This is 4th time I have participated in ICLW and I am looking forward to another opportunity to get to know some bloggers I may not have interacted with before, as well as visit the blogs of those I haven’t been in touch with for awhile.
If you are not familiar with ICLW, you can learn more about it here.
If you are here for ICLW and haven’t been to my blog before, welcome to Four of a Kind!
If you you are here for ICLW and you have been to my blog in the past, welcome back!
In a nutshell I am a Domestic Engineer with 3 children (2 here and 1 in Heaven) finding joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and pregnancy loss for over 5 years.
I recently “came out” about my blog to my extended family and friends through a Crossing Over post that I wrote and shared on Facebook, on our CarePage, and here on my blog. My hope and intention in doing this was to help raise awareness and encourage conversation about infertility, pregnancy loss and neonatal death so that those who are living through any or all of these experiences know that they are not alone and that there are many others who have “been there” and are willing to support them on their journeys. I also want to help those who are close to and care for those struggling with infertility, pregnancy loss and neonatal death to better understand what it is like for their friends and family members and to be able assist them in their efforts to show their loved ones support.
When I began blogging in April 2007 we were in the midst of our first IVF cycle. I blogged about our experience dealing with secondary infertility, parenting our son Sean (who was born in October 2003) and doing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) cycles for the remainder of 2007.
In 2008 I blogged about our pregnancy with our 2nd child/1st daughter Molly who had a rare, severe and fatal combination of Congenital Heart Defects (CHD). She was born and died in April 2008. I spent the rest of that year primarily blogging about my grief and healing after Molly’s death.
In 2009 we found out that we were pregnant with our 3rd child/2nd daughter Abigail and I blogged throughout that year about the excitement and fear that I experienced during our pregnancy with Abby and then the early days of our family life after she was born in September 2009.
In 2010 I blogged infrequently, as I was overwhelmed (in a good way) with motherhood trying to enjoy and balance life with an infant and a Kindergartner. I often missed the having the opportunity to debrief life here and connect with old and new blogging friends, but even so I did not find much time to spend here.
This year I am trying to get back into blogging regularly, I want to continue to share candidly about my life and experiences, as a parent and someone who has survived secondary infertility, pregnancy loss and neonatal death. I also want to spend time this year focusing on commenting as much or more often then I post blog entries here. I have been inconsistent with this in the past and my intention is to change my approach. This is one of the reasons I decided to participate in ICLW again after a 1 1/2 year hiatus.
When I first started blogging I acknowledged every comment that was left here for me and in turn I almost always made my way to those commenters‘ blogs (if they had them) to read their posts and leave comments. However, as time went on, especially after we got pregnant with our daughter Molly and received her devastating diagnosis and prognosis, I got away from acknowledging comments (at least individually, though I still always tried to express my appreciation in subsequent posts). Likewise, I was often too self absorbed with what was going on in our life to make my way back to the blogs of commenters to read and return comments.
I realize that when you are going through a very difficult time in your life and choosing to blog about it, that there is a certain level of empathy for and patience with those who do not take the time to engage in discussion with commenters and/or return comments. Those in the blogosphere, especially our Adoption, Loss & Infertility (ALI) Community, can be incredibly compassionate and supportive and I will be forever grateful for that.
However, understandably, after awhile if someone continues to comment on our blog and we rarely, if ever, return the favor, eventually they may lose interest, choosing to give their time and attention to those who will visit their blog and offer them support as well. It isn’t very fun or healthy to be in a one-sided relationship where you do all of the giving and receive little to no support in return.
I know that I have been supportive of fellow bloggers over the years and the relationships that have grown from our mutual support mean a lot to me. However, I also admit to being guilty of taking more than I have given when it comes to many of the bloggers who have visited here offering their support and I want to change that going forward. I hope that those of you whom this applies to will accept my apology. I am truly sorry. I want to show my gratitude for your support in the past and let you know that I believe it’s never too late to say thank you and to show you my appreciation.
The best way that I can think of to make up for the past, in addition to taking responsibility for my actions and apologizing, is to try to do better from now on. I also am going to try and go back through many of my old posts and where appropriate acknowledge comments that I have received over the years, as well as to click through to the blogs of commenters to visit, to read, to comment and especially to say thank you.
If you haven’t already checked out one of our Stirrup Queen’s latest community building projects called The Grateful Said (I participated and am #10 on the 2010 list), it is another awesome way for the ALI Community to show each other just how much we appreciate the comments we receive on our blogs and how the support and insight we get can be so incredibly validating, as well as at times giving us the chance to see at our situations from different points of view.
Please let me know your thoughts on this post. Do you leave comments for other bloggers as often as you post blog entries and receive comments? Do you think it matters if you acknowledge the comments people leave for you and in turn visit their blogs and return comments? Do you think it is ever too late to show your gratitude and say thank you?
Lastly, I am hosting a book tour (with author and contributor participation) for A Gift of Time: Continuing Your Pregnancy When Your Baby’s Life is Expected to Be Brief by Amy Kuebelbeck and Dr. Deborah L. Davis. You can read more about it and find out how to sign up in this post . If you or a loved one is experiencing or has experienced a pregnancy where a prenatal diagnosis was made and a prognosis was given that the baby is/was not expected to live long before or after their birth, please consider reading the book and participating in our discussion in March. Also, if you are a doctor, nurse, chaplain or care giver that deals with perinatal hospice situations, please consider joining the tour, as I believe that it is a wonderful resource for you and we would greatly appreciate having your perspective in our discussion.
THANK YOU for visiting, for reading and for commenting! I wish you a wonderful week! I look forward to visiting your blogs, reading your posts and commenting as well. To those of you participating in ICLW, I hope that this experience helps you to “feel the love” and validation that giving and receiving comments on our blogs gives to us.