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?
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?