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Sunday, May 23, 2010

An Ode to Virtual Friends

They are everywhere. At the local Starbucks, at the park, the mall, the restaurant... No, I'm not talking about pregnant women (although they did unwittingly get some jealous looks from me over the years). No, I'm talking about people with computers and internet access. As my computer is undergoing a slew of diagnostic tests as a result of a liquid spill (computer turning into its infertile owner, perhaps?), I'm sitting around glaring at all the people around me who are able to get in touch with their virtual friends.

Sure, I could be making use of this computerless time to go out, smell the roses, interact with the real world but instead I long to talk to my virtual friends that I have come to love and depend on over the years. In a time when we are constantly reprimanded for being too "plugged in" I am here to make the case for the importance of virtual friends.

The infertile community is unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately) very large. And thanks to chat rooms and blogs, we don't have to feel so alone. Talking about your infertility to your real life friends/family can be torturous; from the friends who scurry away at the news of your struggles, to those whom you chose to avoid out of fear that they're going to make the big "we're pregnant!" announcement, to the ones full of assvice ("just relax," "go on vacation"), coming home to the comfort of an anonymous chat room/blog where your girlfriends really get you, is like a big cup of hot coco on a frigid night.

While you might identify yourselves by code names, leaving you wondering what the digits, letters, and screen names represent, over time you become so attached to one another. You happily answer questions; share stories;  commiserated over failed cycles; shed tears over losses and hopefully one day join in on the good news of a pregnancy (somehow, I was always genuinely happy for my fellow IF-friends who had success -- after all, they deserved it).

It is amazing how an experience so heart breaking can bring together women (and men) who might never have met before; overlooking our socio-economic, political, religious and cultural differences, we find strength in each other. We speak our own language (DH, PCO, IF, RE, CD3, ICSI, etc.) and have the same gallows humor. Free of all judgment, you can be truly be honest about not wanting to go to yet another baby shower, for not gushing over ultrasound pictures on Facebook, avoiding "baby" movies, and not once having to explain yourself.

Misery loves company and this my ode to my comrades (virtual and real life) who have fought in the trenches of IF with me -- those that have made it to the other side and those who are still fighting a good fight.

Happy IcomLeavWe!

5 comments:

Wombded said...

Being without a computer is so frustrating.

I seriously have trouble being happy for people who get pregnant without intervention. Right now I have to close friends who've joined me in the IF community. My heart breaks for them. I hope they can crossover as have I.

Happy ICLW

Keiko said...

Thank you for the birthday wishes and for following along on my blog. This is a really beautiful post- I hope you don't mind if I tweet it out there. The strength of this online community is humbling, really. You write: "It is amazing how an experience so heart breaking can bring together women (and men) who might never have met before; overlooking our socio-economic, political, religious and cultural differences, we find strength in each other." And it is SO true. Happy ICLW!

~Keiko @Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed

JL said...

Assvice is now a part of my lexicon. I have received FAR too much in the past three and a half years!

ICLW

http://just-two-lines-away.blogspot.com

Mrs. Farmer said...

Beautiful Post!! I agree with Keiko! That line sums it all up. Thank you for sticking around and helping those of us still in the trenchs of this battle!!

ICLW #62

junebug said...

Great post. I will be using the term assvice myself. Thank you! :-)
ICLW

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