This post is my contribution to the monthly theme post over at PAIL. The timing of this was unreal – I woke up this morning knowing that I wanted to write about this very topic, and then saw it in my reader 2 hours later. FATE!
This month, the ladies at PAIL asked if we are baby crazy.
Well…. I was.
The minute (and I mean, the minute) we decided to start trying for a family, I became obsessed with all things TTC and all things baby. I bought the OPK’s, tracked every cycle (but did not do BBT charts), and made poor B do the deed every other day for 10 days each month – and I tracked every piece of that data in a spreadsheet (of course I did). I even expected him to attempt to make a baby in a tent at the top of a mountain in Colorado in 40-50* temps. He did not comply with my crazy, so I unleashed a whole new level of crazy the entire hike down the mountain the next day – and for the first time in our year of TTC, B told me that I was, “baby crazy.” I resented it at the time.
But he was right – I was baby crazy.
Once we were seeing our RE, I became obsessed with all things related to IVF and FET’s. I knew my clinic’s stats by heart for the last 3 years. I created spreadsheets (of course I did) for each cycle and for tracking fertility expenses covered by insurance. I planned out 3 IVF cycles on a calendar because the RE said that we would attempt it three times before changing our plan. I told B that we could not take this trip (or that trip), or run this race (or that race) “because we could be cycling.” Poor B planned a trip to Hilton Head for February 2011 and I lost my shit over it on Christmas morning (the trip was my Christmas present), asking how he could do that knowing that we had to do IVF.
If B could have gotten a nickel for every time I said, “we can’t do that because we could be cycling,” he’d be a very wealthy man right now.
We missed out on so much back then, because I had only one thing on my mind – and that one thing was making a baby.
Once Matthew was conceived and looking on ultrasound like he was going to stick around, I became obsessed with all things for the baby. I knew every item that the baby would need, and every item that was not a need but a want. I had spreadsheets (of course I did) of all things we needed and wanted, piles of baby stuff accumulating in the nursery, and a monthly plan of what items we’d buy and when (to spread out the big costs). I bought baby food recipe books and researched which cloth diapers to buy (and then promptly bought my entire stash and all required accessories – one of our monthly “big items”). I planned my work and worked my plan – every single night. I don’t think I talked about much other than the baby, and the baby’s stuff.
I revelled in my pregnancy – I enjoyed it very much. I joined several websites for weekly fetal development updates and would read a daily development journal when I woke up every morning (thank you, MBS). I enjoyed feeling symptoms, I wished for more. I created spreadsheets (of course I did) for kick count monitoring and pregnancy weight gain. I looked at fetal development photos on the internet all day long while at work. Even at work – there was nothing on my mind but my baby.
And then Matthew was born – and the obsession stopped.
Sure, I was concerned about his development, his weight gain, breastfeeding, and sleep – but I wasn’t obsessed with those things. I cared (and still do care) about everything Matthew eats on a daily basis, how much dairy he gets, how many times he poops (he’s never gone longer than 27 hours), how much sleep he gets in a 24-hour period, and how he’s doing with speech (because there are speech delays on both sides of our family). I make sure we read to him multiple times a day (not a problem – he loves books), constantly converse with him, and let him entertain himself for at least 30 minutes each morning and each afternoon (“because a child who never learns how to be alone will always be lonely”). But I’m not obsessed.
I’m happy. I’m happy to have this little boy. I’m happy to have such a happy little boy. Matthew makes me smile constantly throughout the day – even when he’s being difficult (his latest temper tantrums are thwarted by him initiating a game of “where’s Matthew?”). He does not deserve obsession. He does not deserve to have a mother who scrutinizes his every move. Doing that would make him unhappy – and that is the one thing I refuse to knowingly do. I am an obsessive person by nature, but Matthew is like Prozac to me (I can make statements like that – I’ve been on my fair share of antidepressants) and as long as I have him (and B, of course) – I’m good.
I didn’t even obsess over growing our family and providing a sibling for Matthew. Sure, I could get wrapped up in a mental marathon of how many cycles it would take, what if we ran out of embryos, how much it would cost, etc. But those thoughts really were fleeting, even if they were intense. I did create a cycle spreadsheet (of course I did) because that’s what ensured I got all my IVF stuff done (if you have never done IVF, I urge you to check out the sample calendar to get a feel for what all you have to remember to do – it’s a lot), but that was it. In the past, I’d check that calendar ten times a day (and I’m not even kidding), but this time around, I check it every 3-4 days out of fear that I’ve forgotten something.
It’s just different this time around. I have my first baby – and if that first baby is my only baby – I am at peace with that. You may think I’m saying that because I’m currently in the earliest stage of a pregnancy, but if you’ve been following me for a decent amount of time, you know that I’ve always felt that way (and have shared that several times here on my blog).
It feels good to no longer be obsessed.
We booked a trip for January before our transfer last week. I told B that we are not doing this the same way we did it before. We continue to live our lives. We continue to have fun. We continue to love each other and our child. We continue moving forward. We spent too much time in the past standing still – and that makes me sad.
I’ve come a long way from that “baby crazy” lady who was hiking down a Colorado mountain in July 2010.
October 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm
Oooooh – LOVE this post. I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head in regards to this, and I’m not sure which direction to take. I am so happy for you that you aren’t that obsessive Mom who can’t just let her kid experience life without spreadsheets. I’m similar to you in that I was obsessed during TTC…but then I was slightly less so during pregnancy, and not much at all now. I can’t wait to see how you handle TWO to get an idea of what I’ll do. 🙂
October 18, 2012 at 11:20 pm
I can’t wait to see how I handle two as well. HA!
October 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm
This is great! I can relate to so much of this. Except I still feel like I obsess over much baby. I’m very interested to see what I’ll be like as I transition to PT SAHM, as that will be very different for me… I foresee more spreadsheets…
October 18, 2012 at 11:21 pm
I love spreadsheets almost as much as I love my husband, child, and cats. B and I joke that if I’m in a bad mood or need to relax, that all he has to do is toss a spreadsheet my way to fix or make more complicated. HA!
October 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm
I could relate to every part of this post and I am still obsessed over Aiden. I don’t see that changing for the time being, but I am working on trying to let him be more independent by leaving him with friends for the day, etc. I also love researching and DH often calls me “Dr.” because I can quote infertility meds, procedures off the top of my head. 🙂 TTC #2 is so different. I want desperately to have a sibling for Aiden, but if he is all we have, than I am certainly at peace with that. Great post!
October 18, 2012 at 11:23 pm
Ummm… I don’t leave Matthew much. Like – at all. I leave him at the neighbor’s for things like RE visits, but I need to do it MORE. He doesn’t miss me when I leave him. 😉
Researching something into the ground makes me feel in control. Stupid. And craz!
October 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm
Did you create a spreadsheet? (Of course you did!) Hahaha, that cracked me up. Hey, it’s a good place to be, this place you are in now… able to live in the now and enjoy every minute of it. Loved reading this one! 🙂
October 18, 2012 at 11:24 pm
I’m so happy to be where I am.
But I do sort of feel the need for something to obsess over 😉
October 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm
I seriously thought about reading your post before I wrote mine, but I held out. I love your post and I love that we went totally different directions….Obsession is a dangerous thing, but living by spreadsheets can be very controlled. It’s great to have them, and yes, I have lots of them for every aspect of my life, but I use them more now for reference instead of living by them….Raegan runs my world now…..
October 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm
I love it that our kids run our worlds. 🙂 I wouldn’t have it any other way!
October 20, 2012 at 9:47 am
Aha! There is hope that I won’t be psycho-obsessive forever!! What a great post!
October 21, 2012 at 11:06 pm
Thanks! Having babies calmed both my sister and me down. It’s weird.
October 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm
Love it! I definitely toned down my crazy on my second sucessful pregnancy. Much more enjoyable, much less worry. I’m so glad you’re in a good place right now! But for me, I’m right back in the thick of obsessing over TTC again. I thought that part would go away a bit too, and for me it hasn’t. Pregnancies aren’t as scarey now, but IF still has me by the heart strings…. er, by the fallopian tubes. 🙂
October 21, 2012 at 11:08 pm
I just read your post and found it rather interesting!
October 24, 2012 at 7:47 am
I just read this post and your comments and I have to say I got chills when I read your comment, “I can’t wait to see how I handle two as well.” HFS!!! 😀
I am so so so glad that you are no longer that woman on the mountain. And I’m happy that having Matthew mellowed you out. I know that Sofia did the same for me. I think so much of this “obsessing” is just a manner of trying to control things. And then you have a kid and realize that nothing can be controlled. And you didn’t have “a baby” you had “Matthew” or “Sofia” and in their tiny little crazy personalities you realize that any time spent obsessing would mean time spent not soaking in the awesomeness.
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October 25, 2012 at 8:15 pm
Ooooh spreadsheets! Been there, but luckily I suck at organization and stuff like that so I wasn’t so great at it. But I do love me a good spread sheet. 🙂
October 25, 2012 at 10:31 pm
Just the word, “spreadsheet,” calms my nerves!