Existential and Exhausted

Oh hai.

If The Infertility Voice has felt a bit off kilter lately, you’d be correct. Things are off kilter here. Life has been hectic.

(Isn’t it always? I feel like that’s my default excuse but in truth, my life is wicked busy right now.)

I’m resolved. Our son is a pretty rad little infant. Still technically infertile.

*knocks on her ovary*

“Yoo-hoo…! Anybody home?”

*crickets*

Right. So. What does this all mean for this space here?

In truth… I really don’t know.

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I’ve been writing this blog post in my head for about six months now. In the weeks right before Judah was born, my life kind of exploded: I took on a ton of new freelance work and successfully co-chaired a swanky fundraiser in downtown Boston. Just as that wrapped, the following week, I had my baby 5 weeks premature. Life has zoomed ahead at breakneck speed since then. Our son is already four months old, as of today.

Time has flown, people.

In the wake: my blog fell to the wayside (I had so very many, many WordPress updates to make just before writing this post). My Facebook page has gathered a bit of dust. And my Twitter and Pinterest feeds have largely become promotional spaces for all of my Disney Baby column.

What else have I got going on?

Some freelance writing for SyFy.com. My Answers.com Infertility Expert column. And some other freelance projects, like this hot new logo for Conroy for Boston. (It is trippy to see my work on campaign signs throughout the city. Go Chris!)

Oh, and that whole WAHM thing now.

So yeah. Up to my eyeballz with a truckton of work, a lovely baby, and generally trying to remember to do things like pee, eat, sleep. Shower when I remember.

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I feel like I need a site redesign, as if somehow, that will kick me in the ass and get things started back up. As much as I’d love to turn The Infertility Voice into this slick, cosmopolitan web magazine as I had intended with this most recent redesign, in truth – I just don’t think I have the time to do that kind of editorial work.

My own personal journey with infertility has for now, ended. Yes, we’ve still got four on ice. (Which reminds me… our first embryo storage bill is due.) But for right now, we’re focusing all of our attention and love on Judah. What comes down the pike in a couple of years from now remains to be seen.

So where does that leave me in this space? As THE infertility voice, as I’ve so loudly proclaimed for myself?

For the first time in a very long time, I’m not sure I know how to respond.

I’ve been struggling with this identity crisis for months now, well before Judah even got here.

Am I just another mommyblogger?

Or do I still have something worthwhile left to contribute to this community?

And, important follow up question: do I realistically have the a) time; b) energy; or c) drive – to really keep going? In order, my responses would be No, Yes with Caffeine and Some All Nighters, and On the Fence.

It’s that last response that concerns me, given how deeply entrenched I became in this community.

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Lemme lay something to you real straight like.

Remember when I was all like, “Heyyyyyyy I’ma be on the KATIE Showwwwww!!”

And then everyone was like, “When’s it gonna air???”

And I was like, “Ummmmmmmm… soon?!”

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, yeah. Obvs, it never happened. Even though she’s done a handful of infertility-themed shows since, that ship has sailed. I had two contacts with her show, a producer who has since left and her assistant, who stopped responding to my emails months ago.

I get that this is the way that television works. I’m no dummy.

But… that doesn’t mean it didn’t just bruise my ego, but suckerpunch me right in the face.

The plan? Appear on Katie. Boost my platform within the infertility community. Really get to work on a book proposal. Start trying to find agents.

Yeah. Vain? Ambitious? Perhaps a tad over-reaching? Guilty as charged. But at least I can be transparent about it and own it.

Katie never happened. My freelance work was at an all-time low at the beginning of this year. I began experiencing prenatal depression. I had a bit of an identity crisis.

And then suddenly, as my work for the New Leaders Council Boston started rarin’ up, the freelance work came at me like a ton of very fortuitous bricks. This all happened around mid-April, right as I was planning to revamp The Infertility Voice. My husband left for China on business. We joked about making a contingency plan if I went into labor. We shrugged it off.

And then I went into labor.

For the past four months, I’ve felt like I’ve been on perpetual catch-up. With my attentions (rightly) focused on this new little human being, this fascinating little guy who can smile and roll over and do all sorts of amazingly cool shit for a four-month old – I’ve just always felt like I’m running a month behind. On everything.

Suddenly, the focus of my world went from Infertility with a Capital I to holyshitI’mresponsibleforanotherpersonnow.

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I have watched this time and time again in our community. The infertility blogger who gets pregnant, has her baby, packs up her virtual suitcase and leaves.

I refuse to be that blogger.

The thing is, I’m not sure if it’s because I’m stubborn like that, if it’s because of my ego and what I’ve built and created within this community, or if yes, beneath all the exhaustion, I really do still feel so passionately about this community and what we need.

I have become acutely aware of the untethered space of pregnancy and parenting after infertility because, I’ll tell you what – there is no mindfuck quite like finding out you’re pregnant when you really weren’t sure it was ever going to happen for you. And that mindfuck only continues once you leave the RE’s office and move to the OB with virtually no support and yes, even once your baby gets here. And in our case, WAY ahead of schedule, no less.

I know that many of you have commented or tweeted or emailed me to let me know: hey, it’s cool. We’ll abide while you figure yo shit out. And for those of you that have reached out to me to let me know as such: thank you. It has really meant a lot. But I know others have grown bored. And with the Great Demise of Google Reader, there’s been a big shift in the way folks read and follow their favorite blogs, myself included.

Everything just feels so very precariously momentary right now. Maybe it’s because we’re toward the tail end of the High Holidays, and I always get a bit introspective then. Maybe I’m just anticipating a retrograde Mercury next month.

Or maybe I just need to get my shit together and figure out what I’m doing here.

So, if you’re willing to abide even further as I muddle my way through this, word. Thank you. You’ve always been welcome and it’s nice to have the company. If it’s time to peace out, I get it. No hard feelings. You’re always welcome back.

I’m just not sure right now, if you were to leave, exactly what you’d be coming back to.*

*Probably another redesign. Because let’s be honest, I’m a StudioPress/Genesis/WordPress design junkie.

So there you have it.

What you have, I don’t know.

All I know is, it’s 3am and I’ve got maybe 3 hours, 4 if I’m really lucky, to get some sleep.

Bonne nuit, mes amis.

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Comments

  1. Whitney Anderson says

    Keiko – I hear you. It’s a weird space to be in sometimes. I had to give up leading a local support group I started due to my new journey of dealing with my bum hips and knowing the twins will be here soon. I still care and I still want to help, but when life throws you a new curve ball, you have to roll with it and just do what you can. I decided it was way better to have someone else take over instead of me doing a poor job, canceling meetings, etc.

  2. J HL says

    I have always thought that you rock, and I still think that. I’m here for the duration. Or wherever else you happen to move next. Because see, thing is, you’re YOU, you’re not just another infertility blogger. (OR a mommyblogger. But I wanted to say that so you could see the parallel.) xo

  3. Lori Lavender Luz says

    I’m with JHL. Here for the duration, excited to see where you take your blog.

    I’ll be watching you on Katie when (not if) that happens!

  4. Boston Baby Mama says

    Keiko – I don’t know if you remember, but we met at that Mini Luxe event for Mom Bloggers in Wellesley about a year ago. You had just recently found out you were pregnant I believe. I have been following your blog since then, and funny enough wondered where you had been yesterday and just read this post. I applaud your honesty and candor. And let me say I have been where you are many times. It took us 2.5 years to get pregnant with my first (I have PCOS, and have been told I will never be able to conceive without assisted fertility treatments) and then it took me 3 IVFs (with our frozen embryos from first) to have our second (who just turned one last month). Like you I have struggled with the fact that I label myself as an infertile woman, yet I have two gorgeous baby girls to hug and kiss every day now. No matter what I will always think of myself as infertile, and be a voice of support for my struggling friends and readers. You are that, times 100! What you have created here is unlike anything I have seen in the virtual world – such an amazing network of support and information. I have also struggled with the whole blog-in-limbo thing too – MANY times. Re-designs totally help. Right now I am balancing one kid in pre-school, a 1 year old who is either climbing the furniture, eating the dogs foot or just wants to be held, and the building of our dream house. I take 3 hours a week to work out, I am lucky enough to get to shower every other day. Then there is the grocery shopping, errand running, laundry, feeding my family, cleaning up after my family…yada yada yada. Needless to say, my blog (my virtual baby) has suffered. The point of this comments is to say that we understand. We feel you. Your readers will stick with you, no matter what you decide, and the ones that don’t – eff ‘em. I wish you all the luck and continued success!! Jess aka Mama J

  5. Michelle D says

    It’s hard to make the transition in blogging and as much as ever resolved infertile tries to fight the change in life…that’s what a baby or babies does. It doesn’t mean you aren’t infertile like you said (we went to a RE appointment yesterday and they asked how often the hubs and I have been trying to conceive this time around…we laughed; sex and conceiving don’t even go in the same sentence anymore). But just because you become a mom doesn’t mean that you are irrelevant as a blogger or even infertility blogger. You and I still have plenty to give…yeah some audiences don’t follow or have interest in the new topic but you can’t change that a big change happened. My two cents on that. Judah is absolutely adorable by the way. Looking forward to the official Katie airing. Take care of yourself.

  6. Geochick says

    I moved your blog over to my new reader and was super excited to see a new post today! I’m happy that you don’t want to leave. :)

  7. Nisha D says

    It’s hard. That infertility was part of your identity for so long and now…your not that person anymore. I struggled for years, and some days still have that inner debate about if I’m an infertile or just someone who doesn’t want kids. I went back to college instead of undergoing more treatments. And we’ve looked into adoption, but frankly we can’t afford it, and we were told that our jobs wouldn’t make us a very good match. My husband goes to work anywhere between 10am and 5am. So he often sleeps during the day. I work an 8-5 and am trying to pick up enough freelance work to quit that job and just focus on school and getting it over with. I’m still infertile, but I’m just not in the same place. I totally get where your coming from.

  8. Guest says

    I have never been in the place you are currently-building a career and livelihood from blogging, but I have been in the identity crisis place (both as an IFer and IF blogger). No matter how seldom I posted when my son was an infant (there was a year there where I only published 7 entries), I always knew that I couldn’t close up shop because my blog felt like a piece of me and while I was wrapped up in mommyhood too much to tend to it at times, I had every intention of returning when I could. And I did.
    My son is almost four and through the waxing and waning of my presence because of life and parenthood demands, I too never wanted to be ‘that’ blogger. Five years later, I’m still here. Not as often as I’d like, but my return is always inevitable. So, if you’re determined that this blog is still something you want to hold onto, it will be waiting. And so will we. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more from you in the future and if it takes some time for that to happen, so be it. We get it. Take care of the most important priority first.

  9. Esperanza Paz says

    I, for one, will be here no matter what you choose to do. And no pressure to figure it out anytime soon either. ;)

  10. Sara Tapa says

    I think that you don’t need to figure it all out right now. New baby time is fleeting and overwhelming and it can be hard to figure out who you are in a sea of AllAboutTheBaby. That is normal and fine. I AM that IF blogger who left a couple of years after baby was born, and that’s OK with me. I still read and comment, and am here to support others, and for me, that works. For you, well, you’ll figure it out. Until then, if you write it, I’ll read it, and if you don’t, well, I’ll think fond thoughts and wait patiently.

  11. says

    I’m not sure if I missed this all together or that I’m forgetting that I congratulated you, but either way, Congrats on your son!

    As for your dilemma, I think all ALI bloggers go through this crisis of how to define them in their cyber space after pregnancy/baby/adoption. Remember why you started blogging in the 1st place. If that reason is still valid in your life, keep going. If you start to feel “burdened” by having to make posts, etc, take a hiatus and see how you feel- distance can make the heart grow fonder.

    Also, once an infertile, always an infertile. It never leaves you.

  12. waiting says

    If you aren’t going to post regularly or write regularly on your blog, can you at least post links to all the freelance writing that you are doing? Honestly, I had given up on you and was getting ready to take you off my blog-reading list and unfollow you from twitter when I decided to check just once more. Lo and behold, you came back, but it doesn’t look like you’ve stayed back. I get it. Becoming a parent is tough. But, for those of us still in the trenches, it feels like we’ve been ditched and forgotten. I’ve moved on and found others to read and follow that help me figure out my path, but I always liked your style of writing and your perspective. So, come back. Or, at least post links to stuff that you are getting paid to write. Just don’t go AWOL.