Random header image... Refresh for more!

309th Friday Blog Roundup

Last night, the twins went to bed sobbing.  The ChickieNob curled up like a comma in her bed, her back to me, and cried quietly into her pillow.  Her brother tipped his head back, tears streaming down his face, wailing as if I had just told him that I was going to put all of his stuffed animals through the shredder.  The source of their grief: bow-tie Mike, the Jeopardy champion.

Our friend rocked the buzzer all night, and we bounced up and down on my bed, cheering her on (shrieking loudest when she got what is Candide because it’s one of my favourite books).  She went into the final question with an enormous pot of cash.  She wagered it all — a gutsy move — and was felled by a manatee (curse you, manateeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.  And seals tooooooooooooooo).

I was truly upset for her because it was such a frustrating loss, but I couldn’t even focus on that disappointment because the twins looked as if Alex Trebek had taken a dump on her scoreboard.  And then their faces crumpled.  And the closing credits song played to their heartfelt cries.  I was trying not to laugh, but all I could think of was how terrible it was that my Flip video was downstairs because I would have loved to film it and send it to Alex Trebek.

All in all, it was incredibly cool to watch our friend on television.  She was calm and cool and smart and quick.  And she rocked that red top.


The Weekly What If: what if you were holding a box with $10,000 inside.  There were two boxes in front of you.  One has a million dollars and one contains nothing.  Would you switch your box holding $10,000 for one of the two boxes on the table?  It’s Deal or No Deal … blog style. (I’ve actually never seen that show, so I’m not sure if this is exactly how the game is played, but I’ve often wondered how many people would trade something pretty damn good for the chance to win something fantastic with the possibility of losing it all.  How many play it safe and how many go-big-or-go-home?)


Something really cool happened.  An autism blogger joined on for the last IComLeavWe because IComLeavWe is not only open to anyone in the blogosphere (blog writer or not), but that diversity is encouraged.  She read through dozens of infertility blogs and learned more about our stories.  And then she wrote about IComLeavWe and her post went up on the Autism Blogs Directory, where Kim and Kathleen are building a similar community to the ALI community amongst autism bloggers.  And others said, “that is a damn fine idea to read more about their stories and hopefully they will learn more about ours.”  And a bridge is born.

Autism Mom Rising writes,

Reading their blogs I felt empathy. Is that strange since I don’t share those fertility issues personally? Not really. These blogs house stories of struggle and actualization, from the joys of motherhood to the agony of child loss. I may be fertile but I know grief and loss. My child is still with me, but I did lose my son as I knew him. Of course, this is not the same as actually losing a child, but grief recognizes grief, no matter the degree or manifestation. Such loss splits the heart in a million pieces, then sends them out compassionately in all directions. ICLW week is electric. You can feel it in the air as people buzz from blog to blog leaving a little dose of positivity behind. My blog had so many wonderful new visitors.

And that’s exactly it.  IComLeavWe is, of course, about comments (because blogging is a conversation).  But it’s also about reading someone else’s story, really thinking about it, and then writing something intelligent back to them to let them know that their words haven’t disappeared into the ether.  It’s about making a connection, building a bridge between your life experiences and an unknown situation.  And I think it rocks that another community has shown up big time.


And now, the blogs…

Are We There Yet has a post about being pregnant after infertility.  She is attending childbirth classes and still attending her infertility support group, feeling as if she knows too much to completely let go, but still has faith that things will work out.  I love her final moment juxtaposing her own internal answer to the midwife’s question in yoga class.

The Young and the Infertile has a post exploring what it means to not be extraordinary by random societal measures.  In discussing jealousy over reading about a recent recipient of a MacArthur grant, she writes, “He is very wise, Mr. X.  He reminded me that the measure of my life is the love that it is in it and what I do to make me happy.   Rex raspberried at that moment, probably to reinforce this. He’s right. As usual.  Right, right and right.  And I know that I am happy with who I am, whether or not I’m given $500,000 for being fabulous.”  It’s a good reminder-of-a-post for all those comparative situations in life.

The Hardest Quest issues a challenge this week: “I need to try to get in touch with some of you who do mean a lot to me. And I challenge you to do the same. I challenge you to at least make the offer to three bloggers who have touched your life in some way. Make the offer to write a personal note to them (if they’re willing to give you a snail-mail address) and let them know how or why they have affected you.”  It is a post about where her love of writing and her need for community meet.  And it’s just a great post (and idea).

Lastly, Infertile Fantasies has a post about explaining pregnancy to her son that runs the gamut from cannibalism to babies inside boobs.  Truly, you have to read it to understand.  And laugh.

The roundup to the Roundup: Alex Trebek made my kids cry.  Answer the Weekly What If.  Welcome the autism community to IComLeavWe.  And lots of great posts to read.


1 m. { 10.08.10 at 8:50 am }

I think there is such a strong and valid connection with the autism mom community (of course, I believe there are connections everywhere) and I was just having this conversation with an autism dad this week. I was amazed (and I shouldn’t have been) by how many similarities we shared when the conversation veered towards grief and loss.

It is not the same, but none of our paths and experiences are exactly the same. And if there is any other community that I know of that knows how to share support and love and comfort and advice through the internets, its these peeps. This is cool as sh*t.

2 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.08.10 at 11:16 am }

I spurted at the thought of Alex watching the twins wailing to his theme song!

Please, for your own sake, forgive the manatees.

And yay for your gutsty friend.

3 Mrs. Gamgee { 10.08.10 at 11:51 am }

Beloved and I are Jeopardy junkies, and when I was watching last night, I was cheering for your friend… at least the one I assumed was your friend (and I was right). I’m sorry that she lost it all, but I would have played it exactly the same way.

Which leads me to my answer to your What If… my answer is totally dependant on where the $10k is coming from. If it were money that I had worked hard to earn, I wouldn’t take the chance to lose it. But, if it were ‘play money’, money that I didn’t have ten minutes before… then heck ya, I would totally risk it for the big pay off. Then if I end up with the empty box, I still wouldn’t really be out anything. And I would have had some fun.

4 Rebecca { 10.08.10 at 12:17 pm }

I would take the $10,000. Things never go in my favour.

5 a { 10.08.10 at 12:33 pm }

I missed Jeopardy yesterday… 🙁 I’m glad your friend did well right up until the end. Your children take everything to heart, don’t they? They must be very sweet.

I might take my chances on the box, but I invariably choose the wrong one. As long as it’s not my money…I might as well take the chance.

It’s awesome that other communities are following your example…and learning from the experiences of others. The more doors that are open, the better off we all are.

6 HereWeGoAJen { 10.08.10 at 2:05 pm }

But do you know why I suck, Mel? Because I haven’t been doing IComLeavWe because when I switched to the new blog, I didn’t know how to add the code to the sidebar. But I got all ashamed (but in a good way, a call to action way) when I read today’s post and learned how to do it. And it took me like twelve seconds (because I am a genius) (fine, because it is easy). Anyway, that is why I sucked, but am no longer going to suck.

I’m delighted that we are having the community crossover. That’s awesome. I want to be like “let’s all hold hands and eat cookies together!”

If I ever see Alex Trebek, I will give him a serious talking to.

7 Chickenpig { 10.08.10 at 2:26 pm }

It is strange reading the comment by autism mom. I haven’t felt the desire to join the autism blogoshpere ate all. I have felt so much loss and hopelessness from infertility, and I still feel connected to the ALI community, but no desire at all to seek out autism support. Dealing with my son’s diagnosis has been heart wrenching and confounding, but a loss? No. I think that perhaps the only gift that infertility has given me is the incredible happiness of my children just BEING here. The thought that kept racing through my mind from the minute I saw their heartbeats on the monitor, and when I heard them cry for the first time: ALIVE, ALIVE, ALIVE!!! Everything else is just icing on the best cake ever 🙂 The people here are the only ones I know who truly understand that. So thank you, Mel, and everyone else. I’m glad that other blogging communities are learning what a great thing you’ve done here because it is truly special.

8 PaleMother { 10.08.10 at 6:06 pm }

Having had some limited experience with both infertility and autism, it’s easy to see what the two things have in common … and to see that as M said, grief recognizes grief. They are both clubs no one ever asks to join. They are both misunderstood and the experiences are ripe with casually brutal remarks from others who don’t understand what they don’t understand. Until it’s you, apathy and ignorance abound. With autism, you have the child, but you grieve the loss of the neurotypical child you expected and dreamed of. IF’ers and parents of autistic children could have a lot to say to each other about living in a culture that is often unsympathetic and unsupportive of people who have to take these challenging detours around the beaten path.

It’s a great thing if other support communities can learn from your community building example, Mel, because what you’ve built here is remarkable. !!

I wrote a post a while back that started out as light hearted comments about a “infertile” celebrity list. It turned into a reflection about what doesn’t translate when the general public’s only insight into the experiences of infertility and of having an autistic child come through the wacky, distorted lens of Poster Celebrities. Infertility and autism share some big, important public sector challenges … the financial hardships they impose (top notch treatment being reserved for the upper class) and also … insurance and legislative obstacles that make it imperative to promote awareness and accurate information to people who can vote to make a difference in the lives of affected families. I know that this month in my state, they are considering mandating insurance coverage for autism (23 states already do so). Just like some states mandate coverage for IVF. This kind of legislation is so important to the people who are in the crosshairs. The insurance industry’s refusal to cover either condition is arbitrary and cruel, though not every one would agree with me. Hopefully the blogosphere can help to humanize the issue in both cases in addition to providing support for conditions that are socially challenged/under the radar of most.


9 Kristin { 10.08.10 at 9:28 pm }

You know, regarding the $10,000…I’d take a chance and go for the big bucks. While $10,000 if fabulous and wonderful, it’s not the life changing amount $1,000,000 is and I’d have to take the chance.

10 S.I.F. { 10.09.10 at 3:18 am }

I am picturing the twins reactions and it is just adorable… I love how empathetic little ones can be!

And I would take the $10,000 and run. I always watch Deal or No Deal screaming at the stupidity of people. I am not even kind of a gambler, and $10,000 could definitely make a difference in my life, so… Yep, I would take the $10,000 and run!

11 Kat { 10.09.10 at 10:52 pm }

Just like Kristin, $1 mil would be life changing, so I’d go for it.

Now, if it were $100,000 and $10 mil, I’d take the guaranteed $100,000. I’m not sure exactly where the line is for me…but somewhere in between $10k and $100k. I love the question. I feel like people’s answers inform not just their tolerance for risk and loss aversion, but career choices and life choices of all kinds.

12 Kristen { 10.10.10 at 3:15 pm }

Well, being the practical, risk-adverse person I am – I know I’d never risk the guaranteed $10,000, even though I’d spend the rest of my life wondering what would’ve happened if I’d gone for the million.

Having been part of the infertlity community and now the parenting-a-child-with-special-needs community, I can attest to the many similarities these of these two groups no one signs up to join. Both understand the grief and fear that come with life’s unexpected challenges and the isolation of facing issues the general public doesn’t always understand. Its awesome that the two groups are coming together!

13 Toni { 10.10.10 at 7:33 pm }

A video to Alex would have been classic.

I think I’d play it safe. Boring I know, but I doubt I’d ever have shot at $10,000 straight out again, and, well, that would mean 1 or 2 more shots (depending on the method we went) on becoming a mom. To have that chance would be a blessing and I wouldn’t want to risk that.

That’s absolutely amazing about the blogger from the autistic community. Her words were lovely.

14 TasIVFer { 10.10.10 at 7:52 pm }

I’m really looking forward to learning, to getting my mind away from infertility, but also to just meeting new blobbers. 😀 I think this is great.

15 mash { 10.11.10 at 10:37 am }

I would take the $10,000 because that’s a lotta dollars for a gal in Africa 🙂 and also because I’m not a big risk taker, I’m a squirrel. That’s OK with me!

16 Bea { 10.11.10 at 5:49 pm }

Ooh! Didn’t expect the honour! Thanks!

Interesting to read about the link with the community of bloggers on autism. There are things common to a lot of different types of trauma/life-changing events. We should definitely try harder to draw from our own experiences to help us sympathise with others.

I’m not sure about the money. I think I’d probably choose to be happy with the 10k, but it’d depend on my mood and whether I had any specific goals in mind.


(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
The contents of this website are protected by applicable copyright laws. All rights are reserved by the author