2012: The Missing Year

If 2011 was the year of pregnancy, then 2012 has been the year of finding our feet as parents, first to a baby and now to a toddler. But it won’t take major powers of observation to notice the lack of content from this year on this blog.

When I first started writing for this blog, I had lots of ideas in my head. I wanted to write a blog and share it because I felt my story of a pregnancy with diabetes was one that at least one person, somewhere, might want to read. Whilst I was impatiently waiting to start trying to conceive, I devoured any and all articles and personal stories on pregnancy and early parenthood. And nothing, for me, beats well-written, down-to-earth, real life stories. But what was painfully lacking from everything I read was stories by women like me. Women experiencing pregnancy against a background of health issues. There were very few no-holds-barred, beginning-to-end, pregnancy stories and none of the resources I knew about were UK based.

I was so excited about being the voice that I hadn’t been able to find.

But then, reality hit.

Much as I believe that miscarriage is also talked about too little at times, I knew that I didn’t necessarily want to be the person changing that. I didn’t want to rush in to sharing a pregnancy if it was only going to end a few weeks later. So already, my “beginning-to-end” was going to be “weeks 12 and onwards”.

Instead, I began writing a private pregnancy journal, as a way of dealing with my fears, anxieties and emotions. What I wrote in the first 12 weeks was never intended to be made public. Once we had our twelve week scan and the fears lessened a little, I thought I would be ready to start sharing.

It turned out to be harder than I’d imagined. I’d developed a way of writing about my pregnancy that didn’t immediately translate to a blog and an unknown audience. Some of my writing was very personal and intimate. I was very proud of some of the actual writing, but at the same time slightly ashamed by the self-indulgence of the emotions I was describing. And I was hit by the old blogging fear of the potential to be read by people I know in real life. I wasn’t ready for that.

So although I began publishing some pieces, they weren’t by any means a complete reflection of the experience, and were only a fraction of what I was actually writing. My blog remained very firmly unpublicised, and hence largely unread. I kept intending to something with the blog, and my writing, but the right time, and the real motivation, didn’t come.

After Thomas was born, I began reflecting on my entire pregnancy journal. I actually enjoyed looking back at the experience after the successful outcome and remembering how I’d felt as the months went by. Once I was out of the hormonal maelstrom of pregnancy itself, it was easier to feel less self conscious about what I’d written and see it for what it was: an honest account of my pregnancy. It won’t match up to anybody else’s experience, because every journey is unique. People may disagree strongly with some of my views, or think that I made mountains from molehills for nine straight months. But I’m proud of both my pregnancy and the record I made of it.

Over the course of the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time editing the raw material that I wrote to make it more reader friendly and finally publishing hundreds of posts here that had previously never seen the light of day. The result is now the content of this blog from May 2011 to the first week of November 2011.

Alongside, I continued to write about my experiences of motherhood, my struggles and emotions, as well as my feelings on a variety of topics. But I continued to write in the same closed style as before. Many of my diary entries are very raw, with no sentence structure or coherence, barely more than a stream-of-consciousness jumble of thoughts. Sleep deprivation may have played a part, but equally it didn’t occur to me immediately that I might also want to publish these in the same way that I had eventually wanted to publish my pregnancy story.

But I do. And so that is my current project. Editing these personal diary entries in to readable blog content. Until it is done, 2012 is a missing year in the blog archive. Although I know that virtually nobody reads entire blog archives, I don’t want to publish things haphazardly and out of order. I don’t want the stories of the missing months to be there until they are complete stories. So I want to publish each month as I complete it, to fill in the gaps.

But I also need to start writing some contemporary entries. Otherwise, what is the point in calling this a blog? If I don’t ever write in real time, and interact with other blog writers, mothers, and people with diabetes, I may as well write and self-publish an e-book. Whilst it must be plainly obvious that I mainly write for me, and that if I never have a single reader or receive a single comment, I’d still write, I would still like my words to be there to be shared too. I know all about internet community, and I’d like my place in it.

So as of the beginning of January, my intention is to publish posts as and when I write them. I’m not promising myself that I’ll publish everything, as some things are not meant for an audience. But I won’t be holding everything back for up to a year either. And as and when I complete the editing process on my previous writing, I’ll fill in the story of 2012.