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:

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

 

Advertisements

the monday snapshot – Jules

Jules of The Quest for Little Lambies. 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. 

*****

Hi PAIL Bloggers!

I’m Jules, and I blog at The Quest for Little Lambies. Right now my 10 month old daughter Iyla (pronounced “Eye-La”) Grace is definitely keeping me busy and on my toes! She is at such a fun age, where it seems every single day brings some kind of new adventure. Most recently? She has decided to boycott her afternoon naps, which is super awesome. ; )

I am a Realtor and cut back on work once Iyla was born, so am now managing my own business- taking clients on a case by case basis while primarily caring for Iyla. One fun factoid is that in February of 2012- one month before we got pregnant- I was featured in an HGTV “House Hunters” episode with buyer clients of mine. So much fun!

I am working hard to maintain a sense of balance- nurturing myself, my business, my relationship with my husband, and this little family we’ve created. It is a constant labor of love and definitely a challenge! My blog has evolved from a snapshot of our infertility journey to a documentation of mine and Iyla’s lives- sort of an online baby book for her that I hope she enjoys turning back to when she is older

Jules

*****

Now, get to know a little more about 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 almost 3 years, and began as an outlet for our infertility journey. We were in the thick of it when I began the blog- about 22 months into the 3 years it took to get pregnant. Reading other women’s blogs who had walked this difficult walk had always given me a sense of hope and community, and I have been so touched by the women who follow my own blog & have been cheering me on from the beginning.

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

I met my husband in 2005 on a blind date from Match.com (it worked!). We wanted to wait a year after our 2008 wedding to start a family, foolishly thinking it would happen quickly for us. It ended up taking us almost 3 years to finally conceive. Those 3 years involved countless cycles with Clomid, Femara, & IUI’s, a laparoscopic surgery that revealed and cleared Stage 3 Endometriosis, 2 Gonal-F injectables cycles- the first of which we conceived but sadly lost the pregnancy early on- and then miracle of miracles, after our 2nd injectables cycle failed we discovered we were pregnant the following cycle, without any interventions. I was absolutely floored, in shock, and overjoyed!

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

One unique bent to my blog that was documented while TTC were the countless psychics & clairvoyants I visited to give me some hope in the midst of despair. They were often the only light at the end of the infertility journey for me. And amazingly enough, many ‘saw’ a strong little girl waiting to come to us, and predicted she would be here by the end of 2012. Which- when my 2nd injectables cycle failed in February of 2012 and I was told by my RE I had to take a month off before trying again- totally saw me swearing off those psychics saying they had ALL been wrong! And then we got pregnant, and had our little girl in November of 2012.

4) One word to describe yourself: 

Resilient

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

I’ve always loved Jesica at “Just Smile and Blog.” She has been on a very similar journey, and had her son in August of 2012- so has always been an excellent snapshot of the upcoming months of pregnancy & child development for me. She also writes in such a candid, honest way that really connects with the reader. Definitely worth checking out!

*****

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 Jules of The Quest for Little Lambies.

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

the monday snapshot – D

D of My Life is About the Journey 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. 

*****

Hi friends!  I’m D.  Still keeping it anonymous at the moment since I tend to divulge a little too much information that I’d rather not have my grandma read (yes, she has a Facebook page!).  Going through several miscarriages prompted me to stop one of my life’s passions, running.  No, it was never found that my running caused any of my miscarriages, but I pretty much walked on eggshells during the pregnancy with my son and didn’t so much as eat a slice of lunchmeat.  I wasn’t taking any chances.

Now that I’ve had my son, I’ve started running again, and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty.   Before pee-sticks, ultrasounds, and diapers were even a thought, I was racing several times a month, including half and full marathons.  I even regularly placed in my age group.  After the birth of my miracle baby in April, and almost 2 years of no running, I have become a super slow version of my former running self.  Finding the time to run is another issue because, well, there is never enough.  Finding the energy…ummm, that goes without saying.

My old self would have not have even bothered a run if it wasn’t at least 5 miles at a 7:30 pace.  My new self will take a two miler with baby in the B.O.B, period.  My old self would run 6 days a week.  My new self will take what I can get.  My old self loved the solace of running alone.  My new self loves running with my happily squealing baby in tow.  It is amazingly awesome that I can now experience one of my favorite pastimes with my newest little love, and he doesn’t care how fast I am.  He just wants to cruise with his momma.

D

*****

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

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

I started blogging back in April of 2012. I was fresh off of my third consecutive miscarriage and had been searching the internet frantically for women who had gone through similar issues. I felt very hopeless and was convinced that I would never be able to have a baby. I found the blog of one girl who had several miscarriages and had gone on to have a successful pregnancy. I found her blog so comforting. I read through all of her old posts in one night. She inspired me to start my own blog about my experience in hopes that I could help give someone hope in the future.

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

I miscarried 3 pregnancies from August 2011-March 2012 and sought the help of a RE who ran many tests (including karyotyping on my husband and I) and found nothing wrong with me (or him). I had very long cycles, so the RE put me on Femara to regulate ovulation, which ended up helping me attain a successful pregnancy on the 3rd cycle. My little miracle boy was born on 4/18/13 and is the light of our lives!

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

Having 3 consecutive miscarriages in itself is pretty rare, or so I thought before I started writing my blog. I think writing about this topic in conjunction with my level of openness and honesty is what makes me unique. I took a very serious topic and chronicled my journey in great detail. It is so amazing that I have connected with so many other women who have gone through similar events. I have gotten several emails from women who write to say that I have helped to give them hope. This makes me feel like writing the blog was worth it!

4) One word to describe yourself: 

Determined

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

I could recommend Waiting to Expand. I found Cassie’s blog right when I first started writing my blog. I love that her posts are full of emotion and she shares so many of the details of her struggles with loss and infertility and talks about complicated and tough subjects.

*****

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 D of My Life is About the Journey.

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

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.

featured post: “The Plan…Version 6.0” by K of Our Growing Gardunn

Everyone in the ALI community is connected by their common pain, their struggles, their hopes, and their fears. Of course all of our journeys are different, and our exact pain, struggles, hopes, and fears are different, but we are all one and the same in that we are all persevering through the tumultuous ALI world in the our hopes to add to our families.

In this case, K started blogging in February after being thrown head first into the awful world of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL). While TTC#1, she was blessed to carry and deliver a healthy child after her first IUI cycle, but when they started TTC#2 is when the RPL hell began. She has been able to conceive relatively easily, but she has since endured a chemical pregnancy and recurring miscarriages at 7, 11, 12, and 14 weeks. Now, exactly two years later, they are still TTC for #2 (and pregnancy #6 – hence the Version 6.0), and she has this to say:

Two years.
Man, I have learned a lot…about what a miracle this truly is. I’ve learned about myself. My family. My friends. About how strong I can be and how that strength can be tested to its limits. These two years have definitely changed me.

Most importantly I learned how I can’t control this…so I am not going to try. I will follow my doctors protocol but I am trying to loosen the death grip this has had on me.

It was strangling me..and I can finally take a breath.

I find her post to be so incredibly inspiring. Most of us go through times during TTC when we feel so beat down that it seems we are at our rock bottoms, yet at some point, my hope is that we all get to this point as well…this place of strength and of hope.

To read her full post “The Plan…Version 6.0,” visit K’s blog, Our Growing Gardunn. Comments here are closed to encourage everyone to connect directly with her.

***

K’s Story in her own words: After getting pregnant during my first IUI cycle I gave birth to my daughter 3 years ago. Since then I have had a chemical pregnancy and recurring miscarriages at 7, 11, 12, and 14 weeks. Fast forward through 1 inducted delivery @ 16 wks, 3 D &C’s, a uterine septum removal and more tests than one can imagine, this is my story as I try and figure out where I go from here…

*****

If you have a post of any kind (old or new!), on any topic that you would like share, please fill out the form on the main Featured Posts page here. You are welcome to submit your a post of your own! 

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

%d bloggers like this: