Monday, July 4, 2011

7/3/2011 - The Aftermath

Hey all! I've decided to write about my labor and delivery separate from this entry so you don't have to read nine pages of text. You're welcome.
For all who don't know (you all do), I gave birth to a healthy 6lb 6.6oz (yep, 666, no DOUBT!) boy on June 16th. And yeah, I'm just getting around to writing about all the great things that happen once you push a life out of your lady parts.
This entry is filled with lots and lots of gory details and a few non-gory photos (sorry, if only I had thought this through more) - most of which I had NO idea about. Moms, take this as a walk down memory lane. Non-moms, let this be your warning. Men, just be happy you were born with a penis.
Let's begin our journey with what happens "down stairs".
Once the epidural wears off (mine took effect after the birth, thank you very much) it feels as though someone has kicked your lady parts with a steel-toe boot while you were lying down in a naked split-eagle. I actually wasn't sure which part down there hurt worse and I was so scared that both my vagina and anus were distended that I had to have a nurse check. Luckily, they were not. I also made it through without hemorrhoids, but I had the ol' girl check for those as well.
After the delivery I was quickly put into some form of an adult diaper that was held on by fishnet boy shorts. This is not meant to be a flirty description, you can see from the photo below.
Also I was escorted into the bathroom by a nurse to pee for the first time so she could measure the blood bath that spewed forth and show me how I was to wipe myself.
She filled up a squirty bottle with warm water, squatted in front of my biz and proceeded to hose me down, warning "Make sure when you do this you clean up all the wee wee." Wee wee? At 33? Awesome.
Below is a photo of the bottle, diaper and underwear. Don't worry, they weren't used.

I was also told to pat dry so as not to tear anything. Comfortable!
What else? I had to sit on an ice pack for hours at a time to help with the swelling and take Motrin and...wait for it...stool softeners every 5 hours. I am telling you, the thought of producing a bowel movement at a time like that scared me more than the delivery part. I kept telling the nurses that there was NO WAY I could go without fully losing all of my intestines in the toilet. They reassured me that was what the stool softeners were for. Lord!
Back to the swelling. After I got out of the shower for the first time and padded around naked I actually felt my lady parts on my upper thighs. THAT'S RIGHT! Swollen to like 3 times the normal size.
I couldn't sit up, and getting out of that hospital bed was a nightmare. Swinging my legs over the edge and praying to get my ass off the side with only minimal pain.
After the trauma that my midsection endured the last 3 months, my abs felt so much like a warm Jell-o mold that I was really unable to sit up anyway. In fact, the minute my doctor pulled the baby out I felt my stomach and cried a little. It was like warm porridge.
My spine hurt like hell where the epidural was put in and leaning on it only made it worse.
Once I got home I took a mirror to  my lady parts and HOLY SHIT!!!!! I was not prepared for what I saw. It looked like a sad, purple hound dog that perpetually drools blood, I shit you not. And I was really sad that I didn't make a last minute bikini wax appointment, not only because my doctor had to be subjected to a rather unkempt southern region, but because NOTHING is touching there for a long long time. Hello Chewbacca!
At the suggestion of my sister in law, I had Sweet Husband go out and buy a donut for me to enjoy. Here is what I sat on for the better part of a week!
Three days after the delivery, the milk demons visited my boobs and enlarged them to three times their normal size. I have never seen a bigger rack on a small gal. They were also as soft as bricks and hurt like HELL. Every time the baby cried they started to ache and leak like hell PLUS I had to keep them strapped down under an ace bandage and an XS sports bra. Forget a shower, I couldn't touch them to ANYTHING. Burping the baby was one of the most painful experiences of my LIFE. They were hot and painful and swollen and miserable. It took about a week for them to settle down.
I think that's the gist of what happened. If I think of anything else I'll be sure to post it.

Here is a list of things that did NOT happen, though I was definitely expecting;
I did not get stretch marks
I do not have floppy boobs
My ankles/fingers didn't swell
My feet never grew
I didn't get a backache nor did I feel the contractions in my back
I didn't get "pregnancy nose" (apparently it's "pig-like") or a puffy appearance
And although my lady parts feel as though I banged a rolled up cylinder of carpeting, the size and shape is back to normal.
Now, if only I could say the same about my sleep...

7/27 - Addendum
I thought of a few more things that I didn't include in here.
First of all, it was my taint (for those of you who aren't versed with this word, that's the space between a lady's vagina and anus, or for the fellas, the scrotum and anus) that hurt for WEEKS after childbirth, not my vagina as I had fully prepared for. In fact, my vagina felt fine about 4 days after. The taint still bothers me and it's been almost 6 weeks.
Second! The bleeding after. I was prepared for 7-14 days and got to experience a SOLID 5 week "period". That's right! I even had to cancel my doctor appointment for the after check up because it was so nasty. That's a 35 day period people. It almost made up for all those weeks I got to skip while being pregnant.
And finally, anal incontinence. Yeah, you heard me. I have prided myself on holding back any sort of gas around Sweet Husband since the day I met him 4 years ago. The morning after the birth he crawled into bed with me at the hospital and I felt one coming on. Try as I might to squeeze (and let me tell you, even the THOUGHT of squeezing anything down there is quite daunting), out it came. I didn't say a word. Then SH said "Honey?" OMG!!!!! I farted on my husband! ON him! Not around him, not near him, ON HIM. How the mighty have fallen.

I am also going to start a sort of sister blog regarding the JOYS of parenting! Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

6/12/2011 - The Final Frontier

Well we can start the countdown, kids. If things go according to plan (and you KNOW they always do) I should be delivering in 11 days. Whew!
Everyone always complains about the last few weeks of pregnancy. I thought it was mainly due to discomfort, which certainly is part of it, but there is so much more than that.
It is uncomfortable. My belly feels like if it stretches anymore, I'll burst. Picking stuff up off the floor or tying your shoes, as I've mentioned before, is crazy uncomfortable. If you stand for too long, your back hurts. The Braxton Hicks' contractions are coming much more regularly so you feel as though your belly (uterus) is on constant lock down. The baby is big now and strong as a bull, apparently, and the movements, although not as busy, hurt a hell of a lot more. Especially when it waits until you bend over to deliver a kick to the underside of your ribs. I couldn't point to my intestines now if you paid me and when I get that I-have-to-go feeling, it's no longer in my lower abdomen, it's somewhere in my side. I didn't eat for three hours today while we were at a baby care class (more on that later) and by the time we got home I was shaking so violently I had to lay down right on the kitchen floor. Sleeping sucks now because you have to get up to pee three times, rather than once or twice AND each time you get up it feels as though you haven't allowed yourself to pee in weeks. It HURTS. If you stay in a sleeping position too long and then decide to move, awful cramps wrack your belly and sides. That's just the physical parts. People out in public start talking about you like you aren't even there. I got out of the pool at the gym the other day and one of the two gents in the hot tub said to the other "Whoa! She's gonna POP! I hope it's not here!". WTF? I can hear you, asshole.
Mentally, you know you've carried this baby around for 10 months. Enough is enough. You're tired, you want your body back, your old sleep patterns, the ability to touch the floor without barfing, but you also want to meet your baby. What will it look like? When is it coming!? So, all of this plus the anticipation and anxiety over having a baby come in to your life. It's exhausting!
We took a Baby Care Basics class today at a local hospital that was about 10% informative and 90% boring as hell. They actually had a five minute discussion on how you should never shake your baby. Um, does this need to be taught? Although, one father-to-be raised his hand and asked if we should be buying "those helmets" for our babies to protect them from bumping their heads against lord-knows-what, so maybe things do warrant explaining. They talked about "tummy time" and "kangaroo parenting" and all sorts of ridiculously named activities you can do with your baby. I think I can figure that much out.
The class after (which we did NOT sign up or stay for) was a breastfeeding class. We all know where I stand on this so I won't bring it up again but I do have to say this...WITH MEN??? A room full of men going through 2 hours of breastfeeding lecture!?! Is that really the place for MEN? I'm sorry! Call me old-fashioned but that gave me the vapors something FIERCE! Even if my plan was to breastfeed, I'd sit there and learn it next to some random dude over my dead body! Talking about nipples and sucking and...oh my god. I'm going to faint. Why does this birthing thing have to be such a "both of us" experience!? Is nothing sacred? Can us women have nothing private anymore? Things just to ourselves that we can share and talk about and support each other with? What next? Inviting your man to come to your annual pap-smear? What about the colonoscopy? I get that he's a part of the baby too, but he doesn't need to be EVERY part of it when it resides in my body. The day they figure out how to allow men to have babies, we'll be signing up for another one. Until then, settle back with your scotch, put your feet up and watch baseball on the hospital's waiting room TV. I got this shit.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

6/8/2011 - These are nacho boobs!

The other morning I woke up without the help of an alarm or a cat meowing in my ear or a truck rattling by. It was a lovely Sunday morning and I had nothing to do. I rolled over to find SH reading a book about baby sleep patterns in the bed next to me. I smiled.
"Good morning"
He looked over and began to smile than stopped, pointed his finger toward my tank top and said
"I think you leaked"
"What? Leaked WHAT?" I looked down at the chest of my white tank and saw a crusty stain the size of a quarter right over the ol' nip. Here is the gross part. The perimeter of the stain was a very light whitish color, almost the same color as my tank. The inside of this stain, however, was the exact color of queso dip. Look people, you gotta take the good with the bad here. Stay with me.
I sat up
"Oh, no. I don't think that's what it is. Maybe the dryer had some rust in it." I scratched the stain. Nope. It was crusty all right.
"If you say so"
"Damn it! That's disgusting!! What IS that? Why is it that color?"
I ran to the bathroom to pre-treat. So much for my relaxing morning.

Long before I ever thought I would get pregnant, I had a theory. It was simple; you do not have to simply give up when you become pregnant. Now, since I was never pregnant, I was met with a lot of negative feelings. A bunch of you-have-no-idea-what-it's-like's and a slew of just-wait-until-you're-pregnant's. Well I am now pregnant. I do have a very good idea and I still say movement and self-confidence is a very very good thing. Both alleviate all sorts of problems. Like I always say, having a bad day? Nothing some high heels and red lipstick can't fix.
The other day I saw a pregnant woman on the street and stopped to talk to her. She was leaning back, legs splayed with one hand on her back. I thought she was literally laboring, just walking through the neighborhood and getting through it. I asked how far along she was.
"29 weeks"
Now that I'm in this club I feel like so many women read the back of the label in pregnancy. You know what I mean? You get some weird pills from your doc and read "May cause drowsiness, headaches, nausea and vomiting" and by noon, you are CONVINCED you  have all of those symptoms. I think some of us convince ourselves that it's going to be SO this or SO that, that we don't really stay in the moment and experience it. Yeah, I hate pregnancy. It sucks. Or rather, blows. I am not a fan of sharing my body, or of having my ribs kicked and my bladder pummeled randomly throughout the day, but I'm not incapacitated! I am two weeks from my due date and I am still at the gym every day. I don't waddle, I never have my hand on my back, it doesn't take me 5 minutes to sit on the couch or get up from it. I still wear my wedding band, my feet haven't swollen or changed size and the maternity clothes I bought in month 5 still fit perfectly. I am not saying this to brag or come off as better than the next, but merely to say I'm not some crazy anomaly. I'm not "blessed" (as someone at the gym told me the other day), it's not because I have "good genes" (another ridiculous comment), it's because I am doing everything I did before I became pregnant and everyone else can too.
Our birthing class was full of women who required (or put on like they did) their husbands to help them up or rub their feet during class (now, don't think I don't enjoy a solid foot rub at days end) or get them water from two feet away.
Ladies! We are stronger than this! We are growing a LIFE inside of us that we will ALL push out of our vaginas (or have ripped from our abdomens in SURGERY) sooner or later. Why not give yourself a fighting chance here!? A little CREDIT! Stop with the excuses and the inability to go through life like you used to! Get moving. Stop expecting everything bad to happen and just sit there waiting. Please! I can't take it!

Friday, June 3, 2011

6/3/2011 - Kill Me

Yeah, it's been a while since my last post. I had a bunch of stuff to update you with but now I've forgotten all of it. How awesome!
I woke up today feeling pretty depressed. Just another perk of pregnancy hormones is my guess, and since that time I have not only experienced the blues, but also more throw up and now diarrhea.
I met up with a friend for coffee early this morning and on the way there decided to eat a banana to get something in my system (I woke up feeling nauseous). When I arrived I had a 1/2 caf latte and a cherry turnover. Both left me feeling gross. I explained my blues to my friend who said it sounded more like anxiety and I have to say, I agree. Except I'm not anxious about anything. But I'm super negative and down in the dumps which is not like me at all. Anywho, I digress.
After coffee I came home and changed to go to the gym. That's when the throw up happened followed in quick succession by the diarrhea (good thing I chose the bathroom sink to wretch in this time). On the way to the gym I felt another wave of puke coming on and thought I should eat something more so I downed 1/3 of a Mountain Mojo bar. Usually, I love these. Today it made me sick. Got to the gym and, of course, pushed myself way too hard in class. Came home from the gym so nauseous I had to lay down. I realized that I was hungry beyond belief but NOTHING sounded good to me.  I tried to create meals in my mind. I thought about what kind of take out was around. The only thing that sounded good was Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese and a diet cherry Coke. Sick. Plus, I don't have either in the house. So, I stayed in my sweaty gym clothes, threw on some Croc's with my socks and carelessly schlepped back out to the market to get these items. This is also something I never do. Whenever I go in public, I always try to make myself presentable. I couldn't be less so today.
Now, let's add the nutrients of my day so far. Banana, a "fake" fruit as it's basically all sugar, non-fat latte, a little calcium and vitamin D, cherry turnover, nothing but sugar and carbs, Mountain Mojo, very little protein and a lot of carbs, and now mac 'n' cheese and a coke. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Protein, where are you?
I think I can hear my baby screaming to get out.
I took a belly shot at 35 weeks, even though I'm 37 now. I'll show it anyway so you can track this frightening progression.

And now, 37. Hold on to your ass...

Just so you're not totally alarmed, my belly skin is red on the Week 37 shot because SH and I went to the beach and got ourselves some massive sunburns. I did think enough to put SPF 70 around my belly button, which is why it looks like a white bulls eye.
Well folks, turns out pregnancy isn't all fast cars and loose women. It really does blow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

5/17/2011 - Hey, Guess What?

I have a massive rash on my tits! What fun! It showed up sometime on Saturday evening and has been holding steady ever since. It travels nowhere but the boob area, stopping right at the perimeter. This is awesome. Just when I thought I was out of shitty things to talk about, up pops the boob hives! They're hot and itchy and irritated with sweat (which rocks as I'm still working out 8 hours a week) and nothing is making them feel better. I bet SH finds me even more desirable now.
Oh, and speaking of sex appeal, the other night we were getting ready for bed. I was sitting at the edge of the bed, facing the pillows (profile to SH) with my knee bent sideways, applying my nightly regimine of lippy and hand cream when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw SH look down to my upper thigh (right where it meets the ass cheek on the side there...I had on short shorts) and touch it ever so gently. IMMEDIATELY I knew something was wrong with my body. The touch had that sort of sympathy feel. I looked down to find about 5 dimples of fucking cellulite on my upper thigh!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? This has to be some sort of a joke. I screamed and jumped up.
"Oh my god! Oh my god! Where did that come from? What IS that!?"
SH looking as though he wished he never touched it
"Honey, Jesus! Look at me! I'm a fucking WHALE and now I have cellulite!?"
"It's not a big deal, babe. You're pregnant"
"My THIGHS aren't pregnant! Holy shit.  My whole body is going to hell. Why did you TOUCH it!?"
He sat thinking. What would be the right answer? He opted for the truth.
"I just wanted to see what it felt like."
Oh my god.
"Next time just go to the fridge and caress the god damn cottage cheese! This sucks!"
So there. TWO things. It just keeps right on sucking.
I've also decided I hate the floor. Like, HATE...THE...FLOOR. Why does everything have to be on the fucking floor? Shoes, feet, bags, cats that want to be picked up, low shelves in the kitchen, the cat box. It hurts to bend over now. Hurts to scrunch down. It feels like I'm wearing a huge, fully stuffed backpack in the front of my body, IN my body. I lean over and my lungs feel like they're going to pop, my stomach wretches its juices toward my mouth, my eyeballs bulge. It's horrible! I can't tie my shoes without groaning and panting like a dog in heat. Getting a Tupperware lid requires me to hunker down to an "all fours" position and crawl my way to the back of the cabinet.
We went to a party on Sunday and I was talking to a girl who was drinking a bottle of water. She went to screw the top back on and it fell on to the floor. I audibly gasped like "Oh no! Now what?" as I watched it spin a lazy circle. I was really upset, almost angry. Then I realized I wasn't the one who had to pick it up. That was a great feeling.
5 weeks and 2 days to go, or so they say. I think the math might be off here.
I'm wondering if once I give birth that I'll feel all light and empty inside right away. Like I can just sit up and take in a full lung of breath. Whew.
I sure hope so.

Monday, May 9, 2011

5/9/2011 - The Last Word

I feel like I've talked about my distaste for breastfeeding my infant ad nauseam but over the past few weeks, a shit storm has rained down upon me and I'm going to rant one last time before I let it go forever (I hope).
People, listen. You can feed whomever you want with your boobs. I'm not trying to make a law banning breastfeeding. I'm not judging you for sticking your nipple into your infants mouth. This is a personal choice and it does not make you a better person or mother than me. Much like women who choose to have a C-section or women who choose to have an epidural are not any less "motherly" than those who do it without drugs in a birthing tub in a shed in the back of their house. It is a personal choice. Those babies aren't any stronger, more beautiful, healthier or better off than the babies who came out an incision in the stomach.
Say anything you want about breast milk, and people do. It cures diseases. It's "best" for the baby. It'll help you lose weight. WHATEVER. I don't want to fucking do it and I am not going to feel any guilt about mixin' up some formula and handing it over.
In fact, in January a study was done regarding the nutritional benefits of breast milk versus modern formulas and the results came back the SAME. One was not better than the other.
I have countless friends and family members that even say "I breast fed my baby and my friend bottle fed. My baby was sick ALL the time and her baby was totally fine."
Now, believe the study or don't, HERE is my gripe.
Riding me for choosing not to breast feed is a waste of fucking time. Know why? Because it doesn't affect you in the least! MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. Me giving my child breast milk or formula won't affect you AT ALL. You can still sleep a full night and go out with your friends. You won't be kicked out of your house or have your car repossessed. Your life will go right on ticking. My choice won't change anything you do.
If people are so concerned with the health of other people's babies, why don't we go after unhealthy pregnant women? The house that my little fetus is getting to develop in is FABULOUS. I eat roughly 90 grams of protein a day, loads of fiber and tons of fruits and vegetables. I drink at least 64 oz of water a day if not more. I don't smoke or live with anyone who does. I don't eat fast food. I exercise 8-10 hours a week at the gym and walk the dog another 2-3 hours a week. 99% of my meals are consumed at home, made by me and in 33 weeks, I've gained 14 pounds. Now, compare me to the fat, unhealthy, sloth-like pregnant women I see everywhere. Women who use their pregnancy to eat whatever the fuck they want and lay around on their expanding asses. Women who smoke and act like it's 100% their right? Now, when THOSE women decide to breast feed whatever disgusting junk they put into their body to their babies, they are held high in society as doing what is BEST for their infant! But mention to her that maybe she should be doing a little better job helping her fetus grow? OH NO!  That is completely taboo! Who do we think WE are judging someone for not working out or eating a balanced meal? It's just none of our business.
That's right! And neither is this.
Back off, boob freaks! You're gonna get yourself punched.
*pant pant*
There. Done.

Friday, May 6, 2011

5/6/2011 - The Barf-A-Thon is Back

My fingers smelled like puke the other day. Like, all day. I washed. I scrubbed under my fingernails. I moisturized with smelly lotion. Nothing helped. Little did I know this was foreshadowing at its finest.
Yesterday morning I woke up after another exceptionally bad night of sleep. Seems the mountains of pillows I have accumulated for my comfort aren't really helping me and are also hindering my cat's ability to sleep with me, which of course, wakes me up all night long. Anyway, I woke up early so that I might take SH to work before heading off to school. I had a doctors appointment later that day and was feeling...I don't know...generous, so I invited SH along (the first he's been invited to). As I'm putting toothpaste on my brush, I feel a wave of nausea. "Oh no" I think "this has to be over". Once the brush touches my teeth, I dry heave exactly three times. Nothing that big, but disturbing none-the-less. Now, if you've never enjoyed the sensation of throwing up with a baby inside of you allow me to explain. It felt like someone kicked my belly up toward my boobs three times in a row. My muscles tightened and that baby FLEW. Crazy.
Well, this morning I wake up and want NOTHING to eat. I mean, absolutely nothing sounded good. After about 40 minutes (way too long to wait, I know) I decide on poached eggs (my new favorite breakfast food), tortillas and beans. As I boil the water, the nausea hits. I take this as a sign my blood sugar is low and, without thinking of its consequences, open the fridge and quickly down 4 swigs of orange juice. I walk out of the kitchen to grab something and feel it hit.
"Oh shit!"
I race to the kitchen sink where I proceed, FOR FIVE MINUTES, to throw up every last trace of  acidic orange juice (still cold) and whatever sort of bile I had in there. My eyelids are sweaty, my throat is burning, my stomach hurts from being pressed against the counter, my baby is bouncing away and people that are walking by (we live on the first floor and our windows literally open up to the sidewalk) are pausing outside to stare. I can do nothing but continue until my body is done with whatever it feels offended it so much and then do my best to blow the orange snot out of my nasal cavity before heading off to teach a class.
I thought this shit was over. Brutal!
Ah, the doctor answered all of my questions, so here they are;
1. Yes, fairly close to normal.
2. You can wear your own clothes if you want.
3. I quote "It's not the 50's. We don't shave your privates and put you under. Come as you are."
4. No it is not.
5. I will quote again "You can take it home with you if you want, it's yours."
And I found out I am up 14.4 pounds since when this whole thing began. Making me a very rotund 136.4 pounds. Which sucks but is definitely better than I thought, especially after my eat-a-thon in Chicago.
I made a comment in birthing class the other day (after everyone in the group shared how much they just adore being pregnant) that I hate being huge and groaning when I tie my shoes. The wacky teacher said "Well" in a tone "we don't want skinny pregnant ladies!" All the ladies clucked their tongues and looked shamefully in my direction.
And I thought, this is what people are giving me so much slack over! They think I want to look as though I'm not pregnant. Or stay "skinny" throughout! This is an impossible wish and certainly not mine. My panic about this weight gain comes from what happens AFTER, people. What happens when all of the weight isn't "baby weight" and I'm all of a sudden carrying around 8 pounds of fat more than I did when I became pregnant? What happens when I'm clocking 2 hours of sleep and can't bare to drag my ass to the gym? What happens when I come home to find my jeans don't fit? My arms are flabby? My abs can no longer be seen?? This is my panic. So do I want to gain 30 pounds because that's in the "normal" range? No I certainly do NOT! I want to gain whatever it takes to float this baby around, house this nasty placenta (I may post that pic!) and increase my blood flow plus the weight of my fetus. And that is that. Nothing more. But I will take a little less. I shudder to think how long this is going to take.
Ol' fatty fatty two-by-four...
I forgot to mention this other stupid story in my last post, so here it is.
I went to the gym to swim a few weeks ago and as I was descending the stairs into the pool, a woman of about 20 floated by.
"Oh! Congratulations!!"
"What are you having? A boy or a girl?"
"We don't know, we want to be surprised."
She let her noodle float away and stood up, very seriously.
"Well, if it's a boy you should name it Brandon."
I'm silent
"That's the name of my boyfriend."
I dropped under the water and swam to the next lane.
Are you kidding me? I've heard some stupid shit since I've been pregnant, but that about tops the list. Name your child after my BOYFRIEND? What!? How does that even make sense!?? Not like, name it Peter so it can have your last name (thank you K). Or, name it after a brave war hero. Name it after my BOYFRIEND?! Jesus CHRIST!
So, we've decided on the boys name. Brandon Alexander Joseph.
After some random chick's boyfriend that I've never met. What a great story for our son to have.
Fuck that.