Do I allow myself to recognise what I have been through, still going through and how that impacts on me now. People feel this journey has ended for us, because we are now pregnant, I am a Mum now and Sam a Dad so why would we worry, haven't we got what we wanted?
What I have to come to realise is with pregnancy there comes a whole host of worries and I think at this stage I feel more anxious now then I ever have. Of course there are days of pure magic and enjoyment but reality can really hit at times and until this baby is in my arms will I ever fully believe that I am a Mum.
I work in mental health, I know anxiety, I have always suffered with low mood off and on through my 20's but anxiety didn't hit, it creeped in when IVF started and it's a monster hard to extinguish. This week has been incredibly difficult and I had the realisation on Tuesday afternoon (when my Mum told me I looked pale) that I was feeling pale, washed out and tired.
Since IVF started in Oct 2017 it's been go go go, that's either the pressure around a cycle, that two week wait to see if we had conceived or moving through the process of recovery after a failed cycle but also attempting to create a life that wasn't ruled by IVF. This week I suddenly realised life wasn't ruled by injections and fertility treatment, I was now a pregnant women, working, planning and taking on her final few months before motherhood arrived, however this then led me on the next worry path of labour and breastfeeding, two things people talk to me about so much however both being something I need to think about due to the possibility of early induction being advocated and the risk of not being able to breastfeed due to me having a breast reduction when I was in my early 20's. The internet is a beauty at times but also a total bitch, it has held both these elements for me this week and I have felt myself slowly sinking into a pit of worry and uncontrollable emotion. Sammy shared last night he could see I was worried but I had to remember this time last year we didn't think we would ever have a baby so whatever happens our baby will be loved and that's what's important, not if it breastfeeds or is born through medical intervention.
It made me think, what can I control and what can't I? Something I am sat heavily with today.
How I emotionally respond to our pregnancy.
People keep telling me how excited I should be, don't get me wrong I am excited, how could I not be. I do feel I can control what comes in and what goes out, therefore I feel I can control what I take on, if it doesn't feel helpful I may not respond but that's because I haven't found being told how I should feel is helpful.
How much internet use I take on board.
I think from today I am going to disable certain apps on my phone, I do this now and again but feel I am procrastinating a lot and getting involved in a lot of spaces that may not be useful for me or my mental health at this moment. So I can control what I allow myself to be involved in on the internet and social media.
An element of my birth.
With being an IVF pregnancy it is suggested your induced at 39wks due to the risk of still birth, the information around this isn't clear and my midwife hasn't pushed it so I have decided against it as I don't believe the evidence I have read and believe it's focused more on over 40's. However if I do need to be induced this maybe out of my control, however what I can control is the environment, I plan to have essential oil's in the room, to be moving and using yoga/active birth methods and hopefully using water, my birth is totally out of my control but the environment I am in can to the best of my ability be in my control.
When I was younger I had boobs that were so big, my back hurt, my career was impacted and I was known as 'Claire with the massive tits'. I changed this when I had a breast reduction in my early 20's, breast feeding at the time was not on my radar and although I was told of the possible impact it wasn't important to me at this time. I have read a lot around this on the internet and many women successfully breast feed in some way, this maybe combined feeding but they do manage to get some milk to feed. What I can't control is if I can breastfeed, I will only know this when my baby arrives, what I can control is what I do to attempt to support breast feeding, it will be hard, using expressing/pumping will become part of my daily routine after feeding (if possible) and continuous skin to skin for the first few days and holding babe to breast to help stimulate milk production (if any is coming through). It may look different to what I expected but it feels important for me and our baby and therefore I can't control what happens but can attempt to control how I support my body in enabling this happening.
How I look after myself.
I work as a Counsellor with young people impacted by domestic, sexual and historic abuse, I have realised I am taking on a lot and have plans to make some changes from the end of this month, freeing up another day a week for me, babe (and the dogs). I can look at what my weekends include and do what feels good for me, walking, resting, knitting, nature, being with good people. We have a few holidays planned which feels exciting and relaxing, I can control what I allow into my life to feel good for me and my soul.
This week has taken on a level of emotional tiredness and has hit my like a bolt out of the blue, as I write this the sun shines in through my bedroom window, women's hour plays in the background, my manager just told me to take the day to rest (when I rung into work) and my husband just text telling me he loves me. My head maybe a bit wobbly but how I move through this life is a lot in my control and writing helps me remember that.