Thursday, January 26, 2006

Borrowed words, borrowed feelings?

The other day, an acquaintance of mine said "blogging is just another hype, what could be more boring than reading someone else's diary".
He's both right and wrong.

This blog is boring*. My scribbling doesn't qualify as literature, not by a long shot. If you're looking for a good read, a page-turner, insightfull essays, then move right on along, nothing to be seen here. There are other IF blogs that qualify, for sure. Or visit Project Gutenberg.

My blog is therapy. A hybrid between self-help and group therapy.
There is nothing new under the sun to be found here. Thousands of women have gone before me and, sadly, thousands more will probably follow.

In fact, my experience with IF, my emotions, my symptoms, my treatments, are so standard that I'm part of a niche market. And clever marketeers are on to it. Those fertility monitoring microscopes look suspiciously like repackaged kid's chem set microscopes to me.

And don't get me started on the crappy books they churn out.
Good IF books are few and far between. I'm highly sceptical of the
"Miracle Diet to Get Pregnant For Sure" type books. Yeah right.
They can do better than that, how about "Fertility Aromatherapy"? "Homeopathic IF remedies"? "DIY Acupuncture for Hands On Fertility Control" ?

I got a second hand book on IF from a friend who is now 5 months PG after IVF#3. It has medical info - with pictures - the obligatory testimonials, and as a special bonus input from psychologists.

This particular book rubs me the wrong way. Things start to go wrong in the foreword.
This book is not a plea for fertility centers and the treatments they provide. To us it is clear, a smart gal starts her family on time. ...
... This book is a guide for women that - even if they started on time - experience trouble in starting a family.
That one is below the belt. I'll be sure to tell my single girlfriends this gem.

During an HSG exam, an X-ray is taken while contrast fluid is injected into the uterus. ... The exam is done without sedation. Many women do not feel much discomfort, while some suffer cramps similar in nature to menstruation cramping.

Is that sugarcoating I sense? What about the women that suffer agonising pain? Hm? Not worth mentionning?

Irene and Jack have been TTC for a year now. Irene is disappointed that she's not PG yet.

And? Disappointed is a bit tame.

Both are worried it might be their fault.

No. Really. You think? (Rolling of eyes)

What about depression, anger, bitterness, apathy, and all those other lovely emotions that come with IF? Disappointed. Hah.

When it comes to dealing with the emotional baggage that comes with IF, nothing comes close to the blogosphere. It's all there: satire, comedy, tragedy, parody, documentary, mockumentary, sappy story with happy ending, ...

If I had stuck to IF books as my sole source of information, I would still be feeling as depressed today as I was 6 months ago. And today, allthough nothing much has happened on the IF front, I'm feeling a lot better. Not lucky-go-free, but ok. And I attribute this improvement all to you.

Starting this blog has given me the space I need to let it all out. Good, bad and ugly. But it would never have worked without some vocabulary lessons.
The u/s probe? Dild*cam!
The u/s technician? Wand monkey! Snatch, cooter, twat, ...
Who can help but smile at those words? Ok, grimace at least. No, really?

So thanks for letting me borrow your words, I needed them. The feelings are all my own, if they were borrowed, I'd have returned them by now. ;-)

* I'm not fishing for compliments here. I'm not thinking of quitting either.


At 26 January, 2006 23:57, Anonymous Manuela said...

You damn well better NOT quit! I just found you!

And... yah... exactly what YOU said!

At 27 January, 2006 02:53, Anonymous Lori said...

Oh, g'd those books make me crazy. I love that "let it all hang out" element of IF blogs. Definitely no sugar coating here!
And the word cooter always makes me smile. It's just so fun to say.

At 27 January, 2006 08:56, Blogger Mony said...

So true.
The blogspere has been an absolute godsend to me too. For 2 years I read blogs & learnt so much but it was only when I started my own "Fad" blog that I felt truly rewarded. I adore my sense of belonging here. This community is the best part of infertility. And as corny as it sounds, I have made real friends. No, I'll never meet you face to face, but who cares? It's the common thread that binds us so tightly & I love you all!!

At 27 January, 2006 18:34, Blogger Just another Jenny said...

Being part of a community of people that cares is not boring. We all need eacher and these blogs to communicate. I like cooter too - it has become part of my vocabulary.

At 27 January, 2006 18:49, Anonymous Kath said...

Those books SUCK. How depressing it is to pick up a book, hoping for guidance and help, and instead to be insulted by it on more than one level. Blogs like yours fill a real need -- to know that others understand, and can often offer real help and emotional sustenance.

Speaking of cooter, you should hear my husband say the word. He learned it yesterday, and when he said it with his cute accent I simply lost it. There are so many great moments that IF blogs have provided. Wouldn't miss them for the world.

Blog on, girl!

At 27 January, 2006 18:55, Blogger Ornery said...

I don't care if you're fishing for compliments or not: you are an amazing writer, so you sure as hell better not quit!

Everything you said rings so true to me. Reading IF blogs saved my sanity, and starting a blog makes me feel like I'm part of a community that finally gets me. I'm happy to hear that you feel the same.

At 27 January, 2006 22:56, Blogger Mellie said...

It's the "Dick and Jane" sense of those books that irritates so. And your friend obviously has not read the inspired blogs we do. I can see how reading a blog of someone you don't have anything in common with would be dull, but here in the if blogosphere, I haven't found a boring blogger yet.

At 28 January, 2006 02:47, Blogger fisher queen said...

Everything you said. I would be LOST without the Blogosphere.

IF books are condescending as a rule, but whoever wrote that one should be shot.

At 28 January, 2006 17:09, Anonymous Alexa said...

Well said. I, too, have made real friends through blogs. And I can think of few things *less* boring than reading the witty, heartbreaking, and familiar accounts of the lives of other women.
I was astounded by the excerpt from that book--WTF? I agree with fisher queen that the author should be shot.

At 28 January, 2006 17:49, Blogger Fertility Faux Pas said...

You hit the nail on the head with this post. If someone told me that going outside and grazing on grass everyday for a month would guarantee me a pregnancy, I'd be out there chomping away. Those marketers know we'd do ANYTHING to get pregnant, and they certainly take advantage of that with their crappy books. Thank god for the blogosphere!

At 28 January, 2006 20:08, Blogger Winnifred said...

You hit the nail right on!!

I think a lot of it comes down to personality as well. I want to be told things - straight up. DO NOT sugar coat things for me. When I was just starting on this journey - I saw reviews for a book (that i no longer recall) anyways - and people were complaining that the author was too direct... that it was too hard to handle on this journey... and i couldn't help but think - no, that's what I personally WANT. IF YOU want sugar plums, go find them... but I want to read books that tell you like it is.

I also like reading that the outcome was pregnancy/baby and so many get really upset at that part... and I can't help but think "but that's my goal... if i'm going to read ONLY about people who struggle and NEVER achieve pregnancy - then it's not really worth reading, for me?"

Anyways - I do believe boring blogs that have no content is a fade...... but not well written blogs on a subject, such as infertility. I too have benefited a great deal from these blogs... and especially for me RIGHT NOW - as i'm in an IVF cycle I love reading about those who are just 2 steps ahead of me... it's kind of handholding - because they've been there, done that - and they can share. NOBODY i know in real life can do that for me.

wow - i babble a lot on a saturday afternoon! ha!HA!

At 29 January, 2006 02:46, Blogger Vacant Uterus said...

Burn. That. Book. Now.

"Mild discomfort?" I like to call thier "mild discomfort" "belly full of broken glass that is also on fire."

"The smart gal starts her family early?" Don't even get me started on that one.

And as for the quality of your writing...who cares? No one in Blogland is judging you. Can you imagine the stress all of us would be under if we had to write up to the par of some literary critic? To heck with that! We like you for you and your writing is just fine by me.

At 29 January, 2006 04:16, Blogger Ladybug Ann said...

You are definitely not boring. I read IF blogs because it makes me feel not so alone. Sometimes, the IF blogs just take the words out of my mouth.

Thanks for dropping a comment on my blog. Definitely talk to your doctor about IUI,especially if you notice the lack of CM. I dried up, thanks to Auntie Clo. The alternative is to skip Clomid/IUI and jump to injectables/IUI. It's weird that you mentioned IVF, I feel like that is in my future too.

At 29 January, 2006 19:22, Anonymous thalia said...

I gave up on infertility books before I was actually clearly infertile. They all rubbed me up the wrong way and they certainly didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. Stick with us, dear, and hopefully we'll all get through it together.

At 29 January, 2006 23:47, Blogger Beth said...

Blog on woman!

I get a special joy out of saying cooter. Maybe I will say it to my RE next time I see her? Great post and so true.

At 30 January, 2006 21:38, Blogger Bronwyn said...

I find your blog very entertaining, so I hope you keep on trucking! At any rate, just think of all the $$$ you're saving in therapy bills...

At 31 January, 2006 01:29, Blogger projgen said...

I never would have made it through my first u/s if I hadn't previously heard the term "dildocam" - I nearly giggled myself off the table when I finally actually saw the darn thing!

At 31 January, 2006 09:37, Anonymous seepi said...

What annoys me about the books is the pampering and personal attention they assume everyone gets. They constantly refer to meetings and phone calls with your caring doctor, assessing each cycle with the doctor, deciding together what to do next, etc etc.
there is never any mention of turning up each morning, waiting with other harassed women for a blood test where you are totally treated like a number. And never seeing or hearing from the doctor unless things go really awry.

At 31 January, 2006 23:11, Anonymous patricia said...

Nothing depressed me more than infertility books. They seem geared to the mentally challenged couples who had tried to conceive for two months and couldn't believe it hadn't happened yet. Blogging was by far and away the most therapeutic thing for me.

And the pc gone nutty thing you mentioned? I totally agree. I think by pushing it too far you communicate that being adopted is something to be ashamed of. I will always contend that mentioning in passing that someone is adopted is fine. It might help explain who they are. But when it is used as a defining characteristic I find it offensive.

At 31 January, 2006 23:57, Blogger Sparkle said...

I'm still amazed that so few of my friends are aware of blogging and why people do it (perfect lives?). For this issue, it's the best source of information and shared experience. I find even with the people I can talk to, I have to censor myself.
Blog on!


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