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.)