Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Missing a layer of skin

I'm so thin-skinned at the moment, and so easily wounded by things people say.

I need to stop reading the comments on other people's blogs, because a comment that's made to help another person in a different situation can unintentionally stick another barb in my wound.

Like the one who commented that once she knew a NICU nurse who was treating her daughter had fertility problems of her own, she was afraid this nurse would steal her daughter.

Like the one who said of a nurse who was being mean that she obviously wasn't a mother herself, because a mother would be more sensitive.

Last week, my sister rubbished the advice of one of the best-selling authors of baby books, saying that because she doesn't have children of her own, she clearly knows nothing.

Just a couple more of the thousands of little pin-pricks that daily remind me that I'm a freak, that I'm not a member of the exclusive club I so want to join. And I watch the first-time mothers who've never changed a nappy before, never burped a baby before, holding the baby awkwardly in their arms as if they're afraid it'll break, and I wonder at the fact that they're members of this club and I'm not, and might never be.

I love my nieces and nephews, my godchildren, other children of my friends and family. I'm a useful babysitter, and I have tons of experience of looking after newborns, babies, toddlers and older children.

But don't worry - the fact that I don't have a baby of my own won't make me any more likely to steal any of your babies. It's a baby of my own I want, not somebody else's.


  1. I saw those comments and cringed myself when I read them. People just don't think. All they have to do is take a moment to put themselves in the other person's position to realize how stupid or insensitive their remarks are but they just don't stop to do that. I have found that IFers are truly more compassionate, thoughtful, and loving than most. Something about what we've endured (or continue to endure) gives a different, more empathetic perspective.

    You are an incredible, strong, giving person. You support so many people here with thought out, understanding comments. You are an incredible aunt -- it blows my mind how much you do for those children, even when enduring your deepest pain during treatment cycles.

    I really admire you so much. You are the person who gave me strength and helped me work through my emotions about IVF. When I visit your blog I feel like I can always get the honest truth from you in a way that I perhaps have never looked at it before.

    And it all boils down to the FACT that when you have your baby you will be one of the BEST mothers on this planet. There is no doubt in my mind. I know it's not a huge help, but please remember this when people make those crappy comments. *hugs*

  2. I totally get this. To me, my non-mother status makes me feel like an out sider all the time. I get silent and uncomfortable. I hate that feeling.
    Please try to take care of yourself and only read the blogs that actually help you. I also have trouble reading blogs documenting pregnancies, even when these are not easy pregnancies or births. I hate that I feel that way, but it is so hard not to when you are desperate to be a mother yourself.
    I often joke to my husband about stealing a baby, but of course I am kidding!!!! :)

  3. *HUGS* Blogspot is eating my comments again periodically, so I won't type a long one, just say that I'm thinking of you as always, and sending HUGE amounts of love XXXXXXXXXXXX

  4. It sucks that people are so thoughtless. So often we view things from our limited perspective and give no thought to the circumstances of others when speaking. It's rather appalling that someone would make a statement about not being a mother on an IF blog (I'm assuming here)...I mean, really?

    You would think being barraged with those types of comments would toughen us up, thicken the skin instead of thinning it, but it really doesn't.

    P.S. I agree with everything Sonja said. Everything. :)

  5. OK... I think I'm the person that made the comment about the nurse stealing my baby. You have to understand...this woman was nuts. I have many life-long nurse friends from our stint in the ICU. I missed them so much when we finally got to go home. They were my buddies, and life support. But this one...she wouldn't let anyone near one of my daughters. She stared at me and cried when I held her and she finally was taken off her case because she was way too emotional in regards to her. The other nurses confessed that she had NEVER acted like that before. Surely that would scare anyone.

  6. Anon, thank you for taking the time to explain that and for not having a go at me for getting upset. I suppose we're all trying to be brief in comments, and some of the message gets lost in the brevity. As I said, I'm thin-skinned and easily wounded at the moment, and without the background the comment was pretty stark - but I do know that it wasn't aimed at me in the first place and certainly wasn't intended to hurt me.

    I'm glad that nurse ended up being taken off your daughter's case - sounds like it was a bit of a creepy experience.

  7. When I read my original comments, I realized they were a little stupid. I'm very sorry to cause anyone's feelings to be hurt. That very beautiful daughter is now a nurse and so was my lifelong best friend, who is now deceased. I have the greatest respect for them, especially after I've seen the hard work that it takes to become a nurse.

    In my case, I got pregnant with triplets (no drugs) and lost a baby boy. The whole experience was a trauma and I still cry every time I think of it, 25 years later.

    I hope and pray that you are able to experience the joy of motherhood.

  8. You know what... I think I read those comments too and funnily enough I never saw them from the point of view that you did. And now that you've mentioned it, and I go back and read them, I can totally see how you'd feel like the wind has been knocked out of you. It just shows that things can be taken so many different ways when they are written down without a voice giving character and description to a comment.
    I agree with Sonja, you are an amazing Aunt to your neices/nephews and I am often amazed at how much effort and love you give them. I'm sure they absolutely dote on you. And I have no doubt that you will be an excellent mother one day soon. xxx