Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Travelling the baby road

I’ve suddenly realised I am surrounded by a rather large group of women who are all at various pitt stops along the baby road. I’m amazed by the fact that when it comes to bringing babies into the world, it doesn’t matter what stage you’re at, there is always something that can bring you down.

Those trying to fall pregnant – My friends trying to fall pregnant are battling with longing, frustration, disappointment and anger. Some are trying to fall pregnant naturally and others are using a variety of fertility treatments. It doesn’t matter which method they’re using, they go through the roller coaster of emotions every month.

As someone who’s fallen pregnant twice, I wish I had a magic answer for them. I wish I could say if you do Steps 1, 2 and 3 you’ll fall pregnant. Sadly, I can’t. The first time I fell pregnant it was natural and happened when we least expected it. The second time, it was potentially a mix of homeopathic treatments, Clomid, a different lubricant and timing. Again, it happened when we least expected it. Alas both of my experiences were so different, and had so many different variables, that there really isn’t anything I did the same in both occasions – other than having sex of course!

And, I guess that’s the problem. As busy adults, just finding time to have sex can be a problem. As women, we know when we’re ovulating and what our small window of opportunity is. Men are often tiered and feel like they don’t want to participate because the romance has slowly been sucked out of the experience.  It can result in fights and arguments which of course kill the mood. I experienced all of this and I know how hard it can be. That’s why I send prayers to the baby gods every day that my friends’ struggles will soon be over.

Those recovering from loss – The pain of loosing a baby, either through chemical pregnancy, miscarriage, still birth or SIDS cannot be understood by anyone who has not experienced it. Loosing multiple babies is again something that cannot be understood unless you’ve been there. It is without a doubt the most painful thing I have ever experienced in life and I hope to God I never have to experience anything like it again.

Moving on from that pain can be such a hard process and some women become stuck. For a while, you have to let yourself be stuck. That stuck moment is what gives you the time to grieve, regroup and be ready to move on. Some just stay stuck longer than others. But hopefully, something will happen that finally pushes you forward and hopefully makes you brave enough to try again.

I think the key to recovering is accepting you will never be over it. Even as I’m pregnant again, I’m not over it. It haunts me and fills me with fear about Sticky’s wellbeing that I constantly have to manage. When Sticky is born, I know I will look at her and wonder what Peanut and Baby B would have been like. As I watch her grow, I will wonder what amazing things they would have done in their lives. But I take comfort in knowing they will be her guardian angels, always looking over and helping her make her way in the world.

 Those that are pregnant – I need to split the pregnant people into two groups – those in the first 2 trimesters and those in the last. Apparently it’s a really big difference. So those in the first 2 trimesters are like me – struggling with the hormones,  nausea, exhaustion and the emotional upheaval. It’s a scary but exciting time that can be influenced by so many different things.
There’s the constant pressure of trying to make sure you eat the right things, remembering to ask for your greek salad without fetta, and making sure every piece of your meat you put in your mouth is thoroughly cooked. To be honest, I’m hanging out for a prosciutto, gorgonzola and fig pizza!

Then, there’s battling the realisation you need to buy new clothes, finding ones that are comfortable that don’t cost a fortune, and actually liking them. You need to buy special bras and underwear – hello Grandma knickers! You realise you have to give up control of your body and some bodily functions. You are nothing more than an incubator and a carrier, but you realise you are a Mother. You struggle through it until you figure out a way to enjoy everything that’s happening to you. It’s still hard though!

Those that are about to give birth – Those that are in the home straight and preparing to give birth deal with sore backs, insomnia, constantly moving babies and the inability to move. They also have to face midwives judging them for putting on too much weight, people giving over bearing advice on breast feeding and comments about how large they have got. As if they didn’t know!

They reach the point where the lat 8 months have taken their toll and they just want it to be over. Those who are nearing the end after experiencing a loss want it over even more. They just want to hold a healthy baby in their arms. Funnily enough, trying to get through life as the size of a house wears a little thin towards the end.

Those that have children – Mothers running around after children are exhausted. They haven’t slept in the years and are currently dealing with the never ending snotty noses, tummy bugs and fevers. They’re also dealing with 2 year old tantrums and refusals to eat, sit, walk, dress and move. Even Motherhood presents its own challenges.

So, what’s the main lesson here? I guess it’s to understand that no matter where you are on the baby spectrum, you will be challenged. No step is easy. No step is perfect. No step will bring you eternal bliss. However, while each step brings you challenges, it also brings you moments that make your heart melt and your soul soar.

The moment you see a positive pregnancy test. The moment you see your baby on the screen for the first time. The moment you see your baby wiggle around inside of you. The moment you know the sex. The moment you feel it kick. The moment you hold it in your arms. The moment it says Mama. The moment is says I love you. Every time it laughs, smiles and hugs you.

It’s those moments that make all the struggles worthwhile. It’s those moments that help you get through it. It’s those moments that help you carry on. So to all of my fabulous friends out there, and everyone else who is somewhere on the baby journey, I hope you can find a reason to continue the fight. In the overall scheme of things, the fight will be shortlived – but laughs, smiles and hugs will last forever!   

Image by nonicknamephoto
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