featured post: “join the movement” by miss ohkay

RESOLVE’s National Infertility Awareness Week has drawn to a close, and some of you have written some fantastic posts about this year’s theme “Join the Movement.” We’ll be posting links to your submitted posts in just a few days, and today’s Featured Post by a PAIL Blogger is one of them.

Of course, the cause of infertility is near and dear to our hearts here at PAIL, but  this year’s theme “Join the Movement” is a particularly important one since we’re in the business of not just talking about infertility and loss, but building a community around it and sharing with one another. We’re part of the movement year-round and all of you are, too! Part of community is belonging, and this past week’s post “Join the Movement” by Miss Ohkay at The Misadventures of Miss Ohkay was spot-on with the nuances of both technically belonging and emotionally belonging.

Miss Ohkay writes:

But before you can join the movement, you must feel like you belong.

You may not feel like you do. Maybe you haven’t been trying to conceive for very long as compared to others. Maybe you’ve been too nervous to see a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). Maybe you can get pregnant easily but have multiple miscarriages. Maybe you reached a resolution with minimal treatments. Maybe you had a child already without medical intervention but now you’re having trouble conceiving again (secondary infertility). Maybe your diagnosis is unexplained. Maybe you resolved to live child-free. Maybe your infertility stems from your partner’s diagnosis and not your own…

…I do belong, even if I have to talk myself into believing it. Everyone’s infertility journey is different. Everyone’s diagnosis is different. Everyone’s desire and ability to pursue certain courses of treatment is different. Everyone’s outcomes are different. But we are part of this movement together.

(That’s a shameful consolidation of her words, because her post is so perfectly phrased it’s hard to fight the temptation to repost the entire thing here!)

Belonging means a lot of different things to all of us, and similarly, we all occupy a range of reasons for being here in the infertility & loss community. But it’s important to remember that we are still all a part of it if we want to be, however we choose to participate:

Initially, I joined the movement to help myself. I didn’t know anyone my age who’d had a miscarriage. I felt alone and needed support. Now that my daughter arrived via adoption, I don’t need as much support. But I stay in the movement to support others, so they feel less alone.

Please visit Miss Ohkay at her blog and read her full post “Join the Movement.” It got me thinking reflectively about how I feel about my role in “the movement” and what the movement gives back to me. As always, comments here will be closed to encourage feedback directly to Miss Ohkay.

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Miss Ohkay, in her own words: Adoptive mama. Recurrent miscarrier. Blogger. Lawyer. Book reader. Music lover. Political junkie.

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the monday snapshot – KeAnne

KeAnne of Family Building with a Twist is going to open up the week for us with her contribution to the 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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Daniel, at almost 4, is full of delightful personality. On Twitter, my venting outlet, you read about the frustrations of this age: the whining, the stubbornness, the defiance. But this age is great too: the conversations,the cuddles, and the personality.

Each day it seems we put away another relic from his babyhood; Daniel is a definite little boy now. Oh, how he makes us laugh!

This picture was taken on Friday when his daddy picked him up from daycare. Daniel ran over to him, took the hat off his head & put it on his own head and announced, “Goodbye everyone! I’m going to be the man now.”

Personality, piss & vinegar, vim & vigor, whatever you call it, he’s got it.

photo

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

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

I had a semi-anonymous blog that I started in 2007 to get out the dark, nasty, bitter IF thoughts I had because I didn’t have anyone IRL to share them with. I started my current blog in January 2009 to chronicle my son’s birth and decided in 2011 to make it my primary blog.

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

Our son is 3.5 and the result of gestational surrogacy. We started TTC in August 2005, and right away, I knew something was wrong (anovulatory), but what I thought was wrong wasn’t the major issue at all. I did 5 clomid cycles and 1 injectable + IUI cycle before switching REs and discovering that I had stage 4 endo and a uterine anomaly. In 2007 we did a fresh IVF cycle and FET that both failed. Our RE said that we made good embryos, so we should consider surrogacy. September 2008, we cycled and voila! We have 5 embryos on ice that we hope to use one day.

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

I have a unicornuate uterus, meaning that I have 2 ovaries and one connected tube. Apparently I have a tube on the left side, but it isn’t connected to anything. The connected tube was destroyed by endo. Sometimes that diagnosis makes me feel in a very small sub-sector of the ALI community. Other than that, I am totally pedestrian. Oh, I also tweet a lot of links.

4) One word to describe yourself: 

quirky

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

Only one??? OK, this isn’t exactly what you are looking for, but I recommend Twitter. I love Twitter. I get news, connection, information, cool stuff, good reads, conversation, snark and friends on Twitter. This may sound hyperbolic, but I really think it has enriched my life. Or maybe I need to step away from the iPhone.

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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  KeAnne at Family Building with a Twist.

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

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Reminder! april 2013 – monthly theme: NIAW

Just a friendly reminder from everyone here at PAIL – don’t forget to “JOIN THE MOVEMENT” and write a post to submit to Resolve for National Infertility Awareness Week!

While we are not officially working with RESOLVE, we highly encourage you to participate in this very important blog challenge. One of our core messages at PAIL, and the cornerstone of our mission statement is to “keep talking” through this part of the ALI journey. Your story, your journey, and your path to healing matters. Writing on the suggested prompts above from your current place on the journey lends an important perspective and new avenues on how to Join the Movement.

For full details on how to participate in the Bloggers Unite Challenge (including how to submit your posts and formatting) please click here.

Your post must be submitted directly to RESOLVE by tomorrow, April 27, to enter the challenge. If you would like to link your post up to us as well, please fill out the form at the bottom of this post, but remember, you must submit your post to RESOLVE first if you want them to also include your entry. We will post links to the full list from RESOLVE as well as your posts for all to read and get inspired!

weekly summary, vol. 45

PAIL Special Announcements/Reminders:

PAIL Posts This Week:

  • It’s tough getting out with two little ones, but Kacey was inspired by the beautiful weather– come see how she enjoyed the lingering warmth of an Aussie fall (with a bonus cute photo of some sweet boys) in this installment of Traathy‘s Monday Snapshot series.
  • Chandra wrote a touching and revealing write-up of this week’s PAILblogger-submitted news item, “Grand Losses: Musings on My Miscarriages.” (Thank you, Julia, for the recommendation!)

PAIL Featured Post:

  • Josey featured a post by Emma in Mommyland about returning to the NICU with gifts for her son’s first birthday, and how surprisingly emotional the experience was. If you missed it, please visit Emma at her blog to read and leave her a comment!

Stay Connected:

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news item: grand losses: musings on my miscarriage

I hope the title gives everyone fair warning about the subject of this news article. This article was submitted by Julia, of 3 bed 2 bath 1 baby, and I avoided reading it until last night. Because I knew it would ‘trigger’ my EMOTIONS, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with all that again. But then I read what Julia wrote in response to why this article piqued her interest:

I recall my first MC, and when my office found out, not a single person asked how I was doing when I returned after 2 weeks.  No one.  The feelings of loss are profound, even when the life was young.

THIS. This was me also, no one knew what to say, so a lot of people just said nothing. And I get that, I really do on some level. But on another level, if I’d had a serious illness or a limb amputated, no one would avoid me, no one would ignore me out of some ‘discomfort’ they felt. And it felt like I had lost a part of me. Because I had. A miscarriage for a very wanted child, no matter how early on it is, is a loss of life. A loss of love.

The author of the article also talks about how people would also say things that were totally inappropriate. Like, relating a worse story of someone else’s miscarriage, or multiple miscarriages. The author acknowledges that people say things like this, because they are uncomfortable, because they don’t know what to say:

What I’ve learned is that people are afraid to get close to their unnamed pain, their historical landmines, and bevies of unspeakable regret, sadness, and interior discontent. People want to be there but don’t know how to be or try to be and unfortunately say things that feel awkward at best and downright cruel at worst.

And the author also wishes she could somehow alleviate the guilt we put on ourselves, the guilt of questioning that maybe we did something to cause the miscarriage:

I daydream about pleading with women not to blame their beautiful bodies for their reproductive devastations. I wish I could dare every woman who has at some point or another wondered if they were somehow the root cause of a reproductive disappointment to turn that question on its head. “What if you are not the reason that this happened to you? What if it just is?” I can’t help but wonder if this would illicit more anger, more grief, more relief, and/or more hope. Or maybe something else completely. I am confident that it would engender less competitiveness, less perfectionistic strivings, and more self-love.

I can’t tell you how many times I have meticulously relived our IVF process and examined it for all the possible mistakes I could have made that caused us to miscarry. I know, on some level, that there was nothing I could have done to keep that pregnancy. But I also know, on another level, that I need a reason, I need an answer to why it happened. And there will never be one.

That, I think, is the issue with all the trauma and discomfort around miscarriage. With an illness, a breaking of a bone, there are answers, ‘you have this disease, and it happened because of this…’ or ‘you have a stress fracture because you ran too much…’ There are no answers with miscarriage. Even when you are able to know the baby wasn’t viable, there are no answers as to why, ‘why did conception even happen then, why did implantation happen, why did the pregnancy last this long…’ Instead there is just loss. And grief. And an emptiness.

We hope you’ll read Grand Losses: Musings on My Miscarriage and share with us your thoughts. And to those of you who have miscarried, our hearts are with you.

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