I think we've been kidding ourselves.
Let me back up. A few months ago, several of the Catholic Infertile Bloggers were interviewed for an article in Our Sunday Visitor. Of those interviewed, I was the only one still actually infertile. The other three, praise God, had all given birth to their children by the time the article ran. I have to be honest - I was dreading the article. I've seen in the past how things can be unintentionally misconstrued by well-meaning reporters/writers, and I was awaiting an article oozing with "stay faithful to Catholic teaching and you'll get pregnant!" Let's face it - unless you've been in the trenches of infertility (and I may even argue unless you are STILL ACTIVELY IN the trenches of infertility), you usually can't write something that will appeal to those who are.
To my amazement and enjoyment, the article was very well-represented. Of course, it did have an underlying tone of "hope," but sometimes we do need that ;) What did strike me as odd was the fact that the interviewer asked: "Are bloggers who have already become pregnant still considered part of the Catholic Infertility Community?"- and he asked this of one of the bloggers who was weeks from delivering her baby (Sew Infertile), and I thought Sew's answer was apropos (who can argue with Sew?), but I was mystified as to why he would ask a preggo that question. While I agreed with Sew's answer, which basically stated that the majority of us have known each other BEFORE the pregnancies, and therefore rejoiced with each other and stuck by each other through the resurrection of the cross of infertility, I am of the opinion that things are not exactly the same after someone "crosses over."
I believe there is a very obvious schism in our group. The haves and the have nots. (The schism is even obvious on my own blogroll!) And of course if you've ever been a have not, you will continue to cheer on other have nots, but if you continue to be a have not, you find it hard to cheer on the haves. It's a question of relating. The haves can relate to the have nots because they were once there. The have nots cannot, and will never relate to the haves. A starving person who suddenly comes upon an abundance of food can always remember what it felt like to be starving. But the person who continues to starve cannot know what it's like to feel bloated and full, and try as they might, they just can't commisserate with that former starving friend who is now bloated and full.
Some of my best blogging buddies are on the other side of the schism. My BFF is on the other side. So it's definitely possible to keep friendship alive across the schism, but the friendship doesn't dissolve the schism. If only it could...
I think of the Catholic Infertility Community as a large conglomerate of the STILL Infertile Catholics and the Catholics who had infertility and are now blessed with child/ren. And I think, plain and simple, the most relatable blogs for the average reader in our community are the ones from their own side of the schism. For example, I very much enjoy reading LifeHopes' blog, and reading her thoughts during her long and arduous battle of infertility really helped me to come to terms with my own. She had a lot of the exact same emotions that I did, particularly in regards to her feelings about having an empty womb. Today, I continue to look forward to her posts in which she addresses her infertility of the past, and how it has molded her and will forever be a part of her. But I read her posts with an attitude of "this is how I imagine I, too, will feel one day." I can no longer relate to EXACTLY how she feels in this exact moment. All You Who Hope, another of my all-time favorites, made a statement on her blog recently about how much she enjoyed reading birth stories while she was pregnant. If you are an infertile reading this blog post right now, I will put money on the fact that you had the exact same reaction that I did upon reading that: "Wow, I become a blubbering mess reading ONE birth story, I can't imagine reading them continually for pleasure!" But I'm sure that the most helpful and most relatable blogs for AYWH during her pregnancy were the ones of people who were going through just what she was.
When a Catholic Infertile crosses over, no matter how much we may love them to pieces, it causes a pain unlike any other - at least, in my experience, and I am pretty sure I'm not alone. Seeing other people get pregnant with ease, regardless of their religion or beliefs, was maybe upsetting for the first year. Now, I couldn't care less that so many people in the world are Fertile Myrtles. Good for them. But when a faithful Catholic infertile becomes pregnant, it is like a knife into my soul. A "na na na na naaaa" from heaven, complete with all the Saints sticking their tongues out at me and the Angels blowing raspberries. It makes me feel like all of my prayers are in vain, that I am not "as worthy" as my friends, and it makes me question my purpose on Earth.
There's a very deliberate reason behind my listing the still Infertile Catholic Blogs with their most recent blog post title and the Crossovers without. I can't handle seeing post titles non-stop on my own blog, like, "The Joys of Breastfeeding," "My Cuddly Little Pumpkin," and "Aren't I The Most Friggin' Lucky Person You've Ever Met?" (OK, so maybe that last one was never anyone's blog post title, but many of them translate into that for the Infertile Reader.) And what I can't handle even more are the complainer posts: "Whoa is me, I have too many babies," "Could My Children Please Stop Kicking Me in Utero, My Ribs Hurt," and "Oh Great, I Have to Go Buy 6-month Clothes because my Baby is Growing So Fast!" I've made a point to keep these blog titles hidden on my own blog, not just for my own sake, but for the sake of my readers, who may just be having a horrible TTC day. When I am in good spirits, and choose to go visit a friend's blog on the Other Side, I click on over, fully aware that I may be met with a lovey-dovey or complainer post. But that's on my own terms.
And that's the biggest difference between the two sides of the Schism. I imagine that those on the other side don't need any self-preservation when it comes to OUR blog post titles, consisting of, "CD 1," "I HATE AF!!!," "Surgery Advice," "Treatment Update," and "Let Me Talk About My Shoes Today Because it's been FIVE EFFING YEARS of Infertility and Treatments and AFs and Tests, and I Have Absolutely Nothing Left to Write About." I'm willing to venture that none of those blog post titles send a sharp, shooting pain directly into the heart of the bloggers with children ;)
Well, that and the other huge difference. Those on the other side don't long with all their heart to be on our side.