My existence is a life-long treasure hunt.

Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

Three’s Company Too

Wow. S and A, our two beautiful, planned children. I wanted desperately to get to the next step in my career, feeling very much on pause while I nurtured and raised my daughters. I made myself release a lot of stress and pressure by focusing solely on the girls during A’s first year. After I weaned from breastfeeding when she turned 1 year old, I would have a bit more freedom to get back to “me”, whoever that was at this point. My husband and I would finally get some breathing room. More structure, more routine. More vacations! A 10-year anniversary trip to Maui was booked.  A winter trip to Costa Rica was planned as soon as the airline opened seats that far in advance. The abdomen and hernia damage from A’s pregnancy would be surgically repaired. I met with the surgeon for a consultation and nodded affirmatively when he asked if we were finished having kids.

That, I was in the process of coming to peace with. Before kids were a reality, I always daydreamed I would have 4 children. The big family I never had and always wanted. Then I in turn had 2 awful pregnancies (3 if you include the miscarriage) that had me feeling like I was a prisoner in my own body. A labor turned emergency C-section with A (that’s a crazy story for another post) that transitioned into the most pain I have ever endured via surgery recovery. Hellish breastfeeding experiences both times until well into nursing (thanks lip and tongue ties). We projected into the future and agreed that 2 really was the perfect number for us personally, and our family goals.

Fertility was always a struggle. I definitely had to try and plan to get the girls here. So when I was 2 weeks late, I chalked it up to breastfeeding messing with my cycle. YOU THOUGHT, said my body. Plot twist, 6 weeks pregnant! While I was laughing with my co-workers about being done with pregnancy, while my husband and I made plans, while I booked flights, while I bought new clothes, while while while….Yung Fetus was in there smirking.

World has been upside down ever since. What are we going to do with a 3rd baby?? This was not in the plans. How are we going to be a traveling family of 5?? Do I have to get a minivan! How are we going to put 3 car seats in my car? Are we going to be broke forever? Will I ever be myself again???

What will be, will be. This baby will have a place at the table and we will be very happy to meet it.

Things I am currently swirling in my head:

-I have to have a 37 week c-section because I had a classical incision with A. Not happy about that at all. Will the baby be too small or have other issues? Google assures me that most 37-weekers do just fine.

-Who are you, baby? We are assuming girl even though you had jokes at my 16 week check-up and kept your legs mostly together. What is your name?

-If this is a girl, how am I going to survive doing 4 heads of natural hair every day/week?

-I have to get organized. I have to get a system. I have a planner, a separate to-do list with categories, and a Midori/traveler’s notebook. It’s happening.

-Please baby, be healthy. And don’t have a tongue or lip tie please lawd.

-Is my body going to be completely destroyed after this? When will I be “myself” again?

What a fork in the road the middle of this year became. I do feel peace, and I feel determination. See you soon.

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Hello Minicorn

So, I’m reading the last post shaking my head and laughing. When last I left you on November 1st, I was in “early labor”. I didn’t understand why it had lasted longer than 12 hours and I was still in “early labor”. Girl.

So the day went on, the contractions are getting more and more painful. There was a brief time where they were juuuust over 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute, for an hour. We were watching Dexter. Then they spaced back out to 7-10 minutes apart but still painful. I’m sitting here thinking how the hell am I supposed to make it through another night with pain like this? I tried my breathing exercises, visualization, relaxing, etc. Still painful.

So that night, I could not even lie down, the contractions and pressure were SO PAINFUL. I called the on-call midwife at about 1 am telling her that no, my contractions are not staying in the 5-1-1 pattern  but I can no longer talk through them, I cannot walk through them, I cannot sleep through them, I AM DYING A LITTLE BIT PLEASE HELP. You know what this bish said? “Have you tried a warm bath and a glass of wine?” Bitch, I didn’t say I had a tough day at the office. She said it doesn’t sound like I’m in active labor so I should try to take some Tylenol PM to sleep through them. I COULD go to the hospital but I would be better off at home in “early labor”. Ok bitch fine, whatever, Ihopeyoudie GOODBYE. So I wake up poor Crabby and he goes to 2 different places, NO TYLENOL PM TO BE FOUND. He ended up getting some regular Tylenol from his mom’s house. I took 2. You think that did anything but piss off the contraction gods?

So, at this point, in the wee hours of the morning of November 2nd, I am seriously concerned. How am I supposed to endure a fully natural, unmedicated labor if I can’t even handle “early labor”? There was NO WAY I could stand this pain for another day. Now, that morning, I had my 39 week check-up at the midwives office at 9:15am. So around 6:30 am I’m all fuck this, we’re going in early. The midwives office is in the same building as the hospital, conveniently. So I go take a shower also hoping the water would help my contractions. LOL NOAP. I’m basically on the floor of the shower drowning helplessly every contraction. And I’m feeling waaaaaay too much pressure down below. Pushy pressure, if you will. My bladder and bowels had already completely emptied in the hours before, so what could that be?

I crawl out of the shower, barely throw on a t-shirt and sweats, crawl out, and tell Crabby we have to go NOW, RIGHT NOW. Crabby, who had still been asleep, assumes I mean to my appointment and is not really moving. I’m like NO, SOMETHING IS WRONG WE HAVE TO GO RIGHT NOW. HURRY. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth. Crabby grabbed the toothbrush and toothpaste and we left. Never mind the half-packed hospital bag with my cute little tank dress from American Apparel that I was going to labor in and oh, EVERYTHING ELSE WE NEEDED.

I struggle to the car and we go. In morning rush-hour traffic. While having contractions. Contractions that were now about 2-3 minutes apart. At one point I took off my seatbelt and tried to climb. There was nothing to climb. It was bad. All bad.

We get to the valet of the hospital, they give me a wheelchair, and we go up to the 15th floor, aka the midwives office. I figure just in case I’m tripping and still in “early labor”, they can at least check me out there. We get up there and the receptionist is all, um, the midwives aren’t here yet. So we ask them what floor Labor & Delivery is on, because fuck all of that. Ain’t nobody got time.

They send us to L&D, 12th floor where we are told we actually need to go to triage on the 11th floor. Ma’am? They call the triage nurses to come get us because at this point I cannot sit in the wheelchair with the contractions and I’m just standing there moaning and rocking back and forth. I then tell Crabby mournfully, “I’m going to throw up.” And so I did. All over the check-in area of Labor & Delivery. The Thai noodles from way earlier the day before had never digested. RIP. So then I was thinking ok good, maybe they’ll listen to me.

Once the nurses came, it was like my body shut down. I let them lead me, take me, do whatever. I refused an IV and they did a cervical check. I am drifting in and out and the nurse says “I have good news” and I’m all “blerghdkaskdfje?” and she says “You’re a 9.”

*RECORD SCRATCH* MA’AM?

I call out to Crabby and my mom (who had met us there) DID Y’ALL HEAR THAT?? I AM 9 CM DILATED!

You mean to tell me I have been in active labor this whole gotdamn time at home?! That I am IN TRANSITION AND HAD BEEN IN TRANSITION AT HOME? WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

Somehow I end up in the delivery room. It was all a blur from there. A blur of hydrotherapy shower (that helped SO MUCH), time on the birthing ball, laboring in random positions on the hospital bed, Crabby’s hand applying counterpressure to my back, pushing against the pressure, nurses telling me that I am doing so well; they are shocked by what is happening.

So my midwife asks to break my water because there’s just a tiny bit of cervix left. I ask her if it will make my contractions worse and she says not at this point. So she does it and it seems like immediately I am pushing. They bring out the mirror. I can see her head. But now it’s time to focus. I think it only took 4 or 5 pushes to get her out.

Minicorn was born November 2nd at 9:59am. 6lbs6oz. We got to the hospital at 8am. Let that marinate.

Here she is. In all her brunette ringletted, gray-eyed glory. My little angel-dragon-unicorn baby girl.

She must have gotten too much fluid into her respiratory system because the NICU team came in and put her on oxygen, and took her away 😦 but she did fine after a bit of oxygen and they released her to our room.

She has an extra thumb (clearly her unicorn horn, thanks La). She’s perfect. She smells so good. I can’t believe she’s here.

As for my recovery, it has gone so well. I think when you’re a person who researches the hell out of everything the way I do, you’re surprised when EVERYTHING POSSIBLE doesn’t go wrong. But I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. I am very proud of myself. Hearing my mom, MIL, Crabby, nurses, midwives say how strong I was, how well I handled everything, etc, feels really good.

I had a natural, unmedicated labor and birth MOSTLY AT HOME. Until I was 9 cm dilated. I did not take any birthing classes. I wanted to try it on my own. I didn’t tear, didn’t need any stitches. I bled heavily only that first day. A week later, the bleeding has pretty much stopped. I took no pain meds after delivery. My soreness was gone after Sunday or so. I started nursing in the hospital (they gave Minicorn donor milk while she was in NICU). My milk has come in full force and I’ve almost completely gotten the hang of this nursing thing.

This was all the prep I did for labor. For contractions, I thought “surrender to the pain”. I pictured ocean waves coming in with each contraction. Other times I pictured a flower blooming during the intense pressure. I breathed in slowly, out slowly. I relaxed my body, made sure it didn’t tense up. I relaxed my facial muscles, jaw, etc.

As for the birth plan, episiotomy was never mentioned, my water was broken at 9 cm which helped bring Minicorn here (my concern was breaking it too early, which ended up not mattering at all), Crabby cut the cord after it stopped pulsing (I am really glad we did that now since she had trouble breathing. It could have been worse if we had cut the cord earlier), the stripping membranes would only have come into play if I was overdue (HA), there was certainly no time limit on my labor (HA), I didn’t do perineal massage but didn’t need it, and I only pushed when I felt the urge. I was also careful to push slowly when I felt her crowning (yes, the Ring of Fire is real) so that I wouldn’t tear. Hear me roar, bitches.

Anyway, Minicorn has quite the personality to be so young. She is SO alert and vocal. Her facial expressions are hilarious. She is awesome. I am so excited to see this special little girl grow. I am excited to teach her. I am excited to see what she will teach me. I am overwhelmed seeing this hybrid of Crabby and I.

I am thinking of making a separate blog dedicated to just her. I don’t want her name linked to this blog. E-mail me and I’ll let you know when it is set up. I want to thank you all for your support and encouragement, the kind words, the cards, the gifts, everything. I am amazed that I have this kind of support system in you all.

If you have any questions about my labor/birth/Minicorn please feel free to drop by the comment box. Let’s chat!

She’s a week old today! Gah!

39 Weeks 4 Days

I woke up about 2am because of stomach pain. Went to the bathroom and saw a spot of blood. Called the midwife on call; she said my cervix was effacing and dilating, and to try to get some sleep. After I got off the phone with her, I began having what I suspected were contractions. I started timing them (there’s an app for that) and they averaged about 7 1/2 minutes apart. More blood; more than spotting, but not full on active bleeding. I didn’t see any mucus so I was a bit concerned that it was something other than the mucus plug/bloody show. Talked to midwife late morning, she verified that I wasn’t leaking fluid or anything and said that it sounds like I’m in early labor. Keep track of Minicorn’s movements. I asked, so I should just keep my appointment for tomorrow? She said well, if you don’t have a baby today! I read early labor lasts approximately 8-12 hours. It has been past 12 already, so I’m just sitting here breathing through the contractions, taking care of odds and ends, and resting. We’ll see what happens!

The contractions feel like sudden menstrual cramps and extreme pressure (especially in my bottom) that has a noticeable peak and fade-out. I’ll update when there’s something more to update!

39 Weeks

Well, I made it to a personally important milestone-39 weeks. Supposedly, it is ideal to get to this point for brain development and other things. I really thought Minicorn would be an October baby for a while, but it’s time to lay those bones down and welcome November in. I now feel that she will go past her due date (which is this Sunday). We’ll see. I’m working from home and patiently waiting. As of my last appointment last Friday, the cervix was softening, her head was moving down, and I was a fingertip dilated. We’ll see what they say this Friday. I know the average length of pregnancy for first-time mothers is around 41 weeks and 3 days, but literally nobody I know who has given birth in the last few years (including this year) has gotten to their due date, let alone gone over. So it’s weird that I may be in that “average”. Interesting data though. Well, scratch that. One of my friends just had a baby boy past 41 weeks this month (hi Alex!). So there is precedent.

Clothes and cloth diapers are washed and ready. Hospital bag halfway packed. Everything is ready. Now to go learn Mandarin or something while I wait.

38 Weeks

Last week my feet started swelling. Cankles. Girl. Total weight gain as of last week’s appointment: 18 pounds.

I don’t know if I’ve had any contractions. Every now and then I’ll feel some lower back pain with mild cramping but that could be due to any number of things. My practice doesn’t do cervical checks unless “necessary” according to 1 midwife. Another midwife said they don’t do them until 39-40 weeks. I’ll be 38w5d at my next appointment so we’ll see.

Just trying to get everything together at this point. Today is my last day of working in the office; I’ll be working from home until it’s time.

36-37 Weeks

I am full term up in this bee-ya.

Thanks to everyone who has been checking on me; I truly appreciate it.

I can barely walk. My lower back tells me it hates me with every step I take. And I take a lot of steps every day, thanks to parking far from my office.

Sleep is an old, fondly-remembered friend.

I had my baby shower. It was warm and fuzzy and laid-back, just how I wanted. Except for the dirty macking that happens when you mix friends and uncles, predatory brothers, and cat-daddies. I will sprinkle a few photos in (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen these). All the photos are on other people’s phones and cameras so I’m just sitting here mouth-breathing until they send me all of them.

My due date is November 4th. My guess date is October 29th, since that is the next full moon. Please do offer your own guess in the comments. Eligible dates are October 21st-November 18th (please god no).

Also, tell me what you couldn’t live without that you packed in your hospital bag, or what you wished you would have packed in your hospital bag. I should probs go ahead and pack that. And get the car seat installed. And stuff.

See how I’m clutching that chair for dear life?

hell yeah vegan cake in this mug. It was SO GOOD. You know it’s good when people are shocked when you tell them it was vegan. That’s right bitches.

My mommy and I!

 

 

35 Weeks

I had ideas floating around for what I was supposed to talk about this week, but fatigue has wiped it all away.

It’s October. I might have a baby this month.

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