Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was quite eventful. Lauren met her little cousin for the first time, went black Friday shopping and learned to sit up. Shes practically full grown, that girl. Although She got a bit confused when I gave her my car keys and said make a left at the liquor store but I suppose she'll learn eventually.
In the car

The holiday brought lots of rain and snow and plenty of turkey my way. Tom and I drove 5 hours in the freezing rain to Elmira, NY to visit my family. We stayed with my brother mike who happens to be an excellent food salter, and his long time girlfriend Becky who can salt food at a regular rate I guess. I met my sister Karen's 3 week old baby Colton Bruce for the first time. He was a tiny squishy little man. All this kiddo does is sleep the day away.
Colton Bruce

He let's out itty bitty moans and yelps and my sister is all "geeze calm down baby" and I'm all "whoa whoa whoa hold on one friggin minute! He's barely audible!!" but I suppose Lauren is just exceptionally loud. She gets it from her mama. I couldn't be more proud. Well maybe if she would just kick that pacifier addiction and get mama her sippy cup.

Fill it up!

Having my family all together for the holidays really was pretty special. I had an amazing time just hanging out in my brothers apartment playing a wicked game of "Dice-capades" in addition to a 20 minute game of "open the wine without a corkscrew" which was really a means of necessity rather than a game. But I'm pretty sure I came out a winner on that one since I drank the whole bottle myself.
Catherine, Me, Karen and Mike

Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving and got to spend it with family and friends. I'll loan Lauren out to your holiday parties as soon as she masters her bartending skills.



Honestly,

Jen

Sunday, November 14, 2010

After my long break from the blogosphere


November 2010
4 Months & 26 days
 Sorry for the long break I took from blogging.  Life kind of got in the way a bit, what with all the lack of sleep and constant parenting required of me. I tried to savor every moment I had to myself.  The last thing I wanted was to sit in front of a computer and type.  But i'm back now so here goes...

Lauren is now almost 5 months old. She came into my life and threw my hormones upside down, bounced them back up, crumpled them into a ball and then squeezed the living shit out of them. But I wouldn't trade her for all the nachos bellgrande in the world. After a small bout of post partum baby blues I began medication and worked my way to an effective dosage that has given me a brand new life. I realized something about myself once I got to that point. See, I'm a very exaggerated, loud and outgoing person. But I finally discovered the reason I was so dramatic was because I was trying to feel. I was faking my emotions. I didn't know how to experience them because I had never felt them. I didnt realize laughter just comes out on it's own when you hear something funny. I thought you created a sound when you were expected to. This must sound ridiculous to you as you read this but that is the truth of the life of someone living with depression. And if you have always felt this way, you don't know any different. So this is what having a child has brought me, not only do I have a new outlook on humanity but I can feel humanity now.
And it is amazing.




Lauren pulls at my heart in ways I didn't know were possible. She is growing so fast and getting cuter by the day. She has mastered head control and most of her hand control. She is very close to rolling over. She has weaned off breastmilk successfully to soy after many attempts to other formulas resulting in many painful side effects. Her little tummy is so extremely sensitive that I had to keep a calendar of her symptoms and formula trials in order to find what works for her. We're now giving her enfamil soy with a daily dose of prune juice to keep things moving. She was so backed up in her belly I had to switch her this morning back to Alimentum to settle her stomach. Last night I made my own pulverized rice cereal and froze it in single serve batches in an ice cube tray. We thawed one and warmed it up with some formula and here was our result:



Before

During


After!
 Keep Smiling,
Jen

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Life has been hectic. More to come soon. My apologies.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mastering The Art Of French Cooking

The other day I mastered the art of French cooking. Ummmm ok so maybe not mastered, more like managed. And instead of French cooking it was more like grilled cheese. And instead of art it was more like balancing an infant in one hand while buttering bread with the other.




We had a nap-tastrophe yesterday. Lauren decided to test how long she could stay awake in one day. From 5:30-8:00 she was wide awake. That's AM to PM by the way. The only thing that made her happy was being held.

By me.

All day.

She dozed off for 10 or 15 minutes throughout the day but those naps are so short they don't even count. I never even had a chance to take a shower. I don't mind holding her. I actually love holding her. But I'm not comfortable with not having the option to put her down without mass hysteria coming out of every pore on her body. I actually put her down in curiosity and watched her scream just to see if I could locate the source of her hatred to being put down. Here is my analysis: Apparently there is a flesh burning substance covering the couch, the chair, the swing, the crib and the pack and play. Of course mommies are immune to this substance, therefore she must cling to me for dear life in order to be safe from touching any horizontal surface. That is, unless it is dark out, the fan is on, the lights are off and i am laying next to her. Then and only then she cant be harmed from it. Obviously that's the only logical explanation.

Obviously.

She's a good baby most of the time so I don't know why we have days like this.  She's actually sleeping soundly next to me right now on her play mat.  Her skin is not burning and she is quite happy. I adore my child but I am trying to adjust to the days where she is grumpy constantly and needs extra attention.  Those days weigh on me so heavily and tire me out and I don't get the chance to recover because she is non-stop in her neediness, understandably.  This is my life now. She will always need me.  I'm happy to be there for her because it's my job as a mom. I just hope someday she has a child that needs to suck on her boobs at 3 in the morning when she's tired and irritable because revenge is so sweet.

Honestly,
Jen

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2 Month Letter

Lauren,

Last week you turned two months old. I was too busy to post this letter but I wrote it on time so that should count for something, right? Right. Lauren, My mind can't comprehend ever not having you in my life. The day you were born brought so much completeness in a way that just made so much sense to me. I've always known my purpose in life was to be a mother. Now I know my purpose was to be YOUR mother. In a way, I've always known you. I dreamt of you. I pictured your tiny hands holding mine so tight yet so gentle. Lauren, at only 2 months, you're everything I have ever wanted in a daughter.





This month you started smiling. At first, you would only smile at me and I secretly thought that was the best gift. Then you started showing your daddy that cute little happy face. Now you smile all the time. I can tell you truly know me and recognize me when you look in my eyes. You have a habit of cooing to me ever so softly after I've nursed you. You lock eyes with me and try to make precious little sounds. It seems that you still aren't so sure of yourself yet on how to make that mouth do what you want. And your tongue.... Oh that tongue. Seriously, Lauren you and that tongue. You are like a lizard always with that tongue! You can't even keep your pacifier in your mouth because of your constant need to be a snot and stick your tongue out. I adore it though, unless it's 3am. Then it's time to turn off the cute and turn on the sleep.





You are starting to sleep longer and longer. Except on days when I'm home alone with you. For some reason you stay awake all day only to end up super cranky and tired in the evening. Then daddy comes home and you conk out like you always do with him. You went 5 hours last week (while awake!!) without eating. I find myself panicking inside when you skip feedings. I want you to always be happy and fed. I promise you now, you will never go hungry .... except maybe on the occasion where you refuse to eat my meatloaf with broccoli or when you're a giant pain in the ass and I send you to bed without dinner!



Maybe.





Lauren, without you my house just wouldn't be the same. You taught me to be more patient. You taught me to be more of a participant in life. But most of all you taught me what floor boards creak and how to avoid them. I'm a better person with you, my darling daughter. It's been a pleasure to have these 2 months with you. Now let's get ready for month 3, kiddo! It's going to be a blast!



Love,

Mama

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Working mama

Ladies and gentlemen.....Welcome to life as a working mom.

This past week kicked my ass big time as you can see by my previous post. This week I wanted to go into it with a new perspective. I accepted the fact that I will never sleep well again. Not that I ever really slept well before but, oh what I would give for 3 or 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Lauren is still breastfeeding so she can't go as long between feedings as a formula fed baby. From what I hear, switching to formula could buy me those sleep hours I've so been longing for. But I don't want to give up the nutritional benefits of breastmilk just yet. Plus I don't want to lose that bond we have when we nurse. It's our moment and I love it more than I ever thought possible. She looks up at me and wraps her tiny arm around me as she scratches with her little nails. A nice scratch. An "I'm comforted" type of scratch. She no longer falls asleep eating but she does still hit that fullness point where she gets giddy and high. Her body goes limp and her eyes glaze over and she just lays back with the most satisfied partial smile on her little chubby baby face. It makes me feel so needed and I love it. So yeah the no sleep thing.... Well, i don't really have a choice in this. If I want to keep breastfeeding I have to accept the fact that a full block of 2 hours sleep is as good as it going to get for now. It's tough to handle especially because once I'm up and spent all that time feeding, changing and putting her back to sleep, I can't fall back asleep so easily. I'm completely over the fact that I'm covered in regurgitated breastmilk and poop. I just can't shut my mind off.

The days where I get to stay home with Lauren are what I look forward to the most. Her personality is really starting to develop into this sweet gentle happy baby always dressed In pink. My early mornings are filled with the sound of her giggling to herself in her crib. Her feet kicking wildly. Her arms thrashing around. Those are the magical breathy little sounds I have waited so long to hear. I find myself just standing by her bedroom door peeking in to soak in the little rambunctious nugget as she let's all her energy out laugh by laugh until she finally laughs herself to sleep.....and.... It takes all of about 5 minutes.

Those are the things I will miss while I'm away at work. The little bits and pieces of her life spent away from me. At least she's young enough now that she doesn't cry when I leave her. That will tear my heart in two.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Funky Funk

So i'm in a bit of a funk. Ok, maybe more than just a bit. Honestly, I'm in one of the biggest funky funks ever.  Not with Lauren but with myself.  I know I am doing well as a mom because my little munchkin couldn't be happier. But anytime I have to be away from her, I panic. It's an issue with myself and I'm not exactly sure if this is related to the postpartum period or if this is a manifestation of my already existing anxiety.  It's like I can't exist separately from her.  In addition to starting on Zoloft, this was my first week back to work.  The night before my first day back I panicked all night long. I never fell asleep.  I just stayed in bed the whole time watching my beautiful Lauren sleep next to me in her pack and play.  It was an entire night of shaking and crying. I knew she would be ok with Tom's parents all day.  After all, they raised 3 children of their own successfully and they take care of my niece and nephew in California by themselves all the time.  So why the panic? I could say it was partially the Zoloft to blame as the side effects are insomnia, jittery feeling and nausea. But I am no stranger to these episodes of panic and I knew I just had to go with it and let it ride and just hope my heart didn't explode.  Usually these are symptoms I feel when Tom is away, specifically at night time.  And having him call or come home makes it go away immediately. But this was so different. I knew I had to go to work and leave her.  Calling off was not an option because I would just go through this again the next day I had to work. 

So off I went, in tears with bloodshot eyes and fatigue as big as can be. The whole way to work I stared at nothing on the T and fought off my desire to fall flat on my face, sobbing for my little girl.  I wanted so badly to get off and turn around and go back home.  Looking back, the whole day there was a complete blur but as it was happening, I assure you, it was the equivalent of spending six lifetimes gasping for air under a sea of the thickest fog imaginable.  Coping was next to impossible.  And yet, somehow I made it through the day by taking frequent breaks to text and call and spending time in the lactation room, pumping milk while watching videos of Lauren on my iPhone.

I never imagined it was going to be this hard. You would think I was the first mom to ever have to go through the trauma of being ripped away from her baby.  And after only one day away I decided I had to cancel our anniversary trip. I can't be away from Lauren overnight, let alone four days while she is still so tiny and dependant on my breastmilk.  Tom assured me I would want a break from her when he made the hotel reservation months ago. I didn't think much of it because I hadn't given birth yet so I didn't know how I was going to feel. It just seemed so far into the future but now that it's only two weeks away I can see I can't be away from her.  I feel so guilty as a wife to not give Tom the break he was looking forward to. But I have to put my health in front of that for now. I can't be having panic attacks while trying to enjoy a relaxing weekend to reconnect with my husband.  A sleepless, shaking, vomiting, paranoid state of mind is not really my idea of a reconnection with Tom. Add to that, I need to pump every three hours to keep my supply up, which includes setting an alarm and waking in the night, all while keeping track of how much she is eating so I can match it. I'm not really sure he gets it right now but, again I have to realize my health is important at this time in order to be there for Lauren. I just need some transitional time to get used to being away from her during the day before she spends an entire night away from me. Plus I really should be waiting until she is weaned from breastmilk. I told Tom he can take some time away from us if he needs it but I'm not sure he will take it or not.

I will continue to work three days a week and stay home with my darling girl on non-work days. This funkiness should be lifting soon as I continue to work through being a new mama and allow some time for my anxiety to diminish.

Staying Honest,
Jen

Friday, July 30, 2010

A brand new day

I woke up this morning and realized I had one thing to do today... call my doctor.  This anxiety cannot continue the way I have allowed it to. Letting my panic run my life has been my biggest mistake.  So I sat in front of my phone with my heart pounding waiting for the clock to hit 8:30am when my doctors office opened. Nervously shaken and not sure what to say, I finally dialed the number and told them I needed help. Big help.  They said blah blah blah taking care of a newborn is very stressful and hard and it can take down even the toughest woman. But my experience with Lauren is the complete opposite.  She is a wonderful easy going baby. She is not contributing to my anxiety at all. Well not directly.  My fears that I cannot be with her at all times have worn me down to a permanently jaw clenched and exhausted mama.  My doctor suggested therapy and I explained how a $30 copay twice a week would bankrupt me and I needed help now! I can't go on with my life knowing a panic attack could strike at any time. I do believe therapy could help some people but I've tried it and I suffered more anxiety through those sessions than ever before.  I couldn't even eat on days that I had an appointment. So my doctor said he would call in zoloft for me. As those words fell out of his mouth I felt my chest open up and the weight of this fearful panic lifted off of me.  I suddenly felt hope for the future that I haven't felt ever in my life.  I envisioned more smiles and more satisfaction coming my way and it felt so good.  Let me say it again.  IT FELT SO GOOD!

So today begins a brand new life for me and my family.  Hopefully this will help me to be a better wife and a better mom by taking care of my own mental health. I do it all for them.  How can I not? I mean look at this face!


















Honestly,
Jen

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Right where it hurts the most

Last night I had a terrible breakdown. Lauren was screaming her head off and Tom was holding her trying to get her to calm down. My heart started racing and I ended up curled up on the couch in a big wet sloppy mess and bawled my eyes out. I knew if I held her I could calm her down but Tom wanted to do it himself and wouldn't let me take her. It was the most helpless I have ever felt in my whole life. I was dying inside listening to her scream. I can't remember the last time I cried so hard. So eventually, Tom calmed her down but I was so shaken I could barely move or speak and it ended up taking me a while to stop crying. After i took a shower I finally was able to breathe normally again so I went straight to bed. Tom seemed a bit concerned by then and he handed her over to me. So I sat there with her on the bed, staring into her eyes and realized what just happened was probably a panic attack. Holding her in my arms after that was the most calm I think I had ever felt. She fell right asleep and then so did I.




I know now that leaving her to go back to work will be heartbreaking and I'm not sure how I can handle it sanely. This is most definitely not a trust issue. This is a separation anxiety issue. I know other people are perfectly capable of taking good care of her. But their hands are not my hands. I want to approve of and oversee everything that goes near her. It's impossible and I obviously know that but I have this fierce instinct to be present for every moment in her life even if it's just be be there in the room. This is very bad news and I'm not sure how to cope with all of this. I have heard of moms crying when they have to return to work but a freaking panic attack? Really? Just from not being able to comfort my child when she cries? Oh man, this is going to be the hardest journey. Much harder than I imagined. I'm not ready to let go or hand her over. I think I need her more than she needs me and that's terrifying.

I have all of today and tomorrow with her just the two of us.  Then I have one last weekend with her and Tom as a family before I go to work on Monday.  My in-laws will watch her on Monday and Friday and she will stay home with me on Tuesday and Thursday. Tom will have her on Wednesday. This next week is bringing the most anxiety since waiting for her birth. I just don't want to end up having another panic attack at work. Sadly, the likelihood seems high.

Honestly Mama,
Jen

Monday, July 26, 2010

Milk Maid

This is my last week home with Lauren.  While I'm exhausted at being her beckon call girl and answering to her every cry, I will miss her terribly.  In spite of the sadness of having to be away from my snuggly munchin and go back to work, I'm hoping it will feel nice to not be Lauren's personal milk maid every couple of hours.  You know, for the three days of work I will be working. She has been going through quite a growth spurt making her insatiably hungry which means she has basically been permanently attached to my lap so I can pop her on my boob at any given time.  I have become a slave to her cues, feeding her long before she cries so pumping at work will definitely be a challenge.  I will be forced to pump solely on a time based schedule unless I have her babysitter send me a text every time she eats.....which actually doesn't seem like a terrible idea now that I think of it. 

Just yesterday my heart broke as I had to pack away Lauren's newborn onsies that she has already outgrown. She still fits newborn diapers and pants because she has the tiniest waist ever. It was really sad to say goodbye to some of my favorite little outfits. Those outfits represent Lauren at the little miniature size she was when she was born. But I am keeping them all for the second baby girl I may have one day. Yeah that's right, I'm already thinking about baby number two. The thought of sisters very close in age just drives me crazy.  Almost crazy enough to throw out my birth control pills. Almost.  I guess Lauren is just such an easy baby that I could imagine having another one right this moment and not really be phased by it.  Sure, she cries when she's hungry and wakes up often through the night. But she has been an extremely easy going baby. Even at 3am she still wakes up in a good mood and grunts and whines in her crib for about 20 minutes before she would even think to cry for her personal assistant...I mean me. 

So many people told me I will never sleep again and that babies are so hard.  Losing sleep was my biggest fear, as you would know if you've been reading along with my pregnancy.  It makes me wonder is she really that easy of a baby or was I just readily prepared for all the work that was expected to come along with this? She's an amazing darling and yes, it is true, I would sacrifice every night's sleep for her.  But just for kicks, let's hope that doesn't happen. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It makes me melt into a puddle of love

I had my follow up doctor's appointment two days ago. It was so amazing to get the chance to bring Lauren in to the office and show her off to all the nurses and to the doctor that brought her into the world.  My doctor just ate her up and it was so precious to see my beautiful daughter in her arms. I got to hug her and thank her for taking care of me throughout the pregnancy and for calming me down when I freaked out in the operating room before my c-section. She assured me that being scared meant I was a good mother for worrying what would happen to her and me.  At the appointment the nurse let me weigh Lauren on the scale and that little piggy was nine and a half pounds! I, however, was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight which was a big relief. I didn't gain much over the recommended guideline so I was hoping to jump back down pretty quickly.  There are many women I've talked to who gained weight like they were eating at a buffet full of babies and it almost made me wonder "how many babies are actually inside you?" I know I gained a lot of water weight, which really pissed me off, because a pound is pound and that's all that mattered to me. I would cry when leaving the doctor's office each time because I was told not to go over twenty-five pounds and I'm a person who takes doctor's orders very seriously.  Although this seems backwards, health was not my concern while pregnant. I was so sick that just keeping calories down was cause for celebration.  Anything that I craved, I ate, but always in tiny portions because that's all I could get down.  My concern was always not to gain too much weight so that after I had the baby I wouldn't look pregnant anymore. It was ok to have a swollen belly after birth because the uterus takes time to shrink but there shouldn't be extra fat on your body.  I still don't understand why you are suposed to gain weight when you are pregnant anyway.  And I mean extra weight on your own body other than the products of a baby.


Here's me at forty weeks. I snapped this picture after my doctor told me to go to the hospital to get induced. We ran home and I jumped in front of the camera with this very scared look on my face.




I'm sorry I don't have an "after" picture for you.  I hope to get one up soon.  Hopefully I will remain at this weight. My life with a newborn has brought on lots of ice cream and fast food since I am too tired to cook.  I really thought I would have a really great time on maternity leave but my TMJ has gotten the worst it has ever been and the sleep deprivation is bru-tal! So it has just been really easy to order food or frequent the drive-through. On top of that I have been stuck inside due to temperatures in the 90's and 100's. My visions of walking my newborn in the park have been seriously crushed.  The five weeks I have been home, we have had maybe two or three days where it was decent enough to take Lauren outside before 7pm. I think I'm seriously losing my mind being indoors constantly. The fact that I have my little lollipop with me has made it bearable. And today she shared her first real smile with me.... you know, other than those sleepy smiles which are adorable but not reactive. I didn't catch the first one on video but here she is repeating that life changing moment.



It makes me melt into a puddle of love for my little Lauren girl.

Honestly,
Jen

YouTube Link

Here's a collection of videos of my darling little Lauren

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Time for birth control

When I got pregnant with Lauren I was immediately terrified of postpartum depression. I just assumed I would sink down into a black hole and not have the ability to care for my own child. I feared that I would lay in bed all day and all the possibilities that would happen that would tear my marriage apart and cause me to be unable to love my child. And worst of all, would I even recognize the symptoms? Then guess what happened?  I gave birth and the exact opposite happened.  I'm so in love with this petite creature that I stalk her in her crib while she sleeps and wait for a chance to hold her again. I've only left her twice since she's been born. Once while I went to have lunch with a friend while Tom's aunt watched her for a few hours and once last night while Tom and I went to red lobster for a dinner that was promised to me while I was in labor. As the long painful hours of contractions progressed Tom kept promising me the ultimate feast dinner which is unarguably the most delicious meal on the planet.  Shrimp scampi, snow crab legs, lobster tail, fried shrimp and baked potato all on one plate. Yum! Now I don't like leaving her one bit but Tom convinced me that I needed to get out for a break from all the poop and boob suckling and take advantage of all the breast milk I have stored up in the freezer. We ended up going to pick up pictures of Lauren i had ordered, then going to Babies R Us, then spending the entire dinner talking about her, of course. After dinner and a few drinks, we couldn't think of anything else to do so we came home at the wee late hour of 8pm to kiss her toes and tickle her nose. Tom's mom ended up staying for a little bit while we sat out back in the gazebo and had dessert and drinks. Tom mentioned how anxious I was because of how badly I was itching to go back inside. I just can't function normally unless she is within earshot of me. I can't ever let my guard down. I suppose this is normal and every mom feels this way. I just wasn't prepared for the amount of space she would occupy in my brain.  How will I ever be able to concentrate at work again without thoughts of her invading everything I do?  My heart goes out to all the mommies who are able to work a full time job and leave their children in someone elses care all day long.  It's going to be quite an adjustment.  I go back to work in 2 weeks and already I am mourning the time I will miss with her.  I want to be there for all her milestones, not get a recap of them from the babysitter. I hope she understands that I had to work to pay for her life. 




Speaking of work, I took Lauren in for a visit to the office last week and everyone just ate her up.  Every time she made a sound, people perked up and scaled their cubicle walls to see a baby!! A baby!... either that or they wanted an excuse to get a break from working but I don't mind either way. She was such a good lil sweetie the whole time.  She didn't cry or whine or explode any substances out of her diaper.  She just happily got passed around from person to person without any complaints. She has days like that and then she has days were all she does is whine and cry and make her little piggy grunting noise.  Those days are the hardest to deal with because she is never satisfied no matter how long I rock her or feed her. There's no keeping her happy. Then there are days when all she does is sleep and she only wakes up long enough to eat then she falls back asleep again.  I like the sleepy days.  Especially when I get these awful debilitating postpartum migraines.  Which reminds me, that is something I need to bring up at my doctors appointment coming up on Tuesday.  Oh yeah, and we definitely need to have a birth control conversation too. 


Honestly, 
Jen

Monday, July 12, 2010

It just doesn't get better than this.

I recently read a birth story on natural birth. And i got to thinking about my experience with giving birth to Lauren. It's already been three weeks since her big debut and i've already forgotten about the pain. If you asked me right now how bad those contractions were I would say "meh, no biggie". But when I look back at my birth story I talked about going through unbearable life changing pain. I've always heard people say you forget the pain and yes, I believed them but that didn't change the fact that you actually have to go through the pain in order to have the privilege of forgetting it. And that, my friends, was the scary part. I find it very interesting that humans don't remember pain. And I find it even more interesting that I would be willing to have ten more babies if it meant I get to scoop them up and smell their little baby heads the way that I get to do with Lauren. And might I say on a side note that I would set my body on fire for that kid. She is bigger than anything that has every happened to me. Her tiny squirmy cuddly body is my favorite thing in the world. There's no place I'd rather be than next to her. But would I have done a natural birth? Chances are thats never gonna happen. I would very much love to feel the high women feel when they give birth without hormone inhibiting drugs. I believe nature intended for us to feel this pain and to feel the instant hormonal bond with your child the moment they leave your body and enter the world. But is it worth the pain? I was in labor for twenty-two hours total. Of those twenty-two hours, I was in pain that I couldn't tolerate for maybe eight hours. That time zoomed by but only because I had an epidural. I highly recommend the epidural to all people who scream out in horror inducing pain when they stub their toes like I do.  I have had Tom come running into the room after just such an incident at least twelve times only to have him roll his eyes like "Seriously? I thought you just got stabbed in the eye with fourteen very sharp needles." And then I'm all "This is some serious pain here buddy. You have no idea what it's like to casually brush your toe up against a chair leg. I was almost bruised here, geez!" So yeah I guess you could say natural birth is not in the cards for me.  However, that doesn't mean I wasn't in the worst pain of my life that day. And uggghhh the recovery! Tom has turned to me many times since that day and told me how amazed he was with me for going through all that.  He is wowed at the strength I had to push for almost four hours until my body gave out and I didn't even have the energy to open my eyes or talk.  And then to go through a surgery after all that agony just to bring my beautiful daughter into the world all without food or water for almost two days. I actually amaze myself that I was able to endure that kind of painful experience. It makes me feel like I can do anything now.

Lauren is now twenty-three days old which means soon she won't be a newborn anymore. I'm not ready to give up the newborn title yet.  I don't want to say she's a month old.  I want to keep her ity bity forever. Her body is so tiny and fragile. Her eyes are so big and magical and I can't describe how in love with her I am. I've been breastfeeding her and hope to continue when I go back to work. I love the convenience of pulling her out of her crib next to my bed and popping her on my boob without ever having to get up and mess with bottles. This means that I am always the one who has to get up with her instead of Tom. Before I had her I assumed we would be taking turns getting up in the middle of the night to take care of her but once she finally came home with us I realized that her meal comes exclusively from me. Even if I had stored milk up so Tom could feed her, I would still have to get up and pump again so I don't wake up in puddles. Now that Tom is back to work, I don't even bother asking him to get up even to change her because I know he has to wake up at 5:30am and he can't take naps during the day like I can. I don't indulge in those naps but I like having the option. I've had the luxury of having a very good sleeper. She goes to bed with us around 9 or 10pm and gets up two or three times in the night to eat and poop but she goes right back to sleep when she's done.  We stay in bed usually until 8:30-9am so that's why I don't take naps.  I'm surviving on the sleep I get through the night.  Once I go back to work in three weeks, that will be a different story since I'll have to start getting up at 6am and yuck, I am totally dreading that. If everything goes as planned, I will be going back to work August 2nd and work part-time until December.  I want to work three days a week so I can be home more with the love of my life. I can't imagine how much of her life I am going to miss while I'm working.  It makes me teary and I just hate to think about it.  So, for now, I'm going to cherish these last few weeks with my favorite person in the world. I plan to do a lot of snuggling and kissing in that time so I will have some good memories to tide me over at work until I can come home and squeeze the crap out of that kid.  Man, I love her.  It just doesn't get better than this.




Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My body is an open bar 24/7

Living with a newborn baby is the most interesting and exhausting thing I have ever taken on in my life.  We live moment to moment and we never know what to expect next.  Lauren surprises us everyday with something new, mostly poop related. I've learned not to change her diaper immediately because it will just end up all over my hands and the changing table. Sometimes I'm not sure where she is storing all that poop. She must have a reserve tank somewhere in her tiny body that triggers a release only when the diaper comes off her little butt.  I used to get mad but now I've learned that everything is washable and stains are inevitable.  That's just life with a baby and I have to accept it. 


I've been rotating between breast feeding and pumping so that it fits my schedule and still gives Lauren the best nutrition I can offer her.  Pumping takes like ten minutes max and I prefer the option of getting it done quickly. But breast feeding offers a bonding time that I can't get any other way. Plus the clean-up is minimal. However, she always falls asleep while breast feeding and the whole process ends up dragging out sometimes to an hour and a half at a time.  This kid is almost always attached to me, sucking away at my body like I have nothing better to do than serve her food 24/7. I knew breast feeding would be challenging but I never knew the amount of time it would take away from my day. I'm pretty much an endless open bar for one very hungry, very tiny customer.  Oh and by the way, this demanding customer doesn't tip or say thank you. 


 My family came in for the weekend to meet Lauren for the first time. Here's my mom spending time with her granddaughter a few hours before we took her to Ikea and she pooped all over her beautiful dress..... Lauren, not my mom. 

Of course the weekend my family chose to come visit happened to be when the kiddo decided to stay awake all night long making it almost impossible to really enjoy time with them with my eyes open. It was really special to see my family hold my child. There's really nothing like it. It's a shame I don't live closer to them.  Lauren will never live near her cousins like I did as a kid.  It was my favorite part of growing up.  You have this whole network of built-in friendships with aunts and uncles to help raise you.  My childhood was extremely family oriented until my cousins moved away when I was in high school.  It broke my heart to not have them nearby and I have never fully recovered because I lost their friendship.  I'm hoping Lauren will have the chance to get to know her cousins in California and New York well enough. She's pretty close in age to them so there's a good possibility they can be good friends even living far apart.  Life is so different now that they will have the option to keep in touch over the internet. We never had all this social networking when we were kids. We just had playgrounds and sandboxes. And when your mom wanted you back home she couldn't send a text.  She had to scream out the back door to come home. And it worked. It worked well.

Lauren is now seventeen days old and I am almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I have about five more pounds to go and I have the confidence that I will lose that before my follow up postnatal doctors appointment. I lost twenty pounds almost immediately in that first week. I give credit to the breast feeding and the fact that I was sliced open and couldn't really walk, therefore I couldn't really get myself to the kitchen to eat endless amounts of cheese and ice cream like when I was pregnant. Plus the pain kind of makes you forget about food. Not to mention twenty-two hours of labor with no food followed by four days in the hospital with either a restricted diet or no appetite.  I'm still recovering now and I hope to be able to get back to my jogging routine soon. For now I will take walks and treasure the time I have with the cutest little human that ever lived pooped.

Honestly,
Jen

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

11 days old

Lauren is now eleven days old.  She is the sweetest, most precious little thing I have ever laid eyes on.  Being a new mommy is not really what I expected. I thought there would be more bonding time and more sleeping...from her, not me.  I looked everywhere for the reset button on this thing but it's nowhere to be found.  I suppose I should consider myself lucky that she isn't colicky or sick but this kid has a fierce resistance to sleeping during the hours of 9am to 5pm. I had visions of taking her for walks in the park and sitting outside in the sun with her.  Me, soaking up the rays, her, under a shaded blanket. Taking in the experience of having my own family. Instead we start the day with feeding, then we poop, then we get changed and dressed. Next we eat again, then we poop, then we whine and kick and complain. I don't know what she wants.  She doesn't cry. She just whimpers and whines at anything and everything. "Gimmie the pacifier. No I don't want the pacifier. Put me in the swing. No, mama, I hate the swing. Take me for a drive. Ahhhh a nice sleepy car ride.  What? The car ride is over???" Time to eat again, then poop, then whine some more.  The adorable picture you see above was one of three good pictures that she let me take of her before she went into tantrum mode because how dare I enjoy a moment for once? Silly mama.


We had a bath last night. This one wasn't filled with crying like the other two baths we've had so far. However, this one the kiddo decided she would save mama a diaper and just let it rip in the tub. Not too uncommon, right moms? Well, let me tell you how fun it is to clean newborn mushy jaundice poop from an adorable pink mesh bath hammock. All right before the bath began. So you must remove the naked baby from the pink bath tub to clean the poop off which risks more fun poop cleaning from other places in the kitchen or your husbands arms. We survived it and we managed to get a clean baby out of it. But clean babies don't last long so enjoy them while they smell fresh. But I must say, they are pretty damn cute even when they stink. 

Honestly Mama,
Jen


Monday, June 28, 2010

Life as a Mom

Lauren is now 9 days old and she's starting to develop her own little personality. Sometimes she looks like me and sometimes she looks like Tom.  She has her daddy's nose and hair and she has her mommy's lips. She hates to be swaddled. She'll fight and fight until her arms are free so she can suck on her hands. I have to agree her hands are pretty tasty.   Adjusting to motherhood has been a challange.  I forgot what it feels like to actually sleep. When I do get the chance I am always on edge, ready to jump up and run through fire to save her at any moment.  The fierce instinct to protect her shocked me.  I knew I would feel it but I didn't realize I would be willing to claw people that I dearly love just to make sure she is ok. I don't like to share her.

On the opposite spectrum I have my moments where I want to return her. But unfortunately the return policy is a little tricky so I'm stuck with her marathon feeding rituals and dealing with the constant fear that she needs me.  It's hard to be responsible for a newborn.  She's a very easy kid (so far) but the weight of her life is in my hands and that's very nerve racking. I've had many moments where I've broken down because just can't manage to let my guard down. I have a constant edginess and tightness in my chest. I haven't been able to nap much either.  This kiddo likes to be awake 4-5 hours at a time so she can wiggle and stretch. If she could talk I'm sure she'd be complaining about something I'm not doing right.  I'm hoping the misery moments are hormonal so I'm going to try to take a deep breath and wait for my follow up doctor's appointment. Maybe they'll be gone by then and I won't have to worry about postpartum depression. I don't want to be the mama that resents her own child.  She's a precioius beautiful baby girl. When I look at her I just know that she's going to be the focus of the rest of my life.  I just need to stay healthy for her, which begins with trying to take a nap.  The whole "you sleep while the baby sleeps" is a whole bunch of crap.  I know the housework can wait but I need to eat and wash the bottles and breastpump supplies. I need to take a shower and wash her dirty clothes. There's a lot that needs to be done and now that Tom is back to work, this all lays on my shoulders.

But for now, we'll try for that nap.
Honestly mama,
Jen

Friday, June 25, 2010

She's here! Birth Story

I met the most amazing person. She came into my world on june 19th, 2010 at 10:20am. I was lucky enough to be the privileged person who made my belly her home for the last 10 months. I have been overwhelmed with being in the hospital for 4 days, going through recovery and adjusting to life as a mommy so I haven't been able to write anything. Here's how I brought my angel into the world:




Friday, June 18th:

830am: I had my regular weekly check-up at the doctor's office. My swelling was still pretty bad and I was STILL not dilated. My blood pressure was up and there was a bit of protein in my urine so the doctor sat down looked at me and said "I think it's time to have a baby" and I laughed like well duh. And then she said "so I'll call and set it up" and I was confused so I asked when? And she said today.... right now. And it hit me OH MY GOD TODAY?? This can't be happening. I know I want this baby out but I was prepared for the 24th not emergency induction right now. I started crying and shaking and all the nurses hugged me and my doctor hugged me and sent me on my way to have a baby.



930am: Went home. Fed the cat. Grabbed some stuff. Left for the hospital.



10:00am: Hospital time. Lots of paperwork, signatures, labs, vitals and exams. Got hooked up to the monitors and IVs. Very terrified.



1:00pm: Given medication to soften my cervix. The medication takes 4 hours to work.



5:30pm: Medication didn't work. Got another dose.



8:15pm: Got up to pee and my water broke. The doctors decided not to give me the pictocin since my water broke. They wanted to let my body contract on it's own. Contractions came every 2-3 mins. They were so painful I couldn't talk, I couldn't think, I couldn't take it.



June 19th, 12:00am: Asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist came and put me in the most uncomfortable position a pregnant woman could ever be in. I was cross-legged, sitting straight up then hunched over a pillow with my shoulders relaxed down. It was almost impossible to sit still in that position. It took 40 mins, 3 tries and 2 anesthesiologists to put the epidural in. It was very worth it. I was instructed to get some rest. I tried to sleep after that but the automatic blood pressure cuff was going off every 10 mins and every time I would move, the heart monitor on my belly would slip and they'd lose her heart rate and come running in to adjust it and are you kidding me? Who can sleep through all that?



2:00am: Contractions slowed pictocin was started



4:30am: The nurse came in on her usual rounds and asked how my pain level was. I explained that the epidural was crap and not helping when in reality it WAS helping but not as much as I expected. She seemed confused and told me to keep pressing the epidural button. I said I already was pressing it and it was still painful. Again she seemed confused, "do you feel pressure in your bum like you need to push?" And truthfully I did feel pressure but I said no because I didn't feel any urge to push.



5:00am: Nurse came back and I told her how I did feel pressure. She said that would be highly unlikely because that would mean I would be dilated. But she called the doctor anyway.



5:30am: With tom still sleeping the doctor came in, checked me and said "10 cm! Time to push!" Tom woke up from all the commotion. I looked over "did you hear that? 10cm babe". He was so confused. He had just woken up and his wife was getting ready to give birth right here, right now.





6:00am: After pushing for a little over an hour the doctor came to check on our progress. She announced lauren was face up and pushing her out was going to be extremely difficult. I had to really push harder. I was already giving it all I had so I didn't know how this was possible. But I couldn't give up.



7:00am: The doctors switched shifts so now I had my regular doctor that had taken me through this whole pregnancy. She came in to check and told me she was stuck under the pelvic bone, face up and we either need to move her manually to face down, push harder, or do a c-section. I certainly didn't want a c-section so I said let's try to flip her. She brought in another doctor who stuck his evil large man hands up and tried to coax her to flip. It was more painful than all my contractions combined. And it didn't even work! So my doctor said I really could push her out if I pushed hard enough but most likely a c-section would be needed. I wanted to keep pushing.



9:15am: After pushing for 3 and a half hours I had no strength. You see it in movies where the woman cries that she can't go on and the man gives her a heartfelt pep talk and says just one more push, cue music, woman screams, baby is born. But this is real life and I really couldn't move. I could barely talk or open my eyes. I have never felt true exhaustion and let me tell you, it's absolutely paralyzing.



9:30am: Doctor came in to check and said I had only moved her less than an inch in all that time. All the nurses were shocked I pushed as long and hard as I did. And with all that pushing, she just couldn't get out in that position. A c-section was necessary and that was that.



9:45am: I was taken to the operating room shaking violently from all the numbing medication. This was defiantly the scariest moment of my life. What if something bad happens? What if she doesn't breathe and I can't see her? I have never had surgery before so I had no idea what to expect. And this was the birth of my child not a silly little surgery.



10:20am: I heard her cry. Her beautiful beautiful cry. Tom lost it. I breathed a sigh of relief. They yelled out 7lbs 6oz, 21 inches. I was still shaking so hard from the anesthesia that I couldn't enjoy the moment my daughter was born and that truly pisses me off but I obviously understand. I did what I had to do. After a few minutes she was cleaned off, umbilical cord cut and swaddled up. They handed her to tom and he brought her over. She was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Her coney head and wrinkley nose were so precious. I instantly loved her.

I couldn't keep my attention focused on her though because of the anesthesia and the exhaustion. I had been awake for 28 hours straight with no food, in labor for 22 hours of which 3 and a half I was pushing. That was when all of it hit me and boom I fell asleep right there on the operating room table while they were sewing me up.



This amazing pregnancy journey has finally ended. It's time for a new chapter and so far, motherhood has been tiring, painful, funny, emotional, stressful and through my first week with her it has been truly wonderful and I wouldn't have changed a thing. The way she smiles in her sleep. The way she cries out for me. The way she curls up in Tom's lap. The way she holds my finger with her tiny hand. The way she snuggles on my chest. The look in her eye when she finds my face. It's everything I hoped for and more. Who knew that life on this side of the womb would be so good?



Happy birthday Lauren.

Love,
Mama

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Harry Times

This fabulous story brought to you by: http://harrytimes.blogspot.com/

So You're 38 Weeks Pregnant, and You've Gone and Peed Your Pants: A Modern Girl's Guide to Embarrassing the Eff Out of Yourself!


First, as soon as you feel that gush trickle down your legs, open the bedroom window and call out to your husband, who is playing on the driveway with your toddler, "Oh my god! My water just broke!" This adds a classy touch to what will shape up to be a simply fabulous evening.


Next, call your mother, who lives 4 hours away, and tell her to hurry her ass up-- the baby is coming! The baby is coming! This is an especially good thing to do if your mother plans on bringing lots of frozen food with her.

Then, email all your colleagues short, panicky emails. Make sure your husband does the same.

Fourth, spend forty-five minutes wondering why you haven't felt anymore "water" beyond that first initial gush-- also use this time to re-do your make up and flat iron your hair while plunking your increasingly agitated toddler in front of a Caillou DVD because your priorities? Always in perfect order.

Fifth-- and this step is crucial if you really want to be the effing jackass you're destined to be-- pee your pants AGAIN and say "That must be my water. I'm going to call the hospital and the baby sitter."

Sixth, laugh when your husband says, "Yeah-- I mean it's not like you peed your pants twice in a row. But that would be awesome, too."

Next, take your freaked out kid with you to Labor and Delivery because your mom is en route but still coming from quite a distance, and his beloved babysitter is rushing back from her weekend at home celebrating her belated birthday with extended family. Note, it is absolutely crucial that you inconvenience AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE, you goddamn idiot.

At labor an delivery, a nice nurse will want to spare you any invasive tests because she says from what you've described, it must be your water breaking; I mean otherwise you'd need a bladder lift, right? She will send you into the bathroom with a glass slide and a strip of paper that should turn blue in the presence of amniotic fluid.

Break the slide.

Lose the paper.

Later, when another nurse suggests you get out of bed to encourage gravity to help get more fluid out, make sure the back of your hospital gown is tucked into the elastic of the monitor you're wearing around your belly, so that you can flash your bare ass around as much as possible.

Be glad your husband left to take your freaked out kid home and missed seeing that, since he would so mock you.

Do not believe the nice nurse when she tells you that this happens all the time. Most people are not as dumb as you.

Finally, let many strangers stick their fingers, cotton swabs, and sterile specula inside you to see what's going on.

What's going on is this: You peed your effing pants. Twice.

And then you told the internet, you goddamn incontinent idiot.

And oh yeah? You're still pregnant.


Thanks Sarah. I needed that.
Don't forget to check out Sarah's blog at http://harrytimes.blogspot.com/

Due date

Today is my due date.  I never thought she would stay inside this long.  Punctuality is very important to me and Lauren has really let her mama down in that department.  Originally I thought I would end up with a c-section due to the placenta previa. But then that corrected so we went back to planning a vaginal birth.  Then she was measuring too small and worried about her growth so I immediatly thought they would induce early. But then she caught up a bit so we scratched that.  So I just continued to wait. It's great that I don't have any complications to warrant an early birth plan but it's hard to wait for her. I really want my doctor to be on call when she's born so that leaves her options at the 19th or the 24th. I really like the idea of having a scheduled birth so I can be mentally prepared. It's extremely frustrating to be home all alone wondering and waiting and thinking it can happen at any moment. Then I would have to call Tom to come home from work and I worry about him driving safetly and getting us to the hospital on time.  Although I'm sure I will have plenty on time. In fact, I plan on showering and getting ready before leaving, assuming the contractions don't come on too fast or too close together.  I have a doctors appointment tomorrow morning and then straight over to have a biophysical profile ultrasound. If it is safe to continue the pregnancy, we will schedule to induce on the 24th. If not, I suppose they will take me straight to the hospital? Not really sure how that will work.

As frustrated as I am at waiting, I really am enjoying being home and off my feet.  I like having these few moments to myself before my life gets flipped upside down. I actually had a chance yesterday to sit outside in the sun with some lemonade and do nothing in the middle of the day.  It literally freaked me out.  I don't ever get to enjoy the sun because I'm stuck inside all day at work and I only get a 45 min lunch so I am struggling just to have enough time to buy and eat. The weekends are usually spent sleeping and cleaning and running errands so I don't get to go outside then either.  I think having a child will actually get me outside more because she'll need exercise and playtime and I'll need to be watching her so I'll have a reason to make myself go out.  A kid will make me appreciate life more.  I spend so much time at home avoiding society because of social anxiety that I really miss out on a lot.  With a child in my life, I will want to show her the world and she'll really give me an excuse to participate in life rather than sit it out.  I would do anything for that little girl. 

Honestly Pregnant,
Jen

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

baby hats

You will lose your mind at the cuteness of these baby hats!!! Go to: Beanie Designs

Home from work

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday morning.  As always, Tom came with me since we drive into work together.  Still no changes in my cervix which actually seemed to bum the doctor out a bit.  She seemed apologetic to tell me that I'm not making any progress. On a good note I lost a pound instead of the usual gain of 4-6 pounds that I've been packing on in this last month.  My feet are intensely swollen and my carpal tunnel is hurting again after years of relief. So my doctor decided to take me out of work. She is worried about my blood pressure spiking while I'm at work.  I haven't had any blood pressure problems throughout this pregnancy so I'm not sure why she has this concern. But for now, I'm stuck at home on the couch with no car and lots and lots of daytime TV to keep me company. 

We've picked a date to induce if I still haven't had her.  I will go into the hospital on the night of June 23rd and be induced the next day.  So now I have a date to look forward to and I have to admit I feel much more comfortable at home in case my water breaks or contractions start.  I wasn't sure really what to do if contractions started while I was at work.  Was I supposed to just keep working while timing them? I'm an insurance phone rep. Are you kidding me? I could never continue to talk to those ungrateful rude customers with a smile on my face while having a labor contraction.  It just isn't possible. But I live a bit far from the hospital and work is so much closer so it didn't make sense to leave work and go home if I was having contractions.  My job was just so conveniently close!!! Luckily I'm home now so that dilemma won't happen. For the next 9 days I will just sit and wait to go into labor.

What we decided to do is have Tom continue to take the car to work instead of leaving it with me. I won't be able to drive while in labor anyway and this will allow him to jump in the car and fly like lightning home to me where we will use his handy iphone contraction timer app that he is oh-so-excited about and wait for our lil girl.  He is very worried to not be here with me when I do go into labor.  He doesn't want to miss a moment and I think that's exceptional parenting!! Go Daddy! His parents are bringing me their extra car on Thursday so I only have to go 2 more days without a car.

Now that I have time to sit and think about my upcoming parental duties, I have found that it's really the last thing I want to think about.  I want to enjoy these next few days just lounging and relaxing and maybe I'll sneak in some naps because the next thing I know I'll be surrounded by diapers, nursing bras and cartoons. Luckily I am a big cartoon fan. But after that brief bonding period I'll be back to work full-time and I suddenly won't be the primary caregiver of my very own child.  The thought of someone else taking care of her full-time even if it is Tom's parents, still tears me up.  I trust them fully yet I want to raise my child my way. I usually don't like to let other people help me so this will be interesting.  I fear alot of crying fits will happen, and then even Lauren might cry too. 

Honestly Pregnant,
Jen

Saturday, June 12, 2010

5 more days...

I decided to get some peace of mind and watch a you tube video of a woman giving birth.  Big Mistake!! I started crying and shaking after only a few seconds into the video.  I've decided I cannot do this with the amount of anxiety it is causing.  I would really benefit from some type of calming medication then maybe I could sleep more than 2 hours a night. I'll have to wait until after she's born to get my doctor to write anything for me. But it's not going to stop me from asking at my appointment on Monday. I'm absolutely terrified. I wish I had a scheduled c-section like all the other mommies-to-be around me.  It would take alot of stress off me knowing what day will be the big day and I would feel much better to know that MY doctor will be there instead of using whatever doctor happens to be on call from my practice. 

At this point nothing is making me comfortable and nothing is helping the swelling.  It is just the nature of the mommy biz I suppose.  I'm due in 5 days and I haven't had one contraction yet and I'm not dilated at all.  She's slowed her movements a bit. I can feel she's got no room in there.  I also feel like she hasn't gotten any bigger.  I know my own body is still rapidly growing with all the fluid I'm retaining but I don't feel like she's growing at all.  She does feel a bit stronger. I have an ultrasound scheduled for Friday so we'll know then if she has grown at all.  I'm still measuring about a week and a half behind but my doctor says she's ok with it since I am so short. 

So far I've tried everything to jump start labor from sex to raspberry leaf tea.  She's just a very stubburn little lady. I should take that as a compliment.  Apparently I have been quite the good hostess, she's loves it in here.  But I mostly feel terrible for Tom.  He is stuck by my side now just waiting it out.  He's been beyond amazing, coming to every appoitment and changing his work schedule to mine so that we can drive in together.  He even drops me off close to the door and then goes and parks and walks by himself into work.  Working in downtown Pittsburgh, thats quite a feat. I know I would do it for him if I wasn't pregnant (aka crippled) but I still feel grateful to have him.  I've been beached on the couch every spare moment that I'm not at work.  In turn that makes him stuck at home too. But really, this is a team effort so I expect him by my side and I know he would never think to not be here.  Thanks, babe. You're the best.  (PS please buy me vodka when this is over).

I don't think you should expect any more weekly progession pictures. I may sneak another belly one in but I promise you my fat face will not be photographed until labor day, baby labor day that is.  So keep your fingers crossed that the next picture will not be of me, but of Lauren...this time on the outside.

Honestly over this,
Jen

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

39 weeks

I had a doctors appointment today.  I'm extremely grumpy at this point and I wasn't even going to post anything but it's been awhile so I thought I would put something up. Still not dilated one bit. My feet are so swollen I have avoided even looking down at them.  Propping them up, drinking water and avoiding salty foods hasn't helped at all.  My feet are just swollen and that is that.  I gained 6 pounds in one week all from the swelling.  I look enormously disgusting. My doctor sent me to have blood taken to check for preeclampsia. I don't have high blood pressure so I don't really understand why she sent me.  But she seemed concerned and said she wanted to keep a close eye on me.  I have to go back again on Monday for another office visit.  I'm hoping that will be the visit we discuss our options for getting her out.  So many people have expressed their opinions about how they were on bed rest, with high risk diagnosis and so uncomfortable and the doctor still wouldn't induce them so I not very hopeful at any type of solution.  I hate waiting this out.  I've never been so miserable. So until this baby is out or they invent a drainage solution for pregnant bodies to get all this extra fluid out, I will be cranky and unpleasant.

But I do want to thank my husband for pointing out that I have been pretty tough throughout this whole thing considering what I've been dealing with, you know, manufacturing humans in my belly.  I feel awful for being so lazy and tired. He has gone out of his way to come to all of my doctors appointments, driving me to work and all the extra chores he has done around the house.  He'll be the best daddy.

Jen

Saturday, June 5, 2010

38 weeks

I was awake at 5am this morning just laying in bed listening to the birds chirp. Then at 6am I decided I wasn't going to fall back asleep. My nerves were eating me up too much to sleep any longer. It was hospital tour day. This shouldn't have made me nervous yet I was almost shaking. I put my hand on my belly and felt the little kicks inside and realized there is little time left where her and I get to share the same body. I want her out just as badly as I don't want to go through labor. Not knowing when she'll decide to come out is making it much harder than it needs to be. I treasure the way I get to keep her safe in my belly. But she's making me so uncomfortable and I'm left hanging in the balance just waiting and watching the clock. My feet and ankles are swollen. I'm sore all over. My carpal tunnel and tmj are aggravated from the swelling. And I've been crying for no reason all day.




I've been avoiding people because all they want to talk about is the baby. My anxiety level is at a 9 already but everyone around me seems to want to put me over the edge by talking about how much they are going to smother me and lauren once she's born. I know they all mean well. It's my issue for thinking that this is a private family time. It's just that I want time with her all to myself so I can get to know her before everyone else. Tom doesn't feel that way at all. He wants everyone to come and celebrate and smoke cigars and toast champagne so he can pass around his daughter and get a pat on the back. I guess this is just how men see childbirth. It's not wrong but it is the exact opposite of how I'm feeling. The hospital tour made me feel even more guarded. Especially because we were told visitors are allowed in the labor room and the postpartum rooms pretty much 24/7. It's probably my instinct to protect her. I wonder how many other moms felt this same way.



For now I'll be counting down the days till she finally arrives. I wish there was some way I could know when to expect it. I am scared to leave the house. When I do leave, I have everything with me for the hospital in the car and I try to keep tom with me at all times. I have been feeling pains very very low in my belly like a menstrual cramp. I feel them more often and I've also been noticing that my belly gets tight. My doctor tells me these "cramp" pains are not contractions. Maybe I'm not explaining them correctly to her. I don't know what else they could be. Maybe she's trying to head butt her way out. I wouldn't be surprised.



So.....we wait......

Still pregnant,
Jen

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just smoke her out of there

Here I am with two weeks to go until my due date.  I dont really have much to say so i haven't taken the time to write. The clock is tick tick ticking..... s-l-o-w-l-y... I had a doctors appointment this morning. No dilation yet but I did gain 4 pounds since last weeks appointment.  I'm so ready for this little stinker to get out. She's causing me so much weight gain and miserability. I'm ready to just smoke this chick out of there.  No human should ever gain 4 pounds in one week, pregnant or not.  I have to admit I have been eating a healthy portion of food lately but nothing too crazy. Except maybe the ice cream, klondike bars and s'mores.  But it wasn't 4 giant pounds worth of food, that's for sure. 

Tom and I started driving to work this month instead of taking the T downtown.  That way our bags are packed and ready to go if I go into labor at work.  I have a deep unsettling feeling that I will not go into labor naturally and will have to be induced in July. By then I will have gained 16 more pounds at the rate I am going. That angers me in every bone in my body. If you figure in the 24 I've already gained, It would bring me to a grand total of 452 pounds. Ok well at least that's I feel like with all the swelling and edema that have graciously taken over my body.  The problem with being induced so late is that my baby will be too big to deliver naturally.  I'm not against a c-section but I am against staying in the hospital longer than 48 hours.  I'm also not sure just how long I can take the constant karate kicks in my ribs.  I really like my ribs. Why does she hate them so much? Please stop kicking mama.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dear Lauren,

Dear Lauren,


I have collected a list of advice I want to pass to you. I know you won't understand most of this until you are much older. And I know you will disagree and ignore some of my advice. But I believe there will come a day where you will understand the importance. And I hope you don't realize it before it's too late. So trust me on this:

-When someone gives you a compliment, always say thank you.

-Wear sunscreen, avoid tanning beds. You aren't meant to look that tan.

-Ask questions when you don't understand something.

-Obey traffic rules, use turn signals.

-Say please and thank you like you mean it.

-Hug like it's the last chance you will get, all the time, everytime.

-Respect other cultures and religions as if they were your own.

-Promptly respond to ALL phone calls, emails, invitations, texts and letters. Don't leave people hanging. Don't underestimate how important your response is.

-Be punctual, always. Apologize and take the blame when you are not punctual.

-Don't take yourself too seriously.

-Take plenty of pictures.

-Dance like no one's looking.

-Take time for yourself.

-Eat well.

-Don't smoke, litter or put any badness back into nature.

-Practice safe sex.

-Get preventive exams.

-Tip generously.

-Ask for help when needed, offer help when needed.

-Respect the earth.

-Give to charity.

-Wave to your neighbors.

-Smile.

-Open a savings account and make routine deposits. Withdrawal only when necessary.

-Learn to cook and garden for yourself.

-Remember when you waste other's time they resent you even if they say they don't.

-Laugh.

-Own a pet and understand that it is an animal and not a person. Train it well, treat it well.

-The grass usually isn't greener on the other side, but on occasion it is. Weigh your options. Chose wisely.

-Take risks with your mind and your heart, not your body.

-Don't apologize for who you are. Don't be a jerk either.

-Eat your vegetables.

-Follow directions.

-Share your wealth if you're rich. Don't expect a handout if you're poor.

-Beauty magazines will make you feel ugly.

-Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

- Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

-You have the right to be angry. You don't have the right to be cruel.

-Forgive someone who hurts you when they apologize. Don't ask for apologies or you will be given an insincere one.

-Your agenda is never more important than being safe and responsible.

-Eat breakfast.

-Drama is like fire, don't add fuel. Walk away and let it fizzle out.

-Fall in love.

-Listen to your parents, respect your elders.

-Make something of yourself.

-Study.

-Travel.

-Exercise.

-Use moisturizer.

-Get enough sleep, your body will thank you .

-Karma goes both ways.

-Stop and smell the roses.
-Be prepared.

-If you say you are going to do something then do it.

-Take the blame when you are wrong. Apologize to people you hurt, intentionally or by accident.

-There are two sides to every story, and then there's the truth.

-Do one thing at a time.

-Have a pen handy when you make phone calls.

-A distracted driver is the same as a drunk driver.

-Get over it. Let it go. Move on.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

37 weeks

I had my 37 week check up this morning. The strep b test was so negligible I almost want to slap myself. I didn't even know she did it. However when she checked my cervix....that was a shocker! I had heard from a few people that it's painful but I couldn't understand why. Well heads up, it hurts. The doctor said I was 75% effaced and not dilated at all yet. So I guess that's all good. Not really sure how all this works. I've heard way too many times that it means nothing and there's no reason for it. I was going to tell her I didn't want to have her check but I wimped out and just let her do her thing.




The doctor did tell me though that I was most likely going to have a tiny baby and that I might even need premie clothes for her. That was a surprise! Not the small baby part, the premie clothes part. So let me get this straight, clothing companies make a size called "newborn" and you mean to tell me a newborn non-premie baby will not fit these clothes? I assumed premie size was for premie babies, like tiny tiny tiny little half children. So I asked around a bit today to some mamas that I know and a lot of them also had to buy premie clothes for their regular sized babies. This is beyond bazaar to me.



Ok I'm over it, already.

Honestly,
Jen