April 1st: The Day the Internet Changed My Life
By Dresden on March 31, 2015
No joke: Tomorrow is a very special and wonderful anniversary for me. Seven 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 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 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 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. 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.
Dresden blogs about Alzheimer's, Infertility, and Single Motherhood at http://creatingmotherhood.com
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