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Creme de la Creme of 2012

For the seventh year running, the ALI community kicks off the new year by celebrating our best posts of the last year.

So what is the Creme de la Creme list if this is your first time here? It was started as a response to the many blogging awards that are given out each winter. I expanded the idea of presenting “the best” to include a post from every blog in the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) world*. Every blogger has a personal best that deserves recognition. As editor of the list, I create the small blurbs after the title which serve as a doorway to the post. I hope they will help you find what you are seeking to read as well as show definitively the diversity of experience and emotion within the ALI community.

In the past, the list has been open for a bit after January 1st, but this year, submissions were only accepted from October 15 — December 15th.  If you would like to be on the 2013 list, make sure you look for the opening post in October 2013.

Listed below are the best posts of 2012.  As always, happy reading! And leaving a comment on these older posts is not a “may I?” but a “please do.” Comments are how an author knows their words are appreciated. Comments about the Creme de la Creme in general can be left on this post.

The Creme de la Creme of 2012

  1. Our Invisible Travel Companion (from Stirrup Queens): A tribute to her ghost child, an amalgamation of babies-not-born and not-yet children, that follows the author through the streets of London on her trip; an almost corporal being constructed out of ideas, hopes, and disappointments.
  2. Tension Release: From Cranky to Compassionate (from Lavender Luz): A very powerful reminder to never lower yourself to another person’s standards as well as to remember that we all carry with us a story that no one else knows.
  3. Finding Peace in Our Only (from Bio Girl): Finding joy instead of sadness in the number three and being grateful for the son she has rather than focusing on the children she hasn’t.
  4. Grief (from Growing Griswolds): A post about allowing yourself to go through all the stages of the grieving process when dealing with infertility, for recognizing all the losses inherent in the diagnosis.
  5. Perfect Moment Monday: In a Blue Moon (from The Infertility Voice): A beautiful post about the perfect weekend, a time when the author was able to set down all of her troubles and be in the moment, enjoying life and her friends. Her troubles waited patiently to be picked up during the ride home.
  6. The Truth (from Serenity Now!): An incredibly truthful post about simultaneously feeling happiness and pain from someone else’s good news, and whether we can (or should) deny ourselves our real feelings.
  7. God’s Plan (from Our Pathway to Parenthood): A post about how G-d has enriched her life throughout infertility; how the subsequent pregnancy is neither the end of the story nor the beginning but merely a continuation.
  8. The Streak (from The Maybe Baby (Babies)): A very moving post about her father’s death as well as what we do to feel in control of an out-of-control situation. The author weaves running into the fabric of the story as she contemplates the things we do that defy reason and yet take root in our heart.
  9. On Friendship (from MRKH Musings): A very moving post about the author’s inability to form a new female friendship since her diagnosis with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, which changed her whole world and the way she relates to other women.
  10. When, Not If (from BattleFish): Moving back to describing her life in terms of “whens” instead of the “ifs” that have been prevalent in her mind due to her journey through infertility.
  11. Don’t Feel Sorry For Me (from Me… Plus One): A beautiful post giving a more accurate portrayal of single motherhood by choice than that provided in the literature of a family building site. It is about taking happiness into your own hands, cherishing what you can do when you stop waiting and instead take life by storm.
  12. Telling and Talking about Donor Conception (from The Question Now Becomes…): Newly pregnant, a meeting at the Donor Conception Network gives the author the space to think through the baby growing inside, how they’ll speak about the conception with others, as well as finding peace in knowing a support system exists that will help them to celebrate this new life.
  13. (Not) An Old Fashioned Love Song (from Donating Hope): From a broken marriage and a broken heart comes a story of love and change as well as the courage to keep walking even when you don’t know where the path will lead you.
  14. Mental/Emotional Infertility and Its Impact on the Adoption, Loss, and Infertility Community (from The Smartness): The author defines what she calls “emotional infertility” and explains how our mental state determines the support we are capable of giving in the moment.
  15. To Be, Not To Be (from Magpie Musing): A stunning post on how all that came before her daughter made her family into the threesome they are now. Any one element out of place, even the saddest ones, would mean that she wouldn’t have the little girl she has.
  16. Twisted Comfort (from Genuine Greavu): The author finds peace with the way she handled her miscarriage from the Bodies exhibit, especially within the reproduction room.
  17. Sometimes I’m Not Very Positive. . . (from The Redhead Files): A very raw and honest post giving insight into the emotional landscape of a failed cycle after her third IUI.
  18. That Dr. Seuss… He Was on to Something (from Can I Get Some Sugar with These Lemons?): The author tearfully realizes that she “made it to the end. I moved my mountain” as she reads aloud a Dr. Suess book to her son.
  19. Last Friday Night (from Bébé Suisse): A powerful piece about what is truly going on inside the mind of a woman as she graciously congratulations the couple in the room after they announce their accidental pregnancy.
  20. The Vantage Point of Hindsight (from The Destiny Manifest): A must-read post for anyone pregnant that takes the middle road after her child is born still, reminding people that choices need to be made on a case-by-case basis and not to get sucked in to either side of the natural childbirth/hospital birth rhetoric.
  21. When Bloggers Lie About Loss (from OnceAMother…): A gorgeous post that states an important point: “I would rather show compassion and support to someone who turns out to be a troll, than have to live with having compounded someone’s grief with accusations.”
  22. A Year With You in My Life (from Dear Finley): A moving post on the one-year anniversary of discovering her son’s conception, mourning the fact that time is continuing and taking her further from the days when she had Finley with her.
  23. Overjoyed (from Finding My New Normal): The author captures the extreme joy she feels now that her daughter is here, crying the good cries that express the happiness in her heart.
  24. The Mothers (from Lessons from an Infertile Social Worker): A moving post about two mothers — one who has given birth and one who is raising the child, summarizing the pain and joy, peace and anguish in adoption.
  25. Home (from Return to Go): A gorgeous example of how home isn’t necessarily a physical place; it is sometimes a space that we manifest inside or with the people we love, where we can be ourselves, comfortable and safe.
  26. Seven Years (from Not Undecided): The truth of how miscarriages affected the author’s marriage; laying bare the fact that making it through seven years of marriage was not always pretty, but it was always filled with love.
  27. Conversations I Must have with My Daughters (from The Rumour Mill): I got teary reading this perfect post of advice from a mother to her daughters.
  28. Three Years On (from Adventures for Four): Processing a loss three years down the line, the author realizes what she couldn’t in the moment: that after all the sadness would come a different but equal happiness.
  29. Beyond the PAIL (from Family Building with a Twist): A post about how the author doesn’t feel as if she belongs in the infertility community anymore now that she is a mother but also feels an otherness as she navigates the world of parents who have conceived without issue.
  30. I Am Childless, Hear Me Roar (from The Road Less Travelled): The growing and powerful voice of women living child-free after infertility, and the important ways they’re letting out a mighty roar.
  31. Simple When It’s Anything But (from Life From Here: Musings from the Edge): A mother navigates a question from her daughter over dinner: why didn’t I grow in your belly? She gracefully unfolds the answer in small increments, giving her child what she can understand in the moment.
  32. Where There’s Tea, There’s Hope (from Sunnydaytodaymama): The author’s hope may have disappeared for a bit, but it returns in a new form within this post.
  33. It Shouldn’t Have Been So Hard (from Production, Not Reproduction): A post about taking that first step to treat post-adoption depression; the deep breath that was taken at the doctor’s office when the author circled the answer to the question, asking for help.
  34. How I Cope with Pregnant Women (from Non Sequitur Chica): The author explains the very healthy ways she has of thinking and processing pregnancies happening around her as she experiences infertility.
  35. Wanted for Robbery (from No Baby Ruth): Until she can leave the limbo of infertility, the author feels the situation suffocating her passion. She mourns the loss of excitement and energy from her life.
  36. Fading Away (from A Single Journey): A haunting post realizing that in the same way that the memories of a friend who died have faded from her mind, so is the dream of becoming a mother one day.
  37. The Pregnancy Factory (from Little Chicken Nuggets): Now that the situation is different, now that she is the one sitting in the ultrasound waiting room rather than visiting the pregnancy loss clinic down the hall, the author wonders about the other patients and realizes that perhaps their journeys were not as blissful as she assumed.
  38. The Deets! Part 1 (from Knocked up by Another Man): The author is chosen by another blogger to be the recipient of her frozen embryos, and she tells the story of how she went from despair to hope.
  39. An Adoptee’s Perspective: 10 Things Adoptive Parents Should Know (from Diary of a Not-So-Angry Asian Adoptee): A fabulous post of advice for adoptive parents given by an adoptee.
  40. Family Building (from Blawnde’s Blawg): How does one know when they’re ready to try for a child again? The author muses about what she thought her family was going to look like and holds that against the reality of what family building is like for them.
  41. Fear (from With Just a Little Help): A post about the fears inherent in infertility; the fear of another BFN, the fear of a positive and all the worrying that entails, and mostly a fear of living with all of that fear day in and day out.
  42. Can You Imagine Not Having a Child? (from Baptism by Fire): The author leads the reader through imagining life without a child, bringing understanding to what it is like to live child-free after infertility.
  43. A Response From A Childless Friend (from If You Don’t Stand For Something): After an advice columnist answers the question of what mothers do all day, the author pens her own response of how childless women hear and process the work description of being a mother, begging for understanding for the other side too.
  44. 1000 Oceans (from A Thousand Oceans): A powerful post reflecting on the final days as a family of four before her water broke and Naava and Aminadav were gone; how time split into two parallel universes, one where she still has her babies and one where she is 1000 oceans away.
  45. I Will Never Move On (from Happiness at the Core): The author explains the problem with the term “move on” when it comes to continuing after the loss of a baby, and she instead uses the more accurate term, “live on.”
  46. Uncomfortable Thoughts (from The Misadventures of Missohkay): A both amusing and enlightening post about a conversation the author never expected to have with an unkempt man on the train in regards to her daughter.
  47. High Risk (from Breathe Gently): The author learns that her pregnancy has become high risk and there is a chance that something is wrong with her baby, but she opts to not continue with screening or diagnostic tests because she knows their answers will not change her path.
  48. The Half Full Cup: Three Years (from Mama On The Fly ): A moving post about trying to find a way to celebrate a very complicated birthday for a child she inadvertently carried for another couple, a child who she is still parenting with her heart. This post highlights the complex formations of love: sometimes it takes the shape of a straight line, and sometimes it becomes a jagged, twisting shape, ensnaring or cradling us.
  49. Intangibles (from MoJo Working): The author discusses a mental shift, away from coveting babyhood to seeing the bigger scope of all the stages of life without children. She touches on an important distinction of wanting a baby but wanting a family more.
  50. Bereaved Moms Club (from BH Mom): With her daughter born still, all she has are her dreams to imagine a life that would now include the teenage years. It’s about acknowledging the what ifs for a moment.
  51. What Makes the Elephant Charge His Tusk in the Misty Mist, or the Dusky Dusk (from A Passage to Baby): A post about finding courage and dipping back into a time when she felt braver as she embarks on part of her cycle alone in India.
  52. Now You See Me, Part 2 (from Dragondreamer’s Lair): An attempt to bring comfort to a friend who lost her child brings the author her own lifeline to get through her own losses down the road, one stitch at a time.
  53. What Dreams May Come (from The Elusive Second Line): Dreams of her future first-born son fill her mind, keeping at bay other options to parenthood because they do not match the little boy that visits her when she sleeps, the boy she knows she is meant to parent.
  54. Once Upon a Visit, Every Time a Visit (from My Lady of the Lantern): A moving post about returning to the hospital where her child died for a doctor’s appointment for her second born. Seeing the doorway to the NICU fills her with thoughts about the child she never got to cuddle close and where her wishes land as she blows them into the air.
  55. Forget (from Kmina’s Blog): As much as we want to remember, our brains cannot hold on to the reality of caring for a new baby, and so we are surprised anew with each child as we become the center of their universe.
  56. Stronger, Braver, Smarter… (from Fertility Lab Insider): A must-read post if you are struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel that promises you that within infertility, “you are stronger than you seem, braver than you feel, and smarter than you think.”
  57. Dawn Warblings (from Aerotropolitan Comitissa): Two perfect parables that will bring you comfort and understanding.
  58. No and It is OK (from Musings of a Hormonal Egg Basket): Discovering that it is the stomach flu and not a miraculous natural pregnancy causing her nausea makes the author think about her frozen embryos and how she both wants to be reunited with them as well as fears the process of attempting pregnancy again.
  59. Lessons My Toddler Teaches Me (from Destined To Be An Old Woman With No Regrets): A great post about how without many words, the author comes to an agreement with her toddler that allows them both to have what they need, even if it takes double the amount of time to get where they’re going.
  60. A Surprise from the Universe & the Slippery Slope (from Glitter & Rainbows): One of the most original posts I’ve read all year comparing leaving family building to quitting smoking.
  61. Believing in the Unbelievable (from From IF to When): A post that captures the amazement of the author who didn’t know if she’d ever become a mother and now, a month after having that thought, is writing about her daughter.
  62. Waves Crashing (from Metholic’s Blog): The memory of getting hit by a giant wave when the author was younger becomes an analogy for navigating pregnancy after infertility, as she discusses how one continues to enter the ocean even knowing all the possible dangers.
  63. Infertiles of the World Unite (from The Barren Librarian): The Pain Olympics become a source of sadness for the author who is simply looking for comfort and not competition as she navigates infertility.
  64. Flicker (from Ana Begins): The bitter and the sweet of your children growing up, becoming more independent and capable of doing fun things, and yet also no longer being the sweet, cuddly babies they once were.
  65. Unhappy Birthday (from Hope Floats Among the Cherry Blossoms): A dark post for a dark birthday. The author doesn’t want to celebrate her 35th birthday and reflects on where she thought her life would be at 35.
  66. I Licked Him (from My Foxy Family): A fabulous post of trying to discern what is real and what is a dream when the author is finally holding her child in her arms.
  67. This Is It (from Kate in Monet’s Garden): The author sums up a loss perfectly by saying, “We’ll try again. Obviously. But I’ll always have this one with me, in the back of my mind.” A moving post about a baby who should be here.
  68. The Women I Respect The Most (from The Brooding Woman): The author reflects on the two other infertile women in her family — her mother and her aunt — one of whom went on to have children and the other who remained child-free.
  69. A Journey (from Monkey Soup): The author comments that when they chose adoption to grow their family, they didn’t realize how much their outlook on life would be changed by the experience, but happily it was.
  70. Rebellion (from Unexplained Rantings): For years and many miscarriages, the author has not been herself, squelching all of her favourite things in an effort to control the uncontrollable. This is a post about letting go, with gorgeous red locks.
  71. Order (from This was Supposed to be My Symphony): The author’s neatly organized life is turned upside down by infertility, and she explains how painful it is to stand there, waiting your turn, and be left five years later still without a child.
  72. Peeing on Schrödinger’s Cat (from Ova Achiever): An ode to Schrödinger’s pee stick, as the author debates whether or not to test before the beta, worrying that testing early will somehow create the negative, whereas currently she is both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time.
  73. I Am (from Thought Provoking Moments): A poem is created as the author fills out a series of questions answering who she is, what her heart wants in this fight.
  74. Social Media and the Modern Family (from Manapan’s Space): An amazing story about how social media — namely, Facebook — brought the author together with her biological father and half-siblings.
  75. Turning Sour into Sweet (from Searching for Our Silver Lining): Instead of being sour for what went wrong, the author is making life sweet again by taking control of how she views her infertility.
  76. Bigness, Mercy, Unicorns, and Babies (from I Can’t Whistle): An awesome post in the true sense of the word — capturing the awe the author feels watching her child, understanding that time is marching on whether she is ready or not.
  77. Falling While Thinking of Squirrels (from Eighteenyears): A fall during a run drives home an important lesson of never knowing what will come next, hence why we need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  78. Good Grief… Why Do I Feel Guilty? (from Mommyhood After Fertility Frustration): A post exploring the guilt that is inherent in infertility — guilt over the way the author emotionally reacted to their lot, guilt over reaching parenthood when others didn’t, guilt over all the haves and have nots.
  79. Things I Would Say (from Julie’s Junk Drawer): 10 wonderful pieces of advice the author wishes she could go back in time and tell the version of herself from three years ago who was just setting out on her family building journey.
  80. Heaven Will Hold Them (from Teach Me To Braid): A very moving post about the loss of her son; of waiting to tell the nurse he had been born because it brought them closer to the moment when he would be taken away, of viewing the pictures they took and realizing they could never capture the moment.
  81. Overworking It (from My Lazy Ovaries): The author stands at the crossroads, needing to make a decision. Will she go in one direction which includes attempting IVF with donor eggs or will she choose to live child-free? This post unpacks the decision.
  82. A Little Bitter (from Life Of An Army Wife): The author expresses her frustration at learning that a fellow blogger kept her pregnancy a secret for 14 weeks, but then realizes that the lack of support from the blogosphere at times feeds that situation.
  83. July Poem (from Something Out of Nothing): A gorgeous poem about making a child, about making a father out of her husband in the process, about interconnected life.
  84. An Open Letter To Embryo 9B (from Play It All Night Long): This note from mother to embryo will make you laugh, as well as tear up knowing the outcome of the cycle. It’s a post that makes you want to add your voice to the chorus stating: “please, stay.”
  85. So, You Had You a Donor Egg Baby (from Roccie Road): Pretty much the post she expected to write: her child is here, a product of donor eggs, and like his sister before him, he is so busy simply being that the details we fret over rarely enter the day to day world.
  86. Plagiarizing Frankenstein (from A Chick and Eggs): A post that is both tongue-in-cheek and serious as the author ties together her donor egg cycle with Shelley’s Frankenstein.
  87. A Season of Letting Go (from My Unfolding Truth): A message from G-d telling the author to let go becomes an extinguishing of her passionate desire for a second child, and by the end of the post, she realizes that the message has always been to live life in balance, even family building.
  88. A Not-So Fairy Tale Ending (from Emma in Mommyland): Facebook is the catalyst for revisiting the grief the author felt after the birth of her child, when she struggled to hold it together while experiencing postpartum depression and the social media site became a place reminding her of her struggles rather than bringing comfort.
  89. Balance (from Compromised Fertility): A wonderful post about trying to find balance, especially in a situation where there are so many numbers to obsess over and new pieces of information filling the author’s brain daily.
  90. What You Wanted (from Project Progeny): Four simple words — “it’s what you wanted” — become a minefield as the author navigates daily stresses with two children and the voices in her head in tow.
  91. 2 DPO – Filling The Slooooooooowness (from Infertility Can Suck It): A random string of amusing thoughts (ghost farts!) filling her brain instead of focusing on the fact that she is once again in the two week wait.
  92. Emotional Thursday (from Lil M’s Adventures): The author reflects on how hard it was to bring her son into the world, the literal and figurative fights, and how sad she feels leaving him during the week when she goes to work.
  93. I’m Not A Failure, Just Infertile (from Ready To Be A Mom): A powerful post explaining how the author feels about IVF, a procedure that helped her create her child, and how she feels when she hears other people claim they would never utilize the science.
  94. How Infertility Has Effed Up My Head (from An Engineer Becomes A Mom): A very thought-provoking take on why the author doesn’t want to get pregnant now, and the steps she is consciously taking to continue to build their family through adoption even if it may end up being the harder path. It’s a complicated thought that ends up making perfect sense.
  95. How to Survive (from Four Plus an Angel): The author explains exactly how she survived the loss of her child, something she believed she would never be able to make it through before it happened, but then realized exactly how to get to the other side with her grief.
  96. The Yellow Blanket Revelation (from Queen of the Slipstream): A wonderful post, the sort that one takes out and reads over and over again to remember the strength they felt on a single day when the author ran the gamut from accepting the idea of living child-free to deciding to move forward with adoption and realizing this was about something so much larger than the two people in the couple.
  97. Happy (from R. Sativus): The author worries that she isn’t explaining herself well in her post, but the reader can immediately understand her relief of leaving a path that wasn’t working and finding herself on a happier road that will hopefully take her where she wants to go.
  98. The Day The Rowing Machine Turned On Me. Along With Everything Else (from Ladyblogalot): The author becomes stuck on her rowing machine after she goes to workout in order to release some of the pent-up emotions she feels about infertility. The way she becomes unstuck feels like a metaphor for how she can navigate the emotional side of infertility.
  99. Birth Part Two: First Week Freak Out (from Survive and Thrive): The author discovers that how she imagined motherhood is not exactly how her first week of trying to feed her baby turned out. The analogy for parenthood that begins the post is spot-on; absolutely perfect.
  100. IF Is Like a Video Game (from Brave IVF Girl): Gamers of the world, listen up: an analogy for infertility that begins, “Infertility is like a video game where no skill is involved, just luck.”
  101. IVF Etiquette (from Journey to Motherhood – My IVF story): Know someone going through infertility? This is a fantastic list of what to NOT say and do.
  102. The Big Announcement (and It’s Not What You Think) (from Altered Type): A powerful post about announcing to friends and family, in no uncertain terms, that family building attempts are done and the couple is now consciously entering a state of being child-free after infertility.
  103. Healthy Scan, Heartfelt Wedding, Hum-dinger Of A Honeymoon (from Becoming Somebody’s Mum): During an exciting, activity-filled time in the author’s life, she pauses to reflect on the pregnancy she is experiencing with her surrogate and enjoy the moment.
  104. I Hate the Word (from Bickerstaff Blog): When infertility feels like a personal attack by the universe, the author reminds herself that this is just life, even if the label for this life is a word that gets under her skin.
  105. To Those Recovering from a Recent Loss (from Ready for My Turn): Time has been the saving grace in healing the wounds felt by the author after a loss, and she passes on that finding to others who are currently struggling to get through a loss.
  106. Calypso’s Beads of Courage (from The Empty Cookie): The author provides a powerful visual story of her daughter’s life and death in the form of a bead necklace that relays each medical moment of her brief life.
  107. How Can a Husband Support His Wife When Undergoing an IVF Cycle? (from A Pursuit to Perpetuate My Genes): 9 pieces of advice of how a person can support their partner who is undergoing IVF on behalf of the couple.
  108. To Dad (from Stupid Stork): A very moving tribute to the father she loved intensely and lost way too soon.
  109. A Legacy (from Hobbit-ish Thoughts & Ramblings): As the author gets rid of the tangible baby items now that family building is done, she realizes that these are just objects and the true legacy will be the support and information she’ll pass along to those who come after her.
  110. Semper Fi (from Bereaved and Blessed): The author recounts going to stand along the route to support the motorcade carrying a fallen Marine, and I cried by the time the cars reached her and the enormity of the loss set in.
  111. Lost and Found (from This Cross I Embrace): A very raw and honest post about feeling resentment when other people announce their pregnancies, and how a message came to the author in a prayer.
  112. Bye Bye Babyhood (from Mud Hut Mama): Sometimes the tangible items mean so much more than their intended use. The author explains how a baby carrier became the bridge between the child she lost and the children alive, the receptacle of all her parenting hopes.
  113. The Chrooster and Young Patch (from Pepibebe | Nurturing By Nature): A fabulous story about the author seeing a bit of herself and her partner in one of their chickens, and how with a simple placing of a fertilized egg, they can try to make their chicken’s dreams come true. I loved this story.
  114. Letter to Myself (from CD1 Again): The author writes a letter to herself when she stops attempting treatments, giving herself the permission to mourn and move on.
  115. The Best and Worst Day of My Life (from FrozenOJ’s Concentrated Life): The author takes the reader through a roller coaster of emotions as she gets her long-awaited positive only to start bleeding the next day.
  116. Shades of Gray (from I’m Just Ducky, Thanks): An understanding takes root at the therapist’s office when the author realizes that while she’d like to be the person who educates the world on surrogacy, that may not be what she does best in life. And more importantly, that’s okay.
  117. Harder But Not Worse (from Bionic Mamas): A post to bookmark and return to again and again whenever you’re in the throes of a particularly difficult parenting day, remembering that while some things are harder with a baby, they are rarely worse. And the author so beautiful explains the pain of parenting to the pain of infertility as “that misery as a rain shower is to the oceans.”
  118. Sitting (from My Angel Baby… Aiden William): A beautiful post about how a mother found peace of heart after the loss of her son, finding the answer in the story of Lazerus.
  119. And Then, a Car Backfired… (from Single Infertile Female): An incredible post that will move you from laughter to tears as the author explains how she went from laughing to crying in the doctor’s office.
  120. Why Infertility Sucks! (from My IVF Journey): A wonderful vent-of-a post unleashing all the things she hates about infertility, that ends most poignantly: “I hate thinking I am a failure when I know I am not…”
  121. Opening Up an Old Wound (from Fearlessly Infertile): A breathless post about having a child-free life plan changed when a call comes about a child coming to their family through adoption, and the need to make a decision whether to proceed ahead or keep the status quo.
  122. Elleanor Jolea Is Born (from Desire to Mother): A very raw and truthful post about being deeply excited and saddened by a friend’s baby’s arrival. It’s about loving and coveting at the same time.
  123. Here Get Pregnant and Take Your Meds (from Adventures, Dreams and Other Painful Things): A frustrating conversation between patient and doctor, where the author is at peace with the idea of a hysterectomy in order to finally put an end to the extreme pain, and the doctor spends the appointment trying to talk her out of the surgery.
  124. Grateful Remorse (from Hapa Hopes): A wonderful, sweet, tiny post capturing a moment of gratitude between husband and wife.
  125. How Life Changes in Two Short (but long) Years (from A Road Well Traveled): What a difference two years makes. The author takes the reader through an early loss to a first set of twin girls, and now continues the story with another set of twins on the way.
  126. I Am Infertile (from Waiting to Expand): As much as the author doesn’t want infertility to be part of her identity and it isn’t a word she wants to use to define herself, infertility is part of who she is and always will be, even after the family building part of her journey ends.
  127. Remembering (from The Chronicles of Violetta Margarita): A sweet post, especially knowing the outcome of the cycle, as the author writes her future child and begs them to stay this time around when they couldn’t before.
  128. Left Behind (from Where Love and Chaos Reign): A breathtaking opening — “Infertility is a thief. It steals so much from so many. And while it gives in many ways, it often gives only to take away again.” — moves into a post about being left behind as friends conceive. An analogy for navigating friendships and infertility.
  129. Trip to London – Day 2 – Coldcon! (from Elana’s Musings): A fun post about meeting some of her favourite people from Merlin at ColdCon in London, making the long trip from the US to England beyond worth it.
  130. A Closer Look (from Window Into Our World): A powerful post that begs the reader to take a closer look at the pink ribbon campaign and learn about what the pink ribbon means instead of affixing it to a lapel and assuming its history.
  131. Wasting Time (from Slaying, Blogging, Whatever…): The extraordinariness of the ordinary; just a mother and child enjoying an hour together, the tiny pleasures and the profound enormity.
  132. Coming To Terms: Honey Lavender Ice Cream (from A Half Baked Life): The author tries to find peace with the idea of stillness, of waiting in the center of the chaos and observing, breathing. She longs for the feeling of movement, knowing at the same time that life often contains these pauses and they — like all other things — are there for a reason if we allow them to serve a purpose.
  133. Next Steps (from Tales of A Cautious Optimist): The author proceeds into her next cycle in shock that the first IVF and FET didn’t work, but she finds comfort in the change in protocol, the entire team shouldering the burden.
  134. The Same (from Here We Go Again): The same bed in the hospital is the birthplace of the author’s two sons; the one who is here and the one who isn’t. The post will make you hold your breath for a moment.
  135. No Man Left Behind (from Mission 2 B a Mom): An important reminder that within all couples, there are two people going through infertility even if the procedures and tests are only being performed on one body. The author cautions not forget the other person on the emotional landscape.
  136. Never Change (from Baby Smiling In Back Seat): The author hasn’t changed visually from her high school days, down to the clothing she’s wearing when she unpacks this fact, though readers will think about the hidden ways we all change over the years.
  137. PSA: Freeze Your Eggs (from Yo-Yo-Mama.com): Once the author receives a 30% chance of getting pregnant from the doctor, she wishes she had taken out an insurance policy on her future fertility and froze her eggs. She offers out this thought to readers to hopefully save them from what she is going through with her diagnosis.
  138. The Pain That Remains (from I Am The Genetic Mule): The author explores the pain of a failed IVF cycle, explaining that it began when she thought of those embryos as promises of future children, and when that didn’t come to be, it was more than just a loss of cluster of cells.
  139. Learning to Fail (from Persnickety Chickadee): As adults, we build our lives around avoiding failure, choosing not to do things that we know we don’t do well. And then we discover we are infertile and simply avoiding family building is not an option. The author explains why infertility hits her so hard emotionally.
  140. Do We Really Choose? (from No Kidding in NZ): The author explains that she sees the choice to live child-free as not really a choice at all; it was the outcome of her limitations and situation. The choice comes later, when she decides how she wants to live her life, joyfully and looking forward instead of backward.
  141. The Silent Misery of Miscarriage (from Rainbows and Rainshowers): The author explains why she doesn’t talk about miscarriages with the people in her face-to-face world though she takes great comfort from writing about them online.
  142. Thank You, Leslie Brown (from Life As I Know It): An ode to Lesley Brown, from one IVF mother to another. The author thanks the first woman to conceive via IVF, as well as remembers the women who went through IVF cycles at the same time and didn’t conceive their baby.
  143. Doing The Math (from Somewhere In The Middle): Though the author struggles with math on paper, her brain automatically and effortlessly calculates the dates and time spans she doesn’t want to think about.
  144. Lucky 13 (from My Life with Endo & Infertility): An unlucky number starts to feel more fortuitous as it pops up in many places, making the author realize that 2013 could be her year to get her heart’s desire.
  145. Homestretch Anxiety (from Relaxed No More): A very honest post about the anxiety that grips the author prior to the birth of her long-awaited child, a child that she worked hard to create and yet can’t help but feel fearful as she faces the unknown of what parenting will actually be like.
  146. Single Motherhood At My Age: My Reality (from My Preconceived Notion): Growing old is hard, the author points out, as she goes through what is happening right now, compounded by the fact that her pain spills over into the choices she makes as a parent without a second set of hands around to help. It’s an honest post about growing older; a venting that needed to happen.
  147. Happy New Year! (from Life with Endo and PCOS): A very happy New Years Day post from exactly one year ago today, stating the author’s simple hopes for the coming year.
  148. Obsessed with Babies (from My Cheap Version of Therapy): The author explains how her anxiety and focus has lessened now that her child is here, moving from occupying most of her waking thoughts and energy when they were trying to conceive, to now being a soft sound in the background as she is parenting.
  149. Be Brave (from Wee Hermione): The author promises the reader that we’re stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and that her bravery is simply an act of committing to what she wants and going for it without regrets.
  150. It’s Like Riding a Craptastic Bicycle (from Wonderfully Ordinary): Bicycle riding becomes an analogy for what it is like to return to treatments after being successful once, from quickly growing accustomed again to injections to that fear that you could always land face down on the figurative concrete.
  151. Prison Blues (from Weathering Storms): An emotional and honest post about the author’s open adoption situation, which includes navigating a relationship with her son’s birthmother who is currently in jail. This wasn’t how she imagined open adoption, and yet she stays true to her beliefs for what she wants for her son.
  152. I Need People to Understand This (from Catching Our Rainbow): The author writes a passionate plea for understanding that she is not waiting to become a mother. She started parenting the moment she saw those two lines on the pregnancy test, even if her children left her way too soon.
  153. Superman, Batman, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (from Old Lady and No Baby): Two sisters, one the egg donor and one the egg receiver, get superhero socks to wear on the day of their procedures, bringing levity (and hopefully some superhuman power) to an emotional situation.
  154. Note to Self: Don’t Look at Me (from Will CarryOn): An emotional post about the days after the loss of the author’s twins, when her milk came in despite efforts to stave off its presence. A post about how she feels about her body, how she can no longer look down at it with the happiness she felt weeks earlier.
  155. Calls to Sterilize Parents of Children Locked in Hot Car Are Wrong and Misplaced (from Cora’s Story): A moving plea asking readers to stop judging parents who lose their children, even those whose children die due to human error. To put that energy instead into helping prevent future deaths from happening rather than condemning those who are already grieving.
  156. It Takes A Village (from Res Cogitatae): Parenthood has changed the way the author views family; has changed the way she views physical distance and what she wants now in regards to her relationships. It’s a beautiful post to end the Creme on, that will hopefully make you also reflect on what is important to you this upcoming year.

Past Creme de la Creme Lists

Like what you read?  Peruse an old Creme de la Creme list from the past

*I aim for inclusivity, therefore, if you think you belong on this list, you probably do. From the newly-diagnosed to the treatment vets, from those still filling out paperwork to those with completed adoptions, from those who are trying to choose a donor and those parenting DI or DE kids; those who are completely confused on what to do and those who are peacefully–or not peacefully–living child-free. Biological infertility or situational infertility, being a single parent by choice, straight or gay, young or old — this list is about difficulties while family building, pure and simple.

18 comments

1 Autumn { 01.01.13 at 10:22 am }

Great list. There are several that I remember from your description!

2 Katie { 01.01.13 at 11:55 am }

Thank you for doing this, Mel!

3 Heather O. { 01.01.13 at 1:32 pm }

Excellent list! Thank you for taking the time to compile all of these posts for us! :D

4 Tiara { 01.01.13 at 4:06 pm }

Thank you for doing this list. I cannot wait to read them all. Happy new year!

5 St. Elsewhere { 01.01.13 at 11:33 pm }

Thank you, Mel.

6 Esperanza { 01.02.13 at 2:56 am }

Such an amazing list, and an incredible achievement. Thanks for doing this!

7 Christa Singleton { 01.02.13 at 5:29 am }

Your should have an Iron Commenter award for the Creme de la Creme lists :)

8 Kathy { 01.02.13 at 9:42 am }

Thank you for doing this again! I love reading your snippets about each post. Personally, that is one of the things I look forward to most about the Creme… I also really enjoy the actual posts, especially seeing which one you and other blogging friends choose, but getting to read what you wrote, especially about my post is such an awesome simple pleasure for me in the new year. I appreciate that my post (#110) moved you and LOVE the post that you chose for yourself. It was such a powerful piece, that I am so many others can relate to about the children that aren’t ere with us and when we allow ourselves to imagine if they were. Looking forward to digging into this list in the days to come. Thanks again and Happy New Year!

9 Jessica { 01.02.13 at 1:52 pm }

What an amazing undertaking this much be to compile each year. Thank you so much for doing this and for including my post. I look forward to reading many more.

10 Tonya { 01.02.13 at 4:48 pm }

What a wealth of information, thank you for compiling this list. So glad to know I’m not alone in my infertility struggles.

11 Jen { 01.02.13 at 8:04 pm }

You are fabulous. What an awesome list of reads! And thank you for including me. Gives us all the opportunity to share and help each other – what this whole interwebs was built for in the first place. Yay!

12 StacieT { 01.03.13 at 3:38 am }

Thank you, Mel, for all of your hard work. It’s once again a great list!

13 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 01.03.13 at 5:31 am }

Fun to see that several posts that still resonate with me were chosen by the authors — including yours, Mel.

Thanks for doing all of this yet again.

14 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.03.13 at 11:38 am }

Jeez Louise I bet you got tired of getting through Blogger’s captcha codes. I keep wanting to throw up my hands in exasperation.

15 nonsequiturchica { 01.03.13 at 5:27 pm }

Once again, you are AMAZING for putting this together. Thank you for all of your hard work- I can’t wait to read everyone’s entries!!

16 Turia { 01.07.13 at 2:06 pm }

Thank you, Mel, for doing this. Thank you too for the kind words about my post. I’ve just bookmarked the page and am looking forward to reading my way through all of the posts as the year rolls on.
T.

17 Mud Hut Mama { 01.20.13 at 2:57 pm }

I somehow missed that this list was out! Thank you Mel – 156 posts! I’m so looking forward to going through these and I can’t imagine how much time this must have taken to put together. Thank you so much!

18 AnonMom { 11.19.13 at 1:16 am }

Thank you more than you know! Just found this list and linked over to the PAIL community! So happy to have found more support for the next stage of my life.

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