I (almost) miss being pregnant

I have a friend who is 36 weeks along. She started experiencing nausea again and asked if it was a sign of impending labor.

I told her that it could be her body starting to get rid of any excess waste before the baby comes, or she could have just eaten something funny. So many things can make a pregnant woman throw up. What I didn’t tell her was that her question made me…jealous?

Not sure if jealous is the right word. But I actually miss being that pregnant. It seemed as if the entire world new and cared about me. Strangers wanted to share in my joy. The anticipation was annoying at times, but mostly exciting.

As soon as my son was born, the attention immediately shifted from me to him. Granted, that’s how things should be, but it was (and still is) hard to accept sometimes. I carried and pushed this kid out, yet I am expected to care for him 24/7 and recover at the same time while everyone else just gives me unwanted advice and gets to do the fun things with him.

I miss not knowing how he would look or what his personality would be like.

I miss still having the freedom to go out without worrying if I left enough pumped milk at home.

That being said, I also remember wishing that it would be the day after I gave birth. Labor would be over and I would finally get to hold my baby in my arms.

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It’s been 5 months, and although my son is an attention hog, my husband’s side of the family often comments on his big eyes, which the baby gets from me. So in a way, I still get attention right?

I honestly don’t quite know how the baby will look or act as he is constantly packing on the pounds and revealing new aspects of his personality. Every week it’s like being with a new kid.

While I still worry about the pumped milk, I’m also getting sad as the 6 month mark gets closer. We will be starting him on solids then. Although breast milk will still be the majority of his diet, in a month it will slowly decrease. We struggled with breastfeeding the first month, and now that we are able to do it I think I get just as much comfort and joy from it as the baby does.

I guess this means I want to have another baby, though maybe I should wait until I’ve gotten one full night of sleep first!

Train your birth partner to count correctly!

So when it came time for the delivery the nurse had Tommy count to 10 as I pushed through my contractions. BIG MISTAKE. I’m not sure if the nurse was tired, daydreaming, or what, but Tommy’s idea of 10 seconds was far from accurate. Ten seconds to him was like 15 seconds in real life. That may not sound like a huge difference, but when you are supposed to hold your breath during those 10 seconds and push a bowling ball out of your ass, you start to notice and get really annoyed.

Tommy would start counting a good 2 or 3 seconds after I had started pushing, and he would count extra slow. I even told him to shut up at some point but the nurse told me it was important that someone count aloud so she could monitor the progress or something. I don’t remember. I just know that I was mad. I had to listen to his monotonous inaccurate counting for three hours. Oh and that’s the other thing. He sounded like the most boring robot ever built. Do yourself a favor and bring a recording of some guy with a cute British accent counting to ten accurately. Have your partner just hit the play button over and over again. I’m sure your pushing stage will be much more pleasant.

Later Tommy told me that he was “trolling” me and that he did this on purpose to amuse himself. I wish that was the case, because then I could do something to teach him a lesson. Unfortunately, I really think he was trying to count properly and just sucked at it. So I didn’t really do anything about it.

That being said, I was impressed that Tommy did take things seriously when necessary and that he was focused on me the entire time. Everyone else’s focus was split between me and the baby. When the baby came out an had to be examined first before being handed to me, Tommy was the only one who stayed by my side.

The epidural

It really did feel like a bowling ball coming out of my ass.

So I caved and got an epidural when I really wanted to go the all natural route. I was in pain, but I could have handled it just fine for at least a couple more hours.

However, when I asked the nurse how much longer it could take, she said up to 8 hours before it was time to push. She also let me know that the anesthesiologist would be unavailable in an hour and half.

I really appreciate the UCLA hospital staff because they gave me information but didn’t force interventions or medication on me. My nurse said she thought I was handling labor great and that she thought I could do it without the epidural if that’s what I wanted.

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Well, in all fairness she thought this because I am the more “suffer in silence type” as Bella claims in Twilight. But it was 6 AM, I had been awake for over 24 hours with only 5 hours of interrupted sleep before that, and Tommy was too busy sleeping in the corner most of the time.

Frankly, I just wanted to sleep like the rest of the world seemed to be doing, so I got the epidural. I wasn’t worried that it would affect the baby, I was more worried about the anesthesiologist messing up and paralyzing me or something. Well he was a pro and the process was a lot less scary than I had expected.

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Once the medicine hit I felt so good! I’ve never done drugs in my life, but I could kind of understand why people would do such a thing. I maybe slept for a half hour total. I didn’t want to fall asleep and not wake up. But being able to rest helped me to save my energy for the pushing stage.

After a while, my labor stopped progressing, maybe because of the epidural…I don’t know. So they gave me pitocin. Man when that kicked in I pushed my button to get more of the epidural medication and maxed it out so quickly that the button stopped beeping. Someone had to come in and give me an epic shot of pain medication. I felt really good again after that. So good that my entire butt was numb.

Unfortunately, since my butt was numb, they switched off my epidural when it was time to push. It took me three hours to push our baby out. I was not happy.

The nurses said I should feel “pressure but not pain.” No pain my ass. Midway through I really wanted to give up. My back was killing me so I tried kneeling and getting into other positions. They didn’t help and I was tired so if anything I became even more miserable.

I wanted the baby vacuumed out at this point, but the OB said I was doing great and that they only want to intervene if there is a health problem. I was mad, but thankful. By the time the baby’s head was close to crowning, I was determined to push him out so that I could, in my mind, go to the bathroom and deliver the largest poop of my life.

It turns out the baby was the poop. I was amazed that I didn’t feel the pain in my vagina but in my butt. Man I felt great, though it was short lived. Within the hour they removed the tape that held the epidural catheter to my back. I have a nice layer of fur all over so I’m pretty sure I got a back wax that day.

Early labor

The morning of my due date I woke up around 4 AM to my bloody show and some more intense cramps than what I had previously experienced throughout pregnancy. I got excited so of course I couldn’t sleep like I should have. If anything, I did the complete opposite of what they tell you to do. I did some massive cleaning that day and even taped a list to the door of things to do right before we leave for the hospital, such as take out the trash and water my plants. I started timing these contractions throughout the day and overall they did get stronger and closer together, though I wasn’t sure if I was actually feeling and timing them right or if it was all in my head. We were supposed to hang out with a friend later that evening but I had Tommy cancel just in case. I would have hidden in the bedroom to avoid being embarrassed by my uncomfiness, but in all honesty I wanted the evening alone with Tommy in case the baby decided to come in a day or so. It would be our last time alone as just two people instead of three.

Anyway well Tommy didn’t really believe me about my contractions, and frankly one of the OBs said to not go to the hospital unless the contractions were 5 minutes apart, 1 minute in length, had been that way for 2 hours, AND if I had difficulty talking through them. Well I had the first three but I could still talk just fine. When I showed Tommy my contraction timer and it showed my contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart he started to panic and insist that we go to the hospital.

20151112_214656I wasn’t quite ready and it was Thursday, which meant Scandal was on TV.

I had Tommy load some last minute things and tidy up while I insisted on watching my show. Tommy also decided that it was a good time to start reading books about labor and delivery. I did suggest multiple times that he read them a few months ago, but he ignored me as usual. Apparently everyone around me was more freaked out than I was.

Well we got to the hospital and I thought they would send me home, but it turns out that I was 4 cm dilated already so they admitted me. The contractions did get worse, it was the middle of the night, and Tommy fell asleep.

The baby dropped: part 2

So, the baby had previously dropped, but either he has dropped even more or has shifted positions or something because I AM NO LONGER HAPPY ABOUT IT! When the baby first dropped I got really excited and eager for labor to begin. Now I’m dreading it. I really wanted to try giving birth naturally, but honestly, given how I feel at the moment I wouldn’t be surprised if I walk into the hospital and demand an epidural right away. Before, I just had this nonstop constipated feeling but found it easier to breath. Nothing new right? Everyone knows what constipation feels like and therefore knows how to work with it or at least keep calm and go about life as usual. Now, the pressure has shifted forward. Not only that, but it has evolved into pain. It’s not unbearable, but it’s extremely unpleasant. Basically my upper left leg and the front panty area is killing me. I look even more ridiculous when I move now (didn’t even think that was possible). To minimize the pain I’m shuffling my feet and leaning forward slightly in addition to waddling. Tommy even laughed at me last night. If I were him I’d laugh at me too.

Also, wiping after using the bathroom is now basically impossible. Because of a giant tummy and pains in my lower area, I can’t twist and lean the way I used to. I might as well just shower every time I use the toilet. I thought I lived in the bathroom before this happened. Boy was I wrong. This is one of those things that no one told me about before I was pregnant. This and heartburn. Now in addition to worrying about labor pains, I’m also worried about not being able to wipe my own butt during the process as well. I’ve heard that nurses and doctors have seen it all and by the time you’re in labor you just don’t care and want the baby out. Well I’m not in labor yet so unfortunately I do care.

 

Waiting is so hard!

I’m due with my first baby in less than two weeks, and I’m tired of being pregnant. Not for the usual physical reasons either. While I’m a blob, smell funny, and have to get out of bed multiple times to pee, I’ve had an uncomplicated pregnancy and have been relatively active. So the physical aspect hasn’t been as bad as I imagined. I think the weather has really helped though. It has started to cool off at night so I’ve been sleeping way better and therefore been in a better mood/ more able to cope with the physical aspects of pregnancy.

What I don’t know how to deal with is the waiting. I’m big on planning and being on time. I enjoy making to-do lists more than actually accomplishing what’s on them. What I can’t handle is not knowing exactly when this baby is coming. Apparently he could show up between now and Thanksgiving during any oddball time of the day or night.

I had a goal to keep the place spotless from 38 weeks on so it would be ready for the baby. Well I’m 38 weeks and 1 day and already I haven’t been sticking to that goal. It’s just not practical. There will always be a bit of dirty laundry or a few crumbs on the floor. That thought alone bothers me. Maybe if I lived alone it might be easier to keep the place clean because I only have to pick up after myself. My husband isn’t extremely messy in theory, but he has a habit of leaving used cups in his man cave and dropping used clothes in all sorts of random locations. Then he has the nerve to get mad at me when the vacuum is left out just one time. I’ll save that story for another time.

While I can physically keep myself occupied, mentally I’m a wreck. I can’t focus on anything in particular, so I try to think of a gazillion things at once and give myself a headache. It hasn’t helped that the mommies in my online group have started to have their babies early. While I am excited to meet my baby, I have to get him out first. I am NOT looking forward to that at all. That’s another thing I don’t know. I don’t know how I’ll feel, how long it will last, etc. It sucks and makes me a nervous wreck which is counter productive. The tension will make any pain worse. I’m hoping that once I’m in active labor and able to count something I’ll at least be able to mentally relax a bit.

Why I’ve been taking raspberry leaf tea & evening primrose oil

*I’m not a doctor! Make sure you speak to your doctor or midwife before trying raspberry leaf tea (rlt) or evening primrose oil (epo)*

In my mommy group some ladies mentioned raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil as ways to prepare your body for labor. I had never heard of such things before, so I asked my OB if they were safe. She said yes, though didn’t believe they helped to do much of anything. Still many of the moms who had used rlt and epo during previous pregnancies seemed to think it helped, so I figured I’d try them out.

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Well seeing as how I’m 38.5 weeks pregnant, I can’t say whether or not rlt and epo has helped prepare my body for labor and delivery. However, it has already been beneficial to me for two reasons:

  1. I feel like I’m doing something productive so mentally I’m in a better mood
  2. Drinking rlt on a general schedule ensures that I stay hydrated

I’ve heard that both rlt and epo take a bit of time to accumulate in your body, which is why you want to start using them about a month before delivery, rather than just taking a bunch at once at the very end. Again, make sure you get approval from your doctor or midwife first before trying any of this out.

I feel like changes have been happening in terms of contractions and the way my cervix feels, but my OB hasn’t checked on effacement or dilation yet, so I really have no idea if I’m making any progress. Also, this could just be a normal part of pregnancy and have zero to do with the rlt and epo, but again, it makes me feel better. It may be a placebo effect, but it is still an effect of some kind!

The baby dropped!

As in the baby dropped into my pelvis…I didn’t drop my baby. It finally happened when I hit about 36 weeks. Before this , I tried to Google what the process of baby dropping, or “lightening” would feel like. Apparently no one had that answer. All they could say was how they felt before the baby dropped and after. I wanted to know if I could actually feel him as he dropped in my pelvis.

Well maybe a few people can feel it, but I didn’t. Lame.

It was another really hot day in LA. I was sitting on the couch folding laundry in my undies. When I went to stand up to use the bathroom, I noticed that the bottom of my stomach stuck to the top of my thighs. It sucked. It felt just like having your sweaty legs stick to a vinyl seat. At first I thought it was an interesting occurrence, but didn’t read to much into it. When I went to the bathroom I sat on the toilet and had my tummy stick to my legs again. I then noticed that my boobs no longer rested on the top of my tummy the way they used to. I was able to breathe deeply again and even turn around more easily to wipe my stinky bottom. The baby had finally dropped! No wonder I had been feeling like I was constipated mixed with menstrual cramps (nothing too intense, just annoying more than anything).

Of course once the baby dropped I went back on Google to see how soon labor starts after the baby drops. Well for first time moms it can happen weeks beforehand, so unfortunately I’m no closer to pinpointing when the baby will actually decide to arrive. In the meantime, I’ll continue to waddle around and live in the bathroom as I have to pee literally every time I stand up.

I finally fell

I actually wasn’t worried that I would fall during pregnancy. I’m pretty good about listening to my body and knowing how much physical stress I can and can’t take. I mean I’m a klutz, but I’ve always been able to catch myself.

But my mom kept nagging me about watching where I walk. So it finally happened, I fell. I think she must have jinxed me. Thankfully I fell in an area with no furniture. Still I was a bit shaken up after. Probably because it was sudden and seemed random.

I was just walking from the kitchen to the living room when my right ankle rolled for whatever reason, though suddenly having a big belly and feeling tired doesn’t help. I fell forward, landing on my left knee and slamming my right hand down. Normally I feel like it would have been better to land on the flat of my arm, rather than just on my hand which is bad for my wrist. I didn’t twist or make any weird movements to try to prevent my fall like I usually would. I just went fast and apparently did whatever I could to protect my stomach area. Maybe it was luck and I’m making too much out of it, but I really think if we are in tune with our bodies then we will do what is best. Maybe our bodies know to fall in a way that may suck for us but best protects our babies.

Once I realized I was ok I felt pretty dumb. I didn’t even trip over my own feet this time (yes that’s actually happened in the past). I’m glad my mom wasn’t there and I didn’t tell her about my fall either. It would only increase the nagging. I had some pain in my joints after, but absolutely no stress to my abdomen. I briefly wore my wrist brace and an ankle sleeve after the fall. The pressure from these felt really good and I already had them on hand.