Until recently when I heard the phrase “sock it to me” I first thought of the song Respect by Aretha Franklin. Every once in a while I would also think of that “Laugh-In” clip of former President Richard Nixon saying “sock it to me” a bunch of different ways.
Now when I hear “sock it to me” I will also call to mind our amazing community of bloggers and our friendly neighborhood ALI superwoman who had a fun idea to host a sock exchange! As our hostess knows all too well, those of us journeying through and dealing with adoption, loss and/or infertility can use all of the support, warm fuzzies and ju-ju that we can get our hands on (or in this case our feet into).
I was paired with two “sock buddies” for our exchange: Jo from Mojo Working, who I got the honor of selecting and sending socks to, and Laura from Mommy in Waiting, who picked out and sent me out not one, but three, awesome pairs of knee socks (see below)! The polk-a-dot pair that you see me wearing at the beginning of this post I wore for “good luck” the day of our first fetal echocardiogram (echo) for our current pregnancy. We were very relieved to find out that day that so far our baby’s heart appears to be healthy and normal.
When I received the very cool socks from Laura, I loved that they all had the color pink on them, as since our baby girl Molly was born and died last year I have been really into all things pink. So it was also exciting the day of our echo last week, as I was sporting my fun pink knee socks, to find out that we are having another baby girl!
It is hard to believe that two years ago today I set up an account here on blogger, thought I was being a bit cleaver when I came up with the title “Three of a kind working on a full house…” (inspired by Garth Brooks’s song “Two of a Kind Working on a Full House) to summarize our secondary infertility/pregnancy loss plight and then composed my first three posts here.
It interesting and bittersweet to reflect on how our secondary infertility/pregnancy loss journey has evolved over the past few years. I was so optimistic when I posted those first two posts on April 10, 2007 as we were in the midst of our first IVF cycle. At that point we had already been trying to conceive and sustain another pregnancy for almost three years. When I began my blog I really had no concept how big the blogosphere was or that there was a corner of it focused on those dealing with Adoption, Loss and/or Infertility (ALI).
As we began that first IVF cycle I was looking for a a way to keep family and friends that were supportive of our journey to expand our family up to date on our what was happening with all of the appointments and procedures associated with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) cycles. I thought it would save me making lots of phone calls after each visit to our Reproductive Endocrinologist’s (RE) office. Soon after I composed my first two posts here I sent an email to some family and close friends who knew we were doing IVF and invited them to read my blog if they wanted to. I never imagined that anyone other then those family and friends would find it and become a part of my life and I theirs.
In July 2002 when Bob and I were trying to conceive (TTC) our now five year old son Sean, I joined a buddy group on Fertility Friend with other women who were charting their cycles and hoping and praying to conceive their first child. There were six of us and all of our names started with either the letter S or K, so ultimately we named ourselves “S & Ks TTC.” Kristie from The Chadwick Family is one of our group and the other K, besides me! 🙂 Though none of our journeys have been easy, we all went on to conceive and give birth to one or more children over the past seven years and I love that I am still in contact with these wonderful women today. This group of ladies introduced me to the world of online support groups and helped me to maintain my sanity while trying to conceive our first child.
In January 2003, after we found out that we were pregnant with Sean, I joined another group on Fertility Friend with women who were all due in September 2003. Most of us were first time moms and it was another eye opening and incredibly supportive experience to go through my first pregnancy and then early motherhood while sharing openly with these other women who were doing the same. I also am still in touch with many of these awesome women today through a variety of outlets including Connected Moms (for those who read here and still post there, I know I haven’t been around in awhile, but plan to check in soon) and Facebook. I also have my friend Sommer from Just One More… to thank for being my inspiration to begin blogging two years ago. Sommer was also struggling with secondary infertility at the time and had started a blog to share about her experiences with IVF. I found reading about what she went through and learning more about what to expect to be so helpful. This group of women also were so supportive of me during our journey with Molly and joined together to send me some very thoughtful and generous pieces of memorial jewelry after she was born and died that I wear often and think of both my baby girl and my dear friends who gave them to me.
Somewhere along the way, but still early on, in our secondary infertility journey I also joined a group of women on Connected Moms, which eventually moved to Mommy’s Online, of women trying to conceive another child, we all had at least one at the time. We named ourselves “One Day at a Time” to remind us that when dealing with the struggles of trying to conceive and sustain pregnancies that we often have to approach life one step and one day at a time. This group of women has also seen a lot of joy and pain over the years and was very supportive of me and my family when we were pregnant with and then lost Molly.
I am sharing about all of these online support groups that I was a part of over the past seven years, as I believe it set the stage for my blogging experience. Being a part of these groups and getting to know these women helped me to realize how important and beneficial it can be to be able to share candidly about our experiences and then to give and to receive support from others, even if we have never met them in person, who understand because they have been there or because they just really care and want to try to appreciate what we are going through.
As I said earlier, when I started this blog I didn’t envision that I would become part of another community of amazing women who have been touched by adoption, infertility and/or loss. However, slowly, and initially to my surprise, other women dealing with primary or secondary infertility, in the midst of ART cycles and other related experiences began to find and comment on my blog. The first woman to do this was my dear T-Mommy from …Just when I thought I had it all. When I first read her comments I was taken a back, as I didn’t appreciate why a “stranger” would want to read and then say something to me about what I had written. But over time I got to know T-Mommy (then known as T-Girl) and others such as: Amy from Waiting for…?, Farah from Fertilized (formerly Fertilize Me) and Katie from Taking the Statistical Bullet, to name a few, whose blogs I discovered and/or who found their way here and I loved being able to communicate with through our respective blogs.
Then one day (after I had been blogging for months) I happened upon Mel’s Stirrup Queens blog… As I digested who she was and what this incredible woman does for our ALI community I was in awe. I spent a good while exploring all the aspects of her not one, but many, blogs that day. I was amazed by her Blogroll, which opened up a whole new world (as it does for so many women when they discover it) of blogs for me that related to what I was going through at the time. Next I found her Lost and Found Connections Abound (LFCA) page and thought that the idea of having a central location for people to share news of bloggers who needed support during the good and bad times what just wonderful. I scrolled back through past issues of the LFCA and was humbled to find that a few weeks earlier someone had shared the news of (I believe it was) one of our failed IVF cycles (or some other difficult milestone on our ART journey). I followed the link back to my post and realized that on that day people that had never been to my blog before had found their way through the LFCA. I didn’t know at the time I first read their kind words that was how they had arrived, but I sure appreciated the support.
Anyway, you get the idea. As time passed I realized that no matter what path you are on in your journey dealing with ALI, that our wonderful, not so little, corner of the blogosphere has other women who understand and can relate to what you are going through. When I look back at the comments on my posts around the time Molly was born and died this time last year, I am amazed at all of Baby Lost Mamas (including, but not limited to, K@lakly, Tash, JuliaS, Mrs. Spit, and Loribeth) who reached out to me to let me know that there were others who had been there and who would be here to support me in the days and months to come as I grieved the loss of our baby girl. I have gotten to know many of these amazing women (who have sadly also lost one or more of their children) over the past year and they have truely helped me to cope with and heal from losing my baby girl Molly.
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT HAS EVER READ AND/OR COMMENTED ON MY BLOG OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS!!!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
I look forward to continuing to blog throughout this next phase of our journey and keeping up with all of you and your journeys by following your blogs. If you told me two years ago, as we began of first IVF cycle, that in April of 2009 that my family would be preparing to honor the life and memory of our second child/first daughter/baby sister next week on what would have been her first birthday (April 17) and that we would also be expecting our third child/second daughter/baby sister, I certainly would not have believed you. But such is life. Who knows where me and my family will be in two more years, but I know that I wouldn’t be the same person that I am today with out all of your love, care, concern, support, encouragement, thoughts and prayers. Take care and may God continue to bless you and your loved ones.
If you are still reading (I know, this was a REALLY, REALLY, LONG ONE) and want to follow along the Sock it to Me trail, click here, for a list of other participants and to see their groovy socks and read their inspiring posts. Thanks again, Kym for imagining and organizing this “Sockeroo” and to all of you for supporting me on my blog for two years and counting! 🙂