Can A Six Foot Tall Woman Be Invisible?

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invisible-woman-movie-titleThe title of this post is a variation on the question that was posed at the onset of a BlogHer panel I attended called Women Without Children in the Blogosphere. (Hey, is this an opportunity for another acronym or what? WWC?)

The actual question was “how many of you feel invisible at this conference?”

Loads of hands went up, including mine. It’s quite the feat to be invisible at my height — especially when I usually wear two to three inch heels, but Teri Tith, another seriously tall woman who asked the question, had a point to make. At the BlogHer conference as well as society in general women without children are made to feel “less than” than their mommy counterparts, hence our disappearing act.

Now lest readers think this nothing more than sour grapes talking, the vast majority of women in the room made the choice not to have children. Some were single.  Some found their mate after their prime conceiving years and still others, like me, tried but didn’t succeed despite years of efforts. We all shared one very big thing in common — the wrong-headed assumption that we dislike children. Among the many fallacies held about us, that one by far is the biggest.

The stories tumbled out in this session about how often the women in the room were on the receiving end of looks signalling confusion or pity or hostility about their childless or childfree state (take your pick on the adjective — I haven’t decided which I dislike more).

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Is it any wonder I felt large and in charge at this session? I was among my people. I felt validated in a way I hadn’t at the other sessions I’d attended. When I got my turn with the microphone I half-jokingly asked if it might be possible for us to get tattoos so that we might be able to locate each other more easily. My suggestion was met with lots of nodding heads as it might be one way for us to comfortably avoid all manner of mommy small talk at parties or work events.

None of us felt we had much to add to a conversation about how to avoid sore nipples during breast feeding, how to evaluate the best pre-school or how to manage competing soccer schedules.

Beyond feeling excluded one woman said she was downright bored by the conversations that she’s usually forced to sit through. A woman to my immediate left said her department manager liked to open staff meetings with non-work chit chat — in other words stories about kids on the weekend. At one point he pulled her aside and asked her why she didn’t participate. She told him she didn’t have kids and, by the way, (hint, hint) she was getting a bit tired of having to hear all the parenting stories.

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You can read other stories and perspectives from a live blogging post on this session here.

And since, I’m on a roll…some other thoughts about invisibility.

The session reminded me of a conversation I once had with a 50-something women. She warned me that because society doesn’t value older women, she sometimes felt invisible. Guys no longer checked her out. At any type of event or location where security guards are stationed she said older women can all but do as they please. No one is watching them. She’s had to adjust to feeling invisible. In her case, though, she found her grandchildren gave her license to be young again, to try new things, to be seen.

Um, grandchildren won’t be in my future so apparently there’s yet another challenge before me not to feel invisible as I continue my march through my 40s.

Finally, the session also provoked a deeper exploration of thoughts. The opening question stayed with me and, like a pebble in the shoe, I couldn’t quite identify what about it was irritating me until today.

Caveats: Now, what I’m about to say isn’t a contrived way to solicit reassurances or to initiate a new divide. And I will get downright pissed if my thoughts elicit pity. I’m just going to tell it like it is. Consider it part two of a recent post I wrote called Stuck in a Thought Bubble.

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So here it is: it’s occurred to me that I’m starting to feel invisible amid the infertility blogosphere. Each day I get further away from my herculean efforts at trying to conceive. I’m not shooting up hormones or evaluating fertility protocols or pursuing home study for adoption or parenting after successful infertility treatments. So once again, I need to figure out how and where I fit in amid a set of discussions and experiences that are moving along a path that I’m not on. Gotta get the road map out to see where I’m headed so I don’t get stuck in another cul-de-sac.

What are your thoughts about how to manage around these types of challenges (and they don’t have to be infertility related!)  Also, any “WWC” tattoo ideas are most welcome.

 

 

42 Responses

  1. luna

    July 22, 2008 5:48 pm

    this is a really excellent post, and I love the title. I wished I had gone to that panel (it sounds much better than the one I attended at the same time). I’m glad you had a moment to feel better understood, and I love your idea for a tattoo or some self-identifying marker. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been left out of/saddened or annoyed by/or needed to avoid or escape those discussions.

    I totally get what you’re saying about feeling that way even in our little corner of the web. I was feeling quite lost myself for a while… without the path in pursuit of a child, there is one less piece of common ground on which to stand together. even among the panel attendees who had experienced infertility or loss, all were now parenting and could say how glad they were to NOT be in that space anymore. I know that stings, no matter how strong you are.

    really an excellent post.

    • Pamela Jeanne

      July 22, 2008 6:47 pm

      Thanks, Luna. It’s so nice to hear someone “gets” what I’m struggling to communicate.

      Your observation, in particular, that it stung when those in our session “could say how glad they were to NOT be in that space anymore” struck a chord. Like we needed to be reminded that some people make it through infertility treatments successfully and others don’t …

  2. Michell

    July 22, 2008 7:49 pm

    I think this is a fantastic post. I however am left sort of speechless as to what to say about it. I have to some extent felt left out of the “what my kids did” conversations. I also sometimes feel like the only “single” person my age around. I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to really think about it that much. I do think you are right that many think those who don’t have children chose to not have children and don’t realize that even today with all the medical advances we have that wasn’t available 50+ years ago some people just aren’t able to have children.

  3. Lori

    July 22, 2008 7:53 pm

    I’ll stop lurking and comment to say that I can relate to everything you said. I’m so very much like you – 40-something, tried to have a baby for 11 years…and I’m feeling invisible while society praises motherhood and wonders why I don’t “just adopt” a needy child. I don’t fit in anywhere. I no longer fit with the infertility crowd because I’m not trying anymore or adopting. I’m not devoting my life to my career and making amazing contributions to society. I always envisioned having children and now feel incomplete, as if the story of my life is missing whole chapters.

    I thought it was difficult when my peers got loads of attention because they were having babies, and then they were praised for juggling a job while raising kids. Now they’re getting attention (and sympathy) for being empty-nesters and soon they’ll be grandparents. Meanwhile I endure their jealous comments about my trips to Europe while they’re paying college tuitions.

    I feel like I’m supposed to do something great with my life, that it’s not enough to make small contributions through my work. And what if I decide to retire early and live off of what could have been a child’s college fund? Mothers brought life into the world. What have I done?

  4. dmarie

    July 22, 2008 9:17 pm

    I’m struggling too to find my place. For a while I stopped blogging, and now that I’m back I’m posting about food and home renovation. What can I say–that’s what is going on in my life right now. I try to be supportive of others and when something IF related comes up, I blog about it. I have to keep reminding myself that just b/c I don’t fit into a category, it doesn’t mean that I don’t belong. Infertility effects me and my world every single day.

  5. Beth

    July 22, 2008 9:34 pm

    PJ,

    I’ve always thought of you as a trail-blazer in our community. Certainly, you’re not the first woman to have to find her own happy ending to infertility that DOESN’T involve children. In fact, I’m certain you’re not the only one in the blogosphere doing it.

    But your words, your experiences, and your story is incredibly important to this community. Your place here is to not only find your own way, but to leave a path for those of us who may follow you.

    I understand that you’re not in this place by choice. I work to understand your perspective, and to remember it when I encounter women IRL that don’t have children. You have important things to say, and lessons to teach us all.

    And I, for one, would like to continue to learn.

  6. Me

    July 22, 2008 10:19 pm

    You know PJ, I’m 6′ tall too! 😀

    As for where to fit into the IF community – I was hoping you might have some answers for me on that topic.

  7. loribeth

    July 22, 2008 10:38 pm

    Glad you felt validated at this session! Even though we come from different places than people who deliberately chose to be childless/free, I think we wind up fighting many of the same battles. “Invisible” is a great description, and I too have felt that way, even within the infertility community. I think it’s soooo important, though, that (even though it can be tiring at times!) we continue to speak up & make our presence felt — whether it’s a small group of infertility bloggers in sea of mommybloggers, or those of us who have opted to stop treatment & try to accept a childless life while others continue. I do feel like there’s been a slight uptick in awareness about the childless/free option lately, though — & I think you can take a lot of credit for that!

    P.S. I’m also feeling the invisibility of age (even though I’m not 50 YET!!). I went in what seems like just a few short years from being among peers more or less the same age as me to one of the “older” people in an office suddenly teeming with 20-somethings — some of whom have parents not much older than I am. Yikes!!

  8. sharah

    July 23, 2008 2:02 am

    Ah, to be six feet tall … sorry, lost the train of thought there for a moment 🙂

    Anyway. I can so relate to your feeling of being alone in the internet. I’ve noticed though, that as I’ve changed from ART to WWC, my readership has actually gotten bigger? More vocal? I’m not sure, but I attract a different crowd. There are several old friends who still come by, but I don’t pick up as many newbies as before.

    It’s definitely a different crowd on this side of the decision.

  9. Lori

    July 23, 2008 3:27 am

    I think it’s natural to outgrow groups at certain times.

    I mean, we keep getting more 40-something, and new 20- and 30-somethings move into the wonderful world of IF. There are aspects besides fertility that divide me from them, I think. Even just interests and outlook and shared culture.

    Your (meaning one’s) friends are your friends regardless of your IF or parental status.

    I hope to stay one of them.

  10. Brandygirl

    July 23, 2008 6:15 am

    What a great post!!!!

    I am 5’short something.. 🙂 and I have felt very invisible and lost in a group of fertiles. Most have just jawed me to death with their baby stories that I have Black Eyed Peas ringing in my ears, JUST SHUT UP SHUT UP.

    Tho’ I’ve just found out that I’m pg, I don’t think I would ever fit in the fertile world. Infertility has changed and moulded me into this new person that I don’t think I’ll ever belong in the normal world where you’re supposed to have children easily.

  11. stepping up

    July 23, 2008 1:01 pm

    Once again you’ve managed to put my feelings into words. Healing words.

    As I was reading the feedback I was just picturing a utopia of condo complexes that will only allow great women or couples like us. No mundane kid comments. Never feeling invisible again. Could you imagine the challenging conversations at poolside?

    Until then, maneuvering the obstacle course of ignorance in this world is a lot easier knowing you’re all out there too. Thanks.

  12. Ms Heathen

    July 23, 2008 1:27 pm

    I think this is a wonderfully thought-provoking post on so many levels.

    It reminded me of something the artist Mary Kelly once said – about how “being a woman” as it is generally defined is in fact only a brief moment in any woman’s life. In a culture that equates femininity first of all with youthfulness and desirability, and then with maternity, what happens to those of us who have reached, or are nearing, the end of our child-bearing years without having produced a child? You’re absolutely right, Pamela Jeanne – we are made to feel by and large invisible.

    But I am concerned that you are also beginning to feel invisible even within the IF blogosphere. I think that it is vital that our small community does not make judgments, and is able to embrace all those struggling with IF – whatever stage of that journey they may be on. In this respect, I can only echo dmarie’s comment that, just because someone doesn’t fit neatly into a particular category, it doesn’t mean that they don’t belong. As she acknowledges, infertility continues to effect all of us every single day – perhaps more so if you are one of those for whom treatment was unsuccessful.

    Yet it does strike me that, even within the IF community itself, a positive pregnancy test is all too often seen as the only truly desirable outcome. It’s a very tricky issue, one which all us – whether living without children, pursuing treatments, or parenting after infertility – need to acknowledge.

    • Pamela Jeanne

      July 23, 2008 1:44 pm

      “a positive pregnancy test is all too often seen as the only truly desirable outcome” …

      You are absolutely correct that the conventional wisdom (within our little corner of the world and elsewhere) leads us to believe that a positive pregnancy test is the defacto “win.” I’ve certainly been socialized to believe that. Anything else by definition then is a consolation prize and that’s just not right. Since society seems conditioned to “judge” adoption or living without children after infertility treatment as second and third best, I clearly need to rethink how I see things and also learn not to care that the conventional wisdom is wrong. Thank you…

      • Mel

        July 25, 2008 1:32 am

        Oooh, this feels like we’re having a panel discussion over the Internet. More people have to join this one.

        I’m going to disagree here that anything other than the pee stick is the consolation prize. I think anything other than the child is the consolation prize. I think we celebrate our adoptions in the community just as much as we celebrate the births. I think we celebrate someone reaching parenthood. But what we also need to do is celebrate when someone resolves their infertility.

        You need to have a celebration day. People who get pregnant get the pee stick post. People who adopt get the adoption post. And people who resolve through child-free need that moment of celebration too.

  13. Shorty

    July 23, 2008 1:28 pm

    Well, I’m not 6′ tall, I’m a dwarf-like 4’10”. Other than that, I’m in the same spot — not trying anymore since it seems nothing is going to work AND there’s no more money left to try. I feel invisible constantly, too, for the same reasons. I understand moms’ needs to get together and discuss all things ‘kid’ and all, but what bothers me the most is that no one seems to care that I’m isolated. Co-workers, friends, even family; it really makes no difference. It’s amazing what just a couple of words would mean at those moments, but they’re never forthcoming.

  14. Teri

    July 23, 2008 2:02 pm

    Thanks for attending the first ever WWC in the Blogosphere session. It may also be our last. When I started the Purple Women & Friends blog project I wanted it to be a gathering place to explore these ideas. It was a wonderful cathartic, validating experience. I just couldn’t continue running it. My time has other demands. Re: the tatoo, I think a blogroll for wwc is a good idea. I wanted to do that, but didn’t know how on my site. Now I have lost momentum, since I closed my blog a few months ago.

  15. Kate

    July 23, 2008 2:35 pm

    Hi – new to your blog here…I definitely feel invisible too often. I’ll never fit in with the moms and it’s hard because I so wanted to be one. But – I’ve kind of aged out of that possibility. The “Invisibility” issue used to be most apparent to me at my husband’s work related activities. He’s a fireman and they like to have firehouse gatherings – Christmas parties, dinner dances, picnics, etc. In his previous firehouse, if you were the new wife in the firehouse and you didn’t have kids – just forget any other wife talking to you. Thankfully he transferred to a new firehouse where it is not such an issue and the wives are nicer.

  16. Deathstar

    July 23, 2008 7:26 pm

    I am exhausted from trying to find a place to fit in. You have no idea how many times I wish I was some crazy smart doctor helping to heal the sick or some super success businesswoman giving back to the community, but when I start down the road of comparing myself to others, I always end up feeling less than. One day soon, my childless state will change, but even that will not change the struggle the idea that who I am now is more than good enough.

  17. Babystep

    July 23, 2008 9:35 pm

    PJ – will this ever get any better? I feel like I am going through the motions, getting up every morning, going to work, getting house chores done, eating, sleeping. But I feel like a complete zombie. Like a robot.

    • Pamela Jeanne

      July 23, 2008 11:17 pm

      Oh, honey…I know that sensation of numbness you’re describing. Be kind to yourself. You’ve suffered a loss and the grieving is not easy to do in a society that doesn’t recognize the difficult place you’re in right now. But, yes, it does get better. It’s slow and it’s not always a linear path that you’re on, but it does get better.

  18. And B

    July 24, 2008 11:03 am

    You’ve taken such a big step in the decision to live without kids, and to own it in such an honest and open way as part of who you are.

    It’s a different place to “trying” to have kids. Maybe it takes a while to find the right place for this new you. Like the first few days with a radically new hair-cut. It can take a few days to like it.

    I guess I’m trying to understand why you are unsure if you are visible in the IF blogland.

    Your ongoing story is important to me. I value so much a little snapshot sent from further on, on any of the paths I might walk.

    And you do it with so much compassion and also class. I want to see all 6 feet of you. (that sounds a bit pervy but I think you get my drift).

  19. jenniferk

    July 24, 2008 3:03 pm

    I so admire your honesty in expressing your feelings about attending blogher and about your uncomfortable place in the infertility blogging community. I don’t have an answer for you, but I empathize. And I want to encourage you to keep blogging about these kind of topics, which are so valuable precisely because they have no easy answers. Since I first left a comment a few months ago, your blog has become a very important touchstone for me as I choose my own path, and the New York Times article you did has also inspired me to envision a way that I can “come out” to the world when I am ready. You are making a difference in the world! – at the very least to me.

    • myrtle

      December 19, 2008 9:37 pm

      I am grateful for your blog. This process of grieving what could have been is like having an out of body experience. In a recent lunch with women friends, they launched into incessant talk about their children that just went on and on. I wanted to tell them to shut up about it already not because I hate their stories but because I’ll never get to obsess about what to feed my children or whether I am pressuring them to do what I like vs what they would like–sharing that with them would make them feel terrible. In the first place, my reason for going out to lunch was to stop feeling sorry for myself. Right now, forcing myself to meet with friends makes me stop reading so many sad stories from other women who pursued ART without success and which make me cry; my emotions well-up and take over. And it is also these stories and your blog that keep me in touch with reality! Although I feel very alone, your blog and the links (e.g. There is more to life) reassure me and virtually accompany me. …My friends don’t know what I am going through and I don’t feel like telling many of them because anytime I tell people their reactions make me uncomfortable – adopt; oh, you get to enjoy each other; I am so sorry.. (aghhh!!! I hate that in particular, I don’ want pity!) or you’ll just have different blessings (thanks! 🙁 Many people walk on eggshells around you after you tell them. Sometimes just being around people who don’t know my pain makes me feel normal! Why would I want to ruin that by revealing my “problem.”
      I am one of those women whose dr. says
      “you can do donor eggs.” …these are young women” Those are the harshest words I have ever heard, especially after having spent so much money on failed treatment. The blogs are great and I wish I had found them three years ago when after ivf failure #2, and lots of debt from that, I just went numb – feeling physically and emotionally battered. I pushed out any baby thoughts out of my mind and refused to talk about it. …We keep hearing about success all the time and that’s probably what drove me back to the IVF treadmill to be hurled off into “it’s all over” this time. One hears about people trying 16 times – for me trying four times feels like 16 times already. All along, my pain has been invisible to everyone including most of my family. We went to a company picnic in July and everyone kept asking, no kids? Because I look younger than I am, I think we’ll probably get those quizzical or poor you looks for some time to come. Also, what sucks is the “what ifs”. Had I been born in England or another country where treatment is cheaper, I would have pursued treatment earlier in my life and come to terms at a much better point in time in my life. Right now I am having midlife crisis and end of the road of reproductive years all at the same time! This loss is so visible and invisible simultaneously; so private and yet so public. Maybe that’s why it so difficult to share with others.

      • Pamela Jeanne

        December 20, 2008 12:16 am

        Dear Myrtle: I so understand what you’re describing. It all sounds so achingly familiar. It will get better…

  20. Sarah

    July 24, 2008 3:46 pm

    Also coming out of lurkerdom to nod my head in agreement. Since stopping IF treatment I am definitely flopping about in that cul-de-sac – not quite feeling like I fit in anymore with my IF sisters, but not fitting in with the wider world because I don’t have kids. Sometimes it feels like we don’t acknowledge that NOT having a child is still a valid outcome of IF treatment, and one that happens to more of us than I think most people realize. I guess most of us just drift off and try to pick up life elsewhere. Maybe we need our own community? Although the tattoo sometimes seems like a good idea too…

  21. PS

    July 24, 2008 3:57 pm

    How about a change in location if possible? Personally, I found it much easier to live in Continental Europe (more friends in their 30s & 40s without kids) than in Asia where everyone seems to be a mother of two or more kids!

  22. Kami

    July 24, 2008 7:10 pm

    I know where you fit in.
    A. As a reminder to those of who almost walked your path to remember to include those of you who did in our lives and conversations.

    B. As a beacon of hope for those just starting out on the child free path. I was just composing an email to an IRL who is giving up after being told she needed DE – something she can’t afford. I am going to direct her to your blog and hopefully a couple of others.

    Maybe it is just me, but I imagine it would be very scary and I would feel so lost if I was forced to make that decision. I would need people like you to connect with.

  23. Rachel

    July 24, 2008 10:32 pm

    Man, you are hitting on some big topics. Are you sure you’re not really a sociologist?

    Feminism has gotten such a bad rap (some of it deserved) but these are the kinds of issues that Feminism ought to focus on. I’m not sure many 65+ women will ever be the focus of any man’s purely physical desire, but why does this mean we should be invisible? And you’re so right… we are.

    All my life, my mother (who bore 9 children, 8 of whom survived, 7 of whom are living) told me not to have children. She told me to have a career, do anything… but don’t have children. How sad that I managed to do exactly what she told me to do… but I know that mixed in with the unhealthy message she gave me, was an intention that was very sincere: don’t lose yourself. It seems so much easier for women to do this than for men, because of the legacy of our traditional roles.

    And this is why the Momzillas freak me out. I want to poke them in the arm and say ‘um, who are you? And why have you allowed having children to take over who and what you used to be?’ Not all women do this, thank goodness. But with all the marketing machines fixated on children and all the surrounding products and marketing opportunities around that (which is why we see all of this ‘celebrity mommy’ bullcrap, as I’m sure you know), it’s no surprise that the Momzilla disease is on the uptick.

    If I manage to have a child (or two), I want them to meet you. You — and the other women who don’t forsake their souls and personalities in the name of motherhood — are the kind of people I’d like my children to know. (Not to mention your very sweet and funny hubby!)

    I will never be invisible. I will go kicking and screaming (and singing!) into that dark night. And before then, I surely hope whomever wants to know me is motivated by me – and not whatever baby I (hopefully) will be bouncing on my hip.

    I just wish more women would do the same. Yeah, so you can reproduce. Cute baby, yeah sure. Now, what else can you do?

    • Shorty

      July 25, 2008 11:23 am

      Hell, yeah! You said a mouthful, sister, and all I have to say is you GO, girl!!!

  24. HeidiM

    July 25, 2008 3:27 am

    One thing that has helped me feel less invisible is marrying an older man. All of a sudden I was boosted into an age group of people whose children have left home. People who don’t talk about soccer and diapers, who instead are looking for something to make themselves happy.

    That said, I do feel like I have missed living a massive chunk of life, and do hate feeling invisible in any conversations about kids, which mostly come up when we’re around my friends. The worst is sitting at dinner at a wedding when everyone passes their kiddie pics around and I have nothing to pass. It’s a major downer.

    As for blogging, you are by far one of my favorite bloggers to read. The fact that you “get it” is really the main thing. Whether you have kids or not doesn’t matter in my book. You do us all an unbelievably wonderful service by sharing your soul and understanding our souls.

  25. lynn

    July 25, 2008 3:16 pm

    Thanks for a beautiful post Pam and the comments here are really pointed and interesting. The invisible thing is very real and very difficult. I made so many assumptions in my 20s and 30s about what my life would be… married … a few children. When some of those assumptions never came to pass, what helped me most was to change up my life a little bit. I changed my job from one that was higher paying to one that was more artistic. I try to seek out new friends who do not have children … and do not make new friends who do have children. I travel more and plan my life less. These things help. The trick, if that is the correct word, after you are done with the IF bandwagon, is to throw out the old assumptions and to wholly reconsider your life. If you thought you would be a suburban mom, then move to a city. If you thought that you would work to pay for schooling and cloths for the kids, then quit and do something else. That has helped me most of all … DO SOMETHING ELSE. In my new life I am not invisible … in my old life, I sometimes felt that way.

  26. Ann

    July 25, 2008 6:56 pm

    I think I should share with you that, while I get behind on my Bloglines reading, yours is one of the first blogs I click on. Why? Because I get bored with the blogs that give the blow-by-blow on infertility treatments/pregnancy/child-reading, etc. I prefer posts that actually explore life issues, that are thought-provoking. That’s why yours is one of my favorite blogs. Of course, you feel how you feel, but I don’t view you as invisible–more as an anchor in the infertility blogosphere.

  27. JCK

    July 25, 2008 9:28 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote about this topic. Feeling invisible is a horrible feeling. It is courageous to say that you are starting to feel invisible within the infertility community, because you are not on the “continuum” of treatment or adoption.

    We talked about this a bit at the conference. I really enjoyed sitting with you for those few minutes and am sorry we didn’t continue the discussion. Although our paths are very different, I can relate so much to what you have to say.

    I’m so glad that that session was a good one and that you felt surrounded by welcome. I know it must have been very challenging and emotional to have the conference weighted so much on Mommy Blogging – even if that wasn’t intentional on BlogHer’s part, but merely the statistical reality.

    I’m so glad I came by!

  28. luna

    July 25, 2008 9:29 pm

    pamela jeanne, I hope you see by these comments that you definitely have a significant place here.

    also, I loved what beth said about finding your own way and leaving a path for others. I loved what rachel said too — you are showing the world what else you can do.

  29. Bea

    July 26, 2008 2:15 pm

    This is a great post, and I can’t really put paid to your feelings of invisibility. For what it’s worth, I consider you to be very much “one of us” despite the fact you’re beyond the trying phase. And in some ways, I identify more with what you say than what fertile mothers around me say.

    That said, if you’re starting to feel invisible in the infertile community, maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Maybe it’s a sign of healing.

    Bea

  30. Heather Johnson

    August 18, 2008 5:49 pm

    I stopped here after clicking the link from your Eat Pray Love post. My situation is different from yours, but I feel much the same way as you do about being invisible to the IF world.

    I have a 6 yr old son (no significant problems getting pg with him) but cannot have any more children. We went through treatments unsuccessfully for about 4 yrs. I only found the IF blogging world AFTER we decided to stop trying. But how do I connect with what these women are going through now? I’m NOT trying any more, but I feel a connection to the world of IF … and it doesn’t feel connected to me.

    At the same time, my sister (aka Fertile Myrtle) just had her 2nd child. She named him after our dad. The thing is, that was the name hubby and I had chosen for our (nonexistent) 2nd child. It breaks my heart every time I see my dad carrying around this new baby, seeing the pride on his face, and hearing everyone say what an honor it is for my sister to have chosen that name. The fact of my IF is invisible to my family. They have no idea how much it hurts inside for me to hold play with my sister’s 2 boys, even thought I love them so very much.

    I’m sorry for going on and on … it’s just that you really struck a nerve here.

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