Persephone: Parent

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One of Those Days

Do you ever have one of those days? A day where everyone else seems bloody prefect and they all seem to remind you that you’re not?

A day where all you want to do is sleep? Or cry? And crying might actually be the easier option.

I’m having/had one of those days where I just want to curl up in a ball and sob.
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Jealous Reasons

I went to my local baby drop in group this morning and my new mummy friend, Mummy A has made me so jealous.

Her son, S, is a week or two younger than E and she and hubby had a meal out for their anniversary. S was left with his Granny for the night. And they’re doing the same tonight.

Now date night is the furthest thing from my mind, but a little break, with my husband? That’d be nice!
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Mummy Moment Plans

This is a list of things that I want to do, when parenting Elvis allows me to. There’s no rush to do these things; I’d just like to do them at some point!

Any other suggestions or any of yours?

And they’re all child free!

1. Attend Hogwarts. Of course I mean the studio tour. As I’ve toured all the major studios in LA, I really need to do the Harry Potter ones. Of course I’ll have to go a second time with E. Along with LA and Florida.
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Boys In My Bed

Depending on my mood, I’m either perfectly content bed sharing with Elvis, petrified of cot death by bed sharing or annoyed by bed sharing.

According to my research, I’ve minimised most risks of SIDS whilst bed sharing. Our only risk factors are that he’s under 3 months old and he’s a boy! Both factors increase his risk of SIDS and the male thing, well he was born that way!

Yet 2 out of 3 times I wish I wasn’t bed sharing. But I see no way out of it.
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Persephone: The Worrier

I am a born worried and this post may reveal more than I planned, or sound wrong without explanation.

I worry that I’m not the best mother I can be. I worry about my making a decision, doing something that is not in Elvis’ best interests, or that has some sort of long lasting damage down the line. I worry that I’m finding all of this parenting thing harder than others, that I’m too weak. I worry that I’m wishing my son’s youth away. I worry about my relationships – friends and husband.

However many of these are silly, normal and will pass. I’ve been a full parent for 8 weeks almost and my worry about not feeding my son sufficiently has long passed; I’m sure however many of these worries will too.

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Alone With Elvis

I think Alone used to be a main tag out theme of poetry on what was my main blog; in some ways it was/is one of my greatest fears. Oddly as an only child who is still able to thoroughly entertain myself alone, I still hate feeling alone. Even now I would rather spend my days on my own with Elvis with some item of technology Рcomputer, pad or TV. At the most I currently only really like sharing my time with my mother. Perhaps because she understands, perhaps because she  gives me space and aid.

I can spend hours at my mum’s and feel a bit human. She can chat away to her grandson and I can eat in peace, drink a hot cup of tea, go to the loo, have a lie down, hold an adult conversation with her or her friends. This is all because she only has those hours I visit.

The time I actually feel alone the most is in the evening or weekends when it’s just me, my husband and my son.
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Always Questioning Ourselves

I’ve always had this random insomnia where I spend the night completely unable to sleep. No matter how tired, if it’s an insomnia night I will not sleep. For quite a while it would be Sunday night’s – maybe it was work anxiety I hear you ask. Well, I work in a school all year around and only had the insomnia on term time Sundays. When it happened two nights ago (after a night of bad sleep from Elvis coughing and spluttering) I reached the end of my tether. It was so bad, I couldn’t even nap during the day. Sleep was truly alluding me.

So last night my husband and I decided that I really really needed sleep. I thought this would be accomplished by husband coming back into bed – he’s been out as part of the bed sharing, however, I needed his breathing. Elvis, naturally breathes too fast and in my sleepless state I was trying to match my breathing to his therefore having hubby in bed my breathing should become calm and steady. Because it’s suggested that bed sharing should only have one parent in the bed, or a bigger bed hubby declares, we decided to put Elvis in his big boy cot in his nursery against the guidance of sharing rooms for the first six months.

Elvis was never going to last 6 months in his Moses basket because at nearly 8 weeks he’s too big! Well he lasted in there for about an hour after the first mid-night feed when he started making loads of grunty noises that I couldn’t sleep through despite him being in another room. Into bed with us he came because I still needed hubby’s breathing and I put Elvis on his side to secure him to me as we slept with me spooning him on the outer side of the bed.

Through all of this I kept questioning myself. I even broke down hysterically to declare that I was an awful mother.

And why am I an awful mother?

For one, I didn’t play or interact with Elvis all day because I was so tired.

Reason two is that I tried/managed to put a seven week old baby in a separate room.

Number three is that then I bed-shared against medical advice.

Fourth reason is I bed-shared with a duvet partially on me, my baby nearest the edge of the bed and with my baby on his side.

All these things are what I need to do to cope, but it doesn’t stop me questioning it all and my ability to parent. Is it just something that I do, or is it a general parent issue – comparing yourself to others and the ideal?

I feel like I’m not as good a parent as the next who can do everything by the book simply because I’m not following the guidance. In my eyes it somehow makes me less of a person and parent because I need to go off script. Do other mums who put their young babies in the nursery, bed share or sofa sleep do the same? Do you feel imperfect for not following the guidelines and upset at those who can so easily?

Do those perfect mums question themselves just as much? Do they question themselves over other things? Or do they have less energy to interact, to resume normal life as quickly? Do they wonder or feel left out because they don’t know how their baby breathes all night long, because they can’t get to their baby the second he announces he’s hungry?

When I had Elvis sleeping on my tummy his arms would fall around my waist, he was hugging me at five weeks old. He sleeps better and longer in bed with me. And last night as he slept on his side spooned up against me he felt like a real child and not just a baby. That last part makes sense to me.

Maybe medically or professionally I’m imperfect, but to Elvis I’m not no matter how many rules or guidelines I break. That probably won’t stop me questioning myself. I’m pretty sure that nothing will ever stop that.

~ Persephone M

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Forgetting the Fathers

As it has just been Fathers’ Day, after finding this link from a tweet, I feel the need to highlight fathers.

All too often no one understood mine and my husband’s infertility. Even now, I don’t think people understand that we’re still infertile. We’re not those that relaxed, even as I type this, holding my biological son, I know that we’re potentially still infertile. He was not conceived naturally – there were drugs and doctors involved in his creation, not just sperm, a penis, a vagina, an egg and sex.

Sex wasn’t involved at all.

I don’t think people realise how much infertility affects the couple, and that’s what I love about this article especially the description of grief. It is probably the thing I found hardest to explain – the never ending cycle of pain every 28 days. The inability to escape that pain, until you reach a resolution, which isn’t easy. I never truly thought about how to cope if our IUI failed, but I knew that if something went wrong in the pregnancy, that was the end of everything. There would be no more hope or trying.

Not only does the article describe the grief of infertility perfectly, its comments on God are spot on. My thoughts, having had successful treatment, is that God created scientists who created IUI and IVF so how can God be against using them?

I’d add two sections into the article.

One: Surviving
For those that have success with any form of fertility treatment or who are part of the small percentage that after many years do conceive naturally, they still consider themselves as infertile. Or at least I do. Those issues that the etiquette article describe do not simply go away over night. The physical and emotional scars are all still there, scabbed over. There are still inappropriate comments that can be made.

And just because I now have Elvis it doesn’t mean that I won’t still have difficulties watching friends and family click their fingers and fall pregnant with their second, third etc. My success at artificially creating a child does not take away 4 years of grief and pain.

Two: Fathers
Sometimes I think that the only reason for all the insensitive comments from my in-laws is because my hubby doesn’t talk about our infertility. How can they understand if they don’t know. But I know how much it hurt my husband, how much every 28 days he hid the grief he shared with me to try and comfort me.

I know that all the time I tried vocally to convince him that it was all something wrong with me, he would argue back that, whilst his tests were all fine (as were mine) he would still argue it could be him genetically at fault. And that just as I felt like a failure as a woman, he felt like a failure as a man.

Neither of us ever blamed the other, but whilst I was relatively happy to shout about our infertility problems, as a man, he was not.

And I think in a lot of discussions regarding infertility the hopeful father to be is forgotten. And let’s not forget that not only do they deal with trying, monthly, to comfort the woman they love, they’re also grieving yet another possible child lost.

~ Persephone M

http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/for-family–friends/infertility-etiquette.html

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Noisy Nights

After a second early night (go Elvis!) I’m shattered because it’s also the second night of increased noise from the littlest member of my family.

Elvis spends his night sleeps grunting, whimpering, crying and choking, all the time keeping me awake. I have no real idea what the hell to do about it. So after him falling asleep at 2000, I had to do a 2300 feed due to his noise, then at 0150. By this point I swear I was awake the whole time.

At 0200, mid feed, I kicked hubby out of bed, set myself up in the middle of the double and Elvis has quietly slept on my chest until the 0500 feed. I still feel shattered. And starving. But I’ve had some sleep.

I’m strongly considering putting him into his cot in the nursery or co-sleeping all night with hubby on the sofa because he is so loud. From forums I gather it stops within 3 months, but as a month old today there is no way I can survive another 2 like last night.

Help!

~ Persephone M

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Yesterday, I Fell In Love

I’m probably about to bring great, humungous shame on myself as a parent, but yesterday I fell in love with my son.

Yesterday, I felt it for the first time.

Sure I’ve thought he was cute and I’ve known how much he completely and totally depends on me. But I’d felt necessity until yesterday.

I had a comment on a blog earlier this week about how honest my posts are, which they are except for a few things that I leave out, refusing to admit them. It’s a refusal out of fear and shame.

It is by far a secret that I spent the first two weeks finding everything incredibly difficult. On Sunday night I finally admitted to hubby how difficult and how I felt. I admitted that, at that time, I was only doing everything I was for my husband. I wasn’t feeding Elvis because Elvis needed me to, I was doing it because hubby wanted me to. I wasn’t forcing myself to stay at home with my family for Elvis’ sake, it was because, if I left I’d lose my husband and I don’t want that.

At that point I was still happy to sleep on the sofa abandoning my son in the room with his daddy who was fast asleep and none the wiser. I was happy for daddy to take Elvis out for a few hours and leave me in peace – I wouldn’t know where either of them were. When I was with him I was only making sure that he was safe – room temperature, layers of clothing, etc – because we both suffered so much to get Elvis, not because I didn’t want to lose him.

Until yesterday when I looked down at him at some point and felt so scared of losing him because I love him. So when he spent the night sounding really mucousy to the point that I couldn’t sleep out of worry, I took him downstairs to where it was quieter so I could sleep and hear him. Last week I’d have left him with daddy out of annoyance.

Now there are no thoughts of me walking out, not from fear of losing my hubby but because I could never do that to Elvis. Now I no longer view Elvis as a leech, draining all my life from me. He’s my child and I love him.

It just took over 3 weeks for it to happen!

~ Persephone M

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