november 2012 – traditions – monthly theme post listing

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you from the United States!! To the rest of you, Happy Thursday! 🙂

Below are the posts for our November 2012 Monthly Theme Post topic, “Traditions.” Enjoy!

Suggested Prompts:

  • How do you choose which traditions to create/follow in your family?
  • Are your traditions based on your family history, culture, religion, or some combination of the three?
  • What is your favorite tradition for your kid(s)? Did you also do it as a child?
  • Do you have a set plan of traditions you want to introduce, or do you just “go with the flow?”
  • How do you reconcile differences of opinion between you and your partner or you and your extended family in what the tradition “should” be for your child?

Contributing Bloggers:

  1. Maggie of iMags says “Miracles are a reality in our family. We have a very mixed-up household tradition-wise, and celebrate many Holidays and traditions. While we mix it up, I have also tried to implement our own family traditions, which are unique to our crazy little family.” Check out her post about “Miracles!”
  2. Sarah from Mommyhood after Fertility Frustration talks about “Blending old family Christmas traditions with new ideas to make our own unique memories.” in her post, “Traditionally Traditional.”
  3. Josey of My Cheap Version of Therapy talks about how she and her husband have melded together their traditions in “Traditions – Past, Present, and Future.
  4. mandski has a direct approach in her “Holiday Traditions” post, saying “We’re holiday celebration failures over here.”
  5. Ms. Future PharmD talks about “Traditions we’ve developed in the last 4 years as parents plus some including our extended families” in her post, “Traditions!
  6. Jules of Two Pink Tulips says that she is “”working through my need to Do It Perfectly every year, and learning how to mix our traditions from our own childhoods into our new interfaith household” in her post, “Tra-di-tiooooon, Tradition!”
  7. christine of believing in june says her post, “traditions” is “a post about the traditions I hope to have for my little family.”
  8. Fiona of Life Amongst the Palm Trees talks about “a childhood lacking in holiday traditions… or so I thought!” in her post, “Holiday Traditions.”
  9. Levi, a Jew, discusses how he and Angela, not a Jew, are building their own family traditions with their son in “Tradition, Tradition!” over at Three is a Magic Number.
  10. Missy of My Scarlet Baby says that “My favorite traditions” is about “Sharing my favorite tradition with my son.”
  11. Kalyn of The Kasun Family has a “Talk about past traditions and what has changed them now that we have a child!” in her post, “Traditions.”
  12. Delynn from Slaying, Blogging, Whatever… talks about “Traditions based on our Geeky nature” in “Geeky Traditions.”
  13. Emma over at Emma in Mommyland discusses “Traditions I had growing up and ones I’d like to start now that I have a family of my own” in her post, “Holiday Traditions.”
  14. April from R. Sativus does “A review of some of my favorites from our many family traditions” in “Tradition!
  15. SRB from little chicken nuggets gives us her thoughts on the criminal careers of the Tooth Fairy and Santa (and some sad, some nice memories too!) in her post “Thoughts on Breaking and Entering (A Post About Traditions).”
  16. Gemini Momma from Three Geminis and a Sagittarius discusses Waking up the Old People (and Other Traditions).
  17. Chon at Life Begins brings us some Traditions: Oz Style.

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Did we miss you? Were you maybe a little late? No worries! Link to your post with a short blurb in the comments and we’ll add you to the list!

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news item– “our infertile years” by vanessa hua

This article– “Our Infertile Years” by Vanessa Hua– brought back some memories for me. I almost don’t even know where to start. How do you piece out clips of an article that is about the whole of someone’s infertility-before-parenting experience?

There’s so much to say. I’ll break down the main points:

 

Ownership & Guilt

I told no one, feeling ashamed, abnormal, betrayed by my body… I, not we. I shouldered most of the responsibility for the treatments. That was the reality of the female anatomy: my eggs, my uterus, my pregnancy.

I remember how different the beginning of infertility was from the later stages of infertility for us– the phase where we acknowledged there was a problem, were actively pursuing treatments, and had to process the fact that they weren’t working (yet?). I remember my husband’s stellar SA and my less-than-stellar ovulation, even with varying amounts of Clomid. I remember, despite Husband’s reassurance, that it really was my fault, my infertility.

I am lucky– my husband is sensitive, caring, and a very good sounding board. He didn’t make me feel like it was all on me, even though we both knew that it was technically my burden, both because the infertility was mine and because I would be physically responsible for the care and keeping of our fetus (or, as we later discovered, whatever the plural of “fetus” is).

Sometimes I drank, a glass or two, only at dinner, and only on the weekend. To pair with the meal, to relax and for a chance to feel as if my life hadn’t been put on hold for a future that might never come.

My husband wasn’t pleased.

Husband let me take the lead on what I should and shouldn’t do and didn’t try to police my food intake or activity level. Maybe that’s in part because I was pretty paranoid about anything I could potentially do to lessen our chances of getting and staying pregnant– I didn’t need anyone to police me because I was policing myself already. I beat myself up pretty well, but I wouldn’t have been too keen on him swiping a glass of wine out of my hand. Hoo boy. Ahem.

 

Life on Hold

While attempting to start our family, my husband and I had deferred trips and let go of plans and opportunities. I had understood my life and its attendant freedoms to drink, eat, do and go where I wanted would change as a mother, but I’d never considered the limbo in which the precautions would turn out to be pointless, month after month.

Sound familiar to anyone else? It is to me. I skipped out on a lot because of infertility– mostly baby showers (sorry, IRL friends who might be reading this; know that I love you and all of your babies)– but I also skipped a lot because of the specific pursuit of pregnancy. There were corks left unpopped, late-night events I skipped in favor of early-morning blood draws, parties I left early to go home and give myself shots. I was never much of a gym rat, but I didn’t work out most of the time we were doing treatments, too, just in case it might have been too much strain on my body. Worst of all, though, was the medication I took to treat my skin issues– acne that I’ve had since I was 12, which I never realized before was part of my infertility because it was caused by the same hormonal imbalances that caused my probable PCOS and ovulatory issues– was contraindicated for pregnancy, and I actually had to stop taking it for a full month before I was allowed to go off the pill and start trying. My beautiful clear skin disappeared pretty quickly, and it was another 3 years from that date before I had my daughters in my arms. I still can’t take it because I’m breastfeeding. All those days that I hid from photos, for over two of those three years, was because of infertility.

 

Toll on a Marriage

My husband and I had to be united, not divided, to survive the trials of infertility.

“I feel so helpless,” he said, apologizing. “I know this is hard on you. That’s it’s all on you.”

We promised to do better. We had to do better. If we were fortunate enough to conceive, we’d make decisions together for years as parents, as equals.

This is where my experience differs from the author’s somewhat, but I think it’s worth being very clear– infertility is hard on a marriage. Guilt, blame, resentment, helplessness, and having to be on the same page for plenty of big decisions– would you ever want to adopt? how do you feel about IVF? I don’t know if I can put my body through that sort of treatment again; can you come to terms with not being biologically related to your child?

People tend to discuss whether or not they want children before they get married or even engaged (speaking here, of course, about the couples who are legally free to do so; certainly many couples decide to have children who cannot get married or chose not to and I don’t want to leave them out here). What most couples don’t talk about, though, is how they feel about, say, discarding unused embryos from IVF, or using donor sperm, or how many times they feel they should try a certain procedure or treatment before they think they’ve put in “enough” effort to move on.

Have you ever tried having an intense, life-changing debate with your partner who you tend to overall agree with? Take any happy couple and give them a list of ten highly controversial topics to discuss. You might find even the most pleasant, otherwise-on-the-same-page pair tearing each other to verbal shreds after a while! Most couples don’t have to try to find a common ground on so many life-changing issues, but couples experiencing infertility often do. It’s a real test.

 

To really get the full picture of the author’s story and experience, go and check out the article “Our Infertile Years” by Vanessa Hua. Come back here and tell us what you think. If you feel the need to go deeper, link us to any posts you write in your own blog about this article and we’ll add your link to our Weekly Summary this Friday. A few questions to get you started:

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Did you feel your marriage was tested by infertility? In what ways?

What in your life did prolonged infertility make you miss out on?

Did you as a couple have difficulty navigating ownership of the infertility, guilt and helplessness?

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guess who’s almost six months old?

Guess!… No idea?

PAIL is!

That’s right! We’ve been around in our current form for nearly six months now!

It’s not exactly a birthday– just a half birthday– but we think that’s worth celebrating with a surprise for YOU.

On December 1st, we’re going to announce a special PAIL event. Nope, not until then! It’s a secret for now, but watch between now and the 1st for some hype and possibly a hint or two. We hope you’ll join us!

 

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the monday snapshot – ashley

This week, Ashley of Traditionally Nontraditional is going to open up the week for us with her contribution to the 11th edition of The Monday Snapshot – an evolution of the MMM feature, meant to bring the PAIL blogroll to life by giving its members a chance to feature themselves and make new connections. If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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Morning All!

I am so happy to be participating in The Monday Snapshot, even if I am coming off a crazy high of percocets and anesthesia!

I had my gallbladder out on Friday via lap. It was a big build up of emotions and fear that I would not come through (strange, I know). But I did just well and Gary the Gallbladder came out with out an issue. But, there is always a but with me, they did find a spot on my liver! Seriously, it it isn’t one thing it is another! We don’t know much about the spot and have to wait six weeks till I heal to get a better idea of what is going on there. Such is the life of an infertile, waiting waiting waiting!

Anyways, here is my awesome recovery team. The Hubbs and Jackson are excellent caregivers, especially during commercial breaks of the Browns game. They are lucky they are both cute because they would not make it as nurses.

“Dad, do you think the Browns can pull this one out, it’s are real nail bitter?”

I am hoping to make a quick recovery because I hate not being able to life my child. However, once I kicked the percocets on Saturday, I have felt so much better. Let this be a life lesson to everyone, NO Blogging, Texting, Emailing, Phoning, or engaging in any types of conversations while on pain meds!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hugs and Loves~

Ashley

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Now, get to know a little more about Ashley with her answers to the Monday Snapshot “5 Questions”:

1) How long have you been blogging and how did you get started?

I have been blogging for over a year and a half. I started blogging as an outlet for my troubles TTC and then my diagnosis with Infertility.

2) Tell us a little about your ALI journey and your family (3-4 sentences):

My husband and I TTC in 2009, shortly after we bought our first home. With a diagnosis with unexplained infertility, I started oral treatments. With no success, I tried one round of injections and was blessed with a healthy baby boy in April 2012!

3) What makes you unique in the blogging world? (e.g. special talent, rare diagnosis, life experience)?

I work in foster care adoptions and help waiting children find their forever families everyday. My experience in the work force has helped me encourage, educate, and even help those who have decided to expand their families via foster care adoption as opposed to continue their struggles with infertility. I don’t have much to offer but I do have a working knowledge of the foster are system.

4) One word to describe yourself: 

Nontraditional

5) What blog or website (IF or not) would you recommend to others? Why?

The Pioneer Woman! Yes I know it’s not related to ALI, but in the moment when it all became too much for me to take, I would hope on PDub’s site and find a new recipe, picture tutorial, or place to shop.

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As always, we want to see your Monday Snapshot as well, so please comment below with a link to your post– and of course, go visit Ashley at Traditionally Nontraditional !

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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weekly summary, vol. 24

PAIL Posts This Week:

  • Josey featured Mandski of Full Bed with a photo of her adorable (even while sick) daughter, Mira on The Monday Snapshot.
  • SRB (with an assist by Ms Future PharmD) broke down a news blurb about SSRI use during pregnancy, and outlined why we shouldn’t take sensationalized “new studies” at face value without taking the time to look into the research behind the study.
  • Josey unveiled the Monthly Theme Post topic for November – Traditions. There are so many directions to take with this one – we are excited to hear about your traditions (and how you chose to begin/continue them). Please submit your url and short blurb by next Wednesday using the form here. List goes live next Thursday the 22nd!

Featured Posts:

  • CJ featured our very own Jules of two pink tulips with “Hungry? Try the Lasagna.” in a post that delves into the importance of loving ourselves and projecting healthy body images for our children.

Special Project:

New to the Blogroll This Week:

  • Do you know someone who could benefit from the PAIL community? Send them our way!

Stay Connected:

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