When parenting pressure possibly prevents pregnancy.

Hey there! Long time, no speak. I don’t have a reason for it, other than I guess time flew before I felt the need to rant/unload/share anything. The basic truth is I was feeling rather good, and rather positive despite this being cycle 24. That was until 6 days ago, when I had an almighty emotional crash for some random reason that I couldn’t even figure out for a day or two. Hence, my logging in to my blog to rant/unload/share.

So, back up … Last time I blogged, I wrote about figuring out how anxiety is impacting my life and that I had decided to speak to someone. Fast forward to now, and I have had 3 lovely appointments with an extremely kind and warm lady. I instantly felt the difference after walking out of my first appointment. It was liberating. I have never had any sort of counselling before, but I happily blabbed away to my heart’s content. I came away feeling so much lighter and so much more positive.

Last week though, I felt my positivity came crashing down and I was left with tears, anger and frustration and I couldn’t see which way was up. It was so confusing. I even felt angry and about feeling angry. I was frustrated I had tripped up, emotionally speaking. But our paths are rocky, eh? No path is smooth in life. And this path I am on, finding my way back to emotional paradise, where downs are only dips, recovery from a minor stressful moment is instant and every day holds mostly happy thoughts, self-worth, fulfilment and laughter; it is a little rocky. I am lucky though. Most of my days contain happy thoughts a plenty, laughter and dips rather than downs if there are any. Many people have much darker times than me, I know that. Sometimes, I feel like I go for a little visit to see those people though. I feel the turmoil, the self-doubt, the negative self-talk. I see how dark it can be. I hear the screams of panic, cries for help and pleas for the pain to go away. I am lucky. Those times are fleeting for me. I probably get dragged there by my hormones if I’m honest. I visited this weekend just gone, but only for a short while. I’m back in my world now, and it is a sunny day.

Being back here gives me a chance to assess what I saw, felt and heard. It gives me a brief chance to talk to my subconscious about what is going on. This weekend I discovered that I’m angry about how our society parents in the western world (I’m talking a general thing here). I also discovered that I question my strength to bring another child into a world where parenting is in such crisis, putting them in potential situations that I’m not comfortable with. What am I going on about I hear you ask? Let me elaborate …

Personally, I feel that as a parenting society too many of us over protect our children and are judgemental of others. As a parenting society we are so afraid of hurting our children’s feelings, we can’t see through it to make good decisions for our offspring. As a parenting society, we act for our children before teaching them the tools to act for themselves. As a parenting society, in being so desperate to do the perfect job we are actually sending our children the wrong messages.

I put myself in the group of parent in crisis. I am desperate to do the best job, and ensure my child is not hurt in any manner. I put an immense amount of pressure on myself. But do you see how I am setting myself up for failure? I cannot do the best parenting job ever, because I am human. I make mistakes. There will be times I make the wrong decision. There will be times I lose my patience. But I also love my child more than life itself. I provide her with healthy food, clean clothes and motivating toys and activities. I try to teach her how to be a good friend, how to use manners and right from wrong. I try to teach her about the world, differences, similarities, how to be healthy and letters and numbers. I do the best I can do with all that I have. Surely, I am a good parent because of these things?

A friend of mine had something happen to her daughter at school with another child. She was unhappy, to say the least. Apparently, the other child was totally in the wrong, and the situation was dealt with at school. No child was hurt physically, and it was a ‘normal’ schoolyard one off clash as far as I could tell. However, my friend was in total anguish about the whole thing! She felt angry towards the other child. She felt angry towards the school for letting it happen. She felt guilty about sending her child to this school (they had recently moved there). She worried it would stop her daughter settling in and being happy. She entertained pulling her out! Stop. Stop. Stop. Surely this story should have stopped at, ‘the situation was dealt with at school.’ Perhaps rather than my lovely friend feeling so terrible about the whole thing, she should have stepped back, realised that in the path to being a fully developed social being children make mistakes! They do silly things that hurt feelings and occasionally body parts. Some children do things because they are hurting so bad inside. Perhaps rather than letting her child see the guilt and anger she had, she could have taught her how to be compassionate and loving. She could teach her how to be resilient and get back in that classroom with her head held high. She could have used the school community as a resource to help her child develop. She could have turned into something so wonderful, but instead chose to give her child a different message. In my eyes, the wrong one.

OH PARENTS OF THE WORLD HEAR ME! Putting your child first does not always mean instant gratification and even instant happiness for them. We must stop pressuring ourselves to be the ones who make our child happy 100% of the time. Our job is to teach them HOW to be a good, happy person in the world, who knows how to overcome obstacles when they arise. And they will. Just look at me and you!

So, how does this all come back to me and my blog about Secondary Unexplained Infertility? Well, I’m thinking I’ve (and by I’ve I mean my subconscious) been doubting my parenting approach at times, as it sometimes goes against the grain and in some small and bizarre way I feel a little guilty that I have brought Little One into a world that expects her to be bloody darn perfect despite her being so small. However, it is funny this is a thing for me, as Little One has many wonderful traits and we actually get lots of positive comments about her. She isn’t always perfect though. Yesterday she shouted at me because I had distracted her (it wasn’t on purpose!) and spoiled her playdough creation. I could make an excuse and defend her actions, like so many Mums do, but I’m not going to. Because she is not always perfect and that is OK. And that finally leads me to trying for Baby number 2 … Can I bring another imperfectly perfect little being into the world, to face criticism, judgement and labelling? Do I have the strength to just love my children for who they are, and ignore any whispers about their flaws? Do I have enough belief in the fact that my husband and I love them enough that nobody else needs to?

I think I can answer yes to these questions, because I am pretty sure it is fear who is asking them.

So, I count down to the end of cycle 24 … Bloated. Check; perhaps more so than normal, but hey perhaps I’m just kidding myself. Emotional and irritable . Check; and extremely so around 6dpo and 7 dpo. Swollen breasts. Check, well a little. I hope this is the one.

Crazy on Clomid

Woah! Well, that was a crazy few days.  Thankfully I feel my normal self again now (which, thanks to this journey, some might describe as a bit irrational at times anyway), but for a day or two there I seriously felt on the edge. So much for the Zen like state I talked about in my last blog! Here’s how my first Clomid experience went …

I took the first Clomid tablet on Thursday night. It went down quite easily, and I imagined the good work it would do within my body. I had read that there could be some side effects, but didn’t think too much of it as I haven’t ever had a strong adverse reaction to any medication before. That night was not a great night sleep. I ended up getting to sleep really late, and my little one was up ridiculously early. Now, I’m never great without a good night sleep at the best of times, but the next day I was INSANE! No sleep and Clomid did bad things to my emotions. The smallest thing caused me to burst into feelings of rage, impatience or irritation beyond anything I experience during PMT. I cancelled everything we had planned that day, wallowed in my emotions and hid away from the world.

The irony was that this fertility med that I took (combined with a lack of sleep) to try to get me pregnant made me lose all my patience with my little one, and took away all the enjoyment I usually get from our time together. We cozied up for the day (because a duvet day was all I could muster), and my little one, probably wondering what entity had taken over Mum’s body, was gentle and sweet and tried to raise a smile from me. I try so hard to keep the emotional torment of this journey hidden from my little one. It’s ok and healthy to see parents dealing with negative emotions here and there, but sometimes on this journey they are so overwhelming for me; I don’t want her to see where they take me. It’s too dark there.

But on this day after the first Clomid, I could not hide things away. I could not pretend.

They say that having a child fills a space you didn’t even know was empty.  I’m not sure those trying to conceive their first would agree, as I’m sure they feel the empty space acutely, but I understand the what it means . I desperately wanted a child when we got pregnant with our little one ( I didn’t have the pain of waiting for a pregnancy that time), and when she arrived the intensity of the cluster of emotions overwhelmed me in those early weeks. I can’t tell you how amazingly scary it was to feel what I felt, and it took me by surprise that I could feel that deeply despite my readiness to be a mother. Now I know that space is there for a second little miracle to fill.  I know how it feels and like an addiction I want more. Sorry.  I’ve digressed.  Let’s get back to the Clomid experience …

The day after was better. I felt more level, more emotionally stable, but drained. The calm after the storm. My head seemed silent after the rush of thoughts and emotions of the previous day.

The next day I felt better again, and I gradually adapted to the meds and felt more myself. I noticed some fuzzy head type sensations during the evening, in the hours after taking Clomid but apparently it can affect mental alertness, so I think that it is normal.

So here I am, CD14 and waiting for the main event, the reason for taking this crazy Clomid. Nothing. Yet. No sign of ovulation. Yet. I’m starting to get impatient because as I ovulate anyway, I was hoping it would make me ovulate in a more normal length of time and iron out a few irregularities. Oh come on body! My emotions went to hell and back in a day to help you out. Ovulate, damn you!