind. So sorry people posted things like that. The one thing we all have in common as infertiles is the nagging suspicion that we weren't meant to have a child of our own - there's never a reason to play on that fear, ever.