Wednesday, March 7, 2012

why I blog

The recent events surrounding the creation of PAIL and the aftermath in PAIL's wake have left me lost in my own thoughts.

I've been thinking of why I blog. What I aim to get out of pouring my heart and soul into my created space on the interwebs. And why can I never "choose a side" (ok, this is probably better left for a brand new post, as this pertains to a whole lifetime full of indecisiveness. Or empathy? Both?)?

To address the first two thoughts, I've created a list of why I blog. The items are listed numerically in order of importance (1=most important to me).

  1. To provide an outlet for me. A way to cope with this bitch that is infertility and loss. Writing about what Buster and I have gone through is therapeutic. And free! (Take that, expensive psychiatrist!)
  2. I am kind of obsessed with helping people. I usually cannot say no to requests, and it brings me much joy to help people in any way that I can. I love seeing what people google to find my site. It brings me happiness to know that they probably found some pertinent information on my blog (minus all those people googling "duck boobies" and "unicorn pee". Sorry to disappoint.). If I can even help one person, at all... well, that's just amazing. This journey to parenthood is so difficult for a select few (million) of us. If I can shed some light on something, or give a stranger peace of mind, I'm more than happy to do so. This reason is very close to #1 in terms of importance to me.
  3. Connecting with women going down the same or similar path as me.  Just like real-life, there are people that you click with in the blogosphere. And sometimes when you find that person, AND they are down a similar path to you... well it's like a match made in heaven. I love finding new blogs that I feel a connection with, regardless of where they are in their journey to parenthood.
  4. For support. I know many bloggers might put the support aspect of blogging first. For me, however, I do have a good bit of support in my day-to-day life. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE comments, and I love that people care about my story. But, that's not the driving force that brings me to blog. But it's nice to know that in the times when I REALLY needed support, my bloggy friends (and strangers!) were there for me. And I can't thank you enough.
So there you have it. And now here are some reasons that don't compel me to blog, but I view more as icing on the proverbial cake:
  1. To gain more readers/followers. Yes, it's nice to be followed and read. It makes me feel loved, and I would never turn that down!
  2. To make some extra money. Yes, I have joined the BlogHer Advertising network. That's why there is an ad on my page. But this doesn't make me much money at all (we're talking double digits here). I joined more for the sake of being associated with BlogHer in an attempt to reach out to more women. To help others going down this path. To make women battling infertility know that they are not alone in their journey, in their feelings, in their path.

Next on my list of things I'd like to address:

Un-following blogs when the bloggess becomes pregnant.

I've done this. Is it a bitchy move? Well, yes. But sometimes you have to protect #1. And to be fair, the only times I've done that is when I didn't really feel much of a connection with the blogger anyway. Not sure if that makes it a little better or not...?

I know I've mentioned this recently, but I'm happy to say (once again) that I think I've really outgrown my bitter feelings that IF sends bubbling to the surface. I don't fault anyone who is bitter, though, because I understand. That was me. I own that, and I'm not embarrassed.

Bitterness is expected on this road. For me, it was several exits back. I've passed it, and I'm currently on the Hope Fraught With Sadness Highway. On the horizon, I see the All of Your Dreams Will Come True city skyline, and it is beautiful. 

I had a wonky test one time that I thought might be the start of my BFP. Directly after that post, I lost a follower. I assume it was because they thought I was pregnant. At the time I was hurt by it, honestly. Mostly because, as it turns out, I was definitely NOT pregnant.

But now, I get it. I understand why someone would protect themselves. Because sometimes that's what you have to do. I see all sides to this, and I can see how it is so easy for someone to feel hurt.

Currently, there are some days/hours/moments when I can't emotionally stomach reading a pregnancy blog post. Or a baby post. And often times, I truly adore these bloggers. Many of which I have followed since I figured out there was even such a thing as a community for people like me, and they follow me too And cheer me on. But there are just times when I can't do it. And that's ok. I don't feel guilty about it anymore. I just skip the post and then come back when I am in a better place.

Next on my agenda:

Pregnant infertiles not wanting to post because it may hurt feelings.

I've seen lots of talk about this over my stint in blogland. Recently I've read a lot about this because of the PAIL situation. I know everyone has to do what feels right and comfortable for them, but my opinion is this:
If it is your blog, you should write about whatever you want.

I like knowing what could possibly be for me. I like being prepared. So reading about the things that my pregnant blogger friends are dealing with is some tremendous insight for me.

And because I like being open and honest on my blog, I will say that when I see people say that they don't want to post because they don't want to upset those of us still in the trenches, it's almost more of a sting than if they would just post. Does that make any sense? I know I'm only one person, and I do not embody all of the women "still in the trenches", but I can take it! If I'm not up to reading your post, I will come back at a later date when I can handle it. Your blog is your story, and your story does NOT stop when you have a little person growing in you! 

With all that being said, my feelings are not hurt at all about anything. So if you happen to fall in the pregnant infertile category, I'm not mad or upset. I just want you to feel comfortable being you. And I want to read about YOU. I don't want to read some stripped down, half-assed blog post that skates around real issues.

Because when/if I am ever really pregnant, I'm going to continue to blog here. I may lose readers. I may anger people. I don't know. But this is my place, and I don't think it would be same with just half of my story documented.

And finally:

My thoughts on the PAIL situation.

I understand all sides. I don't think PAIL was started to be malicious, inclusive, divisive, or any of that. But I also can see Mel's point of view (quoted from this post):

"People also pointed out that many smaller blogrolls and projects exist, and no other one is described as divisive, and perhaps that is because membership to those is based on situation vs. what you achieve."

I couldn't agree more with that.

But I don't fault anyone for joining PAIL. I will continue to read all the blogs I adore, regardless of what blogroll they are on.

I think communication is key here, and the lack of communication made a mess of this. Is it fixable? I think so, and hope so.

(On the PAIL-related note, I also agreed with pretty much everything SIF said in her PAIL post. I even briefly entertained the thought of plagiarizing her whole post. Ok, not really, but it's a damn good post.)


  1. I love you Kara! I blog for the same reasons you do, and I strive to see the world with the same compassion and level headedness you do. I love that you brought up that its actually insulting to hear PIF blog about holding back so they don't hurt their readers because I never even thought about that until yesterday. I've been trying hard to protect those who've supported me along the way, but the truth is that you guys have supported me regardless and you deserve the real, honest me.

    1. I love you too, Linds! I just hate for you, or any PIF to feel apprehensive about posting on their own blog. That's asinine! I want to read what you say, regardless of subject matter!

  2. Need a "love" button on this post. Well said. :)

  3. Very well said indeed.

    On a side note blogger keeps kicking me off your followers (grrr) you were the first blog I began to follow and it makes me mad that it is your blog I keep loosing. I hope the issue is fixed soon but I will keep re-following you until it is!

    1. Thanks, Em!

      That is so weird about blogger kicking you off the followers list! I have never heard of such a thing. I hope it resolves itself soon, that sounds annoying!

  4. Ha! True story, I was reading your entire post (before I got to your last aside) doing fist pumps and nodding my head in agreement and trying to figure out how to get away with plagiarizing it all and claiming it as my own! Not even joking!

    I agree, I agree, I agree. With each and every single point. You could have been speaking directly from my heart. So for you my dear, I offer up one last fist pump before someone comes into my office and tries to figure out what the hell it is I am doing in here!

  5. I don't know anything about PAIL but I can definitely to relate to your opinions on much of this post as to Infertile's who become pregnant not wanting to blog and unfollowing blogs once the blogess does become pregnant. I actually am just starting to coming around to learning to put me first. There were times I felt I had to read and comment even though that day may not have been a good day. Now I know its ok to not comment and just come back later when I'm in a better head space.

  6. This was awesome, thank you! I agree the events of the past 2 days have given us a lot of food for thought and I agree with everything you've said here. A person's blog is *their* space, so they should write what they want. I think that idea gets mucked up when you stop writing just for yourself and are writing for comments and increased readership. I'm glad the PAIL discussion has gotten these issues out in the open.

  7. Writing has always been an outlet for me, ever since I was young. I love coming to read your blog and the blogs of many other ladies. It's hard to explain to "real world" friends how meaningful all of this and all of you can be to me when I've never met anyone in person, but it just is.

  8. I just started a slow clap for you in my office. It didn't take off, but it's all good.

  9. Oh I'm one of the guilty who made another blog to post all of the pregnant stuff on.. and now unfortunatly, my first one is barely updated.
    I know it's not for everyone to do that, but it felt like the right thing to do for myself. *nodnod*

    Anywho... I think most infertiles can totally relate to everything you've posted. I know for myself, I never unfollowed any blogs, but I certainly 'lost' a lot of blogs if someone got pregnant. Bitterness certainly does come with the territory.

    1. Lisa, I think you hit the nail on the head when you say you did what was right for you! That's the main thing here. Not doing something b/c you are afraid of losing followers, or of hurting feelings, or any other reason that does not have your own best interests at heart.


  10. I'm joining in Cornfed Feminist's slow clap. :)

  11. Great post! I've lurked on your blog for a very long time, and have always found you to be so level-headed. This post is so mature, so well-thought, and so peaceful.

    I like how you described getting over your bitterness. I identify so much with you on that. I think we all go through stages of bitterness, but it feels so good when you can put it behind you.

  12. Thanks for sharing! It's amazing how something seemingly so small can get everyone (myself included) so upset!

    I adore your blog and will always follow it. I appreciate that you still follow mine, but if there is ever a point where you don't want to/can't read or comment I totally get that!

    I stopped following a few blogs that I wasn't all that close with when they got pg, so I totally understnad anyone who did the same to me.

    I also appreciate the quote from above, I think that is a good way of truly capturing what Mel felt, I think we all got a little too wordy and lost our points entirely.

    I can't wait to continue reading and see what you are up to and your adorable doggie!

  13. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I too have been thinking a lot about Mel's recent posts and this whole situation reflects on my blog. It's a hard topic, particularly because so many people have been hurt. But I'm hoping that if people are willing to continue to be honest with one another WHILE being respectful, that all of this can be worked out.

    Anyway, I'm in complete agreement with you. I haven't unfollowed blogs after pregnancy announcements (mainly because I've established a relationship with the individual and want to support them), but I can completely understand why someone would. You said it best: it's important to protect yourself while on this journey.

  14. Really appreciated everything you had to say on this topic. I find myself very much in agreement with you. Thanks for taking the time put together a very well thought out and sensitive response on this delicate topic. I may have wanted to stand up and cheer a little bit when I read it from my desk at work today. Kudos!

  15. it seems the only solution is to erase both PAIL blogrolls and make a new, universal one with all the members from both lists and a new button that can be found on both Mel's and Elfie's sites.

    I asked my DH what he would do and he said it is like Solomon and the baby. Two women claim the same baby is their's so Solomon says that we should cut it in half and you can each have a piece. The woman who is not the real mother agrees but the child's real mother says no, just give him to the other woman so her can survive.

    That tells me that this PAIL thing really is Mel's baby, that she would rather have one universal PAIL blogroll run by someone else, so people are joining the FULL group of women in the same situation, rather than being fine with a split-up portion of the community.

  16. Great post! I hope this can be resolved, I'd like to think all of this was just a big misunderstanding. I am one of the ones who joined, but not because I want to be apart from the IF crew, I still consider myself IF, even though I am "crossed over" now. I will be dealing with the same issues all over again for #2, and feel even if I wasn't, I would still feel infertile inside. I just thought it was another great place to find blogs to read/readers for my blog. I actually didn't know about Mel's blogroll, only ICLW :( I love keeping up with everyone, I know I've lost some followers since getting pregnant/having my son, and can completely understand. I did notice a dip in ICLW readers once this happened, but I kind of chalked it up to coming with the territory. I started blogging because friends and family were too embarrassed to ask us how was your follie u/s today? lol. It's just an added bonus to have everyone else follow or stop by. I just know speaking for myself only, I viewed it as just another outlet. Not THE outlet, because I don't really believe there is just ONE. Ok, I'll stop rambling now sorry!

    xoxo ;)

  17. Delurking because I finally feel comfortable enough to say 'thank you'. I don't have a blog but I read a few and last week you were kind enough on Denise's blog "This Blondie Wants Babies" to comment on the post related to my recent unexpected miscarriage. I'm the girl that heard my baby's heartbeat twice and during a routine u/s learned there was no more. You were so kind to post in the comments and refer me to read your m/c experience which sounds sadly just like my experience. I also thoroughly enjoy (if that is strangely possible) your thoughts and feelings in the posts following. You said things that I felt but didn't know how to express. I feel so validated by many of your thoughts. I now have your blog pinned and I'll be following you often. BTW, we got our DNA results from my D&C - I lost a perfectly healthy chromosomally normal girl. I don't know what to think/feel anymore as it brings some relief that I can produce normal embryos (of 25 embryos I've produced one pregnancy which as you know ended in m/c) however, now I have a whole other set of fear and concerns to worry about wondering if the best I could ever do for myself is produce a host of miscarriages. Anyhow, sorry for the long delurk but thank you. I seriously want to internet hug you. - Laura

  18. Agreed with it all. Thanks for sharing your view on your reasons for blogging (mine are the same) and your opinions on PAIL. Well said.

  19. Super analysis. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  20. I totally agree with all of this. Thank you! I really don't like the stressful feeling I get when I log on now, but I love everyone here and I enjoy reading too much to stop.

  21. I think everyone who is divided on the issue should read this post. I think it spells out everything neatly and decisively without being hurtful or pointing fingers. I think I blog for the same exact reasons you do, and probably even in the same order.

    The only thing I would disagree with is how supportive you feel you are. You ARE supportive. Your comments have meant a great deal to me and I appreciate them. Just so you know :)

  22. I agree! So well put, too.


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