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.

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Back to Blogging Basics

I feel like the last post was not me at my brightest.  I’d apologize, but I feel like that would be apologizing for not always feeling happy, and that wouldn’t be fair to me.  Sometimes I’m not happy, and 98% of the time it’s because my hormones are ravaging me from the inside.  I will explain why they’ve been out of control lately, and maybe that will shed some light on my low mood in my last post.

In April, I had a chemical pregnancy.  I know, it surprised me too.  How the hell did that even happen?  Not only would that mean that I would have had to ovulate *gasp*, but my husbands sperm would have also had to make it to an egg AND penetrate it AND fertilize it.  *gasp gasp gasp*

The truly sad, yet also good, part about it is that I didn’t know it had happened until well after it happened.  I know, ridiculous right?  You see though, my cycles are somewhere around 35-42 days.  I had tested at four weeks because even though I was sure I’d never get pregnant naturally, I have always enjoyed peeing on sticks and hoping to be surprised one day.  Test at four weeks was negative, same for the test at five weeks (or so I thought… more on this later).  So when I woke up on cd 44 and tested again (hey, i had one test left!), I didn’t even check it because that same pee showed that my period had started.  What a waste of a test.  I shoved it back into the box and put it away in the pregnancy test drawer.  My husband knows I test, but for some reason I don’t like him to see the tests in the garbage.  I know, it’s weird.

After my period, which was lighter and shorter than normal, I felt very sad and I had no energy.  Usually after my period I’m ready to go everywhere, clean everything, and get it on with my husband to my hearts desire (my PCOS gives me an insatiable sex drive — only perk, honestly).  I didn’t feel like this at all though, so I talked with my friend who’s had a few miscarriages.  I was just telling her about how I felt pretty sucky, and she asked if I was positive I hadn’t just miscarried.  I was pretty sure, since the chances are like… a bazillion to one, but I was curious, so I pulled the box of tests out (still not thrown away — try not to judge me for holding on to old pee sticks), and I pulled out all three.  One was definitely negative (four weeks), but to my surprise, the other two had faint pink lines.  One was very faint, and one was actually visible.  I know what you’re going to say, evaporation lines!!  I agree, that is a thing, but you must also know that I’ve never once had an evaporation line on any test (I’ve looked days and weeks later at some of them), and these lines were pink, I hear evap lines typically aren’t.

So, there it was, right in front of my face.  Holy crap.  I had been pregnant—ish?  Was I glad I hadn’t noticed the positive the same time I started bleeding?  I mean, wasn’t it already too late?  I tested again to make sure I wasn’t still showing as being pregnant, and I wasn’t.  The doctor said if I wasn’t then it was too late.  Wow… I still can’t believe I was pregnant—ish.

So, I started birth control.  My husband and I had decided a while ago that if we did try again, we’d want to try with our two frozen embryos first.  So, I wanted to insure I didn’t have another miscarriage, and I started birth control.  It made me sick, so sick.  I had the worst headache, it took over my entire body, head to feet.  I couldn’t focus, or think, or take care of myself or my daughter, so after three days (yes, only three days) I stopped.  My period started two days later.

Then we went to the reproductive endocrinologist and set up a date to try our FET.  The hormones from the pregnancy/miscarriage made me want to be pregnant right then and there.  I would have gladly thrown myself into the stirrups and had them do the transfer right that minute if that were how it works, but sadly it doesn’t.  Sadly, you have to be on birth control for at least two-three weeks before you can start the process.  not have the transfer, but start the process.  So I tried a different birth control…  eight days later I was in bed, sobbing and sleeping… and that was it.  That was all I could do.  My in-laws had to take my daughter for two days because I couldn’t do anything but cry.  I was sure my husband hated me, that my in-laws thought I was a terrible mother, and that the world would be a much happier place if I just wasn’t in it.  I wasn’t suicidal, thankfully, I just thought that if I disappeared, people would be better off.

It has been three weeks since I stopped BC.  I just started feeling better about three days ago.  I feel like myself.  No more nasty thoughts haunting me, no more pain, no more sad. Phew…. I am relieved.  I do not know how people function when they are depressed.  I couldn’t.  I hope everyone who suffers from depression can find their way out.  It is a dark place.  So very dark.

So that’s where we are.  I can’t do the FET, because I can’t be on birth control.  Even if there is one that won’t turn me in a sob monster, or cause me horrible pain, I couldn’t work up the nerve to try right now if someone paid me to do it.  I just can’t.  I can’t go back to that dark place right now.  I am still physically and mentally exhausted from it.  So, we are just going to toss our baby hopes into the wind and see if maybe we can get lucky and have something stick this time.  I am eating as well as I can, exercising, and also getting a lot of down time and help with my daughter.  Trying to put myself into a good place so that maybe, just maybe, I can be one of those “after infertility treatments” success stories.  If not, we will try for an FET again down the road sometime.

Fingers crossed….