Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts

Versatile Blogger Award

I am a little behind in accepting this award, but am so happy to send a big thank you hug out to CowGirl at Little Steps to Baby Steps and Kakunaa at Spermination Station.

I can't help but wonder what exactly is a versatile blogger and where do these awards come from? I tried to search google for the original versatile blogger award, and then looked at all the image results too. Did you know that there are two versions of the Versatile Blogger award out there? I think this one is prettier :)

I also wasn't totally sure that I knew the meaning of versatile, so I looked that up too. I really love google and being able to learn new things at the touch of the keyboard! In case you are curious here are a few definitions of versatile on the Web:

  • having great diversity or variety; "his various achievements are impressive"; "his vast and versatile erudition"
  • changeable or inconstant; "versatile moods"
  • competent in many areas and able to turn with ease from one thing to another; "a versatile writer"
  • able to move freely in all directions; "an owl's versatile toe can move backward and forward"; "an insect's versatile antennae can move up and down or laterally"; "a versatile anther of a flower moves freely in the wind"
Interesting, and pretty much what I thought it meant. I like to think that I am a pretty competent gal and able to move from one thing to the next with ease. For better or worse, I've also recently realized just how 'versatile' my moods can be! ha. 

In accepting this award, I am supposed to share a few things about me and nominate a few other bloggers for the award, however I just don't know what to say about myself right now, and I am going to pass on passing this award on. (thats just the kind of mood I'm in at the moment.) 


Shout Out to a New Friend

I just wanted to quickly welcome StarFishKittyDreams to this wonderful blogging community! She just stared her own blog Waiting for Baby and is stuck that difficult waiting place. Her journey started with a positive pregnancy test in early 2008 that ended in a miscarriage, another positive pregnancy test in 2009 that ended in a miscarriage, and now a positive pregnancy test but an ultrasound that is showing growing yet empty gestational sac.

From the moment I first met StarFishKittyDreams I appreciated her welcoming spirit and her positive outlook on the future. She is a beautiful soul and I am so happy to introduce her to my other blogging friends. Please drop by her little corner of this interweb and let her know that she is not alone on this journey.


Whale Breath

As a follow-up to that awesome training I did two weeks ago I had a meeting planned yesterday to meet with a few of the other participants. You know how there are people who you feel so lucky to have crossed paths with - I feel so grateful to get to work with these two individuals. They are social scientists who have the most brilliant way of understanding group dynamics, group process, and how to actually get things done. We all work on a community collaborative as representative of our various organizations. They are a bit older and more experienced than I and really awesome mentors.

So yesterday morning I get an email asking if we could meet on a whale watching boat instead of at the office! Umm, Heck yeah! I was even able to bring my two girl cousins who are visiting for the weekend. So we bundled up and loaded up on the boat. As we headed out into the Pacific Ocean, the social scientists and I had the most productive discussion about how to proceed with our work. Before too long we were awed by the spouts of humpback whales. Pretty awesome to see these huge creatures breathing just above the water line.

My sweet cousins have never before been on a boat and were as impressed as two teenage delinquents could be expected to be.

Then we got lucky, the captain spotted a blue whale. We motored along to get closer and were overcome by the nastiest smell. Apparently Whale Breath is really gross smelling! We were in the vicinity of the largest animal in existence. And then it spouted - 30 ft into the air! Just as awesome was seeing it dive back down into the sea. I found this video on YouTube - not from our trip, but just as amazing. The span of their tail can be 25 feet wide!

At the training I had a fun conversation with the lady social scientist about wanting to tour all of the local outdoor fire-pits and write up reviews for them to post on a blog. The local Spa's too. I figure it would be a great excuse to explore my community a bit more and encourage me to keep writing.  So as we were boarding the boat, we started talking about social networking and the blurring line between privacy and self censorship. They were saying that they are selective about what they say in their social networks, because of the public nature of their work, yet we agreed that writing was a powerful process of self-reflection that allowed us to see problems and ourselves in a different light.

I don't know what I was thinking, but I confessed. I confessed to these friends that I had a secret blog, one that no one knew about, one where I didn't have to self-censor. I don't know why I told them, other than that it was an itty bitty teeny weeny step towards being more open about this whole experience.

Along the lines of being more open, and little bits of advocacy, I was at a healthcare forum last week with our Federal and State elected representatives. They were taking questions from the audience on little notecards. The question I submitted was about infertility mandates on health insurance, as a way to reduce the rates of multiples who require expensive NICU stays. At one point after I turned in my card I had the urge to run to the podium, interrupt the dialogue, and take back my card. I suddenly didn't feel strong enough to listen to then answer the question. A few deep breaths and I got my composure together. They ran out of time and never got to my question, but I am sure that the Reps at least read the remaining pile of questions and saw mine. Maybe it planted a little seed in their minds.

My awesome boss submitted the letter I prepared asking my employer to switch to an insurance plan that covered infertility services. She was gone last week, but we received a memo that the insurance rates will be increasing. Isn't that normally the same time that the whole insurance package is reviewed and the opportunity to make changes? I took the liberty of calling HR to follow up on her letter and ask them if now was the time to consider changes. I was informed that they were researching and preparing a response to my boss's letter. God, it would be so freakin awesome if I could get my employer to make a change like that! I would feel like superwoman!

Before I sign-off I want to send the biggest congratulations and lots of love to Julie and Jeff who are PREGNANT!!! 


Baby Showers and Blog Posts

My best friend was twenty weeks pregnant when we got our azoos diagnosis. I had always pictured us being pregnant together.  I hosted her shower a few months after that. It was an intimate brunch with her closest friends and family. I sat at the table with tears running down my face. We went around the table to share words of wisdom as she became a mother and to share the meaning of our gifts to her. I had so much to say, but was unable to speak. It was all I could do not to burst out sobbing. The tears just rolled down my cheeks, my chin quivering on the verge. I love her so much and wanted so much to be a part of this special occasion, but the pain I felt was almost unbearable. Somehow I held myself together. I later apologized to her for not being able to say the things that I wanted to that day. She understood. She is a good friend.

I worried that seeing her baby would be hard for me. I wanted so much to love this little girl. We arrived at the hospital shortly after the birth, sweet baby was passed around to grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle, and then to me. The tears came, but they were not of my pain, they were of a happiness and love for this little girl who had been born to the most wonderful family, of which I was a part. It was easy to place the little bundle back into the arms of my friend, her mother, right were she belonged. It was totally different than the baby shower. While I long to experience motherhood, this perfect little baby is somehow separate from that longing. I don't long for that baby, I long for my baby.

Another childhood friend recently had a baby shower. It was a long awaited pregnancy, following years of infertility, and I really am so happy for her. But I had the hardest time getting out of bed the morning of her shower. Instead I curled up and watched the 16 and pregnant marathon, and cried. I finally got to the shower an hour late. I smiled and managed not to cry, but actively avoided any conversations. I stayed long enough to participate in a few of the activities and watch her open my present, a little baby blanket that I made for her sweet baby girl. Then I left.  She understood, I know she hurts for me still. 
My sister in law has two adorable little ones. I love visiting them and wish they lived closer to us. Being with my nephew and niece has been okay too. These sweet little kids are hers, and while I love to visit them, I don't have any desire for her kids. I long for my family, the family that my lover and I will raise and love and nurture.
So many of our friends are starting their families. One couple, who I suspect may have struggled with infertility themselves, are celebrating the first birthday of their adorable little son later this month. This circle of friends does not know about out struggle. The thought of going to the birthday, of the people we'd see, and the conversations that are bound to take place, its more than I am up for. I don’t think that it is the baby that I am avoiding, it is the grown-up, the wives. I sent this friend an email, thanking her for the invite and saying that we love them but won’t be able to come to the party. I hope that she understands, even though she doesn’t know what’s going on with us right now. I’d hate to have her think that we are avoiding them because they are in a different place in life now. Its not that. 
I left the longest comment yesterday. I didn't realize how long it was until I submitted it. That comment became the basis of this post. There are so many incredible posts that really get me thinking. This post is really in response to two recent posts:

Mrs. Wood at Our Adventure with Infertility wrote a post about not being able to attend a friends baby shower. It is a struggle that got me thinking about the showers I’ve been to this past year and the emotions that have emerged.

Katie at 'from IF to when' wrote a post about bellies vs babies. It is an insightful post and really shines a light on what it is that I am feeling. I want so much for the experience of being pregnant, of having my belly grow big and round, of having my lover feel my stomach and the life growing inside with love and tenderness. I want that so much. I think about that so much. 

the celebration society

One of the most wonderful things about being a part of this blog community is being able to read what others have written. I've discovered some of the most incredible amazing posts by the most talented writers. Your stories are so often my story, and your fears are my fears. Seeing the words already written down, articulated so beautifully is the most comforting reassuring experience. For the first time I don't feel quite so alone. I feel validated. I feel like I've found a safe place to explore my thoughts and emotions and fears and hopes. I feel understood in the most wonderful way, by you and by myself. 

I love leaving comments. I love leaving comments, even more than I love receiving comments. I love being able to say how a post makes me think and feel. I appreciate being able to express my appreciation to the author, to let them know that their post, their writing, their story has touched me in a meaningful way. 

Apparently I am not alone in this desire to appreciate my fellow bloggers! One of Mel's special projects right now is the Celebration Society.  Mel describes it as one of the most interesting delurking projects you'll ever participate in.  You can read the whole background story at Mel's celebration society post. Basically, the celebration society is a way for you to tell me what my blog or comments mean to you.  Really what I am hoping is that you will do the same on your blog - join the celebration society and create a place on your blog where I can tell you how much I appreciate YOU.

Ohhh - BTW - I just discovered that there are a few follow-up comments waiting for me at posts I have visited recently. I stumbled on a few of them, and can only assume that there are others that I might have missed.  As I said before, I love leaving comments, and would love to read your follow-up post, however I don't know that you replied to me unless you let me know. There must be a better way to keep track of comments, like a gadget or something that keeps track of the posts I comment on - if you know about something please let me know!

Nelson Mandela

A friend gave me a copy today of this 1994 Inaugural Speech from Nelson Mandela. It lifted my spirits and validated my need to make my voice strong on this IF journey. 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

Yesterday afternoon I was hit with a wave of sadness that I haven't felt for a while. I was in the car driving home, maybe it was a song on the radio, maybe it was that I missed him, maybe it was just that I've done so much emotional work these past few weeks that I was tired, and I got sad.  It was that heavy exhaustion, that settle in your stomach on the verge of tears sad. It reminded me of the hopeless sad that I felt for so long after our initial diagnosis, but it was much lighter than that. 

The emotion persisted through the evening and woke up with me this morning. I hate being such a grump at work. Then this afternoon a friend gave me this poem, and the wave almost immediately started to settle. I thought about the people that I work with and how amazing they are. I thought about the people I volunteer with and the way their passion inspires everyone around them. I thought about my bff and the way she embraces motherhood and trusts her instincts to meet the needs of her little one so lovingly. And I thought about you, the way you all share your stories, your truths, so openly. Your presence has done so much to expose my fears, the fears I don't have words for yet and the fears I have words for but am still afraid to talk about. Your honesty has liberated me in so many ways, and I am so grateful to share my honesty with with you now. 

Lemon Cheesecake

We made my mom the most delicious lemon cheesecake for Mothers Day dinner. It was so good, and I ate way too much.  I thought that Mothers Day might be hard, but it was fine. I am grateful to have such a wonderful mom and family. I am happy for my friends who have perfect little ones and are expecting perfect little ones. It was my mom who brought it up, who expressed her grief for me and hope that maybe next year there will be reason to celebrate.

Hope has been so elusive, and although I feeling a thousand times better recently, I still can't bring myself to think that "maybe next year at this time" we will be parents. There is way too much hope in a statement like that.

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I read a study that there are a disproportionate number of female bloggers. The researchers found that teens and young women were empowered in communicating their thoughts and feelings and ideas and fears in the form of a blog. Blogs offered a mix of diary-writing and public validation. I've been thinking about this blog for a long time and ready to give it  try. I need my voice now more than ever.

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