Category Archives: Baby Making, Round 2

My Newest Man

I’m not going to write a post about MJ’s birth because there isn’t much to say. I made it to full term without any signs of labour and at 40 weeks 2 days we arrived at the hospital for our back-up plan c-section. The operation went smoothly and at 9:41 am Matthew James was born.

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I do, however, want to record some of my thoughts about the early days of MJ’s presence in my life before it all recedes into a haze.

There’s no denying that for many reasons I found this pregnancy more difficult than my first. Every pregnancy is different and with a toddler and a very demanding job life was already pretty challenging; the addition of an unexpected pregnancy really amplified those difficulties. I was physically uncomfortable, and didn’t really feel that healthy ‘pregnancy glow’ I experienced with Will.

Although the pregnancy was welcome and cherished, I wonder whether it’s unexpected nature contributed to my less positive experience. The first time around I worked for the pregnancy; I spent months planning for pregnancy and imaging how it would feel. The second time around the opposite was true – the pregnancy required me to change my view of what my life would be like. If I’m honest, I’m sure that coloured how I experienced the pregnancy.

All that aside, however, this pregnancy was physically more difficult. Surprisingly my pelvic instability, although starting earlier, was actually less problematic than last time. However I experienced 20 weeks of significant morning sickness, followed closely by significant abdominal pain and discomfort which I endured for many, many weeks. My first pregnancy felt natural – I felt like it was something I was good at. This pregnancy, despite occurring ‘naturally’ (that term makes me cringe) felt somewhat unnatural. Like many women by the end of the pregnancy I was ready for it to be over.

A tiny part of me was concerned though; I admit that I wondered if my comparatively negative experiences would continue once the baby was born.

Interestingly, during the pregnancy I never worried that I wouldn’t love this baby as much as I love Will. I was sure that I would love my second son just as I did my first. When MJ was born however, I admit it felt a little anti-climactic. Yes, I loved MJ, but it didn’t feel like the powerful, all-encompassing in love that I feel for Will. I was scared that I would never feel as much love for this new, unplanned baby. I spent a day feeling oh-so-happy but also slightly anxious; and then I realised something. I was comparing apples with oranges. I was comparing the love I felt for MJ, this new, somewhat unformed and unfocused being, with the love I feel for Will, the rambunctious, hilarious toddler of today. The toddler that I know, and that knowing is the difference. I didn’t love MJ less, the quality of love was just different. I love Will for being Will; I loved MJ solely because he was my baby. I’m sure, in retrospect, that it was the same with Will – I simply didn’t have anything to compare my love to.

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I still haven’t discussed any of these initial feelings with anyone – with the exception of a couple of conversations with my mother in which we talked about the differences between first and second births, the fact that the second time around it is no less wonderous but doesn’t have the same life-changing quality. I haven’t kept quiet out of guilt, rather it just doesn’t seem important now that I understand my feelings.

Once I reached that understanding I relaxed and just allowed myself to enjoy MJ. I still compare the two boys, but now it’s done out of curiosity rather than fear. Already, at 7 weeks of age, I can feel my love for MJ changing; I can feel myself starting to love him for who he is. And I know that my love will only grow with each and every day, each new trait he reveals to me will deepen my love for him. The well from which that love springs is infinite, for both of my sons.

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With all that said, it feels like the comparative difficulties of pregnancy have continued into the neonatal period. Like his older brother, MJ is a champion feeder, but in the early days his latch wasn’t as easy and I suffered with painful grazed nipples and a mild case of mastitis. Although I felt almost back to normal by two weeks following the caesarean, the recovery period (although quick compared to most) didn’t feel quite as painless. And MJ hasn’t been an easy baby. In retrospect, Will wasn’t the easiest baby either (although I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time), but caring for MJ has felt more difficult. I’m sure that balancing the needs of two children contributes to the difficulty but both my husband and I have agreed that MJ can be a challenge. He is unsettled and suffers from some reflux. It can be very difficult to settle him to sleep and during the day he tends to only catnap for periods of 10 to 20 minutes. He hates being put down and tends to fuss if I’m not holding him – something that I simply can’t do all day while also caring for Will.

I’m lucky that as far as toddlers go Will is generally easy-going. Yes, he throws some epic tantrums, and he’s a bossy, opinionated kid, but he is supremely good at entertaining himself and is pretty understanding that I can’t always play with him when he wants. He also loves MJ and has never shown the slightest resentment towards him. (I make a point to say thing like “Mum is busy” rather than using MJ as the reason Will can’t have what he wants, but I’m still quite aware that there will be periods of resentment or rivalry in the future.)

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In the last week or two MJ seems to have settled down somewhat. We have made some changes to help with his reflux and either those measures or his age seem to be improving the situation. He has, on occasion, actually settled himself to sleep, something that makes me irrationally proud and was something Will was never able to do until we sleep trained him at, I think, seven months.

Although we still have some very difficult days, lately they have been fewer and further between. One thing I learnt from Will’s babyhood is that these changes often occur with no clear explanation and are unpredictable in nature. With that in mind, I want to neither court disappointment nor allow myself to worry about what may not come to be, but simply enjoy those times that MJ is easy and not allow myself to feel hopeless during the difficult times.

That would be a valuable lesson to remember throughout their childhoods.

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Filed under Baby Making, Round 2, Baby Stuff, Labour/Delivery

37 Week Comparison

Here I am at 37 weeks (taken just over a week ago), compared to 36 weeks (on the left) and 38 weeks (on the right) last time around.

37 weeks collage

36 and 38 weeks 2010

I’m pretty sure of two things: my belly is bigger and my boobs are droopier.

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Filed under Baby Making, Round 2, Photos, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Interior Designing

I’m supposed to be studying, which of course means I’ve been hanging out on Pinterest and Polyvore far too much.

We’ve started working on ideas for Will’s room once we transition some of the baby items out for his sibling, and of course I’ve been thinking about the baby’s room too!

I have come up with a few hastily thrown together mood boards which I thought I’d share, with the aim that eventually I’ll post before and after pics.

Will's Big Boy Room

Will has a couple of beautiful, colourful handmade quilts that I really want to show off on his new bed. I’ve also been searching high and low for navy and white striped bed sheets but to no avail.

A few items have already been decided on or purchased (like the bed and the posters) and some others are still a work in progress. I’m not sure about the bunting – I need to something on the wall or ceiling above his bed to replace the baby mobile which has already come down, but I’m just not sure if bunting feels right. I plan to recover the chair in his room (which has been yellow since I recovered it for his nursery) in either navy blue or kelly green, or a combination.

The quilts contain lots of colours so really any colour will go in the room, but I want to focus on the slightly more grown up navy and dark green that you can see in this board.

 

Baby girl nurseryBaby boy nursery

The new babe will be inheriting Will’s cot and changing table, and the Ikea chair which is the partner to the chair in Will’s room and is currently packed away in storage. There really aren’t any furniture decision to be made, so these boards focus on the colour schemes I’m currently contemplating. Nothing will get purchased until we find out the baby’s sex in a week or so – but then I might go online shopping crazy!

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Filed under Baby Making, Round 2, Baby Stuff, Non-IF Stuff

Comparisons (warning: belly shots)

There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m bigger, earlier, this time around. Part of that is to do with the fact that I started off this pregnancy at the heaviest I’ve ever been (non-pregnant) and part of it is that traditionally women tend to show earlier with second pregnancies – I guess it has something to do with the (lack of) integrity of our abdominal wall 🙂

Whatever the reason, at 13 weeks I’m struggling to fit in to any of my normal clothes. Even relatively loose t-shirts are straining across my belly.

So, in the interests of full disclosure (actually, just to try to convince Kate to do that same) I’m posting comparison pics of my 12 week bellies.

2010: 12 weeks

2010: 12 weeks

2013: 12 weeks

2013: 12 weeks

As you can see, I’m just a little larger this time around 🙂

In fact, I look more like I did at 16 weeks.

2013: 12 weeks

2013: 12 weeks

2010: 16 weeks

2010: 16 weeks

So c’mon Kate, your turn!

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Filed under Baby Making, Round 2, Photos, Pregnancy

A series of tiny, life-changing moments

Before you read this post, go back and read my last post. Go on, trust me.

~~~~~~~~~~

That last post is, in retrospect, ironic. If you follow me on twitter you already know why. If you don’t, it’s because I’m pregnant. Somehow, on roughly CD 196, I got that “surprise post-IF baby” (well, pregnancy anyway, there’s still a long way to go for that take-home baby).

I’d been feeling pretty unwell for a week or two – exhausted, off my food, randomly queasy. And then one day I vomited in the garage because my car smelt funny when I opened the door to get in. That sort of behaviour did not seem normal… but it did seem familiar. It was a tiny, tiny moment that changed my life, because it made me consider a possibility I had, to that point, ignored.

It still took me a few days to test; pregnancy just seemed so damn unlikely. And to be honest, I guess I was scared (I honestly can’t tell you whether I was more scared of getting a positive or negative result, both were terrifying).

Eventually, I did test. My work involves exposure to radiation; not generally enough to be highly harmful to a foetus, but enough that my work practices would need to change significantly if I were pregnant. I was at work one morning, with a long day of radiation-exposure in front of me, and the need to test just became overwhelming. I felt too great a responsibility to this maybe-foetus to put it off any longer. Of course, I didn’t have a test with me, despite working in a hospital I couldn’t find one anywhere at work, and it wasn’t looking likely that I’d get a lunch break in order to duck out to the shops. In the end, my close work friend snuck out of work and bought me one. She was the first person I told, squeezed in a utility closet, not sure whether to laugh or cry and ultimately doing both. It was surreal. Another tiny, life-changing moment.

Pretty quickly, reality set in. I needed to tell H, and was unsure what sort of reception I’d get (he’d stated quite specifically several times over the preceding 6 months that another baby was not something he wanted right now). I needed to tell my work, an equally fraught and complex situation (again, if you follow me on twitter you have probably picked up that my workplace is not the most functional or supportive of environments, a story for a whole other post). I had no idea how many weeks I was and needed to arrange a doctor’s appointment and early ultrasound for dating purposes. I needed to choose a new obstetrician (again, another post, but I knew we weren’t going back to our previous OB). And I needed to do all this within about 12 hours, without yet having a chance to decided how I even felt about this situation.

Bottom line, I was ambivalent. I was surprised, anxious, excited, terrified, stressed, and joyful all at the same time. There were lots of issues to sort out and decisions to make (or at least worry about) before H and I could take time to relax and process this news. I was also angry. Despite what I implied in my last post, this was not the joyful surprise pregnancy I imagined and I felt angry at infertility for taking that experience away from me once again. While it’s true that we have achieved a second pregnancy without any treatments, without the multiple stressors of ART, the reality was that it wasn’t something we intended, and on CD 196 it wasn’t something that should have even been possible. I felt nervous about telling my husband, I felt more anxiety than happiness about this pregnancy. I felt like I couldn’t allow myself to be happy.

The good news is that now, at 13 weeks, it feel like a blessing. It is all the more wondrous for the manner in which it happened. We’re getting our second child (with pretty ideal child-spacing to boot) without even trying.

All the other issues (of which many remain) have faded into relative insignificance. We are so, so lucky.

Still freakin’ nervous.

But lucky.

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Filed under Baby Making, Round 2, Infertility, Pregnancy

The Miserable Bitch

I had my 6-monthly follow up with my endocrinologist last month to monitor my pituitary adenoma. Luckily I had the whole day off work so I was able to rush into the city first thing to get my blood taken (I have to get it taken at the same lab each time), then spend the day exploring the city (by which I mean shopping) before my appointment in the afternoon.

The good news is that my blood levels are all in the normal range. My specialist is so happy that he doesn’t think I need an MRI next year and will step me down to yearly visits. Fewer doctor appointments? I’m on board with that! I still have to get my prolactin levels checked regularly and let him know if they go up again, or if I get pregnant (yeah, right).

The bad news is that after more than six months of nearly-regular cycles during which I’m pretty sure I was ovulating, my body seems to have fallen back into it’s old PCOS ways. I’m on CD 84 with a complete absence of any hormonal signs or symptoms.  Welcome back to anovulatory world! I guess that means no surprise post-IF baby for me. While that’s probably a good thing because our lives are just too hectic at the moment to seriously contemplate adding to our family, it means that I once more have to give up all those dreams. You know the ones: being able to surprise H with the news of a pregnancy, not having to undergo fertility treatment for round two. Basically, it once more kills the dream of having a ‘normal’ experience of family building.

I can live with the disappointment since we’re not planning to conceive anytime soon, but I still think IF is a miserable bitch. And yes, I’ll say that to her face.

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Filed under Baby Making, Round 2, Infertility, Ovulation, PCOS, Pituitary Adenoma

The Fear That Underpins it All

I’m getting clucky.  Really clucky.

And that can only be a bad thing because, for a number of reasons, there’s no way we are going to be trying to conceive any time soon.

And that makes me sad.  Sad in a way that reminds me so strongly of how I felt when we were trying to get pregnant the first time around.

When we were TTCing, I didn’t get angry.  Or jealous.  Or frustrated.  I know I’m in a vanishingly small minority among IFers, but I used to love seeing babies and pregnant bellies; I wanted to hear people’s stories about pregnancy, birth, and parenting.  It gave me hope; I think in a way it enabled me to live vicariously through other people’s experiences.  So no, I never felt angry or jealous.

But I did feel sad.  Sad down to the core of my being.  And I really don’t want to feel that again.

There are so many anxieties that fuel this sadness.  How on earth am I going to take time out of my very demanding, very inflexible career to have a baby?  How will we support two children if I do take time off?  When will my husband be ready to embrace the idea of having another child?  Worse yet, what if he never wants another?  When will there be time for the third child I already know I want?

And behind it all, there is the other.  That base fear that underpins it all.  What if there is no second child?  What if this time the treatments don’t work?  What if I wait too long?

What if I miss my chance?

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Filed under Baby Making, Round 2, Fear, Infertility