In the Aftermath

I used to think that when I wrote a post that pissed people off that it was automatically my fault. That I fucked up in some way. Either my whole point of view was flawed, or my delivery was botched, or my supporting arguments were weak or SOMETHING was messed up, and it was my fault that people got angry. I guess I assumed that if I wrote well, no one would get hurt or upset. (Interestingly I felt the same toward other bloggers, that if *I* got upset reading a post then they had done something wrong. At least I was consistent.) Anyway, it took a lot of evolving for me as a person to understand that I was as much responsible for my own interpretation of what someone said as they were for writing it. Sometimes even more so. Eventually I was able to take that and realize that other people were as responsible for their interpretations of what I wrote, as I was for reading it.

The short version? It’s not always my fault when what I write pisses people off. (Just like it’s not always someone else’s fault when what they write pisses me off.)

I know, crazy right? I can’t tell you how long it took me to get to that place.

Of course sometimes it is my fault. There have been a few posts in particular that I know I fucked up on. The “When I am being a SAHM in the summer it doesn’t feel like a job” post (jeez, I still can’t believe I wrote that) comes immediately to mind, and there are others. I don’t think yesterday’s post was one of them (though in hindsight, I do wish I presented a few things differently–more kindly). I also don’t think some other posts that I’ve read that have inspired heated (and sometimes very hurtful) comments were wrong either. How can I tell the difference between when I got it wrong and when someone is bringing their own issues to the table (or just doesn’t agree with me and never will)? Well, there are a few ways.

One is the other comments. If there are a considerable amount of comments that agree with me, then I probably didn’t totally miss the boat. If other people understood my intent then I probably made it clear, or at least clear enough (I’m sure I could always make it more clear) and I’m probably not totally misguided in feeling that way. The second is how I feel about the piece as I read comments. If comments make me change my mind about what I believed or how I wrote about it, then I recognize I messed up something fundamentally. If clarifying comments help other people to better understand what I was trying to say–and we can come to an understanding of some kind in the comments section–then I know I faltered in my delivery. But if the comment section is just an endless back and forth, I know that someone either straight out disagrees or that their reaction to my words is about them, and not me.

I used to do that. All the time. I used to read a post about one thing and then my own pain and guilt and issues would twist the words into something else. Natural parenting stuff was a big trigger. I was so insecure in my own parenting that I felt other people writing with passion about their style of parenting (when it conflicted greatly with how I parent) was an attack (explicit or implicit) on my own way of doing things. I wrote a lot of comments coming from that place of insecurity and hurt. It sucks to look back at those responses, but I understand that I had to go through that to get where I am today. I’ve tried to offer reparation for my actions in those instances but some people couldn’t forgive me, and I get that. You can’t take back what you say and some people can’t forget.

I still notice that posts about blissful breastfeeding relationships chafe me in certain ways. When someone boasts that they could never have the bonding experience they had with their child without their wonderful breastfeeding relationship it makes me feel shitty, like I’m somehow less of a mom. But I’ve grown enough to know that they aren’t saying that to hurt me. They are saying that because it is their experience. In fact, there is every reason to believe I would have felt the same way if I had had a great breastfeeding experience. That is why it was so hard to let it go, because I believe I missed out on something that has no equivalent. I suffered a real loss, and it sucks, but that doesn’t mean other women shouldn’t be able to talk about it. That expectation is absurd, and frankly, unfair.

It took me a lot of years to get to that place. It’s still hard with some issues, to just let it go, but every encounter with words that my guilt and insecurity twist into something else I handle better. Recently a cousin posted an article to FB about how a new study shows that CIO damages infants, with some diatribe about how she hoped all parents would see it an know the error of their ways. In the past I would have felt an uncontrollable urge to defend my parenting, but I didn’t even click to read the article, or browse the comments or anything. I just walked away, because I knew the people supporting her there were not interested in hearing about my very positive experiences with CIO and because I knew I didn’t need to defend myself to her or anyone else. It made absolutely no sense to engage.

I am proud that I have gotten to that place. I don’t always stop, I don’t always resist the temptation to engage, but more times than not I do.

After a lot of long, hard, exhausting contemplation, I think I know why yesterday’s post inciting such a shit storm. It was a couple of things. #1 the tone. Obviously, I could have been nicer. A LOT nicer (I was not imply anything in that post, it was all VERY explicit). I could explain why I wrote it like I did but that doesn’t change the fact that I could have presented it in a much kinder way. #2 In my vitriolic introductory statement I didn’t make it clear that I not only meant bloggers who left without any explanation, but also bloggers who left abruptly and especially on the cusp of some major transition. I thought I made that clear later in the post but some people didn’t register that, so obviously I wasn’t clear enough. #3 I shouldn’t have included the final part about being bummed out that some bloggers I really love are gradually fading away, because some people thought I felt the same way about those bloggers as I felt about people who just abruptly fell off the earth right before some major change, with no explanation or warning.

Still, I realize that even if I had done those things, the angry people still would have come to comment (I’m still flabbergasted as to how they ended up there, as I have no reason to believe any of them still, or ever did, read me). It is clear now that there are some people that just absolutely do not agree with me on this issue. We couldn’t find a common ground. I thought a simple, “Hey I’m out,” final post is a reasonable expectation, but it was clear that for some people, even expecting that is absolutely too much.

I learned something really valuable in the comment section of that post, which is that some people have VERY different reasons for writing a blog and very different expectations of the relationship that are participating in with their readers and commenters. For some people, their blog is not a ongoing dialogue and their readers have no relationship to or with them whatsoever. That is NOT how I feel about my space, and I don’t think that is how most of the people that I follow feel about their spaces, but it’s valuable for me to know that some do. I think now, when someone stops blogging abruptly, I can better understand how they walked away–the whole blog experience means something fundamentally different to them than it does for me.

Finally, I’m left with some stinging words rattling around in my brain, about whether or not I take my blogging relationships too seriously or depend on them too much. I’ve always known that my IRL relationships are lacking. It’s not that I don’t have some great ones, but circumstances make it hard to connect. I’ve tried to make IRL friends that are more accessible but it’s so hard to find people I click with. I don’t know how to find more meaningful friendships, but maybe I need to step away from this community more, so things like a blogger leaving abruptly or another one slowly fading away don’t hurt so much. I may not have appreciated the way those ideas were expressed to me, but that doesn’t mean they are inherently wrong.

To sum up this novel-length post I will say this, thank you for those who came and voiced your thoughts, despite–or maybe because of–what was happening in the comment section. I really appreciated it.

And now, back to what the beginning of this post was about…

How do you explain when someone seems read something in your words that you didn’t intend? Do you ever feel like a writer’s words imply something they are not explicitly saying? How do you feel and what do you do when your words incite angry responses?

Breaking the Unspoken Agreement

So I’m just going to say this. I know it might be an unpopular opinion, and that’s fine, but I feel really strongly about this so I’m going to put it out there. (I’m also going to assume that the people I’m referring to aren’t reading this blog (you understand why in a minute), so that makes it a little easier to just say it).

I think it’s REALLY FUCKED UP when people just walk away from their blog with absolutely no explanation. I think that is a shitty thing to do. I think it’s inconsiderate and thoughtless and selfish and RUDE. I think it’s just plain WRONG.

I dare you to try to convince me otherwise.

You see, what happened is this. I’m getting ready for BlogHer in two days. I’m now part of a group of Bay Area bloggers on Facebook and I asked them all to introduce themselves and say where they live and link to where they are writing. I want to add them all to my reader for a bit so I can see who interests me. But the idea of adding all these random blogs to my list, which is still about 90% ALI blogs, felt wrong. So I decided to create a folder for them (and, while I was at it, a folder for all the other blogs of women I meet at BlogHer) so I could still read just the people I’m used to most of the time, and then delve into the new people when I feel like it.

That was a fine plan except 95% of my blogs were not categorized in Feedly (because they weren’t in Google Reader), so I had to go through them all and put them into an ALI folder. As I was going through them, I realized that I hadn’t gotten a post from some of them for ages. So I started yet another folder. This one was titled Ghost Blogs?.

By the time I was done sorting everything I had about 80 blogs in the ALI folder, 30 in a Miscellany folder (yes, I was also surprised by this) and 50, you read that right, FIFTY in the Ghost Blogs? folder.

One by one I went through the blogs in the Ghost folder. Most of them hadn’t been updated in over a year. Some hadn’t been updated in THREE YEARS! I couldn’t believe it. For almost all of them I clicked on the final post and read it over. One post was about concerning NTU results. One was about a slow rising BETA. One was about a baby who was due in the next few days, but was expected to take his time. One was about a third rising BETA and first hopeful pregnancy. One was a, hey I haven’t written in five months but SURPRISE! I’m 20 weeks pregnant and all is going well! ALL OF THESE WERE FINAL POSTS. The blogs were NEVER UPDATED AGAIN! Who does that? Who doesn’t let their readers know what happened? How they are? If their babies were okay?

Reading some of them I was reminded of wondering what had happened, of thinking about that blogger for weeks and months afterward, going back to the url to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, commenting on the last post to check in. Sometimes I even emailed. I remember wondering for so long, WHAT HAPPENED?! ARE YOU OKAY? I was worried something went wrong. I assumed the worst, because WHY ELSE WOULD SOMEONE JUST NEVER COME BACK TO THEIR BLOG?!

Looking back through those blogs and reading those last posts made me mad. Remembering all the emotional energy I wasted on these people who never cared enough to return to their own space and give their readers a little closure. I think that is so incredibly rude. If you write a blog, you are asking people to read it. If people comment in your space, you know they are there, reading. IF YOU KNOW PEOPLE ARE READING A BLOG YOU OWE THEM A LITTLE RESPECT.

Yes, I believe that bloggers do owe their readership something. I believe they owe their readership an quick, simple update to let them know that they are done. I don’t think they have to explain why they are stepping away (though I would very much appreciate some understanding), but I do believe they deserve a simple, “Hey, I won’t be back here. You can stop waiting and wondering and returning to this space.” Even a, “Hey, I don’t think I’ll be back here, other shit came up and I might be back, but I might not,” that’s fine too. A blogger doesn’t owe her readers explanations or certainties, but she owes them some basic information, even if that information is, “I just realized I haven’t written in three months, it might be another three months before I write again or it might be never. Just a head’s up.”

So there, I’ve said it. I feel personally slighted by the bloggers who just walked away and never told us they were going to go. I think that was a fucked up move, especially when something big was about to happen. I think never coming back broke an unspoken agreement between the blogger and her readers, and I think everyone who read them deserves an apology.

There were a lot of other blogs I sorted through that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. Many of the 80+ blogs I had in my ALI folder haven’t been updated in months. Some have been updated only once or twice all year, or haven’t yet been updated in 2014 at all. It made me incredibly sad to be reminded that so many people who used to be a staple in my days are just gone now. It’s not that I don’t think of them, because I do, but seeing their blogs and not being sure if they too would end up in the Ghost Blogs folder was kind of excruciating.

It’s not like I don’t know anything about all of them. I see some of them on FB, but I don’t really know what is happening in their lives and I wonder if others are on Twitter, happily tweeting away, but I still can’t bring myself to participate there. I still feel like the middle school loser sitting alone at lunch, while the popular kids bustle around the tables I haven’t been invited to sit at (or have been purposefully excluded from). Even if I could get over that feeling, the pace is so fast and the connection so fleeting. I feel like it’s just another thing compelling me to open my phone a million times a day, and I already have enough of those.

I know this is what happens, people drift apart, they stopping seeing each other and eventually realize they aren’t friends anymore. I know it’s an inevitability, but it still sucks. I wonder if part of what feels different, and almost hurtful, about it is that I’m still here, writing. I’m still doing my part to keep the lines of communication open, but so many people aren’t anymore. Maybe it kind of makes me feel left behind, like they have moved on to something else and I’m still here, plugging away, even though these people who were so important to me don’t seem to care anymore.

I’m sure that sounds supremely self-centered. Maybe it is. Honestly, I don’t even care if they don’t read me. I just want to read them. I’m sad they don’t write anymore. I’m sad I can’t comment. I want to know how they are, what their kids are up to, if they are happy.

But I suppose we all have to learn to let go. We have to let go of the people we read who abruptly abandon their space with no explanation, and we have to let go of the people who disappear slowly, over months and years. We have to let go of the people who tell us they just can’t write anymore. I’m pretty bad at letting go. I’m a sentimental person and if I can keep someone positive in my life, I will do it. But sometimes you just can’t, and that is part of life too. It seems that is a defining part of motherhood.

So if you’re still reading, and still writing, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, because I love you and DON’T WANT TO LET ANY OF YOU GO.

And you if you decide to stop writing, or realize it just kind of happened, please consider providing some closure for your readers. I promise you, they will appreciate it.

What do you think of bloggers who abruptly leave their space with no warning? Are there bloggers who are disappearing slowly that you’re sad to see go?

Anyone going to BlogHer?

So, I almost forgot that I’m going to BlogHer this year. It’s in San Jose and I felt like I really should go, so when I heard someone I knew was going, I splurged and bought tickets. I missed the year in New York when so many blogger I knew were going and I’ve always wanted to go since, but this year there is only one blogger I know going and she is going with a friend–and staying with a friend–so I worry I’ll be kind of a third wheel. I also have to get down to San Jose (about an hour drive with no traffic) and back every night, so there won’t be any “parties” for me. Plus, we REALLY don’t have the money (our situation now is much worse than it was so many months ago when I bought the tix), so if I could sell my ticket that would be really helpful. I also realized–suddenly, last night–that I don’t have childcare lined up because I assumed my mom would watch Monito and my in-laws would cover Osita before and after school (if need be) but my mom is having knee surgery on the 14th so she’s out of commission all summer. I don’t even know if my in-laws can watch Monito for me on Friday. They probably can, but I have to check.

It’s funny, I was initially SUPER excited to go to this, I don’t know what has changed. Maybe I’m just nervous? Maybe I’m worried I’ll be sitting alone the whole time. I somehow joined a BlogHer 2014 group on FB and I keep seeing people’s posts and they are all just stressing me out. I don’t know what my deal is. I guess it’s a new experience and I don’t know what to expect and I don’t want to be alone. And it’s not like I’m going to be alone. I know someone going… but what if I can’t find her? Or she has to cancel at the last minute? What if I end up all alone and nobody likes me? I can’t tell you how many people have told me that I came across as a total bitch when they first met me. What if everyone thinks I’m a bitch and I have to sit all by myself, all day? For two days? I guess what it comes down to is, I’m scared. I’m scared of being rejected. I’m scared of being alone.

I guess that is it. And mostly I’m scared because I don’t know many people going, so I wanted to see if maybe people I know ARE going, and I just don’t know yet. No one that I read has written about it, but maybe they are like me and kind of forgot to mention it? That is probably wishful thinking on my part…

I guess the other thing I would ask is if anyone who has gone has any advice for me. Is it worth going just for the conference and not for meeting up with people? (Most people’s number one reason for going seems to be meeting up with bloggers they “know.”) Is there anything I should be doing now to get ready? 

Your Thoughts on Blogs

A recent post Mel’s blog got me thinking about the ways blogs work and how we read them. I spend so much of my time every day reading blogs that I’ve come to have some strong opinions about them (not any one in particular, just blogs in general). Of course not everyone has the same opinions. I was hoping my wonderful readers could give me a an idea of how they feel about how blogs work and how they interact with posts. Some of these questions don’t necessarily apply to my space (I doubt I’ll ever have ads on my site and I PROMISE I’ll never use Captcha), but some of your answers may change the way I do things around here. Mostly I just want to see how my opinions compare to others. Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer these quick ten questions. (Sorry I couldn’t embed this survey my blog. I tried really hard, but it didn’t work.)

I will absolutely post the results early next week (I want to give people some time to take the survey).


My books are your books!

I buy A LOT of books. It’s kind of a vice of mine. I LOVE reading about things. The problem is books take up space, but the great things is you can pass them along when you’re done and you need the space back. So that is what I want to do. I have quite a few books from my loss/infertility/pregnancy/breastfeeding days and I would like to pass them along to whomever needs them. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to link to each book (or even write out the titles) but hopefully you can read the titles from these pictures and search for them if you’re interested.

{There would actually be a lot more books to give away but I bought so many of them electronically. I love how eBooks don’t take up space but I HATE how I can’t pass them on.}

If you want one (or more–there is no limit) just email me at esperanzasays {at} gmail {dot} com and let me know which you’d like. I’ll even cover the packaging and shipping! (Books will be given on a first come, first serve basis. Please include your mailing address in your request.)

So here are the books. I arranged them in different categories, as labeled on the borders of each picture.

photo 1

photo 2

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

Please let me know if you want anything! After one week I’ll assume whatever is left over isn’t wanted and I’ll just drop them off at my local library which sells them for a very modest fee to raise money. Many of these books came from that very place!

{I have to admit, it’s very strange to be setting these books free, to acknowledge that this portion of my life is over for good. It’s hard to walk away from even the more difficult eras of our lives.}

So far all but the following books are still available: Beyond One, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Birthing From Within, and Breastfeeding by Ina May.

On the Crest of the Wave

IT’S OCTOBER! Finally! I thought this month would NEVER come.

I have written many times of waves of pregnancy announcements–when my readers feels full to the brim with an overflow of pregnancies. I remember there being one when I was just starting to try again, when the sucker-punch surprise BFPs from fellow IFers started a trend that just seemed to gather momentum while I stood still.

There is clearly another wave of pregnancies right now–at least in my reader–and I seem to be on the crest of it. I follow two other women who are due just before me and many more are entering their third trimesters or well into their second, with a few just starting their journeys quite recently. There have been many times when I’m reading through pregnancy post after pregnancy post and I thank my lucky stars that I’m 37 weeks into my own journey, anxiously anticipating my son’s birth. I don’t know if I could have survived yet another pregnancy wave while I sat helpless on the beach.

And yet, I know so many women who are stuck on that very beach, watching this pregnancy wave as it crests and readies to break, wondering when they might get to add to the swell of others’ good fortune. I feel horrible that I’m where I am and they are where they are and there is nothing any of us can do about it.

The only thing I feel like I can do is recognize it, acknowledge it, let them know that I haven’t forgotten, that I’m watching them on the beach and wishing so much that they could join in on the celebration.

It’s hard, sometimes, being the one who gets what she wants when so many others don’t. I’m not trying to illicit empathy, I’m just trying to acknowledge the guilt one feels when they move forward while others don’t. It can be a heavy burden to shoulder, especially in this community where the stakes are so damned high. Would I rather situations were reversed? Of course not. I KNOW I’m the luckier one, that I have it easier and better. I’m not trying to say that I don’t. I’m just trying to recognize that it’s complicated and assure those who are still waiting that I never, not for a second, forget who they are, where they are and what they’re going through.

On Sunday night I met up with a woman who has a son the same age as my daughter. We both shared much awaited pregnancy news with each other last February but she went on to have a very traumatic ectopic and I went on to have a successful, non-eventful pregnancy. Not surprisingly we haven’t seen, let alone spoken to, each other much since.

But Sunday she reached out (she has a couple of times before but it never worked out) and Osita and I went over to visit. I felt so awkward, knowing how hard it must be for her to see me. I would NEVER have been able to reach out to her at this point if I were the one who’d lost the pregnancy all those months ago. I wore my most inconspicuous clothes (not that it was very helpful at hiding anything–right now my bump is not something that can be camouflaged) and never mentioned my pregnancy at all. When she asked about it–once and only once–I answered as briefly as I could. Otherwise it was not acknowledged.

I obviously didn’t ask her anything about her own family building efforts. She had to get two rounds of methotrexate shots and I’m pretty sure Kaiser recommends waiting three months for each set of shots so that means after the six month wait she’s only had 2-3 months to try again, if she even jumped right back into the TTC game. She may have been hiding some tentatively happy news but that didn’t seem to be the case. I felt for her and it was strange to be the one in the happy place, trying to navigate the sadness of the woman for whom it didn’t work out.

That night, when I got home, I thought a lot about my friend, wondering if I should reach out and acknowledge her loss and how hard it must be to still be waiting. In the end I didn’t. It didn’t feel right, I didn’t know what to say, and some wise friends counseled me against attempting to find the words. I suppose that was the right thing to do, but I wish there were a different right thing to do, ANY right thing to do, so that she knew that I was thinking of her and wishing her story had been different, that I wished we could be sharing fears and anxieties instead of ignoring her pain.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m being selfish, wanting to find the words. Maybe I think it would assuage my guilt. All I know is that if I were her, I would want my pain acknowledged–validated–in some way. I know not everyone is like that though and what might have been right for me isn’t what she needs at all.

And I suppose the same is true for this post. I know that if I were still in the trenches, trying for my second child… or my first…I would appreciate hearing these words from someone who is so close to crossing over to the other side, who will soon (if all goes according to plan) be DONE with her family building efforts.

But maybe these aren’t the words others need to read at all. Maybe I’m just pouring salt in already festering wounds. Maybe I’m making it all worse. I guess we never can know how our words touch other people, we can only do what we think is right and hope for the best.

So please know, if you’re reader is brimming over with pregnancies and pregnancy-related posts (including mine) while you wait in the wings, hoping and praying for your own good news, that most–if not all–of us are thinking about you and wishing you the best. I wish the wave could pick up all of us and usher us to our happy endings. I wish that more than I can say.

Are you ever unsure how to acknowledge your good fortune when others are struggling? How do you deal with it as a part of the ALI community?

Why I Blog

This post is part of the PAIL monthly theme, Why We Blog. For more thoughts on this subject, see the list of submissions.

I’ve written a lot over the years about why I blog. Sometimes I need to figure it out for myself in order to recommit. Sometimes an anniversary inspires me to reflect on why I continue to write here. Other times, like today, another post or (the PAIL monthly theme) prompt encourages me to revisit the topic of why I blog.

The truth is, I would have responded to this prompt no matter what because I, unlike most people, really like blogging about blogging. I am fascinated to read about why other people put themselves out there like I do and I love disecting my own reasons for doing so, watching them change–and stay the same–over the years. I was really excited to see the prompt this month and very much look forward to reading all the submissions.

This prompt is also serendipitously timed because I’ve recently been rethinking why I blog. For one, I’m about to (if all goes according to plan) have a second child and officially close the family building chapter of my life. This is a HUGE deal for me and obviously greatly affects my blogging because I started writing in this space specifically to process my thoughts and feelings on TTC and loss and later secondary infertility. If I am officially–and forever–putting TTC and infertility behind me, and loss no longer dictates much of my day to day experience, what will this space become? Will I keep writing here, letting this space evolve with me and my life? Or will I pick up and move somewhere else, allowing the big transition to a new space represent this massive transition in my life?

The other reason I’m revisiting the reasons I blog is because I’ve found, in the last months, that one of the things I love the most about writing here is not something I previously recognized as being important to me. And I’m excited to explore my new found appreciation for this mostly ignored (by me) benefit of blogging.

So here I go, delving into the question of why I blog. I hope you’ll take a few (or more–sorry, this post got LONG) minutes to join me.

I guess, before I can talk about the new reasons I’m blogging, or how my reasons for blogging might change, I should mention how I started blogging and why I’ve kept it up for four years.

I came into TTC differently than most people. I assumed I’d have a hard time and I was very proactive right from the start. I was already going to acupuncture, taking Chinese herbs and charting my BBT before our first official cycle. Having had amenorrhea (the complete lack of menses) for over a decade, I knew I would need help conceiving and I wasn’t about to wait around to see what my body did on it’s own.

Six months into our first attempt at getting pregnant I suffered an ectopic pregnancy. It was after this devastating loss that I decided the FertilityFriend forums just weren’t enough and I followed the advice of a fellow forum poster and started my own blog. I also started reading other people’s blogs and eventually found myself entrenched in the ALI community.

I ended up getting pregnant not long after I starting writing, which made it hard to feel–and let’s be honest–be accepted in the ALI community. But there were enough amazing women who read me (and commented) for me to keep writing. I also knew I was writing as much for myself as for anyone else–purging my fears and anxieties onto the page kept me sane during a really difficult time in my life.

I definitely wondered what would become of my space once my daughter was born but I quickly realized that parenting after struggling with TTC and suffering a loss was difficult in its own ways and I still needed a place to process my thoughts and feelings. With so few friends in my area (and even fewer in my life that had kids)–plus the general isolation of being a new mom–I also desperately needed the community. Additionally, I knew that I was not done building my family and I feared the road we’d be forced to walk down to have another child.

So I kept writing, and I kept reading and I was always fiercely aware of how much my blog, and the women who read it, provided me. Whenever I’d delve into the topic of why I blogged I would come back to the same reasons: I needed to write to process my life and I depended greatly on the friends I’d found through blogging. I blogged for my emotional well being–and my blog cultivated that well being by allowing me to organize my feelings and providing a community where I belonged, and was understood.

Those are the same reasons I will likely keep blogging after my son is born. And I’m almost positive I’ll stay in my current space. The truth is, this space feels like home and I can’t really imagine closing up shop and moving somewhere else. If I did that, there would have to be a definite reason, a specific change in the purpose of my blogging and I don’t believe having my son will change the real reasons why I blog. Even when I’m “all done” with TTC, secondary infertility and loss, they will still be a part of my life. I will still be pondering whether I should look into being a surrogate, so I can really give something back to this community. I will still be very interested in how TTC, loss and infertility are presented in the media. I will still be drawn to the stories of women going through their own journeys and want to give support when I can. Just because those topics will never again dictate the minutia of my days, doesn’t mean they will ever be far from my thoughts.

And there will be plenty of trials and tribulations raising two children  as a working mother (and trying to stay married while I do it). I know I’ll never run out of topics to tackle or problems to vent about. And I will always, ALWAYS, need a community of like-minded women who understand and accept me and make me feel like I belong. So I will keep blogging and I will stay at my space and I will hope that everyone else finds reason enough to hang around as well. Otherwise I’m might get very lonely. ;)

Another reason I don’t want to open a new space to mark my new life outside the immediate grasp of TTC, infertility and loss is because I’d hate to walk away from my archives. Lately I’ve been drawn to my past posts and I’ve realized what an incredible resource they are for me now–and will be for me always. Sometimes I wonder if my blog archives are the most valuable thing I can call my own.

As I mentioned before, my son is due in a month and I suspect he might arrive a little bit sooner. We’ve been pouring over pictures and movies of my daughter as a family, helping prepare our first born for this massive transition from only child to sibling and big sister. Watching the movies and revisiting the pictures with her has realizing how little I remember of that time. How could I have forgotten what she was like when she was an infant? The way she blew raspberries with her whole face or how her arms flapped when she was excited (pretty much all of the time)? How could I forget how her hair curled into that faux hawk on the top of her head or how chubby her cheeks were for the first year of her life? How I could forget those giant, almond shaped eyes? There are so many things about her infant-hood that I have forgotten; I’m so grateful for all the pictures and movies we have to remind me. Watching them makes me so nostalgic for that time and so eager to relive it with my son.

And yet, reading my blog from those same days, weeks, months and years paints a different, but equally true and important, story of what it was like. Just as I’ve been gazing longingly at photos of my baby girl I’m also reliving the early days through my words here on this blog, reminding myself of why it was so hard and how I got through it. Those posts from her early days are equally stark reminds of everything I forgot and I am just as flummoxed as to how those insane days could have faded from my memory. Sometimes I hardly recognize the person who wrote those posts, and yet I know rationally that all those challenges were faced and overcome.

This blog is such an incredible record of the last four years of my life. If I didn’t have the 1110+ posts to revisit I’d have almost no honest recollection from which to draw when I look back at where I’ve been. I suppose it’s fitting that I’m recognizing how important this blog is in making clear to me what paths I’ve traveled, as it will be in helping me to choose a path when moving forward. This blog, this space, is me. Or rather, it is the part of me that would be forgotten if it weren’t written down and the part of me that would never see the light of day if it were never to be shared. And that is why I blog, so that all of me can be known, so that I can have an honest account of where I’m going and an accurate record of where I’ve been. This blog is my truth. It is my past, present and future. It is me. And it is for all those reasons that I blog.

And if that SUPER long post wasn’t enough for you, here are some other posts I’ve written on the subject.

Dear Me from 999 posts ago

Blogging vs. Being a Blogger

Current and Future Purpose

THIS is why I blog

Defending this space

Blogging and Belonging

Once Upon a Blog