At some point, I will likely write a post on my BlogHer 2014 experience as a whole (probably on the other blog). But for now I’m writing about just a little slice of it.

As you might imagine, a conference for women will attract sponsors who often market to women. And if you’re a woman you are probably a mother. So walking around the Expo Hall and touring all the sponsors’ booths was a bit…I’m still struggling to find the right word. I’ll come back to this.

On the flip side, it was refreshing to see some sponsors that were not only NOT marketing to moms but also companies that don’t normally market to women specifically. So it wasn’t that I was truly bombarded or beat over the head with Mommy this and Mommy that. NOT AT ALL.

Yet…it was still there. Some were easy to ignore. One was a complete surprise that Mona & I stumbled upon in search of free booze – a baby product with an open bar. It was actually pretty awesome but totally unexpected. As was the girl working the booth who seemed genuinely curious about infertility blogging. She’d never heard of it. The whole experience reminded me of this.

Even though I didn’t feel bombarded by the presence of these sponsors I still felt it. And it takes energy to avoid the constant reminders that you are not a mother even though you’ve put your life (and your bank account) on the line to try to become one. And still failed.

I say this not for sympathy but just to describe (particularly for any new and/or fertile readers) what it’s like to walk around in a mommy-centric world after spending 4+ years and thousands of dollars, enduring 3 surgeries, being told you could bleed out and die at any moment only to keep living while your ectopic twins continue trying to kill you (for 5 months). Every single mom ad or kid toy is a reminder that you are not yet what you aspire to be despite all the time and effort you’ve put in to it. And sometimes it’s also a trigger.

So I was avoiding those booths. As were my other infertile friends.

Until it occurred to me that I’m hoping to have a child in my house within the next year and if we decide not to foster-adopt I need to save every penny I can (adoption costs more than IVF in case you’re not aware) and wouldn’t those free samples come in handy? My friend Jamie had the same thought.

And so I made the rounds for infant fever reducer and the car seat giveaway (I did not win) and all manner of other products for moms and kids. And somehow I ended up with nursing pads. Sigh.

But there was one booth I kept avoiding. I simply could not bring myself to visit it. Partly because it had no free schwag. But mostly because of its name: Merck For Mothers.

The name itself made me feel excluded. I am not a mother therefore this booth has nothing to offer me. I swear my skin crawled every time I walked past it. I just assumed they were all about something I could not and would never be a part of. You see, in addition to the name containing “For Mothers” their logo is a pregnant belly. Pregnant bellies are pretty much the absolute worst trigger for anyone who has lost a baby (and/or uterus).

But on Day 2 I ended up at a lunch table with two of the women who were working that booth and I listened as they described what they were all about. And I resolved to stop by. They still didn’t have anything to offer me. But their message is one I can get on board with. Their message is something I’ve written about before.

Their goal is to educate people on the dangers of pregnancy and encourage women to talk to their doctors. They are focusing on three specific pregnancy issues: Preeclampsia, Embolism (pulmonary) and Post-partum hemorrhage but their mission is to educate. I can’t (and won’t) write about or endorse Merck as a company because I have limited knowledge of the details of this campaign and know almost nothing about the company. But the message. The message is something I can get behind.

They asked me to commit to giving a friend a “PEP talk” but I refused because 1. I already talk about this enough and 2. I scare people when I do. But YOU can. You can help me spread the word. Perhaps if more people knew these dangers they wouldn’t restrict access to abortion and birth control. (yeah, yeah, I’m probably wrong about that but a girl can dream, right?)

Merck For Mothers

From the Merck For Mothers website

< / public service announcement >

Back to me and my infertile experience. I’ve only just gotten home from BlogHer so I’m still processing and loving on kittehs. But in the back of my mind I’m trying to figure out why this struck me this weekend. I mean, every day I’m confronted with ads targeted to Moms, pregnant bellies, cute little kids I want steal away (but never would). What made it that different to see it at BlogHer?

I suppose the answer is that it wasn’t any different. I’ve just realized, perhaps for the first time, how incredibly EXHAUSTING it is to move through life actively attempting to avoid something you see around you every day. It’s not like an ex-boyfriend who you can avoid by not going to places you know he frequents. (OK it sort of is, you can avoid parks and Toys R Us prettily easily) It’s there. Every day. It’s the pictures on your co-workers’ desks. It’s the lady washing her breast pump in the communal kitchen at work. It’s the pregnant belly you see while walking to lunch. It’s almost every ad you see on TV. It is EVERYWHERE. And it is… exhausting.

That’s the word I was looking for.

———————————-
UPDATE:
One thing I forgot to mention is that I absolutely would recommend – even encourage – BlogHer for infertility bloggers. There weren’t many there. We need to represent. But I’ll address this more in another post (I’ll link here when it’s up). Don’t be scared of BlogHer.

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BlogHer Bound

July 22, 2014

In case you missed it I’m going to the BlogHer conference this week.

Why?

Hhmmm….good question.

It seemed like a good idea at the time?

You only regret the things you DIDN’T do?

Anyhow, me and this dinky little blog will be there. Along with my even dinkier blog that no one knows about.

Yes, I have another blog. It has about 5 posts on it. Unlike this one, it has its own url.It may or may not one day go places. If I had to guess I’d say it will go about as far as the nearest Starbucks. But this blog will not be going away (I don’t think) but I’ve decided I want to write about things other than infertility. This is my whiny infertile space. And, for now, I intend to keep it. But I never intended to transition it to a Mommy Blog. Or even an adoption blog. Once it becomes more about another human than me I get…queasy. It’s not my place to (over-)share other people’s info. I’ve tried to keep details about Right Guy to a minimum. I absolutely over-shared about Wrong Guy but that was all part of me processing my divorce and he’s not in my life anymore. Although those posts are still my most popular.

The point is, if you’re cool with it that’s great. But the Mommy Blog is not for me. And I’m not sure how this adoption will play out but I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to share a lot of details. So I will be gradually transitioning over to the new blog for all things not related to my lack of a uterus.

Never fear foxophiles, the new blog is also fox themed. But since I like to overly compartmentalize my life I wanted a new space: X Marx the FoX

With BlogHer fast approaching and me not recently…you know…BLOGGING…I’m feeling very much like not a real boy. I mean blogger.

Let’s face it. I’ve never felt like a real blogger. So why am I going to a blogging conference? Maybe I’ll meet the blogging version of my Geppetto and turn into a real blogger while I’m there?

Wait. I think that requires a descent into Hell first.

That might be unpleasant.

*looks around*

Hm. I seem to be sitting in a handbasket.

Perhaps I’ve already descended into Hell???

OK, so I had a bad day. I won’t go into details. It’s all fairly mundane. It just happened to all come at me in the span of 3 hours. That’s no excuse for mixing my metaphors. Or is it?

By the way, what the fuck is handbasket anyway?

Oh. It’s just a basket. How LAME.

Just like this post.

Why am I going to BlogHer again?

I blame Mona.

But back to the original question.

Pinocchio kind of always freaked me out as a boy. I can’t decide if this is better or worse.

pinocchio in a dress

NaBloPoMo Wrap Up

November 30, 2013

I think I sufficiently addressed the question of what I’ve learned and whether this NaBloPoMo thing has been a good experience in yesterday’s post.  It’s been good but I’m not sorry to see it end.  I need a break.

I have a lot of other things that need to be tended to.  It seems that Xmas is now upon us so there’s shopping and decorating to do.  And I have to go back to work after spending 2 weeks on my sofa with the kittehs.  The view from my cube at the office is not nearly so cute as this one:

kitty

Gratuitous cat pic

So anyway, thanks for reading this month.  If I ever attempt this again I hope to do better at it.  If you need me I’ll be on my sofa watching all manner of Holiday specials on TV until I have the energy to do all those things I need to do.

Almost There

November 29, 2013

Whew.  Today and tomorrow and my month of daily blog posts will be complete!  You guys can stop reading!

Who am I kidding?  I had to write them all but I seriously doubt any of you read them all.

I have written a lot of drivel this month in order to keep up with the daily challenge.  A lot of it I NEVER would have posted had it not been for this challenge.  But I have learned a lot and it was indeed a useful exercise.  Much like photography, you have to just keep taking pictures or writing blog posts in order to get those one or two great shots/posts.

flowers

Despite the fact that several drafts didn’t make it out of drafts this month, the more I wrote, the more ideas I had for posts – posts that I think will ultimately prove more interesting than most of what was actually posted this month.  In short, I think I now have MORE posts in drafts than I started out with.  And that’s actually a GOOD thing.  I just felt that some of them needed more attention and refining than I had time to devote to them.

So, hopefully, the end result of NaBloPoMo will be more interesting posts that will be better spaced out.

Tag…You’re It!!!!

November 23, 2013

Well. Looks like I got nominated for a Sunshine Award by Not When, But If.  AND she called me “The Furiously Funny Fox.” 🙂

[Have I mentioned how much I love alliteration? Yes? 5000 times you say? Right. Moving on.]

The “rules” of accepting the Sunshine Award are as follows:

  • Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
  • Link to the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award and invent 10 questions for them to answer
  • Link to your nominees and let them know about the nomination

1. Are you and your partner a case of “opposites attract,” “two peas in a pod,” or some mix of both?
We are a mixed bag. We are very much opposites when it comes to things like planning. I like to, he’s allergic to it. Like anaphylactic shock allergic to it. I’m not a neat freak but he’s a typhoon. I overshare on my blog. He barely talks. But we both love music and going out to shows, good food, good wine. I often want to beat him with a wooden spoon but somehow it works.

2. Salty or sweet? (There totally IS a right answer!)
SALTY. Hands down.
Except when it’s salty AND sweet. But only if it’s NOT kettle corn. I hate kettle corn.

3. If you remember, how’d you find my blog? Why do you (or don’t you!) read?
I found Not When But If through twitter. I can’t recall when or how exactly. I read the blog because she’s an awesome and supportive tweep!

4. Where do you feel your virtual best? On your blog? Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? Some other site I’m far too uncool to know about?
Definitely not Pinterest. I have a board but I don’t really ‘get’ Pinterest. See #7. It’s a toss up between the blog and Twitter. But I think Twitter wins because there’s more interaction. Despite being an introvert I like the back and forth.

5. When did you start blogging? Was there a particular trigger that fueled your desire to blog?
I’ve been at this almost four years now. I happened to get my test results from my OBGYN just before I had to co-teach a workshop and it just so happened that no one showed up for the workshop and my co-teacher had done IVF and told me all about which RE to see and which blogs to read. It was really a fortuitous encounter. So…a few months later when I started on Clomid I also started a blog. I just needed to get the thoughts out of my head.

6. What one thing never fails to make you happy?
Sunflowers.
And The Clash.
I know, I know. I’m weird.

7. Are you crafty? If so, what’s your favorite medium?
Um…NO. Decidedly NOT crafty. Every now and again I attempt to be and am reminded that I am actually the Queen of UNcraftiness.

8. If you could have a new career/occupation/profession tomorrow, what would it be? Why?
Writing! I really like doing it and I could make my own schedule.

9. What one item of your partner’s clothing/apparel would you love to secretly toss?
There’s no one thing I hate. Or even a set of things. He does pretty well in the apparel department. But I should probably not so secretly start throwing out all socks and boxers with holes in them.

10. Thoughts on the term “furbabies”? Love or hate?
Despite the fact that I use the term I’m not overly fond of it. So I guess I don’t really love or hate it. I just feel MEH about it. I do like that it’s succinct. Which is useful for Twitter especially.

OK, so now I think I’m supposed to come up with ten new questions and tag ten people.

The People:

  1. Baby With A Twist
  2. Dogs Aren’t Kids
  3. A Plus Effort
  4. Born In My Heart
  5. You Are Richer
  6. So Angie Writes
  7. Pregnant Pause
  8. Fertility Doll
  9. Chances Our
  10. Confessions Of An Infertile

The Questions:

  1. Who/What’s your go to music/song/artist when you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up?
  2. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  3. What is your go to comfort food?
  4. What advice would you give your 20 year old self if you could?
  5. To date, what was your happiest moment in life?
  6. And what was your saddest?
  7. If you were a Muppet which one would you be and why?
  8. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
  9. Who – person, character, alive, dead, fictional, cartoon – would you most like to have a conversation with?
  10. Cake or pie?

Back To School

November 8, 2013

I sort of feel like I’ve been sent back to school with this challenge. I have homework every night. 😉

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt is: Tell us what you’ve learned so far about daily blogging.

I’ve learned that I have more to say than I thought I did. That stated, it’s not always easy to get it out on a daily basis. Especially when the prompts are often so much different from what I normally write about. Which is why I’ve chosen, thus far anyway, to use them and not just post my normal drivel. If I am truly going to be Barney [Challenge…wait for it…ACCEPTED!] about this then I should embrace it.

Bottom line is this: I have more to say. I sort of thought I did, but now the ideas are pouring in. I’m keeping track of them for now. Some of them I’m not quite ready to write. Others I want to save for something else. See… I have plans for a new blog. Plans I’ve been working on since before NaBloPoMo started.

This blog will not go away. But it will, at some point, revert back to its original subject matter of infertility. The new blog will be about…EVERYTHING. OK, not everything. But lots of other stuff.

Stay tuned. It’s not ready yet and I’m still in school.