The “Boy-Or-Girl Blues,” How I Got Over My Gender Disappointment

When we first talked about having another baby so soon after our first, somehow I had gotten it into my head that the next one would be a little girl. 👧👗💅🎀💖👑

So convinced was I of this that I had even purchased (from consignment, of course) some girl clothes I had come across and couldn’t resist and had begun saving girly items for a possible sprinkle I’d have for her. I’d even had her name picked out (She was going to be named after someone very, very special💖). I had even made a Pinterest Board with her name containing the matching outfits we’d wear and hairstyles I could attempt on her. 👗💄👠👝💇💅🥰

Almost all of my pregnancy symptoms were even “indicative” of a girl–wicked morning sickness, 🤢🤮 carrying high, 🤰massive breakouts, 🌋😬 etc. I even found myself instinctively calling the baby “she” and “her” in the early weeks. Friends and family were even convinced of it. I was so happy.

But then at my 19 week scan, the ultrasound tech said those three words…

👦🔵”It’s a boy.” She stated, almost too matter-of-fact-ly.

My heart sunk. 💔💔💔 I must have asked the technician, much to her annoyance, three times if she was sure, and to each question she would reply with a cold “Yes.” I can remember watching her type “Boy” over the anatomy in slow, deliberate keystrokes.

I still hate to admit it, but I cried. I hadn’t cried much this pregnancy, but I did that day, on the examination table. I was devastated. 💔💔💔

I know that sounds terrible. After all, he was perfect! Healthy, measuring on time, no concerns 🙌🙏 …but I couldn’t bring myself to be happy.

I cried and cried all that weekend. I was inconsolable. I couldn’t get out of bed. My melancholy continued into that next week, as all I could think of was that I wasn’t getting the little girl I had dreamed of this whole year.

I had begun to suspect that I’d been having issues with prenatal depression leading up to this, too, so I know that’s also a big part of what was making this such a big deal. I stopped eating right when my birthday and anniversary came and went that month, and really let myself go when I found out the gender. I’m paying for that now. 😓😓

💻⌨💬I ended up reading and posting on a lot of forums regarding Gender Disappointment and learned that what I was going through wasn’t completely abnormal. It turns out what I had done was created this person in my head and my heart, and had made her “real.” I hadn’t prepared myself for the very real possibility that this baby would be a “he.” I had gone into this pregnancy believing that I was coming out of it with “my” girl, but this wasn’t going to happen. 🤷‍♀️😞

💯God had other plans💯

It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with all of this. Truthfully, more than three months later, I still struggle a tiny bit. I still see pictures of my niece and my friends’ little girls and I feel a twinge of sadness and jealousy. And sometimes I lay awake worrying that it will never happen for me…

💔How I Got Over It💙

One thing I’ve learned from all of this is that I can plan for something all I want, but God’s plan is better, and it will always prevail. 💯 And if you don’t believe that, then maybe look at it this way: everything in life, good and bad, happens for a reason. If you’re going through a hard time right now, it’s going to make you stronger, 💪 and it’s going to lead you to where you need to be.

That’s what this is for me.

Finding out my baby was a boy was what led me to Perinatal counseling. 📒🧠😌 I had been debating going before, but didn’t want to take the time and have to have another thing that I’d need babysitting for. But when I went through my gender disappointment, I finally made an appointment, and I’ve been working through some other things that are actually really helping in other aspects of my life. 🙌😁

It was really hard for me to look on the bright side at first, as everyone was trying to help me with. But I knew that I had to get through it, so I made a physical list of all the good. In doing so I’ve been able to  see that while it might still be a little devastating for me, there’s really so much to be happy about. ♥♥♥

  • First, I have a healthy baby, that’s plenty to be thankful for. 👶👣🙏
  • Second, Vinny will still have a little sibling close in age, which comes with all of the benefits I listed in a previous post. 👦💙👶
  • Next, it’s another boy, so my husband gets more chances to have his family name passed down in a traditional sense (almost all of his cousins are female, or have a different last name, and he his only sibling is my sister-in-law, so the family name depends on my husband and two of his significantly younger boy cousins), which I know is important to him. 😌💗
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💚Our Second Baby💚
  • Furthermore, as Vinny is named after my husband’s father and grandfather, Michael (Mikey) is named after my father and shares my grandfather’s name. Plus, Vinny was even born in the same month as my FIL and Mikey is due the same month as my Dad’s birthday! Talk about serendipity 💕💞
  • Finally, he’s my baby. 🤰🤱👶🥰 He’s part of me and the love of my life. If that’s not a reason to be happy, I don’t know what else is.

So maybe I didn’t get my way this time. And who knows what we’ll get in the future? But God willing, someday soon I’ll be able to throw that “Girl Power Superhero Sprinkle” I had already planned in my head, and my little girl will have two super brothers to look out for her and show her how to be her own hero. 🦸‍♂️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♂️🙏😂💖


I had also bought Mikey his own coming home outfit to help make me feel better. I try not to make retail therapy a habit as I have in the past, but it did help a little looking through Etsy at all of the creative, personalized newborn outfits and coming across this little gem. 😍😍

Now Mikey has something of his own aside from his brother’s hand-me-downs. 😊😊 90 percent of his wardrobe is going to be passed down from Vinny. 😂👕👖🤷‍♀️

And honestly, I can’t wait to see him in it. And I can’t wait to welcome him into our family. 💗👨‍👩‍👦‍👦🥰


Have you or someone you know experienced gender disappointment? How did you overcome it? Any other tips for readers? Post them in the comments!

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😍🥰😘 Stay tuned and I’ll tell you about how spending less time with my son makes me a better Mom. 😅👩‍👦💓

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Our Growing Family: Twice The Chaos, Double The Love

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Holy 2 under 2, Batman! 😱😱

Yes, as of writing this blog, I am 27 weeks pregnant with baby number 2! 🤰👶2️⃣

Yes, as of writing this blog, my first is barely 1 year and 3 months old. 👶👣

Yes, at the time of my second child’s birth, my first son will barely be a year and a half old. 👶👶

Yes, we (sort of) planned it this way. 🤷‍♀️

Yes, I know I’m crazy. 😝🤪

In all seriousness, as scared as I am of the prospect of being a SAHM to 2 under 2, at the same time, I’m happy. 🥰🥰🥰

When I was younger, I always thought that when I had children they would be spaced 2 to even 3 years apart. I thought this for a few reasons. One, to give myself a break in between, 😅 two, to have one potty trained by the time the next came along, 💩 and three, so that I would have enough “time” with each baby before the next one. 🤱👩‍👦💞

But when I got together with my husband, he had expressed wanting multiple children close together, as close together as actual Irish Twins…😳😨😱 Who’s the crazy one now? 😂

And while in my childfree days I thought this would be absolute lunacy, once we had our first baby, I got to rethinking. 🤔

Having two younger brothers, I feel that having siblings made us all better people in certain ways. We had to share, overcome fights, and look out for each other. And while things might have been rough in our early years, as we all got a little older, we all became each others’ close friends in different ways. 👫👬 And since we’re spaced about 2 years apart, I feel that the closer together my kids are, the closer they will be. 💕💕

Here’s hoping! 🙏🙏 I know I don’t know the future, but the more people I’ve talked to and met that have already had children in close succession, the more I heard that while it was rough at first, after a while it was the best thing that could have happened to their family. 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

More often than not, I heard stories of siblings becoming best friends, playing with the same toys (cutting down on the “need” for more toys) and even going to school in almost the same grade so they could help each other through schoolwork and social woes. 📚💬

And the way I see it, having a sibling so close will help make Vinny more compassionate. 😌🤗 Since he’ll be so young when the next one comes along, having a sibling will be more of a way of life for him so he’ll be used to the concept of sharing and being kind. I’m hoping it will help shape him into a kind, compassionate soul. We’ll see when the next one comes along! 🙏🙏

But every family is different! Wether you have Irish Twins or a 10 year old with your next on the way, your family is perfect. God gives us what we need. 💕💞💗

So yeah, that’s about it! Later on I might have a post on how this pregnancy has been sooo different than the first. And in a not too distant future post, I’m going to touch on something a little heavy, which will explain why this announcement is so late! 😅

In the meantime, here’s some bump pictures I’ve taken to bring you up to speed. 😘



Thanks so much for reading, my gals! Next time I’ll let you know how I made my eldest’s first birthday special on a budget! 1️⃣🥳🧁🎉🎁

I made Labor and Delivery My Bitch

((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)

Early Labor

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The day of my 39 week appt, if I remember right

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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.

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The clawmarks in my clutch from lightening crotch pains.

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.

Love_Cheesecake_Future 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.

people-of-earth-lend-me-your-energy
We would get plenty of texts from close friends and family lending their energy for a healthy and safe delivery

⌛️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.

Active Labor

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.

Transition

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).

The Birth

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.

showyoutheworld2
iF yOu WoUlD jUsT cOmE oUt PlZ

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
from screaming.

“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.

maibaby 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!
During Labor/Birth
  • 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…

Episode VI: Return of the Nausea (The 3rd Trimester)

(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.

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Cheers, m8!

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

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The meme I made and insta’d to share my plight

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.

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Another meme I put together to express my dilemma

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.


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.

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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…

So that is my third trimester! Tune in next time to hear my labor and delivery story!
Thanks, my gals! Talk soon!