Last year was the first year I participated in Creme de la Creme, hosted by Mel at Stirrup Queens. It's a list of best blogs for the year, chosen by the authors. It's a great way to start the year--reading what bloggers have determined are their best blogs, this time from 2014. I usually find new people to follow and read from this list, but for some reason last year was the first year I actively participated.
It's hard, choosing a blog post as your best for the year. How do you pick? Is it based on what you think was your most informative post? Your most touching? The post you loved the best, or the post you think will help people the most? Is it a chance to give a blog post that you loved but that wasn't viewed as much as you thought it should be a second life? Or is it, as Mel says, a chance to post up your best work, a sample of your writing style, your own personal top choice for the year? (But in choosing that post, all of the previous questions apply.)
Last year, I chose a post I wrote when grappling with the question of genetics, while in the midst of DE cycles. It was What's Passed On, and I felt it was both a post that was informative and spoke to the unique struggles of those using donor gametes to create their families and showed my sense of humor. I had a lot of posts in the running, as I tend to be indecisive, but ultimately I decided on that one.
What I love about choosing a Creme de la Creme post is that it forces you to review your year. Which can be eye-opening, and also kind of painful, but also a little awe-inspiring in how much you've actually written over the course of (almost) a whole year. Going back to January, where we were just making the decision to continue on the medical treatment side of things due to all the second opinions that opened wide the doors of possibility on our epic failure to get and stay pregnant, was interesting. Seeing my mindset during that time of uncertainty and rejuvenation of hope was a mixed bag. Oh, January 2014 Jess, you thought everything was going to be A-OK.
Then, to read all the various ways that things have continued to go awry was a little painful. Every post up until our latest failure was just rife with hope. Uncertainty, and fear, but mostly hope that the end was nigh. I didn't know yet that things would just keep getting so much more complicated. I didn't know the depth of the pain I would find myself in.
It's like a time capsule, although one that hasn't marinated very long. To see your raw emotions and thoughts during cycles and decisions over the past year in little snippets of time frozen on your blog is kind of a gift. I don't often go back and read old posts. Creme de la Creme forces me to do that, and while it can hurt a bit to see how much hope I put in our last cycle with B's sperm, and our first donor sperm cycle, and thinking that our early October hysteroscopy was going to give the all-clear and get me started on another chance to get knocked up by November, those didn't quite work out the way we'd hoped. Instead we're stuck in limbo, again, and wondering if we are closer to the end of the medical side of things than we thought.
Wondering if we can stomach another fresh cycle, even if it's included in our package and will only cost us the medication prices.
Wondering if we are spinning our wheels and every mishap is a cosmic nudge into another direction to create our family.
Deciding to flood my brain and our coffee table with excellent books on adopting, and opening that door more than a crack so that we aren't left in the dark with both doors fully closed if infertility treatments ultimately fail us. Creating that door of hope that was so eloquently stated by The Unexpected Trip, a way out of the darkness and failure we feel with the medical process.
I am truly thankful to the Creme de la Creme process. It is a reflection that hurts, but also reminds me that I am capable of hope in the direst of circumstances. That where there is the slightest possibility I can rally the troops and give all my might to the cause of building my family -- whether through pregnancy or through adoption, which is seeming more and more likely.
I did finally choose my post. I wanted to choose the one that was most informative, but it was long, and a little wordy, and ultimately I went with the one that I felt was a tight, honest, emotional post with a dash of humor. It was a little exhausting choosing, but I did it, and I think I did it well. It only took a week of agonizing to make a final decision. (!)
You, too, can choose your best post! I really, really encourage you to participate in Creme de la Creme. Follow the hyperlink to Stirrup Queens (or google Stirrup Queens and scroll to a mention, won't take long). You have a best post. And it's healing to go back and read through your archives and realize how much you've written, how much you've shared, how much you've educated, how much you've experienced out there on the blogosphere. Go, do it. You won't be sorry.