When is Compassion Warranted- a Replay

So now that the secret is out of the bag, I want to talk about my experience announcing my pregnancy on Twitter. I knew that the spontaneous pregnancy would make some people’s hearts hurt. I knew I might be unfollowed. And in my announcement post, I acknowledged both and said those feelings were completely understandable. I totally understood… I’ve been hurt by them before as well. I wasn’t expecting everyone to throw me support because some people aren’t in that part of their journey where they could. But I also wasn’t expecting to be UNSUPPORTED, either (ambivalence, I expected and that is fine, too).  And I most certainly wasn’t expecting a few downright rude and hurtful comments, especially since it is my first pregnancy (and hopefully first child). [note: for some reason, it’s more accepted in the infertility community and you are more supported with your first pregnancy/take-home baby than you are with subsequent ones]. Also in the infertility community, I’ve noticed that people seem to be more supportive of pregnancies the more you’ve “suffered” and the more procedures you’ve gone through… those who needed some help with Clomid tend to receive less excited responses than those who have gone through IVF.

Let’s talk about unicorns. Apparently, when you have a spontaneous pregnancy when you have gone though infertility the term is a unicorn… that mythical, beautiful creature that everyone wants to see. Apparently there has been a bunch of “unicorns” lately in the social media world. Relatively soon after I announced (maybe I was the straw that broke the camels back, maybe it was coincidence), there started a DELUGE of comments about unicorns. Some saying they hope they are the next unicorn… and some saying they hate unicorns… some making fun of unicorns… and some just talking about why they’ll never be a unicorn and that it must be nice to be one. It was a lot of talking and, in my opinion, a lot of thinly veiled negativity with a bit of snarkiness thrown in (again, not from everyone and not all the time). It wasn’t one specific comment or social media post, one specific conversation, or even one specific person. It was that it was EVERYWHERE.

In what should have been one of the happiest days of my life, I was feeling guilty and ostracized for being someone who was exceptionally lucky in circumstance. But I knew people were hurting and I knew I had contributed to that hurt… even though it wasn’t my fault and I shouldn’t feel bad about it. Someone told me that me getting pregnant did not and COULD NOT take away a pregnancy from someone else. And that made me feel a bit better and decide to just ride it out. I’ve felt horrible after other Twitter people had made announcements (though I NEVER would EVER say negative things about them or “their kind”) and knew the range of emotions.

That is, until someone slung an arrow at me.  **Editing this**  Apparently, I misquoted the person, or so I’ve been told since this person is showing screenshots to people. I no longer have a screenshot of this, so I can’t be sure who is right.  So, I’ll edit it to say this:   One of the most HURTFUL comments said to me privately that made be bawl and leave Twitter (I had decided to take a break, but this made me stay away for much longer than originally planned)  for a while was someone who let me know that she’d never heard of anyone who had endo or suspected endo and didn’t miscarry at least their first child before bringing one home. Really? Is that something I needed to be told? To be told that most likely I’ll miscarry. This wasn’t the only comment I received, but was certainly the worst.  **End Edit**

So let’s go back to my post I made more than a year ago entitled,When is Compassion Warranted?

If I had gotten pregnant as a result of last November’s IVF, it may have hurt some (“why did it only take her ONE try?”) but I think most people would have been thrilled for me. But that’s totally different when it’s a spontaneous pregnancy. It’s not ok in the infertility community to have thinly veiled negativity or snarkiness toward those who get pregnant via IVF (though I have seen it with less invasive infertility treatments) and if it happens, the community would rally around the newly pregnant person, but somehow… it is ok  for that to happen when it’s a spontaneous one, apparently even if the person has gone up to and through IVF, which failed, and then had things happen so their odds of IVF working a second time got even WORSE. So, pregnancy via IVF = good… spontaneous pregnancy, even after a failed IVF = bad. I don’t get it.

Again, I never expect people to support me, because, again, not everyone is in a place in their journey where they can expend that emotion and energy. But I never expected to feel purposely, blatently, unsupported, either. And never in a million years would I have expected specific, private comments that were hurtful, either.

This is my blog, and such as it is, it’s a journey of my life. It first started out simply as a blog of someone with a spouse who was deployed frequently. It took a turn and become a military spouse dealing with infertility. And now, it’s a military spouse (whose husband will be going back to sea next year), who has struggled with infertility and is now tentatively wading through pregnancy.

I have no idea where this blog will go from here… hopefully it’ll add on being a mom, but there’s no guarantee. What is guaranteed is that this blog will follow my life’s journey–whatever that may be. I will also guarantee that I always remember and try to remain sensitive to those who are in all different parts of their infertility journeys and I will continue to support–as I always have–those throughout their journeys, no matter where they are in their journeys. For example, I’m not sharing our first ultrasound for two reasons: 1. People probably weren’t expecting this post and it gives those a chance to choose if they want to continue to follow my blog without seeing a photo like that in the first place. 2. There’s really nothing amazing to show (I mean, the fact that I’m pregnant is beyond amazing)… you can see some newly formed arms and legs sticking up. My brother said baby looks like a seahorse. I rather agree. A cute seahorse, but a seahorse nonetheless.

I understand some may need to unfollow this blog, and I understand. I hope you don’t have to, but I get it, I really do.




15 thoughts on “When is Compassion Warranted- a Replay

  1. Sometimes I think it’s best for people to step away when they feel the need to say something hurtful to others when they’re hurting. I’ve been guilty of doing it and it’s wrong. I’m sorry that you’ve been made to feel as you have.
    If I could give you any advice is to go with what you are feeling, post whatever you like and walk away from situations that take away your happiness. Life is too short to worry about others being hurt by your happiness (think how crazy that sounds).

  2. Agree. I know I’ve had to walk away and take a short break due to my own negative feelings when others had success. And thank you for the advice… that is perfect.

  3. Oh *hugs* to you. I think it is hard for people to adjust when something changes from the norm. It sounds like a unicorn pregnancy would be that type of change in the infertility community. I too think you should post what you would like about your pregnancy. It truly is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated. And really, it could give someone else hope that might be feeling like they don’t have any at the moment.

  4. Maybe taking a step back and away from all that negativity is a good thing. I say CONGRATS to you! I’m always thrilled when I hear of a new baby being expected (even after my recent loss) and I’m even more happy for those who have had to go through infertility. You are now pregnant with a little miracle and you have every right to feel happy and celebratory. Screw those negative comments! Enjoy this blessing. Meditate on your private joy for becoming a mother. Write and post what is current and relevant for you because, trust me on this, you will want to remember it later.

  5. I am so sorry you’ve felt so unsupported.
    I may have made a single joke about no unicorns or glitter coming my way due to lack of a uterus (;)) but it was certainly never meant to hurt anyone ever. I certainly hope I didn’t hurt you.
    I think it’s a truly fabulous thing that you are pregnant, and in the way you are!

  6. Arwen,

    It wasn’t anyone specific. It was all the posts about it with many of them being negative. Some, like yours, weren’t negative. I even saw people hope they are the next one (a very positive comment). It’s ok. I’m just putting this out there because it’s how I felt.

  7. Julie,

    I’m hoping it gives others hope. I also want them to know the reality and if people stop being supportive… it’s not them. It’s what happens, unfortunately.

  8. That is why I take steps away from Twitter and even left my blog for a month. Personally, I am so excited that you have a spontaneous pregnancy! You getting pregnant spontaneously has nothing to do with my journey and I didn’t even know what a “unicorn” was before reading your post. As a fellow Navy wife, you always have my full support!

  9. I don’t know much about the IF community, but I hope you can find a group that supports EVERY pregnancy, no matter how it comes about. Because all mothers need support, just like all families going through IF need support as well.

    Congrats again. I am still very happy for you!

  10. I am so sorry for all the negative and hurtful comments you received on such a joyous time for you and the hubs. I went through a lot of trials and tribulations to get our son, so I completely understand taking a twitter break. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am for you both. I will be praying for you during your pregnancy and cannot wait to find out what the gender is 🙂

  11. I had no idea all this was happening- I’m so sorry that some people have trodden over your joy like this. Overall, I’ve found that the IF community is amazing and supportive, but it’s true that all it takes is a few snarky/ miserable comments to ruin it. I have to admit that during my darkest days when i thought I’d never be pregnant, I had a rule that I wouldn’t follow anyone who was pregnant. While self-preservation is something we all have to do from time to time, it’s never ever ok to take those feelings out on someone else, no matter how much we may be hurting. And you have always been one of the most positive supportive people out there. I hope you won’t let this bring you down for long. Enjoy your pregnancy and fill it with all the joy you can- you deserve it all.

  12. I’ve been there where I couldn’t follow anyone new who was pregnant or had kids. Totally. I never unfollowed people for it, but I did refuse to follow for quite a long time. Even now I’m still hesitant to follow too many.

  13. Congrats your pregnancy! That is awesome news! I am very sorry to hear that people have been so mean and unaccepting to you. A pregnancy is a life, and it should be celebrated, no matter the means or how long, or short, a person has tried to achieve it. I will be praying that you have a normal, wonderful pregnancy. 🙂 Enjoy it, celebrate it, write about it. 🙂

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