I was looking at my first post, "To Share or Not to Share," and thinking on how very different everything is now...and how similar. It was a kind of manifesto at the beginning of what I wanted this blog to be, back when we had just failed our first IVF cycle. Obviously at the time I did not realize that I would go from being an IVF blog to a miscarriage blog to a donor egg blog to a donor sperm blog to an End of Treatment blog to an adoption blog to an embryo donation/adoption blog to a weird combination of all those things. I thought for sure that I would be sharing my struggle, and that my struggle would be shitty but swift, and that I would become a Parenting After Infertility success story by 2012 AT LEAST. I remember having a fight with Bryce because in 2011, a year after I started this blog, he said, "I don't think we'll be successful until the end of 2012," and I thought that was a doomsday prophecy. OH TO HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL FOUR YEARS AGO.
But, the evolution and distinct lack of closure to my blog I think hasn't been a bad thing. I get to explore so many topics, and meet so many people from so many legs of this journey. We have been trying to have a child for longer than I ever thought would be possible, and it stymies me a bit that we have a nursery now, in 2016, but still no tiny human to raise in it.
I have watched people meet their husband to be, get engaged, get married, and have MORE THAN ONE CHILD in the time that we have been trying to add to our family of two.
I don't think I saw that coming in September 2010.
However, my spirit of wanting to share my story, to give transparency to even the most uncomfortable or mundane aspects of infertility, IVF, loss, ending treatment, and adoption, to try to open conversation and hear perspectives that differ from my own while bushwhacking my own path through this jungle... that is the same. I hope that I bring humor and candor and a dark chuckle or two to this journey, as it has most definitely shaped my life over the past six and a half years of attempting to add a baby to our lives and the five and a half years of being open about our journey.
This hasn't been easy, but I am so grateful for everyone who reads. And it's amazing to me how many do read -- I am not a big shot to say the least but I am slated to hit 200,000 total page views this month and that is just incredible to me. The fact that hundreds of people read my blog each day and that my average monthly pageviews has been over 6,000 for months and months and months makes me think that I resonate somehow, out there in the internet-y ether. It's not necessary, but a wonderful feeling to feel like your words go somewhere, that you are heard, that your voice is OUT THERE.
I feel a part of a community, an ever-changing one, and I value all of your thoughts and friendship and support just so damn much. I love that I have friends who are parenting after infertility, friends who are living childfree, friends who are new adoptive parents, friends who are adoptive parent veterans, and friends who are in every stage in between -- trying for a second after IVF, pregnant with a second, trying after fostering, adopting after loss, coming to grips with failed treatment, you name it.
And most of all I am grateful to Mel of Stirrup Queens, who has carefully crafted a community for anyone touched by infertility/loss/adoption, and for anyone who relates to a feeling of a life spun out of control that ISN'T related to ALI. It is an amazing community and where I have found so many amazing blogs and bloggers and people from all around the country and the world that I would never have become friends with any other way. Because you're all my friends, those of you who are here to read and listen and support and be a part of this insane journey...wherever it ultimately takes us.
I am also super thankful to Bryce, who accepts that our life is put out there on the internet for strangers to read, and supports the hours that I spend frantically typing out my thoughts at weird hours when posts come to me. I am thankful that he doesn't mind being included in my transparency, although we do have arrangements on what can and can't be shared, because we're in this together. I appreciate his support and perspective and rock of sanity that he provides when all this becomes too much. Just think, most of these 400 posts have been read out loud to Bryce, often before posting, to make sure that it reads okay or I don't sound too defensive or whiny (or that we're okay with me sounding defensive or whiny due to the content) or that I haven't shared too much of our private affairs. That's a lot of listening time logged. That's a dedicated husband and partner in all this experience, because I couldn't be so honest and darkly funny without his encouragement and I certainly couldn't write the posts that are abject love letters to the man who makes me better in every possible way without his tacit and explicit input, support, love, and help. This space wouldn't exist without Bryce on so many levels.
So hooray for a milestone, for many, many hours logged pouring my heart and soul out on this laptop (and probably several others at this point), through laughter and tears and bewilderment. For a space that tells my story, bruises and flowers and everything in between. For this place that helps me make sense of a life experience I didn't think would be so thoroughly mine, but hopefully helps others to not feel so alone and those who support us to understand just why this is such a complicated journey that impacts every single aspect of life, marriage, and mental well-being. I look forward to sharing all the moments that are to come, the closure that's-not-really-closure of meeting our slippery Mystery Baby, and all the adventures that come After.