Oh, To Be A Mother…

When I was growing up, I knew I didn’t want to have kids.  I knew I wasn’t cut out for it.  I didn’t enjoy having to take care of someone else, as I learned when I would have to watch my sister.  I didn’t like playing make believe for ten hours, as I learned when my cousin was growing up.  I didn’t like the responsibility of taking care of a living being.  I didn’t even like having a pet dog, which my parents always decided was a good idea, but left me to take care of.

I dated in high school and college, a little. Nothing more than a couple weeks.  Nothing serious.  No thoughts of babies.  I knew I wanted to be married someday though.  That I knew for sure, but no kids.  I met my husband, and fell instantly in love.  I am not exaggerating.  I knew the instant I saw him.  Within a few weeks, or months, we talked to each other about our hopes for the future.  Not involving each other, per say, but just our general hopes.  Did I want kids? No.  Did he?  Yes.  How many?  Two.  Crap, well, now I want to have this mans babies.  Crap.

So, along we went. Dating for three years, marriage, infertility.  Suddenly, after IVF, a baby!  A beautiful baby girl.  I was happy, for a while. Until I wasn’t.  She required so much from me.  I felt drained, I felt like I would never have any part of myself back.  I was just a mom now, with a little wife on the side.  But me?  I was gone.

The depression started when my daughter was about 14 months old.  This is when I knew for sure that there would not be anymore babies.  My husband agreed.  Our daughter was perfect, but more babies wasn’t the right move for us.  Although there was one month when I was in, what I suppose would be referred to as a “manic episode” when we decided to go talk to the RE about doing an FET.  I was ready.  Until a few days later, when i realized I absolutely was not ready.  Never would be.  What was I thinking?  Had I completely lost my mind?

That was April.  July 16th I learned I was pregnant.  I was devastated.  I wanted to be happy, I really did, but I wasn’t.  I was scared.  I was so unhappy all the time. The depression had been so critical that I had to have my in-laws take care of my daughter on multiple occasions because I just couldn’t do it.  I’d sit in my bed and cry about how much I hated my life, how horrible of a mother I was, how I was letting my husband down.  Now we were going to have another one?  How?  Why?

A long time has passed since then.  My son is now 11 months old.  I love him, more than I can possibly say, but to say that I’m happy would be wrong.  I am constantly battling these inner demons that seem to be whispering “you’ll never do anything ever again except take care of kids and clean.” That’s it.  That’s my life.  I spend my days waiting for nap time.  Then i hold my breath until my son is asleep.  My daughter will read books for two hours if she doesn’t sleep, so she’s no problem at all.  If he doesn’t nap, I lose it.  All the sudden the walls close in on me, and I feel like I’m going to drown. I just need that time to decompress.  To sit in quiet.  To stare at the wall.  Not to hear someone yelling or crying.  I don’t want to have to pick up more toys, fetch more snack, change more diapers, watch more cartoons.

I know it will get easier.  This baby stage is so hard, so constant.  He needs me, and I understand that.  I’m glad to be there for him, most of the time, but there comes a point in every day where I just can’t muster up the desire to be a mom anymore.  When I wish I was anywhere else at that moment.  When I wish with all my heart that my husband was home with me, that we could parent together, so that I wouldn’t feel trapped and outnumbered.

It will get easier.  It will get easier.  It will get easier.

Maybe tomorrow I will do better.  Maybe tomorrow I will love harder.  Maybe tomorrow I won’t cry.  Maybe tomorrow it will get easier.

I Have Two Kids Now

Well, here I am, with two kids!  Is anyone else on the planet more shocked by this than me?

My son (S) is now 4.5 months old, and he is as big as E was when she was ONE YEAR OLD.  I’m having trouble with him not sleeping well, because in my head I’m all like “you are big, so you must be old.”  That’s not how things work though, I’m afraid.  Too bad though, I could really use some sleep.  Maybe soon…. *fingers crossed*

I know I haven’t been around much, but having two kids is ten times harder than having one.  (SURPRISE!) and most days I’m struggling to just eat food.  Not cold food, but any food at all.  When I do get to eat, I eat an entire plate of food in four minutes.  I’ve also been struggling with stomach aches… not sure why though.

My husband just got a vasectomy on Friday.  I’ll admit that on Thursday I was kind of freaking out.  I sort of wanted to stop the whole thing, have 12 more babies, and be one of those moms no one understands.  Luckily, it was just a mild freak out, my husband reminded me that I’m losing my mind, and he got it done.  When he got back home from the procedure, I was suddenly so calm and elated with the decision.  I could not be more happy that our family is complete, and now we can focus on things like preschool for E, and getting S to sleep (maybe?), and MAYBE… just MAYBE…. one day I’ll get to shower in the daylight again.  You see, S still sleeps in my room, and I have to shower after he’s asleep, and the light would maybe wake him up, and it’s not worth even trying to see if he’d sleep through it.  So, I shower in the dark.  I don’t shave now… I’m not that reckless.  Yes, I am as hairy as a bear now, thanks for asking.

Well, that’s about all the time I have now.  E isn’t napping and S just woke up from his and is staring at me.  I know he’s trying to tell me something…. but what??  Babies…

 

My Little Man

Well, everyone, I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to post about this, I could probably come up with a few good excuses, and a couple bad ones, but instead I’ll just say that it took me too long and I apologize.  I am pregnant.

That’s right!  For anyone who’s been with me since the beginning of this blog, you know that we struggled for three years to conceive our daughter.  We tried naturally, we tried Clomid, then we went to a Reproductive Endocrinologist and finally got a diagnosis of PCOS for me, and some wonky (not the medical term) sperm from my husband.  After that we tried four medicated rounds of IUI, with only three being viable for the actual insemination part, and after a chemical pregnancy with the first IUI try, and two failed IUI’s after that, we took nine months off, regrouped physically and mentally, and then went back for IVF.  FINALLY, we had success!  Little E was conceived, carried, and born in June of 2013.  Phew… long ride… but we had made it.  Now, with a little lady on my hands, I wondered at the prospect of more.  Was I willing to go through fertility treatments again? I mean, after all, my husband and I were still considered infertile so it would take more medication, more money, more time, to conceive again, and I just wasn’t ready.  My heart wasn’t in it.  I was content, happy, finding my new balance in life with E.  *heartfelt sigh* But then…..

So, remember this post I wrote on July 13th of last year?  It was all about how I wasn’t sure a second kid was for me.  Well, three days later I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant.  Go figure!  To say I was shocked is putting it very, very mildly.  In fact, it was until recently that I think I actually kind of accepted what was happening, and I’m already 31 weeks along.  I am now elated, but at first I was scared and upset.  I didn’t know if this was something I wanted, or could even handle.  I’m still not sure I can handle it, but I know it’s something I want now.  HE is something I want.

That’s right, I have a little man on the way!

I’m hoping to post one day about how this is a wonderful thing for people who have suffered through infertility and can now have hope of a natural second, but I feel like I would need more than two minutes, and sadly, that’s all the time I have left this morning.

Until next time, lovelies!

-E

Anxiety Mommy

It’s hard having anxiety.  Crippling, overwhelming, hard to breath anxiety.  I’m lucky to only have anxiety that bad a few days a month, but that’s not all anxiety is.  Anxiety is always with me.  It is in every decision I make, every event I am planning, every future I foresee, and it is not nice.  Anxiety does not give me visions of seeing my daughter in high school, it gives me visions of something terrible happening to her.  I see every way in which she or my husband could be taken from me.  I even see ways that I could be taken from my family, never able to see my daughter grow up.

Every day I make sure she doesn’t pull on dressers, because I read a story about a three year old who pulled a dresser on herself while her parents were still sleeping and died while they slept.

I didn’t buy her a cubbie shelf (per the suggestion of her grandmother) because I had just read a story about a 13 month old girl dying from pulling one over and being knocked unconscious and suffocating.

I make sure the blind cords are up too high for her to reach because I read something about a five year old boy hanging himself accidentally in blind cords.

Everything I hear or read stays with me.  Forever.  Anxiety doesn’t let me forget.  It dwells inside me.  It lives there and breeds and grows and envelopes my brain.  The older my daughter gets, the worse it gets because the more she’s doing, the more danger shes’s in from the world.  I know these events are rare, but they are so incredibly tragic that I cannot ever forget.

…and it doesn’t even have to be something in her age group.  I just sobbed in the bathtub as I read comments on a post about delivering a stillborn baby (I couldn’t bring myself to read the post).  There were mothers talking about the heartache of losing their children to SIDS at two, five, six months old.  I flashed back to that age where I was so terrified of the same thing that I would wake 10-20 times a night to check my daughter to make sure she was still breathing.  She slept by my bed until 10 months.  After that I woke 10-20 times a night to watch the monitor and make sure she was breathing.  I still check her monitor 2-3 times a night (she’s 19 months old).

I worry about everything constantly.  It will most likely wear off on my daughter, as my mothers anxiety wore off on me.  I like that is makes me cautious, that I understand that bad things happen, but I’d really like to not fear walking along the sidewalk with my daughter because I’m scared a car is going to drive over the curb and hit us.  I’d like to leave the house without her without worrying that I’m going to die in a car wreck and never see her face again.

This anxiety is with me forever.  Medication will probably help (and i’m discussing this with a doctor soon), but it will never go away.  And that is exactly why I cannot fathom having another child.  How could I make it through another pregnancy, another year of SIDS watch, another full life of another human that I made, without completely losing it and locking everyone in the house and never leaving.  I can’t do it.  I can’t do it and take care of myself and take care of my daughter.  I know that, my husband knows that, and my daughter will know it one day.  I hope she can forgive me for my anxiety, and know that the decisions I’ve made to keep us a three person family were the best for not only me, but also her and her daddy.

With Me At Birth

As my little girl gets older, I have more time in my day to reflect on her life.  I also have more brain power to do so because sleep gets better with each passing month.  Lately I have been intrigued with the circumstances that got her to us.  The crazy happenings that lead to her being made.  Her.  Not just a baby, but her.  Her personality, her looks, her being.  I am truly amazed by everything that had to happen for her to be here, and every day I feel like I have a new realization on just how amazing it is to have her, and why I have been overwhelmingly attached to her since the moment I first saw her.

Ignoring ALL of the tiny things that had to happen for her to be here, like the Big Bang, the solar system forming, and life evolving on our little planet, I think about just the things that had to happen for her daddy and I  to meet.  He grew up an Army brat, traveling to a different state every few years.  I grew up in a small town, and stayed there almost my entire life until college.  We ended up both living in the same state, both attending the same college, and both, somehow, befriending the same people on a campus of thousands of students.  It seems almost inevitable that we met, but I won’t go into all of that.  Let’s just say that we were meant to be.  Simple (is that simple?) as that.

Where it really starts to get interesting for me, is when we finally decided to try to have a baby.  We had just bought a house and figured that this was as good a time as any.  I was 25, he was 26, and everything felt right.  We went through all of the motions for having a baby.  I went off birth control, waited three months, we tried, and tried, and tried for a year with no results.  We then sought help, and began the process of fertility treatments.  Five rounds of Clomid, three rounds of IUI, and finally the big IVF.  Luckily IVF worked for us, but that is where my mind starts to be truly amazed, because that is when our little one was made.

After injecting myself with what felt like a million needles full of hormones, we had our egg retrieval.  There were only five mature follicles that would attempt to be fertilized.  Of those five, four fertilized and began to mature.  Of those four, two were chosen on day three to be transferred back to my uterus.  It all seems simple, doesn’t it?  But in reality it is insane.  I was born with millions of eggs, but only five were made to try IVF with.  Five.  Then, in a lab at our specialists office, an embryologist took five of my husbands sperm, and inserted one into each egg.  Four of those eggs became embryos.  Four out of millions of eggs were now becoming babies, humans, life.  The embryologist then decided that two specific ones would be transferred back.  Two, out of millions of eggs, were receiving the chance to grow and become babies inside my belly.  Back to where they came from, after having started their little lives in a lab.  Seeing the outside world before they saw the inside of me.  Imagine!  What a way to start life!  Of those two transferred back, our little girl decided to latch on.  To bury herself deep into my uterus, and to begin to live.  Developing from an embryo, to a fetus, to a baby, and now into an infant.  Absolutely magical.

…but what really blew my mind is this… this simple fact that half of my little girl has been with me since I was born.  It’s no wonder that mothers become to attached so quickly, as we have been carrying our babies with us through our entire lives.  She was with me when I was born, as I learned to walk, as I started school, when I cried, when I laughed, when I got married.  She has been with me through it all.  She has been with me longer than my husband.  Isn’t that absolutely amazing to think about?  She has always been with me, and that is why my love for her is so overwhelming, deep, and perfect.  My little egg.  One out of millions.

Hope (For the Second Time Around)

This entry is intended to give those of you who struggled with infertility the first time around, a little hope.  I am here to inform you that out of the three other women I know in real life who have gone through IVF, two of them have been successful in getting pregnant naturally the second time around.  Isn’t that amazing?  It is so exciting for them, and I hope that it is exciting for you too.  Just because you struggled so much, and went through so much heartache the first time around, does not mean you have to face this type of hurt the next time you try.  Not that it is full-proof, or that it is a guarantee, but it does offer a glimmer of hope.

The most impressive thing?  Neither of them were “trying.”  No scheduling sex, no temperature taking, no ovulation tests, NO HORMONES!!  Doesn’t that sound amazing?  Too good to be true?  Fantasy… right?  Well, it is possible.  I offer you all love, good vibes, and hope.  For those of you continuing on in your journey for more babies to love and squeeze, I wish you all the luck in the world!

A Bad Infertile?

Today I went back to the fertility clinic for the first time since I was seven weeks pregnant.  It was… strange, but absurdly familiar.  I never thought I’d be back so soon, since my little one is only eight months old, but after an email exchange with my reproductive endocrinologist, we both decided that it would be a good idea for me to have my AMH tested.  Since it went from a 6.9 to a 1.3-.67 in just one year, it is likely that I have Premature Ovarian Failure.  I asked my RE if he thought it would be a good idea to see how much it’s dropped in the past year and a half so that we could decide on a course of hormone therapy once little miss is weaned.  If it is at an undetectable level, then I would not go on birth control (which would be needed to control my PCOS symptoms), I would go on hormones to help with the premature menopause.  Wow, forgot how messed up I was — reproductively speaking!  I also found out while I was there that my best blood taking vein was permanently scared from all my blood draws during IVF.  Holy cow.  That is unreal!  I guess it’s to be expected when I only have one usable vein though.

Anyway, while I was there, one of the guys at the front asked me if I was there for my second round.  (I had little miss with me).  I quickly, without thought, said “NO WAY!!”  Then I laughed and said “she is only eight months, so I definitely need a little time!”  He then said “Oh, okay.”  I guess having someone with fertility problems be so quick to say “NO!” when asked about more babies is rare.  So, does it make me a bad infertile if I am pretty sure that I will not want to have another baby?  Is it okay, in our community, to decide that an only is the right choice for their family?  I know that when someone struggles so much for babies, they can sometimes get baby fever so bad that they will continue until their bodies crash (I saw a lady at the specialist who had a three year old, a one year old, and a four month old — all conceived through fertility treatments), desiring as many babies as possible, but I do not feel that way.  I feel like another baby would be too much for me.  I think it is important to go with what works for your family, for your sanity, and for your heart.

My husband and my little girl are my entire world.  I cannot imagine sharing it with anyone else.  Could my mind change in the next few years?  Yes, maybe, I’m keeping my mind open, but I wonder if I am in the minority when it comes to be an infertile who desires to have only one child.

Any other infertiles who stopped at one on purpose?

(I will post the results of my AMH once I hear back from the RE — Hopefully tomorrow!)