Well. That was quite a kerfuffle. I’d not anticipated the level of hurt feelings that were expressed about the start of PAIL. I hate that Mel was hurt by it, because she’s obviously been a champion of building an active, supportive community for ALI (adoption, loss, infertility). I’d never want to have to remove myself from the blogroll to beat all blogrolls, but frankly, I have not requested to be moved from the Loss Room to the Pregnancy and Parenting room. I can imagine that perhaps (and I don’t pretend to know) that for a woman whose primary challenge was getting pregnant (or finalizing an adoption or whatever path one takes), that might be a huge celebration, to move from one of the “before” rooms to the “after” room – but again, that probably varies from person to person. For me…it would feel presumptuous to do it now, as if I’m taking a live, healthy birth for granted. I’m starting to believe it might really happen, but I’m still having moments of disbelief as well.
It has occurred to me that people clicking through the blogs in the Loss room might come upon mine and feel that sting I’ve felt so many times when exploring new blogs, realizing that I’m now writing more about an ongoing pregnancy than any of my losses. I don’t want to purposefully inflict that on anyone, but again…a quick look at Sitemeter or StatCounter shows that it’s less likely – more people are already finding me via PAIL than via Sorted and Filed. I hope that PAIL will be what Elphie wants for it to be – an active community. I’ve found some of that in the RPL subset of ALI since my last miscarriage, and it’s been absolutely priceless. I must thank Misfit Mrs. for adding me to her list of fellow misfits – and even more for the private email she sent me with advice on what to expect when I posted about my impending D&C in December 2010. Those individual acts of outreach mean a helluva lot – and I haven’t gotten that sense of community via the main ALI, so I didn’t hesitate to join PAIL when I found it. I don’t think it’s meant to be exclusionary, it’s just that it’s the nature of the nasty beast we all battle. When you’re infertile you’re excluded from the fertile. When you’re an RPLer who can conceive naturally, you’re sort of even excluded from the mainstream infertile (no IVF, no IUI…a Clomid cycle like mine, for instance, is considered child’s play, basically). And I’m assuming that the adoption route has its own set of exclusionary feelings – all that waiting, the feeling of being made to prove you’re fit to parent rather than just proving that your biology is competent…it’s a whole ‘nother thing, I’m sure. Each room has subsets, and each is deserving of a support network that’s actually supportive. If a separate blogroll is what it takes to make that truly functional, I say so be it. But I really do not mean to say it in a snotty tone that disparages Mel’s work, not at all. I can absolutely understand her frustration, but for me and my situation, it’s not right to decline an opportunity to further connect with people who might actually reach back. I feel fairly confident in speaking for everyone who’s reached or is reaching “the other side” – we want all of you to join us. This isn’t meant to rub anyone’s face in anything or to be Sneetch-y.
With all that said, the group activity so far is to have a monthly theme post-gathering. First topic being breastfeeding. What do I think about it? Besides the fact I’m totally not there yet and I still can’t really picture myself actually doing it, I’m for it. And then I have to laugh because I have so many what-ifs and tangents to explore on the topic. I want to do it. I haven’t done much to prepare other than reading online and putting some supplies on my registries and confirming that the hospitals (yeah, that’s plural. Still TBD which one I’ll end up going to) will rent me a pump. I plan to take a class, once I figure out which hospital I’ll be dealing with, and I plan to not hesitate to ask for help. But I also plan to keep a can of formula (or at least the samples that already came in the mail, gah) in the house and if I need to use it, to try not to beat myself up about it. Not saying I won’t be upset if it comes to that, but I don’t want it to have to mean that I FAIL AT ALL THE THINGS. Bottom line, feeding the baby is important, clearly. Method, less so. Frankly, it would be a huge bonus for us to not have the expense of formula, but I have to be realistic – my past PCOS indicators could mean that it won’t be easy or perhaps even possible to establish a good supply. If that ends up being the case, I have to remain convinced that it won’t be my fault. I will give it my best – Mother’s Milk tea and fenugreek and whatever else I can come up with, I will try. But if it doesn’t work out, it won’t be the end of the world.
The other piece I wanted to touch on is the judgment factor – it grosses me out that it grosses you out. Really. Two of my best friends clearly have opinions or at least feelings about it, and negative ones. Which, fine, whatever, but also…the fuck? In one instance I don’t really feel judged about my intended choice, it was just posed as a “do you plan to” question and nothing else was really said about it. It wasn’t right for her and her kids, and that’s totally fine. Not to say I get it, but that doesn’t matter – her kids, her choices. The other…does make me feel sort of weirdly judged, though I’m not sure why. (Hi, sorry, yes, this is about you.) I guess it’s just not exactly affirming to be shuddered at when you mention the concept. Seriously. She shudders at the thought. If I ever get a surplus going I’m going to try to squirt her, just for spite.
Again, in the end, it doesn’t matter what people think. I think I will have the support (my mom, Mike, most moms I know in “real life”) I’ll need to give it my best effort. Like everything else in this rodeo – fingers crossed!