My heartfelt thanks to Lauren at On Fecund Thought for nominating me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. In addition to bravely recounting and reporting the deep pain and raw emotions she has experienced since her first pregnancy ended as a missed miscarriage this past March, Lauren’s blog also boasts one of my favorite titles in the blogosphere. (I love me a pun, even when it’s rooted in pain.) I found Lauren when I first started blogging and quickly discovered that her loss happened almost concurrently with my third miscarriage. Over the past three months the emotions she has expressed in her blog have been both familiar and foreign at the same time. Her words have made me critically examine my own oftentimes jaded and unemotional response to my third loss, and have powerfully reminded me of the women I was when I lost my first pregnancy in 2011. I’ve certainly put up an emotional wall over the past two years – rarely stopping to grieve or hope. Lauren’s words remind me that in protecting myself I may also be losing parts of my self, and encourage me to ask how much more am I willing to give to infertility? Thank you, Lauren, for the nomination and for the inspiration that you provide to a bitter old infertile like me!
So, without further ado:
SUPER SWEET BLOGGING AWARD RULES
Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you. (check)
Answer 5 super sweet questions.
Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in the blog post.
Nominate 12 other bloggers.
1. COOKIES OR CAKE?
Ok, I’m gonna fess up. The “super sweet” blogging award, while super sweet, was probably not the best one to nominate me for. I kinda don’t do sweets. I mean, if it’s a birthday I’ll chomp down an obligatory piece of cake or if I’m at a catered work event I’ll indulge in a peanut butter cookie, but generally speaking sweets aren’t my go to. Give me a giant bag of potato chips any day over sweet treats like cookies or cake. If forced? Cookies. More portable, more variety. Though, if there were an option for pie, switch me to that team. I married into a pie crazy family and have come to appreciate my birthday sour cherry pie from the mother-in-law.
2. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?
Vanilla. Preferably with fresh fruit and hot fudge. It’s healthy then, right?
3. FAVOURITE SWEET TREAT?
None of the above? Probably shortbread cookies, though. Not so much the eating but the making as it inevitably reminds me of days around the kitchen table with my mom.
4. WHEN DO YOU CRAVE SWEET THINGS THE MOST?
Rarely do, but when I do it’s usually a temporary and unexplained binge. Kinda like the non-stop ice cream gorge-fest that’s been going on since the weather got warmer. Though, that could also be the Gonal…
5. SWEET NICKNAME?
I’ve had many nicknames, but I’m pretty certain none of them were sweet. 😉
Wow, this the tough part. I highly recommend all the blogs on my blogroll to the right and encourage you all to use the comments section here to recommend others. As a means of a “I can’t take all this pressure” cop out, I’m going about this strategically. I’ve been looking for a way to more fully give back to the many folks who have taken time out of their lives to leave a comment on this blog over the past several months. So, here are my top 12 commenters with blogs (by number of comments left):
- I first found Josey’s My Cheaper Version of Therapy when I blogged in response to her and another ALI blogger’s discussions of the differences between healing and finding resolution from infertility and developing infertility amnesia. Since that time Josey has regularly stopped by here to wish me luck, commiserate, and lend a knowing ear. After 21 months TTC and medical intervention she welcomed her daughter to the world in 2011. She is now one of the (growing many) women I know in the ALI community who is pregnant with a naturally conceived second child after a much more difficult battle for sticky pregnancy number 1. These stories always provide me with a hope I’m almost afraid to speak – that ever unspoken dream that this uphill climb will be rewarded and won’t be required when it comes time for number 2.
- Melanie at Our Last Embryo was another early find in my fledgling blogging days and has been around for most of it both here and on Twitter. We share an endometriosis diagnosis, a reproductive immunologist, and state of residence. I wish, however, that fewer hours and miles separated us so that I could thank her in person for her support, and hug her tightly after her recent failed IVF cycle. Melanie’s story regularly reminds me that terrible things too often happen to good people, but her strength and optimism fill me with certainty that her journey is far from over.
- The first time Em from Teach Me to Braid commented on my blog she brought me to tears. In response to my Join the Movement post for NIAW she wrote, in part, “What a powerful voice you have. You are a cornerstone in this movement.” If there was any moment that made me feel that what I was doing with this blog was actually important, was more than just hubris, reading that comment was the moment. Now, I think she over-sells me a bit, but I do agree with her on one point – we all have powerful voices and we need to find our own ways to use them most effectively. Em is currently in the throes of TTC#2 and, while I’m sad to hear of her difficulties with the medical community, it’s also another refreshing reminder that I’m not alone in occasionally wanting to throw an MD or two out the window.
- Rain Before Rainbow follows the ups, downs, and inbetweens of someone TTC#1 after two prior losses and an endometriosis diagnosis. Notice any similarities here? I find myself shaking my head to her posts far too often and her blog has been one that I regularly go back to. She discusses with impressive clarity many of the emotional interpersonal/societal aspects of IF I’ve largely left out of my blog because I can’t quite gain the perspective on them that she has.
- Even if she hadn’t nominated me, Lauren of On Fecund Thought would be on this list for all the reasons discussed above and more.
- A Crack in Everything follows the IF journey of an aspiring single mother by choice. After initially trying to conceive in 2008 with a partner with known fertility issues, a move and a consult and blood work with a new RE revealed that partner had HIV (that had thankfully not been passed on). As she writes, “[…] our relationship ended, and it felt more like a death than a divorce. A lot of plans and dreams we’d shared also ended abruptly, all at the same time.”
- Kitten at Yet Another Bitter Infertile boasts another of my all-time favorite blog titles, while also providing a brutally honest retelling of one woman’s perspective on infertility. Trying to conceive since January 2011, Kitten has suffered both a miscarriage and a Stage IV endometriosis diagnosis. I appreciate the mix of humor and non-IF posts she brings to her blog, and find myself commiserating with her as we’ve both had to deal with more than our fair share of delays lately.
- Globetrotting Canadian ex-pat blogger Sadie of Invincible Spring frequently leaves me longing to travel thanks to the many travel photos that decorate her blog. After a second trimester loss and two additional miscarriages, Sadie is one of the many whose time is long since over due. While the travel pics lure me in and leave me drooling, it’s her humor and candor that bring me back again and again.
- Sarah at The Mamas Rapscallion won me as a forever follower when I read the following: “I live with my beautiful wife, Tammy, and our adorable/asshole cat, Baker. We live in our recently purchased old house, which we attempt to keep from crumbling to the ground as we admire the charming crown molding.” As the owner of two asshole cats and an old house that’s more crumble than walls, I felt an instant kinship. Sarah is currently pregnant with her IVF bundle of joy and I couldn’t be fucking happier. Oh, and I also love her potty mouth… reminds me of someone.
- Erika of First Comes Love describes herself as “perpetually pre-pregnant” and I totally get that feeling. I’m hoping her current break after four back-to-back treatment cycles does her good emotionally and physically and that she crosses into the land of pregnant and, better yet, post-pregnant very, very soon!
- Another winner for bestest title ever is ImmotileTurtle. A presence on Twitter as well, the Immotile Turtle discusses her life with the double whammy of PCOS and male-factor infertility. We both started TTC on the younger side of things, both battle PCOS, and both severely dislike birth control. I’m so anxious to follow along with her current IVF#2.
- Last, but certainly not least, Whitney from Whitney & Erick is an inspiration due to her tireless work for the infertility community and total openness and transparency on her and her husband’s path to parenthood. After 7.5 years, 3 IUIs, 2 surgeries, 6 IVF cycles, and 5 miscarriages, Whitney and Erick are currently expecting twins via surrogacy. Whitney volunteers for RESOLVE and was honored by them as an “Infertility Hero” in 2012. She served as the vice co-chair of Advocacy Day in 2013 and will co-chair in 2014. During this year’s NIAW she and her husband bravely shared their story in the Roanoke Times. What can I say? She’s an IF rockstar. Thanks for all that you do, Whitney and Erick!
So, many thanks to all the above for stopping by and commenting on this blog over the past several months.
I have to say, when I got the nod for the Super Sweet Blogging Award I was equal parts honored and reminded of elementary school chain letters and the earliest of email spam due to its “rules.” However, when I realized participating would give me a way to thank those that have supported me, while also (hopefully) driving increased traffic to these amazing blogs I was suddenly all on board. So, I participated despite visions of animated GIFs, personal Geocities sites, and instant messages of a/s/l? floating in my head. This is a long way of saying, don’t feel compelled to participate in kind if you don’t want to; you’ve all already given so much already!
And, the sweet cravings
The other thing this nomination and subsequent exercise has me thinking about is how I can better drive traffic to my own lowly blog. I feel like I’ve hit saturation levels via my current means and, at the risk of sounding totally narcissistic and needy, I know there are probably others out there going through what I’m going through that would appreciate reading the ramblings of this stimmed-up madwoman. Don’t get me wrong, I will continue to write whether 1 or 100 are following, but find me an academic that wouldn’t prefer their work to be widely read and their journal’s impact factor to rise. What can I say, my ego’d like to hit another all-time viewership record. Would you all mind helping me out? 🙂