These are the things I learned this week:
Autologous means using your own cells. I know this because I saw it written on my file at the RE's and didn't know if it meant "asks waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many questions and is highly emotional." Turns out it's a bit more medically-descriptive. Who knew. Donor gamete files I assume are tagged allogeneic which means using cells from another individual. Didn't actually know that word prior to this week either, but it was given as the antonym when I looked up autologous.
Smores and talented bloggers are a good mix. Last weekend, the DC Stirrup Queens got together and we were joined by Lori from Weebles Wobblog AND Beagle from Fortune Cookie Follies. Online support is wonderful--you can grab it at any hour of the day and from any place in the world--but there's something to be said for ten or so women getting together over cups of coffee and smores. Especially when you've been reading their story online for so long. In D.C., we do so at least once a month, though sometimes more.
I've been thinking a lot about the Lost and Found and I think the bottom post--the actual "lost and found"--isn't really as helpful (since most of that information ends up in the daily post) as starting a new section of Connections Abound. Everyone talks about our D.C. group and how lucky we are--and we are. We are incredibly lucky that Lindsay drew us all together last summer and we've been meeting ever since. That said, if you live in a major city or are willing to drive an hour or two once a month, chances are you could draw a group together too (of course, this isn't always possible, but it never hurts to try). So I am going to start a new post that will always be up on the front page of the Lost and Found that has a listing of said groups. If you are willing to be a point person for your area, send me an email with this information: your area (either a city: London or a larger span: the North Carolina "triangle" of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill), your name (blogging name is fine), your email, your blog name, and blog url.
If there are things you'd want to know, let me know so I can work it into the form they should use when contacting you about the group. It will probably take me a few days to create the list and get it up on the Lost and Found site, but hopefully it will help people connect with one another.
It pays to have talented friends. During coffee, Beagle gave me one of her gorgeous pomegranate necklaces which I have worn ever since with the exception of bedtime and to take this photograph (do you like the shmancy background? It's the pleather of my planner). Thank you, Beagle!
If you are jealous, as well you should be, you could get one for yourself here. Every once in a while, she sells out of them and you need to wait for her to make more, but if you lean on her hard, you could probably get her to allow you to preorder one or get on a waiting list (there's a space on the etsy that says "contact"). It's really worth it because it's a gorgeous, versatile piece of jewelry. Beyond that, it is the perfect gift and while I think others should give it to YOU, you could also get it for a friend or partner or mother or sister.
The Creme de la Creme is still trickling along. More posts will go up soon. I got bogged down with work, but I still have about 15 posts or so that need to go up. I will update the icon when they're posted. And sorry that I've been 10 kinds of suckage about email.
And now the blogs...
This was the week of heavy thinking. All four of these posts made me look at words or ideas in an entirely new way.
Loribeth at the Road Less Travelled had a post this week called "Who Knew" about the use of the word "childless." She writes about the times people use it to mean that they have babysitting: "MIL took the kids, so we're childless for the weekend, woohoo!" And she juxtaposes this usage with her permanent state of childlessness, the loss of her child and the way this word can cut for those who are childless, but not by choice and not with a joyous heart. She writes: "Good grief -- we're already sharing the 'childfree' label with the childfree (by choice) crowd (and being lumped together with them by fertiles who don't know there's a difference) -- now we have to share 'childless' with people who actually do have kids, but think that not having them (once in awhile, anyway) is a peachy-keen thing."
A Uterus Divided wrote about the word "real" and specifically about the way none of us are above misusing a word from time to time. Her example comes from the fantastic New York Times article this week and the use of the term "real babies" to mean "living babies." She writes eloquently, "So even a woman who has suffered loss and IF herself can mis-step. With just a slight slip of the tongue or keyboard, a single word reveals the pervasive notion of what is real and what is not. And who gets to decide?"
Jennifer at Our Little Penguin had a post about the recurrent conversations that occur after a loss and how asking questions or sharing stories isn't always helpful. The needs of each person after a loss are unique. She explains, "I'm grateful for everyone who cares about me, my family, and my dead baby. But please. Does anyone have a clue how hard it is to go over the same story over and over again? Ok, that was a dumb question to the audience in this forum. But why can't they just see the pain in my face when they start talking about it, or the tears that well up when they talk about the details they've 'heard' thru the grapevine." And moreover, she explains why she doesn't want to be the magnet for everyone else's sad tale because misery does not always love company nor does it help to lessen her pain.
Lastly, DD at TKO...more or less will make you look at freebies in an entirely new way with her post on filling out promotion cards. She filled out these cards when she was pregnant with Vivienne and she writes: "A week later I encountered the spotting. Vivienne was dead and probably had been as I was doling out her due date to a stranger who couldn't care less. After my D&C, I was horrified when promotional items showed up in the mail. Not just that, but I had signed up on a website for weekly pregnancy updates and every time I sat down to the computer, I would get a 'Your baby is now 17 weeks old!'" There's plenty of time for freebies in the future, but DD is trying to save people heartache with this post so please read it.
The wrap-up to the roundup: if you want to be the point person for a face-to-face group, send me your info and I'll add it to the new page I'm making. Get yourself a gorgeous necklace from Beagle because you deserve it. And autologous means your own cells. Have a wonderful weekend.