Welcome to the sixteenth installment of my blog hop/writing exercise called Time Warp Tuesday here on Four of a Kind!
For those not familiar with Time Warp Tuesdays, which I currently host on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month here is the background of how and why I came up with the idea. If you are here to participate and link up your post, you can do so with the Linky Tools at the end of this post (or if you have any difficulty using it, you can share the link to your post in the comment section here). Please note: Beginning in March, Time Warp Tuesdays will be moving to the 2nd Tuesday of the month.
The gist of Time Warp Tuesday is to revisit and share some of our favorite blog entries from our archives and reflect on our journeys since we wrote them.
The theme for this week’s Time Warp Tuesday is: Blog Beginnings
Note: Special thanks to Keiko from Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed who suggested this topic! If you have an idea for a future Time Warp topic, theme and/or writing prompt, please feel free to share it in the comment section or send me an email. If I choose to use your idea, I will give you credit and link to your blog that week.
Share with us your first blog entry or one of the first posts that you wrote and shared on your blog. In Keiko’s words, “some of us have them prominently featured, some of us wish we could hide them away forever… Let’s dig them up and dust them off!” Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.
Participants can write about whatever you want in your new blog entries. However, for those who might have needed some help and inspiration to get started, here are some questions to consider:
Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing your post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote your original post?
Time Warp Tuesday: Blog Beginnings
As I shared some about in my last Time Warp post Comments Please and also more extensively last year in my Crossing Over post (when I “came out” about my blog), I began blogging almost five years ago in April 2007. At the time Bob and I were just getting started with fertility treatments to try to expand our family after trying to have another child on our own for almost 3 years. Our son Sean was 3 1/2 and we wanted our children to be close in age. Ever since Bob and I had begun talking about our future family, before we even got married, we hoped and dreamed of having at least 2, probably 3 or 4 and not more than 6 kids.
In March of 2007 we began our first IVF cycle. We told our immediate families and close friends what we were doing. Many of those we shared our plans with had been very supportive over the previous three years that we had struggled with secondary infertility and pregnancy loss. However, though few people told us directly that they didn’t agree with our choice to try IVF, some of our friends and family members clearly were more vocal and intentional in showing us that they supported us/our decision and wanted to continue to walk with us on our journey to expand our family than others.
So as I began to give myself daily shots, experiencing the many side effects that come with injecting hormones into your body, and making my way to frequent monitoring appointments at our fertility clinic, I soon found out which of our friends and family members were most interested in being kept “in the loop” about our progress (or lack thereof) in trying to expand our family through IVF. I also figured out which ones were willing to receive news and updates from me electronically (mostly via email) and who really preferred to hear how things were going in person or over the phone.
One day, when I had gotten tired of the frequent phone calls and email correspondence after each appointment or milestone during our first IVF cycle, I sat down at our desktop computer in our office, signed up for a Blogger account and http://chicagobensons.blogspot.com was born!
I knew very little about blogging at the time or even that there was something called “the blogosphere.” I had an “online friend,” who I had met in January 2003 on Fertility Friend when we were both pregnant with our first children, that was also dealing with secondary infertility who had started a blog the previous year. My friend and her husband had started IVF about six months before us and she would post details about her cycles and their experience on her blog. I noticed how my friend got support from some of her family and friends through blogging, especially when they would “comment” on her blog posts. As a newbie, following my friend’s blog and also participating in discussion forums on IVF Connections were my two greatest sources of support and practical information about IVF. It didn’t take me long to realize how physically draining, emotionally overwhelming and yet also very exciting IVF could be. As Bob and I embarked on our first IVF cycle, we felt the most optimism about being able to have another child that we had experienced in a LONG TIME.
So after setting up my account on Blogger and coming up with the “blogspot” web address (I chose to combine the city we live in with our last name), all that was left to do was name my blog and start posting. I chose the name Three of a Kind Working on a Full House…as a takeoff on what I knew as a Garth Brooks song “Two of a Kind Working on a Full House,” to try to be a bit cute and clever while representing Bob, Sean and my hopes and dreams to add to our family.
I posted on my blog for the first time on April 10, 2007 and you could say “the rest history.” Except after I had been blogging regularly for a few months some new people, other than the family and friends that I had chosen to tell about my blog, started to find their way there and interact with me. This happened in part because my friend added me to her Blogroll.
I will never forget the first time that someone I didn’t know in real life commented on my blog. This woman and her husband were also struggling with infertility and she was reaching out to give me support. I wasn’t sure what to think at first, but soon realized that she was also probably hoping to receive some care and concern in return on her journey to build her family. So I followed the link in the comment she left to her “profile” and from there followed another link to her blog where I had to opportunity to comment for the first time on someone’s blog that I didn’t know offline. Definitely an “A-ha!” moment in my life and a whole new world opened to me… THE BLOGOSPHERE!
On Tuesday, April 10, 2007 I wrote and posted my first three blog entries. The first one was a short and sweet welcome message for those I later sent an email to with a link to my blog, inviting them to read and follow our journey trying to expand our family. The second was a background post in which I wrote about our family building story and history up until that point, which most of our family and some of our close friends were already aware of. The third post was filled with more recent and specific details about our first IVF cycle that we were in the midst of at that point. We were about a week out from our first Egg Retrival (ER) and so I was reporting on the highlights of our early consult meetings and monitoring appointments.
Please go and read one or more of the posts that I am reflecting on today (and comment if you choose), if you haven’t already, and then come back here to see what I have to say about my journey since I wrote them:
***Here is where you left off before you stopped to read my old post(s).***
It’s beyond surreal for me to revisit and reflect on these posts that I wrote almost 5 YEARS AGO! It is bittersweet to get a glimpse of myself at age 32, a woman who so desperately wanted to have at least one more child and give our then 3 1/2 year old son one or more siblings. Back then I was obsessed with being able to expand our family by any means possible and I was also very optimistic that IVF would get Bob, Sean and me to that goal.
We had already experienced a good deal of heartache, though they were “early losses,” at that stage of our journey trying to build our family. Somehow I think I believed in my head and in my heart that we were *due* for our luck to change. As soon as we began learning about IVF, and eventually cycling ourselves, we heard so many success stories and thought it was possible that soon we would be one of them.
It is both painful and heartwarming for me to return to that time in our life and recognize what I was willing to put my mind and body through in effort to try to have another child. I was so determined back then and recall every time I gave myself an injection, experienced another blood draw or ultrasound or underwent another ART related medical procedure that I would envision the baby who would become the child that we were hoping, wishing, praying and trying for.
Sometimes I wonder if I would do it all over again, knowing what I know now. I think that a lot of people would say “yes, of course!” But I am not always so sure. It is hard for me sometimes to come to terms and make peace with the fact that my two living children are bookends that were “naturally” conceived.What am I to do with everything that happened in between?! Its not that I am ungrateful for what we have. Its just hard sometimes to let go of what it felt like during the time that we believed we couldn’t conceive or sustain another pregnancy “on our own.”
I know so many people who overall had very positive experiences with using IVF and other forms of ART to build and/or expand their families. It can be difficult not to get hung up on the “what ifs” and “whys” of my family and my experience with IVF and FET.
But I get that there are not always answers to these kinds of questions in our lives and it can be fruitless to spend much time dwelling on them. One of my favorite quotes that sums this up is from years ago in the movie Sleepless in Seattle:
“It isn’t fair, there’s no reason and if we ask ourselves `why,’ we’ll go crazy.”
All of this said, though I may never understand why or how our early pregnancy losses happened and our daughter Molly was born and died the way she did, I do find comfort and solace in trying to focus on the “rainbows” and “silver linings” in my life. I do believe that there are have been and will continue to be many on my journey with my family, in spite of the suffering we have experienced.
One of the many bright and colorful sides to our story, besides the obvious (the birth of our daughter Abigal in September 2009), has been the evolution of my writing and my love for doing so regularly, especially here on my blog. That is something I truly did not foresee when I sat down at our desktop computer (the only “smart technological device” we owned in our family at the time) and began my blog almost five years ago. It certainly was not about my love for reading, writing and connecting with others who also appreciate both. It wasn’t about trying to communicate with and support others who were traveling on similar paths trying to build or expand their families.
So I don’t know if I had the chance do it all again, if I would choose IVF. Though I know the argument can be made that if it weren’t for the exact path we took and the choices we made, we would not have the children we do today. I love and adore Sean and Abby, I will never forget our dear Molly and I will be forever grateful for all that I have learned from being their mother.
I do know without a doubt though, that if I could have a “do over” that I would definitely start blogging when I did and in many ways I wish I had done so sooner. Though my experience with blogging has not always been been shiny and bright, I have learned more about myself, others, our world and how to be a more genuine, sensitive and compassionate person over these past five years writing here than through any other avenue in my life.
I also have some exciting news to share about my blog. I intend to do so more formally in a post sometime in the next week or so. But since you stuck with me through this marathon blog entry, you get to have the inside scoop now.
I will be “moving” to a new space in the near future!
I am renaming my blog for the third (and likely last) time and have even bought my own domain name/URL, which is the same as my new blog name. I am in the process of moving my current blog content to Self-Hosted WordPress and am hoping to launch my new blog/website by the end of this month. I am not ready to publicly reveal my new blog name or URL but appreciate your patience, as well as hopefully your enthusiasm and support, as I prepare to make this “leap of faith” very soon.
Thank you for reading and for doing the Time Warp with me this month. I look forward to your feedback about this post, as well as reading and commenting on all of yours.
Please feel free to comment even if you didn’t write your own Time Warp Tuesday post. It is not too late to participate if you are interested, click here for the details.
The topic for the next Time Warp Tuesday (on March 13th) is: Faith
For those dealing with adoption, infertility, loss and/or other unexpected challenges in life our faith (whatever that may be) can be tested. Find a blog entry in your archives where you talk about faith. You can interpret this topic however you choose. If you do not believe in God or practice an organized religion you can choose a post where you talk about how you cope with difficult, uncertain and/or painful times in your life. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.
Participants can write about whatever you want in your new blog entries. However, for those who might need some help and inspiration to get started, here are some questions to consider:
Why did you pick this post? Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing your post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote your original post?
Note: If you have an idea for a future Time Warp topic, theme and/or writing prompt, please feel free to share it in the comment section or send me an email. If I choose to use your idea, I will give you credit and link to your blog that month.
For those new to Time Warp Tuesday, here is a quick recap of how it works:
1) Browse through your old blog entries to find one that fits the topic for the given month. The topic is shared at the end of the previous month’s “Time Warp Tuesday” post here on my blog (see above for next week’s topic).
2) Write a new blog post in which you introduce, link to and then reflect on your journey since you wrote the older blog post and put it up on your blog on Tuesday. Please include this link http://chicagobensons.blogspot.com/search/label/Time%20Warp%20Tuesdays in your blog entry, so your readers can find their way to my post with the list of other participants, in case they would like to read more or participate themselves.
3) Share the link to your new post here on Tuesday and then visit, read and comment on the other blogs.
4) After you have done all of these things, you are welcome to grab the code for the the Time Warp Tuesday button by clicking here and put it on your blog. The link will take you to a Google Doc where you can copy the code. If your browser does not allow access to your computer’s clipboard, you can use Ctrl-C for Copy and Ctrl-V for Paste, or use your browser’s Edit menu.
5) Check back here on the 2nd Tuesday of the month to find out the new topic, theme or question for the next Time Warp Tuesday (I welcome your ideas and suggestions) and then return to Step 1 of this recap to participate.
Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope to see you back here next month, on Tuesday, March 13th (the 2nd Tuesday of this month), when we’ll “do the time warp again!”
Thank you again for reading, commenting and participating in my Time Warp Tuesday blog hop. Link up below and click through to visit others who are doing the Time Warp! (If you have any trouble with Linky Tools, please share the link to your blog entry in the comment section.). Also, please don’t forget to comment on my post here, as I do not have a link to this (my own) post below, but I would still really appreciate your feedback. xoxo