Sunday, April 24, 2011

Get to Know- Melissa Ford and Book Giveaway

Melissa Ford is the author of the award-winning website, Stirrup Queens which was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten motherhood blogs. Melissa completed her MFA at the University of Massachusetts. She is an editor at BlogHer. Ford lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Joshua, and their twins.

I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa in June of 2009 at RESOLVE's Night of Hope Fundraiser. Stirrup-Queens and all the support it provides the Adoption, Loss, Infertility Community was an inspiration to me. Parenthood for Me was a brand new organization at the time and Melissa's support greatly helped spread the word of our foundation.

Melissa is author of the breakthrough book Navigating the Land of IF.

She also published her first novel Life from Scratch.

PFM is giving away a copy of Life from Scratch. See below for giveaway rules- VERY EASY.

Now the interview:

What is your history with infertility?

I was diagnosed with female-factor infertility back in 2002. My diagnosis came out over many years -- with one of the problems (two clotting disorders) only being diagnosed after the birth of the twins who we conceived on an IUI with injectables cycle.

How did your blog Stirrup Queens begin?

I started it when we returned to trying to add another child to our family, prior to starting treatments again. I had such a hard time emotionally the first time around, and Josh jokingly said that he wanted me to tell someone else my feelings so I didn't save them only for him at 11 pm at night. He helped me set up the blog. I also knew I wanted to write a book, and I wanted to use the blog to connect with other bloggers so they could contribute.

Did you ever imagine it would become such a phenomenon?

Not at all. I mean, I built what I wanted. And like many things, if one person wanted it, others might want it too. For instance, I wanted a blogroll broken down into categories, so I made it for myself. And if it already existed, it made sense to share it with others. And it turned out other people wanted that too. And that's how many parts of the site were built.

Were you always a professional writer? Did you always plan on writing and publishing a book?

I have an MFA, so I've always known that I wanted to write books. But writing a book and publishing a book are two separate beasts -- I wasn't always positive I would publish. I had stopped writing for a long time after we were diagnosed as infertile (actually, before the diagnosis, back when we knew something was wrong, but before we were diagnosed). I was simply too depressed to write. It was really important to me to keep writing this time around. Maybe some of that was about fixing something that I had let break the first time around. I really lost a huge piece of myself when I stopped writing back in 2001/2002. I didn't write again until 2004.

What do you think about how much the infertility community has changed in terms of support in just the past five years?

It's grown a lot, and with growth comes both more avenues for support AND fractured concentration of support. There are simply so many blogs these days that it's impossible to know every one and to keep up with everyone's stories. Luckily, niche communities pop up -- usually, it seems, based on when people came into the blogosphere more than diagnosis or situation. And within those smaller niches, you see the same support that existed 5 years ago when the blogosphere was smaller.

What are the biggest hurdles that remain for infertiles?

You mean beyond the outside world not really working with us towards the goal of making parenthood accessible to all? I think it's being a strong self-advocate. Also, the misinformation out there. The media seems to love a good fear-based story, and the general public gets a lot of their information from the media rather than self-experience.

Do you have more projects in mind to help the ALI community?

I always have projects in mind. I'm glad people embrace and race forward with me, trying out new things. I love to recreate that feeling of community in the face-to-face world on an online space.

To win "Life from Scratch"

Runner-up will win a long sleeve Parenthood for Me t-shirt.

Giveaway open until Sunday, May 1, 2011. A winner will be chosen randomly. Please make sure there is away to contact you if you are the winner.

*picture of Melissa provided by Mary Gardella


Lavender Luz said...

Both of Melissa's books are terrific. I envy the winner.

If I happen to be drawn, I'll donate my copy to someone who hasn't read. I just wanted to pop over and support PFM and the author.

Alana said...

WAY cool learning more about the wonderful Melissa!

I would love to win this book, as I still haven't purchased it. :)

My email is:


Kelly said...

Interesting interview. I would love to read the book! Kelly

Ashley said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Either way I am looking forward to reading the book!

Kim said...

Great interview... It would be great to get a copy of your book as I have yet to get myself one!


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