Thursday, September 26, 2013

Curiosity killed the cat

I am an Internet stalker of the first order. I admit it. Ever since I first discovered google over ten years ago, I have done searches for numerous ex-boyfriends, long-lost friends, former classmates and others. I even use google to search my clients' backgrounds, and those of the people who sue them.

Given this fact, it's probably not surprising that since I first learned our donor's first name over two years ago, I have occasionally searched for her online. Not because I have any intention of ever contacting her, but because I'm just nosy as hell, frankly.

Today, for the first time, my searching bore fruit.  I stumbled across a website that revealed a lot of personal information about our donor, complete with photos of her that left me with no doubt that I have the right person. Information so complete and detailed that I think she'd feel weirded out if she knew I had it.

I guess that's what I get for snooping around.

Friday, September 20, 2013

PAIL Bloggers September 2013 Monthly Theme – Why We Blog

This post is part of PAIL Bloggers' monthly theme post for September.  You can find the other posts for this month's theme here.

Did you start blogging before, during, or after your journey though infertility?
I started blogging here at the very beginning of our journey through infertility, back in March 2009, when it started to become clear to me that natural conception was not going to happen for us. (Prior to that time, I had written on another blog for a couple of years.  That blog was mostly just about my daily life and my struggles with my weight.)

Back in those early days of the blog, I naively thought that we would probably "just need a little help" to get pregnant. Wow, how wrong I was, and what a long way we have come since then.

Why did you start blogging? What has kept you blogging?
I originally started blogging as an outlet for the thoughts and feelings I had about the challenges of infertility that I had a hard time expressing to people in real life. I was/am very fortunate to have great friends and family to whom I could talk about most of these things. . . but I couldn't talk about them to the degree and extent that I needed to in order to really process them and work through them and still maintain my sanity.

Also, I had stumbled across some other infertility blogs and found them both informative and inspiring. I wanted to connect with other women in positions similar to my own.

When you became a parent did you transition your blog or start a new space? What were your reasons for doing so? How do you feel about your decision now?
I considered shutting down this blog and starting a new one when I got pregnant with my twins. However, I had made so many connections through this blog, and it was such a chronicle of all I had been through to get to that point, that I ended up just continuing to write here.

Now, over two years since becoming pregnant with my sons, I feel OK about this decision.  At least those who have been reading my story since the beginning can still easily find me and continue to follow my story, if they so desire.

Have you ever felt pressure to blog about certain things and not others? What influences your writing, if anything?
I will say that I have always been mindful of the fact that at least some of the people reading may still be "in the trenches," that is, still TTC. Keeping that thought in the back of my mind has sometimes held me back from writing honestly about some of my thoughts about the stresses and challenges of parenthood and sometimes about other things.

My writing is more influenced by what is going on in my life and in my mind than by anything else.

What did you hope to achieve by blogging? Do you feel that you have done this?
Mainly I hoped to use blogging as a form of therapy, in a way. . . to have a place to vent and share my thoughts and feelings, and to preserve my sanity. It has definitely served those purposes for me. It has also been a great way to connect with other women going through similar situations.

Why is blogging important to you NOW?
I would say that, to the extent that I blog at all now, it is more about trying to keep that connection I have formed with the other women I have met along the way than it is having a place to vent. . . simply because I am less in need of that type of space these days (though I still use the blog for that purpose on occasion). I do still want to preserve the connections I've made with the women I met during the years I was going through my struggles with infertility.

What value do you see in blogging the "after"?
I think that the experience of parenthood after infertility/loss can be quite different than it is for those women who simply conceived naturally and easily. So to the extent that sharing my experience on this blog offers an example of that "after" for others, I think there is value in that.

Also, although this isn't exactly relevant to continuing to write here, I do think that my archives might also be of value to a reader who finds herself in a similar position to mine, since I wrote about my experiences in deciding upon, and pursuing, treatment through donor egg IVF in detail as I was going through it, as well as my twin pregnancy. That is one of the reasons I never shut down or deleted the blog after I got pregnant.