What a year this has been. On a personal level, there were many highs and many lows. In fact, I'd say the emotional roller coaster continues.
Looking back, a huge source of happiness and pride for me has been this blog. While coping with my own pain of infertility, I always hoped that in the end (other than a prized baby), my experiences would serve some purpose. Something positive had to come of this. I got so much out of this community -- support, laughter, a virtual shoulder to cry on -- and hoped to find a way to give back.
So here we are. It's not yet the anniversary of this blog, but in the spirit of the impending New Year and resolution lists, I feel the need to look back... and forward. I was reading old comments today -- always thoughtful and inquiring -- and it brought tears to my eyes. You, readers, keep me going.
I hope I have been able to cover a lot of topics that were pertinent to your situations. I try to take a broad strokes approach, as I realize that each story and each struggle is uniquely painful. Nevertheless, we are bound together in this shared experience of infertility, and that's exactly what I attempt to convey with every entry.
What inspires me most are each of your personal stories. I read many of your blogs -- I follow some very closely and love discovering new ones. In many ways, these blogs are pages of our life journals, ironically shared with complete strangers and yet so very very private (so much so that we live in anonymity out of fear that someone we know might find us out). We write because we need an outlet to express our deepest disappointments, frustrations and hopes. Some have hundreds or followers and other have a handful of devoted readers. Comments and thoughtful messages remind us that we are not alone.
In order to bring everyone closer together and inspired by Mel's ICLW, starting in the New Year, once a week I'm going to feature a blogger. A blogger who might not have hundreds of readers but would get so much out of a few supportive comments. A blogger who you might have never heard of but has a very similar story to yours. A blogger who takes a fresh look at the infertility struggle. A blogger who when all said and done, left me thinking and inspired me to write about.
Another item on my "Infertility Doula's Blog New Year Resolution" list is that I'd like to feature more information. I get a lot of infertility related alerts/news but cannot find the time to write about each thoroughly at the expense of not writing about them at all. Up until now, I didn't want to simply put the info out there without commentary. But who says I have to write a whole entry about a single scientific discovery? They each leave me with thoughts and questions, so why not share those with you? Maybe it will lead to an interesting discussion.
Lastly, I had mentioned that I wanted to start leading a RESOLVE support group. I have worked out the logistics, but wanted the holiday season to pass before getting it up and running. I will provide the details of the support group in the New Year.
My hope and wish for the New Year is that each and everyone of you finds happiness. For the great majority of you, this happiness lies in a child/children, but for others it lies in finding closure. Neither is a simple feat and both require incredible strength. Where ever you may find that strength, I hope to remain (or become) your little oasis.
The Infertility Doula.