Apologies. I’ve been AWOL for a few weeks now. It has been an … ummmmmmmmm … interesting few weeks. Are you prepared for a lengthy post? Things have been positive, I guess, in that I think I’ve figured a few things out and the world makes a little more sense. Perhaps. Bad in that a) life continues to be complicated, and b) I got my period. Again. Everyone has their cross to bear, huh?
A few weeks ago, it became clear to me that anxiety has been a part of my life for quite some time. I have some degree of self-awareness, so it has been obvious that since a big change in our lives a few years ago I have struggled to feel a sense of internal calm. At times I have recognised that there have been anxious episodes, but in a moment of revelation two weeks ago in the midst of an anxiety related-tight chested-out of control panic, I knew I needed to do something. I knew that anxiety had been hiding in a small, dark corner of my brain. And, I knew where it had all begun.
The birth of Little One was anticipated with much excitement but didn’t go swimmingly. The important thing was that we had a healthy baby at the end of it and so I left hospital planning to dust myself off, heal and enjoy my child. But after having trouble feeding, sobbing my way through the day 3 baby blues and getting approximately one second sleep in about 5 days, I hit a brick wall early on. I hate saying these words for fear of being punished (oh, the irony of suffering with secondary infertility!), but those very early days had little enjoyment. In the following weeks, we sorted the feeding, found a rhythm and got some rest. I felt more level and more myself. I was enjoying being a mother. For the most part anyway. I remained anxious about my Little One at night time, when I was asleep too, and wasn’t in total control of protecting her. I felt anxious if she became unwell, when I wasn’t in control of what was happening to her, even though she has only ever had minor illnesses. I felt anxious about handing her to other people, when I wasn’t there for her and in control of her safety. But, I managed this anxiety. I never let it stop us doing anything or going anywhere, even though it pushed my comfort zones occasionally. Slowly it became easier as we got through all the firsts. The first cold, the first vomiting episode, the first night away from her, the first day at day care. I became the parent I always planned on being. The parent I really am without the anxiety.
Since ‘The Big Change’ several years ago, I think anxiety has been building back up. I’ve obviously had other things to deal with, including this whole baby making episode, and I thought they were at the root of my internal turmoil and it was just a case of getting pregnant and feeling settled. Getting out of this limbo. However, this revelation a few weeks ago made me see that these other issues are making me feel out of control and that, in turn, causes me anxiety. The anxiety presents itself ridiculously. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about the things we had done that day and what could have gone wrong. What COULD have gone wrong! It is generally always parenting related. It is about keeping Little One safe, making good decisions for her or just generally doing things that are not part of her usual routine. It’s about how I love her so much, it is physically hurting me. My heart is literally bursting with love and a need to do right by her. And so, I completed the picture … I am trying to get pregnant with my second child, whilst being frozen with fear because of what it means to be a parent to the one I have. Believe me, this fact was not lost on me. Is this causing, in part or in full, my unexplained infertility? It certainly can’t be helping, right?
Fear not, I’m working on it. I’ve made an appointment to talk to someone, because essentially I am not an over protective, helicopter parent. I have a parenting philosophy that don’t marry with these anxieties I am feeling of late. I need to calm this shit down. I need to be able to give this most beautiful child I of mine wings to fly, and allow in with a fearless heart, the child who is yet to come to us. Having children is to open something inside you that is so full of the most wonderful, yet painful type of love. It’s about loving someone that you feel is yours, only to send them out into a world that can seem scary, dangerous and unpredictable. Before Little One was born, I could never have predicted how powerful the feelings I would have for her could be. I knew I would love her, but I wasn’t prepared for the need to manage the fear and the pain that comes with cherishing her wonderful little soul. She is everything to me. Everything. Managing the anxiety is not only necessary to enjoy watching Little One grow but also, I think, crucial in helping us give her a sibling and us another child. Giving her a sibling will probably help me feel a little less anxious about the future that awaits her, but I will have to watch out for that pesky post-natal anxiety second time around.
In other news, I saw my OB/GYN and asked for a referral to a specialist. 4 Clomid cycles down and nothing I told him. I’m done with where we are at, and need to move this on. I’ve got a referral to a lovely looking lady. She looks kind anyway on her photo on the internet. Miss Acupuncture recommended her, and I’ve read some good things about her online. I’ve been dreading saying goodbye to our natural fertility due to some misguided sense of failure, shame and maybe even embarrassment. But I actually felt good leaving that appointment. I felt lighter. It definitely feels like a positive step forward. Whilst I update you on this, let me tell you about some random progesterone levels. I asked my OB/GYN what my levels were from the blood work he did during my first two Clomid cycles (I knew they were positive for ovulation but not the actual stats). Well, he explained that pre- Clomid my luteal phase progesterone was around 13. With Clomid it went first to 83, and then in the second month to 153! What the …? What does this mean? Does this say something about my pre Clomid levels?! How can they be so different but both be in ‘normal’ range?! He even had written ‘pregnant’ with a question mark written next to the second result as it was so high! Hahhahhahhahhahah. Hah. Hah. If I wasn’t so fed up of the whole caboodle it would have been mildly amusing. Anyway, I came away with a green light to do another Clomid cycle whilst waiting for the specialist appointment. If nothing else, he said, it is giving you an extremely solid luteal phase. Roll on seeing this lady, and getting some magic happening …
Now I have finished unloading a heavy post, I also wanted to send out the biggest thank you to spiritbabycomehome who nominated me for an inspirational blogger award. I am still mighty honoured (even though it was a few weeks ago) to have been nominated by such a lovely, courageous lady and wonderful blogger. It might not come as a surprise that I haven’t had the headspace to do my part in this nomination in the last couple of weeks, but let it be known that it made me all warm and fuzzy and I will put some of my emotional baggage aside and post recognition out there for the infertility bloggers that give me hope and encouragement to ride this storm out.