February 3, 2010

Guess what?!?

Posted in Blog, Infertility, Life at 7:30 am by lifebytheday

Yesterday was my one-year blogging anniversary, and I DIDN’T EVEN REMEMBER!!  Probably still wouldn’t have, if one of my favorites hadn’t mentioned that hers was coming up soon as well.  I was like “Wait, didn’t I start my blog before Jo??” 😉  Oy.  I guess I just have a lot on my mind, huh?

It’s funny to go back and read my first few posts.  We were still on our break from treatments, so they were much more focused on “life”…S, Bailey, our house.  When I started the blog, I think I was sure I’d be pregnant by my one-year anniversary, but to be honest, this blog is probably the one reason why I’m okay that I’m not.  That doesn’t really make sense, I know, and it isn’t really 100% accurate…obviously, I’m not really “okay” that I’m not pregnant.  But this blog (and all of my wonderful readers) has been a way for me to express my feelings, and get support and opinions from some very smart people.  People that care enough to read about my crazy thoughts and not-very-funny stories, and keep coming back for more!  Seriously, are you guys gluttons for punishment, or what?? 😉

But really, this blog has been like a diary, but so much better.  I can bare my soul as needed, but because I’m also writing for an audience, I find that I spend more time trying to explain my feelings, which also helps me to process and understand them.  And on top of that, knowing that people are taking time out of their day to come to my little piece of the world, I feel more pressure to keep up with the blog on a regular basis.  I still haven’t managed to get the post-every-day thing down pat, but I’m trying.

I also have to give S some serious credit for his support of this blog.  Clearly, I’m not a real private person…I like talking about what’s going on in my life, and a good number of my real-life friends know most, if not all, of what has been going on.  However, S does NOT.  S would rather no one knew about anything until we showed up with a child, and that involves anything to do with our sex life, our disagreements…fill-in-the-blank.  So I’ve tried to walk a fine line between fulfilling my need for release, and maintaining S’s request for privacy.  Some days that balance isn’t quite right, so you’ll find me editing posts after the fact…and other days, I find myself writing in code, desperately trying to express my feelings despite my self-censor.  I’m hoping that I’ll find an appropriate balance as my blog continues to develop, but for now, I just want to thank S for letting me talk about him at all!

Out of curiosity, I just went to take a look at my blog stats, and as of today, my blog has received7,777 hits.  Considering that my favorite number is 7, I’d say that’s a pretty good sign, wouldn’t you?  Definitely not as high as your 30,000 Jo, but in my defense, I think I’m in more of a niche market. 😉 LOL!

November 20, 2009

The kindness of strangers (and friends)!

Posted in Blog, Infertility, Life tagged at 4:30 pm by lifebytheday

I was reading the RESOLVE bulletin board updates this morning and clicked on a discussion called “You know you’re infertile when…”  Some of the responses were sad, many were hysterically funny…and some just hit too close to home.  The one that struck me the most read “You know you’re infertile when…At one point or another you want to smack just about everyone you love, but then cry over the failed fertility treatments of perfect strangers.” 

While I don’t necessarily agree with the first part of that statement (more on that later), the second piece rang so true for me.  Since I’ve become a part of this fantastic infertility community (almost 100% online!), I have been constantly amazed by how much support perfect strangers are able to provide one another.  There are very few people we know IRL (in real life) that know exactly the right thing to say at any given time (those who do know who you are ;-)), and it makes such a difference to be able to talk to and hear from other people going through the same thing.  Although we may still be jealous of other people’s BFP’s, it takes a true infertile to empathize with (yet another!) BFN, or delayed cycle, or insurance issue, or…fill in the blank. 

For so long, I put off creating a blog, thinking that no one would be interested in anything I had to say…and then even after I had started, sometimes the pressure was paralyzing!  I’ve gradually realized that, for me, the therapeutic value of writing is as, if not more, important, and that I don’t necessarily care if other people read it.  With that said, the “community” is really what makes a difference, and I LOVE hearing from readers.  If I can help even one person feel like they’re not alone, then my blog will have been a success. 

So back to part one of that comment…yes, there are occasionally times when I want to kill someone, usually a member of my family.  [One of my lowest moments was a SCREAMING match with my brother, mid-Lupron, followed by a stalemate that led to us not speaking for MONTHS.  Our relationship has just recently recovered.]  But there are other times when I am surprised anew by how lucky I am to have certain people in my life. 

I had a funny conversation yesterday with one of my best friends (she writes a great fitness/life blog, check it out!), where we spent 20 minutes over IM moaning about the parts of our body that we didn’t like.  My favorite part of the whole exchange was that each time I would say something, she would contradict me or tell me about something she loved about me, and vice versa.  Although that convo wasn’t IF related, it made me realize that there are so many people in my life who love and support me, and I feel very grateful.

So – along the lines of yesterday’s post – just a big thank you to everyone who has ever commented on my blog, given me a hug (or a reality check!), or put up with my Lupron mood swings. 😉  You mean more than you’ll ever know.

November 19, 2009

The power of writing.

Posted in Blog, Life at 4:23 pm by lifebytheday

Yesterday’s post was the second time I used my blog as a way to download all of the random and contradictory thoughts swirling around in my head.  It was certainly not the first or second time my blog has proven its therapeutic value, but it amazes me how much clearer I feel about an issue, just by writing it all down.  It’s almost like I can clear out my head enough to make a decision…and it seems to have worked that way both times. 

By the time I finished my blog, posted it, and went back to the published link to proofread (I know, I know…an occupational hazard of being an editor ;-))…I pretty much knew what my decision would be.  Comments from my lovely readers then serve to solidify my decision…it’s fascinating, even if people don’t have the same opinion as me, the contradiction helps me judge the commitment to my decision.

So, all that to say THANK YOU.  Thanks for listening, thanks for commenting, and thanks for creating a community where I feel comfortable enough to share!  And in case you’re wondering…I’ve decided to go full steam ahead with everything.  Whatever happens, happens…wish me luck! 😉

October 28, 2009

Blogs, friends, and awards

Posted in Blog, Friends, Infertility tagged at 10:35 am by lifebytheday

I’ve been meaning to write this post for two weeks…thanking Kari over at Baby Steps for sharing these blog awards with me, and passing them on to my wonderful blogging friends!!  Kari has been a great blogosphere find – she also suffers from PCOS, but has been through SO much on top of that.  We’re all saying prayers that this treatment will be her last.

The first award is called the Kreativ Blogger:

Here are the rules for this award:
1.Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2.Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3.Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4.Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5.Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6.Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7.Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

My 7 things:

1. I was a cheerleader in HS, and (not so) secretly want to be a coach for the team in my town.
2. I LOVE romance novels, esp. historical ones.
3. I’d like to write a book someday (preferably a romance novel, see #3 ;-)).
4. I would love to be a SAHW, but I’d want to take classes and go shopping and hang out at the spa all day, so not only would I not be making any money, but I’d be spending it hand over fist! 😉
5. I have champagne taste, but a beer budget.
6. I love looking at the fabric books at S’ shop.  I have tons of ideas and would love to do interior decorating someday.
7. I love to cook, but barely get the chance to anymore.  If S had to wait for me to get home to start dinner every night, he’d DIE of hunger. 😛

And now, the award recipients!!  These are the people who inspire me, encourage me, and make me laugh.  A huge shout out (and HUG) to all my blogging sisters!

1. Confessions of a Married Couple
2. I am Stacey
3. (In)fertile Myrtle
4. To Be Determined
5. Eat, Drink, Breathe, Sweat
6. This is Why I Date
7. Growing More than Vegetables

Kari also gave me a second award – THANK YOU!! – called “All we need is a little LOVE!”  I love Kari for her honesty and strength in spite of some major challenges.

This blog is about sisters uniting together and giving others some love because life is hard and who couldn’t use a little love? The rules for this award is simple.  I LOVE YOU=8 letters which gives you 8 rules 🙂

Here are the rules:
1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award and write a little bit about why you love them.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Nominate no more than 17 people (why 17?) who you love or you think could use some love.
5-Write one word (you can only use a word once) about what you love about their blog.
6-You cannot nominate someone who has already been nominated-the love has to spread to all.
7-Post links to the 17 blogs you nominate.
8-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

Here we go!

1. Confessions of a Married Couple – reality
2. I am Stacey – friendly
3. (In)fertile Myrtle – honest
4. To Be Determined – strength
5. Eat, Drink, Breathe, Sweat – motivation
6. This is Why I Date – Bridget 😉
7. Growing More than Vegetables – growing
8. Big Mama – laughs
9. The Pioneer Woman – family
10. Infertility Instability – farm-life
11. Bottoms Off and On The Table – determination
12. Romancing the Stone – support
13. Still Waiting For My Sunshine – newbie 😉
14. The Clanahan Fam – faith
15. Preheated Oven: Where is My Bun? – twins!

September 5, 2009

Reflections and re-posts

Posted in Blog, Life at 9:30 am by lifebytheday

This was my first ever blog post – a year ago, in August 2008 – posted to a writing community website, hosted by a family friend.  It’s really funny to re-read, definitely a different tone than my current blog…but I thought it was appropriate to share now because it’s about our vacation spot up in Maine, where we’ll be for the long weekend. 

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, RELAXING Labor Day weekend – see you Tuesday!!

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My Special Place

   Do you have a special place?  Somewhere that gives you peace and fills you with joy, just by virtue of you being there?  My special place may not seem that special to others, but to me – and to my family – it’s heaven on earth.

   Since I can remember – in fact, since my parents were teenagers – my family has spent the 4th of July weekend, Labor Day, and the first week of August, on a small lake in central Maine.  When my mother and her siblings were young, my grandparents bought a small cottage on the sandy shores of Pleasant Lake.  I grew up with this magical place as a getaway and it’s one of the things that I’ve never taken for granted.

   Now, you have to understand, staying at the cottage means roughing it – no toilets (outhouse behind the house), no hot water (cold water pumped from the lake to the sink and an outside shower), and no entertainment (t.v. and video games are categorically not allowed).  But because of this, being at the lake encouraged us (my brothers, cousins, friends, and I) to think outside the box.  On sunny days, we can be found out on the beach, in the water, or behind a boat.  Rainy days present an unique challenge – I think I’ve played more cards and board games in that one-room cottage than anywhere else on earth!  When we were younger, we did things like collecting rocks and painting them like Easter eggs, which gradually evolved to games like flashlight tag and cops ‘n robbers as we grew up.  For many of my cousins and friends, Pleasant Lake is where we came of age – first kisses, first drinks, and best friends.

   Our cottage is shared between my mother and our family, and the families of her four siblings, and many of the neighbors have similar arrangements – cottages shared among children, grandchildren, and, for some, even great-grandchildren!  Close relationships have developed between the families – unique bonds from a special shared experience.  I know that I can go through the winter without talking to any of our neighbors (with the exception of a Christmas card perhaps) and pick up right where we’ve left off come summertime. 

   Pleasant Lake (and the community it entails) is so important to us all that often girlfriends and boyfriends must be given “the lake test” before the relationship becomes really serious.  Not only must they survive the rustic conditions (extra points if it rains!), but they must actually enjoy it, and must gain the approval (silent or not-so-silent) of the extended lake family.  I had one boyfriend that did not pass the test, while my husband – a city boy from Dublin – passed with flying colors.  Our friends at the lake know us as well (if not better than!) as the other members of our family and we are all blessed to have these people in our lives.

   There is nothing better than waking up to the sound of camp bells across the lake, walking out to the end of the dock with a cup of coffee in hand, looking across at the mist rising off of the still, gray water.  Or going inside to escape the late afternoon sun and falling asleep with the wind blowing through the open doors and the waves lapping at the shore.  Or sitting beside a crackling campfire, making s’mores, telling jokes and listening to stories repeated year after year, and watching the stars appear in the inky blue sky.

   If I could only live in one place for the rest of my life, I’d choose our cottage on Pleasant Lake – outhouse and all!  What is your special place?

July 8, 2009

Why I blog

Posted in Blog, Infertility at 9:30 am by lifebytheday

I recently came across a fellow IF-sufferer’s new blog – http://ifashley.blogspot.com/.  Ashley has eloquently (much more so than I ever could) explained why she has created her blog – and her reasons rang so true for me, so I thought I’d share them. (Ashley – hope you don’t mind!)

Why would I share something so deeply personal with random strangers? There are a few reasons:

1. Sensitivity training. Even though I know in my heart that you are just excited, it can sometimes be brutally painful to look at pictures of your uterus on Facebook or hear how you get pregnant just by looking at a (fill in the blank with your word or choice). Watching people rub their bellies or going to a dinner where the only thing people talk about is their pregnancies can lead to days of misery for someone like me, which leads me to #2 . . . .

2. 20% of people have issues with infertility. Maybe you know someone else who is not so forthcoming with this information who you care about who is also silently suffering. Most infertile people do not share this with others and that is a personal decision. But if they do, I hope I can inspire you to show support for their struggles by airing out my dirty laundry on the internet.

3. Education. I had no idea what some people have to go through to accomplish parenthood. I have learned many hard, but good lessons. There are all different ways to achieve this if you are struggling. I am a regular person. I am not OctoMom. I am not rich. I do not desire this to control what type of baby I have. I just really want to enjoy the experience of becoming a parent, but my body refuses to perform the functions necessary to get there. And also, I don’t need to just relax, I have a medical issue (in case you were thinking of saying that). Most medical insurance companies do not cover this because it is not treated as a disease so maybe you can learn a little and realize there is a lot to going through infertility.

4. You may be where I am. If you are struggling with this, I want you to know that you aren’t on your own. Infertility sucks, it is up and down. I have no idea what I’m doing with this IVF and hope that I can help someone else out by providing real life information about the process.

5. You might be nosy. Hey, maybe you just want to read about someone else’s business! That’s cool, I do it all the time. Maybe you are one of the people who have asked me 7 million times when I’m going to have kids, so here is your answer (don’t worry, I forgive you).

6. Therapy. Getting it out makes me feel better!

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For me, #’s 2, 4 and 6 are the big ones – I feel better getting my thoughts and feelings out of my head and onto the screen, and if I can find someone else going through the same thing (to either help or use as a resource), then all the better!  I’ve also found that the more I talk about it and educate people, the fewer insensitive comments I hear.  I hope that by more women talking about infertility, we’ll raise awareness for all future mothers (and fathers!)-to-be!

April 7, 2009

Blogging

Posted in Blog at 3:31 pm by lifebytheday

When I started this blog, it was with two main goals.  The first was a need to get the thoughts and feelings out of my head and into some form of journal, and the second was an attempt to start writing more regularly, even if it was just a few lines of a blog posting every day.  I also felt like it would be nice to join the huge online IF community, in some form other than lurking. 😉  I didn’t tell many people at first, partly because I didn’t know whether I’d be able to keep up with it, and partly because I questioned whether anything I had to say would be interesting enough for anyone else to want to read it!

So clearly I haven’t been able to keep up with it as much as I’d like – i.e. my last blog post was a week ago – but I’m still really trying to make a go of it.  My excuse is that I really try to be fully wherever I am (so when I’m home, I try to stay off the computer and hang out with S, and when I’m at work, I try to keep the web surfing to a minimum ;-)), but these lofty goals are really hampering my blogging!  I guess all I can do is my best, which is to jump right back on the wagon when I fall off.  So here I am.

I still don’t know whether I’m saying anything unique or interesting, but I appreciate all of you that are following my ramblings nonetheless!  I have to tell you what a rush it was to receive my first comment from someone in the blogosphere (someone I didn’t know In-Real-Life).  And that’s not to ignore my wonderful IRL friends who encouraged me to see this through, and who read and comment on my posts regularly.  Thanks guys, mwah! 🙂  I know that there is such a wonderful community of people out there, many of whom have had the same feelings and experiences, and I look forward to reading your blogs and hearing your stories!  I hope that this blog resonates with others – if so, I’d love to hear from you.  Thanks for stopping by! 🙂