Saturday, July 02, 2005

Why I blog

I've been keeping a journal on and off since I hit puberty. I still have every journal I've ever kept. Those early teenage angst-filled volumes are safely squirelled away in my time capsule box, I'm sure for someone to have a right old laugh over when I'm dead and gone.

I made the mistake once of writing stuff that I didnt want ANYONE to read. My mother being the person that she is (and, at the time, the menopausal witch that she was) took it upon herself to read said journal entries. Learnt my lesson the hard way. Do not write stuff down that you do not want anyone to read. Ever. Even if you think that no-one will ever find it, or your partner would never read your journal, eventually they will.

That is what makes this blogging thing really weird. After the miscarraige I started keeping a regular journal. Still am. But the stuff that I was writing in that now gets published for anyone to read. And this leads me to a new dilemma. How much do I share with the world, and how much do I keep hidden? Do I censor myself in order to maintain a level of privacy, or to protect the guilty? Should I worry whether my friends will be offended by things I write? Should I worry that my doctor and my therapist know I have a blog? (Hi girls!)

The point of publishing my experience, thoughts, fears and fundamental failings as a human being is done both as personal therapy and as some sort of help to others. Not that I think that I am some shining light and that I above all others will be able to help anyone who is also going through this, but I think that it is the intimate personal stories that are the most interesting, and the most deserving of being told.

As I am forever yelling at the teevee, the personal is the political. The personal heartaches of thousands of couples going through infertility is an extremely important topic to shine the spotlight on. I want to draw attention not to me (although, you know, its nice to have some attention) but to the issue of infertility. I thought that there werent really any taboos left in our society anymore. Even paedophilia gets a nightly mention on the news. In the last 12 months, though, I have discovered how wrong I was. I've discovered that infertility is possibly the last taboo.

No-one wants to talk about it, no-one wants to acknowledge the pain that it causes, no-one wants to acknowledge that perhaps the feminist movement of the 1970's has been partially responsible for the heartache of the thousands of women now discovering that they cant have it all. Society wants to blame us and hold our infertility up as our own fault for selfishly choosing a career over children. No-one wants to accept that this is not a problem arising from selfishness anymore than cancer is a problem arising from selfishness.

I did not choose my infertility. I did not choose a career over children. I did not choose my endometriosis. I did not choose polycystic ovaries. I did not choose to have a miscarriage. I never wanted children until I met the man I instantly knew I was going to marry. It was my bad luck that I was already in my mid-thirties when he came along. None of us going through this choose the various medical problems we have.

Yet time and time again we are made to feel as though we are selfish, impatient, asking too much, and have brought this on ourselves. We were selfish for not having kids as soon as we left school and we are selfish now because we want them.

This is why I blog. I refuse to be silent. I refuse to let other people feel comfortable about infertility. I refuse to be labeled a selfish career woman (I never had a career and couldnt care less about having one). I refuse to have this intensely powerful desire to have a child be minimised. I refuse to have my grief at being unable to have said child trivialised.

This is my story. I will not censor it to make others comfortable. I will tell it like it is. I hope those of you who have not experienced infertility directly are uncomfortable.

I hope you are so uncomfortable that you change your position.


  1. Gutsy post. Your right even my closest friends make annoying comments all the time. Yesterday it was the usual, getting pregnant after adoption, giving up ivf and letting go of everything ( some how we would magically get pregnant). Two of my friends who were pregnant then began to complain about how they were over being pregnant etc. I would have been about 6 months if I hadn't miscarried and would have cut off my right arm to be in their shoes. This is a late comment as I'm catching up on your blog.


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