Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Take

My take ,so far, on Parenting After going through Fertility Treatments* -
I have been asked a few times about this this week. By blog comments, emails, real life friends and a girl I ran into at a playgroup.

The Magic Moment of holding that precious body that you have yearned for is indescribable. I do not think there are words in the English language for this feeling. I know that for me - It affected all of my senses.

What I recognize most from myself is that I do tend to think very much of "in the moment" experiences. I am very aware that I am not going to get that moment back. I do savor it. Even the rough days. I find myself stating the obvious. "He's going to be older in a minute".

Early on, I stressed about being the Perfect parent. Doing everything the right way. Because I was sure there was a right way. All the books, Dr's, therapists, parents say there is. I mean, I have been an armchair parent before. ( you know - watching others parent and swearing to never make THAT mistake if given the chance to parent. I mean GEEZ it's Obvious) Never taking into consideration that Not all children are the same. Not all families are the same. Not all situations are the same ... There are choices for a reason.

Do I think infertility had a part in my decision to quit my job and mostly staying at home. Yes and No. Yes, I would be lying if I didn't admit to thinking and saying "What If this is my only chance at motherhood?" It weighed in equally with "What type of Mother do I want to be?". I allowed myself to think long term for once. Going through treatments, I never thought long term. I thought in cycles, periods, seasons. How would my job, long term, help our family. Provide for us. How does daycare play into the equation? .. I am sure that many of these thoughts are shared with the fertiles of the world also.

Learning to go with the Flow. Learning the temperament of MT. We are still learning to live with each other, Learning to speak each other's languages. Learning Patience's from each other. Learning how to be a family of 3. Learning how to be a Wife and a Mother and a part time employee. Learning to share him with my parents/relatives. There are growing pains. So far, the only thing that remains constant in my life is that fact that things are going to change. I wasn't that great with change to begin with. Change and I are learning to co-exist and adapt.

Socializing. This is very hard for me. I am still awkward in my role. I am getting more comfortable but still have a hard time figuring out how to balance. So far I have found it difficult to have a meaningful conversation with another mom on certain topics. The sleeping, napping, eating, milestone topics. Uhm which basically sum up all New moms like to discuss. I haven't watched a full episode of anything lately - SO I am behind on my all celebrity/reality show junk. Plus, at playgroups, I am making sure my child only eats a few bugs, very little leaves and received minor bruising from all his attempts/determination to balance on 2 legs. With his super human speed and strength, I need a Hawk Eye and about 4 more arms. I have very little brain power to listen AND respond properly while trying to predict my 9.5 month olds next move. Thank God for my dose of Ellen every day to help keep me in touch with the outside world. And the Soup.

It also seems that every person I meet wants to know when the next one is coming. "oh don't you just want another?" I have no idea how to answer this question. It's such a loaded question. I overheard a discussion the other day at the park. This woman and her husband want a baby by March 2010. She was carrying a 4-6 month old, chasing after a 2 ish yr old. I looked at my husband and quietly said, Wouldn't you love to open your datebook and declare such things? To me, to be able to actually have sex with my husband, on purpose, with a sole intention of having another baby in 9 months sounds fictional. You know, Pick the month*ish that you wanted to deliver. Sounds like Super powers to me. But, there are people out there that PLAN this. and Achieve this. It was said to me, Well that's just what Stay at home Mom's do. That is kind of like their job. I guess there is a point. That just seems so foreign. Cannot.Compute. Therefore, I tend to get a lil awkward with this topic.

I went to a new playgroup for the first time this week and ran into a Girl that I met a few times at our local resolve chapter. I also ran into her at my RE's office while I was undergoing IUI#2 . (the one that resulted in my pregnancy with MT). Basically, she outed me. I was very uncomfortable/embarrassed for a good few minutes. There was silence in the group. We were in a pretty large group of moms that I have never met before. I mean, I don't like labels. But labeling/stereotyping exists and I am hoping that no one will remember .. Or maybe they will ...

So parenting after ferti. It is a contact sport. It is what you make of it. It's not what I thought it would be. It's better and worse. It's the grey area. It's awesome and overwhelming. It's not the same for everyone, yet there can be similarities. We all do not want the same thing. Tolerance is a good balancing act. And In a perfect world I would get to experience it with another child or two.

*I say after fertility treatments, Because Technically I still feel infertile.


Jen said...

For me the feelings have not gone away, but people asked me ALL the time when the twins were little about "how" they got here. It's intresting to me that no one asks me "how" N got here when we're just out. People who know me, know and people that ask questions I tell. I hope that in the future we don't feel that having gone through treatments makes us feel different. I taught a class not so long ago, in a group of 6, 5 of them had gone through some kind of treatment... that's a huge %. I think it's almost more common to have trouble vs. not.

Jill, Mommy of Tanner and Josie, our Clomid baby. :o) said...

I am finally cathcing up on posts. I stink lately!

Ahhhh, the dreaded "when will you have another" discussion. My hubby and I are having that one right now. He wants another next August. He just thinks that I will pop another round of Clomid and he will magically get the 3rd. That makes me laugh. He has it all set that in September or October I will go to my OB/GYN and have my progesterone tested to see if I am ovulating and POOF I will become pregnant again. He obviously doesn't get it.

I am shocked that people were surprised that you went through treatment. It is more common than ever now. Well, at least with people I know. They don't even bat an eye at my Clomid story and I don't even think twice when I tell it.

Nicky said...

I'm surprised that people were surprised, too. In the mom's group that I go to, we spent an afternoon once sharing (short) pregnancy stories. Infertility treatment for me, a few early miscarriages for somebody else, unexpected (and initially unwanted) pregnancy for someone else, adoption for someone else... very few of them were the straightforward "we decided to have a baby, and soon we were pregnant" types. Throw in some pregnancy complications, some labor complications, some NICU stays, and some ongoing baby health issues, and EVERYBODY had something that made their experience so far not go according to "plan."

Jen said...

Interesting. I don't think I've thought this far yet. I'm still trying to keep us all alive. :)

Elizabeth said...

I love how you put it - "it's a contact sport." You gotta play, but sometimes it hurts, and then you pick yourself up and keep going. Great post.

Photogrl said...

I love how honest you are when you talk about parenting. And your confidence is showing through in your posts, Farah.

As someone who is going through secondary IF, I'd have to say that much of what you feel, I felt even after not struggling to have Miss O. It's normal to have the adjustment periods, and mommy groups are definitely uncomfortable no matter how you got there.

Oh, and I'm SO with you on the whole "Wouldn't you love to open your datebook and declare such things?" when it comes to more children!

Great post.

Katie said...

Eegads, it's like you and I live in // universes! We seem to experience the same things at about the same time.

I feel so much of this and all I can say is that I think we are probably OVERALL better parents from our IF experiences. Well, that's my hope, anyway.

Elle Charlie said...

This was a great post. Thank you for sharing.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

I'm right there with you, sister! ((HUGS))

Amanda said...

Great post!

And Photogrl is right, your parenting confidence is showing through. You're doing a great job growing and adjusting!

Anonymous said...

You are rocking in this role, Farah.

Dreamer4agift said...

I'm already experiencing the "when are you gonna try for #2" question...and I haven't even gotten #1 into the world yet! I feel awkward myself answering it b/c a part of me would like to think my body will just "know" what to do next time. Then again, what if it doesn't, how long do we wait before we try again (especially if it takes another 3+ yrs!)? Yes, I still feel infertile, every day, even while watching my body change. So many thoughts but what to do with them?

You're a great mom, Farah, and MT is lucky to have you:-)

Parenthood For Me said...

I am now an adoptive mom and feel like I am a different mom b/c of all i went through to be a mom. Not all of my friends are mothers and I still have that mindset of trying to talk about something other than naps, teething, etc. It is great being a mother but there are other things to talk about esp. when not everyone in the room is a mother. I totally agree that it is SO weird that people can plan out their births. What a freakin concept. It does seem fictional. My infertility is there for everyone to see b/c we are a biracial family. Most people would assume correctly that we cannot have children biologically. They say that parenting is parenting- it doesn't matter how you got your children. That is true and false at the same time. I think that I also enjoy every single moment. I notice everything we do together b/c I envisioned doing these things for 4 years. Maybe I notice just a little bit more.

AJ's mommy said...

Great post my friend. And you are so right about the datebook... if ONLY it was that freakin easy. Wow.

I love your outlook on all of this.. thanks for sharing.