As sort of a follow-up to my last post, I feel like I should be doing so many things that I’m not. I should be following an eat, play, sleep routine, which I do most of the time, but sometimes I just let her sleep after eating. I should be putting her down at least once a day for a nap in her crib to get her used to it so that transitioning her there will be easier, but she almost exclusively naps in my arms, her wrap, or her swing. I should be getting her to do 30 minutes of tummy time a day, but it’s more like 0-5 minutes (however much she can handle before fussing). . . . If you read baby blogs, books, and forums, or if you compare yourself to other mothers, it is easy to feel like you are falling short. There are so many theories and pieces of advice out there, much of them conflicting. Again, being type A, I am prone to perfectionism and I get caught up in worrying that I’m missing some key activity and L’s development will be stunted because of it. It’s ludicrous really! I mean, there is no such thing as perfect parenting and you can’t do it all. And just because something worked for one baby does not mean it will work for mine. But knowing that what I do now shapes L’s future is a very heavy responsibility. It is a responsibility that I want, very much, but it can be overwhelming, especially for a person like me.
* warning: if you are trying to conceive, this post may be a trigger
Being type A and a new mom does not mix well in my opinion. I am used to having it together and accomplishing what I set my mind to. Now I feel like I make mistake after mistake when it comes to figuring out what L needs and wants. Despite what the baby websites and books say, I have not figured out different cries. The only difference I can recognize is her really mad cry but I couldn’t tell you why she’s mad with certainty much of the time.
I know babies cry, it’s normal but after reading up on how to read baby’s cues and the importance of making her feel secure and cared for during this incredibly impressionable and important developmental stage, I often feel like if she cries for more than a minute or two that I am permanently scarring her and providing material for years of therapy. In my darkest moments, I worry that she will feel abandoned by me for not anticipating her needs/reading the early cues (which I swear are often absent). I am always wondering if I am over or under stimulating her. And although she generally loves her swing, I worry that I am being a lazy mom if she is in there for long, especially if I am trying not to engage with her in an attempt to get her to unwind and nap.
I know she isn’t even 3 months old but it feels like so long ago that I was still pregnant. I feel like I should have it together better by now. I feel like other mothers do. I feel like we should be able to go on tons of outings, join classes, and have a set schedule. Instead, I still sometimes feel overwhelmed by the thought of leaving the house and although we have a routine of sorts, the timing changes day by day depending on if she sleeps through the night. Everyone says it gets easier with time and there are such great days that I start to think that we’ve turned a corner, but then we have another string of fussy, hard days and it feels like we’re regressing. It’s hard not to feel discouraged. Realistically, I know there will be many changes and developments over this first year (and in the years thereafter) and while many things will get easier, new challenges will arise. Hopefully, I’ll feel better equipped for the new challenges. Right now though, when I am trying to take things day by day, it can be exhausting and frustrating. I am used to following a linear path toward the future and this experience is more of a winding road.
When will I get pregnant? * Am I capable of getting pregnant? * What if it doesn’t happen? * Is it J or me, or both? * Are we having sex enough? * Are we having sex too much? * How can we keep sex fun when we have to schedule it? * Are we having sex on the right days? * When am I ovulating? * Did I already ovulate? * Does this count as ewcm? * Do I have a luteal phase defect? * Is there such a thing as a luteal phase defect? * Do I have endometriosis? * How do they test for endometriosis? * Will the test hurt? * What is the recovery time? * How much work can I expect to miss for all these tests and treatments? * What are the available treatments? * What are the success rates? * What about natural treatments like acupuncture and herbs? * Could they do more harm than good? * Can I handle to effects of some of the fertility meds? * Is this cm a sign of pregnancy or AF? * How soon is HCG detectable? * How quickly does HCG double? * Is it possible to test positive late? * How late? * Is it possible to get a “period” and still be pregnant? * Was it safe to have that drink last night? * Is it safe to eat this deli meat? * Am I drinking too much diet coke? * What if the alcohol I drink during the “safe times” is impacting my fertility? * Is J’s laptop giving off too much heat over his balls? * Could his alcohol consumption be affecting his fertility? * Am I just too stressed out? * If I reach a point where I’m ready to give up, is that when it will happen? * When is long enough to consider adoption? * Am I at risk of driving J away because of my obsession? * How much will this cost? * What is the wait time? * What are normal hormone levels? * Is it safe to dye your hair while pregnant/when you could be pregnant? * Did I move too much to get an accurate BBT reading? * Is it ok to sleep in a bit or do I need to get up at the same time to take my temperature? * Is one brand of pregnancy test better than another? * Am I pregnant right now? * Is this a sign that I’ll be a bad mother? * Is this a sign that we’re genetically flawed? * Why is it so easy for some and not for others? * Is it something I did? . . .
These are just some of the questions that run through my head. I’m listing them because I know that some of my readers have not had trouble trying to conceive and many of these thoughts may not have even crossed their minds. I envy them because there are so many things to consider and stress about. It seems like I am googling one question or another nearly every day. Some of the above questions might seem overreactive or like I am getting worked up too soon, but when you’re struggling to conceive you think about every little thing that you might be doing wrong, worry about whether it’s safe to do something during the 2WW or not (just in case), wonder what the issue(s) could be, and research all sorts of legitimate and folklore treatment options.