Monday, August 04, 2008

Back from BlogHer 08

In addition to having a new blog, I am busy trying to finish my seminar paper before I turn into a pumpkin sometime later this month. I actually finished all the research and am probably past halfway in the writing, but throw 4 kids (including a baby) who are home all day and some pretty bad jetlag into the equation and it's not really that trivial to find a few hours, which is why this blog has been so sorely neglected.

BlogHer was great. San Francisco is just beautiful. I'd never been to the west coast before at all and all I can say is I can't wait to go back. With Ohad, of course. Most of what I did get to see in San Francisco (aside from the conference hotel) was the inside of Old Navy and Ross... The way I got to BlogHer, both this year and last year is that Yedda*, which I've mentioned before, generously sponsored my trip, even though I don't work for them (how cool is that?).

Last year I was the only infertility blogger at BlogHer. This year, I no longer see myself as much as an infertility blogger, but I was ecstatic to see that infertility bloggers have found their place there. (You can see the session below - it is over an hour long, but I found it very interesting.)

I got to meet Pamela Jeanne, Mel, Monica Mingo (who warned me that her blog is "all over the place" - it is), Lori, Dana and others whose names I didn't catch. The fact that such a session was held this year means something to me. I can't even explain why - maybe just the fact that like losing weight, clearing out junk or bento boxes, infertility too is considered a legitimate thing to blog about.

The comment I made during the session had to do with Mel's question as to how to go about building bridges (link to the new blog Mel started about building bridges) between infertile and fertile people. I think I need to understand the purpose of the 'bridge' - is it to increase understanding? Is it to increase sensitivity? Is it to push decisions that will make health care (for infertility) more accessible? And the comment I made was basically, "Don't push people away, don't hate them for being fertile." The other side of it (the fertile side) seems to be awareness - be aware that other women may be trying to conceive unsuccessfully, that seeing your pregnant belly makes them yearn to be in your position, that hearing you complain about stretch marks makes you sound petty... If you experienced infertility - what would you want people to be more sensitive or understanding about? If you haven't experienced infertility, what do you think could help you understand it better?

*Yedda provides a free, easy-to-install question and answer widget for blogs & websites. They're also donating $10 to an infertility cause for every widget added from the conference link, making them that much cooler.


Pamela T. said...

Thanks for taking time to fly across the world to join us. It was wonderful to meet you in person and even nicer to have you as part of our panel discussion. You raise some very good questions. It's good to be reminded that the "fertile" community shouldn't be seen as the enemy but I also hope those who conceive easily understand how they can be perceived that way when they don't take a moment to consider their audience and how for a woman without children some of their comments and behaviors can be seen as insensitive, some bordering on cruel. We all benefit when we try to view the world from someone else's point of view.

Thanks, too, for extending the discussion on your blog...and good luck with the writing for your seminar paper.

Stimey said...

It was a pleasure to meet you at BlogHer. It makes such a difference to be able to sit in a room with people who know what you're talking about, who know what you've been through. I felt that way in the parenting children with special needs panel. It's a powerful thing to really understand that you're not the only one.

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