Romper's Trying project follows five women with very different stories through a year of trying to conceive. Where discussions about fertility often focus on the end goal, they'll document what it's like emotionally, physically, and spiritually before you get there — the anxiety, the hope, the ovulation kits, the tests. How do you function when getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term isn't a given? Read on for one woman's answer to that question.
Ambreia has a 3-year-old son and has been trying for a second child for a year and a half. This is the eleventh installment of her Trying diary. You can read the previous entry here.
Unfortunately, I had retained placenta again with this pregnancy. Thankfully, I listen to my body this time and advocated for myself — a skill that I learned from having a doula — so things turned out fine.
From that moment forward the real challenges started. After eight and a half months of anticipation it was game time and I was being tested. Guess what, I failed, LOL. The first two weeks were a breeze, as my mother and brother were here, in addition to my husband being on paternity leave to help balance McChub. We even managed to squeeze in a date!
But after my mom and brother left, things got a little more difficult — we'd gotten used to the assistance of my mom. By the time we were used to our new routine, it was time for McHubs to leave me and return to work.
“I’m a beast and I can do anything I set my mind to and more.” That's what I had to tell myself on his first day back at work, when I realized my life was gonna get scary for a while. But no amount of self-pep talking could make up for the sleep deprivation and mountain of dirty diapers in the corner.
How dare he leave me at home to manage these two children alone in an attempt to provide for our family?! I knew the frustration I felt toward him was ridiculous. but I also knew it was coming from a place of fear. I had no idea how I would be able to survive on my own during the workday.
Just because I feel physically fine does not mean I am mentally fine or even adjusted.
Spoiler alert: being a mom of two was just as terrifying as I expected. It seemed impossible to pay attention to both children at the same time. And it seemed down right inevitable that I would be missing plenty of meals and holding my urine for long periods of time. Initially, the whole thing with holding my bladder wasn't a huge problem because I'd forgotten shortly after delivery it is common not to be able to feel the sensation that reminds you to pee. But one day I found myself peeing while coughing — that was a huge reminder that I needed to get my life together.
I was afraid that I would never fully adjust to this lifestyle, get my bladder sensation back, or make it to my hometown to see my family.
Despite my fears, I did what I always do and jumped head first into my work. I knew it wasn't wise to ease back into work less than a month after starting the journey of multiple child Parenthood but my drive to move my career forward often results in me making some stupid decisions.
And I paid for it. This last month, my stress has been at an all-time high because I had the unreasonable expectation to jump headfirst back into my work. Somehow, it had slipped my mind that just because I feel physically fine does not mean I am mentally fine or even adjusted.
I was especially shocked at how deeply I loved her considering that I had been depressed for a large percentage of my pregnancy.
There were a lot of things I was unsure of in my career and parenting management. But one thing I had no doubts about was the love I had for my new daughter. I've given birth before still it felt different having a daughter this time. I didn't love my son less than her, but I loved her in a different way.
I was especially shocked at how deeply I loved her considering that I had been depressed for a large percentage of my pregnancy. Who would have thought that such desperate lows would be the precursor to such extreme joys?
I've needed all of the joy and love I feel for her to make it through the missed meals and uterine cramps that a company the early stage of the postpartum adjustment period — and don’t get me started on the discharge.
McChub is adjusting so so to being a big brother. We’re having a lot of “what they heck are you doing?!” moments. But he’s good for bringing diapers.
I'm still working on finding out how to manage being present for both of them. But after I took my first trip out of the house with the double stroller, I'm confident that I can take on the world!
It's hard, but I'm still joyful.
Btw, the baby has a nickname, too — Grumpista!