Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ready for another baby

I said I would explain this in another post and here it is. During the seven years it took me to have my daughter, I always thought that if I ever did get pregnant, I would be thrilled if I got pregnant again quickly after my first. Many people say that once you have one the rest can come easier. As we know this is neither truth nor fact. It is something that can happen but doesn't mean that it will.

With my daughter, I had a fairly easy pregnancy. No complication to speak of and it all went really well up until about a week and a half before she was born. At one of my doctor appointments I had my membranes stripped because I was ready to have my daughter and to be a mom. I had been told that it can help speed up the process. What I didn't know was that it put me into false labor. I lost count of how many times I thought that I might be going into labor but every time after about 4 hours of contractions, my contractions would stop. After about a week of this the contraction pulled a muscle in my back causing the contractions to be almost unbearable. I knew I couldn't wait for my next appointment to figure out what was going on. So on my daughters due date, I called the doctors office to see if they could check me and see if I was even close to being ready to go into labor.

Once the Midwife checked me, she told me I would probably be having my baby that day especially if she stripped the membranes again. At that point I was ready to try anything to go into labor. 4 hours later I was checked into the hospital. It was all progressing wonderfully until I got stuck at being 7 cm dilated for 5 plus hours. This started my experience of the worst pain of my entire existence. This pain was unfathomable. A few years before I got pregnant I had experienced the pain of a massive cysts rupturing and I remember thinking, if I can handle this, I can handle labor, no problem. Little did I know at that time how extremely wrong I was.

The pain is one thing, but its the psychological side that adds a whole different dimension to labor that isn't talked about as much as the pain. While my pain was beyond description, the fact that my baby's life hung in the balance of what was happening to me, this precious life that I had prayed so fervently for, added another level of pain to the situation. Relief from this pain finally came once the midwife told me I needed to get an epidural or have a C-section. I opted for epidural.

After my daughter was born, she was beautiful, prefect and everything I could have hoped for. They say that your child is your heart walking around on the outside of your body and the day that she was born, I felt like I had given birth to my heart as well. 

I was so in love with my daughter and it felt that love grew more and more every day until one day it was all different. I remember a couple weeks after all the family had left and it was just me and her at home, I was sitting on the couch listening to her cooing and making little noises, and I burst into tears of sadness and guilt. I couldn't stop crying. I didn't understand why I was feeling the way I was feeling. I shouldn't be sad, instead I should be extremely grateful for the opportunity to be this child's mother. I had prayed many years for this exact moment. Why was I crying? Why was I sad? I kept thinking of all the women I knew that would love to be in my situation and wouldn't be sad at all. I felt so guilty for feeling sad. I had heard of the baby blues and never thought it could happened to me.

Soon after I started feeling this way, I started feeling sick and it felt like all the energy I once had, had been completely drained from my body. I was having a hard time even getting off of the couch! I felt like a failure. I had prayed to be a mother, I had prayed for this opportunity and now I was having a hard time taking care of my self let alone my three month old baby. The guilt at times was almost crushing. I finally decided it was time to see the doctor about what was going on. I wish I was strong enough to have admitted my feeling about being sad but I was too proud and felt like I could blame the way I was feeling on my other health issues. The doctor was very kind and helped me figure out what was going on. I was in the middle of a hormonal imbalance. I was producing too much thyroid hormone and it was the root of my health problems. This issue was actually due to giving birth and it is something that I will have to watch out for again if I do get pregnant.

Once I started to feel better physically I knew I needed to work on my emotions. Through talking with some amazing friends, I knew I wasn't alone in the way I was feeling. I started to process all the raw emotions that had surfaced. I first realized that I felt guilty because I had used an epidural during labor. I had felt that I hadn't done enough for my baby and that I must have done something wrong to have had to use an epidural. I was secretly glad when I heard of other mothers who had used an epidural because I felt that I wasn't the only failure and then I would feel guilty for feeling that way. I have since coped with these feelings and understand where I erred. There is absolutely NO SHAME in needing and epidural. It would be nice if all of our bodies felt pain the same and if labor was just like a bad period, but that is not how it goes and I am grateful for the modern technology that is provided for us to find relief and in case like mine, bring that relief at the right time to help mother and in turn it does help the baby.

I understand that each pregnancy story is different and you can have a woman that has had 8 children and each labor could be drastically different as well. If I'm able to get pregnant again I understand that my second pregnancy and labor could and probably will be completely different then the first and I'm ok with that. I would still like to try it without an epidural but the next time around there wont be any shame involved if I choose to use an epidural. I will know I did my best and that is all that can be expected out of me.

Next I needed to deal with the guilt of feeling sad. Through lots of prayer and study, I came to peace with the fact that it was ok for me to feel a bit blue after my daughter was born. Just because I had prayed for this blessing and it was one of the deepest desires of my heart, didn't mean I had to be exempt from feeling the way that any mother could feel after having a baby. The desires of my heart had nothing to do with the chemical imbalance going on in my head. This one was a little harder for me to deal with and I couldn't do it alone. I had to reach out for help from my husband, my friends and my savor. Although the days of feeling sad are gone, I do have to remind myself from time to time that it doesn't matter how this child came into my family, I am a mother and I can have the same moments of frustration, happiness, tired and joy that any other mother is entitled to. I am not exempt because of my infertility.

Today I am sitting her writing this because although, my husband and I haven't used contraceptives of any kind, once my cycle started again, I was secretly afraid of getting pregnant again. Every doctor kept telling me that I could get pregnant again and when my period started 7 months after giving birth, I wasn't emotionally ready. Then came the guilt again. I knew I wanted to get pregnant again at some point but not yet. Before the birth of my daughter I had always said that we wouldn't use birth control because it took us 7 years to get her and I didn't want to wait another 7 years for the next one. I felt selfish for feeling like I wasn't ready to be pregnant when 2 years earlier I would have killed to be in the position I was currently in. As I worked through this new emotion it dawned on me, I knew how to handle being infertile and I didn't know how to be fertile. I knew I had to put it in the lords hands and that what ever happens we would grateful.

My daughter is now a year old and the desire to give her a sibling is starting to burn with in my heart again. The emotions of the past year have strengthened me, helped me to grow and have made me a better wife, mother, and woman. Am I fertile or infertile? That is a good question because I don't know where I fit and only time will tell. But what I know now is that come what may, I'm ready.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Coming back

It dawned on me the other night that it has almost been 3 years since I started this blog,  almost 2 years since my last post and over a year since I have even checked this blog. I feel like I have abandoned something that was such a part of me for a year and really abandoned a topic that so impacted/impacts my life.

Let me begin with where I have been. The February after I completed my one year challenge of blogging, I found out on Valentines day that I was pregnant. I never thought that it could happen and you would think I would have been ecstatic but to be honest I was in shock. I told my husband and he couldn't believe it either. He wanted me to take 10 more pregnancy test right then but I had to get to work. 

All day I wanted to believe that this was truly real but a huge part of me felt that it was too good to be true. There was no way I was pregnant! It would have explained why I was feeling the way I was but at the same time, it didn't seam possible. We were hoping to adopt. I had mourned over the loss of not being able to get pregnant. I had accepted the fact that I wouldn't have my own biological children and that our children would come to us through adoption. To find out I was pregnant, almost felt like a foreign concept to me. Like a dream that had almost been forgotten brought back to life.   

That night I took one more test and it came back invalided. It was a digital test so I decided invalid wasn't good enough so I tore it apart to find the test strip inside. Sure enough there were two lines. The next mornings test confirmed again that I was in fact pregnant. Throughout our years of infertility I had never seen those two little lines, so to have more then one test come out positive, I knew it must be. The next morning I set up a doctors appointment to have every thing checked out. The two months prior to finding out I was pregnant my periods were really crazy. I had 3 cycles in that time so it wasn't a shock to me that it was off again that month. I had been spotting and just thought I was going to have a bad period but it never came.

At our Doctors visit it was confirmed that we did have a little bug growing inside of me. We even got an early ultrasound and found out that we were about 8 weeks along. Longer then I had originally thought. By that time, reality had sunk in that I was in fact pregnant but it hadn't really for my husband. After the ultrasound he asked me if I still needed to get blood work done to make sure I was pregnant. I told him there wasn't a need because we were for sure pregnant and saw our baby on the screen.

While we both struggled with the reality of this pregnancy I know it was hardest on Robert. I would go to bed at night and be afraid that I would wake up the next morning and find out that I wasn't really pregnant, that I never had been and that it was a dream my mind had conjured up. Each morning though, I was still pregnant. Even once we moved across the country and I quit my job, I would still sometimes wake up not sure of my surroundings and think that I needed to get to work, but for me I felt our little girl inside of me. I felt her spirit and couldn't deny the life that was developing in me. Robert saw me get sick, saw the changes that were happening to me, but the moment for him that he was going to be a father, didn't really hit till he was holding our little girl in his arms. Little Jacky was born in October of 2012 and at that moment I saw the realization in his eyes and love in his heart for this precious little human. He was finally a father and I a mother to our own little child.

Fast forward a year and I find my self with a one year old and facing many of the same fertility problems that I did before I got pregnant the first time. I have finally talked myself into the fact that its ok if we get pregnant again (that is a story I will post about later), but I don't know what to expect. It is like we are starting the journey to fertility all over again but doing it the second time brings a whole different set of challenges and issues.

I'm hoping to use this blog to express these feeling, challenges and talk about this new chapter in my journey.

PS. This may also be used to post random thoughts not related to fertility. It will just depend on my mood. :)