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, August 01, 2008

The Roundup Extravaganza

All I can say is better late than never. Yes, I went through a bitter period, silently cursing out those who did not follow through with their assignment, but I cried as I laid out the list and saw once again how amazing our community is when we come together. I want to publicly thank Niobe and Jen for helping me out with the slack and reading through numerous blogs in full in order to ensure that everyone had a figurative gift on Christmas morning.

(Christmas morning? What the hell is Melissa talking about? Oh...wait...the Roundup Extravaganza list. Seeing how someone else viewed your blog is a little gift. Does she think she needs to explain all of her analogies?)

It's the two year anniversary of the Friday Blog Roundup. The posts below were chosen secretly by another blogger in the blogosphere*. Each blogger was assigned a single blog to read from July 2007 to July 2008 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.

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)
  1. ...And Life Afterwards from The Problem with Hope: In this post, Jess reflects on her gratitude for the adoption and the pregnancy she was blessed with. How even though she has become a mother, infertility is still a part of her. She also is letting her readers know how much she wants parenthood for them too. I think the feelings she sincerely and eloquently expresses here are very common for those parenting after infertility -- we strongly identify with our IF struggles even when we are not currently experiencing them.
  2. #128 - Show and Tell from My Sanctuary: As M herself writes in another post, she lives surrounded by echoes and whispers of what might have been. Grief and loss seem to sit just below the surface of so much of what she writes. In this post, she asks how she might even begin to find a way of working through her grief at the loss of her children. She shares a few piercing details about her son's last moments, about her three precious daughters, before concluding that if she thinks about these things too much, she may simply shatter like glass. This was such a simple, raw, moving post. My heart goes out to M and her husband.
  3. 1 Year from My Journey to Mommyhood: This post means a lot to me because it is something only an IFer would understand. We go through so much in our ttc periods and even though it is such a hard time in most of our lives, we usually learn a lot about ourselves and our partners which makes us stronger. As much as we wouldn't wish this life upon anyone, it does change us, and it is nice when we choose to use our experiences in a positive way. She really brought a lot of insight to my journey by listening to her perspective.
  4. 14w5d - 2nd OB Appointment from Mommy Someday: An honest post discussing the challenge of transitioning from IF to pregnancy, and the struggle to find the right words to say in Blogland.
  5. A Different Perspective from Infertility on the Brain: Being a former teacher, I can relate to PJ's feelings about wanting a child immensely and yet teaching children in your class that don't have what infertiles would refer to as "good parents." PJ does a great job of expressing her candid feelings on "fairness" and the true understanding of what a blessing it is to actually have children since so many seem to take children for granted. She says if she had a child, she would "right all the wrong." How beautiful is that line? How much do all of us struggling with infertility feel that exact same way--knowing there are kids out there we (the infertiles) could "fix" or "love more" or "appreciate" for their individuality and the miracle they are? Thanks, PJ, for your insightful words and frankness. Best of luck with your next cycle!
  6. A Few Small Things in One Loooong Post from Who Shot My Stork?: I loved this post because I can so identify what she is going through with religion, her father and IVF. Being Catholic myself, I have found it hard to discuss infertility and IVF with my father. She wrote: "But despite not always understanding my dad or agreeing with him, I love him." Me too, I will always be Daddy's little girl, and I will always love him, no matter what.
  7. A Letter to My Body from In Due Time: A lot of us wrote these letters to our bodies, but this was one of the best I've read: so funny, so heartfelt. Understanding, yet a stern taskmaster. Grateful yet exasperated. And the writing is beautiful, with very strong voice.
  8. A Shadow of My Former Self from What was I THINKING?: I really liked this post because I have been struggling with my weight on and off since college. Add to that three kids and years of fertility meds and you get an extra 50 lbs! I love that there were no gimmicks or quick fix diets - just cutting calories and increasing exercise! And 75 lbs, that is a feat! I also giggled about the swim suit shopping - what woman cannot understand that - well maybe not a swim suit model!
  9. Absurdistan from I Thought Unicorns Were a Myth: Nine months ago, Elizabeth and her husband finally made a decision on whether or not to give surrogacy a shot. You can feel the excitement and uncertainty of what the future holds.
  10. Acceptance from Joys In My Life: Heather talks about finding happiness through accepting her place in life right now. It's a wonderful idea and a very Yoga-like way of looking at things, which I love.
  11. All About Me...No It's Not from Helping Make Sense: Lisa wrote about attending a birthday party that was swarming with young children and the pain it brought her. In the midst of being comforted by people who knew about her IF, she noticed her husband Glenn staring longingly at the fathers playing with their children and she was hit with the realization that he was in it too - the IF, the pain, the longing. I think it's a moment we've all hit like a brick wall at one time or another, but she wrote about it very frankly and made me feel the emotion just as she had.
  12. Alone...Yet Not Alone from "Just" a Stay at Home Wife: While it was hard to pick out just one posting, this one was my favorite. I have also felt that sense of future deja-vu, where you find yourself in a situation that sucks because it was supposed to be totally different. There should be a baby in the situation--your baby--instead of whatever is taking its place (in this case, suitcases). You have this great sense of sadness that is overwhelming and you aren't sure who to share it with--the sense that the person who should understand the most the pains and struggles doesn't because they are going through the same emotions.
  13. Alzheimer's: The Melonballer of Memories from Creating Motherhood: Wow - what a blog. Such a hard choice. Cali's strength and sense of humor is just amazing; and her love for life and for her family just shines through in this touching, wrenching post about caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's.
  14. Am I a Weenie? from The Maybe Baby: M. -- a survivor of childhood cancer -- adds her unique perspective in response to the sometimes brutal readers' comments about the infertility article that appeared in the New York Times. And the answer to the question posed in the title? Most definitely not!
  15. Amen from Mrs.Spit Spouts Off: Mrs. Spit has a deeply emotional blog, but this post is my favorite. This is the highest example of faith to me. G-d is still G-d and when many turn their backs on G-d when they loose a child Mrs. and Mr. Spit have embraced him more and put their lives into his hands.
  16. Anger, Expounded Upon from Outlandish Notions: I appreciated Sharah's brutal honesty in this post; her anguish is palpable. I think she was so brave to write all the things that make her angry, because I believe many of us probably feel the same way, yet are too afraid to say these things out loud (or on a blog). I relate to these angry feelings well, even though we have different causes for our anger. Our ultimate goal is the same: to have a living, breathing baby of our own. It makes me feel a little less alone.
  17. Angry Rant: I'm Moving to the UK from The Angry Infertile: It's been lovely to read some well-articulated anger - anger in face-to-face life rarely is worded so well. It is a rant I share as well, but it got me thinking about how we in this community have a unique window into the system and whether there is any way our collective angst, strength, and power could make a different. I think we so often just accept that this is our lot (the insurance system, not the rest of it) and it was good to hear a questioning rant about this thing that effects all of us Americans.
  18. Anticipation from Waiting for Baby K: This post captures the anticipation as we end the 2ww and give in and take the dreaded home pregnancy tests. Jessica finds herself hoping for those early pregnancy symptoms knowing all the while they just might be her imagination. Then she shows just how strong the love and support is in this community, by sharing with us (even before her husband) that she did indeed have a very faint second line on her HPT. Her BFP.
  19. Apples and Oranges from Life After Infertility and Loss: Julia managed to describe in a few sentences what I've been struggling for 16 years to express. A subsequent pregnancy or child does not erase the memory of the lost pregnancy or child. I appreciate her candor and her insight as she remembers the losses and yet manages to rejoice in the blessings - living life with all of its events.
  20. Baby, Just Slow Down from (Un)complicate Me: A great post that I think any IF-er can relate to. Alison talks about the need to live in the moment and not getting too caught up with what the next step is.
  21. Babything from There's Hope: I found myself nodding along at this post - from how much to share with others, to the changes that have been wrought in us from infertility. Hope wrote this so emotionally, without a lot of fancy wording, that I could see myself in her post - almost as if I had written it myself.
  22. Balancing Act from 3 Munchkins and a Mom: A beautiful post about the difficulty of balancing the needs of her three kids, her parents and herself. The line that really struck me: "There are so many variables, and it seems like all the people in my life want something different from me. Then I wonder, when do I get a vote?"
  23. Beginnings from Of Love and Loss: It touches on the process of working through pain and trying to heal after the devastating loss of a child during pregnancy as well as touching on the struggles of dealing with those "well-intentioned" comments that are meant to offer comfort but fall short of the mark. Although I've not experienced a miscarriage myself, I have close family members who have. I remember wondering how to offer comfort and saying, "I'm sorry" seemed so inadequate but I now understand that sometimes that simple phrase, delivered with sincerity, is the most compassionate response that one can offer.
  24. Bitterness Starting to Slowly Seep Back In from The Tragic Optimist: I love her made up term for "pregnancy radar" pregdar - for being able to detect other people's pregnancies. I could also appreciate her exasperation at other couples being so confident that they can conceive exactly when they want to and plan the scheduling of a midwife's availability accordingly. I also liked how she ended the blog post with a joke about her own possible timing of a second child. I always appreciate a little humor when dealing with hardships in life and infertility.
  25. Borrowing the Mommy Title from Fractured Rainbows: This shows the panic in someone dealing with primary infertility when a stranger thinks she might be the mommy. We relish in it and we feel like a fraud. We know that it's lying, but we don't necessarily correct. I chose this post because I have felt this before and I'm certain that all primary infertiles are "terrified that this is the only way I might ever be considered mommy."
  26. Brain Mush from Falling or Flying: Jodie describes the experience of writing a letter to her egg donor. I had tears in my eyes as Jodie wrote about how they appreciated what she was doing for them, sacrificing her time, her body, and her sanity. I really identified with the part where Jodie told her egg donor that they chose her because they could tell from her profile that they would like her as a person and would want her as a friend.
  27. Broken from Alicia--Pieces of Me: This post verbalized what many of us think and feel after so many failed cycles and the accompanying fear that we are "broken."
  28. Carynne and Lucas from The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth: This post breaks my heart. It spills over with a sense of incredible love. Elisabeth includes the email she wrote to her best friend (overseas at the time), describing the loss of her twins at 20 weeks. Her friend's reply is also included, and is part of the intense circle of love - mother for children, husband and wife, family for each other, friends for friends. The relationships, perspective, and intensity of this post will blow you away.
  29. Day 11 2WW from Mommy Needs Therapy: I felt like I was reading my own story of when I found out our 4th IVF finally worked. Kristine has an awesome sense of humor and it brought back great memories as I read through her blog posts. I flinched as I read her description of PIO shots, remembering all to well the pain in the ass (literally and figuratively) they were. Also, I love her candid writing about her relationship with her mother. Thanks Kristine for making me laugh and remember some of the best times of my pregnancy!
  30. Deep Thoughts from Tigger's Infertility Madness: Tigger explores what moving on and living really means. How do you say goodbye to the could have beens and start making room for today.
  31. Desiderata from My Scar Smiles at Me...: An inspiring post from someone who was dealt a tough hand from the infertility deck. She quotes from a poem I had never heard of, but touched me just the same. Sometimes, it's the reflections of other people's words that can hit you the most.
  32. Do I Know You? from Not Imitation Cheese: This post resonated. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has looked back and wondered what happened to the pre-IF carefree fun loving person and wished she was back.
  33. Do You Feel Enlightened? from Family of Two: Family of Two is an excellent writer and this post showed her intelligence, her humor and her strength in the face of the stupidity many ALIs encounter. This couples with her amazing story of Jacob's illness has made her a treasure to get to know.
  34. Do You Have Any Children? from Baby Steps to Baby Shoes: In a blog about male factor infertility, this post is about the moment Mr. Baby Steps grasps the daily pain that infertility brings his wife when she is surrounded by children and insensitive questions.
  35. Don't Forget to Dance from Are We There Yet?: In this post, Kami talks about all too common emotions experienced during infertility... loss of self-esteem, sadness, bitterness, and how we sometimes so easily lose touch of ourselves and our identity. This post resonated with me, and is a reminder of how isolating infertility can be and how important it is to stay connected to the things that bring us joy.
  36. Due Date from Our Own Creation: While I wanted to capture A.M.S.'s joy at her pregnancy or her recent musings about getting ready to try again, I was so touched by the grace with which she dealt with her insurmountable losses. Her courage and eloquence in the face of what must be, for some of us, unimaginable pain is quite inspiring and I think that this post sums up both her joy and sorrow.
  37. Earning Rights, Receiving Grace from Production, Not Reproduction: This beautiful post explains that feeling I imagine most parents who struggled to become parents feel. This sentence sums it up, "I put in my time until one day calling myself Puppy's mom was no longer an exercise in faith." She examines what makes a person a child's parent, finally deciding that even though much work is put into the effort, it is still a grace bestowed.
  38. Ever the Optimist from The Follicle Report: I like the way Allison really knows herself. In this post she talks about how persistently she believes she will get pregnant, even when the doctor tells her the chances are so low. This is the kind of encouraging strength that infertility brings out in us. The stubbornness of hope and optimism is part of us that infertility can bend but not break.
  39. Exciting Times from A Sibling for Celia: I read through all of the last year of Shelby's journey, but I kept coming back to this post. Maybe because the blog is titled "A Sibling for Celia" and this is the post where she reveals to Celia that it's coming true. And, reading backwards, I thought it was amazing that she kept calling the baby her "brother" and it turned out to be a boy! Celia's reactions were priceless!
  40. Faith in a Seed from Mrs. Spock: Flowers, whether as tentative buds or frost-touched petals, are a common and, in both senses of the word, natural, metaphor for fertility. In this lovely post, Mrs. Spock knits the two together in an unexpected way, showing us that, sometimes, what's most important are the things that happen when you're not paying attention.
  41. Faith is Not an "F" Word from Sticky Bean: This post is from before Kristin current pregnancy (just delivered!), but only a few months after her second of two miscarriages, where she and her husband attended a church-led memorial service for pregnancy loss and infant death. She and her husband experienced a huge flood of emotions from the service, and what really grabbed me was her candor in how the experience brought her both a sense of closure for recognizing her miscarriages, and at the same time brought in shock from an unexpected revelation from her husband. It shows the complexity of emotion and the different ways that infertility affects couples.
  42. Father's Day from A Baby? Maybe...: Bev remembers her own father who is no longer with her in this beautiful Father's Day post, and pays tribute to what a great dad he was to her. She describes that while she is happy for the moments that they shared together while he was still here, she wishes that her father would be here too as she soon becomes a mom herself. It is a heartwarming post about the bond of a daughter and her father.
  43. Fear from Baby, Borneo or Bust...: They say that life offers two kinds of challenges. One is coping with not getting your heart's desire. And the other is coping with getting it. Often, when we try to peer into the future, we focus on the first of these as we imagine how we'll craft a full and happy life without a child or without another child. But in Fear, Queenie takes a look at the flip side of that equation, exploring why, sometimes, we lie awake worrying if we'll truly be happy even if everything turns out exactly the way we want it to.
  44. Fear and Guilt--What a Combination! from It Only Takes One Egg: Some thoughts on secondary infertility. The fear! The guilt! The uncertainty! The anger! It's different the second time around but it doesn't make it any easier. These things have all been on my mind recently so I felt it was an appropriate choice.
  45. Feeling that Feeling Again from Spuddy Buddy: "Wanting a baby isn't a logical thing, even in the easiest of circumstances," writes Spuddy Buddy as she maps out her conflicting feelings as she considers trying for another child. This candid post perfectly captures the way that a complicated swirl of emotions can leave you dizzy and almost breathless.
  46. First Mother's Day from Morgan's World: For those of us who fantasize about motherhood after infertility, this post states succinctly what motherhood is really about.
  47. Frustration from Hoping for Another Lovebug: "I truly truly never thought we would be where we are right now. I suppose no one ever does, but looking back I can hardly believe how optimistic and unphased I was when we began seeing the first RE." This post summarizes so much about dealing with infertility: a loss of innocence, struggling not to lose hope, and coping with the financial and emotional strains.
  48. Fun with Fortune Cookies from BagMomma: Shelli has had a heck of a crap-ass year. Two m/c (and one went badly), lost two beloved family pets, plagued by sickness (flu, strep, etc), her computer crashed, job troubles. And still she's pithy, interesting, reflective, hopeful and so gosh-darned stylish! If I had to choose just one post which, apparently, I do, it would be when she got a fortune cookie. It read, "It's not the end yet. Let's stay with it." The back read, "Hopeful". As she starts IVF #2 I'm hoping this year has a happy ending.
  49. Goodbye, Sweet Girl from Andria and Co.: This is a sweet post about a beloved pet. The unlikely arrival, years of being part of the family and too-soon departure of Sophie will resonate with any pet lover.
  50. How Stephen Makes Life Fun! from Adventures of Baby Making: Since this blog has both Tricia and Stephen's perspectives, this post really captures their relationship and how they are struggling with the challenges of infertilty together! They share their story in a funny, real, refreshing way.
  51. How to Get Through... from Communique: Communique is a relatively new blog (under a year old) that dives right in to the chaos of infertility and the residual mess of life that comes from dealing with it. Sam's writing is honest and funny (and you will learn lots of cool new phrases like, "getting up before sparrows fart"). I chose "How You Get Through" because it resonated instantly with my heart and my head--it is a woman trying to rationalize something that just isn't rational.
  52. I Did It! from Busted Babymaker: I did not want to take the easy way out and just choose the video post, so read this blog from back to front, there were many posts that touched my heart (the tree's, the butterflies that the Doodles have sent Busted and her DH, their joy during the pregnancy etc) but I guess in the end the video post spoke to me the most. The Doodles were loved - endlessly and not just by their Mom & Dad. We loved them too. This video post is a tribute to them and validifies (is that even a word?) their existence. They were beautiful Busted! And I will never hear "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" without thinking of your Doodles. I wish you all you could ever wish for in life. Know that the Doodles knew they were loved.
  53. I Really Need This Today... from You Just Never Know Where Hope Might Take Ya: This post really speaks to me, as the author talks about how easy it is to get caught up in the fears and obsessions of daily life stresses, and what it would feel like to let go and trust in G-d to provide.
  54. I Think I'm Ready from You're Still Young: A post with so many questions, questions that we all have asked ourselves, questions that cannot be answered...a post in which the pain of the unexplained, the unanswerable is captured succinctly yet so precisely...we ask and ask, but sometimes there are no answers...this post captures the essence of the pain we feel at the questions which have no answers.
  55. I Want to Go for a Walk from Jenn's Journal: Infertility comes with a built-in story line – a round of fear and hope, disappointment or elation, sorrow or joy – that, for so many of us, seems to replay cycle after cycle. But, eventually, the dramatic highs and lows of trying give way to the much less dramatic reality of resolution. In this post, Jenn contemplates life as the mother of twin toddlers and offers a thought-provoking take on what happens next.
  56. I'm Angry on Boo's Behalf from Overwhelmed with Joy!: The blog entry I selected is about poor baby Boo. Boo arrived at the OW household with some clothing in poor condition and little else. OW asked her previous foster parents for pictures of Boo's babyhood and saldy, there aren't any. OW wrote "That's a part of Boo's history that she'll never have and there's no way I can get that back for her."
  57. I'm Not Deaf, I'm Just Ignoring You from Joyce's Blog: At first I was worried that Joyce and I did not have a lot in common (she is organized to the hilt and I... well, I'm not. :o) But then I found "I'm Not Deaf I am Just Ignoring You," I found a kindred spirit. She explains how living with deaf parents can be fun, challenging and enduring all at the same time. I connected with it because I now how it feels to be different from my parents. Joyce, I like your writing so much and someday, maybe I will have a list.
  58. In Search of Peace and Strength from Coming2Terms: It was a really difficult task to choose just one post because all of Pamela's blog entries are so well written and meaningful, but there was one that stuck in my head long after I turned the computer off. Pamela's post about managing infertility through the positive things that we do have in life really helped me see things a lot clearer on a difficult day for me. Thanks Pamela.
  59. In the Beginning... from Kicking You From the Inside: This was a beautiful post about “putting yourself out there” and finding more than you realized about yourself in the process.
  60. Halving the Baby, Halving Ourselves from The Other Shoe: I have to start by saying that any blogger who can seamlessly interweave her musings on second-wave feminism and those on parenting, infertility, and the challenges of being a "fertility challenged" mom / lawyer has my full attention. She also has my admiration for being able to think so dead-on clearly and write so eloquently about issues that I struggle to define on a daily basis. So while her entire blog is wonderful reading, this post spoke to me... and I am guessing that it captures the experiences of many of us who struggle to combine our beloved children (or the children we so dearly desire) with the careers and interests to which we have devoted so much of ourselves. And while much of our society would lead us to believe that "splitting the baby" (and ourselves) is healthy, do-able, and fulfilling--this post helped remind me of the costs.
  61. Is My Sky Falling? from Gas Passer: Sara neatly sums up the weird emotional soup that is the combination of happiness and fear upon receiving a positive beta after much trying. Happy to (finally) be pregnant, but now inevitably exposed to the risk of loss, which is increased because of her unusual diagnosis of unicornuate uterus.
  62. It Came to Me in a Dream from A Beautiful Uterus!: This post reminds me that clinging to my faith in G-d will get me through this trial, miracles happen everyday! And.. I love dreams/premonitions. I pray her premonition of having twin boys proves to be true!
  63. It Came... from Wishing 4 One: An ode to maxipads, written upon the arrival of AF at the end of her 5th failed IVF. It's a short post, but funny and sad and poignant and heartbreaking all at once.
  64. It is a Very Long Wait from Imagine Alyzabeth An: And the thing that resonated with me was the waiting! It's agonizing, really. Alyson's wait however, is close to ending. :) I had a hard, hard time choosing just one post to pick. So I'm cheating and actually going with the latest one. Most of her posts are about the day to day happenings, but with this one you can just feel the palpable anticipation for the referral. And she said it herself, 27 months is a VERY long pregnancy!
  65. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (...not!) from The Road Less Travelled: No matter where you are in your own IF journey, you will be able to relate to this post. It is a wonderful, aching accurate summation of the evolution of Mother's Day in the eyes of an IF'er. Starting with MD being an average holiday to celebrate your own mother, then a time when you look forward to being in the center of the celebration and then, finally, coming to a point where you feel like an outsider. Loribeth possesses so much strength and a true talent for articulating her pain and frustration so vividly.
  66. June is the Cruelest Month from Reproductively Challenged: My favorite post is this post about her grief from infertility and the loss of her mother. It is a very honest, touching account of the mother-daughter-baby connection.
  67. Knowing Me, Knowing You from Just Me: It's not an exaggeration to say that entering the world of infertility blogs can change your life. All at once, you find yourself surrounded by people who don't need to have everything explained, who can offer both emotional support and practical information, who can say "that's exactly how I feel" or give you a brand-new perspective that you've never even considered before. In this post, the author reflects on the value and meaning of the online connections she's made and the community that she's become a part of.
  68. Knowing What I Don't Want to Know... from A Day in the Life of a Moody Person: She wrote it after receiving her medical history in the mail. She flipped through it and was blindsided by results that she had specifically avoided. I read through all of her posts from the year and wrote a list of my favorites. I ended up choosing this one because it stayed with me while I read the rest of the year’s worth.
  69. Letter to My Body from One Hardy Swimmer: "Please take care of me too. All I can do is beg you not to let me down this time." Each cycle, there's that hope, the fear, then, if it all goes wrong, that feeling of being let down, once again disappointed beyond belief. Trace wrote this touching letter to her body, reminding it of the times it has gone astray, as well as the times it rallied and pulled through. She asks for it to pull through one more time.
  70. Letter to My Body from Isn't It Pretty to Think So: As with most of her posts, in this letter to her body the writer blogs with a mix of honesty, wit and raw emotion. It is a letter I found so easy to relate to from her amusing point about not eating meat so her body “wouldn’t have to digest all that yucky stuff” to the begging of her body to “stop this miscarriage nonsense”. Infertility makes us bargain with our bodies; head over to see what this wonderful blogger promises hers in return for a healthy pregnancy.
  71. Limitations from Tales of the Phoenix: Because metaphors are so rarely used this well. Phoebe walks the reader through her attempted planting of a memorial tree and how it paralleled in some ways her attempts at pregnancy. A beautiful and inspiring post.
  72. Little Birdy Babies from Everyday Stranger: I love the author's view of motherhood. She's moved from her visions of singing Josh Groban lullabies to her babies while wearing a flowing white gossamer gown and lovely long hair to simply singing songs her little ones like in her real-life short haircut and regular clothes. As a new mom myself, I love that her view of being a mommy is actually even better than her previous notions about motherhood. Her affection for her babies is obvious to any reader.
  73. Love Letter from Birch and Maple: An open letter to the infertility Internet community that talks about the many ways we support each other. Read this letter, it applies to you, it applies to us all.
  74. Love Me? from It's Not the End of the World: This post could have been a conversation between my husband and me. I teared up reading it, knowing I feel the exact same way as the blogger does--I don't like me right now, how could anyone actually love me? Infertility does not define us, it just becomes a huge part of our story...
  75. Lurking in My Own Life from It's Either Sadness or Euphoria: To say it was hard to pick a single post from this amazingly well written blog is an understatement. SOE (as I've began to call her in my head) manages to take the emotions that are under my skin, look at them, and put them out there. Whether she's writing the full text of the Declaration of Independence, or assigning numbers to her WTFs, her blog is always engaging, and always beautiful. I liked this post particularly because I often feel like I'm lurking in my own life, watching while someone else goes out and does the things that need doing. I also liked the list of what she is doing besides blogging. But what grabbed me was her bit about IKEA. How it is fun to go there and imagine another life. It was an ooo wow moment.
  76. Mach 1 from 3 Happy Hours: I chose this post because it talks about being how some fertile people are never sensitive to the fact that not EVERYONE in the world is overjoyed at their pregnancy news. Katie likens the infertile experience as being the kid against the wall at the school dance, not cool enough to be on the dance floor.
  77. Miracles Do Happen from Taking Chances: This entry from Taking Chances stood out in my mind because I was able to really sense Beth’s elation and pure excitement from her miracle. Beth has one blocked tube. She and her husband were doing IUI when the cycle was canceled because all her eggs were on the bad side. Fast forward three weeks, Beth starts complaining about her period being late, and it turns out that they’ve been blessed with a miracle baby.
  78. Mr. Duck from Speculum Stories: This post was so raw with emotion and vulnerability. It spoke to me. I could feel how much Duck and her husband loved each other - as well as her own uncertainty about what the future would hold for them. I think many of us struggling with IF wonder if their partners wished they had chosen another mate.
  79. My Baby and My Husband from It Could Take 3 Months: I love this post because it reminds us why we choose to ride the IF roller coaster. Ms. C talked about feeling that first baby movement and not knowing what it would feel like. Feeling the baby inside you and having your husband experience the same thing makes all IF heartache, pain and letdown worth it.
  80. My Favourite Thing from OB-Nurse: I really love this post because it brings back memories of beginning to breastfeed my daughter. OB Nurse describes perfectly the struggle, pain and eventually success of breastfeeding, only to realize that it cannot last forever. I love how she describes treasuring the bond that's created with your child and mourning the shortness of time that you get to experience that joy.
  81. My Mother from My Life: Though this post is not about infertility, it touched me deeply. Christina explores how dealing with her mother's mental illness is so very normal for her now, and it is heart-breaking in its matter-of-factness about such a stressful situation. It reminded me that 'normal' is not actually normal at all.
  82. My Neuroses: Let Me Show You It from Maybe If You Just Relax: This post was funny, genuine and honest. It showed the neurosis we have all experienced, as we waited and wait for that big fat positive. I enjoyed the true and open look into Jen's feelings, and hopes and dreams.
  83. My Sister, Part 1 from Long Distance Infertility: Rachel wrote a post about her sister, who had also dealt with IF at one point in her life. This post reminded me that even though there are many women who have had to deal with IF, each one deals with it in her own way and THAT way might not necessarily agree with anyone else. This is something that we might expect from a fertile, but not an infertile, and especially not a sister.
  84. Not All Kids Have Lollies from Infertile Fantasies: It obviously touched a lot of nerves (as can be seen based on the gazillion comments), but it is a post about how to act sensitively in public when you have something, in this case a lollipop or big, fat, pregnant belly, when someone around you might not have that very thing that they want so badly. It was highly charged and beautifully written, and whether or not people agree with it, it will surely bring about awareness of how our actions DO affect others...even if that action is as simple as rubbing your belly.
  85. Not Part of the Club from My Journey Towards My Little Miracle: After sharing her version of a story, that we've all unfortunately played a defeated role in at one time or another, Sunny shares about a moment where she found a moment of real life camaraderie on her infertility journey. She depicted beautifully that moment where we know that we're not alone and not forgotten.
  86. On Bending from The Other Shoe: Here's a post for those of you wanting to make some kind of peace with the road that you are on. The author is coming to the brave realization that emotional recovery is her responsibility, that "no amount of babies can erase the hurt I have" and that she has to claim that job as her own. A turning point. She has the wisdom to see the futility of fighting - "I'm tired of resisting because resisting (eventually) hurts more than whatever I'm trapped by" - and this post marks the point where she has stopped digging her heels into the ground in protest of what life has thrown at her, and started to lift her feet.
  87. On Kumbaya-ness from Sell Crazy Someplace Else: I loved the post because of it's total honesty. It's a post about what it means to watch all those women cross over to the other side, and how we who have not crossed over feel about it.
  88. On Time from Henry Street: I was really struck by the juxtaposition of the battles the poster has won (being able to see pg women without crying, accepting adoption, etc.) and the musing on loss and lost time in the rest of the post. I empathized enormously with the poster's frustration and sadness with how much time she still believes she will have to wait before her baby comes to her through adoption as well as with the loneliness you feel when your infertility problems aren't so easily solved and you watch others "win their battles" while you remain on the sidelines, knowing there are still many hoops you must jump through. I also liked that despite the loss the poster has experienced, she still tries to end her post with hope and finding the strength to get through each day, looking to the future, believing that one day, things will be different and her time will come.
  89. One Year Ago... from Sean and Mary's Family: I love this post because it shows what a difference a year can make. From eight cells to over a trillion cells these little ones definitely changed the world in just one year.
  90. Out of Review! from Journeywoman: Journeywoman's (aka The Boxer) lists of 13 always make me think and often remind me to honor some inspiring set of people or ideas, plus I love that she doesn't hide her politics and that her categories are all Beatles songs! Yet I chose this post -- in which she begins to see a light at the end of the long dark tunnel when China completes review of her adoption dossier -- because of its incredible hope, excitement, relief, and momentum. Above all, I chose it for the letter to her yet unborn child, which begins with a plea: "In the sea of souls, look down upon us," and tells of all the loving and learning for which she waits. When she says "we will nurture your soul," it's a promise I believe with my heart.
  91. Outmatched from Romancing the Stork: The kind of post and feelings that I'm sure exist in all of us experiencing the IF journey. K used this post in early December to detail all the feelings and problems that she had been grappling with in her life right then. What I'd like to do is just quote every paragraph in this post to show you how it will resonate with you. Pretty sure Mel won't let me do that so just go on and click it [editor's note: I laughed so hard at this line that I had to leave it in].
  92. Over and Out from Eggs Benedict Arnold: I could’ve chosen an upbeat one, like the one of her husband smiling at their daughter, or the one of their baby tripping over her changing mat. But this post made me feel raw ache for Lassie. I’ve only been involved in IF treatments and never adoption, and something in this post made me want to hug her fiercely and hold her hand and feed her pie and alcohol and laugh and cry with her. It was very real for me, how hurt she was, and it made me feel like her road to getting to be a mother was so difficult, and now it’s so rewarding.
  93. Peace from What Wuz I Saying...?: Kim speaks so gently, a few months after the birth of her third miracle son, about loss and perspective and all the mixed feelings that come from being grateful for what you have, even if the journey wasn't what you planned and you miss the precious ones lost. And the peace that is possible. I chose this post because, no matter where we are on this journey, we need to take the time to make peace one way or the other.
  94. Peering Eyes from The Unfair Struggle: This is one of those posts where you can just see into the pain in someone else's heart, and you just want to squeeze her and say, "Me too, I only want one, too." Liddy captures the struggle of dealing with infertility in the small, everyday moments that we can all relate to.
  95. Playing Round the Garden Trees from Magpie Musings: A fascinating blog by a woman who paints an intelligent and beautiful picture of her life and thoughts in words. A blog about her love of family, books, art and cooking. This post paints a picture of her mothers garden and how she remembers it from her childhood, and how she has connected it to her own garden.
  96. Quests, Success, and Failure - Becoming or Having? from Surprise Of Unfolding: It was incredibly hard to select just one post from this thoughtful and thought-provoking blog, and in the end a toss-up between this one and a later post about how adversity builds character. I finally chose this post because I think we've had the other discussion several times in the blogosphere, whereas this post brought up something rather newer for me. In the post the author muses on how there is no reward or recognition for the journey people go on to become, but rather all the focus is on having - having a child in particular. Yet the journey before we get to 'have' something is an important part of who we are and who we become. The author is clearly on a journey of thinking through the spiritual and emotional journeys she has been on and those she is still on, and is sharing that journey with us in a very thought-provoking, yet sensitive, manner. Her writing is articulate and very measured, and a real pleasure to read. I'm lucky to have discovered her through the round-up process.
  97. Remembering Our Best Friend from Life from Here: Luna memorialized her precious furbaby who passed away unexpectedly at a young age. This was a difficult decision, because all Luna's posts are wonderful; however, I picked this particular post because it reminded me that all us infertiles are really seeking is a true, deep connection with another living being. Pets are our steady companions during the awful roller coaster of infertility, and Luna's tribute to her best friend is breathtakingly beautiful.
  98. Response to Others from Raspberry Chip: This post addresses the eternal question of how does one respond when people inquire as to how many children you have. Do you include the babies you have miscarried and if so at what stage, 6 weeks? 10 weeks? 20 weeks? And to whom do you share this information with--random strangers or close friends? I really like that the author chose to share her loss with a long lost high school acquaintance and then was able to reach out because that old friend had suffered loss as well.
  99. Returning to the Well from Weebles Wobblog: The concept of open adoption is semi-new and not everyone has the strength to enter into such an arrangement. Lori not only chose open adoption for both of her children, she maintains relationships, and in one case a strong friendship, with the birthmoms. She is a woman to be admired for her confidence and emotional strength as a mother.
  100. Rolling on the River from Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Normalcy: This is an excellent post about one of the many ways that infertility can make a person feel isolated, and a little awkward.
  101. Running to Stand Still from Perchance to Dream: I loved this post by Perchance to Dream. She’s talking about age and how the feeling that you have all the time in the world can be the kiss of death for fertility. She talks about growing up as a serious kid and how it influenced her perspective. This was one of the first posts I read as I was reading through her year’s archives and I had to choose it because this line kept haunting me: “But for all the time we spend, when young, being terrified of a positive, I wonder if there isn’t some sort of cosmic wheel that balances out all of these times that we pray for the second line on the stick….”
  102. Selfish from The Therapist is In!: I identified with so much of this post because I have done it too - miscarriage is like the nightmare that keeps giving and Jaime did such a great job of putting it all out there with heart and feeling. Her post is just so honest and I found that to be really neat.
  103. Sliding Doors from Waiting on Life: This was easily my favorite post by Deborah, because I have felt the same way so many times in my life (and I really love the movie she refers to)! I agree wholeheartedly with her about how life is just a series of decisions that are all completely dependent on one another and our lives are just tangled together and ultimately orchestrated by moments and choices that may have at one time seemed so small and meaningless.
  104. So Blessed from Where's My Belly?: This is a sweet post about the the wonder and beauty of a best friend. Gave me pause to think about the ways my closest friends have been there for me in some of my darkest hours. This image says it all: "She stayed with me the ENTIRE time, slept in that tiny hospital bed with me and didn't leave me alone".
  105. Someone Give Me a Paper Bag to Breathe In from My Little Drummer Boys: Let's face it: blogging and reading blogs can be habit-forming. Have you ever wondered if, just maybe, you spend a little bit too much time online? Have you ever googled the term "internet addiction"? If so, be sure to check out Trish's harrowing and hilarious tale of The Day The Internet (temporarily) Died.
  106. Spousal Abuse from Bee in the Bonnet: I chose this post because it made me smile, and because it showed the sweet and funny relationship Kate and her husband have with each other. It's not really about Kate's struggles with infertility, but that isn't all that defines her either, particularly as her attempts to conceive are on hold in favor of educational pursuits. This post perfectly illustrated the fun and quirky personality that Kate has evidenced in her blog.
  107. Still an Albatross. Squawk from Nuts in May: May talks about the difficult task of being both a blogger and a commenter while suffering a miscarriage.
  108. Ten Things Never to Say to Someone Dealing with Infertility from Lupus Pie: Everyone has their own set of "what not to say....." and those of us dealing with infertility present or past can relate.
  109. The Choice from Sticky Feet: We've all been there. Standing at a crossroads, staring at two very different paths, knowing that choosing one means abandoning the other. In this post, Jamie from Sticky Feet describes one specific decision she faces. But in her words, you'll hear echoes of every choice you've ever wished you didn't have to make.
  110. The Club that Dares Not Speak Its Name from A Woman My Age: It was super hard to choose the best, as she has waaay too many to choose from. So I chose my favorite because this one stood out to me. I love the humor and lightness she brought to the ever-on-going battle of infertility. An extremely neat, funny and enlightened lady you have to check out.
  111. The Infertile Conundrum from Crazy Lady Ramblings: Rebecca has run the gamut from calm to the insane maze of ultrasounds, testings and IVF cycles. From the heartbreaking and emotional moments at the beginning of her cycle to the ups and the downs of possibly seeing that positive test sign. You'll laugh with her and cry with her and in the end just want to share a cup of coffee and a face-to-face chat with her. The selection is hard because her posts run the journey from the beginning to the present and each post being beautiful and poignant. In May she rounded up her journey and brought it down to the dream, and the "infertile conundrum."
  112. The Long Story from Here We Go Again: This is the story of Jen's learning that she is pregnant for the second time (her first pregnancy ended with a miscarriage). The details, fears, and excitement she expresses really hit home with me.
  113. The Monthly Headgame from Dear Darla Diaries: I love this post because it about sums up how many of us feel about this science project called baby making. You finally hit a wall when hope is all but gone, but you keep going just in case hope decides to make a come back.
  114. The Morning After from Our Family Beginnings: I was ambivalent about picking this post, because I know that the Roundup will push up the stats on that "best day ever" counter thing. But this is truely a fantastic post -- it was written the day after LJ and Mr. Badger made the final decision to stop trying for biological children and focus solely on adoption. She writes so eloquently, describing her reaction, her RE's reaction, her friends' reactions, in a way that communicates exactly what a shock to the system it is to make the decision to turn your back on ART. And the last line is really what gets me: "Anyhow, we're okay. We're not okay but we're okay." Beautifully put, and such a succinct description of an emotion that doesn't really have any name.
  115. The Perfect Family from Loving Thee... and More: This post really hits the nail on the head about the "perfect"family - of which there is no such thing. But the writer talks of her strong feelings about helping her kids be involved with their father's family - even though they are difficult and she's divorced from him - she want them "to know their relatives, warts and all".
  116. The Ride is Finally Over from The Young and the Infertile: Mrs. X posts a very familiar story about the pregnancy roller coaster, but this one ending in miscarriage. As I read it I found she was able to put many of the ways I have been feeling myself into easy to understand hills and valleys on her own roller coaster. Maybe friends and families of miscarriage survivors should be forced to read, maybe they will understand why our emotions run so high, and low?
  117. The Stories They Tell from The Shifty Shadow: It was so hard for me to pick just one post as each post had me thinking, "you are right and you are not alone." However, this post is so beautifully expressed as she talks about the stories one hears about IVF, loss, and life. Her line that, "They think they are giving hope, when in reality they are trying to make the moment more comfortable for themselves," is so true.
  118. The Waiting Place from I Think I Hear Your Mother Calling: I chose this post from I Think I Hear Your Mother Calling because Manda really captured emotions that I know all too well. She’s talking about being left behind, as all of her TTC buddies have moved on to the Pregnant Club. Manda’s writing really captures the waiting that we all know far too well.
  119. The Worst Hospital Experience EVER!!!! from So These Are the Days of My Life: Kathy describes the frustration felt at having to deal with the incompetent health care system at a time when a patient just needs a little respect and love.
  120. These Are Trying Times... from Finding Motherhood: This post made me stop and read it a time or two. The honesty and pain were very familiar and I could relate on so many levels. It is a perfect example of the panic and desperation we feel as women as our clocks tick quickly and our bodies trudge slowly through all the hoops of infertility. I have felt like this so many times and wonder sometimes how hubby and I make it through. This post helped me remember that I am not alone!
  121. Things I Have Learned From Having Molly in Our Life from Three of a Kind Working on a Full House…: This is the piece that Kathy wrote and shared with friends and family at Molly's memorial service. It is never fair to expect someone to sum up what they've learned from someone's life, no matter how long or short the life may be, and even less fair when it is your own child's life that you are reflecting on, but this post is filled with so much grace, and peace, and grief and love. She has written such a powerful reminder to us all to relish and appreciate the moment that we are in, and to find comfort in the ways that one life can touch so many others.
  122. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Farm from Stirrup Queens: Thirteen vignettes from Melissa's life, some in sepia tones and each with its own flavor. Together, the passages form a story arc that reminds me everything eventually resolves, and we are, if nothing else, resilient. (And to go to the bathroom beFORE one heads out to a farm).
  123. Tidal Wave from Peace of Mind is All I Want: During an argument with her husband fifteen weeks into her long-awaited pregnancy, Chris experiences a cathartic release of "the poison, the frustration, the sorrow, the joy, the relief" of her IF journey. It's a moment to which so many of us can relate: when the wave of emotion comes crashing down, then finally retreats, its power spent.
  124. Tired from Please Give Me Back My Heart: One word summed up how author, CLC, was feeling about life: Tired. CLC is BRAVE for summoning the strength to write and share about such an emotionally draining period of her life. A beautiful soul trying to pick up the pieces of life--and she's doing a beautiful job. I had never seen this blog before, and I am now a reader for life.
  125. To Everything There is a Season from Blessed are the Barren: The author helped shed light on how even those with the most unshakable faith (regardless of denomination) can be shaken, tested and remade anew. This line in the post particularly resonated for me: "And I've realized that this grief will always be a part of my story, because like all seasons, it has its time and place."
  126. To Our Most Loved Blueberry from Thinking Miracles: This post is heartbreaking and yet inspiring at the same time. It's a message, written on her due date, to the baby she lost at 17 weeks.
  127. Trying to Get Down to the Heart of the Matter from Bellyaching and Benedictions: A fabulous post about doing donor egg and how wanting that genetic connection becomes even more important when one is a member of a minority, in this case, Native People.
  128. Tunnel Vision from Reproductive Jeans: I chose this post because I think it captures the amazing resiliency that all extended ttc-ers embody. I love how clearly the blogger articulates both the raw anguish of the lows (or one low in particular, in this case) but also refocuses right away on picking herself back up and moving forward. I think this cycle of emotions, while incredibly painful, is one of our community's common currencies and also really beautiful to witness.
  129. Twins from Mission Impossible: I chose this post because this is the post in which Geohde posts that there twins taking up residency in her uterus. I also found it fascinating that many of the post leading up to this talk about worry. This is her first post of the New Year. It was like a new year and new news.
  130. Unsung Lullabies I from Forever Reaching: The writer of this blog devoted several posts to reviewing the chapters of this book and her feelings about them. It moved me to see how so much of what she read in this book opened her eyes to things she hadn't previously thought about. And, through her new realizations, my eyes were opened as well! Thanks for sharing!
  131. Visit Went Okay from The Second Time Around: I chose this post because it’s just so honest. I think it’s fabulous that her sister cared enough to talk to her and not make it harder than it needed to be, too. I remember when our godson was born and we were trying to get pregnant…it’s like, you want to hold the baby and it’s wonderful when you do, but it’s definitely also very very bittersweet.
  132. What is a Loss, Anyway? from Southern Infertility: This thoughtful post discusses what constitutes loss--of babies and opportunities--and both the personal and community reaction to such losses. The conclusion that life is short and must be celebrated hit me as a reminder to revel in each day of my pregnancy, rather than fret.
  133. What is in a Name You Ask? from The Duchess: Duchess goes through the process of picking out the perfect name for their future daughter, only to deal with the awkward heartbreak of the name being swiped out from under her by a more fertile relative. In the post, she discusses how the name was picked, the emotional rollercoaster of TTC and holding the name as a part of her hope, and the continued discussion of whether they can still use the name. I chose this post because Duchess is so open and honest in it. She shows how heartbreaking the little things can be while TTC.
  134. What Quik Mix Has to Do With Race, IVF, and Surrogacy from I'm a Smart One: I could have picked the one where she was about to meet her intended parents, or the story of Lisa, BabyBep, and the breastmilk; perhaps something that reminded me to look at life in a different way, or one from the heartbreaking series on the loss of Mia and Urs' pregnancy. But in the end, I had to choose what I did because she's not just a Smart One, but a damn good educator. At least, so it seems from this story about IVF, surrogacy, race, metaphors... and quik mix.
  135. What There Is from Soulbliss: This post just struck such a familiar chord in my heart. I remember vividly every single cycle I went through in exactly the same way. When I read this, I feel like I am sitting next to Bleu, holding her hand and nodding because I know. I know, I know, I know. I feel like I could have written this myself back in late 2005 and early 2006. Only she writes it much more eloquently than I ever could have.
  136. What Would Brian Boitano Do? from Baby Wanted: Apply Within: At one time or another, I think we contemplative infertiles have all considered the impact our own parents have had on us as we navigate the tough rows we all hoe in order to have a child. In this post, Pam craftily weaves her feelings on the early loss of her father with thoughts on what he might have felt about her current journey toward parenthood--and also weaves in a clip from South Park. You gotta love it--humor, pathos, sincerity, love, and hope all in one post! These things I think we can all understand.
  137. Where Have I Been? In My Head from Seriously!?!?!: I think this post sums up perfectly how blogging can help us get out those worries that we don't want to admit to anyone and also how for so many, getting those two lines doesn't equal instant bliss.
  138. Where is the Line? from Hope and Despair: Of all the posts on this site this was the one that really spoke to me and I suspect it will to many other infertiles. Glenna so accurately and movingly describes the fine line between hope and despair and how painful both can be.
  139. Why Do I Think It's Possible? from Twin Peas: This post poses the question that so many of us dealing with IF will always wonder about… Why after everything we have been through to try to conceive and to sustain pregnancies would we ever believe we could get and stay pregnant without assistance? But as Kelly shares, “I cannot get my mind to stop dreaming, hoping.”
  140. Why I'm Angry from Thalia's Fertility Journey: I like this post because of the raw emotion coming through. Because it shows how the IF thing goes on even after having a child. Because of her determination. And because, let's face it, I related so much to it.
  141. Why Write? from Kir's Corner: She comes back after a writing hiatus following the birth of her twins and is asking herself the question if anyone is reading and even cares? She and her husband have made the decision that they are done with ttc and trying to get on with life "after". What resonates so deeply with me in this post is this: "Last night at a table at our nieces birthday party I had a discussion about IF that almost brought me to tears because as I sat with Jacob on my lap I was trying to explain that it still touches me, still haunts me, still makes me scared to be happy and content for fear of the dropping of the other shoe, all while dodging the looks and unsaid words of "Kir you have 2 kids, you're not IF anymore". Oh if I could only feel that way." She calls it the gift that keeps on giving, long after you think it has worn out it's welcome. How true this is. She expresses my deepest suspicion - that even when you end up on the other side of the fence, you still don't seem to fit in completely.
  142. Working Things Out in My Head from Alone in a Crowd: Sometimes, the title of a post says it all. In Not Wrapped Up With a Neat Little Bow, Mamie gives us a haunting, achingly honest snapshot of where she is and how she got there.
  143. Worthy, It Spite of My Pain from Be Still and Know: This post shows Melissa's tender heart as she wrestles between her convictions and her pain. The reader is challenged by her authenticity and vulnerability. I found myself remembering many times I've felt in those same shoes, and hoping that the next time I am there again, I will handle it a little more like Melissa did in her post.
  144. Yes, I Listen to (some) Christian Music from Maybe It's Just Me...: Jill wrote a response to Steven Curtis Chapman's loss of his daughter, "It's so easy, during the day to day, to forget how important family relationships are. Even for those of us desperately trying to start a family of our own sometimes forget exactly what we're working towards. It gets lost in every heartache, and every negative pregnancy test, and every bitter thought that we experience on the journey." Loss puts the infertile life into perspective sometimes. Jill grasped the heart of it all.

And that, my friends, is just a smattering of the best posts of the year. Please, comment and enjoy the list. Our regularly scheduled roundup returns next week to kick off a brand-new 52 week tour.

*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.

52 comments:

bleu said...

My goddess Mel, what an amazing feat. This is just amazing and wonderful and such an undertaking. You truly never cease to amaze.

I actually felt a lot of pain reading that post. It was my last stims with home try and the try that determined I would be moving to IVF even though I had another 2 tries until I began with IVF. It was when I didn't have hope but the symptoms made me bitterly wishing and really beat me down.

Bleu
http://soulbliss.blogspot.com/

Tammy said...

I'm no. 53 on the list... a post called I really needed this today...a confession Whoa...does it ever take me back. I had been in counseling for more than six months and there was a whole lot of stuff swirling, waiting to be dealt with that I had stuffed down for a really, really long time...six years after my one and only pregnancy and miscarriage, this year, December hit just about as hard as it did the year I lost my Jamie. And smack dab in the middle of my grief are the moments of beauty I get to experience because I've been given the privilege of being a parent through another way. And I was missing so many moments because I was covering them in the grief I couldn't allow to just be a part, not overshadow.

This evening that I wrote this post was actually quite a turning point in my family's life. I have done some pretty hard work and I'm in a much more peaceful place and truly able to enjoy the moments I was worried I would regret missing. I am learning to live with (in spite of sometimes!) the grief that still comes because of infertility but not allow it to rule our life. It has been a long time coming and a long way to go... dare I say, I will be a work in progress for always!

Reading this post also made me realize how we're in a completely different stage of life now. The interview I mentioned went great and now, we've moved and are settling into our new home. Smaller city and we've decided I won't work for the next while so we can hopefully live more balanced and enjoy the moments as they come.

Kymberli said...

I'm 134 on the list. I'm so tickled that my reader chose that particular post. I've always viewed that conversation among my 8th graders as hysterical evidence that they actually listen to me. But when you break it down, it's proof that they learned tolerance, an open-mindedness towards varied routes to parenthood, and so much more. At that time I was in a good place, one of the few times I've ever felt at ease with my body. I was about midway through my surrogacy pregnancy and I felt accomplished. Now...I look at that moment and hope that I can get back there soon. I again want to be in the hallway on morning duty, sitting my my chair with a lucky couple's baby under my folded hands, content with knowing that soon, they would be parents.

luna said...

I love that my reviewer chose this post (#97) as their favorite. Writing about losing our precious furbaby was so cathartic, as I relived every memory I recalled in the telling (maybe why it's so long?!). I laughed and cried and missed her through every word. It makes me happy to know that came through. I love the notion too that we are all seeking real connection as we struggle through infertility and loss. so true. thank you, anonymo!

mel, er I mean lolly, you are incredible for pulling this together! thanks to everyone who helped. and happy anniversary roundup!

~luna
life from here: musings from the edge

soralis said...

What an amazing list! I don't know how you manage to do all that you do!

Lisa said...

Wow, this list is amazing!!

I'm number 11 on the list and I'm thrilled that my reader chose this post. It reminds me that I realized one day that I'm not the only one in my marriage feeling this pain. As we're getting ready to head into IVF #6, this is a reminder that I really needed right now!

MrsSpock said...

I'm #40 on the list.

Funny that this post was chosen. Just last night I was rocking my son to sleep and thinking of that first 5w5d ultrasound that is still on my fridge. It's hard to believe my big 13 lb boy was that little seedling planted almost a year ago.

I was getting ready to start my first Follistim cycle and was filled with despair. I was so sure it was just the universe taunting me again when I was late, that I waited a full week to test.

Every time I look at that picture I remember what it feels like to have what seems like an impossible hope fulfilled.

www.mrsspock.blogspot.com

Magpie said...

This is mind-blowing and daunting and wonderful - amazing list.

I love the post of mine that was chosen - I'm in this bittersweet time watching my mother's decline, and digging up pieces of her garden is an important thing for me to do - it's almost like therapy.

Thanks, Mel.

Lori said...

Oh, great. Now I will not leave the computer ALL WEEKEND!

Such good reading ahead.

My reader chose a post that is among my favorite, as well (#99 on the list). Tomorrow my daughter's birthmom and I are teaching a class on open adoption (how to have a successful one) and I think this post exemplifies what can happen when two women open their hearts to each other, with deep love for their daughter.

Thanks for this amazing list. We should make these entries into a booklet.

Jendeis said...

I'm #87 on the list. The Kumbaya-ness thing -- that need for healing the uncomfortable friction between some of the haves and some of the have-nots -- is something that I feel like I struggle with day in and day out. Maybe I'll struggle with it until I have a child of my own.

I think I'm a much angrier person in my mind than I am in my blog. I do restrain myself in my writing because some emotions are so fleeting that they should not be captured, and so negative that they should not be sent out into the universe.

margalit said...

I'm so shocked that I made the list. This is just incredible and I'm so honored. I'm #8, A Shadow of My Former Self from my blog What was I THINKING (http://outtamymindwithworry.blogspot.com) and honestly, I didn't even know I was up for this honor. I don't consider myself an infertility blog, although I certainly endured my share of infertility with 8 years of TTC, 4 miscarriages, and 2 IVFs before I was blessed with my now almost 16 year old twins.

Now I'm working on getting my body back in shape, along with my mind, after years of putting myself dead last in my priorities. It's a real learning experience trying to pick up things like eating correctly and exercise when I haven't done a thing but be a mommy for so many years, but I'm doing it. I'm doing it every day and it's good.

Thanks so much for the recognition.

Margalit

Trace said...

Thanks for compiling such a huge list. I'm number 69. Rereading my post upset me a little because nothing as changed since I wrote it.

Trace
http://1hardyswimmer.blogspot.com/

Tigger said...

I was at a turning point (again) in my attempts to live child-free. I was confronted with a flaw in my plans - what to do with my baby stuff - something I hadn't thought about, even though I thought I had all the bases covered.

As it turns out, it hasn't been as hard for me as I thought it would have been. I did indeed put the twin sheets on the bed, and gave the rattle to the 9 month old to play with. The one thing that DID shock me was opening a bin that I thought contained excess tiggers...only to find out that it had a diaper bag and other baby items in it. I wasn't expecting it, as I thought I had it all already. I simply stuffed everything into the diaper bag and put THAT in a closet...for it to get me later, when I can deal with it!

The post really helped though. Sometimes just getting my fears out of me and down on "paper" makes them less fearful, as if I deal with them while writing. If it helped someone else too then I am very, very happy to have written it.

Pamela Jeanne said...

Wow. Just WOW! So much wisdom, honesty, raw emotion and beautiful commentary in the summaries alone. Printing out and binding these posts would make a powerful book on its own.

Don't know how to truly thank you, Mel, for organizing, compiling and delivering such a valuable read. Thanks to Niobe and Jen, too, for making sure the slackers didn't delay the end product. So much food for thought here...

CappyPrincess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JuliaS said...

Mel - we don't deserve you! What a lot of work. I am two blogs into the list and just reading some of the blurbs have me bawling. What an incredible treasure.

You rock Lollipop!

I second the book idea. Off to read some more . . .

Wow.

CappyPrincess said...

Wow! Thanks for all the hard work of compiling, Mel. And thanks to all of the reviewers who took their assignments and followed through.

I haven't accomplished a thing at work today. And I really just don't care. I'm having too much fun laughing and crying and discovering.

I'm #115 and have taken a lot of flack from family about that particular post. But I stand by it. The funniest part is that after I posted it I got an email from ex-SIL saying that former MIL wanted to know if I wanted any of the kids' belongings. HA. At least I know who's reading eh?

Helen said...

I'm #72. I was finding my way after so many rounds of IVF and finally getting there, and finding that while I had a romantic vision of being a mother, the reality is grittier, messier, more focus on detail (more attention full stop) but amazing in absolutely every sense of the word.

Arian said...

I'm number 25 on the list. I had actually forgotten about this post and was unprepared to read it again when I clicked on it. It was a bit emotional going back to that place today. It is very strange to be in a different place emotionally, spirtually etc. and then find yourself time warped back to that moment. I'm very glad this post was chosen. The guilt and fear I had that day were suffocating me. I truly feared (and still do) that I had just experienced the closest form of motherhood I would ever see for myself.

Wishing 4 One said...

Lolli we SO do not deserve all the hard work you do to make us happy, but thank you.

I am number 63 on this roundup. My mystery reviewer chose "It Came, Another Loser Moment in my life"

I wrote this after our most recent try (failure) at IVF, number 5, when the evil, spiteful Ms. AF came. Its a corny little ode, but it did sum up how I felt at that moment, but in a rather odd, funny non-vulgar kind of way.

Again thanks for all you do.

Don't forget, when you're on your way to this part of the world, do let me know. I still have that Cairo coffee waiting at any time for you my friend. My amazing, strong, superwoman friend that is. xoxoxoxxo

Wishing 4 One said...

Oh I forgot....can we get a holla for all these AMAZING woman that Mel brought together for this Roundup Extravaganza!!! We rock ladies, we really really do. So glad to 'know' each and every one of you and look forward to reading new blogs because of this.

Yeah again for lolli!!!

Pam said...

Wow! What an undertaking to put that together. Thank you!

I'm #136 on the list. Writing that post was hard for me and reading it today still brings tears to my eyes for my Dad and what we lost together. When I wrote that post we were just getting ready to start our first egg donor cycle. Unfortunately it was a BFN as was the eventual FET.

We were fortunate enough to be matched unexpectedly with a new donor a couple of months ago and are just in the midst of our cycle with retrieval coming up in less than a week. I have the same emotions today as I did then regarding my father and how he would have felt.

Thank you Mel, and thank you to my reviewer for choosing this post. I was an important one for me.

Juicy said...

I'm #57 and as much as I like that entry myself, I'm surprised the reader chose it. It's one of my longest! But thank you for picking it and for the lovely comment about my writing. I wrote that post so people could understand how Deaf people operate a little better. Nothing's changed of course because, well...they're still Deaf but I like to think I enlightened some people. And that works for me!

Thank you for all your hard work Mel, I enjoyed looking at all the "bests" and will continue to read them when I've got a spare moment. We've got a lot of great writers collected here!

www.joyco.wordpress.com

jodie38 said...

This is absolutely awesome. I can't begin to thank you enough for putting this together, Mel (and others). I can't really explain the sense of solidarity I'm feeling - nice to not be alone.

I'm #26 - I'm pretty much right there again after my miscarriage. The hard fact is, we weren't able to be very picky about a donor this time - we managed to find one locally which shaves about 10K of the cost. We've made the arrangements for IVF #2, and gagged up the $$$$$$. So now we're back to the hurry-up-and-wait game. It's still far enough out (end of Sept/Oct)that it seems like a dentist appointment...

loribeth said...

This is an awesome list, & I can't wait to start reading (I second -- or third? -- the motion for a book!). Thank you to my reviewer, whoever you are, for your gracious words. I was curious to see what would be picked!

My post was #65 & my blog is The Road Less Travelled. Where I was mentally when I wrote it: bracing myself for yet another Mother's Day. What's changed in my life: not much, (except relief that I don't have to deal with Mother's Day for another 10 months or so, lol). How I feel about it: it's a long post, which I guess is pretty typical of me, but I did manage to get everything out of my system, & fairly coherently too!

Wendy said...

You put together such an amazing list. Thank you so much!

Manda said...

What an amazing list... It is truly a one stop shop for all the laughter and tears that infertility has to offer. All the honesty in these posts just stupefies me.

I'm number 118 on the list. My post, The Waiting Place, was written when was in a very frustrated spot in my life. I had made friends with several wonderful ladies online who were all TTC while I was. By the time my DH and I got our azoo diagnosis, most of them were pretty safely into their second trimester. It's hard to be the infertile friend of a pregnant woman. There are so many conflicting emotions - absolute joy because you know what it's like to WANT that, and at the same time, there is bone-deep pain because, well... you know what it's like to want that. It's never fun to be left behind, but it's that much worse when you can't move from your Lurch.

If my reader would like to reveal themselves, I'd love to know, but I won't quite go as far as making an impassioned plea.

Katie said...

I absolutely love this list. I'm bookmarking it so I can read them all. Thank you for doing this.
I'm #76 on the list. I wrote my post, Mach 1, when I was at a pretty low point. I was tired of all the assvice I was being given and wished that some people could just try and understand what I was going through. I would like to think I'm in a better place now, although I still have the same wishes. There is something that bonds us together and I'm so grateful for all the women I have met. I wouldn't have met them all without you!

darla said...

This is quite an amazing feat! You definitely deserve a gold star. A big one!

I'm 113 on the list and can I say the monthly headgame is just a continual pandora's box? I'm very impressed that my partner managed to wade through the mess of me and select the one that may some it all up.

Thanks for the read!

K said...

I am #91, Romancing the Stork. The selected entry was written at one of many major crossroads in our ttc journey. We were moving to an RE and there seemed to be an endless number of options and all I wanted was for someone to say "do THIS and you will get pregnant."

It was interesting to read because I said in the entry that if that cycle had been successful, my due date would be 8/30/08. That's this month! It's crazy to think I could be reaching over a full-term belly to type this comment. That makes it seem so long ago, and yet I can remember that time as if it were yesterday.

Thanks for pulling this together. It is an amazing celebration of this blog community, and a true pleasure to read!

Anne said...

Reading these posts is like experiencing every feeling I've had or imagined since we've started this whole ART thing.

The one thing that seems to be missing is humor. Through all the pain and frustration and uncertainly, my husband always keeps me laughing about the ridiculousness of it all: having sex with a catheter, masturbation in a doctor's office, shots in the belly and bum, etc.

If I didn't have him to make me laugh a little, I couldn't get through it.

anne @ eggedon.blogspot.com

bendingbackwards said...

I am #94 on the list, a post called Peering Eyes.

Reading that post again, I just kept thinking about how IF strikes each of us in small everyday moments, moments we cannot avoid. Yet the struggle of IF is so private that we can not reveal our true feelings when it hurts the most.

Christina said...

I'm #81 on the list. I can see how the reader could choose that post. I haven't had a normal relationship with my mother at all. I just hope that one day I can be the complete opposite of that to my child.

Care said...

It's going to take a while to read through all these amazing posts!

I'm #22 on the list, and things have changed so much since I wrote the post Balancing Act. I felt so stuck between my wants and needs, and that of my parents and children. I guess it just took time for me to realize there was a third choice that involved some compromise on both ends. So I knocked on door number three, and started my new job 4 weeks ago. Still stressed trying to make the transitions, two house pmts, new doctors, etc, but I the weight of the uncertainty has lifted, and we are on the right path now.

JamieD said...

Wow!! Thank you Mel, Niobe and Jen!! What great posts and food for thought. And to whoever read my blog - thank you so much for your kind words. I truly, truly appreciate it.

#102 - Selfish from The Therapist is In. When I re-read this post, I almost didn't recognize it as my own - I was hurting so bad when I wrote it. I think it was a great entry to pick because it is the real reason I started blogging. I was bottling up so much inside that I didn't know what to do wtih. The thing that has changed the most since then is those moments are getting fewer. They still hurt, but I feel I am coping better thanks to all of you!

http://thetherapistisinbyjamie.blogspot.com/2008/05/selfish.html

Kristine said...

Wow, what an amazing compilation. I'm not sure when I'm going to find time to read all of these, but I will!

I'm 29 on this list. Rereading that post brought back some good memories. I really never did believe it was going to happen to me, and it took me quite a while to finally believe it was true.

And yup, things are pretty much the same with my mother.

Thanks for doing all this Mel. You are amazing!

Kim said...

Wow I second or third or whatever the amazing part. This was so much fun.

I am #93 on this post. I really enjoyed writing this post. Reading over it again today still makes me cry. I brought right back to that day. I remember sitting in the chair in our living room with Justin laid out across my lap facing me. He was so giving in his smiles and baby talk. My heart just melted and for the first time since I lost his twin at 18 weeks, I felt some peace about it. Justin was so perfect and I was blessed to have him. He was the baby meant for me. I was just sitting there smiling and talking to him with tears rolling down my cheeks. Each happy tear carried away some pain, some anger, some jealousy, some resentment, some sadness, some self-pity. I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It was a life changing moment.

I guess I am still in that peaceful place most days. But the loss is still so raw and real other days. I miss that baby and all of the others that I lost and nothing will change that fact. I guess what remains the same is my acceptance. I am not longer trying to fight things or question things. And Justin's sweet smiles still make me melt!

Thanks for a great review!

Bea said...

Fantabulous job, Mel. You're a star. And cheers to the helpers as well.

Bea

Jenn said...

This is great. I'm number 55. I had forgotten that post and it's every bit as true today as it was then.

Kami said...

You know what I don't like? The sheer quantity. I know I won't read them all, but I will still read more than I really have time for and then I will likely add some to my reader and that list is already unmanageable.

Finally - do I start at the top or the bottom or pick randomly?

Thanks to you and your helpers for getting this done.

Kami said...

I hope my last comment came across correctly because I do love to be exposed to new blogs.

I am just back from reading a few and I realized something. It is better, I think, to read fewer posts and really be present while reading them than to try to rush and read more.

So, I am taking a deep breath, calming my mind and returning to really read - an not just read - some of these great posts.

donna said...

I'm #45 on the list and I was in the midst of a crazy time. My heart wanted another baby so much but it just seemed like too much to go through. Now, a few months later, I still do wish I could have another baby, but I think I am coming to terms with not having one. I'm finding more peace in our decision.

orodemniades said...

Holy heck that's fabulous list. Like so many others it's going to take time to read through them all.

I'm #73 on the list, Love Letter from Birch and Maple. I wrote it because I was close to my due date and was, and still am, overcome by the community that I'm part of (I don't post much any more). In all honesty I don't think I realized until after the Chieftain was born how much you all saved my sanity...and, in fact, I don't think I would be in as good a space now (even with the Chieftain) without you. Still. Hmm. I think I need to write a post.

A.M.S. said...

I'm #36 on ths list for Due Date. I'm afraid where I was is where I still am. They are gone and I am here and that's not how it was supposed to be, but that's what my life is now.

Julia said...

Wow. I read all the blurbs, and probably more than half the posts. Took me all weekend. Thank you so much for putting it all together-- so much beauty, and so much pain. And so much truth.

Thalia said...

I am number 140. Thank you to whoever reviewed me, it meant a lot that what I wrote made sense to someone else.

I was interested in the earlier comment that said humour was missing. Humour is by no means missing from our blogs, but how fascinating that none of us picked those funny posts when asked to choose the post which spoke to us the most. Something to learn from, there.

Thank you mel and to all the reviewers.

Tricia said...

I am number 50 on the list. (Adventures of Baby Making).

I love this post too. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have my Stephen. He makes all those crazy situations with his crazy, innapropriate, slightly dirty humor. I love him and reading that post make me realize how much we need to lean on each other to get through this process.

nancy said...

WOW!!!

I am ~so freaking bummed~ I didn't take part in this. So bummed. I remember you asking the blogosphere, but I was in the midst of being terrified and didn't get to signing up. So now I'm sitting here bummed out beyond words. :~(

But now I've got lots of reading to do!

Just Me. said...

Oh my my! You are just such an amazing woman!!! Have I told you how much I love you??? :)

I'm Just Me, http://ttcwithendo.blogspot.com and I am #67 on the list.

I was gearing up for my first IVF cycle then. When infertility first hit us, I couldn't accept it. I was in denial for a while and finally I started going for testings and from my lap, they found out that I had endo, fibroids, ovarian cysts and polyps. I had them removed and I went on Clomid first. I decided on Clomid first cuz I was really physically and emotionally drained from everything. I thought that I'd take this break from seeing my doctor and the grinding kits for a while. My first cycle with Clomid didn't work and then I thought, OK, IF CLOMID DOESN'T WORK FOR US THIS MONTH AGAIN, IVF IT IS. I finally accepted that if I'd have to go all the way, if it means having a remote possibility of having a child, I'd do it. I was afraid of the big daddy of infertility treatments. I just looked at it as H.O.P.E. My online friends from my forum and also from my blog have been my greatest friends and constant support. I really I couldn't have survived it through the dark phase of my life.

Miraculously, on July 19, Clearblue said that I'm pg! I am now about 6 weeks and I am due for a scan this Thursday. It's been 2 and a half years struggling with infertility that today, I constantly fear that this miracle will be taken away from me. I am not a pious Catholic, but I have been praying to him, telling him that to keep my little Cookie safe in me, till I see him 34 weeks later.

What has stayed the same for me is my continuous support from my blogger friends, like Lost in Space, In2MeSee, Hope2morrow, Alicia who were there for me since I started blogging about infertility and they still come to my blog, day after day. Since then, I have had more blogger friends. For that, i will always always treasure and value their friendship! I don't know how infertile women survived without the internet back then! And I still have my husband who loves me and who has gone through such shit with me. Plus, I have my furry baby with me still. Whenever I was alone at home and cried, she'd lick my tears away and I'd cry on her body and hug her tight. I love my furry baby to bits.

Once again, Mel, thank you for doing this and thank you for everything. Like I said on this post, I'd love to meet up with you, someday, when I head off to the States for my well-deserved honeymoon which I never got!! :) In 2 years, I promise you, I'll see you by then.

theclam said...

Thank you Mel, Niobe and Jen! And thanks to my critic :)

I loved reading my How you get through post again (#51) cos I think it speaks about the common thread we share in our infertility journeys...

I wrote the post the day before my ER for my first IVF, I was excited and full of hope for the days to come, but at the same time I was scared - I has heading into uncharted waters and that got me thinking as to how I had made it through the last 4 years of infertility...

Now I am 4 days away from testing in my FET cycle and am again full of hope for the days to come but also scared that the dream could be shattered yet again... Time will tell :)

Shelli said...

Mel, thank you for putting this together.

I am #48, "Fun with Fortune Cookies". I was happy to see this post picked because it is one of the uplifting posts I wrote. It was simple... I wanted to remember that there is always HOPE to cling to. I still have that fortune from the fortune cookie that night, right on my desk where I can see it each day.

Since I wrote that post I've had my 5th miscarriage in Feb08, and now I am headlong into an IVF cycle that will make or break my journey.

I may have not have reached my goal, but in the end I still have hope... even on the darkest days it somehow finds me.

Overwhelmed! said...

I'm #56 on the list and it was interesting to see which of my posts was chosen.

I'm still angry about Boo's lack of baby pictures, but I've made sure she's got a lot of pictures to look at from the day she arrived with us onward!

As for the clothes, that was easily remedied. She's nicely dressed now. :)