#Microblog Mondays: Trending

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.                 *************

Many of you may have seen the latest “chain mail” thing sweeping across Facebook: the motherhood challenge. You are meant to post photos that make you happy to be a mother (something along those lines, I’ve seen a few various incarnations). When you participate you tag other people to keep it going. I figured it would reach me eventually and I wasn’t wrong. My sister in law tagged me today. I’m not sure how to respond/what to do. 

For one, I hate these types of things that sweep social media, generally they are annoying even if the messaging is meant to be uplifting. Secondly, I don’t share photos of baby girl on social media, it’s just something I’m not terribly comfortable with (though, don’t get me wrong sometimes it’s tempting because she’s so damn cute and I wanna be all “look how friggin’ cute she is!”). Lastly, the whole exclusion of those who are not mothers. If I was still in the trenches of IF, this little trend would really chap my ass. So my options are; ignore it, shut up and play along, or play along but add my own IF messaging to it. 

I feel uncomfortable just going with it, especially being that I’m supposed to tag others. But I am also tired and don’t necessarily feel like climbing up on my soapbox for something trivial (in the grand scheme) that most people will probably ignore anyways. So I’ll probably go with the avoidance route. Sometimes I feel like I’m still being overly sensitive; the pain has lessened, the wound is healing. But being infertile is like walking through a door and locking it behind you. No matter the outcome, you can’t go backwards. 

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22 thoughts on “#Microblog Mondays: Trending

  1. The facebook memes about how awesome motherhood is or games like the one you describe also still bother me. There’s this part of me that goes “if I wasn’t a mother, you’d exclude me”. I find it troubles me that something that was, in the end, such a roll of the dice and not guaranteed to work for me is something people see as so fundamental to my worth. If it hadn’t worked out to become a mother, it wouldn’t make me any less worthy. I don’t think it makes you overly sensitive at all to be troubled by such a ‘game’…

  2. The best thing about Facebook is that it doesn’t exist once you log off. Love that feature lol.
    But yeah…hopefully no one in my life is stupid enough to tag me because I will feel the need to stand up for the IFs quietly hurting…like I once was.

  3. Elizabeth

    Oh, I really relate to this post. I’m 27 weeks pregnant after a second try at IVF and while I haven’t made any FB announcements about my pregnancy- because of my hate of how I felt when I saw them while in the trenches- I still struggle with pregnancy and mom-uplifting posts. I want to be able to be a voice now- that’s different from the typical pregnancy/mom stuff, because I was too emotionally broken to be a voice before. But it just exhausts me to even think about it.

    • I hummed and hawed about doing a pregnancy announcement, and finally did around 30 weeks because I didn’t want to deny myself that. I tried to do it in the least cheesy/obnoxious way. I had hoped after I gave birth to my daughter that I would feel more comfortable and have strength to advocate for infertility, but it’s still hard. My birth announcement doubled as a “coming out” about my infertility but otherwise I still hold it pretty close to my chest.

      • Elizabeth

        I remember when you blogged about your announcement. I think I may do something similar. My job makes me very public in the community- so it feels particularly risky, but I know that when I have seen others post about their infertility struggles, I appreciate it… so here’s to taking risks- while still honoring the struggle.

  4. Personally, I usually try to champion the mothers who experienced infertility, and want you to be able to experience motherhood in full. If that includes memes talking about how grateful you are, then I will defend your right to do it.

    I also think that gratitude is important in our lives. But these movements often come across as mass gloating-disguised-as-gratitude. And so, as a woman who wasn’t able to become a mother, I thank you (and any others) who choose not to join these movements. I feel excluded enough, without constantly being surrounded by those who brag about it, even though I’m happy and comfortable with my life now, I’m reminded too that, as well as those going through infertility or living their lives without children, mothers and fathers who are going through tough times – perhaps with ill or special needs children, or those who might have just lost a child – find these things very hard.

    I find the mass movements to be very different from someone showing photos of their kids (or the kids in their lives), or talking about something funny or cute they did.

    I always look at things like this and wonder if the harm they do to women and men who are excluded outweighs the good.

    • I think that’s why they still rub me the wrong way, it’s more of a humble brag. As it is I don’t participate much in social media. I can be appreciative and thankful for what I have without Facebook 🙂 Plus I always think how would I have felt about it before I had my baby girl. And really, my feelings haven’t changed too much.

  5. I treat all of those things on Facebook like a fart. Pretend I was never tagged and ignore. Just as I don’t let PR people dictate what I write about on my blog despite the fact that they send me emails every day telling me to write about X, I don’t let friends dictate what I put up on Facebook or the like. They can do it if it works for them, and I will do it if it works for me (this meme, by the way, doesn’t work for me), and to each their own.

  6. I’ve got a 20m old son through IVF.

    This meme still bothered me – ‘residual infertility’ my husband calls it.

    I decided if I was tagged I’d raise awareness of infertility and post photos I took along the way of needles, drugs, stirrups etc (rather than baby photos). This would be me ‘coming out’ as an infertile on FB.

    But no one tagged me!

  7. Abby

    I just found your blog and treated it like a series on Netflix. I binge-read it, beginning to now. My husband and I have been actively trying for 15 months now. In November, my regular OBGYN (a few years ago I switched to him from a ‘family dr’ since I figured I’d be pregnant a few years down the road and didn’t want to have to switch again) tested me to make sure I was ovulating and did an HSG. I seem ‘normal’. Hubby however had a sperm count of 7M. That’s the extent of the testing they do, so they referred us to a specialist. We had that appt in Jan and were immediately thrown into all the testing they do. I had multiple bloodworks and an internal ultrasound. We just had our follow-up with the results this week. Hence my binge reading your blog after searching for one on IVF. I am so so glad I found yours.

    I’ve been an emotional wreck after finding out that this most likely won’t happen naturally for us-I guess I already knew that from trying, but it was hard to have confirmed. Hubby’s sperm count came back even lower, at 6 million this time. Motility was good, but morphology was way low. Luckily the Dr wants to pursue IVF with ICSI right off the bat (like you, I sort of feel IUI is a waste). I see so many similarities with us, our analytical natures, our husband’s more optimistic sides (and not totally understanding how hard the process is/will be for us), that your words really made me feel better. I was feeling really down about it, the chances of IVF working and all that (even though, since there’s no apparent ‘problem’ with me, I have no reason to think it won’t work). Especially reading through your story, I could feel you feeling the situational depression, and honestly, I was getting more discouraged reading it. But then when your first transplant was a success, I felt better about it as your own outlook got better and better. I guess just reading the whole story of it working out is more encouraging than the statistics, or reading someone’s story where there was no success. I guess that’s a lot of info from a stranger. I guess I just wanted to tell you (as I’m sure you’ve heard before) that your words matter to a stranger.

    Everyone’s experience is different obviously, but I appreciated your detail about what exactly goes on as well. I’m nervous about what to expect, but I feel like I have at least an idea now.

    I’m so so happy for your little family! Congratulations!

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