Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Faces of ALI: Me!

Jjiraffe at Too Many Fish to Fry has been running an excellent series called Faces of ALI, telling detailed personal stories of ALI bloggers that capture the complexity of our world and the many difficult decisions we are faced with on this journey to build the families we dreamed about. So far, she has featured the stories of bloggers who have dealt with the double whammy of infertility & pregnancy loss, and adoption.

And today, she is featuring... ME. (erk!)

As I told Jjiraffe in one of our e-mail exchanges about this piece, it's kind of surreal (and emotional) to see yourself written about in the third person (especially in such kind and sympathetic terms). For one thing, I'm usually the one telling my own story (although my own words from my blog are featured throughout her article); for another, as a journalist/communicator, I'm used to being in the other chair, doing the interviewing and writing. ; )

As with the previous two articles, she has done a great job (although I may, of course, be slightly prejudiced). ; ) I was amazed that she took the time to read my entire blog -- and at how precisely she zeroed right in on the essence of my/our story, and who dh & I are as people.

I agreed to be profiled because Jjiraffe felt -- as do I -- that the childless/free option is not well communicated nor understood, even within our own ALI community, let alone by those around us. We both hope that telling my story to a broader audience will lead to a better understanding of why some of us might wind up taking this road less travelled, and the implications of that choice, both positive and not so positive.

Please have a read & let us both know what you think!

17 comments:

Anglers Rest said...

Dear Loribeth,

I have just read your featured post and just wanted to applaud you, for your honesty and humanity and to say I understand and I really do.

As I read your post your post there were many coincidences. Likewise, I am a genealogist and occasional scrap booker. I am also a reader and love books - the older the better. I, sad to say have experienced the process of going through a labour and not bringing a baby home and I truly thought our heard would break and our lives never the same again.

Returning to work is hard and I too experienced the looks, questions and silences.

Like you we have not pursued adoption and our family unit is quite simply the two of us.

Very best wishes

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

I loved the article. You, my dear, are an amazing woman!

So glad I found your blog.

erica said...

Love the article! I'm glad she featured you - partly because you are simply awesome and amazing and write wonderful and thoughtful stuff. And partly because, as you say, there aren't many childless/free writers out there, and your voices are important ones.

And I'm still a bit sniffly from reading about your classic Pooh nightgowns.

Anglers Rest said...

Just to say apologies, for the poorly written post - the glory of the IPad, it has a habit of changing its itself! Technology!

Detour said...

Loribeth, I am glad I had a chance to learn more about you from the Faces of ALI post. I was so sad to hear about your losing Katie--I'm so sorry. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

Kathy said...

Many thanks to Jjiraffe and you for sharing your story today in this way. Though I have known you and followed your blog for years, reading about your journey like this was profoundly moving to me. I just sobbed through your dear sweet Katie’s birth story. I have so much love and respect for you, the choices you and your husband have made together and how you live your lives. The ALI Community is blessed to have you, who is willing to share so openly about your experience with infertility and loss. Likewise, we are lucky to have Jjiraffe's voice to bring us the incredible and so very important faces of Infertilty, adoption and loss.

I think Jjiraffe's post was beautifully written and I am so proud of her (and you) for this, especially knowing how many people it has the power to help and educate. Well done, both of you.

tera said...

Hey Loribeth, I read both your post and the one you are referring to on the "Fish" blog you mentioned. I cried. And I cried some more. Not many women choose the path we are both on. Yes, I'm on it, too, and don't know what to call it either. It's it free or less? I definitely don't feel free.

I'm 47 and for many of the same reasons, I was 35 years old by the time my husband and I started trying to conceive. The difference in our stories are as many as there are similarities though. For one, I never saw two blue lines. I never got to decorate a baby's room.

Sometimes I thank God that at least I didn't have the same pain as you went through. Sometimes I feel that there must be nothing worse however than never seeing those lines and sharing them with my husband. Our problem was that we could never talk about it to people or share because my husband was the one who was infertile. I think that situation must be the least talked about scenario and there is absolutely no empathy for it.

I didn't even know I was supposed to grieve until a friend of mine mentioned that I had experienced a great loss. The loss of my infertility. The loss of my dream. The loss of my, dare I say it, imaginary children.

After many years of trying, my eggs got old. Now I am going through menopause. I don't want to dishonor my story, but I would give anything if I could change it. But I can't. I feel too old to be a mother now. Even though it was the only thing I ever really knew for sure I wanted to be. I wish I knew I had the ability to take on more risks, but my journey these past 12 years have worn me out. But how I wish I had a family and support network that would allow me to feel renewed enough inside to do whatever it took to help us become parents.

Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry for your pain and suffering. And I'm glad you have the ability to write about it and help other people understand.

Jjiraffe said...

Thank you again for sharing your beautiful and moving story. And thank you for the kind words about my post! I'm so happy to hear that I captured the essence of you and your husband and your story: that's exactly what I was hoping to do, and your wonderfully written blog made it easy to convey. :)

Monique said...

Loribeth - what a beautiful profile of you, Katie and your life. I might add that you are always kind and generous in those new to the loss community - I remember in the early months your comments on my (then) blog helped me a lot. Remembering Katie.

Mali said...

Yay You!!! (I thought I'd replied earlier, but I think my iPad thwarted my efforts, as it often does.)

You were one of the first bloggers I found when I started looking. I'm so glad I found you too.

Deathstar said...

loved it - cried!

JW Moxie said...

Though feel like I've known you for a while, reading Jjiraffe's words blended with your own felt like I was meeting you again for the first time. Beautiful.

luna said...

I truly loved the profile. as I wrote to Jjiraffe, I think yours is such an important story to tell. sharing your sweet Katie's story keeps her memory alive and helps others see that there is life beyond loss. bravo!

nicoleciomek said...

Beautiful profile! I cried. I think it wonderfully showed your situation, the lovely relationship you and DH have, and all that you've overcome.

Hugs to you.

marwil said...

Thank you for sharing your story and baby girl so open and brave. Very touching and very well captured by Jjiraffe.

Pamela said...

Was so very glad to read this excellent profile a few days ago. I commented on the original piece, but am just now catching up on your latest here. ox

Shelley said...

I was very touched by your story. I'm about two years into my infertility journey, and though I'm comparatively quite young (26), I know I need to educate myself on the possibilities of not having a biological child. I've been seriously holding adoption in my heart like a found stone. Turning it over and over, feeling it out. I feel I could be open to it but I'm not sure about my husband. He so desperately wants biological children (I do too) and I suppose just isn't yet ready to seriously consider adoption until we've exhausted the ARTs a little more (we're only just now starting our second IUI cycle).

But adoption is a hard road and, unlike IF, where we thankfully have insurance coverage, a very expensive and almost equally as consuming and long of a process. I fully understand why you did not choose that road and respect your choice. I feel more drawn to adoption than living child-free but I also know that I'm blessed to have what I know in my heart is very true love and that I could fill my days up with loving on my husband and animals and being very very blessed. But the prospect breaks my heart.

Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing and for opening all of our minds with your story. I think you're amazing.