Treasure Trove of Truth: Blogging Infertility
Nine years ago tonight the blog Coming2Terms arrived on the scene. It started with a hesitant point and click … PUBLISH.
The blogosphere in 2007 was still relatively new and more than a bit wild and disordered. It seemed the perfect place to explore taboo topics. Discussion about infertility and failed fertility treatment was, indeed, not discussed in polite society.
It’s not altogether different today, but then most reproductive subjects are hard to broach. Complicating matters further in the aughts: who can forget the cultural smothering emanating from the ‘mommy movement?’ Fearful about being discovered and shunned, I wrote under the alias, Pamela Jeanne.
Ahead of today’s milestone, I reread quite a few of the 276 Coming2Terms posts and 5,024 comments. Revisiting those angst-y sometimes cantankerous posts filled me with a mix of discomfort and gratitude. Discomfort due to the rawness of some post content and gratitude for the generous understanding and compassion.
The first post, Just The Beginning, was tentative, searching and hopeful.
As more posts poured forth readers arrived with new insights on the bio-psycho-social front. Extraordinary sharing resulted.
Together we’ve re-framed stereotypes about women without children and established a new body of knowledge. We have confronted sacred cows. We have explored thorny societal biases. We have elevated bioethics concerns. We have raised important questions about the safety and health implications of artificial reproductive technologies. We have built a platform for valuable dialogue that reaches around the world.
On Coming2Terms alone there have been 92,920 readers from 179 countries and 315,768 page views to date.
Truth from the Front Lines
The online conversations here and across my blogroll reveal not only where we’ve been but how much we’ve achieved. We’ve set a new truth benchmark in an era marked by fertility medicine misunderstandings and misinformation.
The healing first began in early 2007 with posts and discussions like these:
Laughter and Lessons
Just before retiring Coming2Terms in 2010 there was this television interview. The ABC morning show in Sacramento invited me on as a guest to discuss the experience of coming to terms with infertility and what I’d learned. (Extra points if you discover the producer error. Hint, my face on camera just as the segment begins says it all).
After several years of exploring sadness, anger and complicated ‘non-mom’ identity issues and associated societal taboos it seemed time for a fresh start. That’s when I initiated this current blog, since renamed, Finally Heard. From those early days we’ve had 61, 940 readers from 171 counties and 253,058 page views. Answers from a reader survey in 2011 offer added perspective.
Oh, the lessons we have learned being part of ‘Generation IVF.’ We continue to explore and plumb the depth of many complex emotions, the impacts of disenfranchised grief and fertility treatment scars. Let’s not forget the simmering culture clashes:
When we open ourselves up and share lessons about coming to terms with loss, dreams unrealized or the hard work of reinvention — we do so in the service of others.
In the spirit of sharing new perspective later this month you’ll find the first guest post authored by a man. Until then, hearty thanks for your friendship and your many contributions. It’s an honor to be part of this community. Now, welcome your ‘truths‘ …