Obsessed with Babies

The PAIL Monthly Theme Post topic for October is “Obsessed with Babies.” Chandra posted some great topic starter ideas in her post on this last week – feel free to join in on the blog hop this month by writing your own post and submitting it with the form on this page

Has infertility caused you to “obsess” over all things babies?

Obsession.

Just that word in and of itself makes me shudder a little bit. As we are in the midst of all of the election hoopla, I think that has been highlighted on all sides how often “obsession” can be a negative thing. When a person becomes so completely absorbed with any one topic in life, it is necessarily to the detriment of something else. Our time is limited, and there are only five hundred twenty-five thousand six-hundred minutes in a year (are you singing yet? :))…so when you spend so many of them focused on one topic, other areas will suffer as a result.

When we were TTC for Stella, I was obsessed. I’d give myself a 9/10 on the obsession scale. It didn’t start out that way, but by the time we went to the RE and finally got that BFP nearly two years later, it was all I could think about. Every vacation planned, every job applied for, every penny spent…all of it was done with TTC in mind. My happiness suffered. My marriage suffered. My job suffered. Thank God it worked out for us, but I was seriously a crazy woman for awhile, and it meant that I was jobless, broke, and constantly at odds with my husband by the time we got that BFP. Not good.

Once I was pregnant, I was obsessed with thinking about my birth experience, but to a lesser degree. I’d give myself a 5/10 on the obsession scale. Pregnancy itself – I honestly didn’t really worry about it. I guess this is probably because I have never suffered a loss, and for some reason even knowing about the sad stories in the ALI world, I never worried about Stella being a viable pregnancy after the first ultrasound at 6w4d when we saw her heartbeat. However, when it came to birth, I was damn well going to know everything I could so that I could prepare myself to hopefully have the best birth experience possible for me and my baby. I’m lucky. I did.

However, now that Stella is actually HERE, I’m remarkably not obsessed. I’d give myself a 2/10 on the obsession scale. Sure, I love to read, and I’ll read a book from time to time when I want to know more about something I consider important in my child’s life (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding before Stella was even born, The Vaccine Book before starting immunizations, The Happiest Baby on the Block to help with sleeping, Baby Led Weaning before starting solid foods, and now Nurture Shock [for the PAIL Bookclub!] just in regards to daily life… but that’s about it.

I’ve somehow managed to avoid researching a damn thing about milestones or the timing in which they are supposed to occur. I make a conscious effort to NOT compare Stella to other babies her age. I don’t consider myself a certain “type” of parent. I go with what feels right to me, and if I have questions on it, I read a book, but even that I don’t do often.

I just… parent.

As a caveat, maybe I don’t feel the need to research and obsess over all things baby-rearing because of you – my blog friends in the ALI world (and beyond!). I have so many blogs in my reader, and it’s because you inspire me. I learn from you. I read about one person’s experience with co-sleeping and another parent’s experience with BLW, and I think to myself, I want to try that . I read about one Mom’s techniques to approach toddler discipline, and another person’s ideas on photo projects to capture important moments, and I star them for future reference because they spoke to me in some way. I pick and choose what I like best from all of YOU, and I meld them into my own type of parenting…into my own reality of what is best for me and my family.

So thank you.

Thank you for being an inspiration to me. Thank you for helping me to become a less obsessive person. Thank you for being there for me when I have questions on food or poop or sleep (you know, the trifecta of important issues in a baby’s life!). Thank you for not judging me for making different choices than you. And thank you for doing the research for me on different issues so that I can spend those extra moments just BEING with my daughter and loving that she is in my life.

I plan on being a Mom who concentrates on teaching her child to love and respect above all else. Everything else will fall into place.

***

I should add a caveat here that once we start TTC#2, all bets are off. I am truly petrified of turning back into an obsessed, crazy lady. Some people (hi Mom!) tell me it will be easier next time because I have Stella now, but I don’t know if I believe that. Actually, I don’t believe it. Once an IFer, always an IFer, and feeling like your body is failing you is never something that gets easier. You all will still be around to support me when I go back down that rabbit hole to crazy land again, right?

Stella, obsessed with the buttons on my shirt. 🙂

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23 comments

  1. Great post! I really like how you talk about learning so much from the bloggy people. I feel the same way. There are so many people in my reader that have kids just ahead, or around the age of Alex, that I feel like I’m learning what to expect, and how to deal with it from all you lovely ladies. What an amazing resource we have!

    Also, I don’t look at milestones either. My husband does – it’s like a report card to him. The other day he said something was a milestone, and Alex didn’t reach it yet. I told him I had no idea it was even a milestone, and he admonished me for not paying attention to stuff like this. Drove me nuts! The kid is doing fine – learning things at her own speed. Gosh, I don’t even remember what it was that she was behind on. Who cares? Every kid’s a little different and she’ll figure it all out in the end. That’s the only thing that matters!

    I love your parenting approach. And yes, we’ll all be here when you go crazy (hopefully not!) for the next one! 🙂

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  2. I’ll be here! 🙂

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    1. Also, even though you’ll still probably mega-stress while TTC for the second, you probably really won’t OBSESS as much; you just won’t have as much time/brainpower to do so while also caring for Stella. But you can, will, and should make a big deal out of it. It IS a big, sometimes stressful, sometimes scary thing to try to have a baby, ANY baby, no matter how many you already have and love.

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  3. Good post, specifically about how you parent. I could take a lesson or two out of your book. Taylor is one year and one week and she isn’t walking? OMG. 😉

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  4. Of course we’ll support you as you try for #2! I do think it could be easier though, the second time, for you. I know it was for me. That’s not saying that it WILL be easier, but you may be surprised. I am still shocked that I didn’t think about TTC#2 every moment of the day while cycling – but I didn’t. These toddlers require too much of our attention 😉

    It’s so nice to not be obsessing. You sound liberated and at peace! Both great things to be!

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  5. I can relate to so much of what you wrote. I know, for me, the crazy came back full force once we decided that we wanted to TTC2 as soon as we could (once my cycle started). I hate that it has so much control over how I feel. I thought it would be easier – but I haven’t found much difference about the way I feel – I don’t know that it is as all consuming – but we want to have more than one child and I want Alexis to have a sibling and it is on my mind more often than not.
    So, of course we will be here to support you then as we are now 🙂

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  6. Firstly, I will definitely be here to support you when you when trying for #2!I do hope it will be easier the second time around but I really have no idea. I am sure it will still be tough.

    Loved this post. I am so impressed with you for not reading up on ANY milestone things!! I really need to try this. I don’t do it a lot because like you, I get most of the information I feel I need, from other amazing mama bloggers like you. However, about once a month I do check the milestone websites and I have been know to say to my husband “Alidia is doing this right on schedule.” or “Alidia isn’t doing this yet!” or “Alidia is doing this early.” It sucks, I know and I wish I didn’t do it. I am not comparing her with other real babies but do compare with these damn milestone charts sometimes. Maybe this should be my new goal? To stop that!! Yes, new goal.

    I am naturally a research freak. I love to research anything and everything so I did do a lot of that before having Alidia. Most of it was on TTC, then a little bit about pregnancy and a little bit about labour, then a bit about baby’s first year and things like cloth diapering which I would say was the most. But definitely the most I have ever done was definitely for TTC.

    I could say that I won’t become obsessive and slightly crazy when TTC #2 because we have one precious daughter already now but the truth is, if it takes a long time and if I get to the point where I worry it will never happen, I am sure I will… positive…. and I know that…. so consider this your warning! 😉

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    1. One of my parents was very into milestones and would always be shocked when I was doing something (apparently most things, as they tell it) “ahead of schedule” and the other parent would say, “Well, she hasn’t read that book, so how would she know she isn’t supposed to be doing it yet?” All this talk of whether I and my sibling were or were not meeting milestones made me nuts growing up, so I’m in the “just don’t look” camp and I enjoy being surprised when the kid tries something new (except lately when she’s been trying out a bad attitude and “everything is BORING Mom!”). Not sure if that helps, but it’s how I decided to let it go. I like surprises!

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  7. I love your line “I just parent”.

    I have a lot I’ve been thinking about on this topic but haven’t has the time to really sit down and work out how I fell now about the person I was during our two years of hell. I know I was obsessed with getting pregnant and I know for sure I went crazy (literally). I almost feel like it was a different me. Not sure if I’m explaining that right.

    I actually don’t know if obsessed is the right word for people who are in the midst of trying to conceive or a good way to try to explain what happens during to a woman (and man) that time. You go to this place in your head where all logic, reason and emotion just get warped. It’s almost like you turn into a different version of yourself. Obsessed just does’t seem like the right word.

    Okay, I just went on a total tangent. Perhaps it’s time to write this in a post!!!!

    PS. Love the header 🙂

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    1. This is SO true, and I couldn’t figure out why “Obsessed” wasn’t sitting right with me. I think it’s b/c Obsessed seems so negative, and that isn’t fair to TTCers who are in the midst of ALI mindfuck hell. (Good Lord I’m classy) It’s more about being preoccupied, absorbed…ugh, i thought of the right word while laying in bed last night reading your comment, and now it’s gone. I’ll think of it. But yes. Obsessed isn’t quite right. It’s just something that is so all encompassing that it’s hard to explain to someone outside of the ALI world.

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      1. I like “mind-fuck hell”. I’m going to go with that until you can class me up with something else 😉

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      2. ENGROSSED. I was engrossed. Why does that word look so weird when I type it out? Maybe I should stick to mind-fuck hell?

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  8. I can really relate to this post. It took us 3 years to get our little boy and I ‘waited’ in my job just because it was all about a potential baby, holidays were really on hold it was all a bit ekkk. I was sort of fine in the what the outcome might have been but I had to give it my best shot. Parenting I’m so relaxed as long as he happy I’m happy no idea on what he should be doing. We have been blessed with such a laid back happy boy. We have Toby , he’ll be 1 on Sunday and are doing an FET on the 8th November I am freaking out as I think I am going to be way more upset this time round if it all doesn’t work. I am hoping like anything all will be fine. Trying for #2 is a little scary but many more before me have got through it. I don’t write a blog but reading others experiences is amazingly calming.

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    1. Exactly. I stayed an extra year in a job I hated, just because I thought financial security was what we needed. Then I was so frustrated that I still wasn’t pregnant and was STILL in a job that I hated that I quit, and then the new job I had fell through after two months, and suddenly I was unemployed at the time of our IUI. It’s crazy how life works out…

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  9. […] Josey of My Cheap Version of Therapy writes “I’ve been on a sliding scale of obsession for the past 3 1/2 years, but thanks to you, I now spend more time with my baby and less time obsessing. You think I’m joking?” in “Obsessed with Babies.” […]

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  10. You look so happy with your precious one! I’m glad that you are relaxed about parenting, I certainly try to be….

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  11. You know I’ll be here all through your blogging. I’ve gained so much advice and tips from you on parenting, infertility on so many things. I’m not going anywhere and hopefully you don’t go crazy with number 2 but if you do know I’ll be here to lend any support I can.

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  12. I shudder at the thought of trying for #2, because omg, yeah obsessed, and then the sadness and frustration. Glad we all have this ALI comminuty to help us through!

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  13. See now #1 was easy for us. It was ttc #2 that was difficult and took us 3 years. Once we started ttc#3 I think I was trying to stay as oblivious as possible because I have suffered losses. I think if it hadn’t been so easy to have E that #2 wouldn’t have hurt so much. I do feel like once you succeed and bring home a baby the next time isn’t as all consuming because you do have a little one at home that needs you.

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  14. […] – Obsessed with Babies goes through my TTC, pregnancy, and parenting levels of obsession. Thankfully I’ve been […]

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  15. I recently entered the blogging world and this is exactly why!

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  16. […] The current monthly theme post topic over at PAIL is all about “high standards” — and asking how/if coming to parenting from an ALI background affected the standards you hold yourself to as a parent.  When I first read the post, my gut reaction was “TOTALLY.” But then I started thinking about it more, and really, I think a few things regarding the first year qualify, but as Stella ages, not so much. Apparently I tend to over-research all things TTC related (searching for something to control maybe?), some things pregnancy related (just wanting to feel normal and have my body cooperate!), and not a whole lot parenting related (read more about these levels of “obsession” here). […]

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  17. […] Yesterday, while meandering my hometown and waxing poetic with a good friend of mine about my obsession of tiny homes, she laughed and told me I talk about these mini-domiciles the way most women talk about having a baby: […]

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