Sunday, June 01, 2008

My Double Lives...

I've been feeling the duplicity of my life rather strongly lately. For one, is the relative anonymity of this blog. I keep it relatively anonymous mostly because of Chowder's job. He has one of those jobs that can actually be affected by the opinions and rantings of his wife. He has never tried to hush me, nor would he (he respects my opinions and work too much), but that doesn't mean that what I write couldn't make things uncomfortable or even difficult for him. Plus, when he applies now and again to other positions, I don't want them to google his name or church and find this place. I really shouldn't be a future employer's first impression of my husband. Plus, I share some things here that I think would go beyond the healthy boundaries of what parishoners should know about my inner workings and those of my family. Every church has it's batch of "mean old ladies" that can use such information poisonously against Chowder and I. But, there is so much about the city and neighborhood that I live in that I want to share with you and show you.

But beyond that, my family and friends (other than a couple I have slipped to) don't know about this place. My mom was telling me last night about my cousin's blog and I was so close to revealing this one but thankfully thought the better of it. I have voiced concerns about relationships I have with family members that could be taken to closely. I would have to go back and edit a lot of what I have written. And then edit myself in the future. It is tempting to want to share some of the things about my family with them, but then I'd have to share everything. (Perhaps I need to start a family-friendly blog)

And for two, I have the fortunate position of being a part of two very wonderful but distinctly opposite (in many ways) online communities. One of them is an IVF community I have been a part of for almost 7 years. The parenting after IVF board is a place that I go to several times a day and I have know many of these women for years. I love them and respect them and they can make me think or laugh so hard that I consider them a very important part of my life. But, I have never told them about Sweeting. Many know from reading my blog, but many more don't know. And the reality is I don't know how to tell them. Infertility leaves deep deep scars that can easily be popped back open, even by news that someone you care about is pregnant again. Especially when it's baby number 6. Yes, I have my own battle scars, but I was extremely fortunate. I was able to have a baby. have 6 babies. There are many women I love and care about who never even had that opportunity, or who have been blessed with one child and want desperately to have another. I am fully aware of my luck. And yes, I think it's luck. This board is a community that is safe from the real world of scar opening pregnancy announcements. But, it's also a sad feeling to be keeping a secret.

The other online community I belong to is for families with 4 or more children. Again, I love this community because people can safely announce pregnancy number 6 or number 12 and not have to listen to all of the negative comments and judgments that usually come along with these joyous announcements. Here families are celebrated no matter what their size. But even there, there is a group of women who are struggling to conceive and find it difficult for woman after woman announcing their pregnancies while they seek medical intervention to conceive (yes, even baby #10). Sometimes the rest of the community cannot begin to understand (I know I didn't until I went through it), but they are so supportive and loving and sure sometimes inadvertently they say something that turns a knife but they try. And sometimes I have to try and explain why their sister-in-law with only one child might be responding to their pregnancy announcement with a certain amount of bitterness or why infertility treatments are only morally black and white when you don't have to face them yourself.

I don't know that there is an answer to these double lives, this blogging world is such a strange place to be. But, I am so thankful to the internets. It has opened my world to people and experiences from around the world. I have mothers in South Africa telling about the troubles they are having there with the bigotry. And mothers in Israel telling me about there troubles there. And mothers in Gaza. and mothers in Canada. and mothers in Ireland. and Australia. even mothers in the U.S. living totally different lives with totally different beliefs from my own etc. etc. What can I say, maybe there is just too much of me for any one place.

11 comments:

Lori said...

ktcakes....as one of your friends on IVFC, i really believe everyone there will truly be happy for you and sweeting. i have been checking in here and crossing everything for you and your little miracle to be ok. i worry when too many days/weeks go by and you don't post an update. there are probably many of us from IVFC that read your blog and already know and are anxiously awaiting the announcement over there. but you have to do what you feel comfortable with and when you feel ready to share, you will. (that is, if the boards come back - can you even access them? i haven't been able to for 2 days!!! yikes!)

ok, where was i....i just wanted to let you know that i respect you for voicing your opinions and taking the time to post such deeply thought out and personal posts. i admire you.

blue

Cakes said...

hey blue~
thanks for your kind words. No I have not been able to get on either! Maybe we needed a cooling off period. LOL!

Erika said...

As another IVFC parenting member (we post in some of the same threads, I guess that makes us "thread acquaintances"), I would have to say I would be really surprised if your news got anything but a positive, loving reaction over there. (And you know that any negative energy there would not be personal, and would have nothing to do with YOU, and everything to do with whatever someone else may be going through at the time.)

But I'm already poised to jump up and lead the standing ovation when you are ready to sing your news over there. I can hardly keep up with my one and only delightful 18 month old - I am so fascinated by and in awe of you and your family. I wish you could bottle up some of your extra energy and selflessness and send it over here. I could really use it.

Erika/Twelves

PS - there was a fire at a major internet data center - my own site/email is down and I'm guessing IVFC is hosted there, as well. May be another day or two before things are back online!

JLP said...

Haha... some days I really wish I had kept my blog a secret from our friends and family! Maybe I need to start up a super-stealth secret one just for venting about them.

As for the miracle of Sweeting, the very fact that you are writing this speaks volumes about your capacity for empathy. And I get it. Even though I am not in that place any longer, I have been there, and I would never begrudge someone their right to feel that way. I still remember hearing of my SIL's pregnancy with #6 when we were in the midst of our infertility battle. I don't blame you for wanting to handle it in the most careful way possible. If only every situation in life were handled with such thought and consideration!

I have a neighbor who has had several failed cycles, and when we first bonded over the whole IVF thing, it felt like I could really relate to her, and I was glad I could provide a shoulder for her to lean on. But with each failed cycle, I felt less and less like I could understand what she was going through, and at times I feel very guilty for having succeded... I worry that my kids are constant reminders to her that it worked for me but not for her. Sometimes I just don't know what to say to her, and all I can come up with is "I'm sorry, it sucks, I know it and I wish it could be different." And give her lots of hugs and the opportunity to shed some tears.

However, I do think the great majority over there will be truly happy for you. And that is because you are a wonderful person and a fantastic mother.

(PS... sorry if I kept harping on you announcing it over there!)

Jennifer

JLP said...

Haha... some days I really wish I had kept my blog a secret from our friends and family! Maybe I need to start up a super-stealth secret one just for venting about them.

As for the miracle of Sweeting, the very fact that you are writing this speaks volumes about your capacity for empathy. And I get it. Even though I am not in that place any longer, I have been there, and I would never begrudge someone their right to feel that way. I still remember hearing of my SIL's pregnancy with #6 when we were in the midst of our infertility battle. I don't blame you for wanting to handle it in the most careful way possible. If only every situation in life were handled with such thought and consideration!

I have a neighbor who has had several failed cycles, and when we first bonded over the whole IVF thing, it felt like I could really relate to her, and I was glad I could provide a shoulder for her to lean on. But with each failed cycle, I felt less and less like I could understand what she was going through, and at times I feel very guilty for having succeded... I worry that my kids are constant reminders to her that it worked for me but not for her. Sometimes I just don't know what to say to her, and all I can come up with is "I'm sorry, it sucks, I know it and I wish it could be different." And give her lots of hugs and the opportunity to shed some tears.

However, I do think the great majority over there will be truly happy for you. And that is because you are a wonderful person and a fantastic mother.

(PS... sorry if I kept harping on you announcing it over there!)

Jennifer

Me, myself and I!!! said...

I have to agree with you about the secret lives of bloggers!! I have two blogs, one is about family life and the goings on then I have one that I haven't told anyone really about it, it is out there for anyone to read should they stumble across it and that one deals with my feelings and really mine alone about infertility, babyloss, my relationship with J, etc etc, it is one that I would like my friends to read but NOT my family or J's family because some of it might hurt them and some of it is NOT there business. So I understand where you are coming from and yes a "family friendly" blog is the way to go!!!
Take care,

Cakes said...

ok.
I'll talk about it on the boards when they get back up. I promise.

And...I think I'll put together that family friendly blog. Does anyone know if I can just transfer archives from one blogger blog to another? I'll have to check that out.

emilyp said...

Cakes -

Came here because I didn't have a chance to answer your PM before IVFC crashed. As PP's have said, I think the vast majority of people at IVFC would love to rejoice in your happiness. And I know you would be sensitive enough to indicate in the title of your post that pg will be discussed. You deserve the right to celebrate with your friends/family there...just as others deserve the right to skip that thread.

Hope to see you back there when it comes back up...

Emily

shaz said...

hey cakes! hope all is well - just stopping by to say hi, i am not really being social these days, sorry. hope the little ones are well.

Rae said...

Interesting post b/c i'm in the same boat with the identity. My real close friends know, and read, my blog but none of my family does. I'm eluded to the 'ill blog about that' and knowones asked to see it. I'd have to go back tho and do some editing too and i'm just not ready to do that.
Besides there are times I need to vent about my sister or friends, etc
I didn't know you were on IVFC, I am too. I'm shocked to see some haven't had access to them. I'll have to check it out. I don't visit there as often these days b/c i'm not actively pursuing IVF or even any more kids.
I enjoy reading your blog and pretty sure I found it via tess? would that be right?
Have a good day and your kids are ADORABLE! That blond hair i just love!

Jenny said...

Hi. Mmmmm... interesting thoughts. I know that I have to be careful about what I say because of my hasband's position too.
Most of my friends, and some who aren't friends, read my blog. I am really tempted at times to say something controversial and see if there is any backlash ... that is the rebel in me.