A colleague recently told me that she just couldn’t imagine how hard it must be for me to put trust in my nanny while I’m at work. “I just don’t know how you do it,” she said. She’s pregnant and will have the luxury of staying at home. Her judgments have begun. Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, as moms we judge and are judged. I’m tired of being judged but I will never stop judging, I can’t help myself. But she with her opinions before even having birthed her child made me cringe. I wanted to say thank you very much for throwing in my face that which I obsess about daily, thank you for making me feel like a horrible mom because I have to provide for my family, thank you for reminding me how much less fortunate I am than you, thank you very much for your insensitivities. Instead I said “Yeah, it’s tough.” I was furious after I abruptly ended our conversation. How dare she? It’s hard enough that I recently stopped nursing my second, that I don’t see my kids nearly as often as I would like, that I wish I could be with them every waking hour. I wish I didn’t have to work. But then I started realizing, it’s hard to be a stay-at-home-mom, I know this because I have flexibility in my schedule and sometimes when I get a long string of taking care of my kids, I appreciate the break that work gives me. I like motivating to look good, be smart, and talk with grown-ups. Kids exhaust you, raising them is hard and not having balance in my judgmental opinion can make you complacent. I know stay-at-home moms who take any chance they can to get on the computer just to escape, they plan play dates accompanied with wine, they are bored to tears and they’ll admit it in intimate settings. So perhaps said colleague will become a tired, run-down, alcoholic stroller-pusher. Regardless, she has become one of those in my mind, those women that always have a better way of doing things. I’m sure her child will be speaking two languages at one!
By: Rosy Barren
“My breasts are no longer yours; they are hers now.” Yep, I actually said this to my wife the other night. I can’t even imagine her wandering lips making their way to these goddess boobs of mine that I now believe were only made for our daughter. I should feel terrible but I don’t. My wife doesn’t know what it’s like to have milk dripping from your nipples and a tiny baby suckling at you in the most innocent of ways. How dare she take the most natural experience of parenthood and turn it into a dirty night of sex? I have no interest in sex. Sex? Really? “I love you baby but I recently pushed a child through my vagina and well you get the picture.” This must have been rough for her to hear given that in my fairly recent past I was practically a nymphomaniac. I was horny while pregnant, which I hear is fairly common. My wife couldn’t keep up with my need for orgasm and by the third trimester, forget about it, she was afraid she was going to hurt our fetus. Not me. I had no problem making my way to the source of pleasure because my body craved it in the same ways it craved Taco Bell and ice cream!
I wasn’t even sure if I was going to breastfeed. Truthfully I was terrified of it. It sounded painful and awkward and so completely foreign. I vowed I would try my best to do it for a year if I could bear it because I knew it would be healthy for our baby. Many moms with their generous (I say that sarcastically) advice gave me their opinions of the wrongs and rights of breastfeeding. I had heard all sides. After our daughter was born I tried desperately to feed her, it was the only thing my body knew to do. They lay her on my chest and I obsessively said, “I must feed her.” I was awful at it. Clutching, latching, gripping, it was all wrong. My wife knew more than I did and kept assisting our little daughter’s lips around my nipple as I shrieked in pain each time. We even invited a lactation consultant into our tiny room at Cedars so that she could tell me what the hell I was doing wrong. She, in all her maternal glory, simplified it by explaining that a baby knows where the source is and if you simply place her on your belly she will find her way to your boob and suckle. That’s bullshit. Our daughter sat on my belly, tortured by the delicious smell of dinner and when I finally gave up and brought her head to my breast I couldn’t seem to feed her properly. She was frustrated and I was frustrated. She was hungry and I was tired. The hospital was a disaster. I must have fed her somehow because we were able to avoid formula in the two-day recovery period after birth. When we got home we had a Doula come over and spend some real one-on-one time acquainting my daughter and me with my oversized breasts. It finally worked. She suckled away and I have never in my life experienced something so incredible. Her little blue grey eyes staring into mine, probably not seeing me at all but knowing that I’m her mommy, the one that brought her into this world and will watch over her until my last dying breath. She is my angel and right now these breasts are hers.
[Photo Credit: Flickr Member Ficierbaz]
By: Rosy Barren
I recently had a baby. She is 3 weeks old. I burst into tears a couple days before she was born. I told my wife that I didn’t know if I could do it. I was afraid that I would get post-partum and do something awful to the baby. I was most afraid that I wouldn’t love her. Several of my friends have suffered some degree of depression with their newborn and I couldn’t bear the thought of going through those rocky emotions after having tried for almost three years to have her. I think I scared my better half; she talked me through it but recently told me that she was ready to protect our child from me if she needed to. I hated hearing that but I love her for saying it.
I don’t have post-partum, quite the opposite. I am obsessed with our child. I want to take her away with me to a small desert island and allow no one, possibly not even my wife, to touch her. I want her all to myself. I don’t like it when the grandparents come over. I’m afraid they are going to drop her, I worry that they aren’t holding her neck properly, I watch the clock until it is time for my daughter to nurse so that I can sweep her back in my arms and escape to the nursery. I sit in there longer than necessary, sometimes crying because I want everyone to leave me with her so that I can dote and coo and love her all to myself. My wife is the only person who I realize I have to curb these emotions with. I understand the importance of her bonding time with our child. But everyone else, with their lasagna and gifts and tips and wine, can simply leave me alone.
I have three months, three adoring, loving months, in which I get to do nothing but be with our daughter. I get to lose sleep over her and watch her as she gazes into the light, dance with her in the mornings and sing to her at nights, I want to enjoy every instant of my time with her, I want to make it last. I rock her at night, drowsy from waking every two to three hours and know that I will never get this time back.
I realize my emotions are extreme. There are many books on post-partum but who tells you how to deal with overbearing, protective, mama-bear syndrome? Who tells you how to stop tears of joy that sometimes last for hours –I’m not kidding –hours of which, if we have company, I hide and sob because I want her back in my arms where she should be because she’s mine. All mine. No one else’s. Mine!
This will be my final blog for TNF. It has been wonderful and I am still happily and healthily pregnant, but the time has come to focus on the baby and say good-bye to writing under IVF parents. This process was incredibly cathartic for me and the support was so thoughtful and abundant. Thank you all for thinking of me in your prayers and thoughts. I will keep in touch and you may even find me writing again someday soon under another category. I’m off to pick out baby blankets, cribs, strollers, car seats and all things sweet and happy.
By: Rosy Barren
Dear Infertile Myrtle-
I didn’t think it would happen, I really didn’t but it did so now I have all the faith in the world that you, whoever you are out there, have a fighting chance. So if you have been trying and are considering giving up, think again, one more time, because it might just be your fairy tale dream come true.
The new and improved Rosy Un-Barren
We went in for blood work. Everything looks good so far, I have an ultrasound in a couple days, they are monitoring me very closely given all that we’ve been through. Deep breath. Just trying to get through this first trimester but guess what? I’m pregnant and that’s all that counts. Can I say it again? I’m pregnant, preggers. Ok, more soon.
[Photo Credit: Flickr member Robert McDon]
By: Rosy Barren
I went to the doctor today without my wife. She had to work. I didn’t need her to go since he was just going to “take a look”. He did an ultra sound and then pushed back in his chair, threw his gloves in the trash and said “I want to do a pregnancy test”. I asked about the HCG shot and he said, it won’t affect it, it’s been long enough and this is a good one. I wondered if I knew where this was going given my results last night but I didn’t dare assume anything. I took the test and he instructed me to wait in the lobby. I sat, fidgeting, didn’t read any of the magazines. I know everyone by name at this private practice, they have been routing for us with every try for over 2 years now. There were only 3 people in the office (it was lunch hour), Maria the nurse, who has given me many shots in the ass, has seen me cry, has drawn my blood month after month, CC, the receptionist who has asked after every try, who knows my voice every time I call and swears that I will get pregnant and finally my doctor, who knows my dog, my wife, my fears, my anxiety and every square inch of my uterus. I sat staring at the little window that led me to the footsteps and voices behind the closed doors. CC didn’t look up, didn’t talk to me like she has every single time I’ve sat waiting, come to think of it, I’ve never had to read a magazine because I usually cozy up to that tiny window and chat until I’m called by the nurse. Today, silence. 3 minutes of silence. It was somber.
I heard my doctor’s voice calling me into his office, it was shaking and I tried to read into every syllable. I slowly picked myself up off the coach with tears in my eyes and opened the door. I saw Maria at the end of the hall and her eyes immediately shiftd down to the floor. The walk to his office seemed endless, I rounded the corner to see him, his arms open and a smile on his face. “Congratulations, you’re pregnant”.
I can’t properly describe that moment but Maria had to hold me up as tears blurred my vision, I stopped
“Are you sure?, are you really sure?”
“But the HCG, do we need to wait for a blood test”
“No, you’re pregnant”
“I have to call my wife”
Maria handed me the phone…voicemail
“Honey, I’m pregnant, I’m here and I’m pregnant, I can’t believe it, we’re finally pregnant.”
I didn’t even say goodbye, I handed the phone back to Maria and stood stunned.
My doctor handed me a scrap of paper
“Go buy me breakfast cuz your pregnant”
So I did, I turned around and went across the street to the place that I have gotten a croissant or cookie or coffee after every appointment for 2 years. This block has become my home. I stood in line gripping that small slip of paper trying not to cry. I sat alone at a table until my doctor’s breakfast was ready. I know why he sent me on a food run, he couldn’t cry, he was my doctor, he had to be strong but this was a big moment for him too. He is like our family, he offers to dog sit, we’ve met his daughters, we have all been in this together. I dropped the breakfast off, hugged him and raced to the car to call my wife again.
I had no phone. I don’t think there has ever been a day that I have forgotten my phone at home. I drove 45 minutes back to our house in tears of complete and total joy. We are pregnant.
By: Rosy Barren
We won the raffle from the adoption fair- we got a steak dinner at Morton’s, haven’t had it yet. We also went to a friend’s house for dinner and after, watched her favorite movie “Knocked Up”, she doesn’t know we’re in the process of trying to get pregnant. I laughed at the irony of it all, laughed at the movie and promptly lost it on the car ride home. It felt like some sort of joke that is being played on me, all of these things that I may construe as signs, I’ve been down this road before on other tries, sitting in my car listening to the words to a song by Bright Eyes “this is the first day of my life, glad I didn’t die before I met you…” that was my sign, they can all be signs. I was blubbering and broken in fear that I may face another rejection. The next day I brushed myself off and went on with my long wait.
I got a call from my doctor today, he wants me to come in tomorrow to take a look, not to determine anything, it’ll be a day or two early, just wants me to come in. I’m not sure what that means, he’s often cryptic and without explanation, I love that about him and I hate it. Tonight, I broke down and decided to buy a pregnancy test, this is stupid because the HCG shot can give a false positive that you are pregnant so they tell you not to take one but I wanted to just to see if it was a negative. I knew if it was negative, I’m not pregnant and if it’s positive well then we wait.
I took the test. We sat in our guestroom on the cold wood floor, cross-legged waiting. It was positive meaning not negative. “Happy not negative” my wife said.
Happy Not Negative!
I’m lying low, not exercising too much, staying under the radar, not telling many people. Went to a play the other night, we know the playwright and guess what the theme was?
War….faith….and….yep…infertility! Guess what happened? Yep, they got pregnant. Huh, trying not to read too much into that one either. I’m just sayin!
By: Rosy Barren
It’s lovely when you want to write, when there are good things to say, when the mood tips in the right direction. I have always said that this is my favorite time of the IVF process, no decisions, no negatives, just waiting. Yes the waiting is tough but at least it’s positive. I touch my belly sometimes and wonder if it will grow with a baby or two or three? I think about all of them snuggled close together, keeping me company.
A funny thing happened while I was on bed rest, my partner rented several movies for me to watch while I lay horizontal for 48 hours. I’m a sucker for a movie that will make me cry and those sports movies where the loser team makes a comeback get me every time. So she rented some random movie with this very theme described on the jacket. When I began watching I quickly found out that the 2 sub-themes were Christianity (I’m not super religious) and infertility- Oh great! I kept watching, stuck, the DVD remote is broken and I didn’t want to get up, my wife was getting food so I watched. I rolled my eyes and stared blankly out the window as the coach of the team and infertile husband tried and tried to get pregnant, the team kept losing and the people spoke of faith. The couple finally gave up on getting pregnant, the team started winning, the town was behind them, the church was behind them and the couple ta-da, miraculously got PREGNANT because they just had faith. Huh. I’ll try not to read too much into that one.
[Photo credit: Flickr member Jimmediaart]
By: Rosy Barren
It’s funny how 11 eggs can drop down to 5 good embryos. Don’t get me wrong, 5 is amazing! 5 is a number that I could have never imagined. If I learned anything from this process, it’s that gold turns into coal in a matter of seconds. You never know what’s going to happen next. Luckily, I have finally learned that and as a result the disappointment levels have dropped to a happy hum of Zen. I had my transfer a few days ago and now I sit with 3 itty-bitty healthy (grade A) embryos in me and 2 in the freezer. This is a freebee! This means that for the first time in 2 ½ years, I have bought myself another try without having to think about money or when to give up. As I sit typing, making music on the keyboard, I am happy! Hooray!