I Do Not Miss It….

…being pregnant, that is.

I know many women who say that they loved being pregnant.  I’m not sure if it is just the attention they love, or the feeling of the baby moving inside of them, but whatever it is, I must say that I am not one of these women.  I loved feeling her move and grow inside of me, but I much prefer watching her move and grow on the outside.  Being able to interact with her will always outweigh wondering what she was doing in my belly.  The constant worry of “has she moved enough today?” was enough to drive a person to insanity.  Yes, I much prefer her on the outside.

In the past three weeks since having her, I have gone down 25lbs (I gained 35 with her) and I feel amazing.  I can walk up stairs without getting winded.  I can get up off the couch without help.  I can sleep on my back.  I do not have constant back pain and gas.  The list goes on and on….

So why do women miss being pregnant so much?  Am I missing something?  I didn’t even have a difficult pregnancy.  The doctors even commented a few times on how empty my chart was.  I constantly heard “wow, you sure have had it easy!”  So what’s my problem?  Am I not in tune enough with my inner mother?  Should I be worried that I wonder if I’ll ever want to be pregnant again?  Or will I eventually forget how uncomfortable pregnancy was and want to do it all over again in a few years?  Perhaps I should erase this entry so that I don’t scare myself out of trying for a second one day… hmm….

 

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Breastfeeding… So Far

Well, so far, breastfeeding has been pretty easy for me.  Emmy was eating within 10 minutes of being born.  Latching and sucking like a pro.  The nurses were actually quite impressed, as was the lactation consultant.  The hardest part for me (and maybe her) has been the cluster feeding.  For those of you who are unaware of cluster feeding, it is torture.  This is when the baby is either A. trying to help your milk come in during the first week, or B. when they are going through a growth spurt.  The cluster feeding that went along with helping my milk come in was the worst.  Hours and hours a day for a few days.  My nipples were destroyed.  Every time she began to root (move her tongue around in her mouth to signal hunger) I would want to cry.  I knew her latch was going to cause extreme pain.  I got through it though.  No more scabs on the nipples.  Yes, scabs (gross).  Now the cluster feedings are just sort of irritating.  They comes out of nowhere when I am finally getting comfortable with her every 2-3 hour feeding schedule, all the sudden we are up for four hours feeding in the middle of the night (just like last night).  All in all, I think I’ve been pretty lucky.

I am having to wear breast shells to keep my nipples perky (apparently they are flatish and can cause problems latching).  These are fairly comfortable for being big, plastic, hard covers that I have to constantly wear.  They were also a lifesaver during the scabby nipple time.  I tried wearing pads once and lets just say that pads stick to scabby nipples….. ouch!  They are good for catching the leaky milk too, although they do have air holes at the top, so if you bend over the milk will leak out all over you.  I finally got the bright idea to shove tissues in the bottom to absorb the milk.  No leaking all over myself for two days now! Boom!  These are the shells if anyone is interested or thinks they may need them for flat or inverted nipples, or just to keep your nipples from touching things.  I have the ones with the smaller holes.  If you ask for them at the hospital, they will give you some for free!  http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/592/softshells

Now, onto the mental state of breastfeeding.  The feeling of being trapped is sometimes overwhelming.  I get nervous when I need to take a shower.  I just feel like she’s going to start screaming and only being fed will calm her.  I can’t stand to hear her crying, so being in the shower with shampoo in my hair is not the time I want to hear her getting upset.  I guess once the cluster feedings become less and less frequent, I will feel more comfortable doing things (like showering, laundry, cleaning, etc.).

I think, overall, I’m doing well.  Not sure if I’m going to make it to a year (49 weeks to go!) but I am going to try to go as long as I can.  I really don’t feel like paying for formula, but once she’s on solids and only needs a couple bottles a day, it may not be so bad.  We shall see! Only time will tell!

Good luck to all you breastfeeding mamas out there!

Our Beautiful Baby

Our beautiful baby girl was born on Wednesday, June 26th.  Weighing in at 7lbs even and 20.25 inches long.  She is absolutely beautiful (I may have already mentioned this).  She was born at 7:16pm.

The labor was fairly easy, with minor complications.  I started having consistent contractions around 3am.  At 5am I called the doctor and woke up my husband.  The doctor said to head on in!  We arrived at the hospital around 6:00ish and got checked in to the monitoring room.  I was only 1cm dilated and 60% effaced.  They told me they would give me two hours to walk around to try and get the labor kicked into gear and help with the dilation.  I walked the halls for two hours with horrendous (or so I thought at the time) contractions.  The pain was so intense in my back I could hardly stand.  I did squats and did some leans (bent over a railing to try and get the baby off my spine) as we did our laps.  Two hours later… hoorah!  2.5cm dilated!  We were officially on track to have our baby girl.

I decided during our walking that an epidural would be had as soon as they would allow (they gave me something to “take the edge off” but it just made me feel drunk, not good).  The rule was 3-4cm dilated before it was okayed.  I told them that I wanted it as soon as possible.  It was only about 30 minutes after getting hooked up in the labor room that I started having contractions so bad that I couldn’t breath.  I was full of deep, heavy sobs.  Luckily, my nurse was amazing and got the epidural up and going as quick as possible.  The biggest problem was that my blood pressure is so naturally low, that I had to wait to have a bag and a half of fluids in me before they could give me the epidural.  That was such a long wait.  Once I had the epidural I was so relaxed and ready to focus on our progress.

We watched Megamind about 8 times while we were in the room.  Once for real (with volume and everything) and the other times on mute.  Family was visiting and we had tons of stuff going on around us.  Baby girl decided that she only wanted me on my right side.  Any other position would cause her heart rate to drop.  That was terrifying.  I’m just glad that there was a position that worked for us.

Around 6:30pm they decided that it was time to start pushing.  I think I officially started pushing around 6:45.  By 7:16, my baby was born.  The doctor and nurse were incredibly impressed by how quickly I got her out, especially since she was my first.  Go me!  I was just wanting her out in case her cord was wrapped and was the reason her heart rate kept dropping.  I was determined!

So, here she is, our beautiful baby girl, Emilia Claire!  Now it’s really time to start learning this mommy business!!  I will post an update about breastfeeding next time I get the chance…. could be a while. 😉

Emmy

Ready For The Little Lady

Alright, I know I’m crazy, but I am totally ready to meet this little lady.  As of today, I am 38weeks 5 days pregnant.  I am tired and my belly is so sore I can barely rub it when she’s kicking to let her know I’m there.  Maybe that sounds silly, but I like her to know someone is paying attention to those movements.  I like to think it keeps her interested in doing them.  Yea? Maybe!

I’ve had a pretty easy pregnancy.  The doctor I had this past week commented on how empty my chart is.  I guess that’s why I feel like people think I’m crazy for wanting her to come.  Those who have had kids will remind me of how hard it is the first few months, and how I’ll be wishing she was right back in my belly as soon as I am sleep deprived with sore boobs.  I get it.  And they may be completely right, but I won’t know that until she’s here.  I think it’s pretty normal to be antsy once you’ve hit this part of the pregnancy.  I could have as little as ten minutes before labor starts, or I could be induced in two-three weeks.  No way to know!  The waiting game is not really one of my favorites.

This morning I had a nice talk with baby girl and explained to her that coming today or tomorrow would be a great first fathers day gift for her dad.  If she doesn’t come, he doesn’t get anything.  Is it too early to start with the guilt?

Alright, time to go lay in my chair!  Pool time later today, and I am so looking forward to that!  —Would you know if your water breaks while you’re swimming?

My First Stretch Mark

Well, it happened.  I made it two days away from 38 weeks and I wake up with a stretch mark!  I really thought I was home free.  That just proves that this girl is out of room.  Once your skin starts breaking, it’s time to have the baby. (My opinion of course).  I have two (three at the most) more weeks to go and I just feel like this one stretch mark is going to open the flood gates.  Has anyone out there been able to just keep their marks to one or two?  Should I keep up the hope that this is my only one?

Other than my stretch mark, nothing new has been happening.  I’ve had an increase in Braxton Hicks (completely normal, they say) and an increase in sharp, stabbing pains “down below” (also normal).  The biggest problem are my big, swollen, angry, red feet.  All they want to do it be put up in the recliner while I watch TV.  Unfortunately, I’ve got things to do!  Almost everything is ready for baby girl, but I’ve got to finish washing her diapers and some of her toys.  Other than that? Bring it on!  I know everyone wants to go into labor before 40 weeks, but I really really really want to go into labor for 40 weeks. haha I’m almost certain I won’t get my wish though.  Apparently the odds are not in my favor since this is my first.  Let’s just hope she doesn’t go over 41.  I hear Pitocin is not really a very friendly drug.

I will be updating in here a lot more now that we are moved into our new house and the majority of things are done.  I can’t wait to write my update about our baby girl coming into the world!  Wish me luck that it’s sometime within the next two weeks!

Birthing Classes

Wow, I have been the worst blogger in the world.  We’ve been a tad busy with quickly deciding to sell our house, selling our house in five days, moving into an apartment, and finding a new house.  We are finally moving into our new house on Thursday! Whoa!  All the insanity will be worth it once we are finally in and set up, but since I’m already 35 weeks, I’m slightly nervous about being able to get everything done!  Wish us luck!

So, on to birthing class fun.  Our classes were split into two Saturdays.  They were very informative.  We went over all of the basics; the beginning stages of labor (waters breaking, show, loosing your mucus plug), the three stages of labor (Yes, there are three.. who knew?), and then the actual birth.  The most informative parts of the classes were about the three stages of labor, the medications available, and the different types of problems that could arise during birth.  I think every first time parents should take a birthing class.  You have a general idea of how things work, but it’s nice to know what to expect even if things don’t go the way you are expecting.

I have decided that laboring at home for HOURS in the first stage of labor sounds like zero fun.  I want to start contractions and then head over to the hospital.  I think I’m the only one who feels this way, but once labor starts I want to feel like it’s time to go!  I want to feel like she’s coming soon.  If I sit at home for five hours eating Popsicles, I’m going to be confused.  Maybe once it starts I’ll feel different, but right now I’m kind of like… waah.

I have also decided that I would like to hold off on an epidural for a while.  I’m sure I’m going to want one (because I just have a feeling that I will), but holding off for as long as I can seems like the best idea.  I do not want to be stuck in a bed with nurses having to pee me (yea, I’m using that as if I’m saying “milk me”).  I had no idea that you could have narcotics to take the edge off of contractions either.  That also sounds like a nice way to prolong the (most likely) inevitable epidural.

There is also a thing called a spinal.  I had never heard of this, ever.  I’m not too sure it’s very popular though.  It’s just one shot of medication directly into your spinal fluid.  You cannot have more than one shot of this fluid.  An epidural doesn’t go directly into your fluid, so they can keep giving you hits for as long as you are in labor.  Sounds like the better option to me.  I think a spinal might be more for a rush c-section.  Not an emergency c-section, in which you are knocked out, but a rush job.

Was anyone else aware that babies are supposed to come out with their face facing down towards your butt?  I would have bet money that they are supposed to come out facing up, but I would have lost my money.  Apparently a baby facing up will cause extra horrible laboring.  Because of the way they are turned, they will cause what is known as back labor.  Back labor paired with contractions is almost a guarantee for begging for an epidural.  I know that our baby girl is head down, but I have no idea if she’s facing towards my back, or if she’s “sunny side up” (the term used for a baby facing up).  I’m pretty sure with the amount of poking on my sides and up between my rib cage  that she is in fact sunny side up.  If she’s not, then she is a gymnast   I have no idea how so many things would be poking me if she were facing my back.  I guess it’s possible though, she is quite squished in there!

I had already had an idea about the amount of post-labor bleeding, but learning that it is 4-6 weeks of bleeding kind of made me go “whaaaaat?”  Absolutely insane.  It makes sense, but SIX WEEKS?

I am excited now.  I’m glad that I am aware of things that can/might/will happen.  All I know is that at the end of whatever happens, we will have a little baby girl to bring home.  That is amazing!

Good luck to all the mamas out there who are on their way to having their little ones.  I hope everyone has a safe, quick labor!

Embarrassed By Us?

As I scrolled through the most adorable baby pictures I’ve ever seen yesterday, I began to wonder how much damage we are doing to our children before they are even aware of what embarrassment feels like.

Most of these kids are newborn to five or six now, so Facebook doesn’t mean a thing to them, but I wonder how they’ll feel when they are five, ten, fifteen, and they realize that they have pictures of themselves all over the internet?

I feel embarrassed by the pictures I have on Facebook.  Most of them I put on there myself, but some were uploaded by others and are un-deletable by me.  Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and never upload any of those pictures.  If my brain had only realized that everything you put on the internet will always be there in some form…. waiting…

So, how will our children feel when they realize what we’ve put online?  I know when I was a teenager and my friend got a hold of my baby book, it was bad enough.  “Oh, look at you, naked in the bath!”  “Is this you with ice cream all over your face?”  “Wow, chicken pox really got you, huh?”  Now, I find them funny, but as a teenager?  Ugh.  I wanted my friends to see me in pictures being cute… or sexy (depending on my age).

When our children grow up, and they are in middle or high school (or lets face it, with the way children are with technology now, elementary school), how will they feel when someone can find their naked bathtub pictures and pass them around school?  OR…. and holy cow I do not understand why parents do this… the totally, full-frontal, nudity of their birth pictures?  Again, as an adult I find these pictures hilarious and shareable, but I can’t imagine getting a picture like this emailed or texted around middle school.  Aren’t those years hard enough?

This is a new problem for our children’s generation.  We were lucky enough to only embarrass ourselves with the stupid things we chose to put online.  The pictures of me drunk could really find their way into a black hole, if they wanted, but I know that in some way, they will always exist out there in internet land.  Good thing I don’t plan on being a celebrity or a politician.  Imagine the president in 50 years? What kinds of things will the all-knowing internet hold for him/her?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t share your children’s photos…. but be a little more thoughtful in what you put on the internet.  And remember, just because you think it’s adorable, doesn’t mean your child will in fifteen years.  Oh, and that goes for what you say about them too.  The world doesn’t need to know that your little one woke up and played with their poop, or that they barfed all over the cat.  Although, those two things are hilarious, maybe only share with select friends and family… over the phone.

My Wedding Dress

So, I’m not sure how many of you out there are TV addicts, like I am, but even if you aren’t, you’ve probably at least seen a commercial for “Something Borrowed, Something New” on TLC.  (Yea, TLC… The Learning Channel?? Anyway…)  This show is about mothers who want more than anything for their daughters to wear their wedding dress.  Sometimes these ladies make it seem like it would be the end of the world if their daughters didn’t wear this dress, and that they’d be extremely disappointed and sad that their daughters didn’t love them enough to do this important thing for them.  Well, I kind of want to flick all of these mothers in the ear.

What makes these women think that their daughter wouldn’t want her very own wedding dress?  This is her big day.  She is getting married and wants to look her best in a dress that she’s picked out… you know, just like her mother did?!  Why do these women guilt their daughters into wearing their dress?  I mean, isn’t it kind of gross, if you think about it?  Their mothers picked this dress out to look beautiful for their fathers.  This means this dress was what they were wearing when they went into their honeymoon room to DO IT for the first time as a married couple… your parents!!  This is not a share-able item in my opinion.  Lend her some earrings, a necklace, or a hair clip.  Don’t make her wear something that 1) has been out of style for 20+ years and 2) was used to look sexy for her dad.  Gross ladies, gross.

This is how my brain works.  I don’t intend to force my daughter to wear anything I’ve owned.  She is going to be her own person, with her own style, and her own ability to make decisions.  I want her to go about life in a way that makes her a happy person.  I don’t want her to ever feel guilt over something as silly as my wedding dress.  I want her to know that I love her, whoever she turns out to be.  Even if that means wearing a purple wedding dress with a fur collar. (What? I don’t know what the style will be in 20+ years!) I want her to be happy and healthy and loved.

…and if she does end up wanting to wear my dress?  I’ll tell her she’s crazy, because I will love her enough to tell her things like that. 🙂

Baby Registries

I must say that this past weekend was very tiring, but so much fun.  We went to two separate stores (Target and Buy Buy Baby) and they hand you a scanner and you just go wild.  I mean, as wild as you can get for a first time parent who really has no clue what they may need.  Wild and clueless would be a better phrase I guess.  We went wild and clueless this weekend!

Seriously though, how on earth are you supposed to know what and how many of something you need?  Sure, you can look at the helpful little list the store gives you, but they want you to have your friends and family buy as many things as possible.  Can those lists be trusted?  Then what about how all your friends are telling you about how their sister couldn’t live without a boppy, but they tried one and it didn’t work for them at all.  Or what about bottles and pumps?  Try to find a pump that has great reviews by everyone who’s used it.  Impossible.  You’d think something as simple as a bottle would be easy, but have you seen how many bottles are out there?  All of them slightly different.  All of them loved by some and despised by others.  No consensus.

So we were winging it all over the place.  “Need one of these?” “Yes, probably like three of them, actually.”

It was very exciting to picture using all of these new gadgets being use for our little girl.  Except for the nose aspirator.  I’m not too excited about sucking boogers out of her nose.  I mean, I get that it’s helpful, but what did people do back in the day before these things were invented?  Did the baby just have boogers and the parents said “cool” and went on about their day?  I imagine they did.  Of course, everything invented has been invented for a reason, and booger extractors are on everyone’s “to have” list, so we’ll go with the flow and get a few.  I refuse to use the one that involves sticking one end in the babies nose and the other end in your mouth and sucking the booger out of the nose and into a little compartment.  Um, no.  Well… fine, if it’s absolutely necessary and good for my daughter, I’ll do anything, but I’m not going to like it!  I can just imagine a mother who chooses to do that and then later in life their kid is talking back to them… how can that mother keep from saying “I sucked the boogers out of your nose! You should be nicer to me!” haha.. gross.

So registering is fun.  We really enjoyed it. We learned new things about baby stuff, and scanned lots of things for people to buy our little girl.  She is going to be a very happy and spoiled baby!

How To Keep My Daughter Sane

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit of pregnancy anxiety.  I hear it’s typical at this point in the pregnancy.  You’re past the halfway point, ready to register, having people ask about your baby shower(s).  It’s a lot to take in all of the sudden.  It’s got me thinking about how, in just a few months, I’m going to have a little person that my husband and I are responsible for.  We are going to raise a child together.  She is going to get her understanding of the world, of language, of love, of EVERYTHING, from us!  How can we be sure to keep her safe, healthy and happy?  Most importantly, how do we keep her sane?

I don’t mean “how do we avoid mental illnesses.”  I mean, how do we keep her from being paranoid about the world.  How can we keep her from being afraid of everything and everyone she comes across?  Eventually she’s going to see the news, or read about it, or hear it from friends or other adults having conversations nearby.  How can you insure that your child won’t be afraid.  Also, how do you insure that your child won’t be unafraid?  Which is worse, a child who is afraid of nothing, or a child who is afraid of everything?  I’d have to say the child who is afraid of everything is worse off.  I don’t want that for my daughter.

My parents are fear mongers.  Everything in life can be taken and flipped around to become scary.

Going out dancing in college.  Seems harmless enough, right?  What if someone attacks you in the parking garage?  What if someone drugs your drink?  What if someone rapes you?  What if you get kidnapped and murdered?
(I’m not over-exaggerating — I’ve heard all of these types of things).

Today my mother posted something on Facebook about how a gang is using children to lure in victims to rape them.  The story says that the gang sets a child on the street, crying, and then when a lady walks by, the child asks her to take them home.  They present their address and once the lady walks up to the door with the child she is either (a) knocked unconscious by an electrified doorbell, or (b) grabbed and brought into the house.  Either way they do it, they say the woman is raped once she gets there.  It turns out the story is false, but my mother posted a comment afterwards saying “this story is false, but you should always be on guard about someone trying to use you for help and putting you in a bad situation.”

This makes me so sad.  Everyone wonders where the good people are in the world.  Well, I think they are all terrified to help anyone.  Has the news made us all a little crazy?

How did I end up being even slightly normal and not afraid of my own shadow?  I have no clue.  I guess I figure that life really can’t happen if you’re scared of everything in it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared of plenty.  I hate when my husband is out of town, even though we have an alarm system and two dogs, I still have trouble sleeping for fear that someone may try to break in.  This seems fairly normal, even with people who weren’t raised to fear everything.  I’m scared of eating raw chicken for fear i’ll get salmonella poisoning (but, come on, who isn’t scared of raw chicken? Gross).  I was scared when I walked home from class at night (who wouldn’t be scared to walk across an empty, dark campus at night?  Creepy!)

My sister has taken on some of the crazy gene in the family.  I know that she is teaching her children to be scared of everything too, and that’s fine if that’s how she wants to go about raising her children, but I don’t want that for mine.

So how to do you make sure to teach them about scary things and possibilities without scarring them for life?  How do I make sure that she’s capable of understand that walking alone at night is cause for extra vigilance, but that she shouldn’t be so scared of it that she never leaves the house after dark?  I guess these are just things you work out as you go along.  You find what works best for teaching your children and you go with it, hoping to keep them sane enough to function.

I just hope I can figure out what I’m doing without causing her total fear of life.  Life is amazing and needs to be lived.