september 2013 – monthly theme post listing – why we blog

Here are the submissions for this month’s theme: Why We Blog. Each post had a variety of reasons listed for why the author blogged, but the main thread through each of them was for connection. We couldn’t agree more.

The past few months have had us reflecting on why we blog here at PAIL. Ultimately, it was like you, for connection. Each of us is undergoing a major shift in our lives, and the focus of PAIL Bloggers will be shifting along with it. Our ultimate goal has always been to connect folks crossing over to “the other side” for the next leg of the journey. As such, we will be returning to our roots going forward, with the focus being primarily on monthly theme posts and connecting you all with each other. We will continue to welcome bloggers to the blogroll and update you on new arrivals each month. See you in October!

Suggested Writing Prompts

  • Did you start blogging before, during, or after your journey though infertility/loss/adoption? 
  • Why did you start blogging? What has kept you blogging?
  • When you became a parent did you transition your blog or start a new space? What were your reasons for doing so? How do you feel about your decision now?
  • Have you ever felt pressure to blog about certain things and not others? What influences your writing, if anything?
  • What did you hope to achieve by blogging? Do you feel that you have done this?
  • Why is blogging important to you NOW?
  • What value do you see in blogging the “after”? 

Contributing PAIL Bloggers

  1. Sarah at Mommyhood After Fertility Frustration writes “For 3 years, I’ve been spewing my crazy thoughts, feelings and experiences into the universe for sanity and hoping at least one person gets a little something out of my ramblings.” in her post Oops I Did It Again.
  2. Kasey at Powersfullife.com has written a “A three part series about why I blog and how finding the IF community has inspired me to change how I blog (even if I haven’t made the change quite yet).”
  3. S from Misconceptions About Conceptions has written “Why I blog: to maintain my sanity and reassure myself that I’m not alone.
  4. Sara-Lynn from Home Grown Love says “For me, blogging is about connecting, providing hope, and giving my thoughts a space of their own.” in her post What Blogging Means to Me.
  5. Josey from My Cheap Version of Therapy tells us that “Things change over the years, but my goal is that my space will continue to evolve with me and continue to be “my cheap version of therapy.”
  6. Courtney at All the Sun For You discusses “Finding connections through shared experiences and blogging” in her post Real Connections.
  7. SRB from Little Chicken Nuggets reflects on “taking many, many steps forward and one giant step back” in her post I Didn’t Make It Into the Newspaper.
  8. No Baby Ruth says “From keg parties to dinner parties, I blog because it makes me feel less alone” in BYOB.
  9. Elizabeth from Bébé Suisse says “I was headed this way anyway, but this month’s theme really made me think about why I blog … and why I won’t.” in her post Not really alone, revisited: why I blog(ged).
  10. Mrs T (formerly known as miss oh kay) from A Plus Effort shares her thoughts and recycles a past post from her 3rd blogiversary called “Thinking Things.”
  11. Ozifrog (jo) from Maybe baby, J-man and the adventures of Hub-in-boots tells us “Why I’m “out” about IVF, Infertility, parenting in all it’s highs and lows, and creating a new me from the smorgasbord of selves. In short, why I blog.” in her post Write to life.
  12. Emma from Emma in Mommyland is “Figuring out what I want out of blogging and where my blog stands in Blog World.” in her post What Am I Doing Here?
  13. Esperanza from Stumbling Gracefully tells us that “On the eve of my second child’s birth I’m once again rethinking why I blog.”
  14. This Foxy Mama returned to blogging at a new location after a short hiatus and answers the question “Why do i blog?
  15. asterisk mama from Mama Asterisk* is also newly blogging at a new location and contributed her thoughts with “Why I Blog.
  16. Better late than never(!), Wifey at Punch Today In The Face contributed her two cents with PAIL: Why I Blog.

If you are still writing your post, or these posts inspire you, link up in the comments. Additional posts will be added through the end of the week, so check back in to see if any new posts pop up, and feel free to leave some general comments on the topic below.

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featured post: Permission to Love the Imperfections

Birth Without Fear is one of my very favorite blogs to read. They support all types of birth experiences and help women who are working through their fears and healing from traumatic experiences. They routinely feature posts by their readers, and one they posted last week really spoke to me.

Permission to Love the Imperfections

This post was written from the perspective of a woman (Elizabeth) who loved her birth experience so much that she became a doula and tried to help other women have the “awesome” experience that she did. However, she realized over the course of several years that even though she was parenting and working in the way she felt she was supposed to in order to be an “awesome mom” and “awesome doula,” she felt like she was drowning.

I slowly began to realize that my awesome mom status had very little to do with what I did. I started realizing that I wasn’t really taking care of me, of my marriage, and that caring for my children in a way that made me sacrifice my well being wouldn’t work out well in the long run.

That takes a lot of guts to admit that what one is doing isn’t working.

I won’t say it happened overnight, but I started to shift my thinking. I started to give myself permission to leave my clingy toddler for 30 minutes so I could exercise. I allowed my husband and I to hire a baby sitter for two hours so we had time for our marriage. I allowed myself the ability to enjoy a birth that was full of interventions. I happily congratulated moms who planned a C-section. I stopped trying to convince my doula clients to switch care providers. What I soon realized was that it was never about how something was done. It was always about how you feel about something.

So simple – and yet SO true.

We were all born with the ability to choose right and wrong. We were also born with the capacity to decide what is right and what is wrong. You can argue that there are biological or religious truths. You can say that we were created to be a certain way or do a certain thing. The fact remains that there will always be someone on the other end saying you are wrong. Ultimately, it is only your truth. And it is perfectly ok! It is just fine to look at your beliefs and hold strong convictions about them and design your life around them and then live that way. It is not ok to force others, belittle others, judge others, or push others into doing the same. And it is also ok to look at your own life and decide that maybe something isn’t working.

Please head over to Birth Without Fear and read the post in its entirety – it’s a great one! Then come back here and join in the discussion…

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Do you give yourself “permission to love the imperfections?”

Do you find yourself judging how others live their lives? How do you work on living your own truth instead of trying to get others onto your page?

What did you think of Elizabeth’s post as a whole? Do you agree or disagree with its premise?

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Josey is mommy to Stella (born Dec.2011) after a two year TTC journey and a tentative Dx of lean PCOS and anovulation. Blessed to get a BFP with a Clomid + Menopur protocol IUI done at CCRM. Currently naturally pregnant with #2! Loves to travel and speak French, drink beer in the sun with her husband and friends, and enjoy all of the outdoor activities that life in Colorado has to offer.

the monday snapshot – Esperanza

Esperanza of Stumbling Gracefully 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. 

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This weekend my partner, daughter and I indulged in one last hurrah as family of three (we are expecting our second child next month). We trekked down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Saturday and then stopped at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on our way home Sunday. Osita loved both special days and we all had a great time. This was one of my favorite shots of the weekend: Osita in awe over all the fish and–her absolute favorite–the “scuvadivers.” It’s such a wonder to see the world through a three year old’s eyes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

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

I’ve been blogging for four years. I started after I suffered an ectopic, six months into TTC#1, when I realized I needed more than the FertilityFriend forums.

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

I grew up with my mom’s horrendous story of IF and loss (one neo-natal loss and three stillbirths) and we shared a mysterious lack of menstruation so I expected to have issues and started TTC in my late 20s. While it only took us a year (and one ectopic) to have our first child, we were diagnosed with DOR (AMH of .49) and MFI trying to conceive our second. Despite being given a 3% chance of conceiving on our own, we turned to acupuncture, a TCM diet and supplements and got pregnant with our second child, due this October.

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

I suppose I’m unique because I grew up with adoption, loss and infertility and that legacy affects my own journey greatly. My parents placed a daughter for adoption ten years before I was born, so I have an older sister I’ve never met and a younger sister whose grave I grew up visiting. I suppose it’s also rare to receive two IF diagnoses when trying for a second child.

4) One word to describe yourself: 

prolix

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

The Faces of ALI series by Jjiraffe at Too Many Fish to Fry because I think it’s a really important project, created to present the infinite ways infertility and loss affect this community.

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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 Esperanza of Stumbling Gracefully.

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

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september 2013 monthly theme – why we blog

When I started my blog, it was a place to post pictures and hilarious anecdotes about my kid because I had quit Facebook.  I had been secretly reading IF blogs when I was pregnant with him, hoping to find someone mirroring the difficult emotions I was feeling not only being pregnant after experiencing infertility and miscarriages, but also how to cope when you are pregnant and your infertile friend is not. I found a few people that today I call my friends. These people saved my life.

And then… then I starting to write about my journey on my very public, very NOT anonymous blog. I needed to get some of that agonizing weight off my chest. I needed the people in my life to see it. I needed to be recognized. I needed to come out of the shadows. When the PAIL blogroll was first started, I added the button so quickly you would think my life had depended on it. Which honestly, at the time, it did. Even through all of the difficulty in getting this niche space together, I felt very strongly that this space had VALUE. I still do. I always will.

Each of us here at PAIL has a different interpretation of our mission statement. Mine has always been “Just keep talking.” Just keep talking. Or don’t. Or just listen. Or close up shop and move on in a different way. Every path to resolution is valid, as is every path we take with our blogs. You need to do what you need to do to process, to move forward, to heal from this. When I say “just keep talking” I suppose what I mean is that I think it is a disservice to the community as a whole to not talk about what it feels like, IS like, when the baby comes home.  We need to be able to find people further down the path to follow, to lead us through the tough spots, to hold our hands, to cheer us on, to understand.

I am not one to blog about blogging. To be honest, I usually skip posts about it. Ah, but then I entered Blog Identity Crisis #187346 and started to really, genuinely think about my space and what I want to do with it now that I am (99%) sure that family building is behind me. It’s a tricky place to be in, when you feel resolved in your heart, but you aren’t sure how to let go. But I’ll write more about that on my own blog in my submission for this month’s theme.

Suggested Writing Prompts

  • Did you start blogging before, during, or after your journey though infertility/loss/adoption? 
  • Why did you start blogging? What has kept you blogging?
  • When you became a parent did you transition your blog or start a new space? What were your reasons for doing so? How do you feel about your decision now?
  • Have you ever felt pressure to blog about certain things and not others? What influences your writing, if anything?
  • What did you hope to achieve by blogging? Do you feel that you have done this?
  • Why is blogging important to you NOW?
  • What value do you see in blogging the “after”? 

As always, these questions are just a guide. Please feel free to write anything and everything you would like to on this topic in whichever way suits you best. If you have previously written on this topic, feel free to link away in your post, or submit any previous post on the topic as you see fit. And of course, if you do not have a blog of your own, we are happy to hear your thoughts in the comments and will link to your comment in the full post list for all to read.

Entries for this month’s theme are due Thursday, September 26th at midnight, EST. The full list of links will go live on Friday, September 27th.

Please submit your posts using this form:

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Flacco misses birth of second child

There is a saying, that I’m not bad-ass enough to say – (or even type) – but it came to mind as I read this article about an NFL quarterback missing the birth of his child to start in his team’s home opener:

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” Ice-T, the rapper, before he became an actor on the TV show “Law and Order” is credited as the originator of this quote. I would quote more from his rap, but that is about the cleanest line in the entire song.

Urban dictionary will tell you that this phrase means:

“Do not fault the successful participant in a flawed system; try instead to discern and rebuke that aspect of its organization which allows or encourages the behavior that provoked your displeasure.”

Now that, that is something I would say. And while logically I get that Joe Flacco was probably contractually obligated to play in that game and miss the birth of his child. That he and his wife probably knew the risks when they married, got pregnant, and he signed that million-dollar contract. That they knew it was a possibility he would be forced to miss many special family moments and they planned for that and Flacco’s wife probably had a whole support team with her for labor…

Another part of me is like ‘Really?!’ I couldn’t imagine my husband not being there for the birth of our child. I mean the whole reason you get married/commit your life to someone is that whole ‘life partner’ thing right? (And killing spiders and reaching things off high shelves for me.) What does it say when your ‘life partner’ misses a moment that will never happen again? Sure, there may be more children, but not that child, not that unique moment.

What does it say about society and how far we still have to go?

What does it say about family dynamics?

Again, I get that this was something the Flacco’s knew was a potentiality and prepared for it. But what does that say that we can convince ourselves that something that is not, will never be, “right”, is in fact OK?

To be clear, I am not saying that ALL men/partners must ALWAYS be in the birth room. I know for many cultures that is prohibited. But I am saying that for most cultures/societies the man/partner is in some way supporting his laboring partner while she is in labor, and if not there in the room for the birth is there moments after. And for the culture I write from, the American culture, it is the societal norm that the husband/partner be present with the laboring woman.

While my slant on this is pretty obvious, I’d like to know yours. What do you think of this new article: Joe Flacco’s Wife Gave Birth Sunday and Flacco Started Against the Browns”

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What’s your take on this article?

Under what circumstances is it OK for a person to miss the birth of their child? (obviously emergencies not included.)

Is it made more “OK” because Flacco is being compensated a gross sum of money?

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Stella 1 week family picChandra is a Mom and Foster Mom. She holds a Master’s degree in Theology and is particularly interested in the theology of infertility. Chandra grew up in the Northeast but she and her husband are raising their daughter in the middle-of-nowhere Indiana. She has 3 chickens that drive her crazy, a huge garden, and a penchant for bacon. She occasionally attempts to make sense of all those things, and more, over at her blog, MetholicBlog. She never has a tidy house and she is in constant need of coffee.

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