My Obligatory Year In Recap Post..

I just wouldn’t be worth my salt as a blogger if I didn’t do something to acknowledge the new year. It being January third, I imagine that, like myself, you’re about all set with top ten lists. So I’m going to keep it simple, and talk about my number one high, and number one low, of 2011. I have to warn you, this might get a tad self indulgent. But, I’m nothing if not that:-)

Jimi’s death was probably the lowest low not only of 2011, but probably ever. When I got the news he was in a coma and probably would not survive the night, I was at work, on Easter Sunday.  I popped into the breakroom to grab a beverage, and snuck a peek at my phone. Saw that our mutual friend, whom I was on the outs with at the time, had called me. Why is she calling me? I texted Jimi and asked “Any idea why she would be calling me?” (How you like that irony?)  He didn’t respond, and he never would again. I checked my voice mail. I heard her voice crack as she said “It’s about Jimi.” I called her back. She told me what was going on. I said “Should I come home?” solidly expecting a “Nah, he’ll be alright.” Because he was always alright. But instead, “Ah..I don’t know man. It’s bad.”

My heart dropped into my stomach. I don’t really remember what happened next. I remember being bent over the toliet, hands on my knees, trying to catch my breath and keep the vomit down. Crying. Lots of crying. My makeup smeared and running down my face. Trying to get my locker open, I was getting the fuck out of there. One of my managers walked into the breakroom, assumably looking for me. He had just started at the time, didn’t know me very well, but took one look at me and said “Whoa..you ok?” I tried to form a sentence but I think it came out something like “My friend…coma..not gonna make it…leaving.”

He said “Go.”

So I did. I texted John. He didn’t answer me, he was taking a nap. I called my friend Tess. Tried to tell her what was going on but I couldn’t hardly even catch my breath. She kept saying “Jimi. JIMI Jimi?” “Our Jimi?” Because, he was always alright.

Well. This time he wasn’t alright. (Fuck it’s still so hard to talk about this.)

By Friday morning, I was on a plane back to Chicago, seven months pregnant and numb from the pain. I walked around those first few weeks in a haze. It was like my body was trying to protect me from the pain, so I went into an emotional shock, feeling nothing. I remember saying that I was in a shell. Every couple hours the shell would crack and the icy pain would seep through, I’d get a dose of the misery and it would knock me into the fetal position. I’d weep until the hole closed again.

I was not an easy person to live with for the next three months. Third trimester + extreme grief. But that shell protected me. I think, it protected Xavier, really. I put one foot in front of the other, I put my pants on, I went to work, I functioned because I had to. It distracted me enough. But when I sat still…   Hell, when I sit still, it gets bad.

Thank God I was prohibited from drinking. Smoking. Snorting. I’d probably still be on a bender if it weren’t for Xavier.

And that would be the number one high, again, not only from 2011, but my entire life: Xavier James.

I never wanted children. I can’t ever remember feeling maternal, or looking at a kid and going “Aww..someday…” In fact, I begged numerous doctors to just tie my tubes so I could quit worrying about it. I regularly referred to them as “Germbombs” (Oh but they are!). There were a few children I liked, but I definitely didn’t mind sending them home. They were sticky and annoying.

But..I was having extremely painful periods. I was smoking, overweight and getting older. The pain was under control as long as I was on birth control, but being on birth control with those three risk factors for extended periods is asking for trouble. So the doctors were trying to figure out a solution. One possible solution was basically lasering off the lining of my uterus. Which would “essentially wreck your fertility. Forever.”  So. I thought “Before I do this, I better be REALLY fucking sure, cuz it’s forever.” (When it’s forever, think HARD.)

So I sat with it for awhile. A few months, I thought about it. I liked my life just fine without kids. But would I regret it? Maybe. So..this is going to sound crazy, but one day I was watching tv, and a Pampers commercial came on. A chubby, giggling baby..and I thought “I could handle that.”

And just like that, I went from 60/40 against, to 60/40 for having a baby. Uh oh.

A few months later, I went to John with it. A few months later, we started trying. A few months after that, I was pregnant.

Now, I won’t bore you with my birth story all over again, if you want to read that, it’s a few posts back. But I’ll tell you this, today he’s six months old. Not once have I regretted the decision. In fact, it was the best goddamned thing I’ve ever done. For the first and probably the only time in my life, I made something perfect.  The moment the doctor laid that slimy, coneheaded little creature on my belly was the greatest moment of my life. I’m SO obsessed with, so owned, so consumed with this child it’s pretty disgusting. I’m everything I said I wouldn’t be. I post pictures of him on Facebook every day. I talk about his poops at work. I’m overprotective as all hell.  Believe me, I’m aware that it’s all going a bit far.

But I don’t give a fuck. That’s how far gone I am. He brought me back to life.

But they didn’t quite cancel each other out. I don’t feel any less joy at the birth of my son, and I don’t feel any less grief at the death of my friend. But because of the birth, I survived the death.

So that was my 2011.

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Everything & Nothing.

I don’t really have anything specific I’d like to talk about this week, so I’m just going to do a general update. I just realized, just this second, that today is my last day off until Christmas. That’s a big ol’ FML for you. Had I realized that…oh well.

We have to talk about my hair, as it is the most important thing ever. (Sarcasm.) It has been falling out in clumps. Xavier has been ripping out what’s left. Birthing a behbeh does weird shit to your body. MY baby sucked the goddamned life out of me. He was like “Bitch I don’t have any hair, you don’t need any either.”

My hair has been a point of pride with me for a long time. I don’t have big boobs or a tiny waist or big velvety lips or long legs. I had pretty hair though.  But about six months into my pregnancy..it got duller. I changed shampoos roughly 120 times. Finally, towards the end of my pregnancy, I gave up, and into a ponytail/bun it went.

And there it stayed..pretty much until yesterday. It also refused to take color properly..so I couldn’t get it all one color to save my life. Finally..I decided it was time. Fuck it, cut it off.

Now..I’ve had my hair short before so it wasn’t total terror, I know it looks okay short. But last time, I had sideswept bangs, and I feel like it made me sorta look like a little kid. My six year old niece has the same haircut.

So this time I wanted something kinda grown up. Maybe even a little sassy and sexy? I don’t know.

I scoured pictures, got a few ideas..but really, you just have to have a good stylist that you trust. I was lucky enough to find one pretty quickly after I arrived here in Rhode Island. She’s the only one in the 401 who I’ll go to, and she has never done me wrong.

Sue, at Allure Salon in Warwick. GO.

Now that I did that little shout out, I will show you my before, during and after shots. My before picture is pretty embarassing. But it’s the most recent that shows my hair. I want to clarify and really, really, stress the fact that I was attending an UGLY SWEATER PARTY and I DO NOT WEAR SHIT LIKE THIS NORMALLY.  And neither does my friend Cara. Swear to God.

Ready? Okay!

So…yea, we’re idiots.  But don’t let it distract you. Notice the hair. THE HAIR.

That was Friday. So on Tuesday, I donated this to Locks of Love:

Sue participates in the program and donates hair for you, free of charge. Which I think is pretty dope.  This is the second time she’s lopped off and mailed in a metric fuckton of my hair.

I was very scared. And she just kept. fucking. cutting. I reminded myself that she’s never done me wrong. I reminded myself I look okay with short hair. I reminded myself that it grows back.

And when she took clippers to the back of my neck, my bladder released a little.

But..here is the final product:

 And I must say, I really, really dig it. Thanks again, Sue!

Now, moving on to other business. Xavier is AMAZING the shit out of me lately. Like..a week ago maybe? He rolled over, belly to back. He was a little behind on this, but his Dr insisted not to worry, that everyone is on their own timeline and he’ll get there. I was so proud. But then..a few nights ago, he started doing this:

Sitting up, all by his damned self. How bout that!

He’s doing okay with solids. Still struggling a lot with constipation, even after we’ve integrated fruits like prunes, pears and peaches..he gets bound up pretty badly, pretty often. Not sure what to do about that. I guess it’s normal to have an adjustment period, but man oh man, I feel so damned bad for the poor kid.

And..speaking of foods.  I went to my doctor today, and we talked about my breastfeeding & supply issues. I told her about my hair falling out, my milk supply going to hell, my body hoarding calories like I’m a starving Ethiopian..and she thinks I may have a thyroid issue. So she tested me for that, and I’ll know the results soon. But she also prescribed a drug called Reglan to help with my supply. One last ditch effort, and if it doesn’t help I can say with certainty that I absolutely tried everything. Even a drug that has been known to cause hallucinations and a disease called Tardive Dyskensia, and “rapid stomach emptying”. But if it’s the thing that works and buys me six more months of nursing, then bring on the hallucinations. Okay..maybe not. But formula IS freaking expensive. Just saying…maybe a few hallucinations aren’t so bad.

(That my friends, is desperation talking. And I’m kidding.)

One more thing I want to discuss before I wrap this shit up. In late October, I wrote a post titled “Six Months.” It was a two parter, about my feelings surrounding the death of my best friend Jimi. It was insanely hard for me to wrap words around the things I was feeling, and even harder for me to put them out into the world. I have recieved a LOT of feedback about these posts, from his friends and family, my friends and family, and our friends that are like family. And overwhelmingly, what people are saying to me is “Ditto. I feel the same freaking way.”

Now, here’s the thing..ever since I wrote that..no. Even as I was writing it, I could feel the healing starting. Believe you me, I am never, ever going to be the same again. But talking about it plainly and honestly was evidently precisely what I needed to do. I really haven’t talked much about my feelings since he died, and my reasons for that are kinda stupid. 1. I felt like I was being sort of whiny, and I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I do want to be pleasant company and pleasant company doesn’t spread melancholy around. No one wants to be Debbie Downer. 2. I don’t want to use the word arrogant..but it almost was. I didn’t feel like anyone could possibly understand the pain I felt. People would say “Oh I know how you feel..” and I would think “NO YOU DON’T! YOU DON”T KNOW! IF YOU KNEW I COULD SEE YOU’RE BROKEN INSIDE LIKE ME AND YOU’RE NOT!”

Finally, the few people I felt were close enough to me to actually speak frankly to about my feelings, were the same people I worried about hurting if I were to say “No one’s ever understood me like he did.” or “He was my most loyal friend.” By saying things like that, while true..I worried that I would be saying “YOU don’t understand me. YOU are not loyal.” But that’s not how it was, of course. I don’t hang out with people who don’t get me, or disloyal sonsobitches. It’s just that those were HIS strengths….and other friends have other strengths that are equally valuable to me and I would certainly mourn the loss of those just as much. But that’s a lot to try to explain, and rather than do that, I would simply clam up.

My point, and I do have one is this: Ever since I put those words out into cyberspace, I feel better.

I didn’t realize how damaging it was to my soul to be repressing it. That’s why it was leaking out at random times, and I was bursting into tears over music, any music, all music. I would be standing there washing a dog at work and start to cry and try to hide it before anyone caught me. I was bursting at the goddamned seams with grief. So when I opened the valve I released a lot of pressure, and the healing is beginning.

I can listen to music now. New music only. Music that has nothing to do with anything, is totally shallow and topical and light. But no more talk radio. No more random bursts of tears. I still think about him every day, and I always will, I know. But it’s not so bitter and dangerous anymore.

So if you are one of those people that called me, emailed me, texted me, saying “Me too”..my advice to you is to find that damned valve and GET IT OUT. Go see a counselor, start a private blog that no one can read. Or be an attention whore like me and let everyone read it. I’ll read it. Figure it out, scream it out, swear it out, sing it out. Do what you gotta do, but letting that repression fester in your soul is going to spoil you, like a bad apple in the barrel.

That’s all for today.

 

 

An Xavier Update.

I don’t have a ton to write about this week. It’s been kinda rough around here, lots of stress going on. This week hit a whole new level of shittiness, John got laid off from his job, and someone stole $200 out of my purse. Lovely huh? But to ice that shit cake a little more, Xavier got a few trips to the pediatrician.  About two weeks ago, I went to change his diaper and found a tiny pink spot, about the size of his dime in his diaper.

Here’s what the inside of my head sounded like :

Omg something is totally wrong with him he’s peeing blood wtf could that even mean call 911 no don’t call 911 call the dr wait what if it’s totally normal, didn’t I read somewhere that it’s totally normal? How can peeing blood be normal, I never do it, do boys do it? Has he been injured and no one told me? Did I see this on SVU as a sign of sexual abuse? How the hell does this even happen? Is it because I didn’t circumcise him? What about that damned hydroceles when he was born, could that be it? GOOGLE IT!! Ah man that’s not good, he’s either dying or it’s totally normal, well that’s nothing I didn’t know before. Guess I’m calling the pediatrician.

So I call. And they don’t say anything but “Can you make it here by 1:30?” And my head explodes. They want to see him right away it must be serious holy crap.

(I am SO cool.)

So, I get us down there, take the diaper. The Dr looks over his beans and franks, and doesn’t see anything. He tells me that it’s probably urate crystals, and sometimes it just happens for no reason at all, and sometimes it’s because he’s dehydrated, and sometimes it actually is blood, and the only way to know is to test it. So they send me home with instructions to collect a urine sample.

Yea..how does one collect a urine sample from an infant? I’ll tell you. They gave me this plastic bag with a hole in it with sticky tabs around the hole. I affix the stickies around his little business, put his diaper back on over the baggie. Then I realize..I have to remove the stickies from his business.

So for an hour or so I walk around, dreading taking this stupid thing off. Surely it’ll hurt, I wouldn’t want a bandaid ripped off my genitals. I try to figure out a way to remove it gently, perhaps if I use nail polish remover, or lighter fluid, that’s good for stickiness? Wait..you can’t put that crap on a baby! Okay scratch that. Maybe if I just soak it in water? But what if it messes with the sample?

So..I just ended up going reaaaaaaallly slow. And he stared at me the whole time, like “I just don’t know about this Mom”

But I got it. And got it down to the lab. Phew. Oh shit..now we wait for results.

The next morning, another spot. A bigger spot. I call the Dr’s office. They say they didn’t find any blood, so it’s just urate crystals. Normal. Yay!  They tell me it’s possible that he’s a little dehydrated, and that I should drink more water. Eesh…fair enough, I definitely do not drink enough water. If it keeps happening, call back and they’ll test the diaper itself to see if it’s blood, further investigate this.  

So, a week or so goes by and it’s all good, I’m chugging water and gatorade regularly, but man I’m still definitely struggling with my milk supply. I’m still taking supplements, pumping and eating oatmeal all the damned time. I’m really trying. But I am still struggling.

So when I see another spot after I’m doing all that, I realize maybe despite my best efforts, he’s not getting enough. I call the Dr again, they tell me to come down. I call the Warmline and tell them all I’ve been doing and that it’s possible he’s not getting enough from me, and we stayed on the phone for awhile..and basically she gave me the “You had a good run, but maybe it’s just not working out for you.” speech.

So we head to the doctor. At Xavier’s appointment at 2 1/2 months, he weighed 13.5 lbs. He’s now 4 months old, and he weighs 14 lbs. That’s not enough weight gain to make the doctor happy. So..he recommended supplementing with formula.

Okay..so confession. When I was pregnant and immediately after giving birth..I really didn’t care about breastfeeding. I had seen a lot of my friends who were all “I’m going to breastfeed, formula is poison!!” and then for one reason or another, breastfeeding didn’t work out and they were devastated, harboring all kinds of guilt and self loathing about it. So I took this “Eh, if it works it works” attitude about it. And if I’m being totally honest, I kinda sorta didn’t want it to work. I saw formula as more convenient, and in my head, breastfeeding kind of grossed me out. (Hippies everywhere just gasped in horror.) I know, logically, that it’s the most natural thing in the world. But in my head it felt dirty.

Until I did it. And THEN it felt like the most natural thing in the world. And it was gratifying and I felt like this amazing earthmomma, nourishing my child with my own body and breastfeeding is awesome, I never have to wash bottles and my baby is thriving and lemme do my hippie dance and be all “It’s natural and beautiful, this is what boobs are for!”

So..when he told me that Xavier is not gaining enough weight, that he’s NOT thriving, I was devastated, harboring all kinds of guilt and self loathing. I still am. Let it be known that I have the happiest baby on the planet, ask anyone who’s met him. He’s super chill, and never acted as if he was still hungry. So I guess he was just doing what they tell us fatties to do and just eating til you’re satisfied, but not full. (I still haven’t mastered that.)  But I gotta shelve my stupid feelings and do what’s best for the kiddo. In the meantime, I’m still pumping around the clock, taking supplements and eating oatmeal. I’m not giving up just yet.

Non-Bathtime Photos Courtesy of Tana Murphy of The Murphys Photography. Her photos actually do my baby’s cuteness justice.:) Link: http://themurphysphoto.com/

Birth Story, the final chapter

Well, someone woke up at 4 am and is refusing to go back to sleep, so I guess I’m up. Might as well wrap this up eh? Warning: Parental Advisory, explicit language all up in through here.

Ok so when we left off, I was definitely feeling some pain, which is rather odd, considering I’d just had an epidural.  Isn’t that supposed to make me totally numb? Maybe I need topped off again. Call the nurse, who calls anesthesia. Again.

Okay..ow, Wtf? . It’s 6:45 or so. Crampy has become an 8 on the pain scale. I can’t get on top of them anymore, starting to writhe and whimper. Anesthesia gets there in about a half hour, says “We’ll try a different drug for you, clearly you’re resistant to the epi.” Ok, gimme! “Give it about a half hour to let it work.”
45 Minutes later, I’m now curling into the side rails of the bed. I call the nurse “NOT WORKING.”
They have the dr come back in and check me, I must be progressing very fast. And I was. Dilated to a 10? Yep. Wasn’t I just a 7 an hour ago? Yep.
Well I can’t push like this, fix this pain.

Anesthesia comes back. “Okay we’ll try this. This is what we give for C-Sections. It could stun a yak. Don’t you worry, you’ll be feeling fine within the half hour.”
By now..pain? Holy fucking satan in his sunday hat. I’m being rocked. Praying to every god I can think of. I’m swearing, sweating, screaming, I am batshit crazy with pain. I’m cussing out my husband, the nurses, the doctor. I am not exaggerating one bit, I did not know a person could even HAVE pain like this. They’re not contractions, it’s my midsection being torn out. People are saying things to me about “breathe through them, you’re tougher than you realize, you’re only feeling the peak of them.”
I’m saying things back..,possibly regarding their mothers.

I will say this; I did not have a birth plan. I was serious about NOT having a birth plan, because I’ve seen so many moms get strung out about their PLAN.  Then, I’ve seen life take a big shit all over their plan.  That being said..one thing I REALLY did not want was this. I take my cool kinda serious..and this was definitely not cool. In hindsight, I REALLY should have made some kind of plan for pain management. It sounds so stupid, but I just did not realize that epidurals can fail.

Between contractions, I am literally passing out. Unconscious. I’m begging them to just c section. No? Then fucking kill me.
(John, bless his brave little heart, actually had the nerve to speak up right now. ” Babe, you really don’t want that. I know you don’t want that.” This is where he got cussed out.)

Things are getting good now. I’m negotiating with people..”Listen, I’m really, really not a dramatic person. This is bad. This is reallllly bad.”
FINALLY..Anesthesia gets a fucking clue. “MAYBE her epidural slipped out of place. Let’s do a new one!”

I’m weeping into the nurse’s neck as a contraction rocks me just as the needle slides in for the second time in 6 hours. They topped this one off with a spinal tap something or another.
RELIEF WAS INSTANT. I cried some more. Hugged people. Apologized to all offended parties. I was Miss Congeniality. Life was good again.
It’s now about 10:30.  Five hours had gone by in this pain-haze.
Dr checks me. I’m at a 10, but the baby’s stll a bit high. Let’s give the fresh epi sometime to relax me and we’ll push in a bit. Alrighty. I’m ready, a new person, a million bucks. Let’s fucking do this.

So at 11:30, Dr checks me again, says “Start some pushing, I’ll be back in a bit.”
Nurse tells John “With first babies, women generally push around 2 hours.” In my head? I’m like “Fuck that shit. I wanna be done in an hour.” Having watched my bestie with all of her three push babies, I just did not believe that I would have to.  I was so scared the epi would slide again and I’d be in pain. I wanted to be DONE before that pain made a comeback.
So I pushed. And I pushed. And the clock just kept freaking moving around and around and around. 2 am, the nurse says “Alright lady. You’ve worn yourself and your baby out. Have some oxygen, take a break. We’ve overworked the muscles and you’re too weak to proceed. They turn down the pitocin. I sleep for about 20mins, waking up feeling like there is a bowling ball crammed in my ass.
The spinal tap has now worn off, but the epi is still good. Meaning, I can feel pressure, but not pain. And the pressure of X’s head was un freaking bearable. I would’ve sworn if I had just pushed a littttle bit, he would be out. Told the nurse so. She was not so optimistic, but we started pushing again at 2:30.

At about 4, Dr S comes in. “Alright Sam..it’s time to talk. He just might be too big. Might have to cut ya even though I don’t want to.” (I’d already begged during the dark era of pain, she told me no.)
“Ok let’s do it. I can’t push anymore.”
I’m soaked in sweat. I’m exhausted. Pushing is hard freaking work, as those of you who have done it know. My child has a big freaking head. I was trying SO HARD for all that time, and only the top of his head was visible. SO discouraging.
The nurse speaks up. “She’s made A LOT of progress in the last hour. I think you should really take a look before you call it.”
She agrees, and when the next contraction comes, I push again. But in my head, I’m like yea, I’m done. I’m not even going to try for this one. Just do it, I want to be freaking done.”
Dr S squeals “OMG! SO MUCH PROGRESS! Sam! You’re having this baby. Just five more rounds and you’ll be done.”
I laugh at her. I can’t do five more rounds. I can’t. I’m toast, dammit. Didn’t you hear me?
“Okay, do one more then.”
FINE. FUCK IT.

And I felt something give. And then his head was out. And my vagina caught fire. Everyone in the room was totally surprised. I guess objects in my vagina are closer than they appear? Because no one was ready. No welder’s mask on. No baby nurse ready, no table cut in half or feet in stirrups. I was still on my side because that’s how they decided I was in the best position? With a person’s head hanging out of my vjj, Dr Tells me to roll onto my back. WTF HOW???
“Just do it and for god’s sake don’t push anymore!!”
They call the baby nurse in, get the mask on. Okay, PUSH.
The umbilical cord was around his neck. They grab him and yank him out the rest of the way. John cuts the cord, they put this slimy, gorgeous baby on my chest and I instantly start crying like a little bitch again.
They take him and clean him off. My placenta doesn’t wanna leave either. They start making jokes about how once things are in me they don’t ever want to come out. My uterus is the bermuda triangle. They start punching me in the gut trying to get it to come out.
Finally, it does.Wow, that’s a disgusting feeling eh?
They remove a catheter. It hurts. They stitch me up, I somehow only ended up with a 2nd degree tear. Given the size of this kid…I think if he’d have come any faster I would’ve been split in half. While they’re stitching, I start wailing like a baby. They’re looking at me like I’m a weirdo “it really shouldn’t hurt that bad”. Maybe it didn’t and I was just exhausted, in every way possible.
Xavier James was born at 4:08 am, on July 3rd, 2011. He weighed 8 lbs, 9 oz and was 20 inches long. Big, but not the epic beast of a boy they’d been preparing me for during my pregnancy. And totally, completely perfect.

And you can’t tell a birth story without some slimy baby pictures, right?

 

All cleaned up:

And here he is the next day, snuggling with his Aunt Tess, getting ready to come home:

She came all the way from Illinois just to do that.  This is right before I punched her in the ass for having those three push babies and making that shit look all easy. She tricked me so that I would make that cute little gargoyle right there.

And one more, getting ready to go home:

Not a word about his outfit, haters.

Birth Story (Part two)

Okay..where was I?

Oh yes. I was peeing in a jug. Which..I don’t know if you guys know this, but being diabetic makes you pee a lot. So does being 38.5 weeks pregnant. So..I definitely filled up two of their jugs in 24 hours. After that, I waited a bajillion years for them to come in and give me the news..I had Preeclampsia.

Well, shit. What now? 

My cervix, at this point, was “Not favorable for induction.” The on call doctor, was not my usual doctor. And I didn’t really like her one damned bit. She seemed hesitant to make any kind of real decision. It was Thursday by now, and she wanted to have me stay in the hospital until Monday, THEN induce. The fuck? NO.  John had gone home to tend to the dogs when I got this news, and after Dr WishyWashy left the room, I called him crying like a little bitch with a skinned knee. I wanted to either go home or start the induction. I did NOT want to stay in the hospital doing NOTHING for four more days. If I’m going to do nothing, I want to do it at home with better cable, thank you very much.

Oh, and with all this freaking to do..I had not had a chance to clean up the house. I knew we’d be having all kinds of visitors after the baby came, so I was desperate to get the house cleaned before giving birth.  I know..it should not have even been a concern, but what the hell. When you’re that pregnant, you’re crazy and that’s all there is to it.

A few minutes later, a miracle happened. Dr WishyWashy came back to my room and told me she’d spoken to my dr, who said to send me home and to stop being an indecisive idiot. YAY!  So..home I went. I hung out with my dogs, ran some errands, and it was all going well. I still didn’t clean though. Then I got a phone call from my doctor Friday afternoon. She had just been going over my chart and decided that “Holy crap! This bitch has gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. In the next three days, this is only going to get more dangerous for both of them..screw it, let’s induce. TONIGHT!”

Well, shit. Call John home from work. Run around like a maniac and finish packing my bag. Text 100 people.

Head to the hospital and by 7:30 pm I was all checked in. Took the nurses HOURS to get the belly band monitors to work for me and my fatness. Embarassing. And every time I got up to go to the bathroom, which, well at 39 weeks pregnant is roughly every 5 minutes, we had to start all over. Good times.
So it wasn’t until about 11:30 that I started the induction process. A foley balloon? Yea..that was pretty shitty. I was chuckling at the idea of a balloon up my vag. (This is no time for a party!)  OF COURSE, it was a guy doctor on call that night to insert it for me. Here’s how that little party played out. They strapped my feet down in the stirrup position, lowered my head so my vag was due north and spread wide, and then proceeded to insert the empty balloon into my cervix. Then…inflate it.

About as much fun as it sounds. Then, they tape the 8″ tube hanging out of my vag to my thigh, insert the cervadil, and tell me to get some rest.
As if. The belly band monitors, the peeing..forget it.
But the contractions started aboout 2 am. Totally tolerable, timeable. Not bad at all. At 8 am, they fed me and moved me down to an L&D room. The cervadil and balloon had made me bleed some, so I was feeling pretty scummy, and was able to take a shower. But since I was hooked up to an IV for fluids, I had to be cut out of my hospital gown, and wear a plastic bag and a diaper taped around my iv hand to shower.
Amazing.
Let’s start the pitocin then, shall we?

The contractions keep coming, but still totally manageable with a bit of breathing. The Foley falls out around noon, meaning I’m now dilated to at least 3 cm. New Dr, we’ll call her Dr S, comes into check me, says I’m at 4 and softening up nicely. Tremendous!
The contractions get a little worse, but I’m still totally on top of them. Dr checks me again a little while later. A 5! Wahoo. She breaks my water. GA-ROSSSS. Tells me the contractions are going to get worse now, so if I’d like the epi she’ll put the order in and it will be up in about an hour. Meh, why wait? Order it up.
By the time the epi comes, I’m pretty happy to see them. Not like “OH MY GOD I TOTALLY WAS DYING” in pain, but definitely getting uncomfy and ready for a bit of relief. Which came instantly, and I was so grateful. This is when they stuck the catheter in me. Things are getting serious, I decide to take a nap in my new, blissful numbed state.
About an hour into said nap, I realize I am starting to feel some pain in my right hip. So, they dial up anesthesia and top off my epi. All is good again. They check me again, I’m at a 7. w00t! It’s just about go time, now I can get a little sleep and when I wake up it’ll be showtime! This baby will be here by midnight, at the latest!
However..as I’m dozing off, I start to feel a little crampy during contractions.
Quite a bit crampy.

Now..a side note about pain management during labor. I had originally wanted a natural, medication free birth. My body was designed to do this, and all that. However, as soon as they started talking induction (As I mentioned, about 5 minutes after my Gestational Diabetes diagnosis at 15 weeks), I knew if I was induced, no way would I last without an epidural. I’ve had the good fortune to be present for 3 of my bff’s deliveries. All induced. Everytime she went in with the intent to stay off the drugs. Everytime, she got the drugs. And she’s WAY tougher than me. So if you say pitocin my friend, to that I say EPIDURAL.

So, knowing that I would be getting the epidural, I did not make any other plans to manage pain. I didn’t go to birthing classes or study hypnosis techniques or really..anything. Epidural, that’s all I need to know!

I want to stress this fun fact, because I wasn’t truly aware of it,  so pay close attention: EPIDURALS CAN FAIL.

Stay tuned, part three is coming soon.

My birth story. (Part one)

I sat here for a little while, listening to Xavier coo in his sleep, trying to figure out what my first post should be.  It should be very important stuff, no? So..I guess we’ll start at the beginning..but first a little background.

I never wanted kids. For as long as I can remember, I would declare to anyone who would listen how I couldn’t stand the little germbombs. As I got older, I found ways to work it into conversation, not too soon, but soon enough so that we didn’t waste each other’s time when starting new relationships.  When I met John..well, he liked them, but he didn’t have any desire to have any.

Then one day, maybe two years ago, I was watching some crappy daytime television, and a Pampers commercial came on. I looked at the cooing, giggling little baby..and thought to myself “I could do that..maybe”.

Wait..what?

So..this prompted a long period of inner turmoil for me. I knew we’d had an agreement, we weren’t having kids. Did I REALLY want one? Was this a passing phase? I waited to see if it went away.

It didn’t. So after a few months..I worked up my nerve, and began the conversation, the way ALL important conversations are started; via text message.

“I think I might kinda, sorta, maybe want a kid.”

His response “I just cut my own balls off.”

…………….

Then we got serious. We decided to wait like three years, I think was the original plan. At that point, we were planning to move to Illinois, so I could be close to my mom.  We also planned to quit smoking and lose weight before making a baby.

I don’t think it was even one year later, I was pregnant. Didn’t lose the weight. Didn’t move. We did quit smoking though, yay for that!!  SO hard..seriously. I still think about cigarettes all the time. But I’m never going back. 

So..got pregnant. And didn’t breathe for 8 solid weeks. I was pretty lucky, I had lots of nausea, but zero vomitting. I just always felt like I was juuust about to. I guess you can call that lucky.

Then, at 15 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. They tested me early because of my weight, and I have a strong family history of Diabetes also.

Diabetes SUCKS you guys. But I dealt with it, and tried my best not to whine too much. I managed to avoid insulin up until the last few weeks.  I have to be tested again very soon to see if I actually have the real deal diabetes, or if it was just gestational.  With the diagnosis, my hopes for a natural birth were pretty slim. My Dr let me know early on that chances were, I’d be induced early, before the baby got too big.  We wanted to avoid a c-section, and early induction was the lesser of the two evils. 

I left work on June 29th at around 3:30. By 10 pm, I was in the emergency room. I was having these craaaazy stomach pains. Well, more towards my ribs. Like a charlie horse..but nastier. Well, they found protein in my urine, and decided to keep me there for a few days so I could pee in a jug. (Was actually two jugs by the time all was said and done.)

This is where it gets hairy..so I’m going to stop because it’s time to feed the beasts. I’ll post the rest soon! (Spoiler: I had a baby.)