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Surviving Motherhood

This blog should be about surviving motherhood! Phew. These past couple of days have been rough. He doesn’t want to nap anywhere but in my arms. I tried the swing, bassinet, crib… on the couch beside me, but nothing works. Did I spoil my 2 month old? Ah man.

He’s starting to teethe! I know it’ll be some time before the teeth cut, but the amount of drool puddled on my clothes makes me do laundry everyday. I don’t exactly have a bunch of clothes right now. Nothing seems to fit right and I don’t want to wear my maternity clothes anymore. I want my pre-baby body back. I’m a work in progress, but I know I’ll get there. I’m down 4lbs now! Woohoo! 

Watch for my next post… I have a new idea.

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The Struggle… Is Very Real

I knew having a baby would keep me busy, but I didn’t realize just how consumed I would become. I am lucky, my little boy sleeps the majority of the night. I feel lame when I express how exhausted I am. I know other mamas whose little ones keep them up all night. Not only that, but my husband gets up for the 2am feedings. We switch off, I’ll take the 5:30am feedings. Sometimes though, he will be up and he will take my shift just so I can stay in bed. I am the luckiest woman in the world. Yet, I am still exhausted! 

I think it just comes with the territory. After 9 months of pregnancy- 26 hours of labor- 6 weeks postpartum healing- I think it’s okay for me to be exhausted. I give myself a pass for this. In fact, I give all women a pass for this. It’s okay to admit that you need a break. Take some time for yourself. My husband let me go to the salon while he stayed with the baby. I felt like myself again! Kinda. I think I’ll feel better when my pre-pregnancy jeans fit me again. My stomach is shrinking down to its regular size, however my legs are still larger. My sister said it may take a year, but I’ll eventually get back to my normal size. It’s upsetting when I try to get dressed in the morning and still have to wear a few maternity items. I know I’ll get back to where I want to be– I just need to be cleared by my doctor first. Next week is my 6 week postpartum check-up. Fingers crossed for me!!

Officially Mommy

He’s a week and one day today! I am happy to report that my little one, (whom I affectionately call ‘Bugsy’), and I are doing well! I am on the fast track to healing and he hasn’t skipped a beat in growing and maintaining a strong heartbeat and even stronger lungs. Only a week in and I can’t remember a life without him. It’s as though he has always been here. So far he only wakes up once a night, I heard it gets to be more often after the first month. Hopefully that’s not the case!

Let’s talk about breastfeeding. I didn’t go into mommyhood gung-ho about breastfeeding. I knew its perks but there was still something holding me back. There is some outside pressure to breastfeed, so I am giving it a chance. It’s a very emotional thing. I’ve cried between the pure exhaustion of childbirth, not really getting a good night’s rest since God knows when, and the constant demand on my body. I always thought that once I have this child my body will be mine again. Well, it isn’t. My body is now an on demand all you can eat buffet. That’s what lil Bugsy thinks, anyway. If I can recommend anything for a breastfeeding mom, get the handless bra for your pump. It’s a lifesaver. I purchased one yesterday, now I can sit here and write, pay bills, etc while pumping. It helps me to not focus too much at the real task at hand. Ohhh… maybe this is just a mom thing or it comes with the territory of breastfeeding, when he cries because he’s hungry, sometimes I want to cry, too. “Want to cry,” wrong verbage. More like, I do cry. In fact, I cry everyday. It’s not postpartum depression, maybe it’s a bit of baby blues mixed with the crash of hormones. I am not sure. Adding a child to your life is a game changer. There is a lot of adjustment. I take change a little hard no matter what it is, but I’ll adjust. I do know, I wouldn’t change this for the world. I never felt a love like this.

Evicted at 38 Weeks

August 22, 2017: The day started like any other: I woke up feeling the pure exhaustion of being 38 weeks pregnant and not being able to get a decent night’s rest in the hot summer heat. Something felt off. I felt nauseated and had a slight stomach issue that I found alarming. I got up, got ready for the day, and researched what it could be before I left for my weekly prenatal appointment at 9:30am. I had a gut feeling that something was different about this day and that I should have asked Josh to join me at this appointment. I felt as though what would be a routine check-up would end up at the hospital. It was just a feeling. I ended up not asking Josh to take the time off work because he was finishing everything for his paternity leave… I went alone.

While the nurse and I did our initial greeting and small chit-chat I noticed a quick change in her eye. She went from friendly to serious, but didn’t say a word. She continued to keep everything normal, commented on my severe feet swelling and I pointed out the leg swelling as well. She checked my blood pressure on my left arm… then she double checked it on my right arm… “Odd,” I thought to myself… then she checked it again on my left arm. She said she would be back and had me lie on my left side. She rushed back in and again, checked my blood pressure on both arms. Worry crept in. Finally, the doctor walked in. She explained that my blood pressure had risen, I had gained 10 pounds in one week, there was protein in my urine, and I would need to go to triage at the hospital straight after the appointment. She checked my cervix, I was 1cm dilated. She identified the evil culprit,  preeclampsia.

When I walked into the triage of the 5th floor at the hospital I was hit by a overwhelming wall of vinegar. That didn’t calm my nerves. They checked me in immediately. Next thing I knew I was in a hospital gown being hooked up to monitors and having my blood pressure checked, again. The nurse said it was 169/120. A bit too high. It all happened so fast. I was scared and I was alone. I asked the doctor if I should call my husband to meet me, she said, “Yes. You should. You’re not leaving here without a baby.” I gave Josh a call and told him to come immediately. Then, I cried. This wasn’t how I expected my birthing story to go. Shouldn’t my water break and we grab the bags, rush with excitement, and Josh is there to hold my hand? The doctor walked in and calmed me down. She said my only job for now was to relax and try to lower my blood pressure. The only time I was able to relax was when Josh walked in like a freaking superhero with all the bags and sat down by my side. I was no longer alone.

Due to being 1cm dilated, (this baby wasn’t going to come for another week possibly), they started the induction process. They inserted a balloon to mechanically open my cervix. Eek. It was painful. After I was “dilated” to 4cm, they removed the balloon and gave me a break before they came in and manually broke my water. After breaking my water they started the pitocin to induce contractions. We are talking hours and hours here. My check-up was at 10am and I was sent straight to the hospital. Let’s say I got there about 11am, then we waited for my blood pressure to reduce until about 2:30pm… That was when the process was started. It took all night for the pitocin to dilate me to 10cm. It was painful. I made the call for pain meds. Then, they started the magnesium “drip.” Drip! Ha! More like flow! I immediately got nauseous and threw up. That’s the last thing I remembered in the awake world. I felt myself sink deeper and deeper into a relaxed sleep. I remember the thought, “Aww, this is nice, sleep. I feel so heavy,” only to hear a scream in my face, “ARE YOU OKAY? ARE YOU OKAY!?” It was the nurse. She said I had a seizure. I remember the sick nauseated feeling came back and I threw up again, only to have the same screaming voice in my face. She asked if I had a history of fainting, I had never fainted before in my life. This was a terrifying feeling. The lack of control and the fear of the unknown. I looked over at Josh who had wide eyes. I asked him if he was okay, he said he was okay. He wanted to be my rock and didn’t want me to see how scared he was… he was my rock. He was my strength through it all. The nurses reassured me that the baby’s heartbeat was beautiful and strong. To be honest, at this point, I was extremely drugged and have only bits and pieces of memory.

August 23, 2017: 10cm dilated. It’s time to start pushing. I had little strength left. Magnesium is one hell of a drug. I was a seizure risk. Josh was not allowed to leave the room without calling a nurse in to switch places. I wasn’t fully aware of the rules he was given at the time. Josh being Josh, he wouldn’t leave my side regardless. He went to the cafeteria for food, but he stocked up because he didn’t know when/if he’d go again.

“It’s time to start pushing!” said my enthusiastic nurse. She was cheerful and a breath of fresh air. Details are becoming a bit hazy for me, I do remember the doctor telling me to take a nap in-between a few contractions.  After 2 hours and 40 minutes of pushing, I finally had my baby. He was born at 4:30pm, 8 lbs 11 oz. That’s a solid baby!  I remember the oxygen mask being thrown on my face in-between contractions, and I remember asking for more epidural.

What felt like a minute after giving birth, my family walked in to visit. Seemed a bit too soon for me. I felt dizzy and kept my eyes closed for most of their visit. When they left to get coffee, my nurse checked on me. I had bled out 1,000 CC’s of blood. Apparently, my uterus stopped contracting and I had blood clots. To add insult to injury, they grabbed the ER doctor who shoved her hand into my body and pulled out as many blood clots as she could. They upped the pitocin to kick-start the uterus. They pushed as hard as they could on my stomach and I felt blood gush out like Niagara Falls. This continued over and over, about once every hour. I asked the nurse what the possible outcome might be. She stated I could hemorrhage, which will lead to emergency surgery. I looked over at Josh holding the new baby and thought to myself, “This is it. I could be leaving him with this baby to take care of without me.” If it weren’t for the hospital and highly trained medical staff, I could have died. That image and that thought still haunts me. Luckily, I had the best care at my hospital. After what felt like a decade, (a couple of days), I was cleared to move up to the 7th floor, (the baby floor, I’ll call it), with my new family. About time! Most new mommys get to hold their babies, start the process of breastfeeding, and bond with the new love of their life. I felt robbed of the experience. I didn’t get to hold my baby for hours and I wasn’t allowed to care for him. I was on hospital bedrest while my husband had to learn how to be an immediate dad.

I am happy to report that first and foremost, my baby is healthy as can be! We had our first pediatric checkup yesterday and he is doing great! I seriously can’t stop staring at him. He’s my world. I am also pleased to say my recovery has been going well! I am now struggling with the normal woes of labor that women deal with postpartum. I do have high blood pressure still and must monitor it daily, while watching for 3 very specific symptoms that may come on, but each day is better than the last.

A perfect pregnancy ended with a scary delivery. Preeclampsia sets in out of nowhere. The week prior to my final prenatal appointment, my doctor had explained that I didn’t have preeclampsia and my swelling was normal pregnancy swelling.

Preeclampsia is no joke. If you are pregnant, read up on it and watch for its signs. It can be fatal to both mom and baby.

 

38 weeks and Confused

Okay– here I am– final stretch! Our due date is only about a week away. Up until yesterday I haven’t felt any signs of labor. In fact, I thought this kid was totally going to stay in here forever and I’d have to go to college on his behalf. Well, today is the big solar eclipse and I’m starting to wonder if the change in the gravity pull from the moon might be pulling him out? Sounds crazy, I know. I heard it.

I haven’t really known whether I have been experiencing Braxton Hicks or  not. Whenever I talked to my doctor, she didn’t seem like she believed I was, she would just say, “You’ll know it when you feel it.” But… I don’t think that’s true. My stomach has been getting round and hard for weeks, but little to no discomfort. I’m guessing it was Braxton Hicks? Well, last night I noticed a few strange changes. Something just felt… different. Josh and I started timing them, they were spaced between 15-20mins apart. It didn’t seem like anything to worry about, but it did confirm that it must be Braxton Hicks. After the tightening, the baby would increase in his activity. It was a very confusing experience for me.

I woke up today and noticed the baby wasn’t as active. I counted kicks and we got to 10 within two hours, which is normal. However, this entire pregnancy we usually get to 10 kicks within 15 minutes. So our norm is slightly out of whack. I feel like he is sitting lower today, as well. Other than that, I don’t believe my water has broken, I haven’t seen “the show,” and my “contractions” have stopped. I am debating calling the doctor and having her see me today or just being patient and wait until my appointment tomorrow.

First time mom problems. Any advice?

Maternity Leave

We made it! We made it to the part I have most been looking forward to! (Besides meeting baby, of course!). I’m off work for 5 months. Woohoo! And not a minute too soon, I was definitely burning out between the pregnancy and lack of sleep. Note to self, never be this pregnant again in the summer! This is torture! I’m at that point where nothing fits me anymore, not even those cute maternity shorts I bought awhile back. Now I just wear my hubby’s tee-shirts and squeeze into my maternity shorts, then I call it a day. I spend the majority of my time with my swollen, shrek-like feet up on the couch or table… I’ll nap when I can! Usually my naps last about an hour, which is so totally awesome.

How do you get sleep? We don’t have air conditioning, I have two fans on me at night. Besides the heat, the limitation on sleep position is killing me, too. I wake up so sore after a night of sleeping. Any tips?

Family and friends are taking bets on when our lil guy will make his big debut. Our due date is August 31st, but I’m thinking he will hang in there until September 4-5th. Josh (real name, tired of calling him James) is thinking August 27th… my mom thinks he will come late, his mom thinks he will come early. It’s all just a waiting game at this point. As of last Friday, I wasn’t dilated whatsoever. Hopefully that’s a sign I am right!

Hello, Third Trimester

WOW! I’m already in the third trimester!

When I first found out I was expecting, I couldn’t wait to be in the third trimester where I knew I was in the clear from most things that can go wrong with pregnancy. Not only that, but the first trimester proved to be difficult with the “morning” sickness and what-not. The second trimester pushed me back up on my feet. I had energy! James and I were out and about! It was fantastic. Now, the third trimester has hit me like a stack of bricks. I’m tired. I’m achey. I’m hungry all the time. Nothing fits. Sometimes I just don’t feel attractive. I never sleep at night. I wake up to leg cramps almost every night! Yikes. I thought sleep went away after the baby is born… boyyyy was I wrong! I guess sleep is one of those things I can kiss goodbye.

Ohhh but believe me, I am glowing with anticipation to meet this little one! My friend just gave birth to her baby about three weeks ago. He is such a handsome little darling. It excites me and makes me even more eager for baby Oliver to be born!