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Making a baby when you’re depressed

Now that our lovely boy is here I’m going to catchup on a few posts about how he got here. As this one is titled, it’s about making babies.  Turn away now if you don’t want to read about depression and sex.

Still here? Weirdo. Anyway…. You’d have thought that making a baby would signal good times for a dad who is depressed.

Lots of sex with wifey – what’s not to love?!

Unfortunately it wasn’t that simple. Here’s a list why:

  1. Anxiety. When I’m having a bad day I don’t like myself very much, and when I feel like that I find it even harder to think that anyone else likes me. This doesn’t put me in the mood for sexy times.
  2. Rising to the occasion. The medication I take on a daily basis makes it pretty hard to get hard and stay hard. This makes making babies tricky.
  3. The finale. If I can overcome point one, and manage to beat point two, the most challenging problem is that the medication knocks out a lot of sensation in the old chap, and getting him to complete the job is almost impossible.
  4. Points 2 and 3 amplify point 1.

It took about 18 months from “yes, let’s make a baby” to “we’re having a baby”. Those were a long 18 months. How we did it:

  • Regular discussions with a GP who gave me confidence to be honest and frank about the whole situation.
  • Trying Viagra. Didn’t do anything but did make us laugh about what to expect!
  • Lots of sex. Sounds obvious but when ever the time was right we’d give it our best shot.
  • Not strictly monitoring the time of the month – checking precisely when wifey was most fertile added more pressure to perform and ended up being counter productive.
  • Varying medication – when we knew roughly which week would be best to conceive I’d lower my dosage so the physical effects of the drugs weren’t so strong. It meant the mental effects of my mood and anxiety were stronger but we’d work together and try and overcome those – there was no overcoming the physical side effects of the drug.

So if you’re depressed about being depressed and its holding you back from having a baby, PLEASE don’t loose hope. It might feel impossible but it can happen. Talk to your GP (with your partner if that helps) and keep trying different things, both physical and mental. And enjoy the intimacy and love of trying as much as you can.

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Boy babies and girl babies 

There’s only one main difference between having a boy baby compared to a girl baby so far that I’m certain every other parent can relate to – the contents of their nappy.

The anatomical differences are more challenging than I expected, after spending four years getting used to cleaning up female parts (which took some getting used to), I am now faced with a tiny willy and balls to look after.

Here are my top four differences I’m faced with when dealing with tiny boy parts:

  • Willy’s are dangerous, keep that thing covered at all times!
  • Wiping a willy with a cold wipe often encourages more wee to clean up.
  • Cleaning up is always uncomfortable for the chaps little chap, a cold wipe is never appreciated by the boy and he cries every time.
  • Whereas I was used to being careful not to get poo into places it shouldn’t, I now spend ages chasing poo around places it shouldn’t, and the miniature jewels really get in the way, it’s far more fiddly. I have some appreciation for women who first encounter this set of features and wonder what the hell they’re meant to do with them.

And then we were four. 

He’s here.

I’ve made it through another delivery, and I think I feel ok.

This time it was quite different. Here are ten things I recognised:

  1. Number 2 was much faster, within 24 hours of the first contraction we were back home with a new baby.
  2. It was much calmer, there was just a midwife and her student there which was a much nicer experience, and there were far, far less complications.
  3. Less blood. This time it felt more normal, I can still remember how much blood there was before, it still frightens me.
  4. I didn’t think wifey’s life was in danger this time, that was a massive bonus (though there was a moment I feared for the boy)
  5. It wasn’t so overwhelming, I knew I could deal with this, and that wifey could too.
  6. I actually felt a little bit useful this time as I wasn’t as freaked out and could offer better emotional and physical support.
  7. We hadn’t met the delivery midwife before, but that was ok because she was awesome, and so was her colleague who took over shortly after we arrived. I think it’s a fair generalisation that most midwives are awesome.
  8. For wifey, if your body isn’t totally butchered below in delivery, it gives you a much better start to being a mum.
  9. The boy was massive, I was ready for being in awe of his frail tiny newborn babyness, but you could absolutely tell he was overdue and ready for the world.
  10. I was quite conscious of my anxiety, but had the foresight to take a maximum does of medication in the morning and managed to keep on top of it.

All in all a good start all th get considered. Here we go…

Waiting

And so we wait. 

Tick follows tock follows tick….

Nothing

Still waiting for the hopefully familiar. 

No baby. Our lives continue to be perched on the edge of the newborn abis.

Feeling pretty nervous about it now. Last night I read through some of my post from this time four years ago in 2012, I’d forgotten how tough it was, it Got me quite scared about what’s coming.

Reading through the old posts, I do talk about how a lot is down to confidence, and I certainly have a lot more of that now which is a good thing. 

I’m hoping it’s a bit like learning to drive – when you first get behind the wheel you can’t imagine how you’re going to be able steer, change gear, accelerate, check mirrors… do all those things together… it all feels overwhelming. But slowly and surely things come together and before too long you’re not thinking about the basics which first flumaxed you, there are bigger things to worry about, like switching lanes on the north circular to make your exit while avoiding being cut up by white van man. And even when you haven’t driven for a while and have to pick up a hire car, you soon get the hang of it. 

Let’s hope…

You’re always pretty

Daughter got some lip balm in a stick for her birthday and it’s making her feel very grown up. 

Mummy, I need it to look pretty

Daughter, you always look pretty, you don’t need that to look pretty. 

Not when I’m grumpy mummy, I don’t look pretty when I’m grumpy

She’s got a point….

Her: “What’s that?” Me: “You becoming self aware”

20140407-074538.jpgShe’s recently become aware of her belly button, and when her vest comes of her fingers explore her tummy until she find the wrinkled dimple and she calls out “Belly button!”
But during bath time last night her hands explored further and there was a different inquisitive “What’s THAT?”.
I stumbled for a moment before replying “that’s your front bottom”. It was the best I could come up with and I think I could have done a lot worse.
Do they really have to grow up so fast?!

Potty training day five – defeat or defiance

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We’re a working week into our potty training plan, and we’re not taking it any further. We’ve decided that she’s actually not ready yet, and it’s just going to be unnecessarily stressful for everyone involved if we continue.

After days three and four in nursery there had been 9 and 10 accidents and changes of clothes and although she has an excellent understanding of what the potty is for and how to use it, she physically can not hold back her bladder. It’s always too late for the potty by the time she realised what was going on, and Thursday night me and wifey had a long chat to decide whether we should brave the storm and stand strong in defiance, or give it one more day and if there’s no sign of any improvement we’d call it a day.

So day five came and there’s been another 10 changes of clothes so we’re going back to nappies full time tomorrow, and we’ll try again in a few months. >

Potty training day one – making a song and dance of it.

Day one of potty training, and I’m relived I only had to deal with a few child-like grownups in the office and not an unpredictable toddler wearing pants for the first time in her life.

Over all it was a success. A quick first top three lessons learnt on the first day:

  1. When you’ve spent your whole life wearing a nappy, switching to a comfy pair of pants is actually quite weird for a toddler.
  2. When they finally perform on cue in the potty, making a literal song and dance is fun, we spent about 15 minutes jumping and dancing round the room celebrating, to the extent that I was worried she’d wee again with giggles and excitement.
  3. Wipe clean floors really come into their own when there’s the constant risk of wee.
  4. You can’t have too much kitchen roll and floor wipes to hand.
  5. Roll up the rugs you have on your wooden or tiled floor – make the most of that wipe clean surface.

The day finished with a respectable wee in the potty while watch “Zoo lane” and a grump about putting a nappy on for bed time. Let’s see what tomorrow brings…

A messy upgrade

20140327-090245.jpgThe next big step to child independence is upon us: potty training.

Our key worker at nursery has suggested it’s time and my head is filled with two very different thoughts:

  1. She’s doesn’t seem to have been a baby for very long, she’s growing up so fast!
  2. Oh my god, there’s going to be piss and shit everywhere for weeks, how quickly is it possible to learn?!

It really does feel like a big step to her own “self sufficiency”. With every step, even at this tiny age, living grows and so does the fear if the inevitable “letting them go”.

They really do grow up very fast!

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