Friday, December 11, 2009

Reflection

Please make sure you read this post all the way to the end.

Yesterday marked the 500th issue of the LFCA--a project that started two and a half years ago in order to create a centralized meeting spot for the community. The actuality of the Internet, the fact that we are thinly connected by words and ideas instead of proximity and tangibility, makes it too easy for people to get lost or to not be heard. LFCA levels the playing field by simply being a clearinghouse for information--the community newspaper--where people can post their news, post their questions, call out for participants in a new project--and it doesn't matter if they have 500 readers at their blog or 5. They can reach the heart of the community in a single space.

So first and foremost, an enormous thank you back to the people who celebrated the LFCA's anniversary in the comment section yesterday. Thank you for recognizing the uniqueness of the space.

The LFCA has changed over the years to include more categories, a new system for submitting blurbs, and the move from Clickers to self-submission. The LFCA has had to change as it went from being utilized by a few hundred to a few thousand people daily. It was no longer feasible to collect up emails during the day so we switched to the form system which makes putting up the LFCA take a few minutes rather than a few hours. Clickers used to oversee each category, making sure that people didn't fall through the cracks. While we still have a few active Clickers and you'll probably notice that some areas of the blogroll are better represented than others in the LFCA because of that, people mostly send in their own news or send in the news for friends.

Wait, stop, read that again: the LFCA exists because of you. Because there are blurbs to upload in the queue. Without your submissions, the LFCA doesn't post because it ceases to be necessary when there is no news to disseminate. And you control what is news-worthy.

There are still some Clickers and they deserve some major recognition for the time and energy spent making sure that their section of the blogroll is covered. Clickers who deserve your thanks are Heather, Billy, April, Jendeis, Babysmiling, Pepper, Mrs. Spock, Kim, Elizabeth, Jen, Angie and Deb who recently stepped down. Please click over to their blogs and thank them if they have your section (check the Clickers list to see where they Click).

Rather than have people formally volunteer for Clickers today, assign yourself by taking a subsection of the blogroll and get to work (open categories that need help are marked as such on the Clicker page). If you want to help, all the information you need can be found right here. After you've done it for a month, email me and I'll formally place you on the Clicker list.

Even if you don't want to be a Clicker, there is plenty you can do too to keep the LFCA going. I think in order to understand how you can help keep the LFCA going for another 500 posts, you need to understand the mission behind the LFCA. It is merely the schedule board at the train station. No one goes to the train station solely to read the schedule board daily. That board is there to send you on your way. And the LFCA operates in the same manner. It isn't to give the reader all the information. Instead, it provides a small blurb so people can click over to read more about the situation and offer support, or read more about the project and decide to participate, or read what the person is celebrating and go toast them. Therefore, blurbs should be short and straightforward.

On that note, I rarely edit the LFCA blurbs. If it looks different from how you submitted it, it generally means that more than one person submitted the same news. I use one blurb and delete the duplicates. In fact, most news is submitted more than once--and that is okay. I would rather have the news come in multiple times and delete out the extra blurbs than not have the news come in at all. So please don't assume that someone else has sent it and you don't need to submit the news. Assume that no one has sent it so no one falls through the cracks. The only other time I edit is when too much information is included and the blurb is too long. I do this to save space, but to also encourage people to click over to read the full information on your blog. Oh, and I put things in third-person if it's submitted in first-person. No one knows who submitted what to the LFCA because it all appears in the same third-person format (in other words--use "she" instead of "I").

There is admittedly frustration on my part when people say, "I didn't know I could submit my own news!" Um...it's at the top of every single LFCA post. It's not a "you may" it's a "please do." I want to put your news in, but the only way it will get in is if you put it in. If it belongs in a category of the LFCA and as long as you are an individual and not a business, it will go up in the LFCA.

Ways you can continue to help the LFCA for the next 500 issues:
  • Submit your own news. The button to the form is not only at the top of every LFCA post, but it is at the top of the website too (below the header). When you have something to celebrate or need additional support, when you are asking a question on your blog and need more eyes on it, or are starting a new project, submit your news. All news should be written in third person.
  • More in that vein: Three ways to ensure you have my love forever when it comes to the LFCA--(1) make your blurb brief and link to the main chunk of news on your blog. (2) do not put your news in multiple paragraphs. Write your blurb as one paragraph. (3) use the form--do not email me your news or leave it as a comment in the LFCA. Why? (1) the point of the LFCA is to direct them to the right place, not give them all the information they need. (2) paragraphs or adding thanks at the end of your blurb means that it messes up the entire form when it's transferred to the archives. (3) I do this because I can and I love it, but people need to help me out if you don't want me to burn out by making this as straightforward as possible. I compile the news from two spots--the calendar and the form spreadsheet. When you make me pick through comments and emails, it tacks on more time.
  • Submit early via email: if you have a blurb that needs to go up in the future, such as a birthday or blogoversary or remembrance day, submit it via email. You only need to submit it once because it will go into a calendar that repeats yearly so your special dates will be uploaded at the appropriate week. You can send these emails at any time and it helps me a lot if you put in the subject line: LFCA calendar.
  • Submit the news for friends: you can make this easier for your readers by placing this code on your side bar. It creates a small button icon that is linked to the submission form. People can read news on your blog, quickly click the pictures, and fill out the form. BUT when you wait for other people to submit your news, you may be disappointed. Readers aren't doing it to be thoughtless; but the only way to ensure your news is there is to send it in. Remember, I'd rather get it 10 times than not at all.
  • Pick a day: choose a day of the week to go through your Reader and submit anything newsworthy. Even if the news is a few days late, support coming late is better than support coming not at all. Don't just do it this week--make it a habit.
  • Click over: the LFCA is great when you're pressed for time and you want to keep up with what is happening in the blogopshere. It's a cheatsheet for when you're on vacation or caught up with work. BUT as I said earlier, the point of the LFCA is to send people on their way to where support or answers are needed. Please make sure you don't just read the blurb, but instead, click over and leave words of support for the person. Answer their question, join their project, celebrate their accomplishments. LFCA isn't about gawking--it's about communicating. Reach out and build a bridge between yourself and a new blogger you meet through their news.
  • Spread word about LFCA: twitter about it, Kirtsy the current edition, email it to friends. In other words, do what you can to make sure everyone who reads your blog and perhaps needs support themselves knows about the LFCA. As a way to celebrate the 500th issue, figure out a way to write about LFCA this month.
I'm not sure if you caught the news, but the LFCA was in Redbook magazine last month (November issue). Which is sort of a cool thing--the world finding out about how organized we are in our little corner of the blogosphere. I really love that we have this space. That someone who takes a break from blogging can be found and leave an update for everyone. That someone new can find support. That we can celebrate and cry and laugh and shout together. This space is a community space. There are always tissues here and a cup of tea and a bar of chocolate and a hand to hold while you wait.

I do this because I never want someone to feel left out. I do this because I love community and I use the space myself and it makes me feel anchored to all of these really cool writers who have influenced the way I think. I do this because I need to exercise my enormous organizational muscles so those skills don't experience atrophy. I do this because I believe the Beatles were right when they said "and, in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make."

So in honour of the 500th issue, please let me know what LFCA means to you in the comment section below. Since this post is constantly being read in the future as an entry point for new arrivals to LFCA, please continue to keep posting how LFCA has affected your life or blogging world. Here's your space to leave a testimonial about the LFCA for future readers to find in years to come.

65 comments:

April said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
April said...

In the beginning of my journey, I was lost and confused. Then I found a few others in the same boat. From there I found my way to Stirrup Queens. I submitted my blog to the blogroll and one day I posted a question out to the internet in the hopes that maybe someone would find it and have an answer. Suddenly, there were comments and people telling me they had come from LFCA. LFCA? What was LFCA? So I followed their link back and found that there was a place where everything was being posted. I followed along for a few weeks and became a clicker so that I could help others who may have been like me, lost and confused. Thank you Mel for starting this. I know it's been a wonderful lifeline when I neecded it and will continue to be one.

Edit - I can't spell early in the morning.

cheryllookingforward said...

How can I put into words what LFCA has done for me? It brought me out of the darkest time in my life after I lost my baby. It brought me a group of friends and people I can rely on to listen to my fears (however irrational) and bring me new hope. It brought me the ability to bring hope to my new friends. And, oddly enough, it brought me closer to a real life friend.
Thanks, Mel, for helping me and others in my situation.

Jo said...

Like April and I'm sure thousands of others, I felt really alone on the start of my IF journey. Somehow -- I can't even remember how -- I stumbled onto someone's blog who was going through something similar. And then I found another. And another. After almost a year of lurking, I worked up the guts to start writing my own blog. And then I found Mel.

Both Stirrup Queens (with its blogroll that connects all of us) and LFCA have been my lifelines through two years of treatments and negative betas. I'm always so happy to receive a comment that came from the LFCA -- its concrete proof that someone, somewhere, cared enough to stop by and lend an ear. As a relatively small and unknown blogger (mostly by choice, as I've gone private several times), the LFCA lets me reach out for additional support when I need it.

For all the reasons you listed above, Mel, this space is truly amazing. I simply cannot imagine traveling this road alone -- and thanks to you and this community, I don't have to.

Natalie said...

The LFCA has helped me feel connected to the community, even when I can't read all the blogs that I used to. I'm able to keep on top of the big news and still participate when it matters.

annacyclopedia said...

I love the LFCA because it is an easy way to discover new blogs and also to offer support and learn about what other people are going through. It feels really good to click over to a blog I've never read before and be able to offer my support or experience or knowledge or simply let someone know that another person cares. I love the community of women who read my blog and whose blogs I read regularly - that group feels like my circle of close friends. But there is something really special about extending the love and care beyond those I already know, and the LFCA makes that possible. So thanks again, Mel, for creating this space, and thanks also to everyone who sustains it every day.

Jamie said...

The LFCA is an amazing way to share and connect within our sector of the blogosphere. I don't know what we would do without you Mel! :) I've been around for your entire blogging journey and appreciate all you do so much!

Courtney said...

The LFCA has meant so much to me. Readers of LFCA supported me when I needed it the most. I try to read LFCA daily to continue to participate and encourage others in our community. Thank you so much for all that you do!

N said...

LFCA helps me feel connected. When we went through our loss, there were others there who'd been through the same, and they still are, as we go through milestones and anniversaries. And I try to always stop by and see what's going on with others, and give them a kind word if I can. It helps keep track of things my ADD brain wouldn't otherwise be able to.

Tash said...

For me I suppose it's like reading the Local section of my daily news. I think it's a sign I've moved along in the past few years, but now I come (daily) to see who needs support, since so many were so supportive of me. Sometimes it's just a recipe, and sometimes it's grim, but I think it lets other people know they're not alone in their feelings. Thanks for doing this, Mel.

jill said...

Happy 500th post LFCA!

Thank you for all your work setting up and maintaining it Mel! I would love to help out and will make an effort to be more involved from now on.

When I first started reading blogs in this community, I saw the LFCA site linked and even clicked over a few times but didn't spend enough time trying to figure out what it was so I always just clicked away.

I had signed up for a blog hit counter and, even though I only had a few readers it was fascinating to me to see how many hits my blog received every day.

In May my husband's grandmother went into the hospital and death was inevitable. One of those days I received ~90 hits on my blog and I was floored. I couldn't figure out why. Eventually I realized it was because someone had submitted my news to the LFCA (thanks whoever that was!).

I'll never forget that and have stopped by the LFCA at least once a week ever since.

areyoukiddingme said...

LFCA is a learning tool for me. Not only do I learn about the things people go through; I also learn how to respond better to tragedies and to joyful news. I learn how to be more empathetic and tactful.

I also learn how truly lazy I am, because I can't imagine going through and sorting all of this information and then regurgitating it in a coherent fashion. Thanks, Mel - you are awesome and amazing!

Sunny said...

I am a relatively new subscriber to LFCA (six months or so now?) even though I've read Stirrup Queens for years. It is my morning news update, to hear what is going on with our ALI community when I don't always have the time to follow each blog that would interest me. I celebrate with some of the bloggers and cry with others. I just love the community we have and am honored to be a part of it.

Lin said...

My LFCA story is a lot like April's. I'll never forget how it felt the first time someone submitted my new to LFCA and the support I received in return. Likewise, I doubt I'll ever forget the day I submitted someone else's news either. It feels great to help and to be helped...and to know there's a hand there waiting or a shoulder to cry on. I also love being able to give support to blogs I may not have found any other way but LFCA.

While I sometimes struggle to understand "why us" on this IF journey, I know that I am immensely thankful (and lucky) to have found this wonderful, strong, supportive group of women. I would be much less sane without all of you!

Keep up the great work Mel, Clickers, and everyone who submits for others or yourself. Happy 500th LFCA!...and many, many more!

projectkjetil said...

The LFCA does all the things that a Cool Kids Club would do (in my mind), yet it's even open to ME. How cool is that? Through LFCA, I've "met" people I would not likely have come across, and I've received more support than I ever expected, both during my early losses and during this pregnancy. Thank you, Mel, Clickers, and all the other submitters.

Miriam said...

I didn't get a chance to thank you Mel, for your work on the LFCA in the 500th edition, but I do have time today, so thank you. The LFCA has meant a lot to me: Stirrup Queens in general became my roadmap within a couple of weeks after I was diagnosed. The first googled websites about POF and infertility came off as so harsh and clinical that when I found SQ & LFCA, it was a relief to find a community of people, not just cold medical advice on the web. I submitted my own news first, in the very very beginning of my journey, and the wave of support from other folks in the ALI community meant so much. I felt like I wasn't some clueless blogger spouting emotions into the ether of the internet. When someone submitted my news for me just a few weeks after that, I was so touched b/c I really understood what it means to be a part of this community: to look out and care for one another. SQ & LFCA helped me find my way in the beginning, and I'm so thankful that it's out there for other newly diagnosed folks to help find their way through this. Thanks can't even begin to say it Mel.

Lavender Luz said...

LCFA is like an updated Cheers barroom (maybe adding in the Lushary). It's a place for old friends and new. To toast and cheer and to weep in our beers. There are characters and there's drama. There's laughter and tears. You come in the door and you feel warm, cozy, understood and loved. Sometimes you give support and sometimes you get it. It's a beautiful thing.

"Mel!"

Mikenjane said...

I went through an ectopic pregnancy and 11 years of isolating infertility before the internet existed. When we began our adoption journey, I found internet chat groups and found the support so helpful.

I wish a support network such as L&F&CA had been possible when I was lost and struggling. You do such necessary work here!

Best,
Jane

loribeth said...

Amen to all the above. I've read LFCA right from the very beginning. As others have said, I don't always have time to get to my regular blogroll reading (like this week, argh...!!) -- but I know if I can at least do a quick browse of the LFCA every morning, I will have a handle on the most immportant stuff happening in our community -- including news from people whose blogs I don't read regularly, but whom I'm glad to be able to support when they need it. I've also found some really great new blogs to read here. And I always get extra traffic on my own blog whenever I ask for some additional support through LFCA. The daily Kirtsy selections are also consistently great reading.

So thank you, Mel -- of all your brilliant ideas, I think this is one of the very best. : )

One Who Understands said...

LFCA is the best thing ever invented. When I started blogging I thought no one would read my blog. Within hours of being on the new blog list on LFCA I have 7 new comments welcoming me to the community! I felt the love pouring through my computer screen. I was no longer alone in this journey.

Now I love checking back daily to see who else needs that love and support. This is such an essential part of the ALI community.

Thank you Mel for all you do!

CC

Mrs. Spit said...

I like LCFA because when I see another DBM, I can walk over with a virtual casserole, and sit and hold her hand. I like to get updates on blogs that I follow only a little bit, and I really love it, when I see a pregnancy announcement and a birth announcement 9 months later.

Quiet Dreams said...

Through the LFCA I feel connected to the community. The LFCA allowed me to let people know I was safe when I had to shut down my blog last spring, and I connected to so many people through that experience.

I love, love, love the LFCA.

Brenna said...

LFCA is truly an amazing resource. I hadn't really stopped to consider exactly HOW amazing until I read today's post and realized the amount of involvement and thought that goes into this maintaining this space. I'm so grateful to this community, and while I may not be the most active blogger out there, LFCA allows me to feel more plugged in and connected to those in similar situations. The relationships I've begun to build with others who've lost children are an invaluable lifeline. Plus, I've learned so much about IF paths that differ from my own and I gain fresh perspective every time I click through to a new blog and discover someone's unique voice. Thank you, Mel, for making this possible! It's an incredible gift that you give to us.

sonja said...

LFCA has made me feel like I'm not alone. People have reached out to me and offered so much support. I have "met" such inspiring bloggers who have taught me so much. Thank you so much for this, Mel. I know I will continue to rely on it.

Schae said...

find the lost and found helped me find people who understood and understand how i feel. it helped me feel normal and 'at home'. it brought me out of being a lurker.

Eileen said...

I can't tell you how amazing it was to receive such an outpouring of emotions from LFCA members after my losses. It is so easy to feel lost and alone after a loss and it has helped knowing that there are so many women out there who have been thrugh what I have been through and who care about my pain. This is such a wonderful community of supportive women. I love that I have discovered so many new blogs through this site and I look forward to providing the kind of support that has been shown to me, to the other members. Much love for you for putting this together.

Elizabeth said...

Forgive my cumbayaness here, but what I love about the LFCA is really the love. This space provides a conduit for all the empathy and compassion that comes along with having walked even part of this ALI path. I think Serenity Now blogged about this recently - that you FEEL for others more deeply once you've yourself experienced the pain that comes with infertility or loss. I've never had a loss myself, and I've even 'come out the other side' in that I'm now parenting, but even so there's always and forever going to be a pull at my heart when I hear someone's story of roadblocks to family building. And the LFCA is a place for that sense of kinship and shared sorrow to find expression and release by connecting to other people. So I don't just read about someone's pain, but I can DO something about it - stop by, leave a comment, submit news. This is a space that brings out the best in our shared humanity. *sobs quietly into her tea!*

Journeywoman said...

LFCA has been a lifeline. It's how I know who to visit and I can't begin to say how many hits I've gotten from it.

Thank you!

nycphoenix said...

The LFCA has been amazing in feeling connected to my ALI peeps and there are no words to express my gratitude for the work you do, Lolly.

As we move more fully into our child free lives, my partner and I will always be grateful for the support received.

EC said...

I don't know anyone else who is dealing with infertility, and it's so helpful to read about other people's experiences. It helps me not feel so alone. It's encouraged me to be more supportive and to be a better commenter, even if I feel like I don't have time.

Thank you for all that you do!

In This Storm said...

I had started my blog in May 2009 when I became high risk in order to keep friends and family updated on my many ultrasounds and doctor visits. I never imagined that people beyond my real-life world would find me and that those people would save me in my darkest hours. A few days after my loss on 8/28/09, I had a very large number of hits on my blog - way more than I had ever had. I noticed they were coming from this placed called LFCA, so I clicked to see what it was about. I saw that someone had found me and submitted my news to this board, which led to many others finding me. Because of LFCA I have my own e-support group that has been my lifeline. I think LFCA is a wonderful way to get support and to discover others who are in need. Thank you, LFCA for being the vehicle of support that I so desperately needed.

Cibele said...

Thank you , thank you , thank you. What you all do is just amazing . The times I needed the most there was always link here in LFCA directing people to send me much needed the love and support or to celebrate with me days like the birth of may daughter. I read it daily and try always to send somebody a note. Thank you again. Keep up the great work. Congratulations on the 500th post.

Aunt Becky said...

I will never forget crying, seeing that someone had submitted news that my baby daughter Amelia had been born and was undergoing brain surgery for a neural tube defect at three weeks of age.

Someone--I don't know who--thank you.

To me, I always come here when I can to lend a hand and give a shoulder. Thank you for being there for me. I can't thank any of you enough. Thank you Mel, thank you all of you.

All of you. You held me up when I needed you.

GREAT, NOW I'M CRYING. Don't tell anyone that I have feelings, okay? It will destroy my carefully cultivated image.

Roadblocks and Roller Coasters said...

I remember when LFCA first started. I thought it was a brilliant idea then and is my number one source to reach out to others in the community. Thank you Mel for all that you do to keep this community as tight knit as it is. LFCA is the cornerstone for many of us and it's good to know there is always a candle burning, a light to guide us back to a place where we can give and share--no matter where we are in the journey.

Miss K said...

The LFCA has been such a huge means of support for so many people (including myself). I am so glad that it exists!

tireegal68 said...

When I first saw the initials LFCA on a friend's blog when she had a miscarriage I didn't know what it was so I Googled LFCA -I got all kinds of organizations - Land Force Central Area, Lawyers for Children America but I am not sure that I found the real LFCA for a while. When I googled it today as an experiment Lost and Found came up first on my google search!!! Is it my computer or has LFCA risen to the top of an internet search list? Or whatever that means!
I love LFCA - it's my favorite e-mail of the day, connecting me with so many wonderful people with stories.
Belated congratulations, on the 500th posting anniversary of this wonderful venture. Just think if real life community worked like that! e.g.: "Oh, Dora is sad and needs a hug - I'll pop over"; "Sarah is out of tea and stuck on bedrest , I'll bring her a cuppa," etc etc.KWIM?
Anyhoo - thanks Mel for being a level playing field kind of gal - I appreciate you so much!
And all you bloggers out there - you enrich my life every day!

OnceIwas said...

I'm still at the very beginning of my IF journey, and I was so lucky to find LFCA and the Stirrup Queens right off the bat. Coming to the LFCA daily keeps me sane. Just knowing that I am really not the only one going through this, and knowing other people have made it through means more to me than I can say!

Marie W said...

LFCA gave me the support when I really needed it - I had just lost my second baby due to an incompetent cervix. It now allows me to give that same support to others. Thanks for creating this support network. It truly is a blessing.

JamieD said...

When I first found the LFCA, it was a well spring of information for me. Like an IF reference manual. The love I received from the LFCA readers after my own losses and low points meant so much to me. I love that I can use the LFCA to give back the love that I have received. If you have been on the receiving end, you know how important it is.

Michele said...

I remember the first time someone wrote "from LFCA" in a comment. I had to seek it out and I was amazed at what I found. The way that it allows us to connect to one another is unique and amazing. It is a wonderful source of comfort during loss and support when we feel alone.

Chickenpig said...

LFCA for me has become a way of giving back. This resource wasn't here when I was going through my darkest days (although Mel was :)I know what a difference a kind word of advice can make. Being able to give back is wonderful, and reading good news even more so. Long live the LFCA!

Lennuk said...

I would like to thank you and all the bloggers for such a great community! I check LFCA every single day. I don't have blog myself, but I'm walking the same walk as most of these ladies... I find comfort here. I feel like I belong! People here talk the same language :)
Long live LFCA!

Andie said...

Happy 500th anniversary LFCA!

I love the LFCA. It has helped me find so many wonderful blogs, to find people both in the same in situation as me and others who are not. It has made me feel part of the community.

People have posted questions here from their own blogs and I have been able to click over and help out. I love being able to do that.

I also love that everyone can find support here, you can give someone a hug or words of support when they need it most. It really is a lifeline.

And finally, I will never forget the day I saw that someone had posted news about me on LFCA! I didn't even know I had any readers then :) Not to mention the supportive comments that I received as a result.

LFCA is 500 kinds of awesome and Mel, you really do deserve a medal for starting and running it.

WiseGuy said...

Congrats on the 500th!

And virtual applause fot the Clickers!

Well, LFCA is one of the pages I check most often in the IF bloggynook...for one, I have found several fantastic blogs through it. for two, it lets me know at one place, what different people are upto in different corners of the world.

LFCA has also lent me a lot of support these IF bloggy years, and some on my regular readers have come from ICLW and LFCA.

As of now, I don't think I will apply to become a Clicker, but it is not for want of desire, in fact, I am itching to turn one, though I really had not thought of it at first. But once my other engagements settle down, I may turn into a Big C.

And Mel, Thank You!

WiseGuy said...

*And I am choking from the spelling mistakes I just belted out*

Bea said...

What does it mean to me? Well, it means a lot of the things you've already mentioned. A community space. A more level playing field. I hope it helps provide much-needed support and communication within the community for years to come.

Bea

Vee said...

I have watched LFCA grow from the first post to the 500th post and think it is just an amazing space.

I have found blogs in similar situations and feel comforted that I am not alone.

I love the support that is given by my close blogging friends but always appreciate the bloggers that just pop in to offer a hug or word of support that come from LFCA. I try and offer my support when I can in return as I know how important it is.

Thank you Mel and all the Clickers.

Carolyne said...

When I re visited my dark place in Sept this year on the anniversary of my Miscarriage I was feeling so lost and thought that there'd never be a chance for my husband I to conceive, what with all the tests that they had planned for us. It all seemed so final and I felt so desolate.
Then I noticed some fellow bloggers put some lovely and supportive comments on my post. Like Cheryl I wondered what the heck was LFCA? I googled those 4 letters and that was it, I was introduced into a world where I'm not the only one sadly and where I was at ease with the company. I guess the phrase 'misery loves company' rings true but the support I've had from my fellow bloggers and the board has been tremendous.
Now here I am, approaching 5 weeks pregnant and I'm still on the bsite numerous time a day.

Mel is a special person. One who has not only recognised that we are going through this but to create a web page and dedicate herself so much to helping all the ladies/couples out there is truly amazing.
LFCA has been a huge support to me in the last few months and I can only hope that many more women find the site and find the same.
Here's to mel and all the contibutors to LFCA. Here's to 500 more!

glamcookie said...

I first heard of LFCA after my miscarriage, when so many lovely people offered comfort and shared their experiences. I have made some wonderful online friends through this resource. Also, your categorized list of blogs makes it so easy to find others who are in your situation, which is great when you don't have people in real life who are going through what you are. Thank you so much for creating and maintaining all of this! It is truly an invaluable resource.

k@lakly said...

I, like so many others, found my here, stumbling in from the darkness after seeing the LFCA anothers blog. It was early in the weeks after losing my son Caleb to stillbirth. I had no idea that I could so instantly be surrounded by so many who actually 'got' what I was feeling.
And so the story goes, time has passed and my life has moved forward enough that I now come here daily not so much needing support for myself but becasue I want to be here for someone else who has arrived like I did. Lost, alone and believing no one will ever understand.
I take comfort now in offering (I hope)the same warmth and welcome that so many gave me when I so desperately needed it.
Thank you Mel, for doing the work for so many. Huge KUDOS to you.
xxoo

Heather said...

It has always been nice for me to come to LFCA to share in other's hopes, dreams, disappointments, and just plain news in their lives. I can easily go to their blog and become a part of their lives, good or bad at the time. It is so empowering to both the giver and receiver when we share with each other.
One day I was going through a major disappointment in my IF journey, and I went onto the site and saw me and my situation "in the news". I broke down in tears. I had never felt more supported through all this than in that moment. Not long after that I was flooded with support on my blog. It eased the pain and helped me get hope once again. I am forever indebted to you for this and continue to "pay it forward." Thank you so much.
I am now in my sixth week of pregnancy after TTC for 3 years. I can't wait to submit the news of my baby coming into this world in August!

B said...

I've received a lot of support along the way from people who've popped in from LFCA.

It means a great deal.

B

Cara said...

Over the last year the LFCA has represented many things for me. It is a place to find support when things are falling apart. It is a place to offer support to people going through the same kind of loss. It is a place to send news, even when I don't know how it will effect the group, but knowing somehow that it will touch the person it is supposed to. It is a place to raise awareness.


The LFCA is so much more than another acroynm. Thanks Mel, for your inspiration and thanks clickers for all your effort!

Dora said...

Been wanting to comment, but it can be hard when someone wants to be held all the time.

Mel, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! If not for LFCA I might not be sitting here next to my beautiful 2 week old miracle. When one donor embryo opportunity fell through, I posted a question on my blog asking if people had embryos to donate, if they would consider donating to a single woman. I honestly can't remember whether I submitted it to LFCA or if someone else did, but my incredible donor read it and clicked over. She left a lovely comment, and a few days later emailed me saying, "Let's talk."

Now, just over a year later, I'M A MOMMY!!!!

That's some powerful blog mojo!

Kathy said...

I agree that of all of your brilliant community building/strengthening ideas Mel, that the LFCA was one of your best! :) I too found my way here after realizing that others had found their way to my blog through here.

I also don't know who started sharing my news here, before I knew it exhisted... however I will be forever grateful to that person or people. Likewise, I didn't discover our dear Stirrup Queen and your incredible Blogroll until the day I first made my way over here and like many it opened up such an incredible world to me!

I started my blog to keep family and friends updated on our ART cycles in 2007 and never intended or imagined that I would end up connecting so much with other bloggers who have been on similar journies struggling with SIF, pregnancy loss and/or neonatal death.

Anyway, Happy 500th Post LFCA!!! You and your creator/editor extrodinare Mel rock!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you... The LFCA is the ultimate in paying it forward! (((HUGS)))

Cruella said...

I found this blog when I was put into the hospital due to OHSS. I was terrified and worried about our babies. We conceived via IVF after 2 adoptions and many female issues....wow to come here and find so many people in the same boat. It was heartbreaking to share the losses of so many and the joy of others. Thank you....

theclam said...

This space has helped me in so many ways - I get to celebrate the good that happens in the ALI community and I can commiserate with those who get bad news too. This space lets me know that I am by no means alone in my struggle. That as much as I feel like the only freak of nature that has not been able to have kids, that I am not alone, and I am not a freak after all. The friends I have made and the connections I feel to ppl I have never met are mostly due to this space.

Thank you Mel for all you do to connect us. You and LFCA are amazing!

xxxx

Bluebird said...

Oh wow. This is the most amazing place. I teared up reading of its mention in Redbook :)

Lost and Found helped me get my start in blogging by listing me among the new blogs. It has allowed me to find support. And it has allowed me to feel like I'm keeping my head about water when I've fallen behind in my blog reading. It cultivates a sense of community that would not otherwise exist.

There are not words to thank all who make it possible.

Alexa said...

When the LFCA had just begun, it announced my pregnancy, and almost five months later it announced the death of one of my twins, and a month after that, the premature birth of my daughter. The support I received from this community during what was an unspeakably dark time meant everything to me. It STILL means everything to me.

As a reader, I rely on the LFCA every single day. I have such a hard time keeping up with reading and commenting, and the LFCA helps alert me to someone who needs support that I otherwise might miss, and has connected me with other writers I might not have discovered. Thank you, Mel, for all that you do.

(Also, my word verification is "Obsessido." I just had to share that, because it is creepily appropriate for me today.)

angie said...

Shoot, I thought I wrote something on Friday. But LFCA to me is about getting out of my own suffering and issues for five minutes and offering support, love and compassion to other women. It also means being able to accept love, support and compassion when I am not strong enough to offer to someone else. And conversely, it means reveling in some good news, celebrations and fun with others, and sharing in mine. Surviving the death of my daughter seems virtually impossible without such a place. With all my love, what you do changes the world, Mel.

Holly said...

I'm only a recent reader but it is nice to be able to have a central place to read a small bit of news and updates in the ALI community. Thnaks!

Hanen said...

thank you so much for doing this. The first I heard of LFCA was when I logged back onto my blog after posting the news that we'd had a car accident and my daughter died in utero as a result - suddenly there were so many beautiful, compassionate comments - I really felt a huge wave of love from teh internets. It didn't fix everything, but it made me feel loved and supported and part of a community of survivors - women who tangle in this dangerous, heart-brekaing business of baby-making and live to tell the tale.

sharon said...

This is the beginning of my journey and I am finding great comfort that I am not alone. I am so looking forward to learning and sharing about LFCA.

Loralei said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is genius. This has opened up my IF experience from a lonely corner into a whole world of support.

Jules said...

I'm so glad to have found this amazing resource as I'm about to dive into IVF. Thank you so much for creating this!!!