It's the one year anniversary of the Friday Blog Roundup tomorrow.
First and foremost, to all the participants, thank you doing this--for participating and reading and writing about all of these wonderful blogs. I wanted to write back a personal thank you to everyone and then my period got in the way...aaaah, see, you all understand the way the sight of my Truman Capote after an evening of hope (complete with wasted pee stick) can grind motivation to a halt. So a big public thank you instead.
For the most part, the only editing I did was to remove any references that could narrow down the blog reviewer to a small pool of possible contenders. Though technically, if you want to reveal yourself to your blogger or make an impassioned plea for information on your own blog, I can't stop you. After all, I...um...know my reviewer since that sort of couldn't be helped. But just to make it clear for anyone dropping in for the first time today--the posts below were chosen secretly by another blogger in the blogosphere. Each blogger was assigned a single blog to read from July 2006 to July 2007 and they chose a single post that spoke to them--that became their favourite. If you enjoy reading this list, know that you're only 6 months away from the Creme de la Creme when we'll be making a similar compilation for your reading enjoyment.
Mostly, I just want to thank the whole community (not just the people who participated in the Roundup Celebration this time)--for writing posts that change the way I view the world or bring insight to my own journey or help me work through emotions precisely when I need a push to bring things to the surface. Reading another person's thoughts is such a gift and I feel lucky to live in the time of blogs--where I can jump through hundreds of points of view and come to a better understanding of my own. Thank you.
Writing the roundup and keeping track of favourite posts is one of the best parts of my week. So cheers--here's to the last 52 weeks and a tip of the glass to the upcoming 52 weeks of roundups. And thank you for reading it when I write it.
If your blog is reviewed here, please add a comment in the comment section talking about the post that was chosen--where you were mentally when you wrote it, what has changed in your life since that entry, what is still the same, and how you feel about the chosen entry. Please make sure you write your blog name in the comment so people can read your thoughts after they read your post.
The Roundup Celebration List
(though new posts have pushed these older posts down into the archives, feel free--um, or more accurately, please do--leave a comment for the writer letting her know how much you enjoyed her words)
(though new posts have pushed these older posts down into the archives, feel free--um, or more accurately, please do--leave a comment for the writer letting her know how much you enjoyed her words)
- Glossary of All of My Made Up Words (from Stirrup Queens): I read your entire freaking blog this week, and it was a whole lotta blog. My wordy word. Since I've read the bulk of it before, I paused many, many times, remembering those moments when my perceptions changed, or my thoughts crystalized - those wonderful moments where the world just stopped and shifted around, like a scene from The Matrix, leaving me staring stupidly and going, "Coooool..." As I rounded for the home straight (January-July 07) I started getting worried. How on earth was I going to choose just one? Then I had a little lightbulb moment of my own. Because one of the great things about your blog is those crystalizing instants and those invented terms which can sum them up so well they've entered the lexicon of our community. The lexicon! Therefore I present to you this post (with bonus click-throughs to many greatest hits) from the woman who's rewriting the language of infertility.
- The Missionary Postion (from The Vicious Cycle of Cycles): The witty Erin coins the term "Infertourettes" and discusses why sometimes sharing IF tips with fertiles can be tricky.
- Redefining Me (from My Many Blessings): I had a really hard time choosing, but this post spoke to me just a little bit more than the others that I was considering. Tina has come so far in the past year, and this post really shows that. The perspective and peace she has attained with regards to her recurrent losses is inspiring. This post is a reflection on moving forward and loving the now, but still holding the past and the lessons learned in a special place.
- What Kind of Person am I? (from Southern Infertility): A reflection on the role IF plays in shaping the person the writer has become, both positively and negatively. This post is an interesting look at the question of how experiencing adversity makes us 'stronger'.
- At Risk Behavior (from Waiting for ...?): An honest look at her real motivations, strengths, and weakness; this is a touching post that explores feelings that are seldom discussed, but probably more commonly felt than we realize.
- An Angel in Heaven (from My Journey Towards My Little Miracle): I know this post will be a hard one for everyone to read, especially Sunny, but out of her full year of posts--this moved me the most. It is a sad post--a post where there is loss. But most importantly in this post--you find HOPE and FAITH! "I am so blessed to have had 8 weeks of life growing inside of me. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Life is an amazing thing." She immediately looked at the gift she was given: a human life, no matter how small or for how short a time. And now her angel child watches over her and Grumps every day. What an amazing couple Sunny and Grumps are--they inspire me, and I am renewed of hope and faith knowing that they believe that there is a plan for their life. Thank you Sunny and Grumps for the faith you gave me today...
- Baby Beginnings and Grief and Letter to My Baby Beginnings (from Serenity Now!): Two beautiful posts about Serenity’s grief for her baby beginnings.
- The Awful Truth...or To Tell or Not To Tell (from Nearly Dawn...): A post about the conflicted feelings associated with IF and with "coming out" to friends and co-workers.
- Rainy Friday (from Mrs. Spock):Mrs. Spock always has fascinating stories to tell about her life as an ICU nurse. This post is especially interesting, with her vivid descriptions and frank assessments.
- Embodiment (from Living with the Cards I Was Dealt): The concept of embodiment painted such an elegant portrait of how so many of us feel. Wanttobeamom conveys the deep hurt IF can inflict.
- Mother's Day (from Fertile Hope): Trish wonders what it means to be a mother after her miscarriage. Have tissues handy.
- Just, Everything (from Nuts in May): As the title states, this post is about everything and the kitchen sink. I particularly related to the part where she spoke about “H” dealing in the typical male fashion of ignoring an issue so as to avoid conflict when in fact his avoidance causes more friction than to just deal with it. She says, “He should think himself very lucky I’m currently far too apathetic to do anything so energetic as shrieking.”
- Hot Forks, Sharp Knives, and Rusty Nails (from Tales From My Dusty Ovaries): A refreshingly honest response to pregnancy announcements and why it's hard to find joy even when the "breeder" is your best friend. I really liked this post because I feel the same way and I often feel guilty for feeling that way. Just as Leah pointed out, I know it's not rational to want to inflict emotional pain on someone who is simply joyful about their pregnancy, but at the time, I truly want their heart to hurt the way mine hurts. This post really spoke to me and helped me realize that I'm not a bad person for feeling this way.
- Bam! (from I Will Be Mom): This post could be written by any number of women who have experienced infertility. In it, BabyBlues describes how the grief of infertility hit her like a bolt out of the blue when they were flying home from their vacation. "What was that about? Does this ever happen to you? When everything seems to be doing fine, it creeps up behind you and just rips you to pieces. I know I'm sensitive and sometimes emotional. But whenever this happens, it's just so hard to shake off. Sometimes there are triggers, such as seeing a mother and child, but sometimes, like this instance, no trigger at all. BAM! It just hits me! And it hits hard." This is EXACTLY how I feel at random times. I plod on in my life and really do feel okay for the most part, and when I least expect, it hits me hard, the grief, the loss - the pain is almost physical. In this post, BabyBlues has articulated it beautifully....
- Heartbeat (from Sticky Feet): This post reflects the relief of seeing the heartbeat of a baby that followed years of struggling to become parents.
- Forever Changed (from Changing Expectations): A reflection on how the world used to seem so fresh and exciting, and how the author would like to return to feelings like that even though she knows her life experiences have changed her innocent views.
- Thankful (from My Journey): M. uses Thanksgiving as an opportunity to write about all the things she's thankful for. It's a post we all need to write every once in a while, a post that makes you clear the cobwebs in your mind and to find all the reasons to be thankful.
- Life is Ironic (from Tigger's Infertility Madness...): I liked this post because it was so real to me. Everyone gets the "why me" and it's so hard, especially when your loved ones are the ones who are triggering your pain. I could relate to how Tigger was feeling...joy for her friend but such terrible sadness for herself, too.
- Mourning My Section (from The Twinkies): This post tries to explain what she missed and why she wishes things had been different and hoping that her memory becomes clearer with time.
- The TP Tango (from Reproductive Jeans): That familiar dance we all do starting around CD23 when every trip to the bathroom induces dread and can bring either hope or despair. A Reproductive Jeans classic.
- How a Seamonkey Gets Its Name (from Hell & High Water): Starfish's son, Seamonkey, is now nearly 10 months old. She explains how his name came to be, and how it was revealed to her that it was, in fact, his name. The post addresses the challenge adoptive parents face as they commingle a child's biology and biography. Told with dry humor, this post can bring tears to the eyes of other adoptive parents who remember their own such a-ha moments and hope to readers who wonder if adoption might be an answer for them.
- Cycles (from A Someday Mom): An emotional description of how each cycle ends like it begins: with sadness and grief. “...And I grieve. I grieve the life that could have been. The child that we could have created...The happiness that I could finally have and need so damn bad.” Kim beautifully expressed her feelings on trying to break free from “cycles” that don’t bring the baby that she longs for and the happiness that she needs: every woman trying-to-conceive can deeply identify with the line: “I wish I could start a new cycle that lasts 9 months instead of 25 days.”
- Am I a Parent? (from To Infertility and Beyond): After two miscarriages, the husband in this husband/wife blog team contemplates (in this and later posts of the same name) if he has already met the requirements to be considered a parent or if that label only applies after having a live child. He does a great job of outlining all the gray areas to this question.
- So, When Are You Going to Have Kids? (from The I Word): We've all experienced that well-meant but insensitive comment from a friend. But what if one of those led you to another Stirrup Queen...or two?
- 1,095.7266 days (from In Due Time): L reflects beautifully on three tremendously painful years of TTC without any kind of IF coverage and subsequently few options for medical interventions. She asks the difficult question, "How do you measure unseen pain?"
- Strange Wishes (from You're Still Young): Shlomit writes about wishing that she didn't yearn so much for a child as well as the pain of unfulfilled wishes, with an eloquence and rawness that deeply moved me.
- The Girl Next To Me (from Infertile Fantasies): A thoughtful post on recognizing others also going through infertility and understanding their pain.
- The Dark Side (from Well, Now That We're Here...): A post about the fear that comes with accepting a pregnancy after a loss as well as protecting yourself, just in case.
- Maybe, Maybe Not (from So I Wait For You): This is an honest but wistful acknowledgment of a once-innocent expectation transformed into the uncertain reality that infertile couples face all too often.
- Grief (from Mission: Impossible...): Geohde is amazing! She has strength and courage that would make Superwoman jealous. Mostly her humor and sarcasm leave you smiling and nodding your head agreeing with whatever she typed. Although not funny at all, I picked this post as her best. She had been through hell prior to the post and she put everything into this one. I couldn’t stop the tears. It proved that she cared so much for her baby that she made the decision that was best for her “Bubba” – a true mom. Geohde, keep writing! Best of luck with your career but mostly I hope you get what you want the most, a baby in your arms.
- La Lutta Continua (from Beaten but Not Bowed): A post discussing how we continue trying to conceive and how do we know when to stop.
- Struggling With Happiness (from Are We There Yet?): Kami has been through a heartbreaking journey and offers this universal message. She explains how infertility is exhausting on so many levels and wears you down. Yet, happiness is a choice and even though your situation isn't your first choice, you can still find happiness where you are, if you look and if you try.
- Looking Fear in the Face (from The EpiBlog): It was so hard to pick just one post from this blog, so many of them made me nod my head and say, "Yep, that's it exactly!" But this one brought me to tears. It's that fear that lives so deep in my heart, that makes the lump form in my throat when it catches me unaware and makes me feel selfish and guilty. I was so damned relieved to hear someone else had the same fear. I know how valuable the D's of the world are, and love the D in my life so very much, but I'm so afraid that it is the role I'm destined to fulfill.
- I Ovulated! And an Anger Rant... (from A Sibling for Celia): "I've been pretty angry this week. Angry about my infertility, angry with myself for being angry, angry at others for not understanding the anger... Just plain angry. I still feel like this is all a nightmare. Like I'm going to wake up any minute and find myself healthy and pregnant. I did it once, why can't it just happen again?!" This post really expresses the rage, the frustration, and the sheer unbearableness of infertility.
- How Did We Get Here? (from the password-protected blog The Problem With Hope): This post reflects on life and reminds us to look at the bright side. No matter what we're going through at any given time, there are also reasons to feel grateful. It's good to stop and count your blessings. Good, but not always easy.
- Tired (from Where Is My Happiness?): This is a post that speaks to the difficulties of secondary infertility: those who have been blessed once before with a child (or even children), but are also trying to find that delicate balance between the want of another child and being emotionally present for the child(ren) she already has. It is also a great post illustrating how we grow so tired in the process of infertility, but there is always that possibility of a child that drives us forward.
- Angry (from The Waiting Womb): A simple, honest post that reveals the raw anger that resides at infertility's breaking point. There is so much goodness about this blog, but this post in particular reminds me of the heartache that happens with infertility exhaustion. It makes her current posts that much sweeter.
- My Mind Speaks (from A Somewhat Ordinary Life): Just as things are hitting rock bottom they are also peaking as she realizes that even if she conceives a child that does not share the same biology as herself and her husband, she will love it unconditionally. Now that she is pregnant after a dIUI, I think this post speaks volumes about how our unconscious mind prepares us for our future.
- Just Lettin' It All Hang Out (from Fertilize Me): A post about becoming real with yourself and the fears that moving on to a new part of the journey bring. "Why can't I muster up enough strength, courage, kahunas, or whatever else I need to just go in and fill the Rx for my Clomid? Why am I procrastinating? What am I waiting for?" We have all cried this prayer at some point along our journey.
- Decisions (from Uterus Monologues): I like that she is honestly very happy, worried, scared and feeling guilty all in one post. Her newfound pregnancy is something she wants to enjoy for a bit and she is trying hard not to be stressed. She had very recently lost a baby and there is little that is harder, yet she is so excited to get those two lines. I just love the "I just saw two lines!" stories, they melt my heart and make me all misty. So much is riding on those two little lines.
- Proper Burial (from Diary of a Miscarriage): In a nutshell, she writes about what happened to her baby after she miscarried at 10 weeks. There was so much raw emotion in her feelings about sitting in the waiting room after the miscarriage and the questions she now has about what they did with her baby. As I read this post, my heart ached for Rachel and what she had to go through. No one should ever have to do what she did!
- Starship and Haiku, Dying Hate and Living Love (from Karaoke Diva): Of all of her many honest, emotional posts--both happy and sad, both hopeful and desperate--this is the post that summed it all up for me. Simple words that say it all. It always comes down to “I wish it were me” doesn’t it?
- Does It Suck To Be You? (from The Unlucky 20 Percent): A post that reminds all of us stuck in the "woe-is-me" cycle that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
- To My Unborn Child (from Flutter of Hope): I loved reading Dianne's blog, and although it was hard to choose, this was definitely my favorite post. I think it's so easy for those of us who are caught up in the medical treatments to think of the end goal in terms...well, like that, as a goal or a milestone, and this sweet letter to her unborn baby brought that goal to life for me. She inspired me to write a similar letter to my baby to be!
- All Done (from Our Own Creation): I had a very hard time choosing a favorite post since this woman isn't just hilariously funny even when her heart is breaking, but she had me laughing out loud with a whole bunch of her post titles. It just makes you want to read them! When she is serious and the pain infertility is inflicting on her life sticks through her humor, she describes it so perfectly that anyone could identify with it. This post has a little bit of everything in it: pain, desperation, but also the powerfully positive will to get through it all.
- Chapter 1 (from Kicking You From the Inside): This post covers one of the hardest parts of discovering you have fertility issues - facing the facts and preparing for what comes next. There is no anger at herself or her husband, there is an acceptance that not everything works out the way you want it to, and there's even a mention of how great her life is as it stands. It's a good, positive beginning to an unknowable end.
- Me, Myself, God and LaLa (from Healing Arts): Artblog discusses her relationship with G-d -- that she feels ashamed of the bad feelings she's had toward G-d due to IF, and that she feels as though she has failed to adequately appreciate G-d for creating her beautiful daughter LaLa. She asks for forgiveness and vows to be more grateful for what she has already received, and for the prayers that have already been answered. It is an excellent description of how many of us feel when examining our conflicted feelings and emotions related to G-d's presence throughout the IF journey.
- I Was Absolutely Dreading Canada Day (from Waiting on Two Pink Lines): This post struck a chord with me. Not only is it a funny description of the anxiety that can seep into infertile brains over events other people wouldn't even think twice about, but it was a nice reminder that I'm not alone in my dread of big bellies.
- The Sucky-est Day (from Love, Hope, and Faith): This post of Chris's really spoke to me as I had the same situation happen to me. Through this post, I felt a kindred spirt. It was amazing that she was still able to look on the bright side of things after learning of her miscarriage. She took God's sucky plan and tried to understand it and make the best of it. She has amazing strength and faith.
- No Clever Title (from It Could Take Three Months): It's the post every IF blogger wants to compose, and it gives us much hope when we read it. She couldn't have explained the joy and fear any better. The doubt and hope rolled together when we finally see those two lines seems so surreal.
- That Dark Place (from Coming2Terms): Pamela Jeanne inspires nothing short of complete admiration from me. I am amazed at times of the resilience that she shows. And so I was struck when reading this entry. She writes: “Let me offer up as exhibit A in my ‘fortified heart.’ And by fortified, I mean ‘fort’ in the classic Middle Ages sense. I've recently become painfully aware that over the past several years I've built an impressive wall around my heart…” Sometimes it just becomes unbearable to keep up the tough façade and when she can’t, Pamela Jeanne writes beautifully heart-wrenching posts like this one and lays it all out for readers to see.
- Observer (from The Impatient Patient): This post spoke to me because I understand too well what it is like to be an observer in a fertile world. Overall, this is an excellent blog.
- World's Shortest (and most often performed) Play (from Weebles Wobblog): A wonderful post pointing out the interconnected nature of the three positions in the adoption triad. When pain is erupting in the community, she asks if it is possible to step figuratively into another position in the triad and consider the point of view.
- About Histories and Legacies (from Upon Awakening): Though her life is quite different than how she thought it would be, she still appreciates the journey and what it taught her along the way. It has made her into the person she respects and cherishes. This post profoundly asks: "Isn't that why we are so persistent in our struggle to have a child of our own? One of the subconscious and sometimes not so unintentional reasons is to reproduce our genes. But we also need to have heirs to our legacies, not really in the financial sense of the word, but more in a sense of leaving behind something of who we are, and what we believe in."
- Cut It Out (from Journeywoman): A post that should be bookmarked and consulted whenever the community is fracturing under emotion. An extremely important reminder of why we all banded together in the first place: "Don't you remember? Don't you remember how we found each other? Don't you remember the first blog you read and thought 'Hey...that woman. She's like me.' Don't you remember the sad and happy tears we cried together? Don't you remember how it made the world seem--just a little bit better."
- I Thought There Would Be More Time (from A Cop, A Nurse, 3 Dogs, and Maybe Baby): I don't know why, but this post really got to me. I don't know her Aunt Alice, but the way she wrote so honestly and simply about her made Aunt Alice real for me too. And it made me miss this person I never got to meet. It was such a lovely post where you see so much love coursing through this family.
- Fertility Is a Lot Like Gambling (from Looking for 2 Lines): Even though the gambling analogy comes up in the infertility community, this post takes the connection many steps further from whether or not you even want in on the game to those who need to borrow money to keep playing. It's a really clever post.
- A Preemptive Move (from the password-protected blog Cats in the Cradle): I actually read Beagle's blog regularly before this and I've returned to this post a few times when I've questioned how to set limits. How does a person know when enough is enough? How do you decide on those next steps? This is the perfect post for anyone who is needing strength while forging a new path and needs to know that they're not alone.