How Private is Your Blog?

As I descend happily into the delights of regular blogging, I’ve found myself thinking about online anonymity and what it means. There’s an honesty I feel I can give here, amongst a community of people who understand just how horrific this process is. As loved as I am by my support network in real life, there’s only one – Mr Bun – who really understands. Here, there are many.

The life of someone going through IVF is, at once, both painfully private and brutally public:

Sneaking out of the office for hushed phonecalls with your nurse. Grasping for more tall tales about why you won’t be drinking at yet another dinner, function, party. Pseudo-smiling over yet another squealy pregnancy announcement. Batting away the inevitable, well-meaning ‘When’s it your turn?’ questions with carefully studied replies.

And then there’s the flip side. You sit exposed in waiting rooms, lie open under ultrasounds and queue up at blood clinics with so many others. You all avoid eye contact, but it’s clear – you’re all INFERTILE. There’s no turning away from it. A hidden condition laid open in the most intimate of settings.

Mr Bun and I made a decision early on to be pretty open about IVF. The loose rule is, if you’d be OK telling Person X about an unsuccessful round, you can tell Person X that you’re undergoing IVF at all. Make sense? So, many people know about what we’re going through. Not in a blow-by-blow way, but enough that they can be supportive and understanding at times when it’s most appreciated.

Then there’s the next level up. The intimate friends and close family who know more. The pain, the results, the plans, the dates. Yet even those can sometimes lose track. And that’s why I’ve been thinking – how many of you share your blogs with friends? And is it a good thing? Because, as much as I think it would make things easier – I wouldn’t need to repeat updates or re-tell stories – I believe there may be something in the anonymity that is in itself quite powerful.

At the end of the day, my biggest hurdle to telling anyone about our infertility is Pity. I naturally shy away from telling newly-married couples, or women in their early thirties. Because I know it’s only a matter of time until they fall pregnant. And when they do, they have to tell me – ohhh, the pity in their eyes. It gets me every time.

I guess, until I move through the fear of Pity, it’s not much use to open this place up to my Real Life friends. But maybe. Maybe by letting them in I’ll be moving through the Pity stage faster.

Image: thank you


6 thoughts on “How Private is Your Blog?

  1. All of my friends know what we have been going through – though only close friends and family knew of the exact dates. Because I have been open about our struggles on I, at one time posted a link to my blog there – only a couple friends actually have looked at it (that I know of) and only 2 actually follow it. A couple friends have even opened up about their own struggles, so it has been nice to be able to have someone who is a friend to empathize with.
    Good luck with your decision!

    • I have actually toyed with the idea of posting the link of FBook, but I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet. It’s toughie isn’t it?
      I don’t know if I’m being really silly, but I can’t find the link to your blog anywhere. Can you send it over? I’d love to swing by and say hi!

  2. One of my local friends knows about my blog, but doesn’t really follow. Other than that my husband is an avid reader and I’ve met a few of my bloggy friends in real life. I’ve gone back and forth with telling family and friends, but I really like the anonymity. I don’t hold anything back.

  3. I am pretty open with just about everyone now about our infertility and IVF. It does stop all the “when are you having babies” questions and people do tend to leave you alone once they know your having issues.

    As far as my blog goes, i have given the link to a few friends who I know understand and are supportive or who may be going though similar experiences. It does remain out of the hands of family, work colleagues etc etc which allows me freedom to talk about just about anything I wish!

  4. I’ve been blogging for three years and I have slowly told people about it. First my closest female friends, then a few people who I know were also having fertility struggles and gradually more and more people. Some read it ferociously (which spoils things as half way through a hilarious – ahem – anecdote they’ll tell me they already read about), others dip in, and others never look at it. There is still a lot of people that don’t know – each person I have told individually, if I was on facebook I certainly wouldn’t post it there because you are really opening yourself up.

    About the infertility – practically everyone knows – after five years it becomes a bit obvious!

    Whatever you decide don’t rush, but I have found the support I get far out weighs the pity.

  5. I think it’s completely up to you and how you FEEL! Our immediate families know we’ve been “trying” and know of our recent miscarriage; however only my hubby, mom and best girlfriend know all the gory details. And, really my hubby is the only Real Life person who knows about my blog.

    (I even kept it from him for a while, but eventually it felt like “cheating” so I told him about it. And of course, he was super supportive and really liked that I had a place to not only vent but connect with other ALI people!)

    Good luck to you with whatever you decide!

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