Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gender Processing

On Sunday I found out we are expecting a baby girl.  Let me just say that after infertility I am so happy and blessed to even be here at this point.  I am hoping I can keep her safely in my body, growing strong and healthy until she's ready to make her debut this holiday season.

As some of you know who've been following my journey.  I've always pictured myself the mom of a boy.  For some reason I've had this picture in my mind for years, going back to even my teens.  In general the idea of parenthood scares me.  I am terrified I'll make mistakes, that I won't be good enough, that I don't deserve a child.  Scared I'll mess up.  My husband shares this fear with me, which is why we didn't start trying for children until age 30 and we really started because we knew we wanted kids and felt we were running out of time.  We kept thinking of we waited longer and longer then we'd feel more "ready", but that never happened and one day it was like, well, we're 30 and we want two children, so lets get going.  Then of course, then plan went awry from there....  While the more I deal with TTC and IF the more I wanted a baby, but the fear never quite left.

I work with children in the special education setting, mostly through the schools and then recently through early childhood intervention.  I am returning back to the schools this fall and will hopefully be putting in my two week notice at my current job today.  Special education contains children from both genders, however, there is a greater amount of boys and most years that I worked with children, I would have one girl and often times only a classroom of boys.  I became more used to boys and more experienced with them.  I felt as scared as I was to be a mom, it would be "easier" somehow with a boy than a girl.  A girl scared me because I'm scared I'm not the right person to raise one.  I grew up with a lot of body image issues, depression, self-loathing, and I was absolutely terrified to pass this one to my child.  I was mostly anorexic in high school.  I snuck out of my house at night to run the track, I did who knows how many sit-ups and I skipped every meal I could get away with (dinner was hard since we had family dinners, but the others were easy).  I only saw fat, fat, and more fat when I looked in the mirror and I just hated myself.  I will admit on this blog that I tried to take my own life a few times.  I dealt with sexual abuse when I was young too, which contributed to my lower self-image.  I was lucky in that I met my husband as a teenager, but until I met him, I would do things with boys because I felt I only served one purpose anyways and it's either give it or have it taken from me, so easier to give it.  I dealt with depression a lot and in college I ended up gaining over 100 lbs due to the amount of drugs I was on to deal with my depression and suicide attempts.  I was also a big cutter.  These days really took their toll on my husband and I and I can imagine how bad it must have hurt him to see me feel this way, do these things, and he stand helplessly by and watch it.  He is an amazing man for believing I could overcome and get past this.  I did change colleges to the one he attended and things got better, graduated, got our first apartment and got married.  After we got married the demon came back to my head and I went back to depression, cutting, and wanting to kill myself.  I told my husband I was never going to have children because I didn't want to pass down the "crazy" that was in my head.  It was all I could refer to it as because it would just take over me.  I took pill after pill after pill.  One day I got tired of pills and I threw them away and never went back to the psychiatrist.  I found myself weighing 320 lbs and miserable.  I took drastic measures, I told my husband I had to pursue gastric bypass.  Oh at the time too I was going between starving myself for days at a time and binge eating, back and forth, back and forth.  On March 15, 2008 I had gastric bypass surgery.  I quit taking all the psychiatric meds and I started taking control of myself and my life.  I was getting into applied behavior analysis and learning more about triggers and what would set me off and spiral.  I wanted to move closer to family and so I got a teaching job closer to family and had to live apart from my husband while we figured out his job and everything.  It all ended up working out and I'm happy to say since that time I have not made another attempts on my life, I lost 160 lbs. and kept every pound of it off, and I am in control of myself and my life.  Even in the deep dark days of depression with infertility I never went back to how I was.

As a child my mom was very concerned with my appearance.  Comments would be made on not looking fat and especially comments were noticed on my love of food. This is how a lot of my weight issues started and I know ti wasn't intentional. I know my mom struggled with her own issues with weight and the way she looks.  If you talk to most girls, almost all have struggled with it.  This is what scares me.  I want my daughter to know what a beautiful, amazing person she is.  That healthy is what's beautiful and attractive along with self-confidence.  That she's better than all of that.  That a man who judges her based on anything other is not worth even a moment of her time.  Can I do it? Can I get rid of what TV just tries to show, the media, models, comments, etc and teach her that she is amazing just as God made her?  That I wanted her so bad that I would stop at nothing to bring her here with me to this life?

Everything about this journey has not gone according to my "plan".  I think I plan too much, but it's to try and keep myself in control.  I planned to get pregnant immediately when I started trying, have a baby born any month except December, which is my own birth month and something I've had issues with my whole life, and of course I was going to have a boy.  Instead I struggled for a couple of years, did the most extensive treatment I had tried on the month I knew would give me a December child, and of course, my miracle is going to be a girl.  I don't want to give her my issues, I don't want her to be me, I can't explain how much I need her to know that she is amazing and wonderful and loved beyond anything.

Also, a lot of my wanting a boy has to do with keeping something I lost and that is my Chase.  I always thought he'd be with me in one form or another and no longer feel him with me.  I think I knew I was having a girl for a little while now for that reason alone.  I had also built up pictures in my mind of raising a boy and so it's more of reworking what I had in my mind, although to be honest I am trying to stop planning and have expectations and just go from there.

Even though I always talked about a boy, pictured a boy, I am not disappointed to have a girl.  I am just scared and hope I can be the mom she deserves.  Right now I'm focusing on making sure my body can take care of her appropriately and this morning I am meeting with the high risk specialist to check on her placenta and go from there.

I hope this post doesn't offend anyone at all.  I felt a need to be honest.  I am getting more used to the idea and I am very happy about her, I just want to do right is all.


  1. First of all, I think you of all people have a beautiful foundation because of where you've been and the triumphs you've had to raise this baby girl in the most healthy of environments. I'm so sincerely sorry for all you went through. You are certainly a strong woman and it shows. Fear not...it will all fall into place and you AND your husband will be fantastic parents!!

    Second, I think the name Chase is fabulous for a little girl. Like, I love it. Have you considered that??

  2. I think that you are very brave and strong for coming forward with your past. I have struggled with an eating disorder and anxiety as well and it can consume you. Thank you for sharing and I know that you will be and amazing mom because of these struggles!

  3. I think that all these experiences you've been through is exactly what will make you the mother your daughter will need! I too struggled with depression off & on throughout my life. I did drugs and a lot of things I'm not proud of before I got pregnant with my 9 year old daughter, and I too went through a time when I cut myself. I always worried that I would pass these things on to my daughter, but now I see that she's not going to be like me, She's going to be better than me! because I'm always going to be there for her & tell her exactly what I wish someone would have told me growing up. Growing up especially as a teenager, its hard to talk to anyone who understand what you are going through. This is one of the many reasons you will be the perfect mom for her... the fact that you are worrying so much about her shows how much you love her.

  4. I can understand ur fears but I think with all u have been through you will be a wonderful mother to your daughter. You will be a great advocate to her. I'll admit growing up I wasnt so close to my mother but I wish I was. Now that we are extremely close I tell myself all the time that I will always talk to my future daughter and establish the trust and communication. You will be an exceptional mother.