Five Year Blogoversary Musings

It’s time again for my annual Blogoversary post. Five years have slipped past in the blink of an eye. It’s been my honor since 2015 to share this tiny corner of the interweb with some of the bestest women I’ve had the privilege of “meeting” in the Blog Lands—and in some cases, meeting in real life too!

How to lament this past year since the last Blogoversary? As far as The Endo Zone goes, it’s been my quietest year yet for publishing posts. Real Life got in the way, and more pressing matters unfortunately took my attention from posting. But in 2020 I’ve made a decision to post here more often, and I’m trying to make good with that commitment as best I can. Already in less than three months I’ve nearly reached my total posts from last year! My aim is to move this space away from strictly endometriosis and/or infertility as cause/effect; I’ve still been brainstorming names for a new blog but haven’t found one yet that speaks to me.

Much has changed since the Endo Zone was born five years ago, the most significant (and surprising) of which has been Jake and my decision to resolve Childless Not By Choice (CNBC). If you’ve been around here for even a little while, you’ll know that CNBC wasn’t a one-time choice which Jake and I made and then moved on from. Instead, resolving without a child still sometimes rears its head and causes us uncertainty. It’s definitely not a linear course. This is a space to write about that.

A heartfelt Thank You to everyone who’s been at this site since the beginning, and Welcome to all those who’ve joined since! I have slightly more than 200 followers and I’m grateful for every one of you.

Last, a giant frowny face to WordPress for needlessly revamping the editor and making it even harder to use than usual; writing this post was no easy feat with the new settings!

Links below to previous Blogoversary Musings:

Year Two: 2017 Blogoversary Musings

Year Three: 2018 Blogoversary Musings

Year Four: 2019 Blogoversary Musings

2020 So Far: A New Direction

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Courtesy of Pixabay

For months now, I’ve intended on joining the army of bloggers who faithfully post each week. It was even one of my 2020 resolutions!  But, one month into the new year, I haven’t been able to make it happen.

Until this week.

That’s my goal this year: to post weekly.

My blog has been dying a slow death the past couple of years, despite my earnest intentions to keep it updated. I’ve never been a huge social media poster to begin with (though I do stalk it on the regular). This blog feels different than social media in a way, but I’m not sure if it is indeed different. Throughout the course of my days something will often happen that causes me to think, “I should blog about that!”… but then I never do. Maybe it’s the effort required, since I’m not quickly posting a pic with a cute caption and moving along like most social media. Blogs take more thought, more intention, more planning. More work.

Through a long—and still continuing—process, I have moved on from the Trying to Conceive world to the Childless Not by Choice world. I’m still new to CNBC, and don’t yet have both feet firmly planted in it because I harbor some reluctance to completely let go of TTC. Is that due to stubbornness? Fear? Worry that I’ve given up too soon? Maybe it’s all three.  From what I can tell so far, the TTC world is a kind of subset of the general (fertile-aged) society. The CNBC world is a subset of that subset, and its defining lines are very blurry.

Since all of that is going on in my life, I’ll be making some changes to this blog in the coming months. So stay tuned! Among other things, I want to move to a new paid URL without losing content or subscribers, and also change the blog’s name. I plan to do more posting on exploring life CNBC and less with TTC, if anything at all. As for endometriosis, well I think I’ll always be blogging about that, because it’s the foundation of how I landed here in the first place! I do have a few upcoming posts in mind, so please, everyone, hold me to it to post weekly.

Until next time,

Peace. ❤

So Long, Farewell, I’m Thrilled to Say Goodbye (to 2019).

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It is currently evening on New Year’s Eve, and as I schlep sit here on the couch in my comfy clothes with a nice glass of red and Puppy by my side (can you say ‘party animal’?!), I can’t help but feel extremely grateful to be seeing the tail end of 2019.

Although I’m not usually one to classify an entire year as being either all-good or all-bad, I must say that the vast majority of 2019 has consisted of the latter. Hence, a big portion of my blogging absence this year, a problem which I plan to remedy in 2020.

For starters, I hope to take this blog in a new direction in the coming year, including moving it to a different URL. While it may have started nearly five years ago (what?! *gulp*) as an infertility blog, I feel strongly that that chapter in my life is closing. However, I still want to blog: about what exactly remains to be seen or to reveal itself.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve become disingenuous on my blog and for that I apologize. Truth be told, the whole infertility aspect of my life has begun to take a major backseat. I still follow other IF bloggers and have made some lovely Instagram friends via infertility and childless-not-by-choice tags, but I feel myself moving away the tenacious grip that failure to procreate has had on me.

One example of this dis-ingenuity? My marriage has had a horrible year in 2019. Like, in-the-gutter-type horrible. I’ll not expound on details here, but it’s been kind of hard to bemoan my childless state in 2019 when, throughout the first three quarters of the year, I worried strongly that I’d even have a husband with whom to try to procreate. Other examples include financial hardships, Jake’s unemployment for the majority of the year, us having purchased what was definitely the wrong home in the end of 2018, and a general loneliness and disconnect that has seemed to plague me for some time now. Oh yes, and that most recent miscarriage in the end of the summer… That was a hurt with which I still haven’t really dealt, as in the scheme of things this years it’s gotten lost in the shuffle. That sounds horrible, but in the name of being honest, let’s call things for what they have been. Sometimes it’s all we can do just to survive.

Lately life has taken turns for the better, albeit in baby steps. The pieces are fitting back together, and I’m trying very hard to be patient in that because I know no one’s life pieces ever fit perfectly.

Now, with all that depressing business out of the way, I have big plans for 2020! Although it’s a sure bet that I won’t be reinventing myself in the span of the next six hours and emerging as an entirely different person, I am gratefully anticipating the new year and new decade. Change—even the prospect of it—can be so refreshing.

For all those reading this who may have also had a difficult year, I emphasize and sit with you in the pain, even if your difficult circumstances were not something I directly experienced. And for those of you reading this who have had an excellent year overall, I pray nothing but the same, and better, for you in the coming year.

Cheers to 2020!

Peace. ❤

 

Four Year Blogoversary

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Another year on WordPress?  Wowzers, four years have flown by here on The Endo Zone!  Even though I had no real plan in mind when I created this space in 2015, I certainly didn’t imagine that four-plus years later I’d still be blogging.  Well, sort of blogging; at best, I’m a sporadic blogger.

The future of The Endo Zone is hazy.  I have been (and continue to be) in a kind of limbo when it comes to TTC.  We continue trying for a baby naturally; I’m in between doctors (again, *sigh*); with nothing new happening,  the months have somehow turned to years.  With no real “news” to report, I haven’t been blogging as much, but I also have no plans to take the site down, either.  Blogging is something I’ve been meaning to get back to doing, and I have to make the time for it (sorry, guys!).

Thanks for sticking with me these past four years!  I will try my best to post an update in the coming days.

Here’s links to:

Peace.

 

 

 

Summer Blog Break

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Hello, blog friends!  Today I realized that it’s been a whole month since I last posted on here.  Aaaaand, let’s be real: it’s summer. the weather’s great. the sunshine is currently slaughtering months’ worth of Seasonal Affective Disorder’s influence on my brain. I’m outside doing things every day.  Bemoaning Blogging about fertility stuff just isn’t on my radar.  I’ve completely dropped off posting (although not stalking… never stop stalking) my other social media feeds.  So it’s fitting that I take a break from the blogosphere as well.

Besides, I really have nothing new going on in Fertility Land.  Jake and I just had our 7-year TTC anniversary—or whatever you want to term it—last month.   We’re currently in negotiations about doing another stim cycle.  “Negotiations” essentially involve me convincing Jake to agree to another IVF.  Buuuut, we’re also in the process of preparing to buy a new house, so I kind of have to decide if I want a house or a baby more at the moment.  It’s a tough call because both would be stellar, but neither are free.  Well, baby making should be free…

Anyway, unless something radically awesome (or awful) related to fertility/infertility happens in the next eight-ish weeks, I’ve decided to step away from this space til after Labor Day.

Cheers to sunshine, flip-flops, and (vegetarian) BBQs!

 

 

Liebster Award Entry

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I don’t know whether these blog awards are real or not, but, seriously, who really cares if there’s an actual award waiting on the other side?  It’s always a fun honor just to be nominated.

My beautiful friend AKL over at Baby Wanted: an IVF journey has nominated me for a Liebster Award.  AKL is one of the realest, funniest, and sweetest bloggers I’ve met since I began blogging.  Please check out her reads!  Thanks, AKL for the ‘nom and for writing such kind words about me!  I’m so glad we’ve connected.

HERE’S THE RULES:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their post.
  • Answer the 11 questions they asked you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers, with your own set of questions.
  • Tag your chosen 11 bloggers, and don’t forget to tell them as well!

 

These are my answers to AKL’s questions:

1. When did you start blogging?

March 2015.

2. Why did you start your blog?

Jake and I were having a tough time getting pregnant, and I felt so alone in trying.  I had no clue there were places online for people like me until I discovered fertility blogs.  I’ve always expressed myself best through writing—although I don’t claim to be particularly stellar at it—so blogging sounded very healing.  It was also the desire of my heart to help other women in this sojourn and hopefully be a source of encouragement.

3. What do you do for your day job?

Paralegal by day, ninja by night.

4. Where are you located (city, country)?

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

5. What has been your biggest regret in your life? 

There is no scenario in which I’d ever answer this question honestly.

6. What has been your greatest achievement? 

Graduating from college.  I don’t come from college people.  Growing up, there was zero expectation of ever attending college.

But because I lived fully on my own by age 18, I qualified for some program where the state paid my tuition; that got me through some college.  Later, through God’s provision via the generosity of a well-off in-law, I was able to complete my degree.  It took 8 years to get a 4-year degree, but I’m immensely grateful just to have finished.  It was only through the Lord’s sovereign arrangements that college happened for me.

7. What advice would you give to your 18 year old self? 

Don’t be so angry, don’t be so independent, don’t be so protective of your heart in that suit of armor you wear with spikes on the outside and ice on the inside.  Your decisions in life matter, YOU matter.  Things aren’t gonna stay this way forever, hun—this too shall pass.

8. Do you have a special or unusual skill that perhaps people don’t know about ? (I can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Japanese)

I can sense when a cop is about to drive past.  Seriously!  I’ll just be walking down the road and I’ll think to myself, “A cop is going to drive by.” Like clockwork, one immediately does.  Craziest thing, this is.  But also useful. 😉

9. Where is your favorite city to visit?

My own—there’s always something going on in Philly.

10. How do you motivate yourself?

Whatever needs doing, I simply DO IT.  Doesn’t matter if I feel like doing it (I usually don’t) or if it can technically wait until tomorrow (it usually can).  Through God’s grace I have been given a strong sense of personal responsibility.  I’m tough, I have a can-do mentality, and am steadfast in whatever I put my mind to.  The simple act of starting something is all the motivation I need to finish it.

11. What do you hope for most in 2018?

It would be cliche to say a baby because, well, this blog….

In 2018 I most want RESTORATION: in my life, in my marriage, for my family, my health, my relationship with God.  In whatever form that happens, as long as it’s moving toward restoration then it’s headed in the right direction.

In no particular order, my nominated 11 bloggers are:

Delayed But Not Denied – Because my real-life friend seriously needs to get back to blogging.

Ditch the Bun – Infertility warrior cleverly disguised as a librarian.

In Pursuit of a Family – Because you always write such beautiful posts.

Be Realistic: Plan for a Miracle – Because you sojourn alongside me… from across the pond!

The Sky and Back – Because I miss your blogging.

Bloomin’ Uterus – *Only* the best endometriosis blog on the planet.

Dubliner in Deutschland – Overcoming infertility in a land far from home.

GeeksTravelingInJapan – Also battling infertility in a land far from home.

Woman With Endometriosis – Endo awareness proponent.

Hoping to be More Than a Dog Mom – From one dog mama to another.

Tales of a 30 Year Old Nothing – Because she’s real, relatable, and hilarious.

 

My 11 questions to the above bloggers:

1. Imagine that the blogosphere suddenly disappears—for whatever reason. What do you do?

2. What characteristic do you not possess at all?

3. Why did the chicken cross the road?

4. How do you face critical problems?

5. One thing about yourself of which you are most proud?

6. The happiest moment of your life?

7. A word which you hate to use?

8. What is your dream job?

9. What villainous character do you most admire, and why?

10. Item on your bucket list that you would be MOST upset if you didn’t accomplish.

11. If you could have lunch with any famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you order?

 

 

 

 

2017 blog review.

I can’t be the only person who’s thrilled to see the end of 2017, amiright?  It wasn’t a good year for me like at all, both in Fertility Land and in my offline life.  I’m usually not the kind of person who classifies entire years as either ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but 2017 was just straight up rough.   I’m still kind of stunned that I came out of it intact.

I’m clinging to hope of 2018 being worlds better!  So far it has been better, except that our elderly kitty, Grumpy Cat, fell ill this past weekend.  But God has been so very good and gracious in the situation, and I’m 100% believing that GC is in His excellent hands and will be okay.

Now that that’s out of my system, I thought it’d be fun to look back over my blog in 2017 and see what all went down. I’m like the worst at checking the stats to this site; I’m forever forgetting to look at that kind of thing!  I pulled the year’s stats and was surprised at which posts were most popular.  That’s how it is in the blog world I guess: some of what I though were my worst posts fared excellently.  Other posts that I [humbly] believed were pretty good, tanked.

Anyway, here’s a look back at the Top Five posts of 2017:

#5. Back at Square One:      an unforgettable ER visit and continued frustrations about IM bleeding

#4. Infertility and Job Interviews:     recounting a job interview gone very wrong

#3. Conceiving to Conceive:     post-surgical hope for a pregnancy

#2. Surgery Recap: Part 2 of 2:     entirely too wordy—and far too detailed—post-op musings

and

#1. Hysteroscopy #: Arcuate Uterus:    a 2016 post all about weirdly-shaped uteruses (or is that ‘uteri?’)

I’d like to think that this here ‘lil site has helped someone else struggling with fertility and endometriosis in 2017.  WordPress helpfully gave me this here map…:

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… so I’m ever hopeful it has reached another person and helped her along her way in life, encouraged her, or let her know she’s not alone.

And rather than seeing this new year as twelve more tries at a baby, I am instead choosing to focus outwardly in 2018: What can I do this year to help others?  How can I be a blessing to other women? in my community? at my church? to my family?

Believing good things are in store this year, for myself and all my IF friends.

Peace.