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383rd Friday Blog Roundup


I am rarely at a loss for what to say, but I can’t really sum up my thoughts on this week into words.  Maybe it would work better as an interpretive dance performed by someone like, let’s say, Mikhail Baryshnikov at the beginning of White Nights.  Maybe a Rachmaninoff piece with its lilting measures dipping into discordant harsh passages.  I’m not sure; I just know that these thoughts don’t work with words.

Those two posts were mine, as is this one.  My thoughts, my feelings, my observations.  As in, this is my blog, my place to write things on the Internet.  It has community components such as the blogroll, but these center post boxes are for me to write my thoughts.  The Roundup, for instance, is my own personal opinion (well, with your opinion in the center of it).  My thoughts on PAIL are my own personal opinion.  You may agree or disagree, but the point I am making is that I am grateful to all who listened, who respected me as an individual and let me have my say.  Feelings are always subjective, and in my opinion, always valid.  So thank you for supporting me in reading the things I needed to say.

And to that end, I apologize that if in writing about my hurt feelings I ended up hurting your feelings.

That said, I’m not sorry for the act of expressing my feelings.  Yes, they caused an explosion and other people’s hurt feelings, but the alternative is that everyone else gets to feel good and I have to suppress my thoughts.  That doesn’t seem like a very helpful solution — at least not from my end.  I am a human being, just like you.  I am in this community, obviously reading blogs — how else would I be able to construct the Roundup — and just as you would, I react, I have emotions, I get hurt.

A lot was released in the comment section of the posts this week, and I personally think we need to clean up the mess.  Other people disagree.  But for those who find it helpful to discuss things, I want to have a discussion.  Not talking about it does not make these underlying problems go away.  But here’s the thing: it struck me on Thursday morning that I do not want to lead this discussion.  I want to participate, but I don’t want to lead it and the reason is a very personal one not related to this incident.  I considered asking three different people to host the discussion, three people who would do a great job presenting questions, listening to answers.  But I didn’t ask them because I didn’t want them to feel any pressure to say yes.

And then I realized that there were many many more people popping into my head, people who could host.  The vast reality is that the best hosts are ones who have an interest in the topic and a desire to move things forward.  Rather than ask people directly, putting them on the spot, I am going to ask people generally if they would be willing to host a discussion.  What I would love to have happen is for bloggers from various areas of the ALI community to be hosts since I think each will bring a unique viewpoint.  People who are childfree, people who are parenting, people who are waiting to build their family through adoption, GLBT bloggers, those who haven’t started treatments yet, etc.  The more areas we have represented, the better.  Of course, it also doesn’t matter if we have multiple representatives from the same area.  As we saw this week, even people in the same situation have vastly different viewpoints.

To understand what I want, think of it like the salons of the 17th century.  Each blog is a house with a host.  The host pulls out questions they think could start a helpful conversation (feel free to peruse the comment section in order to see what people have been asking or proposing).  They write a post introducing themselves briefly (making a promise to listen with an open mind) and pose their questions.  People are then invited to give their thoughts in the comment section.  Towards the end of the week, each host would take a look at what was said in their comment section and summarize it into a paragraph or two.  All these paragraphs would be pulled together to create one summary of the various conversations — a summary that would hopefully be helpful to read.  It’s a way of processing an event that I’ve used with my students in the face-to-face world that translates easily into being utilized in the online world.  Let’s call it a Healing Salon.

If you’d like to host one of these salons, I need to know by Sunday at 4 pm EST.  Your post, if you are hosting, should go up any time between now and Sunday at 4 pm EST.  The conversation may naturally start then beforehand with your own blog readers, but I will post in the LFCA Sunday night all the participating posts.  People will then be able to go from blog to blog, adding their thoughts and reading other people’s thoughts.  If they don’t want to read other people’s comments at the moment, they can also skip that and just leave their own words because they will be able to read a brief summary from each blog afterward.  So, just to summarize, people who want to host should email me the url of the blog post and have it up by 4 pm EST on Sunday.  They’re also making a commitment to summarize what was said in the comment section as the response to their discussion question by Sunday 4 pm EST of the following week (the 18th).  I’ll help direct people to where the discussions are taking place.  People who do not wish to participate at all will not need to click over from the LFCA.  It’s there for the people who need it and can be ignored by the people who find it unhelpful.

If no one steps forward to host, I’m going to assume that everyone feels at peace and doesn’t need to discuss this more, and we can move on to discussing other important things such as Mikhail Baryshnikov in White Nights.


There is one thing I think that needs to be covered in the discussions that maybe won’t come up because the host will need to have been blogging a long time in order to see this.  So I’ll throw it out here, and people should definitely run with it if it resonates with them.

This inability to post about pregnancy or parenting is a newish phenomenon.  Six years ago, it literally would never have passed through my head not to blog about the twins, though I knew that if I was going to blog about them, I needed to do it sensitively.  My first post to go “viral” was actually a parenting after infertility post called “Sniff” back in July of 2006.  It was my blog, and I wrote what was on my mind at the moment, and the twins have always been a big part of that.

When I think of other older blogs, everyone I know moved from treatment/adoption into parenting without huge fanfare (or, in some cases, bloggers I read didn’t move into parenting at all, but that is another topic that should be in the discussion as you can see someone asked already on the last post).  They either kept writing, talking about their children or their experience parenting as well as other things, or they stopped writing entirely because they didn’t have the time or the inclination.  Some people noted “children mentioned” at the top of a post if children were mentioned (as you can see in the explanation at the top of that post titled Sniff).  Others simply launched into the post with the understanding that if they had kids, they might write about their kids.

Then there was a period of time when it was in vogue for people to drop what they thought of as their infertility blog and start a new parenting blog.  Same person, same readership, different url and blog name.  It was understood that everyone who followed you over was committed to reading your story.  Almost everyone followed you over to the new place.  Not everyone did this, but it was a common enough option that I can look at my personal blogroll — my Google Reader account — and remember people’s old blog names from pre-kids.

And now there is today when people write that they can’t say what they want to say.  How were we able to do it for years and years, and now we can’t?  Or is it just a portion of people feel they can’t, and we’re attributing it to everyone?  Are people being asked not to write about parenting, or is that just their perception?  What has changed to bring us to this point?  Readership, of course, usually changes with parenthood.  This is partially not because of the event itself or the topic but because less time to blog usually equals fewer connection.  If you post less frequently, people visit your blog less.  If you have less time to comment on people’s blogs, people comment less on yours.  Few keep up the same blog pace they had pre-kids while in their child’s babyhood.

If you want to host a salon but didn’t know how to kick off a conversation, there you go.  It’s the only question I had in mind to ask if I published my discussion post that may not come up on another person’s blog just because you might not know this if you haven’t been reading/writing blogs for several years.

Older bloggers — feel free to disagree with me.  That is my perception of the last six years, not absolute fact.


A few people have written this week about Cyclesista being down.  Bea is looking into it — it’s most likely a hosting issue or a domain name renewal problem.  But no worries: it will be back up soon.


And now the blogs… (what, you forgot at this point that this is actually a Roundup?  I read blogs before Monday and after Wednesday, but I’m way behind so forgive me if I missed some really good ones this week.  Counting on you to supply them).

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week as well as the week before.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

The Long Way Around has a post about what we’re owed by the universe after a loss.  The purchases we make to fill a void (I have to admit that I insanely once bought three hats after a failed cycle), that extra Frappuccino since truly, are we going to focus on denying ourselves small things like that when our heart is breaking?  It’s about giving yourself a hug, fulfilling a want because you can’t fulfill a need.  I loved this post.

An Engineer Becomes a Mom has a post about when shortsightedness leads to a person feeling excluded.  An announcement for a new parents meetup makes the assumption that all parents will have given birth to their children and will have breastfed them.  As a parent after adoption, she explains how she felt knowing she was certainly welcome to attend, but her situation wasn’t even considered by the planners.  It’s one of those must-read posts to help you see the world in a different way.

Something Remarkable has a post that made me smile about what a friend did for her.  A frustrating moment with her son’s napping schedule brings her to call her friend who pulls out something she has held onto for over a year.  I just loved the moment.

Writing for Life has an incredibly moving (and frankly beautiful) post about the loss of her son, Samuel.  His funeral is today, and I can’t think of a better tribute to him than this post which is filled with love.

Lastly, Search for the Missing Piece has a post about the fog lifting after her D&C.  It’s about the thoughts that consume her when she is at her rawest place; not everyday, but when the realizations strike.  I think I was struck by the post because it is both a small slice of someone’s life and the larger scope of infertility wrapped in one.

The roundup to the Roundup: An apology, a thank you, and explanation.  A request for people to host a discussion.  A unique discussion point for that conversation.  Cyclesista.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between March 2nd and March 9th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 sharah { 03.09.12 at 7:51 am }

Mel, I had the some exact same thoughts about being an older blogger during this week. I think JustJen? mentioned it, but it’s like this is another one of the kerfluffles that seems to periodically come up. The whole concept of who gets supported when and how much, of there being blog-haves and blog-havenots, keeps coming back in different forms. The IF/Post-IF split from this week appears (to me anyway) to be another incarnation of that.

I have mush-brain after some late nights this week, but I will go ahead and offer to host one of the salon rooms. Do we need to submit our question through the regular LFCA channels, or just post it here in the comments?

2 delenn { 03.09.12 at 8:03 am }

I have not commented re the last couple posts. Mainly because I was busy processing. But being an older blogger, one whose blog was a general blog, to being a secondary infertility blog, back to general family blog, I had noticed this new bashfulness to keep blogging after infertilty. I think of blogs as journels, so perhaps I miss the reasons why people would want to change their blog for their readers. To me, it is the persons story and they should be able to write how and about whatever they want. It is the reader who has the privlidge to be a small part of their world…or to leave it. I

3 Elizabeth { 03.09.12 at 8:08 am }

What a brilliant idea – the Healing Salon. I’m not sure if I have the wherewithall to offer to host but I’ll think about it.

I’ve been blogging for 6 years now and I don’t know, I did experience a nosedive in comments and followers after my BFP in 2007. I can’t say off the cuff whether or how much things have changed. It’s hard to generalize without doing a proper systematic study (says the anthropologist). But I do remember seeing “Children mentioned” used a lot several years ago and I never see it now.

Anyway, I’m really glad you’re doing the Roundup today because I’ve been saving up some good ones!

Wordgirl and her family have been walking in the shadow of death lately, and she writes moving and beautifully about it in a way that will make you want to live all the more fully:

Lessons from and Infertile Social Worker writes about her secret stash – the box of things she stocked up in anticipation of having a baby, and how her feelings about that box shifted through her infertility journey:

My Lady of the Lantern explains how Figlia is not Cbub:

Mothernatureschmature reviews her journey through the Nine Circles of Hell into Purgatory, hoping one day to reach Paradise – a post I think we can all relate to on some level:

Anyway, if I haven’t already said it this week, I love you, Mel, and I’ve been daydreaming about being able to meet you in person one day when we get back to the States. xoxoxo

4 HereWeGoAJen { 03.09.12 at 8:08 am }

I agree with you. Blogging seems like it has changed a lot recently. I wonder if it is that blogging is becoming more mainstream. I think people think that what they write has to be big and important and that it matters. And I am not saying that what I write doesn’t matter, but I’ve always thought of my blog about being about me. I’ve always written about where I am in my life. When I was pregnant, I wrote about pregnancy. Now I write mostly about parenting. I understand if it is too much for people to read. But I don’t believe that I owe anyone anything other than general sensitivity because the main point of my blog is that it is my space.

5 Trinity { 03.09.12 at 8:11 am }

I am a bit saturated still from this week, too, but I am eager to participate in a group dialogue about this. Not to get all social worky, but it’s absolutely necessary to preserve any remaining semblance of cohesion in our community. In group therapy settings when there is discord amongst the group, it is NOT up to the leader to “fix” the problem–it’s the group’s responsibility. It’s THEIR group, their vehicle for healing. And in that respect, I find it hugely insightful to for the community–this wild collection of ALI bloggers and readers–to take on the responsibility of finding our footing and charting a new, sturdy path for ourselves. The leader facilitates this, which is what you have done by helping to establish blog salons. This is not your problem to fix, Mel; the onus is on each of us who values this community and our place in it.

I suggest that we come up with some ground rules for our salons before we kick them off, specifically related to decorum, the tones we use with each other, the words we use. It should go without saying, but I’m not so sure considering how your comment section unraveled this week. (For example, let’s use “I” messages. No attacking. Etc.)

6 Chickenpig { 03.09.12 at 8:34 am }

I have felt a shift in the wind in the ALI blogosphere. It isn’t that I feel uncomfortable blogging about parenting, it’s that there seems to be a lot of judgement of parents lately. We can blog about parenting, but lord help you if you complain about something! I’m not a big complainer by nature, but I do use my blog to vent precisely because I’m NOT a complainer by nature. Also, I feel very protective of newer bloggers who are ttc. I think that in general they are more sensitive because they haven’t grown the thick skin that years of this sh*t can make us acquire. That’s why I haven’t blogged about parenting at all since signing up for cyclesista. I have forgotten about the ‘children mentioned’ caption, and I may use that one when I feel like putting on my parenting hat in the future.

7 loribeth { 03.09.12 at 8:51 am }

So glad to see the Roundup — a first step back to some semblance of normalcy around here.

I keep thinking about one of the most famous-ever Canadian political cartoons — which might not make sense to anyone outside of Canada (or any Canadian under the age of about 40, for that matter… :p) but here goes: In November 1976, the previously unthinkable happened — the province of Quebec elected a Parti Quebecois (separatist) government, led by former journalist Rene Levesque. Everyone was in a panic; nobody knew what would happen next. I’m sure it seemed like the end of the world for some people.

The cartoon, by the artist Aislin, was published the next day in the Montreal Gazette. It shows Levesque, his ever-present cigarette in hand, with the defeated Liberal premier, Robert Bourassa, saying, “OK, everybody take a valium!”


(It’s 35+ years later, & Quebec is still part of Canada. Just sayin’.)(And the implications of the “separatist” angle actually never struck me until just now as I typed that.)


Re: hosting, I have a busy weekend ahead, and I’m not sure I’d be able to assemble my thoughts & questions into a clearly written post for 4 p.m Sunday — but if nobody else volunteers to host the childfree salon, let me know & I will do my best to throw something together in time. ; ) I think it’s important that our part of the community is represented. I most certainly will take part in the discussion.

I too am behind on my blog reading this week — but I did bookmark a couple of great posts I found:

Mrs. Spit reflects wistfully on the car (& life) she thought she would have — but still looks forward to the car (& life) she is getting:


(You should also have a read of the posts before & after to get the full story — there’s a great picture!)

I also really liked this post from Serenity, which grew in part out of the events of this week & one of your posts about it, & partly from her frustration with her own situation:


8 KH99 { 03.09.12 at 9:02 am }

I have a lot of mixed feelings. I felt disgruntled about what happened this week and honestly, a little bit disillusioned with you, Mel, and this community. I also felt like I was judged on why I blog. I wondered if I would even participate any longer. I’m still trying to process my feelings. My name and blog are relatively new in this sphere, but I lurked on here and found other blogs to read since at least 2006. I had one of those IF blogs that kind of went gently into that good night after my son was born and then turned to my newish parenting blog to provide an outlet. Anyway, for some reason I feel the need to establish my bona fides.

All that being said, I really love the idea of the Healing Salon and I get now that you were absolutely, 100% speaking only for yourself and how you felt about the situation. I’m not saying I agree with your point of view, but we’re allowed to disagree.

Yesterday I spent my day at work downloading a bunch of scholarship around blogging communities, trust, etc and wanted to research our recent issue in that context.

I guess this is a long way of saying that I’d like to host a salon.

9 SRB { 03.09.12 at 9:14 am }

I am looking forward to reading the questions and thoughts of others during The Healing Salon. This is an interesting approach to moving forward and I am in interested in the perceptions, concerns, and experiences of others in helping me to make sense of my own feelings. Not just about this past week, but my experience with IF/loss and parenting through it all in general.

I agree that the issue of decorum needs to be a common thread in these discussions. From my perspective, the most damaging, disappointing and divisive part of this week has been witnessing the comments here, there, and everywhere. However, I don’t believe that specific ground rules are necessary per se, as we should not have to censor (for lack of a better word) our thoughts. I know that I often lose a thought when there are parameters as to how I can express it. That being said, it is of course up to the individual hosts what they will and will not tolerate in their own spaces and that should be respected. The over-arching issue of what is appropriate decorum still remains.

Perhaps there could a common reminder to be mindful that we are responding rather than reacting. “Cut once, measure twice” if you will.

10 Julie Anita { 03.09.12 at 9:22 am }

Im going to second what KH99 said above about being disillusioned. The hesitation I feel sometimes in posting about my children? It’s not on my end– anyone on my Facebook sees the 5+ photos I post a day of my girls. But I was in IF forums long enough to remember the mix of joy & bitterness when someone else “graduated” to the pregnancy forums, and the feeling of being left behind when they slowly stopped posting in our thread. I’m careful with my friends who are still TTC and we’ve had clear conversations in which I let them know that we can talk about or avoid talking about “baby stuff,” they can skip out on baby-heavy events if needed, whatever they want to do. It’s about courtesy given by someone who remembers to someone else still in the trenches.

I had one reader respectfully tell me she couldn’t read anymore after my BFP, and I wrote back that I totally understand and I’d be following her blog from afar and wishing the best for her.

But I don’t want to spring something painful on someone I don’t know and make them feel that all-too-familiar pang right in the stomach when they, say, flit through a list looking for blogs to read and happen upon mine. That sort of thing feels unfair. I won’t censor myself ON my blog, even if I felt funny at first making the transition from “infertility blog” to “parenting journey blog,” but I would prefer to inflict minimal damage on others. That’s why something like PAIL is a comfortable place for me.

That aside– I think “salons” are just going to further the problem we’re seeing here. More and more separate, broken-down analyses of why people can’t place nice in the comments? I’m sure not inviting that to my blog even if I’d love the readership. People already have very clear strong feelings about this issue (mine, personally, is that there really shouldn’t BE an issue), and I think the bigger problem here is why the comments thread in a “safe space” and “community” that people are so attached to are still an appropriate place for picking each other apart. The way everyone’s talking, they consider this blog here to be the Mecca of all infertility blogs– so is nothing sacred?

If anyone wants to just go back to blogging as usual without dissecting the minutiae of abstractions like blog lists and blog communities and terminology and hurt feelings and whatnot, I’ll be over here…

11 gwinne { 03.09.12 at 9:41 am }

Thanks, Mel, for including me in the roundup this week. Ironically, perhaps, A. is in a spot where she needs me to be a most excellent friend, and I’m feeling like I can’t give her exactly what she needs, though I desperately want to!

Second, I’d be happy to host a salon, but I agree that there should be perhaps a set of questions for us to rotate around so the conversation doesn’t devolve into a rehashing of everything that’s already been said.

12 loribeth { 03.09.12 at 9:47 am }

P.S. I’m always up for discussing Baryshnikov. ; )

13 Kim { 03.09.12 at 10:05 am }

This comment has nothing to do with the events of this week or the roundup. I clicked over and read Sniff and am now crying – at work. I am in the exact same space right now. JD is 18 months old and I cannot stop his nightly bottle. During the day he drinks from cups, sippy cups and straws. But, I cannot stop curling up in the rocker at night with him and giving him a bottle of milk. I am absolutely positive that not attempting pregnancy again is the right choice for us, but the emotions that are coming with each baby “last” are bitter. They are, thankfully, almost immediately followed by the sweet of some new big boy first.

I know that this being the worst of his lasts to let go of stems from him not being able to have my milk and losing the experience of nursing. He had allergic collitis and not matter what I eliminated from my diet his symptoms worsened. His body was literally being hurt by my milk. I know its irrational but it felt like he was rejecting me. So it was amino acid then nutramigen formula only. Having him need to snuggle into me and fed to wind down just feels so wonderful.

Its time, it has been for months and I will get there soon but its hard. (this comment has been interrupted by actual work…) I apologize for a the off topic rambling comment. Thank you for, once again, helping me feel is little more ok with where I am at.

14 mrsgreengrass { 03.09.12 at 10:15 am }

I like the idea of an somewhat organized discussion. It’s very adult.

I would be willing to host a salon. I’ve only been blogging for 6 months, TTC for 20, and am starting IVF soon…

I’m a high school teacher and have also taught Masters of Ed classes. I mentioned in my PAIL post that I don’t like confrontation, but I also have opinions and like to speak my mind. So hosting a discussion would be right up my alley. I’ve said my piece, but I think there are other aspects of the conversation that should continue such as what blogging is for different people and what people feel like they can, should, should not say in this type of forum.

15 serenity { 03.09.12 at 10:59 am }

I also like the idea of the Healing Salon for the people who need it. There are a lot of hurt feelings on so many sides and I really hope that it helps people to discuss – and feel like they’re being heard.

Me? This whole blowup has made me rediscover my intentions for blogging. I’ve been around now for probably too long, and I sort of forgot how to build my own bridges and create my own purpose in my space. I’ve been knocking around with no focus.

So now I have a focus. And I’m feeling more at peace with where I am as a blogger and woman and mother and infertile. I am all of these things, and I intend on continuing to blog about that honestly. And reach out and make a point to let people know that I’m reading and that their words don’t go out into the great big internet and disappear.


16 Esperanza { 03.09.12 at 11:07 am }

I know I was a loud voice during all of this so I just wanted to briefly put something here. I am not going to be participating in the healing salon because I don’t feel the issues that were raised for me during the last week will be addressed but I hope everyone gets the healing they need from the discussions that result.

17 Pamela Tsigdinos { 03.09.12 at 11:11 am }

Count me in. This is a discussion I’ve been hoping to have for a very long time.

18 a { 03.09.12 at 11:22 am }

Well, several people have already posted my good reads for the week. 🙁

I will happily read all of the Salons to get a better feel for the points of view…

19 Jo { 03.09.12 at 11:27 am }

Count me in as well. I’d like to touch on two questions: should that be done separately, or in one post? I am curious 1) what makes someone stop reading/commenting on a pregnant/parenting blog (or not, as the case may be) — kind of a branch off of the question you posed. I, and many others, read you and Julie without a problem. What makes me (and others) stop reading some blogs that transition, and not others? I also want to explore the other tangent you touched on this week: 2) What is the purpose of ICLW for each blogger? Until you wrote what YOUR purpose was for creating it, I admit I’d lost the point. I was in it for ME, and I was disappointed. I have done a lot of thinking about what my expectations were vs what I want them to be, and how ICLW ties into establishing connections, creating new bonds, etc. I’m very curious to hear how others feel about its purpose as you proposed it, and its purpose as to how it is currently being used.

20 EC { 03.09.12 at 11:50 am }

I think it’s a good idea. I can’t host one, since I’ll be traveling for work and don’t know how much time I’ll have, but I’ll definitely participate as much as I can.

21 Jay { 03.09.12 at 12:18 pm }

I really like the idea of a healing salon as well. There has been too much hurt on both sides, and I really hope this discourse will bring resolution to both sides.

I’m a TTCer, 2 time miscarrier, currently in my 2ww. I would be extremely happy to host a salon, but I’m not quite so sure about my suitability for it. I’m outspoken and I have strong views on the subject–which I go over here.


22 Cristy { 03.09.12 at 1:19 pm }

The Healing Salon is a fabulous idea! I feel I’m too new of a blogger to offer to host, but I also feel that it’s important for the community to hash all of this out. You brought up one theme that came through in the comments section. But there are other topics that I’m sure people want to discuss.

And regarding sharing your opinion: I’m one who always feels that honesty is the best policy. I came from a family where I was told to “keep quiet” despite the fact I was hurting or being hurt by other family members. All it did was create a lot of animosity and was far more damaging in the end. So thank you for voicing your thoughts and feelings.

23 MJ { 03.09.12 at 1:50 pm }

What a week indeed. Routines are good … it is nice to see the Roundup again.

I’d like to offer Single Infertile Female’s post “Dipping My Toe In” for the 2nd helping.


I had expressed (in comments here and at my own blog, http://misadventures-in-fertility.blogspot.com/2012/03/apology-letter.html) my concern/feelings over posting while pregnant. SIF really did a good job reminding me that if you’re friends with someone it shouldn’t matter — so long as you are considerate and mindful. Thanks for the reminder SIF! You are awesome.

24 S.I.F. { 03.09.12 at 2:54 pm }

Mel, all week I’ve been thinking that you should be able to share your thoughts and feelings on YOUR blog just as the rest of us expect to be able to do without being chastised for that. Just because you have solidified yourself as a “leader” within this community, does not mean you are not entitled to your own thoughts/opinions, and feelings anymore. So I’m really glad you mentioned that here. I think sometimes people forget that no matter where we are in life, we are ALL just doing our best to get by. I believe 100% that blogs should be the place where you own who you are, where you’re at in life, and how you’re feeling as openly and honestly as possible. Yes, there is a need for tact, but… tact does not mean censoring yourself or reality. I’m glad you were able to share how you were feeling about all of this, and I think your feelings on it really and truly were valid.

Also, I want to say that I really agree with Delenn, and maybe that is why I have a difficult time understanding hurt or anger over a loss of comments or readers. I really do blog as a personal journal. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE when people read or send me e-mails saying they understand where I’m coming from, but… that’s not why I ever started blogging. When I started, I honestly had no idea this community really even existed. I didn’t get into it for the comments and followers. I got into it, because I needed a space where I could be honest about what I was feeling, thinking, and going through on this journey. My thought was that if one person found that and could relate and get benefit from it, then great! What an amazing bonus that would be! But I have always blogged first and foremost with an intention to be true to myself. Which was actually why I shut comments down on my blog. When I started to feel as though comments were in some ways influencing what I was saying, I realized it was time for me to step back from that and reclaim ownership of my own space. It’s actually been incredibly liberating not having comments, and the interactions I AM having are so much more in depth and personal now. Quality over quantity I guess, which is incredibly nice.

To that end, I would like to add Unaffecteds post on why she blogs to the mix:


I really loved everything she said, and agreed so whole heartedly. I truly think of blogs as personal spaces where people should be openly sharing where they are in their journeys. That might not resonate with EVERYONE, but for those it does resonate with – that honesty is huge. I don’t want to be shielded from anything. I am a big girl, and can choose where and what I want to read, but I don’t like the idea of people holding back on who they are or where they are in life because in some way they believe that is what I want them to do. I would like to believe that if I were blessed enough to wake up miraculously pregnant tomorrow (Jesus and I are still in discussions over the whole Immaculate Conception possibility) I would continue being honest and true and raw in my space about the realities (and joys) of pregnancy and parenting. Knowing that for some, it may be too much to continue hanging around (and fully understanding and respecting that), but that for me (and those who choose to stay) – being true to myself is the best I can do. I have long encouraged my pregnant or parenting blogging friends to do the exact same. These blogs are OUR sections of the universe to be true to who we are. Everyone may not always be able to stick around for that, and that is fair (and even to some extent expected), but for those who do continue on… that honesty means far more than being shielded from the realities. I don’t want my friends in real life hiding pieces of themselves from me, and I don’t want those I’ve formed bonds with here doing that either.

Which I guess first brings me to saying “Thank you” to MJ for the shout out – I am really glad what I said resonated with you, and even more if it has helped you to see the benefit of being true to yourself in your space! I guess I feel stronger about this whole thing than I originally thought I did, but more from the perspective of – we all need to be kinder to each other and understanding of personal journeys, goals, and limitations. Some of the horrible comments made (and hearing about some of the personal e-mails sent) has really left me sick, but I have to believe that the kind of people behidn that behavior are the kind of people who would be spreading that negative and hate no matter what “community” they were involved in. Those are the people who would be sending hateful e-mails to family members and poor customer service reps alike. I DON’T think the fact that some of those people are in this community doing the same hateful things they would likely do in real life as well is reflective of our community as a whole, but I DO think there has to be a way to allow the positivity and support to outweight those bitterly lashing out on all ends. I think more than anything, it is telling that so many within this community are feeling slighted or abandoned, and I would like to find a way to fix that.

I would be honored to host one of the salons Mel. I’ll be sending you an e-mail shortly to see what you think of utilizing the discussion I’ve already started on the community I have set up with my blog (in lieu of comments). If that doesn’t work, I totally understand! I will happily still participate in whatever discussions are out there, because I do think this is a brilliant idea! There are so many hurt feelings, and so many on ALL sides saying they have felt the same sense of being lost in this world. I do think that is something that is important to address, and to heal and move forward from. I think this is brilliant Mel, and so clearly needed. But I suppose I wouldn’t expect anything less from you. Thank you for being you!

25 Stef { 03.09.12 at 4:37 pm }

One additional group I’d love to see added to the Salon is parents of 2+ kids who struggled to conceive their first child, then conceived additional children either by surprise or intentionally without struggle. Where do we fit in? I’d love to be connected with that community– I don’t care if it’s here or over on the PAIL list. Doesn’t matter to me.

Many of those who are “still in the trenches” certainly don’t want to read all about my two healthy kids & I’ve also lost readers from some of the members of the PAIL community who are TTC#2 & feel disconnected with me b/c of the fact that pregnancy #2 was as easy for me as it is for “fertiles.”

I often feel like the experience of my second pregnancy invalidates the experience I had with my first in some people’s eyes. (It doesn’t of course, and my experience with IF colors my parenting experience with both children.) It’s tough & it can be isolating in this community.

26 electriclady { 03.09.12 at 4:45 pm }

As someone who’s been blogging in the IF space for almost 7 years and reading even longer, I agree with your assessment of the “olden days.” I feel like everyone had their obligatory “who am I and what is the purpose of this blog now that I’m pregnant/parenting” post, and then they either stopped blogging (because they didn’t have time or anything else to say) or they carried on. Maybe they lost readership, maybe they didn’t, but I don’t recall it being a big THING. But there weren’t very many of us back then. I remember when I easily followed 90% of the blogs on Julie’s Big List. So maybe we just had to put up with each other because where else were we going to go? 🙂

27 Mara { 03.09.12 at 5:23 pm }

Mo’s post about wanting to embrace life: http://mommyodyssey.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/what-nadav-taught-me-live-life/

So moving. Really got me thinking!

28 Shelli { 03.09.12 at 7:04 pm }

As an older blogger, in age now, and in length of blogging… I think you are absolutely right. Something has changed. I can’t put my finger on it. But I can tell you that my blogging decreased dramatically, not because I graduated (I didn’t) but because I just faded away. I am the story everyone fears.. the person that fails treatment. I had trouble moving to any blog topic, because, coupled with SIF, I was an oddity.

I had so much support in the trenches, but when I pulled myself out, I felt like no one could relate. The readers stopped coming, and I stopped writing as frequently. I really think the divide between the haves and have-nots is just the tip of the iceberg. Examined closely, the feeling of pulling back and isolation exists even in the perceived utopia of parenting.

Mel, you are awesome. I am sorry you had such a wild ride this week, but as always I feel the need to let you know how much I appreciate you here, honest and present with us. I feel refreshed coming here because this is the one blog I still feel at home with. xo

29 Crystal Theresa { 03.09.12 at 8:50 pm }

I’m still fairly new to your blog and just recently looked at LFCA (which seems amazing). It’s weird to be looking at the drama as a newcomer to this particular corner of the ALI/babyloss community, but I hope it works out. I think the Healing Saloon is a fantastic idea.

I wanted to share a post on my blog written by husband for our first baby’s 3rd birthday/anniversary; he shares about how I couldn’t take showers alone after delivering our son and why he continues to be there with me, as well as a look into his grief as father and husband —

30 Ellen K. { 03.09.12 at 11:41 pm }

I’ve been blogging since 2006 and lurked before then, and yes, I think something has changed. I think it’s the primacy of survivor guilt. Here’s my account of what has unfolded. I don’t mean to sound breezy in my summary, but this cycle has become almost standard:

One of the early IF bloggers, who happens to be parenting or pregnant (as Mel pointed out, this was often the case in the early IF blogging years), writes a post with a standard complaint of pregnancy or early parenthood (e.g., exhaustion, nausea, sleep deprivation, dissatisfaction with post-baby body). Someone who is still very much in the trenches leaves a comment, often anonymous, criticizing the blogger’s thoughtlessness. The blogger gets upset and defensive and ends up writing two posts: one angry, one pensive. She begins to feel uncomfortable with her audience and with her writing. She notices her stats have gone down, too, and she thinks about a major change. She might think about going password protected or starting a new blog. There aren’t many IF bloggers at this point, so a lot of people take notice. Those bloggers feel pressure to be subdued and apologetic. If they become parents, they remember others’ experiences and pay a little more attention to their stats and comments. They expect to see their readership dwindle, and it usually does, and they feel defensive and guilty. They post about not knowing where they fit into the IF blogging community. And so on, for years, to the point where survivor guilt is expected and probably given far too much weight, to the point that it restrains the blog itself. To this point, perhaps.

And for those of us who use blogging as a journal, the focus on survivor guilt is NOT healthy. I had late-onset PPD about a year after my daughters’ birth. Infertility is an anecdotal risk factor for PPD, and the feelings of shame are particularly intense. A few months before I sought help, I went password protected on my blog; I think with the excuse that my daughters’ privacy was very important now, but really it was depression-associated paranoia and fear of the anonymous (or, far worse, well known) commenter, although this hadn’t actually happened to me, but I had seen it happen on many other blogs. The depression experienced by a lot of IF patients and bloggers can and often does resurface after childbirth or adoption. When it happened to me, I lost a very valuable outlet.

This isn’t the case with most parenting-after-IF bloggers, and maybe my experience was extreme. But we can’t really know what’s going on with parent bloggers if they feel pressured, by others or themselves, to be apologetic or always grateful. It paints an unrealistic picture of parenting. And I don’t think that this can be changed by creating a for-parents-only blogroll. It has to come from a deeper source — from people agreeing to be more respectful in others’ spaces and more candid in their own.

31 Lori Lavender Luz { 03.10.12 at 12:30 am }

You never cease to amaze me.

32 Bea { 03.10.12 at 7:14 am }

CYCLESISTA: just wanted to add that you can still email Jen or me and we can still update the list for when we get the name sorted out.

Bea: infertilefantasies at gmail dot com
Jen: herewegoajen at gmail dot com

33 Michaela { 03.10.12 at 8:42 am }

I did right a post recently about those of us stuck on the other side. Long time TTC with no success and how is make us feel.

I wrote this before the melee of PAIL but I do think it shows the other side and might help those feeling left behind.

If anyone want to add it to the healing salon you are more then welcome to.

I hope it helps.


34 Bea { 03.10.12 at 9:30 am }

Don’t know if this helps, Mel (on the Salon front):

35 Bea { 03.10.12 at 9:37 am }

Ellen (above) once observed to me that a lot of crisis-driven blogs seem to have a 5-year life span. I think she’s probably right. I think this is the average of how long it takes for people to deal with things and move on, one way or another, and for many that means leaving the blogging space where their crisis “resided” (perhaps when the space evolves it is a sign that the blogger started with slightly different motivations than sifting through it, or just that they’re weird 😉 ).

Um, I forget what sort of relevance that was supposed to have. A comment triggered the thought. Maybe just mulling over the way people enter and leave the community.


36 marwil { 03.10.12 at 11:30 am }

Thank you so much for the mention in the Roundup.

I’m looking forward to follow the discussion through the posts and commenting over the next week.

People come and go for so many different and personal reasons and we can’t really generalize all groups I think. To think about why we blog and how we write is challenging and also interesting.

I read this post from a male-point-of-view on what can happen when it all gets to much – watching (and taking care of) your wife’s reaction when someone close announces a pregnancy. It’s very honest about the ugly breakdown that can be.

37 marwil { 03.10.12 at 12:08 pm }

Also this post about intimacy and sex after loss. Something I personally is trying to figure out.. I hope it qualify since it’s a post from Glow in the woods.

38 Kristin { 03.10.12 at 1:52 pm }

Mo over at Mommy Odyssey has written a series of amazing posts titled “What Hadav Taught Me” http://mommyodyssey.wordpress.com/category/what-nadav-taught-me/ &, while they are all phenomenal, her latest post, What Nadav Taught Me: Live Life totally blew me away http://mommyodyssey.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/what-nadav-taught-me-live-life/ Mo’s strength amazes me.

39 Chon { 03.11.12 at 3:26 pm }

And a post like this reminds everyone that we adore you.

I am camping, it’s 630am and I have one bar on my phone.

If I am not too late I am happy to host since I did comment and feel the need to represent the “new age” blogs that have experienced these differences.

40 Chon { 03.11.12 at 3:28 pm }

I think I might be too late industry saw that my salon has to be up by then. Nuts.

41 mrs spock { 03.11.12 at 6:38 pm }

I’ve had to catch up on this week. Apparently I’ve missed quite a bit, but I do tend to miss quite a bit now that I only drop into to blogland in small bits and pieces. My blog must be ancient and medieval history. I slipped into parenting and wrote about it the same way I did about infertility- with desperation, and begging for advice as I found my way in the scary unknown.

I know my readership dwindles, and the comments dwindled, even before I went private. But since I had one and then 2 children, my life is utterly absorbed in busyness of day to day life. And since I started trying to give birth to #3, my novel, I have little attention left to focus elsewhere. My reading and commenting has dwindled, and you tend to get what you give. I have no hard feelings, as it seems perfectly natural. I don’t cultivate relationships as much as I did.

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