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Cradled

Posted Aug 17 2012 4:33am

It’s 2:34am. The cats sleep, tucked away in their hidden night places. My husband lightly snores upstairs, the window air conditioner hums its coolish tune as the condenser kicks over. It is quiet downstairs: no cicadas whining or cars rushing by – just stillness and the soft murmur of crickets in between my keystrokes.

I can’t sleep. It’s probably because of the Provera .

We had a lovely Japanese dinner with friends tonight. I bid farewell to sushi, my last delicate bites of tuna, salmon and eel until sometime in 2013, washed down with a bottle of Asahi, its wheaty, dry bite crisp and sparkling. Probably my last Asahi for a while, too.

After dinner, I watched some TV. I surfed the web, checked my email – the usual. A message appears in my inbox: “So and so has left a comment on your blog.” It’s one of hundreds – thousands – of emails I’ve received from my blogs over the years.

. . .

Jessica has a deeply thoughtful and introspective post right now asking the important question:

How do we know what is our story to tell?

For the past three years, four months and eighteen days, I’ve been telling pretty much the same story:

High school loves realize they’re soulmates. Date. Break it off before senior year of high school. Get back together first semester of college. Graduate. Move in. Get married. Make babies. Find out She’s got infertility before They ever got the chance to try. Wait. Consider anonymous donor egg. Wait. Consider adoption. Wait. Go back to donor egg and decide to move forward with a known donor.

And now suddenly, in just the the last six weeks, it feels like our story is running ahead of us and we’re gasping to keep up. This story that I’ve told over and over and over and over has changed little over the last 3+ years and with each retelling I pick up new followers, new readers.

More comments. More emails. More pings in my inbox.

For better or for worse, we’re embarking on our first (and hopefully last) round of infertility treatment in a far more public light than I imagined 1,248 days ago. I wrote about this recently, as I pondered the inevitability of a pregnancy announcement here in this space , an idea that seems just as foreign and strange to me now as it did on March 30, 2009.

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Image via Stockvault.net

I have realized, with shocking clarity over the last week, that it’s this very limelight that has cast a shadow on my words. I silence myself and my own creativity in fear of the very exposure I’ve brought on myself. I made the choice to go public, to share my name, my face and our story with the world – and quite literally, the world. Google Analytics tells me I’ve got readers in Canada, Israel, the UK – even Australia.

It is completely mind-blowing – and humbling, I mean, deeply, deeply humbling – to know that someone in Australia reads my blog and finds some measure of comfort or support in my words, in the story I’ve told so far.

To know they come back to read the rest of the story and its many new chapters I have yet and hope to tell soon.

But suddenly, as our cycle marches forward with a determined pace, I find my fingers hesitate over the keys. Half written posts litter my Drafts folder. I feel as though my days turn into nothing more than thoughts interrupted mid-sentence; I’ve become hesitant to write when it would seem that now, of ALL times, is the time to write the most.

. . .

My life has been irrevocably impacted by my blogging, for better or for worse, til death do we part. I make certain life choices for the sake of my writing. Everything I do is framed within the context of a writer’s lens: would this make a good story? Is this worth sharing? Is it shareable? Is this moment worthy of my words?

And then I spend almost a week without writing, stories swirling inside me that for whatever reason, I just never commit to paper or to screen. I find myself silenced recently, even though I have some of the most raw and emotional posts I *want* to write, but out of fear, rejection or just plain laziness – the words never come.

I hide them because I wonder: how will this effect the narrative, the story arc I’ve created on my blog?

This is just a very small snippet from the tome of a comment I left on Jessica’s blog. Something about her words has unlocked the door I closed over my own words these past few weeks.

. . .

I have so many things to write about, so many stories I need to share – so many things I just need to write and say, get off my chest, vent, celebrate and cherish, bitch and pray, speak and utter.

I’ve been reluctant to do so over the last few weeks, but I realized, as I checked my email tonight and again after reading Jessica’s post – this is as safe a space as any other to write about what I’m going through. To tell the raw, gritty, painful, confusing and frustrating points of my story. To highlight the joys. To soothe the sorrows. To say what needs to be said.

This place, these virtual walls so like my wedding chuppah: sheltering me and my husband and yet open on all sides for the community to see – my blog is safe because I have been cradled by this community.

Heart in Hands

I get a lot of emails: YouTube comments, Vimeo comments. Blog comments and replies. Twitter retweets and direct messages. Facebook comments. Facebook messages. Message board replies. And then there are the direct emails that come through my contact page .

At the AFOMO Conference back in April, a professional colleague and I were chatting afterward over drinks: “You have a lot of people rooting for you,” she said to me.

“You have no idea how many people are praying for you.”

Every time I shared my story, I cast that support net wider. So many of you comment and email to share your story and then share your support. I read every single one of them. I may not be able to reply to every one – but I’ve read and saved them in one form or another over these last 3+ years.

When the fear feels at though it would consume me, I reread the messages of support I’ve gotten over the years. I go through my blog comments. I dig through emails, your words of support woven tightly as though a security blanket of global interconnectedness. I read these more frequently because of my fears.

Because I am scared. I’m terrified. Of needles. Of mistakes. Of failures. Of not doing the best that I can. Of miscarriages, my body, of actually becoming a parent if we manage to pull of this feat of science and G-d.

And it’s fear that’s kept me from writing more here. But I’ve realized something very important, a sort of Catch-22. If I’m too afraid to write about what we’re going through, about what’s really whirling through my head at any given moment – if I’m too afraid to keep telling my story – then this vast virtual and international support net I’ve cast for myself grows weaker.

At a time when I need it now more than ever.

. . .

So I’ll tell my stories. No more long stretches of empty silence. They may be rambling and bordering on the incoherent, but at least I’ll have them to look back on as some record of this amazing and bewildering time in my life.

And thank you. Thank you to everyone who’s wished me good luck, sprinkled a little baby dust for me, mentioned my name in prayer or just thought a good thought for me over the last few years.

Right now, that collective support – this virtual cradle that spans the globe – carries me, sustains me, calms me and rocks me to sleep on these sleepless nights.

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