Persephone: Parent

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I’m Happy For You

There is probably an element of shame and guilt in this, but, hey, it’s my blog and my feelings. I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve and only realised earlier that I seem to finally be happy with other people’s pregnancies. And I genuinely am. I learnt of two summer-due babies recently and I genuinely felt happy with no undercurrent of jealousy or bitterness.

It confused me when I got pregnant with Elvis, that I still felt bitter at friend’s announcements. I put it down to not actually having my child, that it could still go wrong. Then even once I had Elvis, pregnancy announcements would make me fakely smile and then cry in private. Why? Because they had done it naturally? Because they had all decided to get pregnant and did?

Then I got pregnant without trying. Looking at the maths, I probably still took far longer than any of them. But it still happened. And now I finally seem to be less bitter and jealous. I by no means think I’m over my infertility, I still identify myself with those struggling to conceive (I cannot wipe away 3 years). But I don’t get upset afterwards.

Except it has been replaced with a bitterness and jealousy over birth. Yep, all those mums that can go into labour, that don’t need drugs to start or enhance it, all those mums that can actually labour and, shock, horror, can even give birth through the natural hole. Each and every one of them sends a pang of jealousy through me.

And, as I have no idea, what’s in store for me, I have no idea if a second c-section will make this jealousy and envy worse, or if a VBAC will heal me? Or perhaps, with all of my increased research and knowledge, I will be at peace however Robin comes into the world.

I just hope that I can continue to be happy for friends and the future pregnancies they’re destined for.

~ P

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My Breastfeeding Journey: 12 Months Later

I might post this a little after 12 months, to see how the holiday affects our feeding, but I do know that I am so proud of myself. At the beginning, I could not imagine even making it two weeks, then one month and then six months seemed doable and manageable. In fact somewhere after 4 weeks, it all just clicked and everything blurred until I realised he was six months old and BAM! Now we’re at the ultimate goal, the finishing line I really thought I’d never even see.

In those first few weeks I read the horror stories – breastfed babies who only feed to sleep, breastfed babies who drop all of their daytime feeds at 4 months and feed every 2 hours overnight, babies over one who still need to feed constantly overnight whilst you’re trying to manage work, parenting and being a person. All of those fears coupled with the pain and the fact that neither of us were naturals, meant that the idea of keeping going for a year was just a dream.

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Blogging the Bad Times

I knew I hadn’t blogged in a while, but I didn’t realise it was so long ago! 6th August.

So much has happened. And it’s all been good.

Until now and apparently I only blog when it’s all bad!

Apologies for not even realising that there were comments followers had been making or replying to. I haven’t even logged in until now.

And I’ve logged in to say that I am tired of all of this. I remember in all of my infertility blogs, I’d moan about all the pain of trying and constantly failing and that the elusive baby would make my life better, would make it all complete and all of that pain would go away, that a baby in my arms would be all the reward for those 3 years of pain.

Well it isn’t.

If I had the want, I could write a blog a day filled with pain, failure and heartache to rival my infertility blogs.

A small part of me yearns for those days because the pain was cyclical, I had days were I could ignore my infertility and failings. I can’t ignore all my failings now. They’re with me all the time.

Maybe rejoining the blogging world will help. Or it’ll give me more pain.

P x

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What A Let-Down

I truly and honestly cannot believe that I went a night and day without crying. Things really have gotten better in Elvis’ short life so far. I honestly thought they wouldn’t this quickly. Without even glancing back at all my midnight blogs, I know how awful I felt, how hopeless it all felt and how there really was no end in sight.

Perhaps because of my years trying to conceive and then having fertility treatment in order to get Elvis, I’m so used to the failure, to having no hope and there being no light at the end of the tunnel, that it becomes the default setting. Once you’ve been in the trenches of fertility it’s easy to make new trenches of anything.

But at just 3 and a half weeks old there is light, I can see it and everyday it gets a bit brighter. There are still going to be hiccups, but I persevered and we all survived.

It’s also remarkable how different day and night are already. Or how I awoke straight away for Elvis’ 3am feed.

The one thing I’m not liking about the nighttime feed is my let-down. It hasn’t happened during the day and can’t purely be a blood sugar thing, but I go incredibly light-headed and feel faint. It’s a good thing I don’t stand up to feed! As I said it can’t purely be blood sugar as before starting the feed I’ve always got up and changed the nappy; there’s no dizziness then. Oddly that let-down doesn’t come with the coughing and spluttering that other let-downs do.

Other than that, I think we may have cracked the nighttimes and the days and evenings aren’t too bad anymore. We just need to work on his 5am feed that starts his day. I really don’t need to see 5, 6 and 7am every day!

~ Persephone M

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Duvet Day

I saw a midwife two days ago for Elvis’ 9 day weigh in and she was the one who said that Elvis was probably going through his first spurt and I should have a duvet day. So yesterday I stayed in bed most of the morning and went back in the afternoon.

It didn’t really do much good as the night was hell so today’s duvet day has been different.

Today it was on the sofa. So there was no hubby bringing Elvis to me, waking me to feed our son. Instead I have essentially sat on the sofa with Elvis all day. Except during his trip to the shops, napping afterwards and half an hour a few hours ago where he briefly settled in his Moses and, instead of resting, I took a shower!

And now as the evening begins to creep on, I feel far better than I could have imagined. I don’t plan on staying here all night but whilst sleep evades me (because Elvis refuses it or because I can’t calm my mind to sleep) I have the TV. Or the far easier nap location that is a cuddly sofa rather than a bed.

The problem that now seems to have cropped up is stress between hubby and I. We’re both exhausted. We’re both trying to put Elvis first and neither of us have anyone putting each other first. I guess we never will again. And it is stressful.

He’s said things that have upset me – giving a formula bottle just to give me some peace, that he thought my mothering instinct would have hit by now and I’d be coping with the sleepless nights because he’s not been sleeping either. I’ve taken them both as insults to me personally.

I’ve said insensitive things to him – that I’m jealous, that I’m a failure, that he gets far more sleep than I do, that he at least has a bond with his son. It can’t be easy to hear the woman you love say all those things, to think all of those things about herself. Someone you love can’t be a failure to those who love them, right?

I know it’ll be okay, that neither of us have said anything irredeemable to each other and I know that things will get better, both between hubby and I, and Elvis and I. Both just have to wait and persevere through this magical time.

I wonder if one day I will look back on now, reading these blogs, and think of this time fondly. Everyone says I will, but there’s no light at the end of the tunnel yet. Just a glimmer of hope, a pinprick of the future guiding me.

And I know that when I do finally make it off this sofa to bed, I’m going to hug my hubby and apologise for taking my exhaustion out on him without recognising his own or how much he’s trying to help. I need to stop focussing on all the failures – mine, his and ours.

Maybe it’ll help give this time some magic.

One last time of putting Elvis down downstairs. Fingers crossed…

~ Persephone M

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Giving in

During Elvis’ first week (which sounds odd as we’re only in his 2nd) we chose to top him up with formula twice because I physically couldm’t do it. My milk had yet come in and I knew there was a problem – confirmed when we took him to a clinic. But after that clinic visit it got better. I had milk and 2 days later he’d gained weight and wasn’t in danger of being hospitalised.

But now, a week later and I can’t do this. My blog this morning was me so tired and exhausted, posted in response to my husband’s just awoken comments. And I’m no more rested now. With redness still in just one breast, I have no idea hpw I’m supposed to practically drain them when Elvis has finished because I’m supposed to hold and soothe Elvis. It was alright yesterday as he clustered and emptied them both.

I’ve only managed what little sleep I’ve had today because hubby took Elvis after each feed. But what happens when he goes back to work Monday?

Meanwhile as I barely feel alive, going through the motions of eating and sleeping myself, I hear hubby with Elvis and it makes me so envious. They actually spend awake time together. I just feed him and sleep, trying my hardest to stay awake whilst feeding.

But I give in now. My body couldn’t get pregnant. My body couldn’t give birth and I’m not strong enough to feed my son.

I give up

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Nighttime Nightmares

I’m pretty sure that it’s now technically Tuesday but still officially Monday night. Either way, Elvis is still less than a week old. And nighttimes have been the worst.

For the past two nights, settling him has been impossible. Even when we were still in the hospital, Elvis decided he didn’t want to settle. He’s spent one night on his daddy’s chest other than feeding because he would not settle and another night, I spent half of it on the sofa waiting for him to need to feed.

We wondered if it was all my dinner getting to him so late on in the day, so today we changed my meals around to see if the nighttime problems are due to all my energy beans passing to him.

The problem with nighttimes are that everything changes. I can be, at 5am, completely drained having had no sleep and being at the end of my tether, Elvis crying for more feeding despite having done nothing else since midnight, me crying at the sound of his cry, but then the clock turns 0600 and it isn’t just the outside world that seems brighter. Suddenly my lack of sleep means nothing and I have a renewed energy. The crying is no longer so bad and I’m no longer at the end of my tether about to jump off a tightrope just so that everything can be over.

And this remains with me all day, despite barely catching up on sleep until the lights begin to darken outside once more. Because nighttimes truly have been a nightmare where my irrational nighttime mind would want nothing better than to run away and give up. Because that’s what I do.

So far, and it is only half past one so I know there’s a long way to go, I haven’t burst into tears, haven’t declared that, like everything else I simply cannot do this, and I’ve had an hour’s nighttime sleep in bed with hubby (although I woke up severely panicked as to where Elvis was – he’d actually settled in his moses basket.) For over an hour.

Now to hoping he goes back into his basket for another hour.

~ Persephone M

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7 Day Itch… In More Ways Than One

Today is officially my 6th day of maternity (although it’s still actually annual leave) but because the hubby was at football all day Saturday, today is day 7 of alone time.

And hubby’s working late so I’m alone for even longer.

I’m not going to say that I’m bored, I think it might just be a weird day. I’m starting to worry.

A lot.

There are still 9 days until my EDD and aside from a few Braxton Hicks in the early evening there is no sign of Elvis. According to my GP earlier, his head isn’t engaged yet. Meanwhile my friend was induced last night at 37 weeks early.

Her induction truly makes me feel like I’m the last and I’m trying my hardest to not wallow in a TTC state of mind. It’s difficult.

Especially when Elvis isn’t engaged. Especially when, aside from a moses basket stand, I’ve bought everything I think we need. Including yet more clothes! Especially when it still hurts enough as to how we got here, as the days count down I seem to be more and more aware of it.

Especially when my itchy, spot covered stretch marks are still itching like hell and I now seem to have a rash on my arms and I’m itchy all over.

I’m worrying whether he’s anterior or posterior. I’m worrying because the nurse won’t give me a blood test to check my liver until Friday. I’m worrying that multiple people are purposefully arranging a visit that could be far too early for my liking and I seem to have no control. I’m worrying that I’m going to be expected to be fine and coping but that in actual fact I won’t be. I’m worrying that absolutely everyone will be able to tell me how I’m doing everything wrong because they’ve all been there and done that.

I’m worried that I’m going to end up failing at everything like I always have done.

~ Persephone M

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