Thoughtful Thursday: Complete

October 8, 2009

Thoughtful ThursdayToday’s Thoughtful Thursday topic can apply to any phase of the infertility/loss/adoption process, but I will focus on my own recent experiences of pregnancy and new parenthood after infertility.

To what extent is your blog a complete and accurate record of your life?

During infertility, I felt like Baby Smiling was my main outlet for truth. I flat-out lied to most people in real life about infertility. With others, I lied via omission. At best, I provided a few people with the partial truth. The people who were closest to us sometimes knew that we were doing treatments, but not the details, timing, nor outcomes. This is in stark contrast to blog readers, virtual strangers who have been kept up to date on the day-to-day details of treatments as well as my intimate emotions.

Of course, because this is an anonymous blog, there are certain details that I have left out, and I have disguised some details to preserve anonymity while keeping the same spirit.

During pregnancy, I’ve left a larger number of details out because I wanted to keep this an infertility blog rather than a pregnancy-after-infertility blog, but you’ve still been privy to far more of the details and emotions than real life friends and family.

But, some non-pregnancy/non-infertility issues have come up during the course of the pregnancy which have had a huge impact on my life. Some are in realms that I don’t discuss on this blog, such as work, but one major event in particular felt strange not to tell you about. It was one of the biggest events of my life, and I didn’t even hint at it.

Now, post-birth, I feel like I’m living dual lives. I will give readers of this blog a few photos and some basic information about the babies, as a thank you for following me through failed treatments, successful treatments, and pregnancy. But, you’ll never hear key details like the babies’ real names. My focus will continue to be on my own reproductive experience and infertility. As part of that, I’ll be giving you every detail of the birth story, which has major infertility implications. I’ll continue to view my life through the lens of infertility, and I’ll keep asking Thoughtful questions. Little will change on this blog — even though everything for me has changed.

As for the other half of my dual life: For people I know in real life, they are hearing every minute detail about the babies and receiving daily photos, but only a couple of close friends will get even the smallest hint at what I have gone through medically. We haven’t told family anything, and we don’t plan to.

Some of the silence about my experience concerns whose story it is to hear: our parents are entitled to know all about their grandchildren, but not about me. Some of the silence is about not dealing with people’s reactions. Some is leftover discretion from infertility.

And thus, there is no complete record. If you combine this blog with real life sources you get a pretty good sense, but there are only a couple of people in the world who get both versions.

Part of me feels funny for leaving you out of the loop with certain topics, and part of me knows that this is how it has to be.

For what it’s worth, even though it doesn’t come with as many cute pictures, I think you’re getting the more authentic version of me.

To what extent is your blog a complete and accurate record of your life?


25 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Complete”

  1. Elana Kahn Says:

    I think mine’s pretty accurate. I write almost anything on there, and I know many family members will read it. I’m not a very private person. 🙂

  2. rosesdaughter Says:

    Mine is acutally very accurate. It’s me, without my filter. Besides the fact that I don’t use my real name. I originally started blogging(on another blog) just about life in general. Then the main focus became TTC, then my miscarriage,and now pregnancy and my being laid off. After the baby is born, it will be about my life adjusting to the baby and any other trials and tribulations I might have(and I usually have a lot!). I haven’t decided yet, how much of Baby Dub my blog will see. I don’t even know if His real name will be on the blog or if he will continue to be Baby Dub. There are only 2 people who know the real Rose’s Daughter and the Baby Makin Chronicles Rose’s Daughter. None of my family reads my blog. Not even DH. He knows about it, but chooses not to read. So my blog remains totally accurate, and totally me.

  3. Kristin Says:

    Over all, my blog is a very accurate representation of my life. There are a few things that I don’t touch on when writing but only a few. Other than that, I lay it all out there.

  4. BB Says:

    I feel like you are my mirror image when it comes to this aspect! You could say I have two different lives. As of now, not a single real life person I know has access to my blog (just one friend knows, besides my husband that I blog… for the longest time my husband didn’t have access to the blog either (the only exception!)). We do not plan on revealing much about the whole IF part of our life to the real life folks and I haven’t dicussed once my family, my professional life or any other personal/social details in an intricate manner on the blog. I don’t feel like I am cheating, to me privacy is very important. On any other forums (including FB), I disclose only the basic information required and have never had a single picture published. To me blogging is a way to connect with gals who are going through the IF journey, I do not see a reason to disclose my personal non-IF life on the blog. I will probably be following your footsteps as I move ahead in this journey!

  5. Photogrl Says:

    “To what extent is your blog a complete and accurate record of your life?”

    When it comes to my secondary IF and losses, my blog is very complete and accurate. That’s why I started it.

    I think it represents WHO I am very well, even if it’s somewhat anonymous. I try not to give too much away, such as work, or real life friends.

    BUT because I didn’t start it until years after I had my daughter, it doesn’t hold a COMPLETE record of my life.

    Overall, it’s a pretty fair representation of me.

  6. jill Says:

    Hah you are so mysterious! 🙂

    I don’t think my blog accurately represents me at all. When I’m horribly sad, angry, frustrated, depressed, I don’t feel like writing. I should, and it’s something that has been on my mind lately, but I just don’t.

    People who only know me from my blog know accurate details, and probably can get a small sense of my personality, but the majority of my life is left out. This is not intentional though – it just comes from not having had a blog for very long, not posting often, and not being a very motivated writer.

  7. Whatta thing to consider. What is an accurate representation, really? We’re different things to different people. And I think that if Betty ever goes back to read every word that I have blogged, she would probably get the full picture of who her mother is combined w/ knowing me in IRL and reading the fiction that I write. But for the most part I believe my blog to be a fairly accurate representative of who I am. Though I noticed the other day that I haven’t done a “writing demons” blog in quite a while — not b/c I don’t still have them (worse than ever now), but b/c it would take too much work to explain why I still have writing-esteem issues when I have a book deal.

    I don’t keep a great deal private online or IRL, but I do cherry pick topics, and I often find myself changing my mind during the course of writing a blog. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone in to write a blog about being depressed and/or angry and/or upset, only to feel great by the time I’m finished writing and therefore ending it on an upbeat note.

    So I guess my answer to your questions would be, my blogs are the most accurate representation I could ever hope to put forward, but then again not really an accurate representation at all.

  8. Jamie Says:

    Since I conceived Bo, I haven’t had any trouble sharing my infertility with the world. I feel like part of the reason I experienced infertility was to share my experience with others. I hope that I have helped many both in real life and online by being open and sharing my infertility journey.

    My current blog is totally “real” and many people I know in real life read the blog. That said, I still do not think it presents a complete picture. As one of my friends has said, it’s only my view of reality.

  9. Carrie Says:

    Mine is pretty accurate to my life, I include names, pictures, and raw emotions about many issues. Of course, I don’t share every thing, as we all have private moments we do not want to share with everyone, nor ourselves at times. I don’t know if there is ever a true portrayal of one’s self, because do we completely know who we are?

  10. loribeth Says:

    It’s not a complete picture of me, but it’s a part of me that doesn’t get shown much in real life.

  11. Quiet Dreams Says:

    I would not say it’s a complete picture of me, but I would say that it is accurate. No real life friends have my new blog address, now that I have changed blogs (again). At the same time, it feels strange to have such a big part of my life/support be a secret from those I feel close to.

    It is incomplete as far as there is only so much that one can write, and often a thought process will take over before a previous one had a chance to get blogged. I don’t consciously hold back anything (at least, not yet). Other than names and identifying details.

  12. Mel Says:

    Not a complete record. I mean, I can look back on my words and have it jog my memory on other things happening around the same time, but I don’t tell stories other than my own, but a lot of things that affect me are about other people. But I usually assume when I’m reading someone’s blog that I’m getting anywhere from 1% to 20%.

  13. Michele Says:

    I dont know how accurate it is of my past but I’d say it is pretty accurate of me now, since motherhood. It’s funny knowing that IRL people read it. I think that is one of the craziest thing since they can place my writing in the context of knowing me and see me IRL on a regular basis.

  14. WiseGuy Says:

    To what extent is your blog a complete and accurate record of your life?

    Well, I write multiple blogs…and two of them (including WA?) chronicle the happenings of my day to day life.

    Even with all that writing down, I do not think that blogs are a complete record of my life. I can call them fairly accurate, but not complete.

    I hide names, places, people. I never use the correct initials.

    For one, I do not feel the need to do a minute-to-minute recording.

    Secondly, even when I write about incidents…the incidents may involve several actors, but I pick up only the most proximate.

    I tend to not bash up family much, and even when I do, I sometimes leave out tiny tidbits here and there to tone down my anger.

    Also, I do not reveal sensitive topics on my blogs, because if I ever need to show the blog to my family they should not feel bad about being displayed for the world to see.

    I also take cognizance of the fact that when I talk of something, I am doing what ‘I’ perceive as the incident. Others may have different details, or different takes on the same issue…so there is no point in being assertive from that angle as well. Consequently, my reporting may be stilted.

    When I go through my posts, the missing details are apparent to me…and they are anyways meant only for my own memory.

  15. WiseGuy Says:

    ….And I have never been able to sing about my CM consistency, and poo trouble due to Metformin….

  16. My blog is a pretty accurate record of my life, as far as it concerns IF, IVF, and the resulting pregnancy. I really started the blog as a way to express my feelings during IVF treatment and to be honest I didn’t think it would work the first time around (after 6 failed IUIs, but I didn’t blog yet during those), so now I don’t really post much anymore, because I don’t want it to become a mommy-baby blog (I started a private blog for that which is more geared towards IRL friends and family) or a general diary type blog. Although my IVF blog is anonymous, I did tell several IRL people about our IF struggle, especially after I became pregnant (but only two or three know about the blog). I’d like to continue posting on my IVF blog, but reality is that when I do have time and energy to sit down and write, the other blog now comes first.

  17. Lavender Luz Says:

    Accurate but not complete.

    It has to be that way when your stories rub against the stories of others — which is basically all stories.

    And, there are some things that should just be private, or you sacrifice the relationship, be it a parent, a child, a spouse, a friend.

    Otherwise, you get into Jon/Kate territory. The Drama drives the Drama, and the relationship dies on the altar of ratings/stats.

  18. Jules Says:

    Mine, I guess, is more a short recap (Cliffnotes) style. I don’t go into a lot of things that are on my mind just since IRL friends and family read it. Since my original intention was to keep IRL people updated on the girls, I include pics and update their stats, etc… If I had started the blog as a anonymous one (which may have been a good idea) it would have a very different feel to it.

  19. xj2608 Says:

    Mine is not an accurate representation of my life. My husband knows my blog address, and he won’t tolerate me writing about the things that really irritate me (i.e. other people) because someone might get offended. I don’t write things I’m not willing to have the person in question read, but I also don’t confront people unless it’s something important. So if his sister does something annoying, I would like to write about it. If she found my blog and told me that she was offended because I made her out to be an idiot, I would tell her not to act like an idiot and we wouldn’t have any problems. But, to honor my husband’s wishes, I write about inconsequential events that spark my interest. That’s why I don’t write about much.

  20. Ninali Says:

    Mine is accurate…probably because I haven’t told anyone about it. I don’t even think my husband knows about it. Not because I am hiding it from him, only because I am blogging for myself really, for some me time. I did take a big step and put my blog address on my FB page but I didn’t announce it (my husaband doesn’t have a FB) or anything…so I have seen a little more traffic from what I am assuming is friends and family that know me, but I have nothing to hide. I would stand behind anything I write, and not to say that I write anything mean or too private…I guess I just see it as a creative outlet for myself.

  21. Cara Says:

    Whatever I write is complete. I find no reason to hold anything back, or – if I do, it wasn’t intentional. And when it occurs to me that I have missed a relevent piece of who I am, I add it.

    I’ve always been like that – an open book. In real life people just have to look at my face. On my blog, they have to read a little between the lines. But it’s all there

  22. birdless Says:

    I have two blogs and neither are the true me. I share very little on the other blog because people I know IRL read it. I blog about funny things, or recipes, or work-related things, and occasionally something mildly personal. But in real life I really am a private and quiet person.

    I started this blog because I hated having no outlet for all the “secrets” I felt I was keeping. I hate keeping secrets, so I figured I could spill this side of me among people who didn’t know me. In this way, I think I can understand your hesitation to merge your two “selves” and I think that’s just fine. I have grown to like you from reading your blog and wish I knew more, but I will take whatever you feel comfortable giving.

  23. Carrie Says:

    Great question!

    My blog is a true reflection of me living through IF and pregnancy after IF. While I express the emotions of fear and worry here, as well as joy when things go well, it is by no means a complete picture of me.

    I first and foremost would define myself as a mother to my daughter, A, and I never share much about her on my blog, certainly not her image or name. She is my heart and soul, but parenting her is too precious to share on my semi-anonymous and very public blog.

    Tubeless is a complete and honest experience of miscarriages, secondary infertility, IVF and triplet pregnancy, but in a fairly narrow scope. While these things have consumed much of the last two years of my life, they don’t define me as a person.

  24. staciet Says:

    Actually, I’m not sure that very many people get a complete and accurate picture of my life. Sure, my husband probably has the most complete idea, but there are still things that I bet even he doesn’t know (whether that is due to me not saying something or him not listening to something remains to be seen). I suppose my blog is more straight forward and perhaps honest about my feelings than I would be in real life, but I don’t share everything there either.

  25. Cindi Says:

    I am an out-there-this-is-who-I-am-kind-of-person. What you see is what you get. So, I think my blog is a pretty accurate portrayal of who I am. Sometimes I hold things back from my blog just because I don’t feel like blogging about it, but that is pretty true in the rest of my life too. If you asked friends if they recognize me from my blog, I think they wouls say yes. If you asked my family, I’m not so sure. But that might be a whole different issue.

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