Postpartum Body

Something I was not oblivious to with this pregnancy was the fact that your body doesn’t just spring back to the way it was before you got pregnant. I wasn’t necessarily oblivious last pregnancy either but I did think the weight would “melt away”…probably because people TOLD ME IT WOULD. 

A month after Stormy was born, my sweet, young nephew saw my belly and asked, “are you having another baby?”  …you can imagine how that made me feel. 

Sometimes I think it’s a miracle not EVERY woman suffers postpartum depression – the body change alone is enough to send me spiraling into depression, add to that honest children (oh and sleep derivation and adjusting hormones). But I digress. 

This time around, I gained less weight, but I still gained. Last Sunday my niece (who is about eye level with my gut) came into the room, stared at my stomach with wide, excited eyes and then suddenly her face fell a little and she said, “oh, I forgot that’s left over tummy”.  To which I said, “yes it is and I’ll be sure to point yours out to you when you have a kid.”  She’s five…and I have the maturity of a five year old. 

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D-Day

So – Baby Girl is here!

And for those who care – here is the birth story in a nutshell.

We scheduled an induction on her due date because I’m selfish and was tired to being pregnant…I started my day at 4:30 Thursday morning, after hitting the snooze button several times and also after several aniexty dreams – one which involved going to check on my son at grandma’s house to discover that she woke him up two hours after he fell asleep because she practices the Susan B Anthony method. Don’t research that, it’s not real.  But in dreamland we both knew what it meant and I got upset and raised my voice at her, telling her that the Susan B. Anthony method was outdated and she needed to get with the times. Apparently my son’s sleep is very important to me and I would even snap at my mother-in-law to protect it.

I realized as soon as I woke up how ridiculous that was. Anyway, Chewy and I got to the hospital at 5:45.  My doctor said he would break my water and things would progress “quickly” from there. I’m not sure what “quickly” actually means. To me it means there’s no time for anything else after that! Urgent, urgent, urgent! You know – like in TV shows where the woman all of a sudden says, “it’s time!” and they’re zipping through the streets trying to get to the hospital before the baby decides to enter the world.  That’s quick – in the real world I think those experiences are extremely rare (my sister has had one so I can’t completely eliminate them as probable).

Anywho – over here, let’s finish the story.  So I’m prepped and ready to go when the doctor gets there sometime between 7 and 8 to break the waters.  I won’t go in to detail but that was quite possibly more painful than delivery (I refer to Stormy’s delivery since my epidural had worn off).  The worst part, he wasn’t able to do it because my body hates me and likes to cause emotional damage as often as possible.  He decided to wait until I’d had my epidural.  But reassured me that once the water broke it would go quickly.

So they started me on pitocin and then we waited.  My contractions gradually grew but nothing I couldn’t handle.  It was only after Chewy fell asleep and my mom started to do stuff for work that they got worse.  I didn’t want to bother anyone so I just grit my teeth and squeezed the handle of the hospital bed.  A nurse came in and asked how I was doing and kind of answered for me – it was like, “how ya doing? Everything good?” and so I nodded my head in agreement.  I don’t think clearly sometimes.  Anyway, before the nurse returned the next time my mom had noticed, Chewy sat up and did his hand holding job and when the nurse came back we upgraded my pain level from a three to a five and I told her I wanted the epidural.  When she left to get that set up my mom said, “you say 5 but your face said 7″…as if I really understand these pain numbers anyway.

I got the epidural, which hurt but after it started to take effect everything and everyone was absolutely agreeable.  I noticed I could still kind of move after my epidural, which I couldn’t move at all the last time I had gotten one.  The doctor returned to break the water, I tensed at the memory of the first arrempt but this time I didn’t feel anything, he said I was dilated to an 8 and then said, “things should move quickly now” and I said, “you’re done?!” So like that – my water was broken. 

It was within an hour that I was ready to push, in fact I wasn’t too sure the baby would wait for me to push, I could actually feel the pressure of her getting ready. I got nervous about that because for some reason a baby slipping out on their own freaks me out and I never want to see or hear of that actually happening.

The doctor came back not a moment too soon, they got me ready to push and then I remembered the instructions from the first time I gave birth and tried to push.  I couldn’t feel a thing though so I wasn’t sure it was even working.  With Stormy it had hurt so much, but I could tell I was doing my part.  With Gertie (that’s her fetal name) I “pushed” and then looked at the doctor as if to ask, “did it work?” then he’d tell me to push again, once more…and wallah! I had a daughter.  I didn’t feel a thing, I pushed maybe three times in 7 minutes and there was a baby (Stormy was an hour of pushing). Born at 5:59 pm – which made my mom the winner of the bet that she, Chewy and I had over what time she’d be born.

Then the doctor lifted up this nasty little thing, covered in white something or other which came from inside of me…I just stared at it wondering what he wanted me to do about.  Did he expect me to touch it?  For reference – with Stormy, he was taken right away because he had already passed his first bowel movement so they had to check him and they went ahead and cleaned and weighed him before I had skin to skin time with him.  So this was new for me.  And it was gross.  The nurse grabbed Gertie and laid her on my chest and it was no longer gross.  …until that is, she peed on me…not once, not twice, but three times (at least I hope it was pee).

Gertie and I were able to stay skin to skin for quite some time as they finished everything with me (you know, stitching, pushing, poking, prodding).  We were taken to our room around 8:30-9 pm with our sticky baby and were told all about our paperwork as if we hadn’t been up since 4:30 in the morning and just gone through a physically exhausting experience.  They took Gertie away to clean her, then brought her back for some nursing.  It was almost midnight before they came to take her back to the nursery and I was finally able to get a few hours sleep.  With that long winded story (sorry, I know I promised a nutshell but I’m a wordy person) – here is the first picture of “Gertie” (they cleaned her face up while I held her). 

 

 

One is the loneliest number 

There are 11 days until baby number two is due. Am I ready? Who knows.

I’m a little nervous about having two kids. The one is a ton of work and as I recall he used to be a lot of work but in a different way….which means I’ll have two different types of “ton of work”.  It’s a daunting thought. 

And if it’s possible, which it is, I’m more nervous about labor with this one. Everything was so easy with the first one. I was scheduled to be induced so I had a date and then he came the day before, which was fine because I was already ready to go.  Chewy hadn’t left for work yet when the things I had read to look for to indicate the start of labor started happening.  I’m trying to be realistic that things won’t be exactly the same this time. Which I guess is what makes me nervous. 

That and now there’s more to take care of. We know who will be watching Stormy, but we have to work out how to get him to that person and we have to have an overnight bag ready. The worst part – What if labor starts in the middle of the night?! That’s the worst thing to me. I hate to bother people and we’d have to bother everyone in the middle of the night. I just want this baby to come during business hours like her older brother did. And it’d be nice if she came sooner rather than later, she killing me. 

So – that’s my update after a long absence. More to come soon. 

Back in the Saddle

Wow – I’ve really dropped off the face of the earth, haven’t I?  So I guess the best way to explain my absence is with this picture:

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I’m not saying this excuses me – but, well, it kind of does.  First the exhaustion set in, then the nausea.  I’m starting to feel better and I haven’t thrown up in 4 days which is my new record.  So I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m over that part.

In October I attended a writers conference here in RVA.  It was great.  I have to say though, not every panel came through as well as I had hoped, but that happens because it’s a panel of authors and sometimes they get sidetracked or they don’t completely understand their topic so they just modify it.  There was one panel where one panelist kind of took over and she didn’t stay on topic, she said (and even stated that’s what she was doing) whatever came into her mind. I didn’t like that panel at all.  But other than that it was good as usual.  I was able to meet with an experienced author to go over the first page of my story.  I was semi-nervous as I was sharing my writing with a complete stranger, but when a woman in my writing group found out I had signed up for that she called me brave (she knows the guy I was going to meet with).  That’s when I became really nervous.  I tried to calm down and when I met with him I was ready for the worst.  But he was actually really nice, had great advice, and complimented my writing.  I told that to the other woman in my writing group and she told me that I should feel very good about that because this man was known for his bluntness and if he didn’t like my writing he wouldn’t have hesitated to tell me so – or to even tell me that maybe I shouldn’t even be writing.  So I felt pretty good the rest of the conference.

That being said – I haven’t written anything since.  Book, blog or otherwise.  So I’m trying to get back in to it.  I want to write at least 100 words a day in my story – 1) because that was recommended at the writers conference to help develop the habit and keep moving forward and 2) 100 words seems doable and not overwhelming.

Also, my friend, Ashley has asked me to do a guest post at her blog about life as a single, LDS woman.  Granted I’m not single anymore, I have spent more of my adult life single.  I have no idea what to say or how it will turn out, but I figure if I started to write (blog and book) then I’d be better able to start writing something about those days as a single lass.

In the rest of my world – Stormy is doing well.  He is so fast and crazy and I swear he undoes everything I do – BUT he is learning to help out too.  I’ve got him throwing away his own diapers and cleaning up most of his own messes.  It’s so fun to watch him learn and grow and develop.  He’s more affectionate now and I like to tell myself it’s because I’m his best friend.  When you think about it – I’m almost everywhere he goes, I play with him the most, and I give him all the good food when no one’s watching. We gave him his first haircut – in two parts because apparently it’s pretty traumatic.  So for about twelve hours he was half done, but – with the exception of a wisp here and there,  I think he looks pretty good now.

I’m not really sure what else to update on so I’ll leave you with some more recent pictures and hopefully I’ll be writing again before too long.  Also – I’ll post a link when I finally get that guest blog over to Ashley.

 

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Postpartum Self Esteem 

NINE months after giving birth, I’m finally pulling out my pre maternity clothes. It’s nice, for one thing it’s like getting this whole new wardrobe all at once.  I packed up my clothes over a year ago and I can’t believe how many things I’ve forgotten.  Such as my skirt obsession. I mean, I knew I loved skirts because that hasn’t changed, but I forgot how many skirts I actually own!  I don’t think I’ll be dreading getting dressed on Sunday’s for much longer. When pregnant and for the last 9 months, I’ve been wearing about three different skirts. That was an increase from two during pregnancy. 

I also forgot how much color there was in my wardrobe! When it comes to maternity clothes there aren’t a lot of options. Most of my clothes were black, grey, and maroon. I had a few pink or blue things but not a lot. I also didn’t realize how long I’d stay in maternity clothes so I didn’t allow myself to buy too much, which means I bought most of them between December-February and apparently those colors were the rave at the time. 

I feel like a human again.  I don’t think I realized how different I’ve been feeling and I guess I thought the postpartum body must have been how I used to look but I’ve been shedding weight since November and nothing made me feel as good about my progress quite like getting my old clothes out of storage and finding they fit (most of them at least – I still have a few lbs to go). 

Then there’s running. I ran an 8k in November and it was brutal! Training was difficult, the race was a beast, and I thought, “I don’t think running is for me anymore.”  When I finished the race I felt a lot more like I’d run 13.1 miles rather than 5. What I had forgotten was how hard it was to run when I first started running as an overweight twenty-something. When I started training this past October, I weighed the most I ever had so it makes sense in retrospect why running was so hard. Now that I’m 30-40 lbs lighter, running is a lot more like it used to be and I don’t dread it nearly as much.

I feel like I need to document this stuff so I remember with the next pregnancy how hard it is to be yourself again. You go on this long hiatus from the person you were and you forget some things, you don’t notice some changes until you’re coming out of them.  You recognize you weren’t yourself until you feel old self returning.

Or maybe that’s just how it was for me and it’s different for other people. 

Belly Bully vs. Skadoosh

Chewy has taken to calling me ‘Belly Bully’…just because I happen to push him around with my belly.  I can’t help that it sticks out there and happens to be effective with guiding him where I want him to go.

The other day I was eating a piece of cake (no judging – it was delicious).  A small piece fell to the ground and I couldn’t find it, neither could Chewy.  I’m at the stage where my reaction to this is, “Well, I’m sure if will get stuck to a sock or something later.”  Yes, I gross myself out.  I’ll be a cleaner person again soon.  Annnyway…so fast forward to a day or maybe an hour later, I’m helping myself to another little piece.  I see a crumb begin its descent from the bottom of the cake to the kitchen floor.  I thought, “not today, crumb.”  I stuck out my belly, redirecting this crumb from its current course to landing on the counter.  Findable, reachable, and overall cleaner.  I picked the crumb up and threw it in the sink.

Chewy had been watching these events.  He asked me if I seriously just belly bullied a piece of cake.  I told him I preferred to think of it as skadooshing the cake.
Kung_Fu_Panda_Skadoosh

Needless to say, I’ve done it at least one more time since this first happened.

Foodmotional

I realized as I was preparing to write this post that I never wrote about the first food debacle.  A few weeks ago, I started to crave rice krispy treats.  I put it off for a while because 1) I eat too much sugar right now and 2) we had enough sweet stuff in the house.  But finally, one night I had had it with waiting and made some.  I cut a nice big one and headed off to the bedroom with it.  Chewy was in the bathroom as I passed and he asked me a question.  I had been about to take a big bite but stopped myself to answer his question.  As I turned back for that bite – the treat fell from my hand and on to the hallway floor.  Ruined.  Who knows what is on that floor, and the cat always walks down the hall after he uses the liter box so there was no way I was going to eat this treat.  I cried out in pain and grief and picked it up, threw it away in the closet trash can.  Chewy asked what happened and I told him my treat fell.  My eyes filled with tears as saying it aloud made it real.

“Get another one,” he suggested.

“It’s fine. I’m just going to brush my teeth.” I sulked toward the other bathroom.

I guess Chewy heard something in my voice because he popped his head around the door frame, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” I lacked conviction.

He came to me, saw that I was crying and panicked as husbands do (and should) when their pregnant wife starts crying.  “I’ll go get you one.” he offered.

I shook my head.

“Just lay down in bed, I’ll bring you a good one.”

“It’s fine I don’t need it.”  (I’m such a sugar martyr)

Chewy gave me a hug and started to crack jokes.  He made me laugh but sadly, didn’t get me to stop crying.  So I was laughing/crying and when he pulled away from the hug I think he may have panicked some more about the state I was in.  I don’t know why I was crying so uncontrollably about a rice krispy treat hitting the floor….there was almost an entire pan of them in the kitchen.

I calmed myself down before bedtime, but I didn’t go get another treat that night.

OK – so now that you are caught up on that history.  I swore to myself that night that I would not get Foodmotional again.  But then Saturday came around.

We had a busy day, Jartha (my sister Martha and her husband Jeff), came to pain the nursery.  I took their two girls to the “park” (a playground at the church around the corner).  They were really well behaved, but my feet were swelling and it was a struggle to keep them pink instead of blue.  So we went back to the house for the end of the painting and tried to watch a movie.  They left and I was just exhausted. Which I probably would have felt weather or not I had babysat.  I don’t really remember much else about the day, but I needed to go to the grocery store, and while there I planned to pick up something for dinner.  Chewy suggested fried chicken, so I got that in my brain.

I arrived to Martin’s around 7 p.m. and picked up the items I needed.  I made my way to the deli.  The chicken case was mostly cleared out.  One side was completely empty and washed, the other had gaps where pans had been removed and the sickly remains of the dinner rush stared up at me.  I didn’t care, there had to be good chicken somewhere back there, it was only 7.  But no one came.  I waited and waited.  I even checked out what cold chicken they had packed up.  Nothing fit what we needed.

I began to walk away from the case..but I wanted someone (or some thing) to know I was thoroughly annoyed.  I turned and gave the chicken case the stink face.  You know the one, I just posted about it and how I was going to try and not do that anymore….This one.

mama-june-stink-eye

I hope that chicken case got the message and sent it along to the employees hiding somewhere in the back shirking their customer service responsibilities to hungry pregnant women…

Before I even got to the check out I had consoled myself…I would go to Hardee’s and get an eight piece and with that they would have the oh-so-delicious biscuits.  To get there is kind of a pain though.  I had to drive past it and couldn’t make a U-turn at the first or second light, I had to drive down a ways before I could U-turn.  Then I pull in…I drive up to the menu outside and all I see are burgers.  The voice came over the loudspeaker asking if I wanted to try something and I asked, “Do you still sell fried chicken?”

“No, we don’t sell fried chicken anymore.”

In my head – “Then what is the point of you?”*  If I wanted Carl’s Jr. I would move out West.

The lady continues, “we have chicken strips though.” P.S. when you want fried chicken, that LOOKS like chicken, you are not in the mood for strips that have too much breading on them.  I told her never mind and drove off.  But I hoped that no one inside could see me because I could already feel my face contorting into ‘pathetic sob mode’.

In fact – I cried all the way home.  I sat in the car once arriving home and cried.  I texted Mart because I was embarrassed but I had to talk to someone about it and I felt like I had cried too much recently in front of Chewy.

I finally got myself together and went into the house.  I put the groceries away and walked past Chewy, “no chicken tonight” I said.

He followed me to the room where I threw myself on the bed. “Is that because you changed your mind?”

“No.” Enter stage left, foodmotional breakdown.  I explained everything to him.  He said he’d find me chicken somewhere, but I really only like Ukrop’s chicken (sold at pathetic Martin’s) and Hardee’s.  He offered to order pizza but for once, that didn’t sound good to me.  So I did the food martyr again and said I was just going to go to bed.  I didn’t though, I ended up just eating peanut butter crackers.

It’s so hard being pregnant and having food desires you are unable to satisfy.