Still dealing with post partum depression after IVF

I thought I was over my post partum depression, but it seems to be creeping up on me again. I felt that I really had it with my first baby and now with the second, I thought I was okay.  You see, after longing for my sweet baby, I had a fantasy of what it was going to be like to have my baby.  I didn’t realize that my baby was going to be fussy almost all the time. I didn’t realize that I would have to sleep train him or that almost everyone would give me “advice.”  I didn’t realize the stress that having a baby would put on my marriage. I thought that I would have support from my family, but just the opposite happened. I’m not blaming anyone.  This is just the way it happened. I felt and still do feel guilty that I’m having all these feelings. After all, I was the one that chose to have a baby by having an embryo physically put into me.

I remember seeing all the other moms who just seemed to have everything together and here I was a very unconfident, stressed, confused, and an exhausted mom with no support trying to make it through minute to minute. I’m sure there are other moms out there who feel like that, but many times you feel so alone.

Honestly, I feel like I’ve messed up. I feel like I’ve made so many mistakes with my first baby and am probably making more mistakes with my second. I love them so much, but I know I’ve done things wrong and one is only a toddler and another an infant. I know moms out there may want to say…there’s more to come. Honey, if you think you have messed up now…just wait.

I just feel that I went through so much to get pregnant that you would think that I would do better for my kids. I struggle with this and it depresses me.

I excessively worry about my children. I’m always worrying that maybe I will miss something. I am responsible for these children.  I’m reaching the point of accepting that I will mess up…like most parents, but hope to have done the best that I could for these little blessings who I love dearly.

 

Stranger grabbing my baby out of my hands

Have you ever had a stranger take your baby out of your hands? I was at the doctor’s office today and this lady was smiling and laughing at my baby. I was sitting with my baby on my lap. She just grabbed and held her. She laughed with her and said how cute she was…I grabbed her out of her hands, but never said anything.  The receptionist saw this and said she felt very awkward about the situation.  I was shocked this stranger did this and am upset at myself that I even let this happen. It was a few seconds, but the point is I should have held onto my baby.  I’ve been thinking about this all day. I know I need to protect my children.  Has this or anything similar happened to you and how did you handle it?

Exhaustion

Have you ever just felt so exhausted that you were paralyzed? Yes, I know…it’s called parenting.  Sometimes I forget what it’s like to just sit on the couch and watch tv eating chips and guac.  Oh how I miss those Lifetime movies. Yes I love my children…probably too much if that’s a thing.  I feel guilty saying I miss Lifetime movies when I have two little gems. Crazy…I know. I should just get over it and live a little. Chips here I come! We will see how it goes.

How about when you pull up to your driveway and sit because undoing your seatbelt and walking in your house takes too much energy? I know that this exhaustion happens to people without children as well, but having to unbuckle and carry two little people in somehow makes it just soooo beyond exhausting. I know someone reading this may be like, why are you complaining? I’m not…I’m just saying. Then to have to make dinner or do laundry…I’m done! That is life though. I know people have it much worse.

It’s taken me over 3 days to write this post. If my posts are all over the place, I apologize. I’m not going to pretend I have it all together. My two little ones were napping and now one is up and the other one is going to get up. I’m still exhausted. I took a quick ten minute “nap” while I was holding my 8 month old. I kept telling myself to get up so I can do things around my house.  One day I’ll clean my house…one day!

I feel I should just end here because I could just ramble about being so unenergetic!

 

Fussy Baby Compassion

I tried to do everything right, especially since I waited for this baby for what seemed to be forever. My sweet baby came and was a fussy, little guy. I still call him sweet because he is my baby and even though his temperament was not easy, he was and still is my little man.

I wanted to let other parents out there know that I understand what it is like to have a fussy baby. I remember always having anxiety when we would go out if I ever risked doing that because I never knew when he would have a “break down.”  When that break down came, my heart would race and I would get into survival mode.  There was no gradual crying. It went straight to loud, screaming crying.  The stress this caused my partner and I was intense.  We eventually got through it with a strict schedule and then we were more flexible as he got older.

The whole point is…if you are going through this you are not alone. It can be very stressful and can really bring you down. It did for me and then gradually got better. We tried a lot of different things. As mentioned, we really worked on a consistent schedule, we used different swaddles and sleep sacks, white noise, darkening his room, a bedtime routine, etc.  Did all these things fix his fussiness and sleep associations? No, but they helped. We eventually sleep coached. I know that some people don’t believe in this, but we did what we had to do.  That’s all we could do. We had to try…for our baby boy.

It would have helped if we had support from family and others, but we didn’t. That made it harder. We would get comments about his early bedtime and about how “serious” our baby was during that time.  As first time parents, you don’t want or need to hear that.  You are trying your best.  Now, I can’t speak for my husband, but I feel more confident and stronger about my decisions. I did whatever I could to help my baby sleep. This included car rides on a daily basis. I know…I know…you shouldn’t get your baby used to this, but guess what…if baby don’t nap, baby don’t sleep at night and baby wake up very early in the morning. Not healthy for baby and not healthy for mommy or daddy, so eventually you work on these sleep associations.

So basically, if you have a fussy baby or even toddler…try different things and see what works and know that you are not alone.  Am I an expert? No, but I’m just sharing my experience. You do what you need to do.  Have some compassion for yourself.  I wish I did. I’m still working on it.

 

 

Parenting classes

My husband and I couldn’t wait to sign up for parenting classes.  I couldn’t believe it! After all this time of dreaming for a baby, we were finally going to classes for our baby.  The anticipation of him was so exciting. I couldn’t wait to learn about what labor and birth were going to be like  or how to take care of this little angel. I took so many notes.  I wanted to be great at parenting right from the start. After all, I’ve waited a while for this and I was not going to mess it up. My baby was going to be the best baby.  My baby was going to smile and sleep well. My baby and I were going to connect in a deep level as I breastfed.  My husband and I were going to be so happy. Happy times were our way.  Uh…yea…that’s exactly the way it happened. Not!

I want to say that I have never taken my children for granted, but those parenting classes do not prepare you for the REAL deal and I know that nothing prepares you more than experience, but what about telling parents how very hard it will be? What about it taking you an hour to get your baby to sleep and then your baby maybe sleeps an hour if you are lucky, and then your baby feeds for an hour and then it takes you an hour to get your baby to sleep. Your nipples are cracked and your baby is sucking your blood. No, it was not my latch (that’s a different blog!) Or how about your baby screaming like crazy and you constantly walking and bouncing him around?! Or how about you being afraid to go out in public because you are not sure when he is going to have a break down or how about you driving around for naps and sitting in your car for your baby to fall asleep so you can sit in peace for a little until he wakes up from a sleep cycle and then you start driving again to get him to go back to sleep?!

But wait…I learned how to change a diaper in my parenting class. Okay, that is not fair…I learned much more, but my point is that I would have preferred some more honestly about the newborn/infant stage. Perhaps your baby was not like this or the teachers teaching the class had “easy” babies. All I know is life got crazy and extra stressful during this time.

Of course I love my babies, but wow…it was a crazy ride!

Going through infertility

Everyone’s story is different, yet we are all connected. Infertility…infertility.  That word.  Ugh! I remember going through it all. You may ask, am I truly infertile if I have 2 babies while others are still waiting for their babies? It was not an easy journey and I know that others may have a more difficult time, but for me it was very difficult. I feel everyone’s situation is different and there are a lot of factors that impact that journey.  I know what it’s like to want to have a child more than anything in the world.  It was so hard to hear about pregnancy announcements, especially at work. It was so hard to see those bellies growing and to go to baby showers.  It wasn’t just difficult  to experience these things, but to actually “act okay” even though inside of you, you are in so much emotional pain.  I experienced all this and held onto hope. I also experienced these things in secret.  Did my family know? Very little of my journey.  My husband, my doctor, God and I only knew of the details.  I chose this secret journey.  This is how I wanted it at the time.  The fact that I am even blogging about this is a big step.  I went through artificial insemination and several ivf cycles and transfers along with a couple of polypectomies, not to mention chemical pregnancies. I know that other women may have gone through more and I never complained about my journey, but it was very difficult at the time.  What is or what was your journey like?

Taking it all in

I spent an extra amount of time holding my toddler during bedtime.  I imagined him back in my belly and remembered all the scans we did before he was born. I loved the anticipation of him. I miss that feeling and kind of feel guilty saying that. Of course I love my toddler boy and baby girl, but that anticipation of baby was so exciting…at least for me. Part of me feels sad that we did not have the birth experience that I imagined. We ended up with a c-section which in the end I was fine with, but I just wished it happened 20 hours earlier. I think about my baby boy being stuck so low for hours and feeling the stress my body was going through waiting for him to come out. Sometimes I think that’s why he cried a lot when he was born. It makes me sad. You see…I’ve waited for this baby for so long. Suffering with infertility like so many people is a process.  To want something so bad. After 13 months we were pregnant with our baby girl.  So blessed. Her birth was a different experience. I with I could redo things with both of them and they are only so little. All I could do is try my best.