A painful comment?

by Ginger on February 3, 2010

in Blogging & Social Media

This is a somewhat awkward blog post, but I can’t seem to get it out of my head, so I’m putting it up anyway. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lately, I’ve found that a number of the bloggers I read are dealing with the issues of infertility & miscarriage. It’s heartbreaking to read their struggles and frustrations and hurt and anger, but the grace they show in their writing of these events is amazing to see. They make me cry, and they make me think, and they make me hope along with them that things work out this time.

Here’s the part I’m struggling with–I feel hesitant to leave comments for these lovely ladies. Not because their situation makes me uncomfortable, or because I don’t know what to say (although, sometimes I don’t. But that’s not the issue here). Instead, it’s because I always wonder if I may inadvertently add pain to their day. That sounds kind of self-centered when I read it back to myself, but let me splain where my thinking comes from.

We all know how it goes in the blogging world. You leave a comment and often, you get a return visit (not always, but often). Or, for those of us who have CommentLuv enabled, you get to see the most recent blog post title in the comment. And for some of these bloggers, they have read my stuff in the past (and some still do), so they know who I am, and what my blog consists of.  And it’s pretty apparent that it’s baby central around here lately. It’s what my brain wants me to write about lately, and so that’s what I write.

So whenever I go to leave a comment for one of these ladies, I hesitate because I don’t want to inflict my baby-ness on them, since the lack of baby-ness is what is causing them pain. I would hate, HATE, to add even an instant of additional hurt to their world, especially for something as small as a comment on their blog. So I sit with their page open, thinking “ok, what did I post today?” or “She has commentluv enabled, I should wait until my post title is different” or “does the support I’m offering in this comment out-weigh the sting that might be felt if she comes to my blog and reads about the kid?”

And I guess that’s the gist of my question–does the support I would offer in a comment out-weigh the possible sting of coming to my site/seeing the blog post title/knowing who I am and facing a baby? I know what I would do in real life, but in real life we don’t have comment forms following us around.

Internet, what would you/do you do in these situations? Are there other corollaries that are as fraught with tension? If any of you have experienced a miscarriage or infertility, what do you say? What would you/do you want?

Katherine February 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm

You aren’t shoving it in their face that you have a baby and they don’t by commenting. If someone saw the fact that you have a child and they don’t as an insult to them, then they have the problem. People should have an understanding that life goes on around them.

And seriously, it’s like you invent things to worry about.

Ali February 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Wow. The fact that you’re even thinking about this just shows how sensitive and sweet you are.

In all honesty, I’d comment. If the urge is strong enough and you know that your feelings are coming from a supportive place, then the blogger will know that too. And clearly, all of your feelings ARE coming from that place because you’re lovely. 🙂

KT February 3, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I think that you usually can turn CommentLuv off if you are worried about your last post.

The ladies that see your comment and choose to visit your site have the option of never going to your site again if it upsets them.

Her February 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I’m pretty sure you’re partially talking about my recent posts. Believe me, I don’t feel like you’re shoving baby down my throat at all–the only reason I am going through all this is because I want one! Posts like yours just serve as a reminder of how sweet it will all be once everything works out.

I’m grateful for any and all support right now–seriously. I’m obviously just speaking for myself, but I don’t feel a sting when moms comment on my blog. Some of my best friends in the world have babies, and there is just no way I could begrudge them that. So don’t worry yourself one bit. You’re not adding any pain at all, at least in terms of my posts. I was happy to hear your cousin’s story. It’s actually uplifting to read about people who have alternative situations that have actually worked out and strengthened their families. I asked for stories too, so you are more than welcome to share!

Besides…I have Sonic to get me through the tough times…for now. 😉

SoMi's Nilsa February 4, 2010 at 6:02 am

I think this issue can be expanded to a lot of situations where other bloggers write about distress. And either we can’t relate because we’ve never been through it before. Or we feel a sense of guilt because we are in a much better place than them.

I think there are ways of showing your support without shoving babies in their face. If you experienced similar obstacles or emotions, you can share what it was like for you. And if not, merely saying “I can’t imagine what this must be like; my heart aches for you” is sometimes more than enough.

It’s amazing you’re thinking through this … a lot of bloggers don’t … and sometimes it’s to their detriment. The mere fact it is on your mind means you’re less likely to leave an insensitive comment.

Ally February 4, 2010 at 9:19 am

As one of these ladies, I am really happy that you even think about this. Miscarrying was close to the worst experience ever for me, and even though I am pregnant again and things appear to be going smoothly (only 8 weeks, yikes!), I still get twinges of jealousy when I read about other blogger’s happy babyness, as you call it.

However, that certainly doesn’t mean I wouldn’t appreciate a sincere “I’m so sorry, I’ll be praying that you can get through this and that things will work out for you soon”. The support I got from mom’s and non-mom’s alike during my miscarriage was equally appreciated. I just don’t think you can ever get away from the envy thing.

Bottom line: comment away – a sincere expression of sympathy is always nice.

lisa February 4, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I wouldn’t consider myself dealing with infertility (it’s been a year, but we haven’t gone for any tests or anything yet, we’re still “just trying”), but I am definitely hoping that it happens for us one day soon, and I’m definitely disappointed when yet another month goes by with nothing. My opinion — I enjoy your baby posts. I agree with Her, it’s a reminder of how sweet things will be, and it’s a learning experience that might make some things easier when it’s finally my turn.

I’ll admit, there are some bloggers that I stopped following after they got pregnant. BUT, those bloggers were also on baby overload; everything was “all baby,all the time” with the letters to baby, belly pics, labor plans, lengthy descriptions of every little thing they’re feeling, and reminders it only took them 6 weeks to get pregnant. You are not like that AT ALL.

Steph February 6, 2010 at 12:42 am

One of my brides maids (matrons?) suffered from infertility. She had a hard time getting pregnant and then she miscarried a few times. (They ended up doing IVF and had twins!) Anyway, while she was struggling with that, another friend of mine whom she knew, got pregnant. I avoided telling her. I felt like telling her someone got pregnant was too painful. So I did what I do best and said nothing, until they both arrived at my house for dinner and a very visible pregnant belly was on display. We later talked about and her response was, she celebrated other people’s pregnancies/births. She was happy they did not have to go through what she was and it gave her hope on her own situation. I don’t think you will bring them sadness, but instead maybe make them happy away from their situation.

Carol March 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Thats nice of you to be concerned. IVF is tough and sometimes it can be difficult when other people get pregnant quickly. Time to grieve is important. I don’t think most people doing IVF would be upset with you but sometimes if the failure is recent then any comment can be difficult to hear. Its nice to see some sensitivity.

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