To be a boulder in the river: worn smooth by the current flowing around it – steady, unmoving, solid footing over the hurried stream. Someday – many, many years from now – the waters will etch away this boulder into a memory, the river rushing onward, carving its path across the landscape, uninterrupted and sure.
I hate weeding, but it’s one of those things you have to do.
In order to make room for new growth, in order for plants you have to flourish, you must weed. One of the things I’ve learned, as I’ve gone through plucking and cutting weeds from our yard this summer, is that weeds aren’t necessarily ugly. In fact, one of my favorite flowers last year was the gloriously aubergine morning glories creeping along our fence. But by the end of last summer, it had killed a full branch of our lilac tree and all but destroyed our peony bush. Beautiful as it may be, the morning glory (bindweed, I learned later) had to go.
When I started blogging over three years ago, I clung to the words of fellow bloggers experiencing infertility. Mel had introduced me to an already overwhelming collection of ALI bloggers. Since then, her blogroll has exploded . In my own Google Reader, I needed to weed.
It’s not that I didn’t think there wasn’t value to all these blogs, but my Reader had become overgrown – or, rather, I had been outgrown by so many blogs I followed.
Like the stone in the river, the current moved on around me.
. . .
As I clicked through each blog (and there are many), I saw that some blogs had stopped entirely, a few with some kind of closure – many with no sense of finality. Their last words hang there, in the stride of life but frozen, as though someone just plucked the blogger right from her keyboard and into… who knows where. And some blogs, with what faint traces they had left, had vanished simply into the internet ether: blogs deleted, disabled, removed – gone.
(I’ve moved several of these into a list I’ve dubbed “Blogger APB/Defunct” and I’ll actually post more about them Thursday.)
But the bulk of the blogs I encountered had gone on to parent. I was greeted with chubby little cheeks and smiling faces. Happy announcements of milestone moments and laments about the reality of new parenthood – sleepless nights, fussy babies, bottle vs. breast and so on. All of those things about which I long to write, to experience for myself.
And one by one, I carefully moved them from my “Infertility” list to my “Parenting” list, the former shrinking with each minute that passed. After an hour and a half of pruning, all but a handful of the bloggers I started following three years ago are either pregnant or have gone on to parent.
Know that I still care about those blogs, those bloggers and their journeys – but I just might not be checking in on them as much as I used to anymore.
My “Infertility” list might as well just be a dusty road of tumbleweeds right now.
. . .
There’s a quietness in the blogosphere right now. I’m certainly guilty of that myself.
A lot of folks are gearing up for BlogHer in a few weeks. Sadly, I am not one of them – I couldn’t get my shit together for a variety of reasons so now it looks like I’m missing out. Folks are on vacations, preoccupied with the splendor of the season. I get it. The summer has always brought a sense of barrenness even in the ALI blogosphere.
I’m not the only one who’s noticed how quiet the blogosphere in general, ALI or otherwise, this time of year. The SITS Girls even asked on Twitter today if folks slowed down their blogging in the summer; many replied that yes, they don’t blog as much. Probably in many of your own RSS Readers, you may have noticed fewer words during these long days.
I long for company in these quiet months. To read other ALI bloggers of those who are cycling now or soon will be. Who are dreading the needles, pouring over egg donor contracts and filled with anxious hope for their upcoming cycle to work.
It’s like when you get married, you kind of forget how to go on a date. How to work a crowd to land a phone number (and, if my being out of the dating pool for 15 years is any indication, I have no idea if this is what people do to actually land said date). I’ve been so married to the words of my own journey that I feel like I’ve forgotten what it was like to be newly diagnosed and wide-eyed – how to connect with other similar bloggers.
Part of it was that I curated this list of infertility blogs with a high standard – for whatever reason, those blogs clicked with me. Now, I feel like I’m starting all over from scratch, but I have less patience and more world-weariness to find just the right blogs for me to follow.
I never bothered with finding a cycle buddy because for three years – I never cycled.
And now my blogs have moved on without me, while I’m left waiting – a stone in the river of family building.
. . .
My toes sink into the sand with each step, as cold white sea foam coats the tops of my feet. I step carefully, the breakers smashing against my shins. The undertow is strong as my legs are nearly pulled out from under me as the current draws away from the shore. Tide’s coming in and I wade out carefully.
I stay in the water for hours in that sweet spot between the waves: I float, the water nearly up to my ears but my feet still able to touch sandy bottom. Finally, I see Larry waving for me. I’ve gone much farther out than I realized – my toes reach for bottom and barely scrape the sand. I turn around, fighting hard against the current, trudging back to shore as the breakers pull at my calves and ankles.
For the rest of our beach day, I merely stand hip deep just past the breakers, wading carefully now in the hungry ocean.
. . .
I am so close I can nearly taste it.
I’m so close to beginning treatment, to parenting – to resolving. It’s right there on the horizon. Like the ocean tide, I can feel myself being pulled toward resolution.
And at the same time, I feel like I’m wading/waiting with cautious hope in these uncertain waters.
Of knowing that when all goes well, one of you will move me from your “Infertility” list to your “Pregnant/Parenting” list in your Reader.
. . .
To be an infertility blogger is to join a transient community, a revolving door of heartache, resolution and moving on.
. . .
Some of us are the stones in the river.
Some of us are the water.
Some of us are wading, testing the waters of life paths for which we did not plan.
. . .
I’m looking for new blogs, especially of folks who are cycling now or planning to cycle in the next couple of months. Got one? Link up. I’m all ears right now.