The funny thing is that I almost didn't start this blog, for exactly some of the reasons I talked about in my last post. I was worried that I wouldn't be taken seriously because we didn't try every single possible thing to get pregnant. I didn't know if I would be accepted. I wasn't sure that people would take me seriously. I worried that people would read that my husband and I decided against fertility treatments and write me off.
My fears weren't exactly unfounded either. You see, right around the time when it was becoming pretty obvious that getting pregnant was going to take longer than we thought it would, I joined a large online TTC forum. It took a few months but I found my niche and fell into a small(ish) group of really supportive women. They kept me sane during the hard parts of TTC. They supported me through testing and diagnosis. But when they found out that we weren't going to do IVF, many turned their backs on me. Then when we stopped TTC they just didn't understand how we could do that. When I got the IUD (mind you, for medical reasons, my body did a just fine job preventing pregnancy without assistance) the comments ranged from "you'll change your mind" to "I can't believe you're giving up." My personal favorite was "you're the worst nightmare of someone who is still TTC." I haven't been on that forum in probably six months.
But as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. This community accepted me for who I was without condition or hesitation. It's always seemed like a natural fit. This community understood that I wanted kids, that it didn't work out for me, and that I was having a hard time with it. My "rap sheet" wasn't a prerequisite for acceptance. Despite this unequivocal acceptance I still sort of felt out of place. I was never pregnant. I never experienced the loss of a child. I never went through fertility treatments. I felt like my story wasn't important because I hadn't lost as much as others. This was 100% me. Nobody made me feel this way, I completely brought it on myself. Maybe this is a me thing or maybe other women do this too, constantly comparing themselves to others, with the end result usually being feeling bad about myself.
Admittedly I am stubborn and sometimes rather than just accepting what is, I need a swift kick in the ass to really understand something. That swift kick in the ass came during one of my insomnia episodes when I read one of Justine's posts at Ever Upward (that I'm too lazy to go and find right now and properly link it) where she pointed out that hard is hard. That one person's hard isn't any more or less hard than another person's hard. It's just hard. All of a sudden it made sense. Comparing my hard to another's hard would never lead to anything good. It was a lightbulb moment.
In Justine's post she gave the link a TEDx talk given by Ash Beckham where she touches on the topic of "hard is hard." If you have 10 free minutes and you haven't already seen it, click on the link, you'll thank me later. There are so many take aways from it.
There is no harder, there is just hard. We need to stop ranking our hard against everyone else's hard to make us feel better or worse about our closest and just commiserate on the fact that we all have hard.I think that pretty much says it all.
As I'm nearing the conclusion of this post I realize that it probably should have come before the last post. And both of these posts probably would have been a great lead up to my one year blogaversary post. But oh well. I've swam against the current for my whole life so why would this be any different? It's just who I am as a person. :)
Anyway, thank you all for welcoming me and accepting me without hesitation, even when I couldn't quite accept my own hard. I think that I finally understand why you did.