A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Friday, March 9, 2012

How Things Should End; or, Self-Definitions [edited]

Before Smudgie was born, I thought I knew how this story was going to end. I had that final post all planned out well into my third trimester: a picture of a baby, the title "Paradise," an offering of thanks to those who followed my story, the words "The End."

A little grandiose? Probably. But it felt fitting. This blog was the story of my journey to have a baby and I always thought it should end with that baby in my arms.

But when Smudgie was born that no longer felt right. Those who had followed me, cheering me on for years, deserved a little more of this special boy than that. And perhaps my understanding of what my story had always been changed: not the journey to this baby, which was special and complete. But the story of my experience with infertility and loss--which is most certainly not complete.

So I continue (somewhat haphazardly) to blog. While parenting. After infertility. (See where I'm going with this?)

But it's not truly "parenting after infertility." Our infertility doesn't feel over and done with but rather gloriously halted for a happy breath. And so this blog, too, as you may have noticed, is catching its breath, pausing for a space in the parenting bubble before getting back to the infertility plains, where hopes rise and crash, where expectations and dreams twist and change.

Or maybe it's not that at all. Maybe, strangely, I have simply discovered that while infertility was something I needed to process, to write about, parenting is something I simply want to live. I guess that's how I know I'm an infertility blogger-- the stories that engaged me, the posts I crafted in my head for days before typing them out, were always stories of loss, not triumph. Parenting is a rich, wonderful waterfall of mingled exhilaration and fear and discovery and tedium that certainly deserves its chroniclers. I just don't think I'm one of them.

[edited: I guess I got a little too poetic for my own good. This isn't goodbye, certainly not. Just an explanation of where I see myself in light of the recent ALI community brouhaha. And an explanation of why my blog is the way it is: quiet now, likely more talkative in the future.]


  1. We all enjoyed your writing, and wish you the best. If you are ever inspired to write about parenting, we will be interested in reading it, but you shouldn't do that if it doesn't feel right to you.

    There are so many ups and downs with parenting, but there is a lot of pressure to feel joyful every single moment as a parent, that it is hard to reconcile the reality of parenting with the idealized version. I never experienced infertility, but I would imagine that would put even more pressure on you to appreciate parenting. This might not be what you are experiencing, so please feel free to ignore my last two sentences and let me send good wishes to you, your husband and your baby. Best of luck to all of you in the future.

  2. Does that mean this is the end of PSPL? Sigh. We'll miss you! But it's nice to have you local. :) <3

  3. I feel similarly, Sloper. To quote a wise lady, I truly do feel like I'm in a different room of the same house. And I will also likely be getting back to the blogging more frequently when our breath pause is done.

    And I think that haphazard is completely okay.

  4. This makes sense to me. It does feel a bit like a stop at a water station in a long race. The eye of the hurricane where everything is quiet. Although it's ironic to think of the newborn/baby days as the calm ones... but I guess that's more thing that infertility gives us. :)

    I sometimes myself wanting to write just to keep my story going and one toe in this world. I don't know. I've recently activated a public family blog to keep my family back in the States in the loop about Sofi. but it's made blogging at No Baby Ruth even more difficult because I don't need to post things about Sofi there... still working things out, I suppose. But with the clock ticking ever closer to the end of this respite it's hard to think about turning away for good only to turn back again.

    I'm rambling, I know. Nothing is ever easy.

  5. I was afraid that you WERE saying goodbye. Thank goodness not. I feel completely out of the ALI loop-- I don't even know what brouhaha you're talking about. I'm just glad to have made and kept a few online friends from those dark days, and you all will always be very special to me for sharing that time-- and hopefully some of you will keep writing down the road... But honestly I don't think about if/loss much at all these days. Other than that it was a shitty, shitty, lost year of my life. Somewhere in my mind is lurking that #2 may be difficult/impossible to achieve. But that still seems pretty far off to me, since we're not ready to think about #2 yet (and I have more pressing things to deal with right now).

  6. AMEN to this: "Our infertility doesn't feel over and done with but rather gloriously halted for a happy breath." And YES to wanting to dwell in your parenting experience.

    I have always felt uncomfortable with that phrase, parenting after infertility. It just doesn't feel over to me yet, and perhaps won't until we make the pointed decision to stop trying to grow our family.

    Loved this post.

  7. Very eloquently put, however I did get a little concerned you were saying goodbye to us...glad you clarified that!

  8. I'm with you on why I write. I really struggle with my blog now that I am parenting. I don't write to document the triumphs, although it's sad that I don't. I always wrote to process my grief and hard times during IF and loss. I want to continue writing, but I don't have the same passion for it I once did. I'm sure when we get on the ttc#2 train that fire will be lit again.

    So glad you're not saying goodbye! Love your blog.