Anniversaries are weird. I started having this mini existential crisis yesterday because it's like birthdays -- the year I turned 40 was actually 41 years since I had been born, so this is my 6th blogoversary of this space but I actually started writing it seven years ago today.
Right? Sometimes my math in this area goes foggy (try not to be concerned that I reteach math on a regular basis at the 8th grade level), and becomes as murky as my spatial awareness. Which is terrible. You don't ever want me assembling ANYTHING.
I wrote my first post on this blog on September 18th, 2010. It was titled, "To share or not to share?" and was my manifesto for what I wanted this space to be. Then.
This was a time where I had just failed my first IVF, but was so, so hopeful that we would be successful. Subsequent posts were titled, "Sensitivity: A Sticky Wicket," "Gratitude," "Hope," "Letting Go of 'The Plan'" (that one CRACKS ME UP because it was a struggle all throughout infertility treatment and still haunts my line of thinking today), "Food for Thought," and "Just a Little Sad." I focused on what it felt like to be embarking on this journey and failing right from the outset, to how others could help me and other infertiles when trying to be supportive, to my decisions to look carefully at how I eat and my tupperware choices (I still have all glass) and whether or not any of that was helpful or necessary (um, good for me in general, but did bupkus in the fertility arena. For me, anyway.).
It's so interesting to go back and reacquaint myself with the person I was at the start...because I'm not that person anymore.
If I read my blog from beginning to present (which would be a pretty time-consuming process, as I've written 456 posts including this one), it would be like watching a strange evolution--I could see the moments where I realized that they way I envisioned my family life was just not not going to be reality, one step at a time. I could see where loss changed the way I see life. I could see how my writing has improved over time. I can also see where I stopped being a little bloggy island unto myself and started involving myself in community -- through Mel's Stirrup Queens and finding others to follow across their journey. The best thing I ever did was start branching out and letting go of the idea that I could only really understand people who have the SAME story as me. That reading about others with different pathways and different experiences in this realm would open up a world of perspectives, of friendships that are solely cultivated over the internet but incredibly special to me. It widened my own empathy.
It's been hard, for sure, to have six years of writing about my infertility journey under my belt and have it shift from IVF to donor egg IVF to donor sperm IVF to adoption, and STILL not be successful with having a family of more than two. It's been hard to feel perennially left behind, watching people get pregnant or adopt babies/children or come to a resolution that they will live a different life than originally envisioned and live childfree, albeit NOT by choice. I seriously never thought that we'd be here, unresolved and still in a pattern of hope and uncertainty, so many years later.
In a way, though, it is a gift. I can look back on all those posts, and see what this experience has done for me. It's caused a lot of grief. It's caused a lot of anger. It's even caused some isolation. But, it's made me more connected, more empathetic, more open to other perspectives, and it's spawned a space where I can write about all of these things.
This space is sacred to me. It's saved me in my darkest moments. It's reminded me that no matter how sad sap I feel and lonely I feel in my situation, that there's always someone out there who will give me a virtual hug, who "gets it." And that you don't have to have lived that particular story to "get it," which is the best lesson I learned through reading others' blogs. It's also lovely to look back on this blog as a continuous love letter to my husband. So many posts are dedicated to how lucky I am to travel this particular road with him by my side. Sometimes the posts are my perspective only, but Bryce is always there, if not in the actual post then as my biggest supporter, listening as I read EVERY SINGLE ONE to him after they're up and out in the ether. He doesn't always comment, he doesn't always make an appearance, but he's always, ALWAYS there.
I am so grateful to everyone who reads this space, who comments, whose lives I have a window into through their own blog spaces. I am celebrating my own little corner of the internet with this blogoversary, but I'm also celebrating the community I'd never have had if I hadn't started this blog in 2010. The friends I've met. The joyous moments, and the heartbreaks we've shared. The web of support that I feel with every comment.
It's not been an easy ride, but it's far from over. I thank you so much for joining me over the years, and hope that this blog continues to evolve as we see what the future has in store for us, as we continue to wait for Mystery Baby to make him-or-herself known.