Monday, May 3, 2010

How a fertile found the IF bloggers....

Okay, so this fertile walks into a bar.... Wait, that's not it.

So, this fertile surfs into some blogs and finds a boatload of infertile Catholic bloggers and slowly infiltrates their numbers in sort of a sneaky, stealthy, underhanded, fertile-y way until she fools them all into thinking she is really cool and that she can fit right in without being beaten up, and.... Wait, that's not exactly right either.

Let me try again. How did a fertile like me end up entranced by and embedded with an amazing sisterhood of infertile Catholic bloggers?

It started with my interest in Catholic matchmaking (read a post about that here!).

Many years ago (when most of you young IF whippersnappers were still small), I became interested in Ave Maria Singles, and the idea that devout Catholics could find each other through the internet. Fascinating and fun! I have a cousin who was a member of AMS, thanks to my obnoxious urging, and I loved to surf the profiles with her and help her shop at what amounts to a Catholic "man store" (I believe that's the correct theological term).

I especially loved reading the success stories. I am a sucker for romance and orthodox Catholicism, so those stories were pure entertainment for my pathetic self. I couldn't get enough. I would follow a couple's story from engagement to marriage, and then I would wait for the pregnancy announcements and the baby pictures. I'm all about building families for the Kingdom of God (or watching from afar and rejoicing when that happens).

One couple that I followed on the AMS site, Katie and Devin Rose, had a created their own blog. I became a periodic reader, and I followed them through IF, miscarriage, fostering, adoption and pregnancy. At the time, the only other blogs I read were political blogs.

Then came the summer of '09. I was newly pregnant with my eighth child, and we were thrilled. I was also acutely aware of the pain of two dear friends, devout and worthy, who were suffering from infertility and secondary infertility. I wanted to be sensitive, and I also wanted to help in some way.

Here's where it gets fuzzy.... I know that I got to an IF blog (Maria Therese, perhaps?) by clicking on a comment on the Roses' blog. Somehow, I think, that led me to the Apostolate of Hannah's Tears. I emailed those blog references to my friends, but I am pretty sure I was more compelled to keep reading than they were! Or, maybe my friends were actually attending to their lives instead of sitting on their butts at their computers all day like me? Hmmmm....

Anyway, over the next days, I kept clicking.

There, still solidly within my little Catholic bubble (which extends into cyberspace), I discovered a goldmine of faith in an IF Catholic subculture that I never knew existed! A small but powerful sorority of Catholic IF bloggers were being made strong in their faith through their suffering, and were supporting each other as they carried their crosses. In a world of IVF and other artificial reproductive techniques, these women bravely held firm to Church teaching -- no easy task, when even most Catholics don't "get it." It was so incredibly moving to watch faith in action, and see profound Christian charity among believers.

What was a silly fertile to do? I became a stalker... um, lurker. :)

Okay, stay tuned for my next post, where I will talk specifics and name (blog) names! You'll hear my first impressions of the bloggers (heh, heh, Sew!), and my boneheaded early moves on the comment boards (it's good for my humility to recount).

(The Sequel, here.)


32 comments:

  1. Love it! I can't wait to read more... I love knowing how everyone started reading all the blogs. It's amazing what you can find when you just keep clicking... and clicking... and clicking!!

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  2. Yeah, I can't wait to read what your first impression of Sew was!

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  3. You're hilarious! :) I have a fertile friend in real life (actually my friend who is moving to Kansas!) who was researching for another couple (similar situation as yours) and came across the infertile blogs....so don't worry, you aren't the only fertile lurker out there, haha! Can't wait to read the rest either!

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  4. "slowly infiltrates their numbers in sort of a sneaky, stealthy, underhanded, fertile-y way until she fools them all into thinking she is really cool and that she can fit right in without being beaten up"

    are you kidding me, that is absolutely hysterical! made me laugh out loud and that doesn't happen much! lol

    I also cannot wait for your next post......so get crackin'

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  5. Your wit just cracks me up! Love it!

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  6. You're one infertile I don't mind! I'm glad that you "infiltrated" us!

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  7. I love it! Can't wait to read more! Btw, I got re addicted last night and all caught up!

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  8. Haha I love this post! You and your bubble are always welcome in my infertile world!!

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  9. I'm glad you found us! Also glad you started a blog of your own. I think this is my first time commenting on your site. Love it!

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  10. I'm so glad you found us!!! I started crying at the whole catholic soririty part.....:) I don't need IRL friends! hahahaha I have them all here in the comfort of my own home! ;)

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  11. I'm scared of what your first impression was of me...But I think I might have started to calm down before you started reading! hahahaha

    I'm the reckless Catholic! ;)

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  12. oooo this is intriguing. reading this post almost made me feel like i was reading some teaser on peo.ple.com or enter.tainment week.ly... :)

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  13. Great post. I just discovered this world too not long ago. Most don't know me, but I found comfort in reading about their great faith when I was enduring seemingly endless singleness. Different cross, but somehow it was easier to "bear it well" when I saw others living such faith-filled lives!

    Yay for AMS and matchmaking, btw. My little sister is an AMS "success story." I'm a sucker for those stories too. :)

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  14. Love it!

    I agree with Barbie, that paragraph had me peeing my not-so-fertile pants!! :)

    And to echo Sew, she TOTALLY calmed down before you got to her!! When I first "met" her, holy heck, she was a tornado!!! I think it was about 4.5 minutes between her introducing herself on my blog to the long-distance Intro Session she immediately lined up. And then another 7 minutes later she was getting a double-bowel resection!!

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  15. Love it! I too agree with Barbie and TCIE about the hilariousity of that paragraph. I'm glad you're around.

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  16. It's wonderful to build a large Catholic blog network of all different kinds of women. Fertile or not! :) Thanks for the support and I hope to keep reading your insightful commentary.

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  17. Hello :)

    I just came across your blog by a link on Sew's blog. Nice to meet you!

    You are in your forties and have eight children? Wow, that's great! You are so blessed! Thinking of you and praying for you and your family!

    Love,
    Maria Therese :)

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  18. So THAT'S how it happened! I'm glad you're here!

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  19. I cannot WAIT to hear your first impression of Sew. The first time she was going to come to visit me, I had to tell her she was going to watch her "potty mouth" so M wouldn't learn any "colorful new words" while she was here! lol! She did great!

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  20. So funny, especially the part about SEW!

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  21. This is a great story! Funny how the spirit works, even in what links you click on! I'm excited to here more!

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  22. I love this post! I think this community of bloggers is unique. I feel like I hit the jackpot. These ladies help encourage me, make me laugh, and understand my feelings! Who could ask for more from a friend! So glad you found us!!! I always appreciate your words of encouragement. Especially the last one, it is really hard to be in the situation I am in and asking God to help you let it go and to trust him completely!

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  23. I think the first time I read Sew's blog she was talking about constipation. I think my impression was shock and awe:)

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  24. You guys are so funny!!! I hope to be back soon with installment number two! :)

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  25. And now you're sucking in the celibate! What's up with that????

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  26. Ahhh...I'm days behind in my blog reading! I loved this post! I was grinning all the way through (can't LOL too much b/c I'm at work)! But can't wait to read more :)

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  27. This is so fun to read! I didn't realize you're blog was here...look forward to reading more. :)

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  28. It's wonderful to know that through our Catholic faith, no matter where we are (even via the internet) we can all connect and share our struggles and stories with eachother. I do want all of you who are infertile to know that I have been praying for you all. Many blessings.

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  29. This is too funny!!! I'm so glad you found me and I'm loving linking up to this new network. How did I not know this wonderful group existed?! I so want in... :)

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  30. I have no idea why I didn't think to look for camaraderie online for other Catholic infertile couples. I can't wait for the links. Nine years and one pregnancy that was awful... I would love to get some emotional support. Other people don't understand what it is like. They are so busy trying to PREVENT pregnancy that they can't imagine the heartbreak of going to bed with your husband knowing you won't be able to conceive. Thank you so much for this.

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  31. Rebecca and Paxetbonum,

    I see everything as being either random or having a natural cause. I guess even random events require a natural cause even if we can't always identified it.

    The two most significant random events in my life were the early death of my mother and meeting my wife. One was unfortunate and the other was fortunate. I can't blame or thank God for these occurrences any more than I can for where a ball on a roulette wheel comes to rest or what powerball number comes up. Stuff happens, both good and bad, and there is no force other than nature that controls it. Don't ever try to tell my wife that.

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