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.