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Creme de la Creme of 2014

For the ninth 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. I will decide next fall if there will be a 2015 list, so look for news in October 2015.

Listed below are the best posts of 2014. 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 2014

  1. Scattered (from Stirrup Queens): The author finally connects her own infertility to her great aunt’s situation as she mourns the last of her grandmother’s sisters.
  2. How Not to Handle Your Own Ignorance On the Internet (from Lavender Luz): After her post is ignorantly debated on another site, the author explains how to handle talking about subjects outside your ken without upsetting people.
  3. Relegated to Spectator (from Me Plus One): A mother feels both the sting and pride that comes from her child growing up and becoming independent.
  4. The Shore (from Inconceivable!): A beautiful take on the concept of loss being an unknown land across a figurative ocean; a quiet moment on the silent beach of infertility, wondering if she can make a life where she has ended up.
  5. Guilty as a Self-Charged (from Will CarryOn): As the guilt of pregnancy after loss eats away at her, the author recounts the guilt she feels over the death of her twins and all the things she wishes she had done while she had the chance.
  6. Practice (from Bio Girl): A very sweet moment between mother and son, when connection wins out over exhaustion, and baseball wins out over cooking.
  7. Surrogacy Costs: A Guide for Intended Parents (from Reproductive Law Blog): A lawyer explains the financial costs of surrogacy.
  8. I Am Important (from The Brooding Woman): The lessons learned after the author takes a step back from seeing herself through the lens of her ex-husband and realizes that she is an important, smart woman.
  9. My Postpartum Anxiety: Part 1 (from Muddy Boots and Diamonds): Because the outsider needs to understand, the author explains how postpartum anxiety feels and how it affects her daily life.
  10. Epic (from Two Kids and Counting Slowly): “The author says it perfectly: “”there’s just too much
    of every damn thing”” when it comes to infertility, and she lets the reader feel the weight, the enormity of the situation.”
  11. Thankfulness (from Project Progeny): Taking care of a sick child juxtaposed with admiring a parent she sees in the airport creates fertile ground for exploring the far-reaching emotions of parenting.
  12. Five Years of Going On (from RunningNekkid): Mourning her child’s stillbirth, the author reflects that grief is not just coming to terms with the death, but also the idea that life continues on. The junction where her brother’s birthday meets her child’s loss.
  13. Beating Wings (from Res Cogitatae): Anxiety and anger are imaginary birds — practically tangible — fluttering on the author’s shoulders, squawking over every moment as a reminder.
  14. Shadow and Light (from Something Out of Nothing): Sunshine and rain, blues and greys, create a lovely contrast in this post about her newborn daughter.
  15. And the Results Are… (from Weathering Storms): After struggling with speech delays, the author’s son ends up shooting ahead verbally, not only catching up to but surpassing his peers.
  16. Finding Meaning Questions – Take 2 (from Torthúil): A totally fascinating project: the author interviewed herself about infertility both after the diagnosis and many months later to see how her answers changed with experience.
  17. 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility (from Amateur Nester): For 31 days, the author offers up a unique prayer to G-d in regards to her infertility and invites others to do the same.
  18. Saying Goodbye (from Diary of a Little Chicken): A heartbreaking farewell to her child the day before they know they will have to say goodbye as she tries to prepare herself for the unprepareable.
  19. How Candy Crush Saga Ruined My Marriage (from Haircut and a Divorce): A series of events, starting with a cash withdrawal at a casino, leads to the end of the author’s marriage while she is pregnant after infertility.
  20. Independence (from A Plus Effort): A heartbreaking post of a child who is working hard to grow up but encounters the harsh slap of another person.
  21. Fear is Faith in the Wrong Things (from Adventures For Four): Rather than feel the excitement that should be hers for the taking, the author is struggling to have faith in a pregnancy coming after loss.
  22. One Month (from Days of Grace): Loss has created this author’s ability to see the quiet courage in getting through those first months with a new baby.
  23. Grieving, Breathing (from The Infertility Voice): On Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, the author additionally grieves a loss through suicide and muses about death, life, and the close calls.
  24. I Saw My Donor Today (from Misconceptions About Conception): A mind-blowing post about fate as the author — through a strange coincidence — comes face-to-face with her anonymous donor in an unlikely space; the airport.
  25. Strength and Vulnerability (from A Hummingbird Paused): While the author thought she had drawn hard lines in the sand, she discovers as she navigates infertility that things she never thought she could do suddenly seem do-able when faced with the idea of not becoming a parent.
  26. A Picture of Urine-Soaked Paper Disguised as a Request for Opinions on Old Guide Books (from Journeys of the Fabulist): Deciding the children themselves are proof enough of the pregnancy, the author tosses the urine-soaked sticks she kept from when they discovered they were expecting.
  27. Perfection (from No Ways to Say It): The author learns not only that perfection is impossible to obtain but that she doesn’t want to try for it, choosing to embrace the real vs. the fantasy.
  28. The Myth of the Biological Clock (from Family Building with a Twist): The author states that while feminism can’t change the basic fact that our fertility has a shelf life, it can fight the good fight to put policies in place that don’t penalize women careerwise for building their family on their own timetable. A great piece about the intersection of fertility and feminism.
  29. Wishing (from It’s Just a Box of Rain): After a long list of wishes, the author states the one thing she would never ever change if given the opportunity for unlimited wishes.
  30. Infertility Taboos… It’s Time to Stop It (from Unpregnant Chicken): If infertility is as common as statistics state, shouldn’t it stand to reason that it should be acceptable conversation material? The author makes a strong case for why we should talk about infertility.
  31. Month 55 – Letter to Quinn (from The Rumour Mill): A mother writes a letter to her daughter, wondering what sort of world she is leaving her to inherit on the day when a soldier is killed in a terrorist attack in Canada.
  32. Late Night Inspiration (from Serenity in Chaos): The author explains how offensive what is said to those childless-not-by-choice is when seen through the lens of other life events and situations.
  33. A Very Special Visit (from My Lady of the Lantern): The author finally goes to visit her daughter’s grave for the first time, and she talks about the thoughts the visit stirs up inside her.
  34. Full House (from Hope Floats Among the Cherry Blossoms): Through timing and fate, the author learns about another person’s pregnancy, and experiences both the happiness and grief that comes from talking about a baby-to-be. A beautiful post about coming to a place of peace and understanding (and excitement).
  35. Little Triggers (from My Path to Mommyhood): The author observes someone else grieving as a result of a triggering conversation, and she muses on her own triggers and how they come when we least expect them; that our scabs aren’t strong enough when we’re still close to the moment to hold them back.
  36. Announcing & Remembering (from Breathe Gently): During the time when she should have been announcing her pregnancy, the author instead announces her miscarriage. Her blog becomes the receptacle to pour all of her memories of that child, to mark that her child once existed.
  37. Brain Dump (from Manapan’s Space): In a post that covers a lot of ground, the author explains that her partner is a trans woman and how that connects with the end of their family building journey as they remain a family of three.
  38. And Rest in Unvisited Tombs (from The Road Less Travelled): A moving post about genealogy and family and the visiting of graves. The author wonders who will visit her grave after her death since her only child was born still. And yet she finally concludes that we can never know who will find comfort in visiting where we rest.
  39. From Contemplation to Preparation (from When Agony Met Hope…): A wonderful post showing the steps her brain takes to get the author to the point where she realizes she wants to try donor embryos to build their family.
  40. Who is Really Lucky? (from Mrs. Slick): An important post to read about how wrong people are when they describe adopted children as “lucky” and how the energy flows in the opposite direction — from parent down to child.
  41. What I Hate About Infertility (from Old Lady and No Baby): The author laments the custom for infertile bloggers to feel guilty when they finally do build their families or step away from trying to conceive, and she begs writers to continue blogging their stories, enjoying every moment of the after period.
  42. Mother to a Stillborn Baby (from A Second Line): Mothering is a feeling not an action in this important post about the author’s child who was born still.
  43. Lucky No. 14 (from The Awesome Fossums): The author introduces the readers of her blog to the fact that she is infertile and what goes into their family building process right now.
  44. The Flood and After (from Invincible Spring): A gorgeous post about life finding you just when you believe that all hope is lost, a reminder that flowers can grow even in ground that has been pelted by heavy rains.
  45. Flights of Fancy (from It Only Takes One): The author ties together the disappearance of a flight with infertility, asking why she finds other people’s hope unbelievable when she goes through the same reaction month after month.
  46. #Microblog Mondays: Blink (from Infertile Girl in a Fertile World): Time jumps ahead quickly in the blink of an eye, but the thought that keeps the author going is that one day she will be seeing her child’s face.
  47. Ladybug (from A Single Journey): A moving post about how ladybugs — a sign of luck — have been following the author and were even there when she connected with her daughter via adoption.
  48. Overcoming Insecurity (from Constant in the Darkness): The author admits the fears she has as an adoptive mother and makes a vow to overcome them; for her sake, for her daughter’s sake, and for the birth mother’s sake.
  49. We Don’t Heal From Suffering, We’re Changed by It (from Silent Sorority): The author states: “I certainly didn’t choose to suffer but I’m thankful for what the suffering taught me.” A post about why one shouldn’t rush through the hard times, trying to sweep them under the rug.
  50. The Thing About Infertility (from Looking for a Little): A lovely post explaining to the outsider how infertility feels; how it affects a person every day.
  51. Open Letter to Women of Infertility Everywhere (from The Courage in Me): An open letter to infertile women explaining the infertile experience with a hard-earned “I know, too.”
  52. Divine Appointments, and I Am Doing Well (from In Quest of a Binky Moongee): Time at a retreat brings both understanding and comfort as the author processes a recent loss by speaking about her experience.
  53. Stuck (from Persnickety Chickadee): The what ifs of infertility control the author’s schedule, making her uncomfortable to plan for the future, not knowing what the future will be.
  54. Milestones (from Searching for Our Silver Lining): A meditation on the concept of milestones; especially the ones that don’t come on the expected timetable, arriving early or late or out-of-order.
  55. Infertility’s Waiting Room (from No Kidding in NZ): A metaphor about the conclusion of family building built off the doors leading out of a figurative waiting room with the cautious reminder to not only see the surface moments as one steps through the door but know there is so much you can’t see until you step fully out of the room.
  56. Late for the Party (from Mine to Command): As the author’s friends become parents, she muses that family building has a lot in common with parties, especially the desire to arrive at the right time and not too early or very late.
  57. Tough Conversations with a Four-Year-Old (from Four Years Later): The author’s child finally is at an age where he understands that he has a brother in the past even if that brother is no longer here, though he can’t wrap his mind around the idea of not having a sibling to play with in the future.
  58. Mother (from The Empress and the Fool): The author comes to a new definition of motherhood, quite different from what she experienced in her own family, and decides the mother she wants to become.
  59. Reviewing the Loss: Thinking and Feeling it Through (from Seeing Thestrals): Despite knowing how little control we have over a pregnancy, the author states that we cannot help but assign self-blame with a loss, and she gives sound advice on a better way to view the situation.
  60. What Does it Mean to be Mentally Ill? (from Bereaved and Blessed): Speaking openly about secondary infertility and loss has positioned the author to be ready to speak about her mental illness diagnosis, and she speaks frankly about life with generalized anxiety disorder.
  61. Perspective: Perfect Woman (from Dreaming of Diapers): The author points out how little we know about another person based on outward appearances, as two women covet each other’s bodies.
  62. Why Miscarriage Matters When You’re Pro-Life (from The Lewis Note): A request that those who are pro-life treat all loss in the same way, applying the same words spoken about an abortion to a baby that is miscarried. This is a post about carefully choosing the words we use to comfort another person.
  63. Family Resemblances (from By Lisa, with Love): The author takes apart the features and movements of her family (and herself) and sees them in her daughter.
  64. A Thousand Words (from On Fecund Thought): A beautiful letter from mother to daughter, cherishing each feature and pointing out the wonder that comes from seeing someone else’s DNA in someone you love with your entire heart.
  65. How Infertility has Changed Me in a Positive Way (from BattleFish): The author says it perfectly herself, “Infertility, with all of its ugliness, has taught me how to be more compassionate, less judgmental and see more beauty in this world.” It’s a silver lining rarely considered by the outside world.
  66. Back to Work on Monday (from Non Sequitur Chica): The author laments and consoles as she heads back to work after the birth of her daughter, steeling herself for reality with a deep breath created out of words.
  67. Still in the Trenches (from Genuine Greavu): The longer the author remains in the throes of the infertility, the more times she will need to say goodbye to the people around her who are also trying to build their family. She celebrates other people’s successes while admitting it is hard to still be trying.
  68. The Daughter of My Dreams (from A Crack in Everything): It is both painful and hope-creating to remember the vision of a future child that once flashed through the author’s mind. It’s about realizing that there is a time for avoidance and a time for embracing, and the key is to be true to what you need in the moment.
  69. Histopathology (from Sesame-seed-sized Dreams): A beautiful post a pomegranate tree for a lost child that finally bore fruit, fed with the milk that never touched her lips.
  70. Still Standing and a Heartbreaking Choice (from Girl Ryanne): The author is stunned by the comments that came from the infertility and loss community, directed at one of our own, and she pleads for understanding and comfort to be given instead of fingers pointed.
  71. MicroblogMonday: What a Feeling (from Kmina’s Blog): A wonderful post about reaching a point in life where the author likes herself. Where she doesn’t fret about the things she can’t change or berate herself for the things she gets wrong. It is about finding a place of peace.
  72. Are You Psychic, Baby? (from Crazy Ever After): A tongue-in-cheek post about consulting a psychic (by app, no less) about the question I think most of us would ask if given the chance: when is that baby going to come.
  73. Infertility, the Gift that Keeps on Giving (from Something Remarkable): In the throes of editing a poetry collection about infertility, the author is confronted with reminders of the journey.
  74. 1 Year Ago Today at 7:00am (from An Engineer Becomes a Mom): On the year anniversary, the author recounts an adoption experience that ended with many broken hearts and explains how it changed her understanding of adoption.
  75. What Kind of Mother Are You? (from A Woman My Age): The author points out that no one scrutinizes dads in the way that we label and judge mums, and she wonders why we don’t do more to support rather than tear each other down with our opinions.
  76. TSH and Tears (from POF and Now What? Life with a Baby through DE-IVF): The author begs to be released from the image she has in her mind of a large family so she can be happy with the one she has and not feel jealousy.
  77. The Lost One (from Another Bun (in the oven)?): The author wonders what it means if she has forgotten her unfulfilled due date, and she realizes that this too is part of her process; that it’s a part of her healing.
  78. TFMR and the Loss Community (from Missing Noah): After fearing for a long time that she wouldn’t be accepted in the loss community, the author sees exactly what she dreaded in the comment section of an article about medical termination and it breaks her heart first before ultimately filling her with hope.
  79. That Imaginary T-shirt (from Teach Me to Braid): A wonderful post about the things we wish we could instantly convey to the people around us as well as musings on why we feel such a deep need for strangers to know these facts.
  80. Dedicated (from Something Beautiful): The author recounts her daughter’s dedication at church, a moment six years in the making, and how it was attended by 9 members of her daughter’s birth family. A perfect moment of restoration.
  81. Bless You (from Life As I Know It): A rude exchange with a stranger gets turned into a moment to teach her sons how much she loves them and how wonderful they are in their uniqueness.
  82. Assembly (from River Run Dry): The author explains why she runs. It isn’t for health or to prove her endurance. It is because running makes her whole; it puts her back together.
  83. One and Done? Deciding if Only One Child is the Right Thing to Do (from My Life Is About the Journey): The author doesn’t know whether to try to have a second child, and she recounts the various pros and cons of the situation, additionally wondering if her experience with infertility will be the same emotionally the second time around.
  84. The Promise of a Christmas Card (from A Storybook Life): The piece the author performed at Listen to Your Mother: she speaks of the Christmas card wall at the clinic; the one showing the smiling babies of former patients. It’s about how she once viewed that wall as well as her chance to finally contribute to it.
  85. The P17 Drama, Anatomy Scan, and Firefly (from Where I’ve Been… and Where I’m Going): A drawn out battle with the insurance company and a bleeding scare results in a solution to a medication problem as well as the discovery that the author is having a baby girl.
  86. I Know I am Still Infertile Because… (from No Good Eggs): Though the author is a new mother of two children, she still recounts the ways she knows she is infertile despite reaching parenthood.
  87. The Twins Birthstory (from Knocked up by Another Man): A very scary bleeding episode leads into the birth of the author’s twins as well as her own trip to the ICU. You’ll hold your breath reading this birth story, but I promise that it ends well.

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.

21 comments

1 ChickinNH { 01.01.15 at 10:16 am }

Thank you so much for doing all of this work. I cannot wait to read through these. Happy New Year!

2 JustHeather { 01.01.15 at 10:47 am }

Oh no! My submission never went through, even though it said thank you for submitting it. 🙁 It was still fun to go through my blog for the year seeing what I had written.

3 Mrs T { 01.01.15 at 10:54 am }

Bummer, mine apparently didn’t go through either! Thank you for doing this every year, Mel! I love discovering new posts.

4 JustHeather { 01.01.15 at 10:59 am }

Nevermind, I’m just blind… Feeling much relieved!

5 Mrs T { 01.01.15 at 11:41 am }

And I’m just an idiot too. #doh

6 Pamela { 01.01.15 at 12:18 pm }

This is such a huge service to all, Mel. The series grows in value year over year. It is such a fascinating time capsule of experiences. Thank you for taking the time and doing the heavy lifting to make it a reality. xo

7 Tiara { 01.01.15 at 2:07 pm }

Thank you for doing this again. I love it so much. I read through them all but it often takes me many months. I like to read the post then fast forward to the present & see what’s happening with the writer in that moment. Often I find myself clicking around their archives too. Thank you again.

8 Cristy { 01.01.15 at 2:27 pm }

Thank you for this Mel. I know this will be the last Creme de la creme and that it is quite an undertaking to post this. It truly is appreciated and such a unique thing.

9 Mali { 01.01.15 at 5:21 pm }

Mel, I hope you know (and feel) how grateful we all are that you have done this, and how appreciative we are of all the work it entails. To do your hard work justice, I intend to try to read all the submissions (and comment) on them. How’s that for a New Year resolution?!

10 Lisa { 01.01.15 at 9:17 pm }

I just LOVE this so much. You are truly doing the blogging community an act of service by putting this all together. THANK YOU!

11 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.01.15 at 11:54 pm }

I love that you do this. Thank you thank you thank you for these opportunities to “meet” new-to-me people and for each of us to give ourselves shout-outs.

12 SRB { 01.02.15 at 2:41 pm }

Through the years, I have found many of the people I have needed to find through this list. Thank you, in immeasurable ways, for that.

13 KeAnne { 01.02.15 at 4:07 pm }

Thank you so much for curating this list another year.

14 A. { 01.02.15 at 5:57 pm }

Look at this clever, eloquent, substantive collection! So proud of all of us 🙂

15 MrsH { 01.03.15 at 1:00 am }

I am very excited to have so much good reading waiting for me! Thank you for this work!

16 Erin { 01.03.15 at 12:17 pm }

It is so inspiring to read other people’s stories and share in their experiences. Thank you for putting this together, and for connecting us all.

17 Jamie { 01.04.15 at 1:35 pm }

Thank you, Mel, for all of your hard work in compiling the list this year! I so looked forward to it. I understand you may not do it next year, but please know it is appreciated. Thank you for the gift.

18 Sian { 01.04.15 at 4:17 pm }

I love feading through all the posts so thank you Mel for doing this again. I am having trouble with number 6 though as it isn’t linking in to a post. Is this just me?

19 My Perfect Breakdown { 01.09.15 at 6:14 pm }

Thanks for the wonderful links!

20 Sarah { 01.12.15 at 10:07 pm }

Thank you so much for compiling and sharing this! I am enjoying reading these posts, although it may take a while to get through them, and take comfort knowing that I am not alone in my experiences.

21 Bronwyn { 01.16.15 at 8:26 pm }

Found it! Doing a big catch up over here and I knew this one would be around somewhere. As always, thanks for pulling this together. Huge project. Will have this open as my reading list for while, as usual.

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