October 9, 2014

Finding My Place

My goodness this blog has been so neglected. I could go into each and every one of those reasons but there is no point in dwelling on why my space has been so quiet.

Lately, I've felt a pull to get back into blogging. I just adore the community that comes from sharing a piece of our lives on the internet. The friendships, advice, and support that this little place has blessed me with over the past 6 years is simply amazing. And a piece of me longs to jump back in and reclaim my space.

But an even bigger piece of me feels lost when it comes to blogging again.

When I first started blogging (way back in 2008 under a different blog name and domain) I openly blogged about my struggles with infertility and pregnancy loss. I connected with other women who understand the painful journey that was. We cried in our defeat and celebrated in our triumph. Ultimately, I overcame that struggle and handed in my title of Infertility Blogger.

As soon as my high risk pregnancy with Kate was a bit more stable, I moved over to this space and blogged about important things like do I buy a Bugaboo or an UppaBaby. (What I wouldn't give to have that be the hardest decision I had to make!) I shared pregnancy updates and ultimately shared the joy that comes with bringing a new life into this world. As I welcomed Kate into my arms I handed in another title - the title of "Pregnancy Blogger" and proudly accepted my new title of Mommy Blogger.

I spent a good chunk of the first year as a Mommy Blogger painting a rosy picture of life with Kate. I wasn't trying to be deceitful about our struggles; I just wasn't ready for the world to know my perfectly amazing baby girl was sick. I needed to keep some things private until we had answers. So I blogged about crawling and park visits and baby food and teething. And I even spent a few months blogging about being a working mom and how that means you will, at some point, walk into a boardroom in a suit that has your kids poop on it.

On June 6, 2011 my title of Mommy Blogger morphed into the title of Special Needs Mommy Blogger. That day forever changed my life. I was no longer just a mom concerned with normal things like teething. I was concerned about scary things like donors and chemo and transplants. With an actual diagnosis in our pocket, I could no longer avoid sharing our struggles. And I wanted to share them. Because I knew I would receive so much support.

With the surprise of a second baby, who was also sick, I continued to wear my Special Needs Mommy Blogger badge and kept sharing.

Then life got a bit crazy, my kids got healthier, we moved, and moved again, dealt with some other medical issues, and dealt with life.

But most importantly, we began enjoying life like a normal family. And while that normal felt oh so amazing, it also came with feelings of guilt. I cannot tell you how many posts I have sitting in draft about awesome days - first day of preschool, normal activities, Will's big post transplant trip to Disney, mundane posts about typical weekend fun. But I just couldn't bring myself to hit publish. I felt guilty for sharing our joys and celebrating what we've overcome because so many families are still struggling. Or never got to experience the joy of overcoming. Survivors guilt is real. And I still battle it daily.

Last night I was laying in bed awake and it finally hit me why I just can't seem to hit publish these days.

I no longer know my place in the blogging world. Yes my kids have continuing medical issues related to their transplants. But I don't entirely identify with the label of special needs mommy blogger b/c our struggles seem to pale in comparison to what others are experience these days.

However, I don't quite feel like a normal mommy blogger either. My life has forever been altered by what we've experienced. I will never be a mom that can live a carefree life that doesn't personally understand fatal conditions. I just can't go back to where I was pre June 6, 2011.

So I sat here in limbo. Feeling lost without a label.

I want to be normal but I never want to forget.

I want to share our joys with each and every one of y'all that supported us during the darkest of dark days. But I never want to cause someone still in those dark days to feel upset because of our newfound joy.

I am label less in the blog world.

But you know what? That is OK! I've finally realized that no one who started blogging back in 2008 is still the same person, with the same struggles. We have all grown in our own unique ways; morphed into the people we are today due to the encounters and experiences we've had over the past 6 years.

It is ok for me to post an unimportant update about a random Wednesday at the park. And it is also ok for me to post a deep, emotionally charged rant about some of the struggles we still face.

I'm determined to find my voice again and re-enter this community. Just bare with me as I navigate this new road!
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