When I wrote that very first post on October 31, 2007, I stated two reasons why I was starting a blog: (1) to add my voice to the (very) few I could find at that time that were articulating the views of women (& men) who remain childless/free after infertility, & (2) to participate in Mel's next book tour. (The book we were discussing then? "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. Plus ca change..) And, although I didn't articulate it (or perhaps even realize it) at the time, I was also looking for an outlet as I approached the emotionally charged 10-year "anniversary" of my one and only pregnancy, which ended in my daughter's stillbirth at 26 weeks that August (1998).
For the first few years here, I poured out my pent-up angst on various matters related to infertility, stillbirth, and living without children in a world gone mad for baby bumps. (I had already found relief online on various message boards and listservs, but blogging was a slightly different experience, and clearly satisfied an itch I clearly didn't know I had.) I relived my pregnancy in a series of "10 years later" posts, "1998 memories," and then followed it up a few years later by reliving my experiences with infertility treatment 10 years later in "The Treatment Diaries."
These days, happily, there are a LOT more of us keeping each other company on this road less travelled, writing and speaking out about the ups (yes, they exist!) as well as the downs of life without children. (There was a fabulous article in The Guardian earlier this month, which called us "a movement." Yes!!) (If you haven't read it yet, please do!) And after 10 years, I'm still finding stuff to write about (averaging 11 posts per month -- not bad...!) I still vent from time to time, and ponder (and re-ponder) various aspects of childless/free living and the grief of missing a child who never took a breath.
But I also write about the books I've read, places we've travelled to, being an aunt, early retirement (the pros & the cons), condo living (something we probably wouldn't have done -- at least this soon in our lives -- if we'd had kids) and just about anything else I feel like writing about. After all, my blog, my rules. ;) And a childless life is not just about childlessness; it's also about having a life and making the most of it, regardless of the hand we've been dealt.
As I said on my first blogoversary:
Blogging has been the release & record I sought -- and more. It has been a blessing in my life. I did not know who, if anyone, would care to read my blog, and I didn't start out with the intention of writing for an audience. The blog is, first and foremost, for me. But it's been gratifying to read your comments, to feel your support, to know you're out there struggling with the same issues and feelings too -- that you understand.Those words are still true today.
I'm pondering a few more posts on the blogoversary/10 years later theme... watch for them to come over the next few days/weeks.
For now, I'm stealing a question from Lori Lavender Luz :) :
What were you doing 10 years ago?
Thank you all for reading/listening, commenting and just being here. I know there are a few of you who have been here since or very near the beginning! But I do want to give special thanks to Mel for her encouragement & support, both at the very start & over the 10 years since then, and to Pamela for being my fellow traveller and role model for this entire journey to date. ;) :)
(Past blogoversary posts can be found here.)
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Blogging stats, 10 years later:
Number of years blogging: 10 (!!)
Published posts (including this one): 1,282
Average # of posts per year: 128
Average # of posts per month: 11
Published comments: more than 8,800+
Page views (tracked since May 2010): almost 626,000
Followers (on Blogger): 146