I have wanted to write a post like this quite honestly since Nathan was born…but up until now I haven’t been ready. Thanks to Christine at Simply Stine and her post, I finally want to share.
This week is national infertility awareness week.
Life after having a baby when you’ve struggled with infertility and miscarriages, is so different from what I expected.
I used to tell myself that if I could just have ONE healthy pregnancy I would be happy and everything would be great. But, that’s a lot of weight on one event happening. I wasn’t prepared for the feelings I’d have and the ones I have suppressed down during this past year.
So…I’m taking a deep breath and hoping my words come out like I hope they will, and that maybe this post reaches another woman who needs to hear that she’s not alone.
I’ve been pregnant twice before Nathan. And both ended much too soon. There was no reason. No answers. Just “these things happen”. I struggled watching people my age, my sister, and even people on the internet having their moment, and their babies. And I was angry. Not having an answer on why these things happen meant that I couldn’t fix anything, I couldn’t make this happen for us – and my type A self didn’t like that. I have hypothyroidism, and that can be a factor in infertility and miscarriages, but since I have been on medication since I was 18 I didn’t think of it being an issue.
Two years later, I was pregnant with Nathan. On top of the all day sickness that never let up, I was constantly anxious. Wondering if every pain, or moment that I didn’t feel sick meant that something was wrong.
I was so so sick for months – but worried if I complained that people would wonder why I wasn’t just grateful. After all, this is all I had wanted. I was in a constant internal battle with myself.
We waited the “appropriate” thirteen weeks to tell the world we were expecting, and honestly it was terrifying. We’ve now told everyone, and if something goes wrong I’d have to explain.
…fast forward six months later, I had my rainbow baby.
I imaged the first few weeks after birth to be pure bliss. Taking endless Instagram photos to share with everyone. A photo shoot of my newly family of three in the hospital. But instead I felt like I had gotten hit by a truck. Not just physically (that was rough), but emotionally.
I cried pretty much all day, every single day for probably a month. I was extremely anxious, my ocd was so much worse, and I definitely didn’t feel right. I had no idea why I wasn’t feeling this bliss.
I LOVED my baby of course, I was so thankful he was here and healthy and perfect, but it didn’t take away from this feeling. I found myself feeling guilty now for having a baby and being sad. I couldn’t make sense of any of it. Since my blood pressure was a lot higher than normal after delivery, I had to return to my OB just three days after giving birth to get checked again. My doctor knew immediately just by looking at me that something was not right. I filled out a questionnaire for postpartum depression, and my doctor prescribed Zoloft.
I felt like I just couldn’t win, and I really was angry at myself. Looking back, I needed to give myself a lot more grace.
I decided to get the prescription filled but wait to take it. In hind sight I probably should have just taken the damn medication, but once again – internal battle. It was nice knowing I had the option to take it though.
Every day got better. My doctor made us realize that I absolutely needed at least four hours of sleep a night (lol with a baby who had colic) and we started doing four hour shifts a night so we could get some sleep. Those first few months Joe and I were in literal survival mode. Sleep is no joke when you are recovering from giving birth. It’s an absolute necessity. Some days Joe and I talk about the first few months and we don’t know how we made it through on so little sleep, but we did. And that’s the thing; you always get through your hardest days. It may feel like you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you will. I promise.
If you’re in a similar season that I was not too long ago; whether it be infertility, or life after infertility, surround yourself with a really good support group and make your self care and mental health a priority.
I think I’ll always carry that sadness of what we went through with me. It’s not just a switch that goes off because I finally got my rainbow baby.
I knew I wanted to share my heart during this week, because I know the support and sharing that will go on from others in similar situations. I hope that by sharing, I can hopefully reach someone else who might need to hear she’s not alone.