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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Secret Ode Day (Ode 1)

Growing up, neighbours down the street had a tradition where their family had a floating holiday. It popped up unexpectedly on the calendar (at least for their kids) and only the parents knew when it was going to fall. Every morning, all the kids in the neighbourhood woke up and went to the window to check the tree outside their house because they kicked off this floating holiday by decorating this huge tree with lollipops some time in the middle of the night and all the kids in the neighbourhood were invited to come harvest the lollipops. Every morning had the possibility of being the morning, and even though it was just a simple lollipop--the same candy we had in our own kitchen drawers--it just tasted sweeter because it came up so unexpectedly.

That's sort of the point of Secret Ode Days.

You know that people read your blog because you have a sitemeter or they leave comments. But sometimes we just need something that is like the sweetness of a lollipop too by receiving kind words about our writing or personality. With the exception of this first string of Secret Ode Days, they will pop up on my blog unexpectedly. If you miss one, you can always find it again via the Festivities icon on the sidebar where I will keep an archive of each Secret Ode Day post.

This project--which I intended to be a one-day love fest--has now been converted to something ongoing. Therefore, if you read these paragraphs below and are moved to write about your own favourite blogger (or bloggers--sometimes people submitted two or three paragraphs on different people), please send you submission to All paragraphs are posted anonymously. Whenever I have a critical mass, I will post them.

The Odes of the Day

Amy at Inconceivable

Amy is one of the strongest women I pretend to know. She has been through four miscarriages with courage and tenacity. She is currently pregnant and due in September. She gives me more hope than I could ever express. I love to read about each appointment and how well she and the baby are doing. Her journey on her blog will carry you through so many emotions. You will laugh and cry with her. Her kindness of spirit is so evident with each post. You will be blessed by sharing in her journey.

Sara S-P at The Island

I was first drawn to Sara S-P's blog because of her hilarious stories. She has a family full of amazing characters. They do some crazy things but you grow so fond of them because of the way she writes. We all have crazy family members and I love that she just puts it all out there. Sara is a pleasure to read because of her wit. She is super smart and her writing pulls you in. I've been able to fall in love with a city I have never seen. I can't wait to visit!

Akeeyu at herveryown

The person that writes this blog is a total riot. She is going through some struggles right now and has been for over a year, but the humor that she puts in her writing keeps me going. Whenever I am having a crappy day – I click on this blog and hope to G-d she has a new post because I know I am going to be laughing. I feel for the pain that she is going through, but I want to thank her for making it so light-hearted. She’s a comic genius even though she’s probably not trying to be. So good luck, Akeeyu, in this upcoming cycle and thanks for the laughs…

Miss E at Miss E's Musings

I read Miss E's blog religiously because she gives me perspective. She reminds me that I am not defined by my infertility; that yes IF is a part of me, but not all of me. She shows me that having a family is, at some level, a choice, which gives me the hope that, if my worst case scenario comes true and we're never able to have a family, we WILL be ok. I love how she shows us that yes, there's pain in living child-free, but it's a bittersweet kind of pain. She gives me more hope than any other blogger I've read.

Another ode to Miss E at Miss E's Musings

It's hard to know your limits and face them gracefully, but Miss E manages to inspire us all. If you're wondering if it's possible to make some breathing space, say no to the next step in treatments, or find peace in slowing down to tackle each decision in the fullness of time, your answer is here, and it's "yes".

Bea at Infertile Fantasies

There are some bloggers whose personal story just sucks you in. Bea is one of them. Since I started reading her, I have been consistently amazed at her resilience and her strength. That she is giving back to the universe despite getting the shit end of the stick for so long. I find myself wanting her to be pregnant sometimes more than I want it for myself.

Watson at My Dear Watson

I LOVE Watson. I love how she puts everything out there. I love her perspective on life. She makes me laugh, and laugh, and laugh. And when it comes to infertility, sometimes you just HAVE to laugh. Because really, at the end of the day, ART is pretty damn ridiculous. I love her honesty, and her willingness to put herself out there, and her ability to make me wet my pants almost every time I read her blog.

Another ode to Watson at My Dear Watson

Watson is perhaps the only blogger that approaches everything with humor. When you read her, you get the feeling that her cycle could have failed, a hurricane could have wiped her house out, and an inventive pyramid scheme could have taken all her money and she’d still have a sense of laughter about things. She had only one cycle but did so much to try to help other women get an understanding of the process that I felt embarrassed I hadn’t tried to do more to help others. She’s an inspiration, a laugh, and a seriously bright spot on the IF blog scene.

Karen at My Perky Ovaries

Karen is pregnant with triplets and she’s incredibly down-to-earth about it. Everywhere you read on the IF hemisphere you find bloggers who are over the moon about multiples, it’s very hearts and flowers and wonderful, but Karen is one of the few bloggers that shows that there is a lot of fear, debate, worry, happiness, love, and concern when you have more than one. Her complete blatant honesty about her fears, her religion, her health, her debates, and her love for her not-yet-born babies is amazing. Her honesty should be rewarded 100 times over, as should her realistic approaches. I owe her a lot for being there for me more than once, and she’s got 4 kids she’s thinking about.

Rachel at Henry Street

Rachel has been blogging for about a year longer than I have been blogging, but from reading her archives, I know we both began blogging for the same reasons. "I was told I should create blog," she begins in April 2006 and she has used her blog to "talk about all the complex feelings that go along with finding out you are infertile." Rachel's husband has a balanced translocation and as a result she has had three miscarriages and two failed IVF cycles. Her story has a lot of heartbreak, and she frequently explores how infertility has affected her relationships with friends and her attitude at work, and how at the same time she is trying to keep her sanity through craftwork and gardening. Her honesty and openness drew me in from the moment I started reading her.

Ann at The Unlucky 20 Percent

Ann is a relative newcomer to the blogosphere and finds herself here as a result of PCOS. She has rapidly entered the world of the infertile and writes eloquently about her thoughts related to PCOS, infertility, and G-d, all with a light touch of humor. While I am not a religious person, I enjoy reading Ann's thoughts and struggles with her faith. She has a wonderful way with words and I am eager to follow her story.

Leah at Tales from My Dusty Ovaries

She's a newbie on the block, but in getting to know her in the past month through emails and then the Braces Bunch, I have been able to see a glimpse of an incredibly strong and determined woman. She has already been so giving of her time and support to all those she has come in contact with in the "blog world." I am humbled by what she has already been through and her willingness to share that pain in order to help all of us out there not feel so alone. She's one who really "gets it" and I thank her for her continued support and kindness. She has touched me, and many others, and I thank her today for being who she is and for letting us in her life...

Millie at Out, Damned Egg! Out I Say!

I just wanted to say a few words about a fantastic blogger whose humor and sarcasm has really helped to get me through some truly horrid times. Millie’s blog, Out, Damned Egg, has been such a great read. I love her tell-it-like-it-is mentality and I have found myself silently rooting for her time and time again. Only recently did I start to post a comment or two, but my thoughts have been in her cheering section for a long time. She has insight, snarky sarcasm and a true sense of the “audience”. Without having ever met, she knows what I’m thinking and verbalizes the hideous disappointments time and again. Thanks Millie! You’ve got a talent for writing. I hope that translates into a talent for pregnancy real soon! I want her to know that while she has a solid fan base, she’s got even more of us lurking out there who count of her to pull us through the tough days.

JJ at Reproductive Jeans

JJ for all her brilliant ideas that make this journey feel all the less lonely. Everything she writes inspires warmth, love and friendship. She'd make a great mum, and I pray she gets her wish very soon.

Baby Blues at I Will Be a Mom

Baby Blues frequently finds a reason to hope. She balances infertility treatments with her faith and a tough and rewarding career. One way or another, you feel sure she'll succeed. If you need to get yourself infected with an uplifting attitude, go here.

Nica at Life as a Sandwich

What doesn't she do? She works, she mothers her mother-in-law, she deals with infertility, and occasionally she loses her wallet. Oh, and she's funny. Truly, Nica goes above and beyond.

Vee at The Sweet Life

One word: photo Monday. Alright, two then. But in case photography isn't enough to keep you interested, Vee also manages to pick herself up and keep going through azoospermia, IVF, miscarriage, and family illness--and that's a feat in itself. Plus she and Max do a mean IIFF entry.

DI Dad at Life as Dad to Donor Insemination Kids

He bills himself as a father of children conceived through donor insemination, but DI Dad is also a father of the DI and MF community. You can go to him for support or news about his pet topics. Either way, you'll be glad he's around.

My Reality at Disenchanted With the Reality That Is My Life

My Reality is always so completely honest and open about their infertility journey. Between her surgery and the ectopic-pregnancy-that-wouldn't-end, it's been a really tough year for her. She's been such a good friend to Krista, who had a brain tumor and gave birth to her son early by c-section. It's obvious that she's a loving and caring person. I've also very much appreciated how she talks about being an adoptee and how that can affect infertility. She really makes you think about so much. And her descriptions of food make your mouth water!

Ms. C at It Could Take Three Months

Ms. C is so funny about her descriptions about her non-speaking RE and Mr. C's "contributions" to the whole process. At the same time, it's obvious how difficult infertility is on her. She recently wrote about how seeing her MIL with another baby just made her cry because she wants that so much. She seems to look on the bright side even when it's hard, and I find that really admirable (and can't figure out how she does it!). I've enjoyed reading her blog from the beginning.

Adrienne at Max's Mommy

Adrienne has been one of the many bloggers who have inspired me in so many ways. We are kindred spirits of sorts – IF, recurrent m/c, TTC a younger sibling for our sons, similar “background” medical issues. Although her blog is “younger” than mine, I find her sense of humor, self, and ability to write emotions and thoughts so well that the words linger on refreshing – I want more! For example, her recent DIY series is quite hysterical – as close as you can come to seeing her on HGTV with her own portable IVF lab. However, as funny as parts of the DIY series are, it also brought about the raw emotion of being DONE with things like the “Bataan Death March Sex,” “ass-propping and Waiving My Legs In the Air Like I Just Don't Care,” “hyper-vigilance over every twinge and ache during the Two Weeks From Hell Wait,” “crushing despair when my temperature drops, and my belly cramps and the blood flows.” We have all been there – watching every possible sign and symptom; using every technique and tip found on every website and in every book; hoping, praying, pleading with God to see that BFP…and hope, pray, plead and beg that the PG is a “sticky one.” Adrienne is currently trying to find a new perspective right now…and I hope she finds it very soon. I miss her posts – but would never ask her to post more when she is not ready to write.

Frustrated because someone said something about you that is making you bawl in your office at work right now? If a person chooses to let you know privately that she was the author—great. That’s just like getting a few Snickers bars thrown in with your lollipop stash. But unless that happens, in the words of my grandma, “you don’t even know and I won’t even tell you.”

Stay tuned tomorrow for another batch of new odes (there were waaaaay too many to put in one post). The nicest part about this project is that just because you weren’t discussed today doesn’t mean that you won’t be covered tomorrow. And just because you were discussed today doesn't mean that you won't be covered again tomorrow. So keep spreading the love! Inspired by what you’ve read? Send me an email at with a paragraph about your favourite blogger (or take an evening to write up ten!). Even if they have already had a paragraph written about them, they haven't heard the love in your words. Therefore, write a new paragraph letting them know how much their blog means to you.


Karen said...

*sniff* Gosh.

I'm really glad that you've made this an on-going project. I've got a hundred such odes started in my head, but haven't been able to centre myself enough to sit and write them all down.

Matthew M. F. Miller said...

What a great list - there were some new ones on there I haven't read before. Thanks so much for passing these along, and cheers to all of the authors working so hard.

Ellen K. said...

Wow -- thank you! This just about made my day. Off to spread more love.

jenna said...

So friggin fun to read! These blogger must feel like a lovely little present was dropped off at their down. The idea of a "secret admirer" must make those bloggers feel as good as it did back in elementary school during Valentine's Day.

Inconceivable said...

Tank yo so much for being a great fun facilitator - its great to find new blogs to read.

decemberbaby said...

These are lovely. What a great idea. Once again, Mel, I tip my hat to you.

chicklet said...

Meant to tell you earlier but this list inspired me - nice job lady. You always do that:-)

Carole said...

Wow...this is awesome. Nothing better than a floating holiday and reading kind words.

Leah said...

Yippee! I feel all warm and fuzzy, this really made my day. Let me tell you that this is no small feat during the BFN week I"m having. Thank you a thousand times over for thinking of this idea, then taking the time to bring it to fruition!

nancy said...

This is just a wonderful thing to do. To point out these bloggers and suddenly have some of these women know that they have unknowingly helped someone else. I can only imagine their hearts fill up as they read it ♥ and you had a big hand in making them feel so loved!

Time to go read some new blogs I've never read before!

Vee said...

Oh Wow ! I feel so special. Thank you so much.

This is a really beautiful idea.

Bea said...

Ooh! I'm all a-fluster. I have the same hopes for y'all, you know that. (And I'd like to thank my producer, and my mum...)

Surprise Ode sounds like a good idea.


Tina said...

These Ode's really aspire all of us to great blogging! All of these blogs are amazing - honest, funny and heartbreaking.

DI_Dad said...

Mel - Thanks for the kind words. I don't know about being the father of anything but my kids. Again I appreciate the Ode and what it means. Regards. Eric

Patience said...

Wow Mel - I get behind on my blogs and come back to SO MUCH! Your site is just a fabulous way to connect with new bloggers and catch up with old... ode to you my dear!

Geohde said...

Oh my goodness.

I just found this site and now have about a thousand new reasons to procrastinate on the internet.

Blogs galore!

I feel a lot less like the *only* infertile freak out there now. Still infertile, and still in all probability a freak, but not alone :)

Baby Blues said...

Another brilliant idea. Bravo! Love it. I'll send some soon.