Monday, March 5, 2012

Baloney Sandwiches!!!

Hi Humble Readers...

Are you familiar with that card game, "Bullsh!t"?  Where you basically lie about what cards you are laying down, in hopes that no one calls you one it... it's sometimes called "Cheat", and in my church youth group (many many moons ago) it was called "Baloney Sandwiches". 

Well, today I'm calling it... on our community.  Yes, ALI sisters, I'm talking to you. 

You see, there's a big flap that's developed about the creation of the PAIL (parenting/pregnant after infertility or loss) blogroll.  Words like 'clique-ish', 'exclusionary', and 'exclusive' are being thrown around and I am starting to get frustrated and angry.   And you know what?  I'm hurt that I, and many others, are being accused of actions and intentions that were never a part of why I signed up on the PAIL list. 

PAIL was, as I understand it, set up to meet a need.  A need that some bloggers are responding to.  It's a place for those of us who are parenting after battling with infertility and loss can connect with others who are in this same boat.  Yes, there is a Parenting After IF section on the ALI blogroll, but does that mean that there can't be two?  Is there only one giant foodie blogroll out there?  (And if there is, why haven't I found it yet?)  Is there only one political blogroll?  What about wanna-be hobbits?  Is there a blogroll out there for us?  Would I have to 'resign my membership' in the ALI community if I joined one of these other blogrolls?

How many times have you read on a post-pregnancy-successful-delivery blog, "I don't know where I fit.  I'm still an IFer, but I don't feel like I can blog about my baby"?  Or, "IF will always be a part of who I am, but I'm moving on, and so I'm closing this blog"?  I read it at least once a week, and lately it seems like it's been even more often than that.  And I know I've said the same or similar.  Heck, I have even very consciously limited the number of times each month I post pics of Ginny, out of respect for those who might find it hard to see. 

The reality is, this community thrives on the struggle, on the battle.  And when one of us 'wins' our battle, yes there are cheers of victory from every corner of the blogosphere.  But two weeks later... when the new mommy needs/craves the connections that she has built over the last months and years, and her readers have dwindled to just a handful?

Who's there then?  Who's being exclusive? 

And when we (being new mommy/IF bloggers) sign up for things like ICLW, and hardly anyone visits... who's being clique-ish then? 

I am very sorry that feelings have been hurt (and I am CERTAIN that it was not done maliciously or with the intent to hurt), on both sides of this situation.  In hindsight (which is ALWAYS perfect), someone who felt this need should have stepped forward and said "Hey, we're here too, and we need something a little different.  How can we make this work?".  And honestly, I'm kicking myself for not thinking of asking sooner.  But it didn't happen that way, so now we're all playing catch up.  How can we be proactive rather than reactive?

Instead of throwing mud at each other, and saying awful things about people you don't know, why don't we work together to come up with a solution that can bring unity? 

Do you have any thoughts on this?  How can we make the ALI community more inclusive?  How can those of us parenting after IF still feel a part of this community and not feel abandoned? 

I have sat here staring at this post for close to a half hour now, wondering if I should actually hit the 'publish post' button.  I'm going to piss people off, I'm prepared for that.  I'm afraid of causing even more division.  But this is my blog, and this is what I'm thinking and feeling... so here's goes everything...


  1. Well I have not made it to the PAIL side of things yet - but here is my two cents anyway.

    I actually love reading about the success stories. I am sad when members of the AFI community stop blogging. It's like reading a good book and then the last pages are ripped out.

    I tend to belong to the school of thought that if you can't say something nice (or helpful) then keep your mouth shut. So I never understand when non-constructive, random, negative comments are made.

    I would hope that a PAIL blogroll would be available for those who just want to read about what happens after you get out of the trenches so that you can see the light at the end of the battle. As well as be there for those that need support while pregnant and parenting. And the only "exclusive" thing about it, would be that you are a member of the ALI community and now you are pregnant/parenting. What is so hard about that?

  2. I totally missed out on this to do...and, to be honest, I'm kind of glad I missed the furor. I hate to think of this community being divided in any way. I think the PAIL list is a great idea.

  3. I've always admired your sensitivity balancing your own infertility, loss and good news. While I don't know anything about this latest blog/message board/online scrabble, I am thankful that such a cool head as yours is taking a stand. Well done, you.

  4. Wow. Glad I missed all of that drama. I was never even welcome in ALI and IF, as I was told very pointedly when I tried to get in, because I didn't start blogging until after I'd had my first child... "true" IFers didn't feel I should be there... nevermind my PCOS repeated miscarriages and 5 year average for a successful pregnancy... So I went it alone, other than a few precious ladies who embraced me. So all in all, I am very sad that this is the reaction, but am I surprised? Well, no. And that's even more sad.I understand where they're coming from... pain can easily manifest as anger... but it's just sad to me that we can't all band together.

  5. You miss a few days of checking in and you miss a lot! Honestly, I am surprised that this issue has come up given how supportive the community seems to be. But I guess I haven't been as deeply involved as others, partially because I don't think I fit it. Is there a blog roll titled I Have PCOS But Got Really Lucky and Managed To Get Pregnant in Less Than a Year?

    Hopefully all the drama dies down soon. PAIL really is a good idea.

  6. I am not a part of the ALI community. I just like to read blogs. I read a lot of infertility blogs, a lot of mommy blogs, and a lot of other blogs. I can't comment on this, but I can say that I've been shocked and hurt by some members of the ALI community in the past. I have commented on a blog (more than one, actually) or entered a contest and then been reamed out by the owner or other commenters b/c I am not in the ALI community. When it happened, I had no idea that there was this set of rules to follow. On the contest that got me in trouble, I had no clue it was only open to ALI people. I don't think some of the ALI bloggers realize that if you put a blog up you are inviting the public at large to read it, even people who have had children with a minimal struggle.

    All that to say I don't have a horse in this race, but in my experience the ALI community is already extremely cliquish.

  7. Well...just came via ICLW for March (I don't always have the time to get to them all during the week, so I try to visit through the month!) and have no idea of what you are talking. I am sure, somewhere, in all those letters, I'd fit...or not, based on what you were writing. 12 years IF, failed adoption, 3 fresh IVF cycles (all three successful, though first son died the day after he was born), FET, secondary (and third!) IF, parenting after loss, infant loss...ummm...I dunno. Like I said, all of the above, I guess.
    But frankly, I blogged before I ever did any IVF, or lost my son, or lived the life I am currently living now—with my sweet second son alive and well and amazing, and currently carrying my third child and praying I get to bring this one home. I didn't start blogging to document all of that...I started it to document the adoption that ended up not happening...and it just evolved. I am sure there are some who would consider me part of their community (mainly BLM, I guess...because the growing theme is that once you successfully have a child, you are no longer IF...and on that I'll call BS), but really...I blog for myself. For me. For my kids. To passive-agressively (ha ha) tell certain people JUST what they need to hear about my life. (YES, MIL, I mean YOU!). So I think it's just sad that there are those who are clique-y.

    But not surprising. Do what makes you feel good about this blog. Say what you want to say. Like you's your blog! People can read or not. Respond (and really, they ought to only if they have something nice to say) or not. Others will always try to peg people.

    That's just not how I want to live life.

  8. Good post Mrs. G! I think it was very well written and balanced with a lot of thought put into it. I read some of the comments on that post and found some to be rather disturbing. I like many of the blogs I've found through pail and may not have found otherwise.


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