Persephone: Parent

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37 weeks ago

Although scans say my EDD was 3 days ago, due to having IUI I know exactly when I conceived. Despite my scan EDD saying I’m now in week 40, my conception date (which has to be within 12 hours of insemination) says that tomorrow is the last day of week 39.

In reality, I guess it really doesn’t matter especially as it is only half a week different. Having charted my menstrual cycle for so long though Monday became the day. It was the day I had the insemination, the day my period was always due and the day it was due after the IUI. And then it became the day I had all my appointments and scans.

I like the idea of Elvis being bang on that EDD, not the scan one, but the actual conception one. That’s the next hopeful date anyway! I keep giving him deadlines and he keeps ignoring them. First of all I simply wanted 2 days of Maternity leave, then wait until May, then EDD, then after I’d seen Star Trek: Into Darkness. Now it’s Monday.

At some point he’s going to have meet one of my deadlines.

Anyway, I realised that, 37 weeks ago pretty much right now (about 10pm on Saturday 18th August) I used a new medi-pen and took my final injection. It hurt more than all the others. It freaked me out more than all the others and it gave me a night of insomnia. But it caused me to ovulate all my ready eggs 36 hours later.

One of them became Elvis.

~ Persephone M

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Excitement/Happy?

I’ve been chatting with a fellow mum to be on twitter about being, or not, excited about being pregnant and it got me thinking about when exactly I’ve been excited about my pregnancy.

I remember being nervous wondering if there would be space for me on August’s treatment schedule. I remember blindly trying to believe that hormonal intervention made my period 2 days late rather than hoping it had worked. I remember being nervous and trying to be emotionless as the test went positive.

I remember the nerves waiting for the 7 week scan. I remember the relief and tears as I saw my 7 week old baby with comfortable egg sac and no fears regarding miscarriage. I openly wept in a hospital corridor in pure joy and relief that not only was it not ectopic but my ovaries were not going to lead to needing a termination.

I remember the nerves continuing, not as bad but they did. I remember all the niggles and pains that didn’t go until well over 20 weeks. I remember not feeling comfortable until everyone knew which was 20+ weeks.

But I don’t remember ever really proudly showing off scan pictures. I don’t ever really remember excitedly telling people that it had finally worked, that I was finally pregnant.

I do remember (and still do) gazing at my Alien like moving belly in the bath or on the sofa, talking to him as he still kicks and wriggles. Sometimes I tell him off for hurting me or playing with my hips (it feels weird). Those are the moments I smile in happiness at being pregnant, moments when I know it’s all real, when I know he’s there, but even then it’s not really excitement.

Over the past week my excitement or happiness has been decreasing again. Either through nerves or hormonal shifts, but it is still there buried as deep as it probably always has been.

Everyone experiences pregnancy differently and either because I’m cautious or because it took so much to get here, I don’t want to risk showing my excitement and happiness to anyone other than my husband really.

I publicly announced my pregnancy after 12 weeks and one friend barely even congratulated me, her partner was downright insensitive to me. A few months later at only 6 weeks, she announced her pregnancy to me and honestly expected me to react better than I did. Why should I be more excited for her than she was for me?

I’ll be excited when he’s in my arms. Not because I fear it’ll never happen. Not because the pregnancy’s making me feel like crap. Just… because. And no pregnant woman, or their expectant partner, should be made to feel bad.

Why do people insist on putting such demands on pregnancies? From personal levels of excitement to size of bumps (see earlier post), what’s it got to do with anyone else?

~ Persephone M

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Disconnected

Today I’m wearing a t-shirt that says “It started with a kiss” but, of course it didn’t. It started with tablets, needles, doctors and catheters. But I always assumed that the moment I got pregnant I’d “get over” all my TTC “problems”.

That never happened though and I thought I was alone in that because I had yet to find blogs where someone’s TTC journey had ended in success. Until my due date of all days!

I’m not the only person who struggles with feeling normal through a pregnancy that did not start “normally”.

Scrambled Eggs

I started Hypnobabies this week. The 30 minute guided meditations are making me increasingly aware of how I am failing to connect with this baby. The cd’s ask you to think about your baby, connect with your baby, imagine holding your baby and so on. Hard as I try, I just can’t connect like this and am really struggling to shake the feeling of failure.

I did not make this baby. I did not put this baby inside of me. I did not administer the medications that kept the baby thriving for the first 12 weeks. On ultrasound this baby does not resemble me in the least – it looks like my husband. This baby has hair (I did not). This baby has my husband’s legs, his nose, his face shape, his mouth. This baby was paid for by someone else (my in-laws who now jokingly refer to themselves as the “investors”). This…

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Size and Sensitivity

My post the other day about weighty issues was mainly regarding my freaking out about Elvis’ predicted weight, whereas today it’s more about my size.

It’s all from a tweet I saw earlier about bump sizes and why we care about them, compare them so much. Part of me wants to say, at the basic level it’s simply because that’s what women do. Women are known, not only for comparing themselves to everyone else, but also to care so much about their own size.

Ignoring the pregnancy aspect, magazines are filled with the perfect women, famous women who have the money, time and reason to stay thin. And I do strongly differentiate between thin and healthy. I’ve not been thin since… too many years to count and I started gaining weight the moment I finally got pregnant – too much food! But since January I’ve been doing more exercise than any other 5 month period of my life.

These same magazines have always been filled with the latest pregnant celeb or post-pregnant celeb. However many of them get a perfect tiny little bump. Those that don’t, get this highlighted as if it’s the biggest crime in the world – oh no, not only is she pregnant but she’s also chubby! So that’s what normal women have to try and look like. It’s the same with any weight gain/loss by someone in the public eye – again about someone’s size not health.

So is it really that odd of a thought that normal pregnant women get viewed based on their bump size? Given that to certain extents, bump size is not controlled by the mother whatsoever, but that the media is filled with how we should look pregnant or not. I’m sure Kate Middleton doesn’t like having her bump size discussed. She probably likes it even less that some readers of those media use her images to judge themselves.

My midwife did mention that my bump was a bit larger than it should be, but only by a 2cm measurent. But at the same time I’ve had the shop assistant I regularly see telling me I’m huge. This was before I hit 37 weeks and I’d hardly say I have a relationship with her. Yet every day she’d tell me how huge I am, far larger than her daughter who’s due around the same time.

Then there was my boss who seemed to constantly be telling me that I was huge and wouldn’t last to term. Along with random people at work, whose names I don’t know, who would question why I was still at work when I was so close to term. Well I was still under 37 weeks at that point and kind of glad to finish work so I didn’t have to keep hearing all these people telling me how over-sized my bump was.

All of the above were female, by the way. I’ve only had two men make inappropriate comments on my size – my line manager and my husband. Neither of them meant it, they were just being boys and not knowing what to say.

What might be the most annoying or even hurt the most is my own mother who has questioned if the scan was wrong and there aren’t twins in my belly. Or she questioned (many months ago) if my dates were wrong and that was the reason for my over-sized bump. Gee thanks.

Not forgetting the in-laws who mention my planet-sized bump everytime they speak to my husband.

Before I got pregnant I always hated my weight. I was always convinced I was fat and had this awful belly. I have never been overweight or obese though. From the moment I knew that our IUI had worked, I stopped caring about my weight. I didn’t care how I looked before I even started showing. I didn’t care what clothes size I needed to buy. I was pregnant and as long as my baby and I are healthy, I don’t care if my bump’s big.

But I do care that people keep telling me my bump’s too big. Nothing gives anyone the right to comment on someone’s bump size, but then some people don’t help themselves. I was recently invited to a baby shower where the pregnant host even said it was the last chance to see her fat. Well, maybe she’s happy to be fat as I know I’m not, however there’s a difference between fat and having too big a bump. Are these same people going to tell me I’m fat the day after I give birth of my huge bump? Or will they develop sensitivity?

~ Persephone M
#ElvisIsComing

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A Weighty Issue

For an update, there are now 4 days left until the EDD and I’ve told Elvis that he can be born today (and be a Jedi) or he can wait until after Thursday when Star Trek Into Darkness is out on general release.

However hubby has also pointed out that the EDD should be Monday the 13th as that ties in with ovulation and procedure/conception. So if Elvis doesn’t make it by the 8th (hospital’s EDD) he can then come on the 12th even though according to doctors that would make him almost a week late.

My only real issue with lateness is that I looked at the growth chart in my notes last night. A midwife told me over a month ago that I am measuring as 2 weeks bigger and she doesn’t think I’m carrying lots of water. According to my plotted measurements Elvis is already 9lbs 11!

I’m hoping that along with the EDD being different to medical conception dates, the growth chart is also off slightly because 9lbs is MASSIVE!

I’ve looked at newborn clothing and thought it was massive, that I wanted a baby smaller than that and now, if he is going to be nearly 10lbs, those won’t even fit!

A reliable source has said that bigger babies are easier to labour because the uterine muscles have more to push against than with a littler baby. I will cling to that! I will repeat it over and over as I attempt to labour without pain relief – I may be crazy!

Seriously though, 9lbs 11! That’s crazy big. Please let Elvis be a tiny bit smaller than that!

~ Persephone M

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Is It Any Different?

Apparently tonight is going to be my third night of difficulties going to sleep, but I’m not constantly itching and scratching. Neither am I hysterically crying so this is going to have to end up a better night.

Right?

I’ve always had random bouts of insomnia. The odd night here or there where I just cannot sleep. It doesn’t normally last longer than one night though. I guess pregnancy hormones are a completely different ball game.

I was just lying here, unable to sleep when it dawned on me how similar right now is to all those months I was trying to conceive.

For three years, every 26-27 days my head would start going crazy. I never figured out if it was the hormones already dropping or if it was the anticipation and hope. But every month I would hope and wait, hope a little bit more and it never worked.

I used to think that I was naive and stupid. Every month that’s what I’d tell myself afterwards. Because for those few days leading up to 28/29 (which would become day 1) I became an expert in ignoring my own body.

I would be able to ignore the obvious mood change that would otherwise be screaming period! I would be able to ignore how my breasts hurt or any twinges of period pain. I would be naive and stupid enough to convince myself that they were also signs of pregnancy not failure.

After all those months I became quite good at lying to myself month after month which only ever hurt me more. Deep down I guess that I always knew.

Until the month we did the IUI. It wasn’t our final hope but there was still pressure. That month I had no breakdown. I had no usual signs and yet I still kept telling myself that it couldn’t have worked. I was still trying to lie to myself.

I can remember taking the pregnancy test as my husband showered and I peaked at it before he was ready. I peaked because I knew. Just as, deep down, I’d always known the truth no matter how hard I lied to myself every single month I failed, I knew the IUI had worked.

Now all those hopes and anticipations are the exact opposite.

I’ve read all the first signs of labour and know some of what I should be looking out for so now I keep hoping for them. I keep anticipating them. So perhaps the monthly breakdown of my mental state was more linked to my hopes and anticipations because maybe that’s what’s happening again now.

The hope and anticipation of starting labour, but it not starting yet is causing my tearful breakdowns and down moods.

What truly made me think of all this was when it dawned on me. Where I spent 3 years hoping and praying, ignoring the first twinges of period pain now, as an early sign, I keep hoping and praying for “period pain”.

Of course I’m also hoping that with this revelation my mind calms down and allows me to sleep!

~ Persephone M
#ElvisIsComing

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Planning Nature’s Unplannable

I think its suitably time now to declare that day 3 of my maternity leave is terribly rubbish and all I really want to do constantly is cry.

It started off as mere annoyance that I was having TV problems, but then, I essentially got called anal by a friend and I am fed up with all of this.

Apparently making a birth plan makes one anal because whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. No matter what you write down.

First off, am I that dumb to not be aware of that?

Secondly, a birth plan is a plan, its advice. Mine puts down my main priorities in a birth not exactly how I want it to happen.

I think I’m just generally fed up with everyone else’s opinions. I’m sick of family who had babies 30 years ago telling me that second hand travel cots with no bassinet level is fine for a newborn. Immediately after declaring “they didn’t even have them in my day”.

Then what exactly do you know about travel cots and sleeping newborns?

Fair enough, newborns haven’t changed but knowledge has. And I’m the one who’s been reading, not them.

I’m fed up with people telling me over and over that I need to buy a steriliser and bottles. First of all it was in case I change my mind. Then if there’s a problem. Then so hubby can do night time feeds. Then to give Elvis a drink if he gets thirsty.

I shot every bloody reason down and they finally gave up.

I’m sick of everyone telling me what I should or shouldn’t do. Not when not one of them understands.

It’s been 4 years since we decided to start trying to conceive and whilst we finally managed it, there’s still no real tangible baby yet. And even though there is finally a life maturing within me, almost ready to be, it didn’t happen naturally.

So no one with their advice knows what I’m feeling and thinking.

All their babies were 100% natural from the start.

So don’t tell me the opposite of healthcare professionals and what they advise, not when it was a healthcare professional that enabled me to get pregnant. Don’t tell me to share the feeding with hubby, when I don’t want to.

Don’t tell me that bottles of water will keep Elvis hydrated when that is medically wrong. Don’t tell me that I will need pain relief more than gas and air when it’s of super importance that I try and give birth naturally. Just because we have the ability to not be in pain doesn’t mean we should jump at it being pain free.

Don’t tell me how a newborn should be sleeping when you haven’t waited 4 years for that baby. And don’t tell me that babies have their own timetable because do people really believe that I have issues with things not going to how I planned?

I planned on having a baby when I wanted it. I planned on having my first child 3 years ago. I planned every single month during 3 whole years. And it didn’t all change when I stopped planning.

It changed when a nurse gave me drugs that I injected into myself and when a doctor put a catheter into my uterus and put hubby’s sperm there.

I got married, got the home, got the safe and secure jobs because that’s the first part of any plan to have a baby. But my entire plan went out the window.

So, yes, I plan on giving birth with no pain relief at the hospital I’ve chosen and to then breastfeed.

And I think I’m more aware of any of those family and friends who keep imposing their opinions that plans are simply words carried away by winds.

4 years I’ve been waiting and reading and hoping. So yeah I’m anal enough to write a birth plan and, yeah, I might want a natural birth far more than anyone else, but I spent 3 years with my plans failing because of my own lack of natural ability and if having a 100% natural birth can make me forget that drugs and needles made Elvis then that’s what I’m going to try my hardest for.

~ Persephone M

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Day 65 Encounting: 30 Mondays Ago

Having my Bump, Elvis, be conceived with assistance, I know exactly how many Mondays ago my last period was.

Thirty.

I know that 28 Mondays ago, was the day that the doctor performed the insemination.

And that 26 Mondays ago, I didn’t start my period. After three years of trying to not have a period, 26 weeks ago, it finally happened.

And there’s only 9 Mondays left (until the EDD of course).

I thought I’d start a little list of countdowns, because Elvis’ birth isn’t the only thing that’s coming up.

So we have:

4 Weeks Time: Game of Thrones Season Three Starts.

7 Weeks Time: My maternity leave starts.

65 Days: My EDD and Elvis should be near arrival!

79 Days: Assuming he hasn’t wanted to arrive, this is two weeks past the EDD and therefore I’d be induced?

13 Weeks and 5 Days: family Wedding where I get to show off Elvis to all of his family!

~Persephone M

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Two Thirds of the Way Across

I’m still waiting for my original blog to catch up before I release this blog and publish these posts so I’m trying not to write too much. I will post these few in quick succession though so that both blogs end up back in real time.

My estimated due date, EDD, is 13 weeks today! How freaking scared does that make me?

That means, although nothin’s accurate with these things, that I’m on the final third and, seeing as it’s all measured in thirds, the pregnancy journey – No Man’s Land – is on the final stretch. I sometimes worry that I’m not supposed to get worried. That after three years of trying to conceive (TTC) and being diagnosed as having unexplained infertility, that because of all that effort and stress, the fact that treatment worked should make all of this the best thing in the world.

I’m not one of those people that have enjoyed pregnancy. I spent the first 3 months petrified. The second three (which are supposed to be the nicest) flashed by without me realising that they were even there. And now at the beginning of the final three, I already feel too hugely uncomfortable. It hurts to lie on either side or my back. My pubic bone still randomly hurts, although not as bad as at week 19. And I still have 13 weeks to go!

I spent the first three months declaring that I hated the pregnancy so much (not being pregnant, just its effects on my body) that one child will be more than enough. Of course, having had medical help to conceive it’s all together possible that we would need treatment to get pregnant again anyway. But I’m distracting myself from the rest of the hugeness that will happen (although I’m being fed up with being told I’m *too* big) by getting the house in order, buying the bulkier things I need to sort out. I like shopping so it should provide a good distraction.

And although I feel crappy when trying to sleep at night, Baby Bump is more active during the morning so doesn’t keep me awake and going swimming regularly helps me feel better. My lower abdominal pain is only really present when I walk and the rest of the time I feel fine.

If only near strangers and my parents could stop saying I’m far too big and must be having twins or have my dates wrong. They’re about to give me a complex!

~ Persephone M

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