Persephone: Parent

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Sharing the Journey

I’ve never secretive or embarrassed about how I got pregnant. I’ve never hidden my 3 years of trying to get pregnant, or that we used fertility treatment to finally get Elvis.

Obviously that’s the case – it’s the whole point of my original blog!

But it’s also true for the real world. I share links to this blog on my facebook and on my personal twitter. This has caused a few problems with people not seeing eye to eye with me regarding social media.
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Space Monster Moon Walking

From Daily Post: Green Eye Monster

Dearest Friends,

You all beat me.

You all won the race, leaving me behind in the salty dust.

You weren’t in a race. None of you strived forward.

You didn’t try and trip me. You didn’t think of me at all like that.

And for your harmless, innocent walk through life, what do you get from me?

You get a green eyed baby full of resentment and anger, brought into this world by such unconventional means.

You get a friend who watched as your lives innocently passed by as she was stuck moon walking her way through a nightmare.

Even now the monster within still resides for each and every one of you.

Your natural sleep, no rule breaking involved.

Your natural birth, no cutting off of corners involved.

Your natural conception, no cheating there.

My artificially made monster that needs to return from the alien environment once he stops being fed.

My eyes will forever be green. But time may calm my monster.

With loving friendship xoxo

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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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Elvis In the Womb

 

Some scan pictures of Elvis still in the womb:

august 15th egg cOk, so this is a scan of one of my follicles before ovulation/insemination/conception. I had three follicles ready to burst so the chances of this containing half of Elvis’ DNA is 33.3333%

EPSON MFP imageThis is the first “baby” scan at 7 weeks, it was used to check that there were no ectopic pregnancies, no OHSS and to check the egg sac and lining levels.

EPSON MFP imageThe 12 week scan, made no easier because I had a 7 week. Here is Elvis waving!

EPSON MFP imageAnd the last time I saw Elvis before his birth – 20 week scan. Taken on Christmas Eve with the Christmas present of telling us it was a he – Elvis!

So there he is, Elvis in the womb!

~ Persephone M

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Day 283: Verbalising the Worries

Yesterday I was reading through the blogs I follow that I get emails for and one of them stood out to me. I’ll try and find the blog link before posting.

The blogger said that they had been reading about mentally preparing yourself for labour and I wondered exactly what they meant. I’ve done my fair share of reading the facts with regards to labour and then, when it became relevant, induction, choosing to ignore people’s advice from their own experiences due to individual variability. It’s my preference to have knowledge and information regarding processes, signs and symptoms without knowing everyone’s horror stories.

So was that what the blogger meant? No, the blogger had read some information about verbalising, and therefore releasing, your fears, doubts and worries, that by keeping those things in a body could stop or at least hinder labour.

I don’t want to get into discussions or pros and cons or any sort of debate any more than I want people offering up their birth stories or unsolicited advice, but surely verbalising any kind of worry is good for the soul? It’s similar to writing lists before bed to get worries off your mind, not trying to solve the problems just simply getting them off your chest.

As I happened to be reading my emails with hubby sitting next to me I decided to verbalise my issues to him and he sat there and simply listened because there was nothing he could really say. He listened as I told him how I’m concerned that I’ve put all this pressure on myself regarding the birth. He patiently sat there as I admitted that I feel like a failure, that I’ve always considered our fertility problems being my body and my failure. For three years, once a month my body failed and, yeah, fair enough I’ve suceeded in growing this baby and nourishing this baby and doing as much as I possibly can for the good of this baby, but I can still be a failure.

And I don’t even mean the hugely pessimistic failure of something going so wrong that I still don’t get my baby dream. No, I mean that I can fail yet again because of an inability to give birth without assistance. And this isn’t a perceived view of how labour must go from propaganda where some organisation states that nature is best; it’s something I’ve decided that has become a stronger and stronger notion.

I tend to view it as that I was a failure in getting pregnant (you know that thing women are built for) I don’t want my body to fail in labour. By no means do I think that women who require assistance in labour as failures, just as no one else with fertility problems, no one else still sadly in the trenches, as failures. It’s just me! And I’ve now built it up to a huge thing all on my own.

He didn’t even laugh when I told him that I was scared to give birth because then I’ll have to share Elvis, even if it’s sharing Elvis with hubby. Which is crazy, but for however many months Elvis and his kicks, punches and reactions to being tickled have made him so tangible and my child that I don’t want to lose that. I sat there and told him I was concerned that I would push him away because until Elvis is born he is all mine.

Oh, and all the stuff about how I know he’s safe all the time whilst he’s still in me and once he’s out there are far too many things that I can’t control.

And so I told hubby all this stuff, crying very slightly at the time, but if I have been holding Elvis in, maybe now I’ve let the words out I can let him out. I haven’t solved any of my concerns/worries/fears, but I have shared them. So, come on, Elvis!

~ Persephone M

Blog I read: The Solo Mama Project

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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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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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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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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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Will it Always Be

I’ve said before that I think I’ll always consider myself fertility challenged and that until I reach the elusive Other Side, I could end up right back in the Trenches with all those others TTC.

I’d like to think that, all being well with Elvis, if I ever wanted a second I’d never liken that inevitable heartache with the 3 years I suffered and what those still TTC their first go through. They’re sure to be similar, both wanting something far outside of your reach, but they’re also world’s apart.

With a little over 2 weeks until my EDD it’s still all so uncertain. I could still lose everything and have my desperate run for life be shot down at the final hurdle. I honestly thought things would get better, that I’d stop feeling like this when I got pregnant because I was/am lucky enough to have conceived with assistance. Naively I knew that I’d never stop feeling infertile but I hoped it’d feel better.

It doesn’t feel better.

Despite feeling a 37 week Elvis kicking me I still feel like crap when someone else gets pregnant, when someone else is lucky enough to skip over all the pain and heartache I went through. I don’t hate them, not like I used to, but I still can’t deal with them.

Will it always be like this? Or will Elvis heal it all? How can I stop all of this coming between me, my family and my friends?

~ Persephone M

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