The day the internet changed my life

No joke – Today is a very special and wonderful anniversary for me. Three years ago today the internet helped me have a baby. Seriously. Wait – do you not know this story? Oh it’s a good one. And it’s nice to be reminded that the people on the other end of the wires and tubes and webs of our computing devices are as connected to us as we will allow them to be.

I tried to have a baby on my own for several years without any success. Well I say “on my own” but it actually involved a team of doctors, an ever-rotating staff of blushing interns, a nice collection of nurses and lab technicians, the makers of several large pharmaceutical companies, and anonymous sperm donors one through four. It exhausted all of my savings from my life in Los Angeles and it reached the point where there was nothing left to put in.

The End of the Line and I were about to be formally introduced and I was beyond heartbroken – I was womb-broken. Never before had I invested so much of my whole self into a desire without anything to show for it except weight gain and bitterness. The hard part was that after my last failed cycle (an IVF cycle that resulted in an early loss) I was emotionally ready to try again but I did not have the means.

I was this amazingly incredible lucky lady with embryos that could be frozen. That was HUGE and very unexpected. It had taken me a long time to save up for the IVF that created those embryos and I knew that it would most likely be several years before I could afford to do a frozen embryo transfer. This wasn’t unusual in the world of assisted reproduction this is some seriously expensive stuff. Getting benched because of lack of funds is common but by delaying the ability to move forward to another cycle you end up clinging to grief and the “what ifs” for a very long time.

I did what any vocal and over-sharing gal on the internet would do in times of extreme sadness and frustration: I decided that I would stop blogging. That was it! I was picking up my marbles, packing up my crayons, and opting not to play anymore. Truth be told I just couldn’t breathe. I had made great connections with other women that had cycled at the same time as me. It was so great when so many of us got pregnant. I wasn’t ready to watch them continue to be pregnant when I wasn’t. I also wasn’t ready to cheer on other women who were trying. Nope. I had no cheer.

The world went dark.

And then there was a gentle tug at my elbow. Just a quiet question. “How much do you need?”

The next day was April 1st. It was the beginning of the beginning for me, for my family. Once upon a time a group of bloggers got together and put their heads together and created the most amazing fundraising drive with the BEST name. I’m not kidding. For those that don’t remember or don’t know, the name was U.T.E.R.U.S. – and it stood for Union to Expedite Relief Until Self-Fulfillment.

Bloggers from our community donated goods to be auctioned, they donated their time and math skills, and it became this beautiful bucket brigade of hope and perseverance. No, one person (me) couldn’t manage to save up for a frozen embryo transfer. And no, two people couldn’t do it either. Not three, not four or five. It was a lot. Too many to count. A dollar here, five dollars there. By the end of the month of April we had raised just over $2000. By May I was able to call my fertility clinic and schedule my FET.

You don’t realize it when you put your fingertips to letters on a computer keyboard, when you put the words out there into space – the words land. And sometimes they don’t just land, they collide. They collide with other words, other people, other feelings, other moments. There is a point when we collide with one another where we are one and the same. The day the internet changed my life I was a collision of words. Those words were picked up and carried and then safely placed on the pages of my next chapter. These words. That letter W. He wouldn’t be here without the internet, without strangers that became family. Thank you.

{Special thanks to Mel & Jen .}

 

Comments

  1. says

    Reading this with a huge smile on my face. Do you mind if I swipe this post title? I also have a “Day the Internet Changed My Life.” Love you!

  2. says

    What a wonderful story! I vaguely remember hearing about it, but it’s so cool to see the whole thing in one place, and how it affected you.

  3. Jennifer says

    Because you have changed so many of our lives we were thrilled to be able to be part of changing yours.

  4. says

    I remember that campaign. What I can’t believe is that it was 3 years ago! It doesn’t seem like that much time has passed!

    Great post to remind us all that we aren’t just typing words on a screen…but that we are actually reaching people and connecting with them!

  5. says

    I love your story so much.

    I have something I bought from that U.T.E.R.U.S. eBay auction. It’s one of my very favorite things I own. I never put it together before since I didn’t know you at the time, but now it is even more special.

  6. says

    I donated something to the auction, so I fondly consider you as the only woman I will ever knock up.

    In all seriousness, it was a joy to watch W come into being, and it is a joy to watch him grow. He is very special for so many reasons, not the least of which that everything about his story is surrounded by love.

  7. says

    What an amazing story! I’m so glad I know this now! It’s just another example of the amazing outpouring of care in this community. Happy Day That Changed Your Life!

  8. says

    wow – I remember this, from livejournal, it was huge and I remember being so amazed at how much people loved you, and also a little freaked out by how PERSONAL all this was, even as it played out across our screens – but it was so touching and so sweet and so inspirational…

    And now, to see you pop up on my RSS feed, with a new blog and a new baby! Well – it’s just amazing! I have tears of joy for you, and am just so thrilled to hear this part of the story too! Congratulations to you and to all who were involved in making this dream come true!

  9. says

    I think that day also changed my life too. Because I also was going through a very early pregnancy loss after my 3rd IVF cycle and I had given up. I was bitter and angry. I had given up on the whole ART process and was even bitter towards people for whom it worked. But something in the UTERUS effort spoke to me, and even if ART would never work for me, I wanted to overcome the sadness in my heart….and I sent a little bit of $. I was thrilled that you became PG with W and was thrilled that I was thrilled. Pregnancy announcements used to make me so sad. Something inside of me had changed, and it turned out that in a way I too was also expecting. That August, we were put in touch with a birth mother and 6 weeks later our daughter was born. So, yes, in a way, that day changed my life too. Thank you for reminding me!

  10. Amy says

    Here from Jen’s blog – what an amazing story. Big, huge congrats to you, Happy April 1st and a giant THANK YOU to blogger/internet families!

  11. says

    I remember this day-such an amazing rally of love and hope. What a super-duper love story. Give W hugs from me and high fives from O-man.

  12. says

    That is such a great story. I think I had just started looking into become a choice mom (at least on the internet) and I remember reading about this. Soooo fabulous.

    I’m so very happy you have W. And so very grateful that blogland exists. For this very reason. Congratulations – what a wonderful post.

  13. says

    What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m so glad that your story has such a happy ending. Sometimes I wonder how women were possibly able to stand fertility problems before the internet. Those women must have felt so utterly alone.

  14. says

    OMG, my heart. I remember when this started, but I didn’t know it was for you…until right now. Seriously, I just never paid attention I guess. However, KNOWING that it means that W is here, that your smile is real and the reason for it, just made my whole week.
    xo

  15. Alexicographer says

    This is a beautiful post and it seems just and right that I found my way here from Alexa’s recent one that is — in its beginnings (not in Alexa’s writing) — so much more troubling. I read all of Alexa’s post and am working through the comments, and when I get to where it’s my turn will post what is true, which is that I strongly suspect absent the internet my son wouldn’t exist. For us it wasn’t UTERUS or a similar venture per se, though heaven knows we too struggled with funding this stuff, but rather the way that knowing of others’ struggles and paths (if I had to name 2 it would be Julie of ALP and Julia of Hippogriffs, though Getupgrrl was in the mix too) gave me the strength to “keep calm and carry on.” So, yes. It’s so good to be here with you.

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