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I feel exactly the same way. I work to still be a part of that world because I can't stand the thought of so many people still going through the hell that I went through, clinging to hope, being shattered month after month, making unbelievable sacrifices for a dream that may or may not come true.
It is an impossibly lonely place to be, and I feel that one of the biggest problems is the lack of psychological support infertiles receive. I wish I could figure out what to do, but for the moment NO WAY am I giving up my evangelism to at least educate the people around them to give IFs at least a smidge of support.

I obviously feel the same way you do. My IVF twins are almost 14 years old now and I'm still attached to the infertility community, although not so intensely as I was when I was TTC. After 8 years and 4 losses, how could I just walk away from something that was so daunting, overwheling and in a weird way life affirming? Infertility made me who I am, shaped my personality, created my longings and desires. I can't just toss it out now that I've won the war. I have to help rebuild. I do so with encouragement, friendship, and the hope that my one voice will give a woman battling infertiiity the strength to go on for another day.

"if I can help just one person" - are you kidding? I don't know how many time first time IF bloggers start by reading yours, I know I did. You were my link to this network, through your blog I found others and finally a group of newbies like myself, who are no longer newbies but a strong group of IF men and women who are giving each other all the support we can. I can't imagine you as being on the "sidelines", that statement makes me think you can't possibly know the high regard in which the IF world holds you. This is your home.

This site, your openness - it has all added something MORE to the pain that other's feel - and even to the educating of those of us who probably take for granted the ease with which we are able to conceive. You have increased awareness - and that in itself is a big thing to offer our world - a world which seems almost obsessive about dealing with only the things in their own space, and avoiding/neglecting the issues, the pain that those around them so often experience.

If nothing else - you have taught all of us valuable lessons about how we view those around us, how we interact with those around us, and to me THAT is Invaluable.

:) Thank you for teaching me this!

BTW: A bit off topic - but ARE you thinking of having more children? (Have been curious for a while, and I only bring it up since you touched on it briefly in your post...)

I think it is really difficult for those that haven't been in that situation to fully understand the relationships that are built upon those common issues on the IF world. My mom has a hard time understanding my need to stay in touch with the infertile me. It is a part of who I am now. I need to remember that part of me in order to be who I am today.

I should know better than to go to Ben's link. I have been there three times now, over a year, and everytime I weep and hiccup with sobs - for him, for you, for me and for all of us female and male (but mostly female) who have battled or are battling with the sorrow of infertility.

As you and the other commenters have said, IF has made us who we are. I couldn't bear to talk about it - other than to a couple of close friends - while we had no child, because I felt so ashamed, such a failure, such a messy needing grieving yearning object of pity.

I shut up, smiled brightly through ignorant comments, roared with forced laughter at comedy skits about a woman asked what she wanted to drink/eat/etc whose punchline was 'but I want a BAY-BEE', even dropped offhand remarks that suggested that we weren't that keen for kids just yet, thank you very much. I wonder how many other people in the rooms I've been in were also going through the hell of infertility too.

If I ever do any form of public service, it will be in this field. I need to check with my husband - it's not just my story - but like you I know so damn much about it and I care passionately about the whole arena of IF, more strongly than about any other topic - wars, global warming, new housing in our green countryside etc etc. Good for you Tertia.

I'm not surprised you feel this way -- for so long, it's how you most closely identified yourself (before you had other titles, like Mommy and author).

I only ever got a small glimpse into that world, but it made me feel that if I could come back in another life I'd want to be an RE so I could help people who wanted kids so badly to have them. In the meantime, I'm just going to keep trying to do what I can.

You've already given so much back. You obviously don't realize that.

I stayed on IVFC, posting to the parenting board, occassionally answering IVF questions for newbies. That place was truly a lifesaver for me when going through IVF and while pregnant and being glad to have others pregnant after infertility to talk to.

Now I am going through IVF again in hopes of a second child and, once again, it is a haven for me. My dh doesn't really like to talk about the stuff and my friends IRL just don't understand - the emotional support is amazing.

So, I understand - I kind of hope, when my family is complete, I will be able to move on -

I know exactly what you are talking about. My oldest is 3 1/2 and my youngest if 2 and I still read infertility journals, stalk infertility boards, etc. However, I must say that that part of my life is starting to fade into the background more and more as my children are leaving babyhood behind. My focus is now more on preschool and ballet classes. It's good, but it's also a bit strange for me. I think that's why I've taken on the label "infertility survivor" because while I have left infertility behind (we will not be having anymore children, although I had a miscarriage just last year), it's still part of who I am and how I see myself. My husband doesn't understand. He doesn't understand that I still have this "need" to relate to others who understand the pain in my past. Yes, I'm a mom now. I'm not actively trying to conceive. Heaven's I haven't seen my RE in 2 years!!! (The longest time I've gone without seeing them on nearly a weekly basis for the previous 6 years!)

It's a strange conundrum. I can see where, for you with your book, and the fact that you are still contemplating your family size, it is an even more immediate issue, but it's STILL something I can't quite seem to get past, though I'm surprised at just how much it's starting to fade into the near past in such a short amount of time.

That's not to say the pain of my two miscarriages and all the tears I shed over those infertility years will ever completely go away. They have affected me to the point that I will never be the same, but right now I'm learning that parenthood starts taking over more and more too. Or maybe it's just time helping to heal the wounds.

Well Tertia, what can I say? The strength and fortitude you have shown through the whole infertility struggle and the joy you have given those of us who are still on that rocky road is an inspiration to us all.

I'm sure there are many infertiles like myself who continue to follow your blog and feel privileged to be able to share in your joys with Adam and Kate!
Your support and encouragement helped me through the worst (and best) time of my life after losing baby Cole.

It is typical of you to continue to want others to succeed as you have afer so much heartache and perserverance. I'm so glad it happened for you, so very happy for you all.

Thankyou, thankyou sweet girl for being there for all of us!

I have to second what Jenny said. I will never forget the emails you sent me during my first 2ww - your encouragement, and your honest sympathy when my cycle failed, were so helpful. Your blog helped me know what to expect, and let me know that it was okay for me to have information and present it to the doctor, to speak to him as an informed customer rather than helpless patient.

And as for being "too old" - fooey. Age ain't the problem, having two little kids and needing to work full time is (meaning, I wouldn't want to give up my evenings with my precious babes to go back to schoolm, no matter how much I wanted a different education).

It's funny, I guess because I know what you struggled through to get your babies, I'm never affected as an infertile when reading your blog. I never get that "that will never be me" feeling when you talk about the twins, or other typically IF feelings that I get at other child-friendly events. I guess that's why I keep reading - I keep YOU in MY infertile world!

Beautiful post, Tertia.

I think it's about not forgetting where you came from. I couldn't forget if I wanted to. And I don't want to forget. It's part of me, it's who I am. And who I'll always be.

Somehow you always say exactly what is in my heart... and you say it so beautifully that it brings me to tears! Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts with us. I have tried to rationalize my continued connections to the world of Infetility via the internet and IRL... and have only concluded that it is exactly what Jenn said in her comment above... it is truly about not forgetting where you came from and not wanting to forget. Infertility does become a part of who you are regardless of how it is resolved/not resolved. Karen has talked about this over at the Ovary and those conversations as well as others have helped me understand why in spite of the fact that my family is complete I still have an IF mentality... We are lifers when it comes to IF, I guess. And like you, I choose to use what I experienced and learned to help others and make some sense out of it all.

I've got news for you. Being SIF (Secondary infertility) grants you your dream: to be part of the IF world without the pain. After all there's not that much pain - you do have two children! There's physical discomfort and the longing and yearning for ANOTHER child, but the keyword is another. You can have the best of both worlds - and not feel guilty :)

My 4th cycle just failed. The world is hardy a bearable place. Your blog is still helpful. It's comforting to know that you know the pain.

I plan to go to SA and do our fifth IVF attempt in january - to one of the clinics recommended on your page. Thanks for linking me to them.

Your norwegian friend.

After four years of infertility and a miscarriage, my beautiful daughter was born in February. Every time I look at her I almost have to pinch my self because it seems like a dream. However, I will never forget the pain, heartache, and sadness that came with my journey. Sites like yours helped me through and I check back occasionally and silently cheer for those who are now successful. My heart still breaks for those who are in the midst of the seemingly never ending journey. To those women I say, keep the faith--you will arrive at your destination (motherhood) one day

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