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The Circle Game

And the seasons they go ’round and ’round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

–Joni Mitchell

The nicest part about keeping a blog is looking backwards, perhaps in yearly increments, to see how life has changed.  When we’re in the moment, it can feel as if the now may last forever, or, at the very least, the feelings invoked by what is happening now may last forever.  But if you jump backwards into your archives, you can revisit posts and see that often times, while reading about the event may still bring with it sadness or joy, the intensity of those feelings are not as they were when you wrote the post.

A year ago this week, we were separating the twins into two separate rooms.  At the time, I was as devastated as they were over the idea of them being separated for the first time.  And then we set up the rooms and made them their own, and now they enjoy weekly sleepovers in each other’s space. (They each keep a sleeping bag in the other person’s room, and the agreement they have is that the other person can always declare that they need a night of togetherness and sleep on the other person’s floor.)  It feels as if they’ve had two separate rooms for years vs. twelve months.

Two years ago this week, I was worrying about kindergarten beginning and still reeling from a crazy summer which involved helping my parents move from my childhood home, finish edits on a book, and teach the twins how to swim.  And look, kindergarten went fine.  We all survived; in fact, some may even say thrived, in elementary school.  I love my parent’s new house, even if I do drive by their old home every once in a while when I have to go back to my childhood town.

Three years ago this week, about 100 of you were distracting me with a round of Blogger Bingo.  We had two medical appointments that week,  and the one we thought was nothing turned out to lead to surgery, and the one that we were really worried about turned out to lead to more waiting.  In fact, we’re still taking this wait-and-see approach.  But in that post, I told the story of the Wolvog’s bris, which had happened 5 years before that.  Equally as precious as the post itself are the comments beneath which remind me how many people were waiting with me at the time; holding my hand.

Four years ago this week, I was writing about the time I followed my husband into one of the sperm donation rooms at the clinic wearing a merry widow and knee-high boots underneath my jeans and sweatshirt.  That post later became what I read at BlogHer’s Voices of the Year.  If it wouldn’t mean donning what amounts to someone else’s underwear, I would totally create the sisterhood of the traveling merry widow.

Five years ago this week, Grace Paley died, and I wrote about hugging her when I went back to my grad school program in the middle of treatments.  That trip sucked.  Hardcore.  I had stopped writing because I was depressed, and I wasn’t conceiving, so I went back to my program for this reading and felt so empty-handed — no child and no book — whereas it seemed that everyone else had one or the other or both.  And just sharing that moment with her: two women, with the older one clearly seeing how much I was struggling.  And she just held me for the longest time until I could compose myself.

Six years ago this week, beyond starting things such as Infertility’s Common Thread (which still lives on) and Operation Heads Up (which also still lives on), I was celebrating my Needle Day anniversary, the first time I gave myself an injection.  It was a really empowering experience to overcome one of my bigger fears — needles — and use it on myself.  As I wrote: “But it isn’t the needles themselves. The pain is instantaneous. It’s the psychological effects–the why you’re holding a needle in the first place.”

If you’ve never participated in Bereaved and Blessed’s Time Warp, you should jump into the next one in mid-September because it’s a great way to reflect on how far you’ve come from a moment in time.

Now go dive into your archives and tell us what you were doing a year (or two or three) ago.  How has life changed?  How is it still the same?


1 JustHeather { 08.20.12 at 8:11 am }

Immediately, with out looking anywhere, I know that 4 years ago this week I tossed out birth control for good.
Two years ago I was having a hard time. So many changes at work, I was missing my cat who had died the month before, my stepmom and I were hashing out issues before hubby and I went to the US that Sept and I felt like I wasn’t getting what I needed from friends. It was also the year I really started blogging.
One year ago, I was getting ready to go to Shanghai for two weeks work. I’d love to go back!
Thanks for this jump back in time. Life really has changed so much (I’m about to be a mom for the first time), yet some facets of it stay the same (I’d still love to see friends more often).

2 sushigirl { 08.20.12 at 8:34 am }

I was doing IVF with my last two frozen embryos – the only ones left out of a total of 11 embies created 18 months before. I was really pissed off and convinced the last ones wouldn’t stick, and annoyed at not being able to drink at a friend’s wedding. I remember feeling slightly dizzy and sick at the wedding after dancing too enthusiastically.

And I am trying to write this comment and soothe my 3 month old, who fell asleep on me and was then very upset about me trying to put him down!

3 Mud Hut Mama { 08.20.12 at 10:27 am }

I think it is so sweet that your kids can declare a need for a night of togetherness to each other. That is so touching.

4 Ana { 08.20.12 at 11:01 am }

I loved reading these flashbacks. Maybe I’m hormonal but they all made me cry. I wasn’t blogging 1 year ago…but I’ll look forward to being able to do this in the future!

5 tigger62077 { 08.20.12 at 11:25 am }

A year ago, Cole was starting to roll and I was going back to school for the first semester since he had been born.

Two years ago, I was halfway through my first trimester and excited. Knowing all the things that could happen, I vowed to enjoy every single thing I could.

Three years ago it appears there wasn’t a whole lot going on – just working, still mourning mom who had been gone about 10 months.

Four years ago, we were down to our last few remaining months with mom and my sister was a bitch. The quote that still plays in my head that came from my sisters mouth was uttered: “God, Jen, you’re such a bitch. No wonder you can’t get pregnant if your husband can’t even touch you!” (chronic pain issues, I have them)

And five years ago, my inlaws were still living with us, still smoking, and Giggles was due a few months later w/her first child and ALSO living with us. It was crazy times and I will NEVER EVER EVER go back to them, so long as I am given any choice in the matter.

6 Sarah { 08.20.12 at 12:14 pm }

One year ago, I was celebrating making it to the half way mark in my pregnancy after 4 years of trying while also mourning the loss of my first confirmed pregnancy as the same day I hit 20 weeks was the due date for my first confirmed pregnancy.

Two years ago, I was just starting treatment up again and started blogging as my husband and I decided to keep our TTC and RE visits private.

It’s amazing to see how far we’ve all come in such a short time. It seems like 2010 was eons ago, and yet I can still remember the sting of the first injection. Thank you for this look in to your past and the reminder for us to always remember where we’ve been.

7 Kathy { 08.20.12 at 1:03 pm }

There are so many things I love about this post!

1) The title

2) That I am not the only one who knows the lyrics to The Circle Game! We used to sing it at summer camp around the campfire and then I would sing it to the girls that I used to babysit for. I have sung it to my own children, but its been awhile. I will have to remedy that.

3) That you looked back at this week in your life every year that you have blogged here. It was awesome and bittersweet to reflect and remember with you. To see how far you and your family have come.

4) That you invited us to try The Circle Game too! I plan to do so and will share a link here when I do. I looked quickly to see what I wrote around this time from 2007 on and it was really interesting. In some case I didn’t blog during this week and one year, even this month, so I will likely do, “One year ago this month” or “around this time…” and so forth. Thought I would share in case anyone else hasn’t always blogged consistently.

5) That you also invited your readers to do the Time Warp and linked to my monthly blog hop/writing exercise. Thank you for the shout out! Can’t believe we are coming up on the first anniversary of Time Warp Tuesdays. 🙂

8 HereWeGoAJen { 08.20.12 at 2:29 pm }

Let’s see.

One year ago, I was…ooh, getting a massage. I am jealous of last year me.

Two years ago this week, I was being brave and writing about vaccinations on the internet.

Three years ago this week, I had a dried out crispy frog in the middle of my kitchen floor. Somehow. (How did it have time to die and get crispy in the middle of the floor? Dead is one thing, crispy is another. That takes time.)

Four years ago this week, we were having a hurricane. Hurricane Fay. It was boring. Also, I was pregnant with Elizabeth and apparently obsessed with food, if my blog is any indication.

Five years ago today, I was thinking about starting a blog because I started it the next day. Yippee for me!

9 a { 08.20.12 at 2:47 pm }

1 year ago, I had just gotten back from vacation with my husband. Augusts are getting much better as time goes by. (I wrote this in reverse, in case you’re wondering what I’m talking about)

2 years ago, I was posting pictures of cupcakes. Now, I’m hungry.

3 years ago, I have no idea what I was doing. But there’s a picture of a nice sunset on my blog.

4 years ago, I went to Chicago for my mom’s 70th birthday. I wish I had chose a different outfit for the family picture.

5 years ago, I was on maternity leave. My husband was working 3 states away. It was OK, but not great.

6 years ago, I was pregnant and going through some unpleasantness at work. I also had a fantastic baby shower with all my friends.

7 years ago, I was going through my second miscarriage. But, I had just gotten a new car.

8 years ago, we were just getting into the long running feud with my husband’s sister and brother-in-law over our house. September was when the real battles began.

10 loribeth { 08.20.12 at 2:57 pm }

One year ago this week, I joined other Canadians in mourning the untimely loss of Jack Layton, leader of the New Democractic Party and the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. And I got to meet Deathstar for lunch — wish we could do it again soon!

Two years ago this week, I was writing about how hard it still was for me to go shopping at Baby Gap.

Three years ago this week, we were at a family gathering when dh’s cousin proudly announced she was going to become a grandmother (the first of his cousins to reach that milestone). She recently welcomed her second grandchild (same mother).

Four years ago, I was reliving the events of 10 years earlier (Katie’s stillbirth and its aftermath), and watching Ted Kennedy make his final appearance at the historic U.S. Democratic Party convention that nominated Barack Obama for President.

Five years ago I didn’t have a blog (yet), but I am sure I was already lurking here & making the occasional comment (particularly when the Lushary was open, lol).

My life is much the same, but I like to think I have made at least some progress in coming to terms with grief, childlessness and aging. It’s fun & instructive to look back — thanks, Mel!

11 May { 08.20.12 at 3:26 pm }

A year ago this week I was on holiday, and I climbed a mountain – not a very steep or high one, admittedly, but it totally was a mountain and I totally climbed it. ROAR!

Two years ago this week, we visited the In-Laws, and it was a tense irritable sort of visit, and I complained on my blog, and then my FIL promptly had a serious accident at work and was in hospital for weeks and I FELT LIKE SUCH A WORM. I had also just begun seeing a private specialist in Recurrent Miscarriage, and therefore beginning to find out just how very Borked my innards could possibly be.

Three years ago this week I’d only had one miscarriage, and had no idea I was about to have so many more. My as-yet-undiagnosed endometriois/adenomyosis issues were making me APPALLINGLY miserable. I’d also started doing acupuncture, which alas for me was OF NO HELP WHATSOEVER.

Four years ago this week I was trying to finish my Masters dissertation, while doing unsuccessful clomid cycles, while starting a full-time job, while still being completely freaked out by my first miscarriage (that happened three months earlier).

Five years ago I was still on the pill, having been put on it to prevent constant bleeding caused by polyps and annovulation. I’d had surgery the month before to deal with the above. I didn’t yet know if the surgery would help, and I was being anxious about it. I was also waiting to START my Master’s degree, so I was anxious about that as well.

Six years ago this week I was seriously considering starting a blog or something, because I’d been married for over a year and I’d stopped taking the pill and NOTHING was happening on the baby-making front. NOTHING.

While I have made professional and academic strides forward in the past six years, I have got absolutely frikken’ nowhere on the reproducing front. My life is a lot of same-old same-old, and my health is worse and worse. This makes me sad. I need to go climb another mountain. I felt alive doing that.

12 It Is What It Is { 08.20.12 at 7:50 pm }

5 years ago I was 41 and a first time mom to my 5 month old son.

4 years ago we were in the midst of cycling again for #2.

3 years ago (July) we stopped all ART after the embryos from our donor egg cycle didn’t survive the thaw and took what would become the year of darkness off from all efforts to add a child to our family.

2 years ago we’d finally made the decision to pursue domestic adoption, had picked an agency and were beginning to work on our profile.

1 year ago we were 8 months into our adoption wait.

Today I am 20w5d pregnant through the gift that is donated embryos.

13 Stinky { 08.20.12 at 8:03 pm }

1 year ago we’d just found out the dates to start our first IVF cycle, I was about to finish 4 years of art school, and found out that Mr Stinky had found my blog
2 years ago we were just about to finish two weeks of tropicalholiday to come home to confirm our 3rd pregnancy had failed
3 years ago (not blogging this far back, but I thought I’d never forget any of that month) had just lost 2nd pregnancy, everything was a bit of a blur and I was holding my broken dreams wondering how I would put my life back together.

Loved your (and everyone else’s!) flashbacks especially that sperm donation one

14 Mim { 08.20.12 at 9:40 pm }

A year ago today I lost the fetus who would have been my son and would have had my Husband’s nose at 17w2d; our gestational surrogate suffered preterm PROM and they had to terminate the pregnancy. I flew to Illinois with my mama to meet with the high-risk OB and learn the news. Our surrogate broke into tears. Mama and I hugged her but I did not cry. I flew back home, changed into scrubs, and admitted four patients to the Internal Medicine academic service. But my brain was on autopilot and my legs were leaden.

Two years ago, I had just taken USMLE Step 2: CK and was relieved to be done with my last big exam until residency. We had just celebrated our first anniversary…by going to Chicago for psychiatric clearance in order to pursue gestational surrogacy. At the time we planned to use my bet friend as an ovum donor. We didn’t yet know that the fertility clinic would decide she had to be married for a year, even though her fiance was totally on board and they had been living together for a year already.

Three years ago my sweetheart and I were newlyweds, trying to see as much of his family and friends as possible before leaving Israel, and hoping his immigration papers would come through on time for our American reception. (They did not.)

Four years ago, I was still getting used to the new diamond ring on my left hand, and was in my second year of medical school, looking at wedding dresses when I should have been studying.

15 Mali { 08.21.12 at 12:29 am }

Loving this. What a great idea! I’m drawing from my everyday blog here, not my infertility one (as no change there for almost 9 years). And I’ve wasted far too much time reading some of my old posts.

1 year ago, I was blogging on the snow we’d just had (first time).
2 years ago, I was writing on a holiday I’d just had in tropical northern Queensland (Australia), and starting my Food Biography: Life in Ten Dishes series.
3 years ago, I was contemplating the issue of adoption, nature and nuture, and what makes a family.
4 years ago, I asked what it was to be a woman. (I’m now back to a much earlier blog).
5 years ago, I was writing 44 words a day, and in August, focusing on my second Thai host family.
Beyond that I wasn’t blogging – but 7 years ago my father died. And nine and ten years ago respectively, the due dates for my ectopic pregnancies would have fallen in August.

16 Tiara { 08.21.12 at 8:08 am }

I have journalled since forever & love looking back at old ones to see where my head was, sometimes it’s funny, sometimes scary but I’m always glad to see how far I’ve come.

17 Lori Lavender Luz { 08.21.12 at 11:30 am }

I love doing this, time traveling through my blog!

1 year ago I revealed how I had cleaned up my diet and how that had affected my health: http://writemindopenheart.com/2011/08/ayurveda.html

3 years ago I was celebrating my 500th post and musing on how open adoption had changed me: http://writemindopenheart.com/2009/08/open-adoption-head-and-heart-2.html

5 years ago I shared a Mommie Dearest moment:http://writemindopenheart.com/2007/08/wwsmd-what-would-a-saintly-mother-do-2.html

I also enjoy Time Warp Tuesday for the same reasons.

I remember many of your posts and am going to relive them by clicking through. For old time’s sake.

18 Lori Lavender Luz { 08.21.12 at 11:48 am }

And oh, I’m wistful about scanning the names of the commenters on these posts.

19 Delenn { 08.21.12 at 6:21 pm }

Five years ago today, I was filled with emotions: http://polantworld.blogspot.com/2007/08/and-winner-is.html

20 kateanon { 08.21.12 at 10:39 pm }

Awesome idea.

Last year I attended a baby shower and was pretty proud of myself.

Two years ago I was redoing my kitchen and didn’t really post on my blog the entire month of August.

Three years ago I started my first job in this state, and we adjusted to the changes it brought.

Four years ago I talked about the deterioration of my marriage.

Five years ago I wrote about a crush on a cop.

Six years ago I complained about not meeting up with a friend of mine.

21 Bea { 08.23.12 at 1:10 am }

Oh my goodness, this is a great week for this.

A year ago I was having the worst trouble with The Prata Baby. We were constantly fighting. The contrast today – which so far has been a “bad” day by current standards as things didn’t go the way he’d planned and he was upset about it – is just amazing. It is fantastic to know that things actually have changed that much, and provides so much hope for the areas in which he (we) still has growing to do.

Two years ago I was feeling content with my second pregnancy, and at the same time awful for a friend whose miscarriage (after many years of childlessness and infertility) I had only just learned about.

Three years ago I wasn’t posting much. Although I had recently experienced my first full night’s sleep in a while (it didn’t last).

Four years ago I was just watching PB start to take notice of the world and display his personality with vigor.

Five years ago I was nervously awaiting the results of our IVF cycle that actually resulted in a live birth. I was hopeful, but on edge.

Six years ago I was fucking angry with infertility. And I wrote a poem I had quite forgotten about until now, and I’m glad I found it again, because it all back so vividly, but finally at a safe distance:


22 Bea { 08.23.12 at 1:15 am }

I’m also with Lori – the names of the commenters are bringing back such memories. Fortunately and at the same time unfortunately, many of them now moved on (mostly with confirmed success – resolution is always success, but a lot of actual babies, too, only one or two unknown endings) and slipped off the radar.


23 clare (smiling.scar) { 08.26.12 at 12:27 pm }

1 year – starting to think about trying again. or some action. or maybe decide to just let go and move on.. or maybe not. ARG!!!

2years – drinking in Italy surprised my Italian friends are suprised that I am already married since I am so young (at 31 yrs) for such things in their eyes.

3 years – scouting mission for Italy — result, I hate the city we’d be living in, don’t like the lab, begging my husband to reconsider the job offer

4 years – dancing a an elm school dance in New Zealand and doing blood work for my first (and so far only) DE cycle.

5 yrs – no blog yet, but was just getting referral together to go to the dr that would finally explain that yes, my lack of periods and hot flashes were indeed menopause. POF in my mid twenties… whee I had no idea what all was a head of me

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