I have a few cooking blogs to which I subscribe, Smitten Kitchen, Sally’s Baking Addiction, and Pinch of Yum. So back at the end of December suddenly there was an e-mail from POY titled “An Urgent Baby Update.” Lindsay Ostrom, the author of the recipes, was expecting a baby in April. She and her husband, Bjork, run this fantastically successful and profitable blog. I wrote a post about it back when I first discovered it. Blogs such as this one are much more than recipe repositories; they invite the readers into the authors’ lives.
One of the first blogs of this genre was Young House Love, started (I think) over a decade ago. The young couple running it discovered that they could actually make a living from a blog and have gone on to write books, design furniture and fixtures, and tell other people how to run blogs. At one point they took a break, feeling that they had overexposed themselves a bit to their readers, but when I looked up their website I saw they’re back in business, better than ever.
So the Ostroms were chugging away, Lindsay having started her cooking blog as a hobby while she was still teaching school and then realizing that she could make it her full-time job, and Bjork having gotten into the act by starting up a subscription food blogging resource called “Food Blogger Pro,” and then she got pregnant and everyone was thrilled. Suddenly there was this e-mail. Lindsay had gone in for a routine checkup and had been told, at about 23 weeks, that she was going into premature labor. They tried to stop things and put her on bed rest, but to no avail. Suddenly she was having an emergency C-section. There was the tiny baby, whom they named Afton. (The picture is not from their website but is just a stock photo. You’ll have to go to their site to see the pictures of the incredibly tiny little boy.) He lived for about 24 hours. The photos of the baby, the parents, and the family members are wrenching.Now Lindsay is writing a ten-part series of posts on various aspects of Afton’s birth and death. Today’s was a letter from the nurse who took care of Afton in the NICU. You might think that all of this would be a bit on the side of oversharing, but it doesn’t come across like that. Those of us who follow POY can’t help but feel involved. And I totally, totally understand why Lindsay is writing this, because I did exactly the same thing when my son Gideon was diagnosed with cancer. Although I wanted to share his story with family and friends who were concerned and praying, I also found the actual act of writing about him to be extremely therapeutic. I’m so grateful that our story didn’t end like the Ostroms’. Gideon’s sitting in the computer room right now, and I just told him he needed to make some lentil soup for supper.
So you may want to follow the link above and read the story of the birth and now the ten-part series. If nothing else, they’ll make you want to go hug your own kids. And Lindsay’s writing is great. She’s able to convey the story without the slightest hint of self-pity or drama. She and Bjork are Christians, although you have to go kind of deep into the site to find that out.
It’s a reminder about how life includes all kinds of bits and pieces that the baby posts are on the home page of the blog. So here are these touching photographs and stories, but they’re on a page with cooking videos and beautiful brightly-colored food photographs. All that stuff was there the day Lindsay went to the hospital. And now their lives are forever changed. She says she’s going to get back into food writing at some point, but I wonder if she will.
Anyway, just something I thought was so good that it deserved as wide of an audience as possible.