I’ve been putting this off for a long time now. It’s like I’ve been afraid of it, for some reason. And the longer I went without updating, the more afraid to post I’ve been. It’s become more than my signature procrastination at this point–I’ve been Stupefy’d with fear of failure/not being good enough.
I’ve almost been feeling like I’m losing my ability to write these days. Which is devastating, as writing has always been my primary source of expression. This is how I communicate. You would never guess if you actually had a face-to-face conversation with me that I am actually able to string words into sentences in any way.
These past few months I’ve felt like I’m no good at writing anymore. I’ve hated every single thing I’ve worked on, including this. I have a few drafts I haven’t posted for fear of whatever it is being the actual worst thing to ever be posted. I’ve been looking back on my old posts and have been cringing at the way they came out–way too long, the formatting is hard to look at, etc, so I’ve been afraid to keep going.
Basically I’ve been back on my bullshizz and I’m trying to come back.
I have Mom brain. Really bad. I can barely speak or understand my native language anymore, it seems, and I can’t look away from a task for more than two seconds before forgetting what it was that I had been doing. I leave lights on when I leave, drinks on top of cars–you name it, I’ve done it. Dory would be concerned for me.
I’m sure this goes without saying, but once you have a child, the part of your brain reserved for memory, focus, and basic motor function is replaced with deciphering different cries, coming up with baby food recipes, and Raffi song lyrics.
Add Mom Brain to selling an apartment, buying a house, moving, and the pressure of freelancing, ghostwriting, and the subconscious desire to pursue ever-expanding personal projects with super-writer’s block/mental constipation, and that’s the equation for my semester-long silence on this blog.
I’d like for this to go somewhere. I want to believe that I have something to offer other Moms. But I know we all have to start somewhere, and we can’t improve what we give up on.
That’s why I can’t give up on this blog. Even if it’s a little incoherent now, I know it can’t get better unless I work on it. That’s why every week/bi-weekly I have to have some kind of post on here. Even if it doesn’t make sense or it, “isn’t that great.”
I’ve been so afraid and unsure of myself, comparing myself to other mom bloggers with bigger (actual) followings that I’ve allowed myself to be self-deprecating and self-sabatoging. It’s so easy to do as a Mom to compare yourself to others, and as a result feel completely incompetent and like every single thing you’re doing is wrong.
I’ve come to realize that if I give up on this, I’m partially giving up on myself, and I can’t allow that for a second. I have to set an example for my son. Of course it’s only natural and human to have doubts in everything, including ourselves, but we have to overcome them. I want my son to believe in himself, and in order for him to understand how, I have to model that for him.
I’m going to be working on updating the aesthetic of this blog and possibly getting my own domain name so maybe that will help with the performance anxiety a bit. So stay tuned on that!
Thank you for bearing with me. I know I keep promising that repurposing formula scoops/tins post. It’s coming, I swear!
Some updates for you:
Recently we said goodbye to our old two bedroom, 650 sq ft apartment in favor of a townhouse twice the size and there’s so much more room for activities now! We are also right next to my SIL at Becoming Rivera! Vinny will be right next door to his baby cousin! ❤ ❤ ❤
We anticipate doing several renovations to the house, but all aesthetic! I’ve never lived in a space this large, so it’s a little overwhelming. But we’re going to make it our own, even if we end up making it #nailedit experience.
Vinny is ten months old as of June 12th! He’s already somewhat walking, and as always is completely ravenous all the time! He continues to grow like a weed! He’s been going through growth spurts, teething, and developmental leaps so he’s been having good days and really not so good days. Overall, he’s an amazing baby, and I look forward to seeing what comes next!
Here’s some pictures to bring you up to speed!
Thanks for hanging in there with me! This really is the toughest job there is, but we got this! Thanks for reading, my gals (and d00ds). Till next time!
(I know I said I’d post about reusing formula tins and scoops, but I’m sickly, tired, and I need to vent about this. It may not be very coherent, but I present to you my horror story)
Today was a day.
So it started out okay, went to the doctor for a good old Pap smear and blood test, and found out I have a virus making its way through me. 😷 Nothing a little vitamin c and rest won’t fix, tho.
Except there ain’t no rest for the momkind. Not even when we close our eyes for good, because we all know we’re gonna be hovering over our kids as ghosts just to make sure they’re taking their centrum and brushing their dentures.
But I digress.
So I’m running around feeling sick as a dog, getting my doctor stuff done, getting a phone interview done, running to the bank to get some cash for OfferUp Baby Supplies purchases I had lined up and fixing my debit card, and then I had to pick up my son who was at my mother’s so I could bring him to his 6 month checkup.
Well everything was running relatively smoothly, albeit tight. When what do my new super mom-ears should hear, but my darling son grunting and pushing into his rear.
Okay, so he’s pooping. I think to myself as I approach the halfway point between my mother’s and my family practice. I can just change him real quick at the doctor’s.
Except, oh wait, no I can’t…left the damn diaper bag at Mom’s for the sake of saving a good two minutes. Didn’t think I’d need it in the one hour and change I would be out.
Big. Mistake. 🤦🏻♀️
I pull into the country store on the way to the doctor and take my boi out and point out a grinning bulldog for him to reciprocate the sanguine gesture to. Then we wander around the tiny shop in search of a pack of overpriced diapers and a 10 pack of wipes.
Well, quite the assortment of condoms, but no baby amenities…
I hastily made a hand sanitizer purchase and made my way out, having my son wave bye-bye to the smiling doggie. As I went to put him in his car seat, I felt something drip down my wrist.
I looked down in hopes of seeing drool, but no such luck…
This was a big one.
In a viral, mind-hazed panic, I raced to the CVS down the street from my Doctor’s office. We wandered around looking for the smallest pack of diapers and wipes to get us by in this emergency situation, but I swear the price tag of every item read, “Arm, Leg, and Kidney.” In desperation I grabbed a 28 pack of size four diapers and a to-go pallet of store-brand wipes.
After I gave the convenience store clerk the down payment on a Ferrari in exchange for some infant essentials, I made our way to the bathroom, awkwardly dodging yet to be stocked inventory and pulling the plastic bag out of my son’s Kung-fu grip.
So we get into the ladies room and naturally, it is equipped with everything but a changing station…so I have to make due with what I’ve got. I pull my son’s shorts off to confirm that they have indeed been compromised, so I have no choice but to have him go without.
Let me just tell you, changing a category 6 diaper in a car seat on the floor of a public restroom is literally the worst.
💩💩💩 e v e r y w h e r e 💩💩💩
While I’m sweating like a mofo, I wrestle with my son to keep his hands out of his diaper whilst simultaneously trying to pry single wipes out of this cheap container like medieval basic bros trying to pry Excalibur from the fabled stone, only to have them come out three and four at a time. It’s either peel them apart and save some of them and risk my little boy do what little boys do and have all hell break loose, or sacrifice a few wipes in the interest of getting him clean.
And that is how that whole entire inventory of wipes got cleared tf out.
This whole time he’s squirming, uncomfortable, and crying, people are beginning to knock, and I’m losing balance while trying to get him clean without getting anything over his car seat. It was a challenge to say the least.
Finally I manage to get him cleaned up as best I can, throw the diaper in the open trash receptacle (in retrospect I totally forgot to cover it so I feel bad for whoever walked in on that…) and get the dock out of fudge, of course 10 minutes late at this point, with my baby in a tank top and diaper only.
And so now I have to desperately explain to the receptionist, who very patiently and politely pretends to listen to my plight, the series of events that just unfolded in hopes that I will not look like a neglectful parent. To what avail, I’m not sure…
We get our favorite medical assistant, at least, and we get him measured and weighed. Then the doctor comes in to look him over and of course I look down when he removes his diaper to see that I had MiSSeD a sPoT when I was cleaning 😨😰😩 But other than that, he got a squeaky clean bill of health. At least something was clean today…
So we finish up the 6 month requirements and go to check out and make his 9 month visit, all while I try to face his car seat away from people so they don’t see my baby in just a diaper and shirt like the son of rif-raf. Once I take the appointment card and go to do my walk of shame, what should happen but a convoy of the slowest moving people make their way into the practice, while others make their way out, all looking at my practically naked child, and then to me, judgement clearly plastered on their faces. I made my way to the car, buckled my upset son in, and made my way home in a sickly, sulky funk.
While all of this was happening, I felt like the biggest loser of a Mom. I started thinking crazy thoughts like, “I can’t do this!” And, “I don’t deserve to be a mom…” I let this one time I was not overprepared have me believe that I was a failure and a bad mom. I know you’ve been there, too, and I know I’ll be there again. We all have those #momfail moments that drain almost all of our HP and make us want to ragequit. But we know we can’t, and so we persevere.
I had a long talk with myself and realized that if I really was a bad mom, I wouldn’t have felt as badly as I did. I realize that I made a mistake, I did all I could do at the time to correct it, and I’ve learned from it. I know now that I should always have supplies on me, even if I’m only out with my son for an hour or even less, because you really never know when the Call of Doodie will strike.
So my Gals (and d00ds), be sure to keep an extra bag full of diapers, wipes, creams, powders, etc, and most importantly a change of clothes in your car at all times!! Learn from my mistakes!
We all feel like we suck at this game, but we got this!! It doesn’t get any easier, but we are always leveling up to meet whatever boss battles come our way.
Thanks for reading! Next post will be on ways to reuse those formula cans and scoops so you can really get your money’s worth!!
Whatcha gonna do when menstrual-mania runs wild on you??
((I’m not the biggest wrestling fan, but the title just felt fitting))
So I’m up past my bedtime, my Baby sleeping against my chest, scrolling through social media when a link to Kylie’s secret pregnancy video diary/reveal/what-have-you pops onto my feed.
I scoff to myself. But click it for satisfaction of thought.
Now, Ya Grrl’s not normally one of those emotional, chick-flick-tropey, chocolate and tears type of gal. But something about this stupid video hit just right.
Maybe it’s because I’ve got my period, and I’m still acclimating to the Keto diet, which apparently does stuff to your hormones as the estrogen melts out of your adipose tissue (nature, you freaky), so all of that’s messing with me. But I got a little weepy.
It’s like all of the times I was “supposed” to cry and didn’t all came at me and pinned me to the mat–the positive pregnancy test, the first heartbeat, the first ultrasound/gender reveal, the baby shower, the birth…all of those times Moms normally cry, I didn’t have a tear to shed…
And then out of the deep blue this cheesy tabloid celebrity Baby video knocks the wind out of my tough girl persona sails (“It’s not like I like you, or anything, B a k a!!1!!1!! 😂).
Don’t get me wrong, I get misty and I do cry, just maybe not as much as a normal girl? 🤷🏻♀️
My baby, who was once a tiny little chia seed inside my belly, is now nearly 25 pounds of little man, and at 6 months fits into 12 month outfits. He went from a string-Bean troll doll to an actual baby to basically a toddler in under a year.
I feel like I didn’t embrace pregnancy and the half year stretch as much as I could have. Watching Kylie’s video made me wish I had taken the time to document more of my journey and connect with my son from the very beginning…maybe it could have helped with some of the issues I had in the third trimester and postpartum. I feel like I missed out on something somehow.
So maybe I blubbered a little bit like, well, a baby. But I can’t do it again, even if I want to, and I have to make the best of what I have right now.
And right now, I think I’ll snuggle my peacefully sleeping baby a little more, dry my eyes, eat a handful of Lily’s sugar free chocolate chips, and try to get some sleep myself.
((So, as with any labor and delivery story, there’s a few graphic and tmi moments in this blog, but I try to keep it as discreet as possible. Also, this is another long one haha, skip to the end if you’re just here for the tips && tricks! But I’m hoping my story can offer some guidance and/or comfort for any of you ladies about to go through this scary yet beautiful process for the first time.))
In my labor and delivery class, they had us complete an exercise during which the parents would lay out laminated cards listing what was most important to us to what was least important when it came to labor and childbirth from medicated vs. nonmedicated, to vaginal vs. cesarean, to boy vs. girl. Every few minutes, the nurse instructor would have us take out three things until we were left with one card standing–a healthy beautiful baby.
All of this was to teach us that it’s important to have a plan or vision for your first labor and delivery, but not to be disappointed if it doesn’t go to plan, as the end goal whether it’s a smooth sprint or a grueling, treacherous marathon is the same for each one: to have a healthy baby in your arms at the end of it.
🙏🏼That being said, my labor and delivery went more or less perfectly.🙏🏼
Everything went exactly the way I wanted it to–I labored alone for the first few hours, my husband met up with me after he was done work, and then it was just he and I in the delivery room, with only essential staff in and out to do routine checks and for when the big moment came. I even delivered naturally, only having used nitrous oxide intermittently to take the edge off and help calm me down a little, although surprisingly I had never felt more at peace in my adult life than when I was laboring and even birthing. I’m an anomaly, I know. 😅😝 Let
(TL;DR–hax after the long-winded storytime)
h=”225″] Ready to pOp![/caption]
my 39 week appointment (I was 39 and 2), the receptionist explained to me that if I had my baby before my 40 week appointment not to worry about following up with them, as the hospital would let them know and they would take the appointment off for me. I had cheekily smiled and said I’d see them next week as I took my appointment card and left to run around kingdom come in search of a card and gift and to get supplies to make watermelon ice cream for a going away party I would be attending that same night, parking as far away as possible to get those steps in. I briefly entertained the idea of making a few laps around the mall, but my lightening crotch did not permit.
ad ever been. I could not wake up for the life of me. I figured this was due to all of my running around the day before, and staying at the party later than I had intended. I had some last-minute sprucing up to do for the baby, so I decided I needed to do a little yoga to get myself moving. I found a labor and birth prep yoga video and decided that at 39 weeks and 3 days gestation, I should probably start a birth prep regimen. Better late than never, I guess. Lite
ed to throughout my pregnancy that had either had children already or knew someone who did told me to expect my son to arrive late, as “first babies are always late.” This was not something I liked hearing, being heavily pregnant in the heat of summer, but I shrugged it off as an inevitability, and seeing has how my husband was the king of being late, and how he and I were overdue first-borns as well, I mentally prepared myself for being one of those gals who would get a daily, “anything yet??” text at 40 weeks plus. 🤦🏻♀️ 🧘🏻♀️ The yoga
t a little surge of energy, and was able to complete the last of my little nesting tasks. I settled onto my couch for a nap until my husband got home for his brief window of showering and redressing to tend to his business. I made him a quick breakfast sandwich as he had a few more minutes than usual, so we could catch up before we had to be ships passing in the night. Shortly before h
n my abdomen, like a menstrual cramp. I absent-mindedly commented on this, and my husband raised an eyebrow. I shrugged it off and told him it was normal, as I’d read that intermittent period-like cramps were normal towards the end. And so he left, and I dug out the orange sherbet I had started the night before, reminded my husband to pick up some cheesecake on his way back, and netflixed and chilled with myself. About three quar
the Bone,” I began feeling more dull “period” cramps. These were mostly annoying and went away within about 20 seconds, if I had to put a length of time to them. But as the night wore on, and I was onto “Through the Looking Glass,” they seemed to come every 15 minutes or so, and seemed to get a little more uncomfortable and painful. It was around 10
band, asking if we was coming home soon. He called me soon after and said he was on his way, asking what kind of cheesecake I wanted. I told him to skip the cheesecake and just come home.
I could almost feel his heart skipping a beat as he paused and then said, “Oh…?” 😂 I have never been known to turn down cheesecake, unless I was in some kind of distress.
When he got home (in record time, I might add), I explained to him that I was getting the period pain I had earlier pretty regularly, and that they were lasting a significant amount of time, to the point where I started having to seethe through them. We just kind of looked at each other a moment, and he came to my side and held me to him a moment, while one of the pains came on. We looked at each other again, trying to figure out if what we thought was happening was actually happening. 👶🏼 At this point, I was
between pains, and I was feeling a little bit exhilarated (maybe I’m a bit of a masochist, but after each contraction from early labor to transition, I felt a strange high during my small moments of peace), although excitement is a common occurrence in early labor, as your long pregnancy journey is finally coming to an end. During this whole ti
as experiencing false labor, as there was “no way” that I could be having my son so soon. That, and the pains seemed to be spacing farther apart for a while. My husband and I reviewed our birth plan anyway, and tried to go to sleep. 💤 I was able to slee
I woke up with breath-stealing abdominal pains. I grabbed the edge of our bed and breathed sharply through my nose and out of my mouth. My husband woke up and put his hand on my stomach, which I pushed away reflexively. As the pain passed, I sagged back into the bed, and told him I was okay. He put his arm around me and told me everything was okay, and he fell back asleep. I lay awake, staring at my phone, making a mental note of what time was on the clock. ⏳ 💩 It should be noted
of diarrhea and loose stools throughout the night, so I wondered if these pains had to do with something I had eaten. After one of these bouts, I found myself searching, “period pain 39 weeks” and I had come across some threads of women asking what it meant to be having period pains at 39 weeks, and kept seeing posts saying, “Get ready! Baby is coming!” and also mentioning that they had been having diarrhea and loose stools, as apparently that’s the body’s way of trying to clear the system before the impending birth. That was when it hit m
happening. I put my hand on my belly and thought to my bump, “Is it weird that I’m kind of gonna miss you in here?” I decided to just pas
ted getting closer together playing candy crush in bed, and breathing as quietly as possible so as not to wake my husband. After a while, I got out of bed and paced the living room, making note of how far apart and how long each contraction was. Around 7am, my husband came out of our room asking what I was doing in the living room. “Maybe you shouldn’t g
him wearily. He agreed with me, as did my father-in-law and our brother-in-law, who he texted to tell them they would have to carry on without him. My in-laws began text
ers, and my husband and I huddled together, his hand in mine to comfort me, me inadvertently bending his fingers back as I braced myself through each contraction then on.
⌛️Once they began t
5 minutes apart for a minute at a time, I called my OB GYN, as was instructed to me at my last appointment. He said to give it a while since it was my first baby and I likely wouldn’t be that far along, and call him when I was 3 minutes apart, and advised me it could still take some time to get to that point. One short and yet long
back, as my contractions were coming every 3 minutes and getting stronger, to the point where I couldn’t communicate through them anymore. I could almost hear the doctor’s eyes roll over the phone, another first timer jumping the gun, he was probably thinking, but he told my husband he’d let our hospital know we were on our way. And so we made the 10 minute ride to the hospital to meet our son.
My husband parked in the first available space that was in reasonably close enough proximity to the entrance. He gathered our bags, and I leaned into the trunk as another contraction passed. We walked as quickly as we could to get inside (yes I walked–I insisted. I told you, I’m an anomaly). The kind woman at the front desk got me a wheelchair and whisked us up to the third floor and I was admitted into delivery. 🌆Our room was so serene
dating medical equipment, with a large row of windows overlooking the metropolitan horizon of our tiny city. I gazed out the window, breathing through the pain that seemed to keep coming just as fast as I was able to catch my breath.
Shortly after we were checked our room, a kindly older nurse introduced herself and got me prepared, attaching the baby vital and contraction monitor to my stomach, and getting me settled. She gently told me that this being my first baby, I likely wouldn’t be too far dilated, and not to be discouraged if I was here for a while, and assured me that they would do their best to keep me comfortable and myself and my baby safe and healthy. Then we went back and forth as she began asking me the standard intake questions. Mere moments into this i
y husband’s arm and breathe through another wave of pain. She asked to feel my belly during the contraction and eyed the screen. When I looked back at her and said, “Sorry, you were saying?” the nurse looked at me, dumbfounded, and remarked, “That was impressive, you must have some really bad periods…” 🤕
At this point, I had not asked for an epidural, but mentioned I’d be open to trying nitrous oxide, as that was part of my birth plan. Apparently my contractions were strong enough that most mothers would be asking for “the good stuff” by now. My goal was to deliver naturally, but I wasn’t going to turn down an epidural if necessary. But for the most part, up until this part of labor, the contractions felt like most period cramps I’d experienced, and I figured if I’d made it this far, like Moana, there was “No telling how far I’ll go,” but I’d give it a try. For a while, my husband a
ween the hospital bed and the rocking chair they had available. The nitrous oxide I’d asked to try came, and I breathed into the odd facemask, feeling like the Pyro from Team Fortress, through every other contraction. It helped to take the edge off and keep me calm, as I mentioned before, but only having had one hour of sleep, it also made me even sleepier, so I started nodding off, getting about 30 second naps between contractions. Gotta get it while you can, right? 😴 About an hour or a little
th the doctor, who after introducing himself, reached into me to measure how far into this roller coaster I was in. I waited with bated breath, wondering if he was going to tell me I wasn’t even far enough to be there, praying not to be sent home. I wondered if I was doing so “well,” as I’d been told because I wasn’t far enough along to be admitted after all. I looked at my husband anxiously, his eyes darting between the doctor to me. After a moment or two of h
tor said, “About 6 or 7 centimeters.” My eyes widened. The Nurse squeezed my shoulder. “That’s impressive!” she cheered (I was very impressive to her, apparently, God love her). After withdrawing his fingers, the doctor mentioned that we could be having the baby within the next few hours!! 😱😱😱 🛁At this point, I thought I w
they had available, pretend I was at a spa. My husband poured water on my belly during each contraction, as per the nurse’s instruction, which calmed me a little, but did very little to get rid of the pain. I was still breathing through each contraction, and continuing to fall asleep between them. After 15 minutes in the tub, I began to feel a pressure in my backside, as the nurse said I would. We mentioned this to the nurse when she came back to check on me, and she said that I could start “bearing down” during these contractions to get my son to descend lower. This felt a little awkward to me, but I followed her instructions, grunting lowly through each pain, pushing slightly to encourage my little one to get one step closer to making his grand entrance.
After another 20 minutes, I decided I needed to go back to the bed. The nurse commented on how surprised she was that my water hadn’t broken, as by the sounds of things, I should have been making good progress in making my son descend. I shrugged and made my way back to the bed, and went on to business as usual, inhaling strength through my nose and exhaling pain through my mouth, and constricting my husband’s hand. About another hour or so passe
urse shift change, from the kindly older nurse to a sweet, mellow younger nurse. My new nurse also remarked on how impressive it was that I had gotten to this point and was admitted at around 6-7 cm without asking for an epidural. I smiled weakly and replied, “I’m doing my best.” And that would be my mantra for the rest of the night and beyond. 💪🏼
Not very long into her shift at all, my lower back started hurting. Badly. Like someone was punching me with a burning hot lead glove along with each contraction. I had my husband push against my knees each time this happened, which was helpful for the first several of these contractions, but quickly stopped working. My new nurse told me to try getting on my hands and knees to take pressure off of my back. A little while into this new position, breathing stopped working, and I let out a low, loud yowl like a dying cat. I heard the nurse whisper that she’d go let the doctor know what was going on, and I whimpered, “my back hurts so bad…” The doctor came back and decided
remember looking at my husband during this process, his eyes wide with fear, and feeling a flood of warm fluid burst from between my legs. “So gross…” I whispered. The doctor left to tend to another, higher risk delivery as I lay there in a wet bed smelling strangely of artificial honey (weird description and tmi, I know, but it’s the best way I can describe it).
It was just my husband and I for a while, and he started grumbling that the doctor wasn’t back yet, and my contractions and back pain were getting worse and seemingly impossibly closer. I briefly wondered if I should get the epidural just for the back pain as the nurse came back and said that we could try pushing. I mentioned that I wanted to try squatting, as I had read that would help let gravity make the process easier. She gave me a device to sit in and hang onto while I pushed per her capable instructions. She told me I was doing great.
After about an hour of this, the doctor came back and instructed me to get on my back and hold my legs back. I casually mentioned the epidural, and the doctor said that we were just at the point where it could make pushing longer. I opted to power through and get it over with, to bring my baby into the world that much sooner. ⏱ Pushing on my back was aggravatin
ly (definitely not pleasant, though) but aggravating. I didn’t feel as…”open,” as it were, on my back, so I could feel all of the pressure concentrated to my most vulnerable area. Not that I couldn’t beforehand, but I definitely could feel a difference while I had gravity on my side. ⬇️
I knew based on what I had read and what we had learned in class that I had to push as though I were taking a dump, but apparently I was not doing that right. For the first several pushes, I kept getting feedback to push into my butt. I kept apologizing, apparently, and the nurse said, “Just think about meeting him…and seeing all this hair!” 😍 💞After another frustrating and disc
empt at evicting my son from his cozy little rent-free dwelling, my husband lovingly touched my face and turned it to look at him. I know he said something encouraging, though for the life of me I can’t remember what it was amidst the haze of the instruction from the doctor, nurse, and listening to the intermittent monitoring of our baby’s vitals. But I do remember is his eyes, so wide with wonder and fear, glistening with emotion. The love behind his eyes, knowing that he couldn’t wait to meet his son and see me out of pain, was enough to give me the strength to get that baby out of his little amniotic sanctuary and into the real world.
With my husband at my side, and everyone I loved via text lending me their energy, I was finally able to focus all of my power where it needed to be, and could feel myself stretching to make room for my baby’s big head. When I stopped to catch my breath, and refocus my eyes, I could see a group of people standing to the side, watching me. I didn’t have time to question what they were doing there, I had to get down to business to defeat the Huns (how many Didney references can I make? I need to Let it Go…). After another 20 minutes of pushing,
my gosh, look!” I had been staring out the window and at the ceiling for the most part until now, so I thought there might have been something wrong, but I looked down and saw my son half hanging out of me, looking like a dolphin launching out of the ocean, with a head of thick, black hair. Looking at a small human being coming out of me was the most bizarre thing I had ever seen. I could see my husband staring out of my peripheral. This whole time he had been screaming with me, cheering me on, lending me his spirit energy to get this baby out of me.
It was about this pint that the doctor had instructed me to stop pushing and to start breathing like I was blowing out candles–my son’s umbilical cord had wrapped once around his neck, and it needed to be cut. I panted desperately, defying my body’s overwhelming desire to finish what it had started, waiting for the doctor to free my baby’s airway so that I could get him out. Finally once my baby was safe, he gave me the go ahead to continue.
After one more push, the doctor plopped my little slimy, purple baby onto my chest. I stared at him a moment as I caught my breath. I could hear the room coo in unison.
Neither I nor my baby cried right when he was born. Instead we just looked at each other. He blinked a few times and looked right in the eyes, his little, dark blue eyes searching mine, trying to make sense of what he had just been through, make sense of who I was, who this new being was that he had only known from the inside for so long.
I caught my breath, which had been taken away both from the physical feat I had just accomplished and from the miraculous sight of my newborn and smiled. All I could say for the longest time was, “Hi, baby…”
The nurses had been rubbing his back down with a towel this whole time (I hadn’t noticed a second nurse had come to assist). “Cry baby, cry,” they had been saying. I looked at them, “Is he okay?” I as
“Yes, he’s great!” they assured me. And after a few more seconds of rubbing, I heard my son’s voice for the first time as he cried out, and I pulled him awkwardly into my chest, trying to figure out how to hold him. My husband leaned over, tears in his eyes, and kissed me and thanked me.
On August 12th 2017 at 9:26pm, my world changed for the better, and I truly fell in love at first sight. To this day, I still can’t get over the amazing thing that had happened to me. I look at him and still can’t believe I made him, and brought him into this world. I had been so afraid of motherhood, but my birth experience has brought to light to me how much strength I really have, and how much I am capable of.
Of course, every labor and birth is different, and I might not have the same luck next time, but regardless, I will always look back on this experience feeling empowered. Whenever I feel discouraged, I just need to remember that if I could do all that, I can do anything.
Labor and Birth Hax
Before LaborKegels Kegels Kegels! After I had my son, I ended up having a second-degree tear perineal tear, which is more or less normal. However, some moms can get tore up from the floor up if they have a weak pelvic floor game. I did a lot of kegels towards the end of the third trimester, along with squatting every time I had to pick something up from the floor (which is pretty much the only way to do such a task while balancing a medicine ball in your midsection, anyhow), and I feel this helped prevent me from tearing even worse, along with pushing until my son crowned while squatting.
Date Yourself! I had serendipitously stumbled across a study done on eating dates in late pregnancy and how it can actually help make labor easier. The study mentioned eating six dates a day from 36 weeks gestation on can actually help labor come on spontaneously (I heard that induction sucks balls), help avoid the need for Pitocin (which I heard sucks balls), and even help bring about a shorter first phase of labor (mine was pretty short, all things considered–about 18 hours if I had to put a time to it). I can’t say for sure if my choking down these nasty fruits every day for 4 or so weeks was what did the trick, but I’m not totally unconvinced. If nothing else, dates are high in fiber which do wonders for pregnancy constipation, and in folate, potassium, and magnesium, so incorporating them into your diet certainly can’t hurt!
You Better Work, Bih! Get those steps in! Being active will help build your stamina, and you’re going to need a lot of it when push comes to shove (pun not intended…okay maybe a little). Plus, the more you move once early labor starts, it will help get the baby into position easier and quicker than just bed-laboring will. I revisited some of the moves from the video I linked earlier while I was laboring at home and I personally feel they were pretty helpful in easing pain and getting my son into position. Here are some links with tips on Laboring Positions, Back Labor (I wish I had thought to try some of these…Counter Pressure helped me with my back labor for a while, though), and Birthing Positions that might be helpful. These all coming from my more “crunchy” side of Scrunchy lol but if at first you don’t succeed, epidural if in need! Whatever helps you get to the finish line is fine!
Mass Text! Start a draft of your labor announcement in your phone’s notes and have your baby daddy/labor coach start a group of everyone you want in the know so you can spread the word when the time is right. If there’s someone else you want in the room with you, maybe have a code-word you can text them or set up a special ringtone if possible so they can get to you at a moment’s notice and as discreet as possible if you’re trying to keep it to just an audience of a select few.
Let me take a Selfie! Take some fun labor pics! It might help your mood and help you deal with the pain a little better. I wish I had taken some labor photos of myself and my husband, I feel like they could have been fun memories. It also would have been a fun way to pass time at home and at the hospital. #inlabor #babytime #blessed
Hair Done, Nails Done, Everything Did! While you’re still able to stand, do your hair and makeup, or have your bff, sister, or mom do it, so you can feel your fiercest in the delivery room. Some people might think it’s vain, but honestly, whatever makes you feel confident! Your makeup and hair will get messed up in the heat of battle, I promise you, but if you have your birth coach keep a few makeup remover wipes on hand, you can quickly wipe away any smudges and be photo-confident (you’d be photo-ready either way, you amazing miracle-maker, you! But I know how it is) for your first family photo. #igavebirthlikethis
Chapstick is Everything! Apply chapstick like it’s your job! All that breathing and screaming will dry your lips out. I had the worst case of yuck-mouth and rip-lips from all of my panting, and a simple tube of chapstick would have helped me feel so much less self conscious. Some moist towelettes would also have come in handy to help wipe the corners of my mouth, which were developing crud from, again, all of the breathing dry hospital air. I recommend having your birth team keep a few of these on standby
Food and Water! You most likely won’t want to, but definitely eat something to give yourself strength for labor! You might throw it up, as some women get nauseous from pain or from the physical strain of pushing, but not eating won’t do you any favors. Try eating something light and healthy like some fruit to keep your energy up. Also, d r i n k w a t e r because you will get a dry mouth as I had mentioned before, and you’ll be sweating and losing a lot of fluid. Have your birth team bring some water bottles with straws so they can help you take a few sips between contratctions, or go the classic ice chips route. Anything to get your fluids!
Follow your Doctor’s and Nurse’s Lead! Hopefully you get the boss team that I did! People who are kind, professional, reassuring, non-judgemental, cool-and-collected, and know what they’re doing. If you get a team you can trust, follow their lead, and let your birth team coach you through every step of the way. Don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions, and speak up if you need something!
Use your Voice! That being said, if you feel something is wrong, don’t hesitate to let your medical team know! Even if they dismiss it, if your han-solo inkling (I got a bad feeling about this), let them know! They are there for you. They may be doctors, but mama knows best, so if you want them to do something or look into something, make sure they do it! This has saved mamas before. Sure, it could be nothing, and ideally it would be, but always, always, always air on the side of caution
Bust your Give-A-Damn! There’s no way around it–childbirth is messy business. Don’t be fooled by those picture-perfect Facebook and Instagram birth announcements with glowed-up instamodel mamas looking like glowing queens with their pink little bundles–that’s the magic of filters and makeup. What I mean is, don’t feel self-conscious about the way you look or sound when you’re contracting and/or pushing or at any point in your labor and birth. If you need to yell for any reason, yell! If you need to get into a certain awkward position, do it! I promise you, your medical team will not care! They’ve literally heard and seen it all (my nurse told me she’s been bitten before…yikes)! And if you’re worried about what someone in your birth team will think of you…maybe you should consider their position, because you’re going to be going through something dramatic, so if you need to be extra, you do you! Anything that will help the process be a little easier on you.
God bless you if you read that whole thing. I hope that my labor and delivery story helped give you some encouragement if you’re preparing for your own labor and delivery journey. Remember, you got this!
Some Momhood hax, DIY’s, and more coming your way! Tune in next time for my Post-Partum Story. “You don’t know the power of the dark side…“
(New Here? Read Episode IV and Episode V if you’d like some first and second trimester stories. Or not, it’s all good!)
The Saga Continues…
As I continued to run out of womb, my stomach and other internal organs continued to be compacted by my growing baby. This led to a long stint of an overstuffed, nauesous feeling every time I ate, and I wanted to eat all the time. The struggle was real.
Speaking of struggle, it’s a common joke/fact that heavily pregnant women struggle to get up and move. While this was true in the case of getting off of our futon-couch (although it’s hard for any nonpregnant person to get off of, to be fair), and in my turtle-on-her-back wobble out of bed every hour to pee at night, for the most part I was able to move about freely. I was still able to go out for walks and enjoy the summer, although not too far into my third trimester it had to be an outlet or some other facility with a restroom every several yards.
It was around my 7th month gestation when people were finally able to tell without any doubt that I was, indeed, with child. I pushed my belly band to the limit, and it was time to try out my maternity shorts I had purchased from Mother and Child Consignment a few months prior. The pair I have pictured in my second trimester blog fit for all of a week, and then it was yoga cutoffs and the one other denim pair of maternity shorts the rest of the summer.
At 29 weeks, I had gone in for my glucose tolerance test. I was given a small bottle of syrupy, orange liquid to shoot down my gullet right before having my blood drawn to test for gestational diabetes. Luckily, thanks to my party animal past, chugging vials of questionable-tasting mixtures was a skill I’d honed, so knocking back the sundex was a breeze. It actually wasn’t half bad–like an orange hug barrel with notes of melted creamsicle, in my opinion.
About a week later, I got a call from my OB GYN office letting me know that my results came back a little iffy, and so I would need to do a three hour panel–meaning that I would have to get four blood tests in three hours, and drink a different version of the sundex fluid. I immediately tried getting myself mentally prepared for the worst, assuming I had gestational diabetes. The nurse I spoke with instructed me to follow a diet heavy with carbs (oh no, so awful *crylaughemoji*), and a serving of cake and soda per day to challenge the way my body metabolized sugar. She mailed me a list of foods including bagels, potatoes, etc. For the last day at the office and that weekend, I’d be living la vida high-carb
On my first day as a stay-at-home-mom-to-be, I sat in the waiting room of my Baby Doctor’s for my three-hour, reading the book, “Fuck it–Do what you Love,” which would be my theme for the rest of my pregnancy and beyond. It wasn’t easy leaving the office, and I still had my reservations on being “just” a SAHM, but in my heart I knew that was what I wanted to do, that was what I was beginning to love, and so I read up and had what must have been a gallon of blood drawn from my left arm.
Around the third trimester, I began to develop some severe insomnia, laying awake until nearly 3am almost every morning. Insomnia is normal in the third trimester, or so I’ve read, and honestly it kind of prepares you for the sleep (or lack thereof) you’re going to be getting with a new baby. But in addition to this condition, I also began battling some dark and scary thoughts and moods…I’ll detail that more in a future post.
But my last few months of pregnancy were not all bleak! I felt pretty well, all things considered. My baby shower, thrown by one of my best friends who goes by the alias, Ryuu (She’s also a bit of a writer, and an awesome artist! Check her out here! )threw me a Retro Gaming/Arcade baby shower in our hometown. Just about all of my closest friends were in attendance, as well as my closest family members. I had a coed baby shower, as I didn’t believe in excluding my male friends and relatives from the celebration of my baby, and they all had a blast.
My shower was a gender reveal, and at the end we put everyone’s need-to-know to rest by filling a green balloon “monster” with blue confetti, and inflate it a la dig-dug until it popped. Once the mini-explosion sounded, blue shreds of metallic paper shaped like carriages and baby bottles fluttered through the air to collective applause and, I-knew-it’s, all livestreamed by my other best friend for faraway family and friends to see. Everything went beautifully and perfectly, and I’ll never forget that day.
Pump, pump, pump it up!
It’s a Boy!
The game we based our reveal on
We got so many wonderful gifts for our son that day, and I could really feel the love in the room. That was the best thing about that day, to me, to be able to have all of my loved ones there to celebrate their new grandson/nephew(biological or otherwise)/cousin, etc. For the first time in a while, I felt peace and happiness.
I had a couple of needed beach trips with my other other best friend (yes I have three best friends), cyanidekisses (Another awesome writer on this site! If you’re a gypsy hearted millennial who’s trying to figure it all out, check her out!) One to the lake and the other to York Beach. This is where I got my maternity shoot(s) done:
The rest of my third trimester was relatively restful. I built my son’s crib, changing table, and bassinet with my husband, got the apartment as ready as possible for his arrival, and went about my daily duties as usual. I still ran errands and did chores, including taking out the trash, and went for walks as often as possible, even going out of my way to park at the farthest parking space in the middle of an August day for the sake of getting more steps, and putting away other people’s abandoned shopping carts. Needless to say, I got several weird looks and a few raised eyebrows from onlookers.
I remember having really bad lightening crotch the day before my 39 week appointment. I had considered walking around the mall, where I was in search of going-away cards for a party I would be attending that day, but as soon as I felt the surge of pain run through my pelvis, I figured, “maybe not,” and tried to make my way back to my car, having to stop every few feet as waves of daggers ran their way into my pubic bone. I tried to play it cool so that people wouldn’t start to flock to me, as I was all alone, so I’d stop and check my phone, digging my nails into the clutch I’d bought for my baby shower as I was walking through the nagging discomfort.
The next day I went through the motions of my 39 week appointment. As I was checking out, the receptionist said, “Now, if you have your baby before your 40 week appointment, don’t worry about calling us! The hospital will let us know and we’ll take care of it.”
I smiled wryly, and took the card she handed me. I told her I would see her next week.
But the thing is, I would not. But I’ll tell you all about that next time!
Third Trimester Hax
Gettin’ those Steps This really helped work out any discomfort I’d had, up until a point. For me, stretching my legs and squatting to pick things up gave me some strength to get through the last leg of the journey. I can’t promise moving will provide the same level of comfort for everyone, as everyone’s pregnancy is different, but it made a difference for me.
Hubbie’s Tees In addition to my yoga and sweat shorts, my husband’s shirts became a part of my third trimester esthetic (and I’ve carried it over to my fourth trimester into now). I was able to make it work so they sort of looked like my own shirts. But regardless of how they looked, towards the end, they were all the fit (comfortably), and guys’ shirts are so much more comfortable! I highly recommend raiding your baby daddy’s closet if you’re close to the edge!
You put the Lemon in the H2O this helped me digest the little amounts of food I could fit in my squished stomach, and made me feel cleansed and refreshed in the summertime.
Can we have class outside? My husband and I took a labor and delivery prep course and I took an infant care and breastfeeding course (my husband was unavailable, so I got him up to speed). I felt the labor class armed me with coping skills I’d not learned anywhere else, and the breastfeeding class gave good insight into what realistically to look forward to. Both classes helped to ease my worried mind, even just a little bit, going into this adventure.
Tea Time! I drank this Third Trimester Tea every night from 37 weeks on, and it helped to ease my insomnia somewhat and helped me to feel relaxed. It also tasted great! Always check with your doctor before taking anything with herbs, though!
What I wish I did Differently
Lemme (not) Take a Selfie! I felt sooo self conscious in my third trimester, so I held back during my pictures. And it shows. I wish I had let my blinders down and just embraced it, the pictures would have looked so much better.
Hello Darkness, my Old Frenemy… bottling my struggles did not do good for me. I feel if I had let people in about what was going on with me, my PPD wouldn’t have been as bad. But more on that later.
Namaste (in bed) there are many labor and birth prep videos available, and I wish I did more of these. I did one video the actual day I wound up starting labor that I think may have done the trick! I can’t promise anything, but I feel like there is something to birth prep yoga! More on that next time, though!
Rings Off! My Gals, d e f i n i t e l y be sure to take off your engagement/wedding/promise/for fun rings off, probably at the end of the second trimester!! I wanted to keep my engagement and wedding rings on for my baby shower, but having retained water and other fluids being heavily pregnant, and it being the middle of the summer, my rings ended up s t u c k to my finger and I had to get them cut off!! Take it from me, going a few months without your rings beats paying a couple of hundo to have them cut and fused again…
Mistakes were made! Don’t let this be you!
So that is my third trimester! Tune in next time to hear my labor and delivery story!
Thanks, my gals! Talk soon!