I’ve just joined the PAIL blogroll. This is a group of people blogging about Pregnancy After Infertility and Loss. We’re a motley crew. We feel like we don’t fit anywhere. We’re not infertile anymore. We’re not smug pregnant women, we know how quickly the good things can disappear. For many of us, the perceived end point (pregnancy), became a starting point of a whole other road we never planned to go down. A road that is not always full of joy and anticipation. It feels cruel. I wrote about this sense of the in between in an earlier post on liminality called the In-Betweeners. We’re mostly terrified, and unsure when we can relax. Some have had incredible losses in their past that can taint the taste of every experience they see in their future. If you click on the PAIL logo to the right of your laptop screen, you’ll get to a list of other fantastic PAIL blogs.
As those of you who’ve been reading this blog know, I was lucky to fall pregnant on our second IVF cycle. And then the fun started. Hub-in-boots and I have been through five haemorrhages, a sub chorionic haematoma, a 1:21 risk of downs (and a later all clear), the loss of an income and movement (no boxing!) after 7 weeks (so far) of bed rest, gestational diabetes diagnosed at 16 weeks, and finally the magic disappearance of the clot, yesterday. And now, at 40 years old, I’m 17 weeks pregnant.
In an ideal world, we’ll have a baby in 23 weeks. In the real world it may be earlier, for a number of reasons coming out of our past complications. (And while things are now finally looking up and we’re delighted, we are both very conscious it could all still go horribly wrong).
The PAIL bloggers are going to have a monthly topic to post on, and this month it’s breastfeeding.
What do I know about breastfeeding?
I know I want to breastfeed. For all of the medical, bonding, and health of the baby reasons. I also think for people who have been through the infertility party, geez it would be nice to do something normal. How crazy would that be? To do something all the other mothers do? For me, breastfeeding is a symbol of something normal and natural, at the end of a journey (I hate that word, it’s so reality TV) that was not normal or natural, not ever. Imagine the madness of my body making milk, and just kind of doing what it is supposed to do?
Breastfeeding goes hand in hand with my desire to have a natural birth, something I know I need to get past, because my amazing ability to complicate everything pregnancy makes a much hated idea of a C-section a real possibility.
I know breastfeeding can be more complicated than it looks. My boobs hurt like buggery at present. And my normal” titanium tits” that don’t move much and aren’t easily hurt, can now make wearing cotton or silk feel like sandpaper. So I am starting to get the idea that breastfeeding may not be always comfortable. I’ve heard about mastitis, and cabbage leaves in your bra. I even know someone who got it so badly they had to have the boobs surgically drained. Twice. Ouch. And how the hell do I get back into my Couch to 5k running programme if I’m bouncing and leaking?
I’m completely freaked out by the sprinkler effect. I had no idea that it was not one hole in nipple = fluid. Lots of holes and a spray of milk? What am I, a gardener? That’s just plain weird. But, I imagine, logical and effective. I am also a little freaked out by the fact that my boobs are already getting ready for the garden party. At the risk of too much information, (TMI WARNING!) I feel like someone else’s boobs have been stuck on my chest. I may have to re-title my blog the Godzilla boob and the adventures of the flying saucer nipples. I think they’ve actually got uneven. Lefty is sitting oddly.
I know for some women, breastfeeding is not practical, or just too emotionally / practically stressful to sustain, and I think there must be a balance between the mother’s wellbeing and the desire to feed. Mum’s wellbeing has to win out if there’s a problem. So I really hope to persist and persevere and do it. But I understand sometimes, with breastfeeding, as a stressed out new mum, you have to wave the white flag.
I will probably breastfeed in public places, but the idea freaks me out. I love it when other women do it – there’s nothing so lovely as seeing that natural bond take place. But me? Yeah just plain weird. Another thing I’ll have to get past. Perhaps part of the problem is with all of our complications, I can’t quite see myself as a mother, just yet. It seems like an elaborate play act at present, like we’re pretending this is happening, but it’s not really real.
In a couple of weeks, when perhaps I am allowed out of the house, I am going to buy a maternity bra, that I can hopefully also use nursing. I am hoping it doesn’t look too much like something my mother would wear. And maybe having this concrete symbol of what’s coming will get my head ready for what’s on its way. And though I’ll have a go with the magic one boob reveal to impress hub-in-boots with my new skills, I’ll also try not to flash at the postman. (I got a $10 tank top from ALDI of all places this week, that doubles as a nursing top. It’s my first boob reveal top. Hilarious. Hub-in-boots was mightily impressed and I believe is starting a secret petition to have all women’s clothes designed in this way).
By way of a non poetic update, the scan yesterday the obstetrician could not find BASTARD, the blood clot. I’m still spotting very very mildly, but there was really no sign of the clot on the scan. The placenta looked fat, healthy, and finally, not bleeding. We’re proceeding with caution, with a proper scan in two weeks (the 19 week one), four more week’s bed rest, cutting down the progesterone, and a whole lot of hail marys. I was in just as much shock with the good news as I was with the bad news. I am of course delighted, but it is hard to process and adjust to this new equilibrium, especially when I am still getting used to the Gestational Diabetes tag and associated monitoring and medicatiions. My head is going a million miles an hour, in a good way. And Gumby may need to be rechristened “Bruiser”, as he’s weighing in at approx 200g and measuring at 18 weeks, when I was 16 weeks and 5 days. Good on you kid. Apparently it can’t be the diabetes yet, he’s just a bruiser.
And I’m totally behind on the March photo challenge with daily photos based on Belle’s Scrambled Eggs blog prompts . But I’ll catch up. Oh and I’ve finished the Twilight books. I’m still watching Gossip Girl (oh how literati am I?). So I’ll have to get the Twilight movies now….