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Creme de la Creme of 2013

For the eighth 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 2014 list, make sure you look for the opening post in October 2014.

Listed below are the best posts of 2013. 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 2013

  1. The End of the End (from Stirrup Queens): The author explains that “it doesn’t matter how small you are; you can still be deeply loved.” A story of loss and processing infertility through Cozy the hamster.
  2. Adding a Dimension to the Open Adoption Spectrum (from LavenderLuz.com): Proving that contact is not the same things as openness within open adoption, the author explains with a four-part grid how to always be striving towards the concept of openness.
  3. Jealousy Sucks (from Me… Plus One): In a deeply honest post, the author lays bare the jealousy she feels for other parents who have more than one child while having gratitude for her daughter.
  4. Today I Woke Up Crying (from Something Beautiful): A beautiful post about waking from a dream and feeling the crushing weight of realizing that it’s not a reality.
  5. NICU Delivery (from Emma in Mommyland): Rather than collect more toys, the author asks people for donations that she bring to the hospital for her child’s birthday. But the trip to the NICU for the drop off affects her deeply.
  6. CD19: Dosing Up on Clomid and Hope (from Donating Hope): The author deals with the absurdity that she has gone from being an egg donor to using Clomid since she doesn’t ovulate on her own, though a good session with the punching bag clears her head to bring her the clarity she needs.
  7. Kindergarten Past, Present & Future (from Bereaved and Blessed): A moving post, written to her three children — two of whom are living and a daughter who died — to mark their experience with kindergarten: past, present, and future.
  8. Trials and Trails (from A+ Effort): Revisiting a restaurant that was the site of a miscarriage, the author reflects on walking through it now with her daughter and wishing she had known then what her future held.
  9. It’s Okay (from Here We Go Again): A wonderful post from a baby loss mother about how there isn’t a single way to process terrible events but instead giving people permission to mourn as they need.
  10. Growing Pains (from Adventures for Four): The author puts away clothes that her daughter outgrows, wondering what to do with the “what if” pile and whether there will be a child in the future to wear it.
  11. Never Going Back Again (from Arch Mama): After the author bathes her child for the first time, washing away the last remnants of her daughter’s time inside her body, she reflects on the healing from infertility that has taken place though it will always remain part of her story.
  12. I Refuse to be Grateful for My Infertility (from Inconceivable!): The author writes, “Infertility is many things in my life, but it is not a blessing.” A post about how we don’t have to feel gratitude or positivity toward the obstacles life places in our path.
  13. A Letter To MRKH (from MRKH Musings): In an open letter to her uterine anomaly, the author tells her body all the ways she hates it until she comes to a place of love, realizing what has come into her life as the silver lining to that dark cloud.
  14. Painting Rocks (from Bio Girl): The author talks about how her son tells his aunt over and over again how he loves her and misses her in the unique way a child grieves after a death: by bringing her colours.
  15. Where’d My Baby Go? (from Family Building with a Twist): A sweet, wistful post about a babyhood gone and with it, the giving away of items no longer needed.
  16. A Letter to Me (from From IF to When): Now knowing the end of her infertility story, the author goes backwards and writes a letter to herself, four years younger and about to embark on the journey that will bring her through many setbacks but ultimately to her daughter.
  17. A Mother’s Story (from Inklings): Telling the story of the death and birth of her son, Rowan, the author recounts the events in December when she learned that her child had no heartbeat to cradling her son after delivery.
  18. Redirecting Your Thoughts (from In Due Time): A rallying cry for positivity even in the face of enormous obstacles such as infertility.
  19. The Bracelet – the One She Never Got to Meet (from We Say IVF They Say FIV): A moving post from the author about losing her mother and gaining a son.
  20. The Very Bad Time (from Little Chicken Nuggets): A helpful post that every pregnant woman should bookmark in case they need it in the future. The author discusses her personal experience with postpartum depression.
  21. The Meaning of Hope Part II (from A Single Journey): A beautful tribute to Hope, the author’s grandmother. Her name takes on new meaning as the author explains how much this woman meant to her, and how much she will miss her now that she’s gone.
  22. Mind Over What Matters (from Will CarryOn): A frank post about going on medication after the loss of her twins. The author writes, “I should be able to get through this on my own will and determination, right? Wrong.”
  23. The Reason (from Genuine Greavu): Exploring the topic of faith in regards to infertility, the author explains that while she doesn’t understand why she is infertile, she believes that she will see G-d’s work in dealing with her diagnosis.
  24. Not Really Alone (from Bébé Suisse): A wonderful post about how it’s never too late in a pregnancy to take that step back from anxiety and just enjoy the moments you do have together, realizing the connection and what you always carry with you.
  25. The Un-Anniversary (from The Brooding Woman): On an unfulfilled wedding anniversary, the author reflects on how she is better off without her ex-husband, and the small silver linings to their situation.
  26. It’s Okay to Not be Okay (from Stupid Broken Eggs ): In a world where no one will admit to their foibles, the author muses on what it means to say she’s not okay after the death of a friend, and how different the world would be if we all said aloud that we’re not okay.
  27. Note to My Mom (from BattleFish): On Mother’s Day, a daughter writes the mother she lost all the things she was supposed to be here to do, see, and say.
  28. This Is… (from Kmina’s Blog): Capturing a time period of pure happiness to keep in an Internet jar and peek at in years to come so the heart never forgets.
  29. A Breath of Fresh Air (from My Cheap Version of Therapy): A post about why embracing the happiness of parenting was an important part of the author’s healing after infertility.
  30. Is the Unlived Life Worth Examining? (from The Road Less Travelled): Living childfree after infertility in a world full of children is a constant reminder of the road not taken, but the author reminds us that the road she’s on contains wonderful things too.
  31. My Rose Bush (from Lessons from an Infertile Social Worker): After she literally sets down roots into motherhood, she figuratively sets down roots with a rose bush, a plant that has always symbolized parenting, to mark her first Mother’s Day.
  32. Survivors’ Guilt (from Somewhere in the Middle): The author recounts her first Mother’s Day as a parent after dreading the day for nine straight years. Surrealness marks this moment of change, from waiting to mothering.
  33. What’s Passed On (from My Path To Mommyhood): Standing in the gluten-free aisle kicks off the author’s musings on what we inherit and what she won’t get to pass along — good or otherwise. And how the people who carry us and surround us influence us much in the same way as DNA.
  34. In My Shoes (from Who Shot Down My Stork?): A day in the life of an infertile woman, hour by hour, with a gorgeous ending that captures those moments that you carve out together, holding each other.
  35. A Rebuttal (from MoJo Working): A rebuttal, point for point, to a hurtful comment that was left on a post explaining why the author doesn’t like Mother’s Day that goes on to suggest that there is a lot of mothering that is done by non-mothers, and all of that love should be recognized and honoured.
  36. National Infertility Awareness Week: For Good, Not Griping (from Wee Hermione): A wonderful post for Infertility Awareness Week asking, “Why do healthcare lemonade stands not fill everyone with rage?”
  37. Forty Eight Hours (from Baking & Babies): The birth story of Kennedy summed up by this line: “After two years of trying, nine months of waiting, and a very long two days of labouring, I was holding my little girl. Nothing else mattered.”
  38. Blessing this Day (from PoemFish: Thoughts from an adoptive lesbian poet mom): A very moving post (be prepared with tissues) about sisterhood and anticipation and loss and blessings. A loving tribute to the author’s niece, Gwendolyn, and what this girl who was lost awakened in the author.
  39. Jimmy Fallon’s “Coming Out”: Celebrations and Concerns (from Ready To Be a Mom): A thank you to Jimmy Fallon (with a few concerns) for speaking about infertility because as the author states, every time a celebrity uses their platform to talk about it, it brings understanding to the general public.
  40. What Kindness Looks Like (from My Lady of the Lantern): A post about treating others and herself with kindness, choosing the more gracious road than the otherwise.
  41. What I Can’t Forget (from Kate; Uncensored): While the author believed at one time that certain dates no longer held power, she learned otherwise as they passed. A post about remembering.
  42. #EMOTIONS (from Mommyhood after Fertility Frustration): After a good birthing experience, the author is blindsided by her trouble with breastfeeding and talks about how she processes that experience.
  43. Tik Tok Tik Tok 1-1-1 (from While We Were Waiting): A post marking the one year anniversary of starting the adoption process; the hope and the waiting and the dreaming.
  44. On Acceptance (from Two Adults, One Child): In the peace of an early morning drive, the author remembers her child on her unfulfilled due date with quiet acceptance.
  45. My Dance Partners (from Can I Get Some Sugar with These Lemons?): Moving from strangers to family, a mother and son figure each other out, and she takes those lessons learned to her next child.
  46. This Chapter is Closed (from BagMomma): Closing the chapter of her life on infertility, the author beautifully summarizes it with this: “And all those things I gained? I may have lived a lifetime and never found those gifts.”
  47. A Sales Pitch to Our Day 3 Embryos (from It Only Takes One): A note to her embryos, enticing them to keep growing and return to her body in exchange for “total devotion and boundless love.”
  48. Hopeful Mornings (from Waiting to Expand): Every so often, the author lets down her guard and allows herself to hold baby clothes, dreaming.
  49. Infertile? Don’t Work at an Art Gallery (from Baby Makin’ ): The author’s artistic job brings her close to children, and she wonders if she will ever have a paint-covered child of her own.
  50. Georgia’s Birth – Part IV {Our Baby is Born} (from Breathe Gently): The final installment of her daughter Georgia’s birth story, with pictures to boot.
  51. Nothing (from In Quest of a Binky Moongee): The author finds peace after mourning an arrested cycle that ends without transfer.
  52. Second Birthday (from Non Sequitur Chica): A post about the two dogs that fill her heart with love, along with really really really cute pictures.
  53. Taking It Day By Day (from By Lisa, With Love x): Two separate losses invoke two different emotional reactions, and the author catalogues how she is finding herself again.
  54. Why, Yes, I Would Like to Host a Parasite (from And the Vial Makes Three): Two mothers-to-be-one-day recount how they came to the decision over which one would carry their child.
  55. Join the Movement: Second Class Infertile (from My Preconceived Notion): For Infertility Awareness Week, the author discusses how age creates a divide (that doesn’t need to be there) in the infertility community.
  56. Family is Everything (from Pail Bloggers): The author talks about her relationship with her child’s birth family, explaining why she chooses open adoption.
  57. When Does TTC Become an Obsession? (from Amateur Nester): At the heart of this post is a question: “At what point do all the treatments, tears, money, and anguish turn into something unhealthy?”
  58. The Most Important Lesson I Ever Learned (from A Good Mother): Advice that came during one of the worst moments of her life continues to serve the author through some of the best ones.
  59. Not Just Baby (from Life as Two): An explanation of the far-reaching reality of what it means to live childfree after infertility; both what it is and what it is not.
  60. Eye of the Storm (from Chossing Grace Today): The author compares grief to the life of a storm: the pounding rain, the moment of calm, and then the emotions spinning around again like heavy winds.
  61. Our Miracles (from Our Griswold): Though it didn’t feel like a short time while she was living it, the author reflects on how lucky she is to now have her twin daughters.
  62. Journeys: Buddha and Ammo Boxes (from I Can’t Whistle): Grief is a life partner in this post about a road trip to bury the past, literally and figuratively.
  63. Knowing Our Limits; Even When It Hurts (from Where the *Bleep* is Our Stork?): In researching adoption, the author explains that adoption isn’t easy and it may not be the right fit for all families.
  64. My Adoption Backstory and the Epiphany (from An Engineer Becomes a Mom): The author discusses her own past in regards to adoption, and it becomes an explanation for why she chose open adoption for her child.
  65. This Mother’s Day (from A Woman My Age): On Mother’s Day, the author reflects on how other women are experiencing this day, from those who are not parents to her child’s birth mother.
  66. My Middle Man (from Parenthood for Me): Capturing a moment of her child’s babyhood before he grows into the man the author knows he’ll become.
  67. Waiting Room (from Teach Me to Braid): A post about how the fertility clinic waiting room differs from the regular doctor’s office as the author wonders about everyone else’s story.
  68. Surviving Hospital Bed Rest (from Home Grown Love): A helpful post that you may want to bookmark just in case you need it in the future on how to survive hospital bed rest.
  69. 4 Week Reflections (from Constant in the Darkness): A beautiful post making sense of open adoption where the author admits, “I will always recognize that Moonbeam is also Aurora’s daughter, and that this doesn’t compromise my position.”
  70. I Can’t Help but Wonder Where I’m Bound (from Mine to Command ): A father-daughter dance at a wedding kicks off the author’s musings on how life will change when they have a child.
  71. 3 Weeks and Hot Air Balloons (from Dear Noah): Trying to make sense of losing her son on the one month anniversary after his death and birth.
  72. My Family and the 21st Chromosome (from Roccie Road): Deciding not to move forward with a CVS, the author explains that they will come to a place of peace if they do face Down syndrome.
  73. The Exhilarating Tension Between Being and Becoming (from Baby Smiling in Back Seat): The cool, flowing movement of the moon salutation becomes the balance to the author’s usual state of pushing herself toward the sun.
  74. Unsafe (from Desire to Mother): Losing the safety of childfree friends who start to procreate and having a job working with children places the author in a precarious position.
  75. Over 40 and Few Eggs Left: Case of My Friend Elena.B. (from Get Pregnant After 35: Improving Egg Quality): A post detailing the author’s opinion that women should try to improve their own egg quality for six months before turning to donor eggs.
  76. Never Regret Love (from Catching Our Rainbow): After a loss, a person is going to hurt regardless of what they do to protect themselves. So choose love.
  77. On Perfectionism (from Em-i-lis): Coming into the knowledge that she is real person, and real people aren’t perfect. She writes, “So I am trying to find comfort in being the imperfect self that I truly am, recognizing that though some won’t like it, others will.”
  78. A Yellow Jacket (from Hope Floats Among the Cherry Blossoms): The author recounts the emotions she felt seeing her goddaughter in a jacket that she thought her own child might wear one day.
  79. Casting off the Chains of Infertility: Fertility Diary, The Life of Pi and the Search for Peace (from Silent Sorority): The author speaks about kicking her addiction to fertility treatments and how there needs to be a counterpoint out there to all the hope given by the media.
  80. On Babies and a Change of Heart (from Princess Burlap): Though her husband once upon a time didn’t want children, he has since had a change of heart that fills the author with both hope and questions.
  81. The Words We Feed Ourselves (from Don’t Count Your Eggs): The author points out that while we’re extra mindful of the foods we put into our bodies, we’re not as mindful of the words we put into our minds in regards to infertility.
  82. The Dirty Word: A Hobbit-ish Paradigm Shift (from Hobbit-ish Thoughts & Ramblings): A wonderful post about how the limiting viewpoint she was given as a child was discarded when infertility opened her eyes to the world of feminism.
  83. My Due Date and What I Got Instead (from Aging Baby Maker): During a week when she should be welcoming her child, the author instead recounts the numerous ways her life has changed since her loss.
  84. I Have A Lot to Learn (from Life As I Know It): A simple conversation with her son about parking spaces sets off a larger bomb of ideas inside the author’s head.
  85. Dear Pregnant Self (from No Good Eggs): A note to her pregnant self reminding her to enjoy this pregnancy and embrace it in its entirety.
  86. Out of the Closet (from Birds, Bees, and Medicine): After telling some co-workers and her boss about infertility, the author feels a sense of peace; there is no one else she needs to tell right now and nothing she needs to hide.
  87. It’s Not Your Fault (from Persnickety Chickadee): “It’s not your fault” is a statement that gets dissected and examined as the author recounts her losses.
  88. The Great Big Lie About Personhood Legislation (from The Infertility Voice): A rallying cry against personhood bills that limit a person’s ability to create their family.
  89. Three Minutes (from #GoTeamZoll): The ritual of hand washing before entering the NICU becomes a metaphor for how the author’s life has changed since the birth of her son.
  90. On Judgment (from Res Cogitatae): Understanding her priviledge and how we often judge others and fear that we are being judged as we go through the work of parenting.
  91. Two Years (from A Crack In Everything): A wonderful post on sobriety, why she chose it, and how we can live our lives differently even in the worst of times.
  92. How Many People Does It Take to Make a Baby? (from Laughing at the I-Word): Awkward moments in family building when the normal two-some to make a baby becomes… ten.
  93. “If You Don’t Have Kids, You Don’t Understand.” (from No Kidding in NZ): Taking apart the statement “if you don’t have kids, you don’t understand,” the author explains just how much those without children notice even as their own situation goes unprocessed by the other side.
  94. Breaking Up (from Where Love and Chaos Reign): The author formally says goodbye to infertility, leaving it as a closed chapter in her life that gave her two children but no longer gets to control her emotions.
  95. We Went for a Walk Last Night (from Something Out of Nothing): The repetition of the words “we went for a walk last night” creates a rhythm through which the author weaves a thread of hope.
  96. Charmed (from TheStorkDiaries): Choosing tangible reminders for the children she lost, the author would rather have her real babies here than carried around her wrist.
  97. Mama Is Lost (from Weathering Storms): The Creme de la Creme ends on a touching note, as a mother realizes her child’s special needs, longing to hear him call her mama. It captures that feeling of lostness that comes when you realize how much of life is out of your hands.

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.

15 comments

1 Emily { 01.01.14 at 9:53 am }

What a fantastic list of posts you’ve compiled, Mel! I can’t wait to read through these, and many thanks for including my essay on Perfectionism! Happy New Year!

2 Eric Schwartzman { 01.01.14 at 10:06 am }

Mel – Am reading this amazing list. My eyes not being what they used to be are not that great reading on a smartphone. Do any of these Posts touch on donor conception that I can highlight on my DI Dad blog? My apologies. I will look again later when I get to a PC. Regards on this New Year’s morning. Eric

3 Tiara { 01.01.14 at 11:26 am }

Thank you for compiling this list so meticulously. It is something I enjoy all year long.

4 Pamela { 01.01.14 at 1:52 pm }

Happy New Year and thanks, Mel, for compiling! Off to tweet this now…

5 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.01.14 at 3:43 pm }

Thank you so much for doing this, Mel. Can’t wait to dig in!

I love that you deliver this present to me every New Year’s Day.

6 Heather { 01.01.14 at 4:40 pm }

My favorite post of the year. It’s like smuggling up with a perfect book. :-)

7 Mrs. Gamgee { 01.01.14 at 4:52 pm }

Thanks for all the work you do putting this list together! It’s a wonderful gift to all of us…

Happy New Year!

8 Mali { 01.01.14 at 5:36 pm }

Great job, AGAIN, Mel! I’m glad to see I managed to squeeze in at the end. (My late entry was due to procrastination – maybe that should be a New Year’s resolution. I dunno. I’m gonna think about it!)

Happy New Year and all the best for 2014!

9 Erika B. { 01.01.14 at 7:33 pm }

Many thanks for compiling this list every year. I love seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends via this list– thank you for all of your hard work making it happen!!

10 Weylin { 01.02.14 at 1:26 am }

Thank you for this list. It helps to steady me on this journey.

xo,
Weylin
http://www.wishingawayinfertility.blogspot.com

11 Aerotropolitan Comitissa { 01.02.14 at 2:36 am }

Great list, Mel. I’m having a blog retrospective fest at the moment – a lot of people have spent the end of the year digging through their archives and it’s a great idea to unearth these posts.

12 Katherine A { 01.02.14 at 10:50 am }

Thank you for the wonderful list…I am enjoying reading through it so much! I really appreciate all the work you have put into making this happen.

13 Katie { 01.02.14 at 12:35 pm }

Thank you so much for doing this every year for our community, Mel. xo

14 Turia { 01.03.14 at 7:59 am }

Thank you so much, Mel, for doing this. I’ve bookmarked the page and look forward to eventually reading all the posts.

15 sim { 01.03.14 at 4:46 pm }

Thank you for this list

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