monthly theme, March 2013: “high standards” posts listing

Our monthly theme for March was “High Standards.”  We asked you to look at your parenting practices and examine if you feel your adoption/loss/infertility journey has led you to hold yourself to a higher standard in parenting. One perhaps higher than you would have had it not been for infertility.

As always, please link us in the comments below if your post contains any helpful resources, references, or other ideas that you think might be a valuable addition to our Resources page.

In a week, this post will move to the drop-down menu in the pink toolbar, so you can check there to come back and see what you missed. It is never too late to leave a comment.

Suggested Prompts:

  • How has infertility affected you as a parent now?
  • Did having more time to think and plan (due to infertility) make you a more ‘researched’ parent? If so, do you feel it has paid off?
  • Do you feel the time you spent trying to become a parent means you should know more than the ‘average’ parent?
  • Do you hold yourself up to a higher standard? What specific parenting standards do you have for yourself? (Are they about feeding, sleep, education, etc.)
  • Is trying to be ‘succesful’ at parenting one of the ways you cope with having struggled with infertility?

Contributing Bloggers:

  1. Amanda of My life in a nutshell wrote how she feels motherhood can make you egotistical in Why motherhood makes one egotistical.
  2. Alice Anne of Xavier and Alice Anne talks about how a consequence of infertility is that she feels it has made her a better Mom in Infertility made me a better Mother.
  3. Wifey of Punch today in the face gives us the perspective of a secondary IFer on parenting and high standards in her post, PAIL: High Standards.
  4. Josey of My Cheap Version of Therapy writes how when she reflected on her parenting standards, she realized that she feels she’s just your regular ol’ “normal” parent and that it’s pretty great to not feel so affected by her infertility journey in High Standards?
  5. Jules of Two Pink Tulips writes how she has become a very researched parent but feels she struggles with the follow through in her post, Grooving Along.
  6. CJ of Metholic’s Blog writes how she feels she does hold herself up to high standards and struggles with whether that is holding her back in other areas of her life in Trying not to choke on my high standards.

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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the monday snapshot – stephanie

This is the 2nd 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.

So, without further ado, meet Stephanie of Meandering Steph!

 

Cold Medicine: that has been the Theme for our week. We have all been sick which isn’t really convienant for our crazy schedule.

Fortunately we rarely have weeks like this! But now that we are all feeling better it’s back to work, school, flute lessons, NJROTC, homework, dog walking and all the other things that keep us going all week.

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Stephanie dishes with us via the “5 Questions”:

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

I started blogging in 2010 but that only lasted about 2 weeks (okay maybe a bit longer) and then I deleted it. I didn’t think I was interesting enough to have a blog. Then last year I decided that maybe I am interesting and could offer something to the blog world so I started again. My blog is mostly about my photography and my boys. Snipets of married life, my adoption and relationship with my birthmom, cooking, my dog and just live in general.

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

I have two boys adopted through foster care. We just celebrated our 10th gotcha day. 4 years ago I got married so now we have a new gotcha day which is our anniversary.

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

Mostly my photography. It’s a passion of mine and I find I’m at my best when I’m out in the world looking through my lens. I don’t share alot about my sons on there but their story is unique and I would like to share more but I’m having trouble finding that balance between their story and what is okay to share with others.

4) One word to describe yourself:

Curious.

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

Definitely Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan. I have known Kristen for quite a while. We met when they were fostering their oldest son Jafta. Since then they have had two bio children and adopted another son from Haiti. She has great insight into just about everything. Her blog makes you laugh, think, cry – sometimes all in the same post.

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As always, please share your Monday Snapshot with us in the comments below and travel around to see everyone else’s. And of course, swing on over to Meandering Steph and introduce yourself to our lovely guest host, Stephanie!

If you would like to be featured as guest host of The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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the monday snapshot – delenn

This is the inaugural 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.

So, without further ado, meet Delenn of Slaying, Blogging, Whatever!

I thought this was a great “Snap Shot” of our family (and it was one of our most memorable moments this year). 

In April, we went to the Boston Comic Con.  We are a family of Geeks so we do geeky things like that.  The big moment for all of us was meeting and sitting in on a panel of Mad Magazine creators.  Not only did we grow up reading Mad Magazine, our son is a current subscriber and has read many of our old ones.  Pictured is my son and daughter meeting Paul Coker, Jr. –an awesome Mad illustrator (and the younger crowd would know him as the animator for that classic “Frosty the Snowman”).  It also happened to be my daughter’s birthday–so now she has a signed Frosty the Snowman print in her room. 

(Here is a link to the post I did about this in April:  http://polantworld.blogspot.com/2012/04/mad-time.html )

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Delenn dishes with us via the “5 Questions”:

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

I started blogging in 2004 because most of our family lived 800 miles away.

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

We were surprised with a diagnosis of Secondary Male Factor Infertility. We spent 5-6 years trying to have a sibling for our son. Our second IVF/ICSI cycle was successful and we now are dealing with two children with a ten year age gap.

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

I don’t think I am that rare, however I do not see that many blogs about Secondary Infertility. Also, my son has ADHD/High Functioning Aspergers and I talk about dealing with that at times.

4) One word to describe yourself:

Curious.

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

I found An Inch of Gray  at a really tragic time–I found out through another blog I read regularly that her 12 year old son was taken too early through a tragic accident.  My son was 12 years old at the time so I my heart broke for her, her husband and her daughter.  Reading her blog is an amazing journey through grief and how you pick up the pieces.  I cannot help but see my son in her son’s place.

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As always, please share your Monday Snapshot with us in the comments below and travel around to see everyone else’s. And of course, swing on over to Slaying, Blogging, Whatever! and introduce yourself to our lovely guest host, Delenn!

If you would like to be featured as guest host of The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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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.

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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…

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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! 

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news item: “12 Things You Should Never Ask a Woman”

This news item brought to you once again by “Things SRB Sees on Twitter, Somehow!” Meaning, I don’t follow Huffington Post*, but someone retweeted it. I clicked on it. I read it. I laughed. I nodded. And now, I report!

When I first found the ALI community on the Goo.gle, I found a lot of “Top Ten Things to NEVER Say to Someone Struggling with IF!” Some were funny, and some were…harsh. Depends on the author, depends on the reader. And while I can totally relate to some of the more strongly worded lists, I have always gotten a kick out of IF humour. It is important to laugh, you know, so that you don’t cry. You dig?

I haven’t read a list like that in a while. Reading this list brought up those old memories, and served as a reminder of how far I’ve come (and how far I have to go) about the degree to which some of these questions bother me. Right now, I am in the extremely fortunate position to be pissy when someone says to “Congratulations! Was it planned?” Um, gross.

In her list/article, Erica Berman describes the “12 Things You Should Never Ask a Woman” and why. Here are some of personal “favourites” that I have encountered over the years:

3. Never tell a woman that she miscarried because it wasn’t meant to be.

4. Never tell a woman who has miscarried not to worry, she’ll get pregnant again. Instead, try I’m sorry for your loss, or I’m sorry, please let me know what I can do to help.

5. Never tell a woman who has miscarried that next time she’ll just have to: drink less coffee, worry less, exercise less, eat better, etc. etc. Miscarriages are rarely caused by controllable factors, and making her feel like it’s her fault is a disgraceful thing to do.

Yeah. I think these go without saying. See also: “AT LEAST YOU CAN GET PREGNANT!!!” or “It wasn’t a real baby anyway” or “There was probably something wrong with it”

7. Never ask a woman with one child when she plans to have another child. Same as above. None of your business. Just because she has a child does not mean she is not struggling to get pregnant again. Secondary infertility is extremely common and just as devastating. This also means that it is not helpful to tell someone facing secondary infertility that she should be grateful that she already has a child or children. Most people have an idea in their head of what they want their family to look like, and if they are not able to create this family, they experience significant distress, even if they already have a child or children.

There is nothing in this statement that I do not agree with 100%. I wrote about this myself recently.

And finally:

10. Never assume what a woman dealing with miscarriage or infertility wants or needs. Come out and ask her if she wants to talk about it. Avoiding the issue may make some women feel worse while others may not feel like discussing it. Just ask!

Yes. Just ask. And keep asking. And might I add, never assume that you know what another IFer is feeling or needs. You can understand, but you can never assume you know. Just ask. And keep asking.

So, I just blew half the list for you, but I am curious to know what you think.

This list has a focus on fertility/infertility/miscarriage. Did Berman miss any? Did she miss the mark?

What is your experience with one or more of these statements? How did you handle it?

What about non-IF issues? What should you NEVER ask a woman?

*I am not a regular reader of the site, nor do I know much about the author and how she covers infertility issues. This is quite likely my first exposure to her, but I will be poking around the archives to get a better sense of the type of coverage she produces. Call it a mix of personal and professional interest.

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