Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First year re-cap

I completely missed my first blogoversary on March 3rd and didn't even realize it until recently. In the year that I've been writing this blog, I've been fortunate to "meet" a lot of other women who are going through, or have gone through, similar experiences and emotions. The feeling of community has been extremely helpful to me during what has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life, and I have very much appreciated the support I've gained through others' leaving comments here and everything I have learned through reading about others' experiences.

Prior to today's post, I had posted 180 separate entries on this blog. Some of those were short, like those simply communicating the results of a HPT. Others were long and heartfelt, some of those written through tears. I have used this blog as a way to chronicle our journey, vent, get input from others, and as a form of therapy.

Realizing that I have been writing on here for over a year prompted me to look back at the content on this blog. Not so much what I have written--that is mostly still fresh in my mind--but at what others have written, at who those commenters were/are, and what has happened with them since they visited my blog. I'm a sucker for numbers, so as I was following up on what has happened with the visitors to my blog (at least the ones who left comments), I decided to tally where they are now.

A total of 128 distinct commenters left comments on my blog since its inception. (Excluding people who are my friends apart from the online ALI community to whom I gave this website address and leaving out commenters who were spammers or attempting to sell me something.) Some of these commenters (who were all women except two) made only a single visit, often through ICLW. More of them commented multiple times.

Three of the ladies who left comments here commented for the first time when they were already pregnant. All three were women who struggled to achieve their pregnancies and are a part of the ALI community.

Of the other 125, I could not tell whether 23 of the commenters was, or ever had been, TTC because they either left no information in the comment, did not link to a blog, or linked to a blog that talked about something other than TTC, with no references to TTC or IF.

That means that there were 102 commenters on this blog who I know for sure visited while they were actively TTC. The majority of these were TTC their first child, but there were a number of commenters who were facing secondary infertility.

In visiting the blogs of my commenters, I learned that 20 of the women who commented here have given up on TTC, either for an indefinite/extended break or for good. Of those 20, seven had at least one child (or more) already, and 13 are currently childless.

Five of the commenters have since adopted a child. Another commenter used surrogacy, and her surrogate is currently pregnant.

19 of the commenters have conceived and given birth since first coming to this blog; obviously these folks commented in the first few months after I started the blog. Another 20 are currently pregnant. (I guess this means I can say there is an 38.2% chance of getting pregnant and having a baby if you comment on my blog. Hey, who knows? It couldn't hurt. . . . )

37 of my commenters are still actively TTC. Many of these women have already been through more than I can imagine myself doing to have a baby. There have been miscarriages and failed fertility treatments. A few of these women have not yet been TTC as long as I have.

I love the term "silent sorority" that Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos used as the title of her book, because it sums up very well the tie that binds us all. Had it not been for the unwelcome experience of infertility, I never would have met any of the people who have commented on this blog. In some cases, we probably have little in common except the struggle to become parents. . . and yet how we can empathize with one another because of that common experience.

Truth be told, when I started this blog over a year ago, I never thought I'd be where I am today: still childless and not even actively TTC any more. Working on resigning myself to living chil.dless rather than planning a different future. Yet here I am.

Thanks to all of you who have visited and commented for walking part of this lonely path with me.


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