The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Blog Roundup

I hope the two posts this week have gotten you somewhat in the mood for Halloween and somewhat in the mood for a lot of second-guessing from me as I head into dropping a couple ten-thousand on fertility treatments. Just kidding....er... I'm still gathering some last thoughts on Sister P and prophecies.

I loved Carolyn Hax's response. I'm someone who always needs to know about Plan B if Plan A isn't going to happen and even I thought her reasoning was sound. Not only sound, but extremely thoughtful and sensitive.

***
Bea came up with my favourite excuse of all time this week. A bunch of us were emailing back and forth on Rowling's announcement about Dumbledore. Bea pointed out other possibilities she thought: "He could just be a chap who never met the right girl, or was mega into wizarding and didn't spend a lot of time pursuing that avenue." And though I botched it yesterday with the word "massive" instead of "mega," I still stand by it as the greatest excuse of all time.
  • Sorry, couldn't get to the laundry today: mega into wizarding.
  • My apologies, I was going to come to that baby shower and then I got mega into wizarding...and you know the rest. Same old story.
  • Children? No, we don't have any. You know how it is when you're mega into wizarding.
Who is going to question it? Yes, you may have to put up with a few whispers behind your back, but to have an instant response to any one of a number of nosy questions?

***
Josh has been in a crap mood for the past day or two, barely able to breathe over all the things that need to get accomplished jobwise. He just called me from work after filming a television interview and reported that once on camera, he felt better than he had all week. I asked if he was one of those celebrities who only felt comfortable while "on camera" and he responded "yes, Melissa, and that is why we're going to set up video cameras around the house and podcast our life." And as I stared out the window, I mused over the idea whether anyone would find a video of me cooking cream of mushroom soup worth watching. I am such a whore. But it's Josh who turns me into one...

***
Do you live in LA or nearby in California? Beyond me sending good thoughts your way right now, could you help out a fellow blogger and answer some questions for her about the area? She is moving across the country to California and...well, you can imagine how difficult it is to move to a city that you don't know at all. Please send me an email at thetowncriers@gmail.com if you can answer some questions for her.

***
It seems that everyone is going password-protected, and when I say "everyone," I mean several people. All have expressed the same remorse of the password protection--you lose a lot of readers and you almost never gain new ones. There are various reason why people go password-protected or invite-only: some truly don't want new readers and are happy with their small circle of friends or family. They never intended their blog for a larger audience. Others would like to write openly and benefit from a wide-variety of readers, but their blog has been found by people they do not wish to have read along. So...that's the suckage--being open to everyone means that anyone can find you and I write keeping this thought in the back of my head at all times.

Which is why I propose a Blog Fair, which is sort of the same concept of a job fair. A job fair introduces you to jobs that you may overlook if the information is not brought to you, and a Blog Fair is a compilation of password-protected blogs that are accepting new readers. If you have a password-protected or invite-only blog AND would like to have more readers find you (obviously, if you don't want new readers, disregard), I need the following information in a blurb:
  • Name of blog
  • Url of blog
  • Category of blog (adoption, female factor, over 35 and ttc, etc)
  • One or two sentence description
  • Contact info (an email address or a profile page that has directions on how to get in touch with you)
The Blog Fair (as well as other types of Blog Fairs) can/will be held several times a year as well as become a permanent fixture over on Lost and Found.

***
Today is the 50th issue of the Lost and Found. Happy anniversary to all of us.

***
And now, a little smattering of others who are mega into wizarding...I mean, mega into procreation or adoption...

Julia at Here Be Hippogriffs has what just may be the best post ever on why we try the things we try. The power of the what if as well as the desire to rid ourselves of any and all regrets. She is currently using Lovenox on order by the OB since the RE rolled his eyes at it. "This is probably a total coincidence but I could not shake the conviction that more than one thing might be contributing to the pregnancy failures. So my rationale was that if I could get a genetically normal embryo started perhaps a guaranteed clot-free environment would help." The Lovenox debate has been circling around the blogosphere a bit as of late. Doctors don't know enough yet about how it works, though anecdotal evidence has pointed firmly in the direction of it being the tipping point for keeping a pregnancy, especially for certain types of recurrent pregnancy loss as well as multiple IVF failures. My hematologist likens it to an insurance plan, especially in light of the fact that new clotting disorders are constantly being found, there's still so much that we don't know about blood, and the solution for all clotting disorders is essentially the same--Lovenox (sometimes in addition to baby aspirin, Folgard, or another wildcard drug). It brings peace-of-mind, albeit with a few risks and some discomfort. But it all seems worth it if you never have to go through a future what if. Sending a lot of good thoughts to Julia to keep the 13s cooking a bit longer.

Barely Sane at Infertility Licks has a post about what move us from a sad place to a good one. Her thought is that it isn't simply the events that occur: "While I wont deny having SP join our lives was by far life-altering, I think how I tackled that is more the reason for my change." The point Barely Sane makes is that she wasn't necessarily happy and relaxed before Sweetpea came into their lives, therefore, her arrival (and the end of worrying if she would ever become a mother) cannot be the only thing at play. It is a fascinating post and one that I think will resonate with many.

Breaking my own rule and including a post that actually took place last Thursday...Cecily at ...And I Wasted All That Birth Control has a beautiful post about fear. She writes: "Fear is, in fact, a G-d-given resource that helps keep us safe." But then continues to admit that she has been paralyzed by fear as of late. She is speaking about her decision to become a freelance writer, but the fear she is describing and the subsequent look at gratitude is applicable to every situation. She writes: "Right now (I just almost typed "write now", how Freudian of me), I am mid-leap. I am flying through the air, hoping that jumping was the right decision, praying that instead of falling to the ground in a broken heap I will instead either land safely or a net will magically appear. Is there anything more terrifying? The truth is, even mid-leap, my life is pretty fucking wonderful. And I couldn't possibly be more grateful to be reminded of that fact. Thank you for being part of that." I just thought it was a beautiful post and one that ties in nicely with a lot of the fear I've been feeling myself in the past few weeks.

Lastly, Grad3 at Motherhood has noticed a drop in readership since announcing her hard-won pregnancy. She is basing this on comments, and it isn't clear whether (1) people are just commenting less across the blogosphere (more blogs + more reading - time=less commenting) or (2) readership drops on blogs once pregnancy or adoption is achieved. Personally, if I like a person's writing style, I've always continued reading (this was true prior to conceiving the first and true now). We've all debated it before and all thoughts are valid. You have a finite amount of time and it hurts to read about pregnancy or if they're on your blog list, they're on your blog list for life regardless of situation. This isn't saying that one side trumps the other, but I do think there is a difference between reading a blog from someone who knows where I've been vs. someone who likes to blog about her 18 easily-conceived children and how much she loves to spice things up in the bedroom on a conception night. Listen, I hope to one day have a pregnancy announcement; after all, that is the point to doing treatments. And I would hate to have readers desert simply because what I've been working towards has come to fruition. I think sensitivity is something that can be discussed in terms of making the blog accessible to both those who are still trying and those who have children/are pregnant. What makes you keep reading some blogs after pregnancy is achieved (or if they already have children) and desert others? Can you put your finger on it? Discuss, discuss?

Recap: beyond separating out why you read some blogs and leave others and sending a note my way if you live in California, throw your password-protected blog into the Blog Fair.

24 comments:

Tigger said...

Sometimes it's how long I've been reading a blog before it's author announces a success, and how connected I feel to that author. Sometimes it's how they announce it, or how they write about it on their blogs. If every post they write from that point on has to deal with their pregnancy (nothing about their life outside of it), I might stop reading. On the other hand, I've noticed several bloggers who became very sporadic in their updates after getting pregnant - and it's hard for me to read their blogs because when they DO finally post, it's full of all the pregnancy related things that have happened in the last month since they updated...and nothing else.

serenity said...

Man, Mel - reading your blog sometimes hurts my brain. So much information to digest!!! :)

First of all, your Sister P posts this week gave me goosebumps. My Halloween post will be my own experience with a psychic, though it's really not as freaky as yours was. Yet, anyway.

Personally, I kept reading up on all the pregnant bloggers I read before they posted their news. I might not have commented as much unless I thought they needed support, but I read them religiously.

And I'm finding the same with my own blog - from the stats, my readership doesn't seem to be down, but less people are commenting. Which is fine and very much what I expected.

It's unusual that I stop reading a blog altogether - usually it's when I realize that I disagree with the blogger in almost everything they post... for an extended amount of time. Or I'll stop reading if they've said something mean in a comment to someone else somewhere along the line.

DinosaurD said...

I think you are being a tad unfair with the characterization that readers would "desert simply because what I've been working towards has come to fruition." I am NOT trying to jump on your back here (far from it) but I have always assumed that the readers of most IF blogs are infetile. Unfortunately I understand all too well that it can hurt like hell to read about someone's pregnancy and baby. It doesn't mean they aren't happy for you but it's a bit much to expect some of them to come along for the ride.

I'm still surprised that some people visit my blog since the birth of my daughter (maybe it's the previous 5 miscarriages that make people more comfortable - I don't know). But I don't expect people to still visit as I think of their visits as being about them, not about me. I sound like a scold here - sorry (my daughters calling).

DinoD

DinosaurD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
It's Not You. It's Me said...

I had to chip in on that pregnancy thing (I don't read grad3 so my opinion has no reflection on her or her blog). I keep reading if I have built up a blogging relationship with the writer. If I have just started reading while that person is in the middle of their cycle and they get pregnant? I'm gone.

If I decide to stick it out, I feel very reserved about throwing out "congratulations" and "your baby is due on my b-day!" or any such drivel as I have been down that road too many times only to have my dreams crushed. I just can't allow myself to reach out until I see that they are reaching a safe point in their pregnancy.

There is absolutely nothing worse than reading "Congratulations!" one week and "I'm so sorry." the next.

The last thing that will decide whether I stay or go is how they carry on afterward. Is every post filled with "I want this so bad and I'm so scared..." God! I get it. We're all scared. There has to be something else going on with this person's life and most of the blogs I read do more than just talk about treatments so why would I continue to read if suddenly they get tunnel vision?

I forgot: the other thing that bugs me is if I do stop by to wish them a happy pregnancy and they reply back with, "I know this must hurt and it's OK if you dont' read anymore." Excuse me? I don't need your permission for me to feel shitty about me NOT being pregnant, because really that's what it's about. We each want the other person to succeed, but when they do, it's another brutal reminder that I have not.

I'm posting this under anonymous, but I'm sure you'll be able to figure out who I am.

vee said...

I'm in agreement with what others have said - if i've been along for the ride, I do continue to read and care about reading. I do tend to comment less though, predominantly because everything is suddenly out of my range of experience - I don't know what it's like to be pregnant, to decorate a nursery, to have scans and appointment, to worry, to miscarry...I read but I find I have little to say.

Rachel said...

I have a very, very difficult time reading blogs once someone achieves pregnancy. I will sometimes check in to see how things are going, but I will rarely comment. It makes me too jealous and sad.

Zee said...

After three years of trying and failing and after over one-third of my blogroll and all but one of my IRL friends have gotten pregnant, I am totally one of the people who jump ship once anyone makes an announcement. Although I do, sometimes, check in on certain people of whom I'm fond--it tends to take too much out of me emotionally, so it's not too often.

Carole said...

Okay...so you have the best ideas *ever*...and I'm loving the mega into wizarding. I need to find a way to use that. I love the blogfair idea...especially since I didn't want to go password protected. Let me know if you need help with it.
~Carole
http://accordingtocarole.blogspot.com
http://thejourneyfromhere.blogspot.com

orodemniades said...

It's somewhat easier now that I'm pregnant, but sometimes it isn't. I don't know why. Sometimes I can go back to reading the blog after a few months, mostly I can't. I find I can read adoption blogs, in fact I love reading adoption blogs, especially when it's someone I've been reading for a long time, because for whatever reason the pain of reading about two pink lines just isn't there.

It's not right, and it's not fair but it is honest.

Ellen K. said...

Ditto nearly everyone else. I appreciate all my readers, but they are welcome to drop in, lurk, or stop reading entirely of their own accord. Likewise I feel free to move about the blogroll, based on my impulse for connection. I noticed a decrease in comments when I posted about childfree living after infertility. Two weeks ago I posted that we were going to try IVF, and I had more hits in 24 hours than ever before. So I assume that when people don't comment, it's because they have nothing to add, but that doesn't mean they don't enjoy reading. At least, that's what my lurker friends IRL tell me.

Kristen said...

I have never "left" a blog that I've read regularly during my journey. I check in here and there but I think my main problem is that I have added so many wonderful blogs to my blogroll that I have a hard time keeping up with the commenting - even weekly - anymore. I try to get on when I can but it takes hours to go through and read every single blog. I just do my best with catching up with everyone. And sadly, there are things I inadvertantly miss. Thankfully, L&F helps me out in that department.

I definitely don't want to desert my pregnant friends. We are all here to achieve the same thing and I would want people to continue a relationship with me if I were to get my BFP. As many bloggers have pointed out, pregnancy doesn't automatically take away infertility. Those feelings remain up to the point you have a baby in your arms and sometimes even after that.

All this to say that I hope my pregnant pals do not feel deserted by me. It is certainly not personal and I love everyone on my list.

Samantha said...

So far, with few exceptions, once I start reading a blog, I don't really stop, no matter what the circumstances are that befall the writer. Bloglines has already grown to enormous proportions, so I may sometime need to change this philosophy, but I kind of go by, "if I start reading you, I'm going to stick with you until you stop writing." This is seemed to have happened in a few cases, and other people, once they get pregnant, slow down in their posts, so though my blogroll is always growing, the number of posts doesn't grow quite as fast. Sometimes I stop by other people's blogs to offer support or congrats, but I'm just an occasional user there.

I still read the pregnancy blogs, and don't really find them too painful. I don't tend to comment as much, because sometimes I don't really know what to say, having not been in that situation, I can't comment on morning sickness, bloating, how to breast feed, etc. But I'm there and like to follow along to a happy ending.

Leah said...

I definitely continue to read blogs once they announce a pregnancy if I really like the reader. There have been a few blogs, however (5 to be specific) that I simply cannot read anymore because they lost their minds. (JJ, you know the ones I'm talking about! :-] )

My feelings seem to change when I read their blogs, though. No longer do I wait for the page to load with a knot in my stomach, anxious to see how they are responding to meds, or how their monitoring appt went, or how many eggs they retrieved, or what their fert report was, etc. I get SO SO SO invested in people's situations when they are in the throes of a cycle. I definitely love to read 2ww posts because they are always all over the place and you get even more raw emotion than usual from the blogger.

Once the positive happens, we get to see yet another side. Some people choose to be blissful, some become consumed with worry, some gush thankfulness. I love to see how everyone deals with it differently. I used to get upset, however, that many people seemed to post less and less once they were pregnant. I just didn't get it. Now, I do. I rarely post anymore because I'm so damn tired. I still have tons to say, and rest assured that I will, but I am roadkill by 9pm which is when I used to do my blogging.

I would not be offended if people stopped reading my blog once I got pregnant. Not at all. I respect the fact that they probably read my posts so that we could bond and connect over our similar feelings regarding infertility. While I still am very much an infertile, I'm now a pregnant infertile so for me to go on and on and on about the woes of infertility each day isn't reasonable. I'm certainly not encouraging people to stop reading, but I would understand if they did. Especially since I'm uber-lame and don't post anymore. But, truthfully, it's because I'm mega into wizarding and just can't make the time to blog as well...

Sunny said...

I have a big list of preggo blogs I read. I might comment and I might not. If I don't have a connection I can't comment. I just have too many blogs to read through. The BIG catch on preggo blogs is what you are writing about. If you are writing about, I feel this, my appointment went like this, the baby did this... Nope you have lost me. But if you write about feelings I continue to read. This goes the same for IF blogs. If you tell me each day what day you are in your cycle or 2ww and how you are feeling symptom wise you have lost me.

Jess said...

Mega into wizarding. You kill me!

Anyhow, I really rarely stop reading once someone becomes pregnant (I know now that is a duh since SO AM I, but still) or even quits treatment altogether. If I read you, I like you, and that's not all about IF. However, like some of the others said...sometimes there is more or less to say of importance, depending on the situation and my own experiences.

If someone gets all chipper and stupid, I quit reading, or more often just pop in now and again, though. I still like tact, after all, and though I myself am pregnant, I feel for those who ARE NOT.

I like a blog to be about the person's life, after all...I'm looking for friends, not stories. :)

I'll email you my blog info...love the blog fair idea!

MrsSpock said...

I've pretty much stuck with reading the blogs I've always read, even before I become pregnant.

Since becoming pregnant I must admit I've become a less frequent poster, mostly because there doesn't seem to be too much to say. Many of my posts now are about work (which I hope is interesting enough to keep my readers) with the occasional pregnancy related post.

My statcounter is just as busy, but the comments are fewer. I tend to get more comments for my posts about my adventures as a nurse than for the pregnancy posts, perhaps for the reasons the rest of you have cited.

Geez, this post is really making me want to put more effort into not dropping the blog ball when it comes to posting...

From Here To Maternity said...

I keep reading just because I want to see how they're coping with the change. I don't post much because I can't offer any advice when they ask about pregnancy stuff or child rearing. I also can't say yeah I know how you feel about baby doing whatever, but I still read. Like a PP said, I like when it's more about their feelings and thoughts about the process or how their views change as a result of getting pregnant and having a child.

bleu said...

I will read some blogs to see the journey to get pregnant from simply a "what protocol worked for them" standpoint and then move on.
Other blogs, ones where I like the writing or the struggle I will read until the birth.
One thing I have found, which is just from my own beliefs, is when the baby is here and their parenting practices are far off from my own beliefs, then I stop reading. It upsets me too much and I do not feel I could contribute enough positive comments to warrant staying.
There are some who seem far off from me but there has developed a connection and I still read, but at times it is with my hands covering my eyes and peeking through.

tipsymarie said...

I am so glad you brought this up.
It really depends on how long or what struggles the blogger faced before she got pregnant. It's very difficult for me to read a blogger who has only been trying for a short period of time and then they get pg after one or two treatment cycles. If the road has been more difficult and/or longer, then it's easier to accept. It may not be the fairest way to view new pregnancies, but that's the easiest way for me to cope.
Also, it depends on what she writes about after she's pg. I want to read about the feelings, symptoms, results of appointments or reactions of others to the pregnancy. A little humor never hurts! Those are things I would expect to read and want to read, and hopefully one day, will get to write about myself.

mikegeorgia said...

Nice place you have here...

g.j.

PCOSMama said...

I don't stop reading once the 'goal' has been reached, and I didn't before I got pregnant either. If I like your blog, I'll keep reading no matter what. I'm not always a big commenter though...
I did have a definite drop in comments after I announced my pregnancy, and it was unexpected, but I understood how hard it can be for some people to read about pregnancy. I guess I thought it would be different if it was a fellow infertile who had gotten pregnant. And yes, there were a few times I could have used the support, when we had a big scare from an ultrasound for example. But I never really had a big readership anyways so I guess it's not that big a deal.
Shortly after getting pregnant though, I realized I didn't have a whole lot to write about that wasn't pregnancy related. With an infertility blog, you mainly write about what treatments you're doing, how you're feeling, how it affects your life, etc. So once you become pregnant, it changes to what is going on with the pregnancy, something not everyone can relate to and may be very difficult for them to read. And no matter how hard you try, you can't avoid hurting some people. It's a tough situation all-around.

I guess what I'm saying is that although achieving the 'goal' doesn't stop me from reading, I understand how it can be hard for others. Initially it is hard to lose the support, but you come to accept it and understand the reasons behind it. I think the most important thing is to just make sure you are still there to support others when they need it.

Sorry for the huge post! I've never been good at editing my thoughts....

Starfish said...

I stop reading if the blog loses the emotion and wittiness it used to have. I don't want to read a bulleted report about pregnancy symptoms or what little Johnnie did in his diaper today. But if the feeling is still there, and they remember where they came from, I will still read.

Rebecca said...

You know, it's weird. I have a friend in Aus named Mellissa (two Ls) and her husband is called Josh. They match.

Mine and my husband's names don't match.

Come join in my giveaway :)