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Friday, November 24, 2006

Lost Stars of the Blogosphere

In lieu of the Friday Blog Roundup, I thought I'd look backwards for one week instead of current...

It's fun to look back through my favourites folders in Internet Explorer and see what I thought was worth bookmarking for constant reference. I have a folder called "babies" and it reads as a guide to the journey of the infertile. The first few links are cute baby sites like Babycenter and 101 Early Signs of Pregnancy. The list continues into the slightly confused Basal Body Temperature (what factors can affect your BBT) and Trying to Conceive Success Stories. And then spirals down into a now-defunct list of infertility-friendly employers (new job would equal new insurance which would hopefully equal IVF coverage) and RESOLVE's website.

Tucked into the list are a few parenting blogs--those early journals that they posted on Babycenter. My favourite was Bringing Up Ben which became Bringing Up Ben and Birdy when her second child was born (and has since moved to blogspot). I liked her because she was the first blog I ever read and she was from Amherst near where I used to live.

I read them because I was always looking for the secret. What did they know that I didn't know? How did they get pregnant so relatively easily? In the beginning, I really thought that there must be one piece to the puzzle that I didn't know, that someone forgot to tell me. And I'd discover it if I asked the right questions. Reading blogs seemed like the this covert way to get the information. Access to someone's diary. And weren't they certain to record how they went about creating life?

And there was one I found during one of my frantic google searches (which were usually about early pregnancy symptoms). It was called Kate's Oven and it was a young woman--I believe in Australia--trying to conceive. When I started reading her, she was pregnant and she was so excited that I became excited for her. I checked back every few days, watching her pregnancy progress and reading her entries about food aversions.

And then she lost the baby.

And I sat crying in my empty classroom during my grading period.

I was so sad for Kate and the little bun.

She wrote for a while after the miscarriage, but she finally closed down her blog and stopped writing about trying to conceive. I always wondered what happened to her. You read the intimate thoughts and details about another person's life and they become so entangled in your own that you start talking about them with your husband as if you really know this person. And then you see the broken link to their old blog in your favourites folder and the thoughts pop up again like suddenly realizing what song comes next on a mix tape you haven't heard in twelve years.

I want to know what happened to Kate. Did she go on to conceive again? Did she end up going through more losses? Did she choose a different path to parenthood or is she living child-free? Does she think about her pregnancy loss as much as I think about her pregnancy loss since I don't know her through any other means except her loss?

Did anyone ever read Kate's Oven? And who do you miss from the Blogosphere (or the bulletin boards)?

And who did you show up too late to read and you're now kicking yourself for not starting sooner? On my list is Chez Miscarriage and Baby Hungry Man.

This post is dedicated to Cancer Baby who I was thinking about yesterday because she had a wonderful post last Thanksgiving about her husband and how he went without his beloved green bean casserole last year. And when she died this summer, all I could think about was how that was the last Thanksgiving they had spent together.


Anonymous said...

Oh, you mentioned Jessica, and I suddeny realized that this is the blog I missed, because I didn't start reading blogs until after she died.
I remember finding it and being stunned because I'm so used to movies and TV where everybody has a happy ending. And this story ended, just far too soon.
I read Jessica's story and cried my eyes out.
Interestingly, the Globe & Mail has a cancer series running right now, and they have featured a blogger who writes about her cancer and infertility. I'm tempted to read her but unsure, y'know?

TeamWinks said...

This was a truly wonderful post. There are so many that I wish I started reading earlier. I can relate to talking to my husband about blogging buddies, as if they were next door neighbors. It's kind of comforting, but also difficult when there is a loss. We all share it.

Thalia said...

I missed Jen/Reich Ovary when she stopped blogging. Then I found her a short while ago on another blog, blogging about her baby, but now I can't find the damn blog and it's not a search-engineable one, so I've lost her again. V stupid.

Mel, have you sstopped your RSS feed? Your posts are no longer showing up on bloglines, not even as headlines.

Cibele said...

You always have amaizing posts!

I just wnat to let you know that I started writing on my blog in English. I hope you stop by there sometime!

Anonymous said...

One of the first blogs I read was "Badlands." I always wonder what happened to Sarah--she had started blogging after her first miscarriage and went on to become pregnant again. When she was ten or twelve weeks pregnant her doctor's noticed a problem with the amnion & chorion. She stopped blogging soon after and I have always wondered whether that pregnancy worked out, and where she is now.

Anonymous said...

I miss CancerBaby, too. I never read Kate's Oven, but I think the blogosphere has lost a lot of its richness without Emily/Scrambled Eggs and Grrl/Chez Miscarriage -- both their archives and their continued posts.

To me, one of the most frustrating parts of the blogosphere is the fact that it is not like a library where what is written is preserved for those who come later. (Of course, for those of us who have deleted our blogs for a reason, that is also the good part about the blogosphere.)

Anonymous said...

My list is pretty similar to yours - Chez Miscarriage and Baby Hungry Man, plus the beautiful but ultimately tragic account of Cancer Baby.

My bookmarks list shows a similar pattern to yours. There's the pregnancy and parenting tips, lists of OBs who used to be local to me, who I thought I might get the chance to see but didn't, then gradually the fertility sites, the AC sites, the IVF sites, the pregnancy loss sites, the adoption sites... I haven't visited a parenting site for ages. I guess it seems pretty irrelevant at this point.


Anonymous said...

My bookmarks are similar; early pregnacy, fertility forums, adoption sites, cryro sites, blogs I visit daily ... all neatly tucked into folders.

I am pretty new to the infertility blogging myself and wish I had started sooner.

I too speak about others like they are next door neighbours and close friends. I have begun refering to them as my 'stranger friends' to dh. He thinks I'm a nutter LOL

Jackie said...

Yes, I am regretting that I showed up far too late to read the words of getupgrrl, especially as Julie and Julia, and Tertia have referred to her so many times in their own blogs.

Rachel Inbar said...

Great post!

I went through infertility in the preblogospheric era - I was in touch with Rachel Brown(e) on an infertility newsgroup... she's the only one I remember.

I sometimes fantasize about going to the doctor who gave me a less than 10% chance of EVER having a child and telling him how my story turned out...

Anonymous said...

I miss Chez M and Tales of a Wessel. And Cancer Baby.