I bought a book a couple of weeks ago called The Infertility Survival Handbook: Everything You Never Thought You'd Need to Know, by Elizabeth Swire Falker. Tonight was the first time I opened it. I love reading, but I tend to use it most as an escape, a form of relaxation. If I learn anything in the process, cool, but there's a reason I'm usually reading fiction and not non-fiction, and that's because it's fun.
Anyway, I was going to just read the book like I do most of them, even non-fiction, just straight through. As I was paging through the table of contents to get to the first page, though, one of the later chapters caught my eye: Telling Friends and Family. The chapter has sections on "Who to tell and what to say," "How to cope with insensitive comments," and "How to cope with social and work obligations." I turned to that chapter and read it immediately.
The question of who to tell and what to say is especially key as I start this blog. When I created this blog, I decided to use my first name and a common screen name of mine. This decision wasn't that big a deal to me because I decided that if anyone randomly came across it and realized it was me, I didn't care. Today, I created a fan page on Facebook for this blog and linked it in to the NetworkedBlogs application. That has more risks involved because of the number of people I have friended on Facebook that are acquaintances more than they are friends. As I set up the NetworkedBlogs app, I listed myself as the author of this blog and needed to verify that fact by asking friends to say that I am who I say I am. One of my friends who has a blog and had suggested the app to me called me to ask if I wanted to list myself as the author of the blog, given that people I don't know well would then be able to see that. I decided that it was fine, because I don't care if people I know are looking for information about infertility, come across this blog, and realize it's me. And I figure that anyone who doesn't care about my infertility isn't too likely to click on the link if they do see it. The biggest thing that I wanted was to make sure that it would not post to the feed of everyone I know whenever I post, so I have it set to only post to the feeds of people who liked the page for the blog.
I'm going to devote a whole separate post (or many more than one) at some point to insensitive comments. The other part of that chapter that's really key to me right now is the section on social and work obligations. I haven't had baby showers to go to since we started trying, especially since the one or two at work were on days when I was at another location, but I'm sure I'll have 2 or 3 in the upcoming months to decide whether I can handle. My most imminent obstacle is tailgating. The group that I tailgate with includes a one-year-old, a one-month-old, and a pretty close friend due in November that conceived without trying. Yesterday I skipped tailgating in the end, arriving just in time for the game, even knowing that the pregnant friend wasn't going to be there and thinking that the one-month-old wouldn't be there...I decided that even just dealing with the one-year-old would be too much for me this weekend. Good thing I did, since the one-month-old was there too. I hope I don't have to skip tailgating all season. It's something I enjoy, and having to skip something I enjoy because I'm not strong enough feels like having to punish myself for being weak. At least I have 2 weeks before I have to make that decision again.