october 2013 – monthly theme post listing – birth story

Here are the submissions for this month’s theme: Birth Story. We had a great response and variety of how your birth/adoption story affected your parenting style (or not). We hope you’ll read through and enjoy all these great entries. I know for myself, I always love reading birth/adoption stories as it helps me process my own story and examine things from a new light. Thanks again for all your submissions and feel free to link up any additional posts in the comments and we will add them to the list.

This month’s suggested writing prompts:

  • How did the birth experience of your child affect your parenting of this child? 
  • If you adopted and were at the birth how did that affect you?
  • If you adopted and were not able to witness the birth do you think that affected your parenting? (ie, did you strive to have frequent skin-to-skin contact and other bonding measures as we did when we fostered an infant?)
  • How did the birth/adoption experience affect your future plans? Would you do it all again the exact same way? Change things? Decide to not have more children?
  • What sticks out in your birth/adoption experience that you still carry with you? (good or bad)
  • What type of birth did you have? (I love reading birth stories!) 
  • Have you felt “judged” about your birth(adoption) experience, and has that affected your parenting or future plans?

Contributing PAIL Bloggers

  1. S, of Conception Misconceptions,  tells us “So my birth experience wasn’t positive. . . it’s had no effect on my parenting.” in her submission, PAIL Bloggers October 2013 Monthly Theme Post.
  2. Cathy, of And Mom writes that her trip to the NICU is what helped her find her voice in Question Everything.
  3. Alleyrose, of Baking and Babies writes  in her submission, “Though I wouldn’t change my birth story for the world, I’ve still got a lot to process.
  4. My Life Is About The Journey submits her post that talks about the “host of issues and complications that I had during my son’s birth and how they continue to haunt me” in her post My Childbirth Baggage.
  5. The Cornfed Feminist tells us “LEEP+Shot=Vajanus.  And a hella cute baby.  (This post is unabridged, so be ready to commit.)” In her post, Something Just Happened to My Vagina,  Birth Story: The Extended Cut
  6. Emma, of Emma in Mommyland, offers “A brief-ish look at my experiences surrounding my son’s birth and what I want to be different next time.” In her post,  Birth Wishes: Last Time vs This Time.
  7. Foxy, of This Foxy Mama says that she has “no doubt that the grief and pain of infertility impacted our birth and bonding experience.” In her post, Birth and Infertility.
  8. Kasey, of Powersfullife, writes about “how I want my second birth to be different and what I learned from the first (bad) time around.” In her post There’s a Baby in There!
  9. Christina, of According to C hopes that the “positive experience with the birth of my first child will provide me with the foundation to have a positive experience delivering the second!” In her post, The Impact of Birth.
  10. Esperanza, of Stumbling Gracefully writes “My second child’s birth is unexpected, and yet exactly what I wanted.” In her post, A Second Birth Story.
  11. Kacey, of Recipe for a Baby, writes about her two c-sections, that were both planned, but both ended up as emergency sections, in her post, Birth Stories.
  12. Josey, of My Cheap Version of Therapy, shares that she is “Learning to live my life – and not just the pregnancy & childbirth parts – by the HypnoBabies tenants of Open, Relax, Release, and Peace.” In her post, Open, Relax, Release, Peace.
  13. Mrs T (formerly missohkay), of A Plus Effort, writes about the “isolation of being a mother with no birth story.” In her post, The Outskirts.
  14. CJ, of MetholicBlog, writes how in facing IF again her birth story haunts her in her post, Birth Story Hauntings.
  15. KeAnne of, Baby With a Twist, writes about feeling excluded from a ‘higher level’ of the Mom club due to her surrogacy experience in, If Your Child is Born but You aren’t the One Giving Birth, is it Still Your Birth Story?
  16. Courtney of, All the Sun for You, tells us that “All birth stories are valid, even the ones you can’t relate to.” In her post Birth, Birth, Birth, Ugh.
  17. Geochick of, Geo-Chick, An Engineer Becomes a Mom, offers her perspective, as an adoptive parent, on birth stories in her post, Birth Story.
  18. Kelly of, Kellyland reflects on how a scary birth affected her parenting and things she’d like to change if she has another baby in, PAILbloggers, Birth Stories.
  19. It’s Just a Box of Rain contributed her experience through adoption in Birth stories when you aren’t the one who has given birth
  20. Connected Through Love also shared her adoption experience in M’s Birth Story
  21. Punch Today in the Face wrote her post, PAIL – Birth Story, and compared how the births of her three children all affected her differently.
  22. Jen Rutner shares the story of her daughter’s birth, from the perspective of an adoptive mom, and encourages everyone to see the power in their family’s birth and unity stories and share it in We Have a Birth Story

If you are still writing your post, or these posts inspire you, link up in the comments. Additional posts will be added through the next few days, 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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October 2013 monthly theme – birth story

While discussing and sorting through monthly theme ideas with my fellow PAIL ladies I was SHOCKED to learn we haven’t done a monthly theme on Birth Stories! Now, the theme of birth stories is a little stagnant in the blogging world, but how your birth experience goes on to affect your parenting and future plans is an interesting and under-explored topic.

An idea I have just begun to realize is that part of my birth story instilled a fear and worry of health issues in me that I still carry a remnant of today, 15 months later. For my Stella’s birth we knew I was Group B Strep positive and needed to have two doses of intravenous antibiotic during labor, before she was born. Well, I was so tuned into my hypno-birthing process as I labored at home that I didn’t realize how far along I was. We showed up at the hospital and I was 9.5 centimeters dilated. They started pushing the antibiotics but Stells came out before they could get the second dose in.

I was warned about possible things to watch for to make sure she wouldn’t get sick (a possible rare complication, but it scared the crap out of me). When we were re-hospitalized for poor weight gain and jaundice, I was convinced that this was related, and my fault, for not getting to the hospital soon enough to get those antibiotics. Since then I have been worried about her health and weight. Stella gained slowly, and she has always been on the lower side of the scale for weight gain.

And so I have always been a worrier when it came to her health, panicking if a stranger grabbed her hands or touched her face (True story at church, TWICE, two different people stuck their fingers in my child’s MOUTH! Who does that? I seriously hyperventilated). Worrying about her getting enough food. Checking her temperature to check for fever more than I care to admit (we have a neat forehead scanner that is so easy to use, technology has enabled my worrying).

I’ve also realized that were things in my birth story that I would change, I would not let them rupture my membranes like they did and I would have insisted on being allowed to get in the birth tub even though they insisted there was no time (of course there wasn’t they broke my water which sped things up!).

This month’s theme ask you to examine your birth story from a new perspective, to see how it has impacted your parenting style and future plans. Below are some suggested prompts but feel free to write on whatever moves you. And for the adoptive Mamas, I got some love for you too, of course. See the prompts below for ways to participate (And forgive me any naiveté over my adoption prompts). Also if you created your family via surrogacy we would love to hear from you too on that perspective.

Suggested Writing Prompts

  • How did the birth experience of your child affect your parenting of this child? 
  • If you adopted and were at the birth how did that affect you?
  • If you adopted and were not able to witness the birth do you think that affected your parenting? (ie, did you strive to have frequent skin-to-skin contact and other bonding measures as we did when we fostered an infant?)
  • How did the birth/adoption experience affect your future plans? Would you do it all again the exact same way? Change things? Decide to not have more children?
  • What sticks out in your birth/adoption experience that you still carry with you? (good or bad)
  • What type of birth did you have? (I love reading birth stories!) 
  • Have you felt “judged” about your birth(adoption) experience, and has that affected your parenting or future plans?

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 Tuesday October 29th at midnight, EST. The full list of links will go live on Thursday, October 31st.

Please submit your posts using this form:

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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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tending the garden

***It’s our ONE YEAR blogiversary!!!***

On June 1, 2012, we hit “publish” on our first post here at PAIL Bloggers. We are so pleased and so proud of what this space has become since launching it one year ago today. In the last year, the blogosphere has started talking, really talking, about what “the other side” looks and feels like. A conversation is being had in this space and in yours. For that, we are beyond grateful and so proud of everyone who not only just kept talking, but kept listening.

From the seed that was planted last spring, the five of us have worked at tending the garden to help this seedling grow. One year, 271 posts, 2608 comments, and literally thousands of emails later, we are ready to see this space grow and bloom into what we know it can be. And so, for our 1st blogiversary, we’d like to give you a very untraditional 1st anniversary gift – garden tools. (Stay with me…)

It is time to plant more seeds in the garden, with more gardeners. More tools, more knowledge, more varieties of plants as it were. Each and every one of us has a different story to tell, and we would like to make this space more of a true community allotment garden. Over the past year, we have been thrilled with our occasional guest posts and would like to see more of these. We love the emails we get from you about posts to feature or news items to highlight, but we know there is so much more.

So the question is, do you have a green thumb?

Here is what we are looking for (and we welcome your suggestions and ideas here as well):

  • Featured posts: You find it, you write it! (Similar to our current format – what struck you about the post? What stood out to you?)
  • Cross-posting: If you have a post you would like to share in its entirety here at PAIL (with comments closed here) in addition to your own blog, let us know.
  • News items: You find it, you write it! We welcome commentary on the news that strikes a chord with you.
  • Expert knowledge: Do you have some expertise in a specific area that our readers might be interested in? (i.e. pharmacy, mental health, education, birthing, etc.)
  • Guest posting: Have something to say on a current ALI and/or parenting topic? Want to share your story with the blogroll?
  • Blog hopping events: Do you have an idea for a blogroll “mixer” event such as our Vlog Challenge or Twenty Questions?
  • Monthly theme post hosting: Do you have a topic in mind? Be our host!
  • Book club: We are always looking for suggestions and book club hosts.

If any of the above sounds like something you would be interested in, please let us know! Fill out the form below with your details and what you would be interested in writing. We will then contact you regarding assignment type and deadlines, unless of course, you contact us with an idea first.

 *If we publish one of your posts, we will also contact you for a thumbnail image to run next to your blurb. If you aren’t sure what to write right now, just wing it! You can always tighten it up later. Feel free to add links to your blog and social media outlets. We reserve the right to final editorial decisions on all content not created by the site owners.

Should you have any questions, please email us or ask in the comments below.

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On a personal note, the five of us would like to thank you all profusely for everything this space has become in the last year. For every comment, every theme post, and every email. For every tweet, every ‘like’, and each and every word you write in this space and in yours.

Thank you.

XO

Josey, Jules, Chandra, SRB, and Traathy 

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monthly theme, May 2013: “body image”

Body image after having a child is a tricky enough subject– but what about body image after an ALI journey? For many mothers, there is an inherent conundrum of feeling like less of a woman at the exact moment in time that they have less time than ever before to focus on themselves and their body/health.

With summer quickly approaching, I’m guessing that many of you will have thoughts on this. I know that I personally have struggled with embracing my post-baby body, and beyond that, I have struggled to find the time – or really, to MAKE the time – to squeeze in exercise and to make healthy meals for myself and my family, even though I know how important it is.

This month we are curious to know how you feel about your body now that you’re pregnant and/or parenting after an ALI journey. As always, here are some prompts to get you thinking, but feel free to write on any topic:

  • How do you feel about your pregnancy / post-partum / post-adoption body?
  • Did you have weight gain in addition to pregnancy gain because of depression, fertility meds, etc?
  • How did you handle the psychological effects of weight gain from a pregnancy(ies) that you lost?
  • If you adopted, did you turn to food during the seemingly endless waiting period?
  • How do you / have you made time to focus on your health/body since becoming a mother?
  • Do you focus more on healthy food, good exercise, or a mix of both?

As always, if you don’t have a blog we welcome your comments on the topic below and we’ll link your comment in the post listing.

Entries for this month’s theme are due Wednesday, May 22nd at midnight, EST. The full list of links will go live on Thursday, May 23.

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