Friday, January 14, 2005

why ask why

Right now, this blog is private; the only people who can access it are me and Ezra (my husband, not his real name). One day it will go public, either because I'm pregnant and we want to share our experience with friends and family (the preferred scenario), or because I'm not and having a blog seems to be a membership requirement for the Infertility Club. Whatever the case, the point is that right now the only person who reads this (and who could theoretically comment or post) is my husband...and it's not like I don't talk to him every day or something. Since at the moment I am neither pregnant nor diagnosed as "infertile," there is no audience for the blog and therefore seemingly no reason to write it. Furthermore, for reasons of privacy, some entries may be censored if/when we go public. So why bother writing at all?

First - accuracy in reporting. Most of the IF blogs I've come across start in the middle of the story. Hi, I'm Susie, and I'm infertile. Sometimes the bloggers don't know the reason for their infertility when they start blogging, so readers can discover it along with them. Other times there is a full medical history, complete with diagnoses and years of fertility treatments, and we are just there to follow the ups and downs of trying to get (and stay) pregnant. I'm not saying that the journey is any less captivating, fascinating, and heartbreaking (and/or heartwarming) when you join up midstream...but you have to take your guide's word for it that the first part of the hike started with an easy road and softly rolling hills, and this big boulder we're trying to climb over just came out of nowhere.

My point is that if I end up going down that road, and I want to bring a tour group with me, I'd like them to have an accurate account of the first steps. The anticipation, the fresh optimism, the easily renewed hope that by then will have withered into a brittle, bitter sense of determination. So, tour group, if you ever come to be...welcome. I apologize in advance for stupid things I may say in the coming weeks and months, but I value honesty above all else, and this will be nothing if not honest.

Second - preserving the historical record (for appeal). I'm charting using Ovusoft, but I want a second repository for recording physical symptoms as well as emotions. I also want to be able to look back on fertility- and pregnancy-related events (positive and negative) and read my own accounts of them, the way I would tell another person at the time, even if this thing never goes public. We are all story-tellers, and our stories change over time. It's that honesty thing again...I don't want to be a revisionist historian; I don't want to retrospectively deny my emotions just so I can tell myself or someone else, "It's OK, I wasn't that excited," or "Don't worry, it didn't hurt so much." Sometimes it's important to remember the joy and the pain.

Third - preserving the historical record (for posterity). On the other hand, if my doom and gloom predictions are all for naught (or even if we do have problems, since I do plan on having children eventually, one way or another), I hope that one day our children will want to read all this, from the start, and thereby learn something about their parents that they could never learn through retrospective telling. In the meantime, there may (will?) come a day when we reveal this record to our families, and I want them to share in it from the start as well.

Fourth (and final) - emotional outlet. I generally have no secrets, but some things are harder to talk about than others. I've been a writer for as long as I can remember...just not always as consistently as I like. Hopefully knowing that this blog is here will encourage me to write regularly and honestly about the journey, and perhaps open myself up just a bit more to the people who want to see inside.