Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Not just another Mommy Blogger

I feel as if I'm stepping out of character, as I feel most of my blog posts are written in more of a journal format and don't address that this is a blog. I started my blog just to express my own thoughts into writing. I didn't really know how the whole process of having "followers" and "following" worked. In fact, Amanda G (who introduced me to blogging) had to explain to me how to use the "add a gadget" feature in order to gain followers. My goal was never to have a large following and I was fairly selective about the blogs included in my feed. I selected women who were about my age, or had similar fertility issues. I also chose women who were generally interesting, throughtful writers and seemed like someone I would befriend in real life. Over the years, I began to regard many fellow bloggers as actual friends. It started with exchanging Christmas cards, then becoming Facebook friends and communicating outside of the blogsphere.

Much like relationship in real life, there have been times when some bloggers come and go. I know many women struggle with what to do with their infertility blog once they become pregnant. During my own pregnancy, I tried to convey the infertility perspective in my updates. I know other bloggers have noted that it seemed easier to write during the dark days of infertility struggles. Posts following a failed cycle practically wrote themselves. If I were really dry for topics, I just had to talk to Myrtle and she'd inspire at least three posts. (she's continued to make a few insensitive remarks, so watch this space...) Recently, I've noted a few of my favourite bloggers have resisted becoming "another mommy blogger".

You are not just another mommy blogger. Over these years we have felt your heartache and pain during your journey. We've cheered each cycle, held our breaths during the 2WW and kept our fingers crossed until the first ultrasound. Beyond infertility, we celebrated your accomplishments at work, travelled with you on vacation and enjoyed the glimpse into your life. Those of us who were IVF virgins relied on the wisdom of the veterans who could lead us through PIO injections and the stress of fertilization reports. We formed a community, a virtual network of support.

Now, perhaps more than ever, we still need that community. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as 'finally have a rainbow baby and live happily ever after!'. Well, hopefully live happily ever after, but as we all know that's not achieved without a lot of work and there still are some difficult times. I know it's harder for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss survivors to complain about the more difficult aspects of motherhood. Perhaps that's why I still feel that I need support from this community. I still fear fertiles could look at me and claim 'well you should have known what you were getting into before you went through the lengths you did!' Your advice is so valuable and your voices are the ones I trust most. I must have read Amanda's post about having a spirited baby almost a hundred times while Jate was in her fussy phase. As she wrote the words, "think of this as a fist bump, a 'solidarity sister', and a hug," it felt tangible.

I know when I was dealing with a pregnancy loss or failed cycle, I skipped reading many X months updates. I felt as if I didn't have anything interesting to contribute in my comments and it was hard to read about something that seemed so far out of my grasp. Now I'm looking through your archives and am taking notes. That's the beauty of a virtual community. You can check in and check out as you please. Just please keep the music going. I can understand if you are too busy to keep writing, or if you've lost interest. Just please don't stop out of fear for the 'another mommy blogger' label. You're not just a mommy blogger. Just as you were so much more than your infertility.

13 comments:

  1. It seems like in this community there really is something for everyone, no matter what stage you are in. I find it really helpful to now read blogs of those like yourself who have gone on to have there sweet baby. I am soaking in every bit of advice but also still cheer for and keep up with those still waiting on the baby. I agree with you, please don't go!

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  2. Oh I love this post so much. I was worried about being another mommy blogger in a sea of mommy blogs, because it seems most of my updates are about motherhood. In the end I decided I write for myself and to stay connected to this community. I don't need more reason than that.

    I am so glad that many of us continue to write and/or connected outside the blog world.

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  3. I love this post. Thanks for putting into words what I haven't managed to express, but certainly felt!

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  4. YES!!!!! THIS. Amen to every word. Fist bump! Love you!

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  5. Love this post. So true that after fighting through tough times together, I still want to know what happens to people, how they are doing, etc.

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  6. Thanks Jane. This is a great post, and an important one to keep in mind. The kick in the pants I need to post again!

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  7. I feel like real "mommy bloggers" are somehow the type of people who think they have parenthood all figured out and are constantly blogging things like "Top 10 ways to stop toddler tantrums!" and "How to make the best school lunches". Whereas most PAIL bloggers are just infertility bloggers who now occasionally update their bloggy friends on how their lives are going, as opposed to claiming they've got things all figured out. Either way, I love reading updates (even if they're infrequent) because I've genuinely come to care about the women I read and love to know they're doing well (or offer support if they're not). I'm glad you put this out there for anyone considering stopping!

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  8. Yes! Yes! A million times YES! I have thought this so many times myself. It is like losing a great friend when someone stops blogging once they finally become a parent. I totally understand how it becomes a challenge, and I don't blame anyone, but after following someone's infertility journey for years, it's such a blessing to then continue following through parenthood! I miss the blogging connection that I once had with so many people. Of course, I'm not as consistent of a blogger myself these days....

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  9. Great post. I actually am not really sure what a "mommy blogger" is, although after reading Aramis' comment I think I have a better idea LOL. I'm with you when you say you keep reading the blogs because you care about the people. That's how I feel too. Also, it somehow feels more authentic to me to share the parenting experience with people who have been through similar experiences or perhaps more accurately feelings (because the experiences vary, but there is common ground in the emotions). Maybe it's because it feels overwhelming to have to explain to a fertile about how the struggle to conceive has affected how I feel about parenting. Whereas it's easier to share where there is common ground.

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  10. Somehow this gives me relief. I almost feel guilty when posting about Noah and Beckom and my life as a mom to live children because I'm so afraid of stepping on toes of people in the trenches. Thanks for writing this! <3

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  11. So true. All of this. I read this awhile ago on my phone, but it's not good with commenting. But I definitely agree with this and please don't go because I love you and love your writing! I've been rooting for you for so long!

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  12. Yes!!! Although I did stop blogging... :( I love to read about the stories and lives of the women that I have a shared past with. I still follow people that I "met" back in 2009 when I was trying for #2.

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  13. YES!! This post times 1 million! I always knew that I wouldn't stop blogging because I started my blog prior to getting married and realizing that I was infertile. I hate when people stop writing once they give birth. It's definitely harder to find time to write but totally worth it in my book!

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