After G’s Birth

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So, I have to start by apologizing. I have been waiting until my computer is fixed to blog, but, um, that’s not going to happen. It’s on the fritz. I’m going to try to blog from my iPod. We’ll see how well this goes.

My last post left off right after I had Graham.

He didn’t immediately latch on in the hospital. I put him to the breast moments after he was born, as soon as I could really. I had to wait until his cord was cut, since I could only get him up on to my belly.

Anyway, to my disappointment, he didn’t immediately latch. I guess I had expected him to. I did everything I had read to do- a natural birth, skin to skin, right to the breast. He wasn’t washed or touched by anyone else. I had read so many stories about natural births and babies latching seconds later. I put him to my breast, stroked his cheek and chin with my hand, then my nipple. He opened his mouth a bit so I tried. And…nothing. He didn’t latch. So I kept trying. For almost an hour. He wasn’t pulling away. He just wasn’t interested.

I gathered myself and finally let them wipe him down quickly and administer his medications. I felt a bit sad, but told myself that he might not be hungry right now and that’s okay. We can try again. We will get it.

I got up (by myself) and started to walk to the bathroom. I figured I should pee and take a shower. Well, OH BOY, was I wrong. Blood started pouring out of me. All over the floor. Whoops.

Nothing was wrong- just messy! I should have been resting, but, just like after Lily’s birth, I felt gross sitting on one of those hospital pads in my own blood. It’s fine right after, but after an hour or so it gets a bit uncomfortable. I wanted to get cleaned up.

I appreciated the privacy the nurses gave us. They practically disappeared. However, I wasn’t okay with sitting on a wet pad. No thanks.

I felt fine so I figured I could move as I pleased. The poor nurse ran in and helped me to the toilet. She called another nurse in to help clean up my 25 foot blood trail. Sorry!

I made an awful lot of messes that day.

I felt as though I should have peed, but I didn’t actually feel the need to. My bladder was still pretty shocked, I guess. I’m sure there’s a technical term for it. It just was numb and wasn’t working. So I took a quick shower, rinsing myself off.

I got dressed into my clothes and say on my bed. We waited to be moved to our post-partum room. Matt called his mom and she brought up Lily.

She was so excited!
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A nurse finally brought in a wheelchair. I felt fine and wanted to walk to my new room, but you know, hospital policies and such. I totally get how important it is for a mother to rest right after birth, but I think walking a bit would have been good. There’s no reason to limit a mother to no activity. Just light activity.

Anyway.

I walked myself to the little kitchen across the hall like ten times that night. They had delicious snacks in there. Juice and milk and coffee. Subs and sandwiches and wraps. And COOKIES. Delicious giant cookies.

I actually walked in on my midwife getting some coffee and she started laughing at me. She couldn’t believe I was up, walking around, all chipper and awake. I felt great.

As for breastfeeding, we kept trying. I offered my breast over and over. Any time he seemed to stir or showed any sign of hunger, I’d offer. I’d put him to my breast and he just wouldn’t latch. It was almost like I couldn’t get my breast deep enough into his mouth to stimulate his sucking reflex. He would suck on my pinky. I did every hold I could think of. I ‘sandwiched’ my breast. I stimulated my nipples. I expressed a bit. It didn’t matter!

I saw the lactation consultant. She looked at him and said he was fine- no tongue tie. She looked at me- normal anatomy. She watched my positioning. She watched me offering my breast. She said we were doing it perfectly. She told me a bunch of kind, supportive things. But he still didn’t latch. She said to keep trying and she would visit us again before we left. She never did. We even stayed the whole two days, just so I could make sure all was well. I had a nurse page her, too, but never saw he again :(

A very kind nurse did, however, visit us often. I’m not sure what her name is. She had a strong accent- Russian maybe? She was so kind. She stayed in my room for an hour the first night, trying to coax Graham into nursing. She said she had just returned to work a couple of months ago and was nursing her four month old. She brought in some sugar water to sprinkle on my nipple. We got Graham to latch once, for a few seconds. I felt hopeful.

Another nurse came in a few hours later and told me if he wasn’t nursing then I needed to give him that sugar water in a bottle. To keep his blood sugar up. Hah. I was prepared for that one.

Graham was giving the right amount of wet diapers, so no one was worried and no one was hassling me.

At one point I started expressing into his mouth. I was so frustrated and just wanted him to eat. Well he LOVED that. I think that set us back a bit.

Matt stayed home with Lily. He didn’t need to. My MIL offered to stay with her. I had asked him to. I felt that was best. They were only 2 minutes away. I had a really hard time with that though. I barely slept the entire time I was in the hospital. Graham would only sleep on me and the nurses told me over and over that I was not allowed to co-sleep with him in my bed. So I’d fall asleep, sitting up, holding him. Any time a nurse would come in I’d open my eyes. I was sneaky.

Stupid hospital policies.

When the nurse took him for his hearing test, I bawled my eyes out. I should have went with them. I heard him crying. It was awful.

Sunday morning, right before we were discharged, a nurse came in and started to wheel him away, saying “I’m taking him for his circumcision!”

I got up and grabbed him. Oh no you’re not, you crazy dumb nurse. She didn’t even check his name or ask me. What the hell.

We were discharged later. He still had not breastfed.

We got home and I cried. And cried. And cried. For hours. My hormones were so wacky and I was so tired. My milk was starting to come in. He still wasn’t nursing. He was hungry.

I felt like a failure. Again.

I cried and pumped. I froze the milk. I cried in Matt’s lap, asking him what I should do. I wanted to give Graham pumped milk, but I knew I shouldn’t.

Matt was getting ready to leave for training in a few days. He would be gone for 2 weeks. I was a mess. He reassured me and told me I could do it. He told me to keep trying. He supported me. I am SO incredibly thankful for his support.

After a very long night and a rough morning, I begged my Instagram friends for help. The support was overwhelming. I’m not 100% sure, but I think it was my friend, Chancee (hi!), who first recommended a nipple shield. I looked it up. It looked promising. I sent Matt out at 10PM to buy this.

I put it on and tried nursing Graham, and just like that, he had it. It was amazing. I was in tears. Milk was flowing and he was gulping and we were okay. We were breastfeeding!

Graham slept so well. He seemed to perk up. He was happy!

That shield saved us. My nipples were small and weren’t reaching far enough into his mouth, I guess. The shield helped pull them out and get them where they needed to be in his mouth so he could nurse.

Graham has upper and lower lip ties, and an extremely high palate. They may or may not have caused our nursing problems.

We weaned from the shield a week later. He latch wasn’t the best and I had sore nipples for a month or so. I had blisters, blebs, and awful vasospasms. I leaked everywhere! His latch finally improved and now we nurse pain-free.

The rest is history! Graham is 8 months old and weighs 24 pounds. He’s been exclusively breastfed!

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I am so proud of us. I’m so thankful I got the birth I wanted. I’m relieved we are able to breastfeed. It was challenging, to say the least, but we did it. Together.

G’s Birth- Part II

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G’s Birth- Part II

I’ve decided that I’m going to break up G’s birth story into three parts: early labor, active labor, and afterward. I’ll try not to ramble :) Also, I will use cuss words. And I will be graphic. If you’ve never had a baby and are hoping for a natural birth, I don’t recommend you read this. I will be honest.

Matt and I arrived at the hospital at 2PM. We parked in the parking garage and I wanted to walk up the stairs, but Matt coaxed me into the elevator. I was practically skipping to the entrance. I was full of adrenaline and was in a positive mood. My contractions were starting to get stronger- I could still walk and talk through them, but they were uncomfortable. We got to the admissions desk and I handed over my paperwork, thinking I’d be sent right up to L&D. Nope. The lady must have thought I was still in early labor, because she made no effort to hurry. She was chatting with the other ladies there and was joking around with me. Three contractions later, a nurse came down with a wheelchair for me, which I declined. I walked my butt to the elevator and then all the way to my room. I walked by the nurses station on the way and passed my midwife, Carolyn, who was smiling at me and shaking her head. Who needs a wheelchair? Not this girl.

My room was a room I was familiar with- I had been there many times before. It was the same room a few of my sisters delivered their children in, and one of my friends also had been in there. I saw my first birth in that room when I was 12. It has paw prints on the ceiling :) I felt comfortable immediately.

There were a few things I had specifically asked for in my ‘birth plan’. One of those being intermittent monitoring, and another being IV-free. I got both, but Carolyn asked if I would at least allow them to monitor me on the machine for twenty minutes, as per hospital policy. She asked if I would allow an saline lock, too. I was fine with both. (You can read about why both are unnecessary here and here) So, I had to get on the bed and get my gown on, get all hooked up, and poked. While I was doing that a nurse was sitting by my bedside with a full desktop computer on wheels, asking me questions and entering information. This pissed me off- why they feel like they need to get information like this while a woman is in active labor is beyond me. They did it while I was laboring with Lily too. I get that they need your medical information, but your OB or midwife can easily just fax over that kind of stuff.

A half an hour later, by 2:45PM, I was miserable and ready to get out of bed. While that nurse was asking me all those questions, my contractions were getting exponentially stronger. Like, they went from being totally tolerable to pretty uncomfortable. I had started moaning at that point and turn over on to my side. We’d talk, then we’d stop and I’d contract. I was having what we called ‘after-shocks’. I’d have a very strong contraction, then a minute later I’d have another weaker one. Three minutes later I’d be back having another strong one. I was mad that I was on my back and was looking forward to the jacuzzi tub.

Now let me stop and say right now– I think that my contraction intensifying right when I got to the hospital was not a coincidence. I think that I knew it was my ‘safe zone’ and that I let go once I got there. I don’t think I was mentally holding on to anything, but my body knew where was safe. Ina May Gaskin talks a bit about how your cervix is a sphincter in her book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” and it really hit me then that she was right. I think all of my uterus relaxed and started doing it’s job much more efficiently. I think my cervix relaxed and started letting the baby drop.

It was time, and my body knew it.

I finally made my way to the tub. I had a contraction on the way there and was bent over the sink while the nurse filled my tub. Once it was time to get it I just handed my gown to the nurse. It didn’t even occur to me then that I was completely naked in front of a stranger. Matt’s eyes bugged out. I brought a swim suit and shorts for the jacuzzi! I definitely hadn’t planned on being naked. I’m a more private person, but at that point, I really didn’t care. I was more focused on getting into the tub before another contraction happened.

It’s funny how you enter a sort of ‘labor mode’. I really didn’t care what was happening around me.

Matt pulled up a chair next to the tub and brought over his PlayStation Vita. He turned on some Tosh.0 hoping it would help distract me, but it ended up annoying me more than anything. He kept trying to talk to me and I kept asking him to be quiet. I wish I had been nicer than I was! He didn’t care though.

I turned on the jets in the tub and turned them off right away. I hated the extra stimulation. I really just wanted to be left alone. The lights were turned off in the bathroom. I didn’t know then, but we were completely alone. Carolyn had told the nurses that I had asked to labor as privately as possible.
My contractions amped up in the tub. I started moaning much louder. I felt like I had no choice in the matter! Once they began I instinctively closed my eyes and started a low yell. It was a low “ahhhhhh!” Not high pitch at all. I remembered Ina May Gaskin saying something about an open mouth will help an open bottom- as in, your cervix will mirror your facial expressions. Well, my mouth was very open. So!

I’m not sure exactly what time I got out of the tub. Maybe 3:45? I remember feeling the baby moving down and getting a bit scared. I was fine with having the baby in the water. I didn’t want the baby being born without the midwife there, though. Having an unassisted birth scared me. I remember I reached in to feel if I could feel his head. I couldn’t. Whew. But after a few more contractions, I knew he was making his way down, so I told Matt I needed to get out of the tub NOW.

A few contractions in the bathroom out of the tub. Matt helped wrap me in a towel. I slowly made my way back to the bed. It was only twenty feet away, but man, it felt like a mile. I had a contraction before I could get onto the bed and flopped myself over. I was yelling pretty loudly at this point. Matt knew I didn’t want him touching me, so he sat down in the chair by the bed. He said something like, “I read about this. This is transition. You’re going to get a break soon. It’s going to stop and you’re going to cry and get a break.” Um, no. I snarled something mean at him. I was past that point. Transition was probably while I was walking my pregnant butt to my room.

My nurse came in and started putting counter-pressure on my back. I snapped at her to not touch me- sorry! It didn’t help at all. She was an unwelcome distraction. She asked (told) me to get into the bed so she could check the baby’s heartbeat. I told her I couldn’t! I really didn’t think I could. I didn’t want to move.

I remember yelling “I can’t move. The baby is coming!” I’m sure I sounded like an idiot. Obviously the baby is coming…it’s hard to explain this part to anyone who hasn’t had a baby. Of course the baby is coming, but it doesn’t really HIT you until a baby is IN YOUR VAGINA. Like, HELLO. THERE’S A BABY COMING OUT OF ME. Yes. It freaked me out feeling pressure. When I started yelling that at her I remember a flood of nurses and my midwife. I crawled into my bed and onto my back. I was naked, again, but didn’t care. I’m fairly sure someone threw my gown back over me, but it was barely on. I had a contraction and rolled onto my side, just like I had been when I had first arrived. I would grab the bedrail and bury my head down, yelling.

I kept my eyes closed for a good majority of the time. I remember seeing a bunch of medical equipment rolling in. A nurse asked to check me and I reluctantly agreed. She said I was ready but had an anterior lip. Hah. I’ve heard stories of women pushing with a lip and causing problems, but there was NO WAY things weren’t going to keep going. I could not hold this baby in. He was coming out and I had nothing to do with it.

The contractions felt lower and lower each time. Much more pressure. I felt like my pubic bone might break from all the pressure. At this point, I’ll admit, I lost my shit. Seriously. My contractions kept coming and I was not ready for them. I kept thinking, NOT ANOTHER ONE! NOT YET! Yeah, your body doesn’t wait until you’re ready.

I have no idea how fast they were really coming, but they felt like they were back to back. Matt tried to touch me at one point and I slapped his hand away- sorry! He started offering my ice water then. It was awesome- thanks Matt! Sweat was pouring off me.

The nurse plopped the doppler on my belly and I slapped it off. She put it back on and got a quick read. Seconds later Graham kicked me. It felt like it was below my belly button. I said, “THE LITTLE MONSTER IS KICKING ME!” Hah. I didn’t like the contractions either, little dude.

So, back to how I lost my shit. I started screaming. Not screeching. But instead of long low moans and yells, I started quick, higher pitched yells. Like “AHHH AHH AHH”. I started yelling “There’s a baby coming out of me!”  and asking my midwife to put me out. Yep. I was begging Carolyn. I was yelling as loud as I’ve ever yelled, ever. I thought the whole city would hear me. I thought that I would scare all the the other laboring women. I was incredibly loud. Carolyn said, “Jennifer, breathe!” I really wasn’t. I was yelling even after my contractions had ended because I was freaking out. I needed to calm down.

I opened my eyes and saw everyone smiling at me. I was so pissed off at everyone then, but now I really love that they all were smiling. They all were there for me and supported my goal for a natural birth. I feel like I was surrounded by love. I was surrounded by people who understood what was happening to be and had faith that I was alright. They knew this part would pass. I am happy they were smiling.

Carolyn never said no. She never told me to quiet down. She just smiled at me and looked at me with her motherly eyes. I love my midwife, if you couldn’t tell. I calmed down and re-centered, although I was still yelling. I had lowered my yells a bit and felt that urge to push. Well, I wouldn’t really call it an urge. I felt my body pushing him down without me. He was right there. He was nearly crowning.
Two contractions of him moving down and I was done. I literally said, “I am NOT doing this any more! He is coming out of me NOW.” I started pushing with each contraction. It felt empowering. I was growling at that point! It was a deep growl. I pushed once and felt him crowning. I never felt that ‘ring of fire’. I suppose I was distracted. What I did feel though was an incredible pressure of my pubic bone, inside. It was the strangest feeling. I felt like he was pushing on my urethra, which I suppose he was! It was a sharp burning feeling just in that one tiny spot. I was afraid he was going to break my bone and rip my clitoris off. Seriously.

So, I WAS DONE. The next contraction I pushed for as long as I could, even after it had ended. And his head popped out, just like that. I remember feeling his ears and thinking “god damn, how much more of his head can there be?” Once his head was out I felt relief- I was done! Then Carolyn said, “Jennifer, you’ve gotta push his shoulders out now, c’mon!” and I told her I didn’t know how to push. Of course she laughed at me, but it felt like my muscles just had given up. I bared down once, not during a contraction, and got his shoulders out.

*Angels sing*

He was here, finally.

Graham Levi Blake. Born at 4:24PM on July 27th, 2012.

Carolyn set him on my lower abdomen and I grabbed him and pulled him up. I scared all the nurses I guess because they didn’t know if his cord was long enough, but Carolyn reassured them it was fine. He started crying and I started kissing him and apologizing. I said, “Oh, I know, I’m so sorry, I didn’t like any of that either. Those contractions suck. I’m sorry your got squeezed. You’re okay now, we’re all done.”

Aw. He was so warm and wet and smelled awesome. With Lily, I remember wanting her washed first because I didn’t want to kiss her head and get ‘baby juice’ on me. I was so much more immature then. I LOVED kissing Graham’s wet head. I loved smelling his sweet new baby self. He quieted down not long after and I started patting his back.

We flipped him over and Matt snipped his cord. He said he almost cut his penis because the dumb nurse was holding him in a curled position. He said he would have cut the cord and caught a bit of his penis while doing it! I’m thankful he noticed and didn’t!!

I accidentally knocked my saline lock off. I wiped my hand (it was on the top of my left hand, where I wanted it) and it slide right off. I guess my sweat loosened the tape. I started spurting blood everywhere and we wrapped the blanket around my hand quick. A nurse grabbed a cotton ball and some more tape.

Carolyn asked me to push a bit to birth the placenta. I honestly couldn’t. She was tugging on the cord a bit and pulled it out. I propped myself up to see it and said “IT’S BEAUTIFUL!” Hahaha…look how crunchy I’ve become. It really was beautiful. It was huge. It was bright red. She giggled at me and took it away.

I looked to the nurse by my side and asked her if I could have something for the pain now. I felt a lot of stinging/burning pain then. And I was done being in pain :) She gave me two Tylenol a few minutes later.

Matt took some pictures then-

 

Then I took some for Instagram-

Everyone left us then, and we got to love up on our new Squish <3

G’s Birth- Part I

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I’ve decided that I’m going to break up G’s birth story into three parts: early labor, active labor, and afterward. I’ll try not to ramble :) Also, I will use cuss words. And I will be graphic. If you’ve never had a baby and are hoping for a natural birth, I don’t recommend you read this. I will be honest.

Part I- Early labor

I’ll have to start out this story the night before he was born. It was July 26th. I was achy and anxious to see him, but still fairly comfortable being 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Matt and I decided to have sex that night, not because I wanted to go into labor, but because we figured we wouldn’t get to for a long while. We did and all way fine. We went to bed.

I slept terribly that night but didn’t think much of it. I had been having Braxton Hick’s contractions 24 hours a day for over a month, so feeling uncomfortable was just something I was used to. I got up that morning and did all of my regular stuff. Breakfast, coffee and cartoons, dishes. I stopped a few times while I was washing the dishes because I felt some really strong Braxton Hick’s. They kept coming and got a bit stronger, so I accepted them as real labor contractions and texted Matt. I said “I’ve been having contractions, but don’t worry. I’m fine.”. Of course he calls me! It was about 10:30AM. My day continued as normal. I got dressed and ready to leave for my appointment. I had an ultrasound scheduled for 12PM and a non-stress test at 1PM, with a regular appointment to follow.

Matt dropped me off at my appointment. I was having regular contractions a few minutes apart. They had seemed to slow down and weaken at this point. I went in and had my ultrasound. It was pretty quick- 10 minutes, tops. The tech said all was well. She said I had a lot of fluid still, and when my water breaks, it’ll be a gush, not a trickle. I got a cute profile picture of the baby, then headed upstairs for my non-stress test.

The new receptionist said that she scheduled my non-stress test for right after, so I could head right in. Well, the receptionist upstairs said my midwife wasn’t there, so I’d have to wait. I decided to go home for lunch. I wasn’t going to sit in the waiting room for forty-five minutes. So, I walked home. The office is only a few blocks away from my house. Maybe a quarter mile. I had a bunch of contractions on the way home. At this point, I’d say they were weak contractions. I remember thinking that these weren’t as bad as a leg cramp.

I got home, had a quick snack, and helped Matt get ready for Lily’s pediatrician appointment. She had one at 1:15PM because she had been running a fever. We assumed it was from teething but it spiked up to 102 once, so we figured it was best to have her ears checked. Matt dropped me off at 1PM and left for her appointment.

I got in, got weighed (158.8! I lost two pounds!), and got undressed from the waist down. My favorite nurse came in and strapped me down and hooked me up. She brought me some juice and I got comfy. Three minutes later, a contraction started and POP! My water broke. Yep. I remember saying “Oh my god!” and wondering if anyone heard me! I had no idea what to do. It literally gushed out of me. There was fluid everywhere. I was up on the exam table, so the entire table was wet and amniotic fluid was pouring down the sides. I remember thinking how warm it felt. It reminded me of warm spaghetti. Weird, I know.

Thankfully my nurse did hear me and came in to check on me. She pulled the curtain back and I said “I’m 100% sure my water just broke.” She said something like “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” I’ll never forget the look on her face! We both just started laughing, which of course was making more fluid pour out of me. I was SO embarrassed. The poor nurse had no idea what to do- this sort of thing doesn’t often happen on an exam room table unless they planned it! She started grabbing all the thin brown paper towels out of the dispenser by the sink. I started laughing even harder. That definitely was not going to work! She popped her head out of the room and yelled for my midwife, Carolyn, who had just arrived back at the office. Carolyn came in and her jaw dropped when I told her. She immediately went to get towels. We all were giggling and pretty unsure how to clean everything up. It was A LOT of fluid! I stood up and they had to get a towel for me to stand one because it was still streaming down my legs…we joked that we needed a wet floor sign in there :)

(My fluid was clear, by the way. It smelled sort of sweet. I know you birthy-types will like details. )

We finally got all the fluid cleaned up and the table disinfected. I hopped back up so Carolyn could check my cervix. I knew I’d have to be admitted within 24 hours, but I was hoping to labor at home, so we wanted to make sure I was like 4 centimeters and had time. WELL. I was 7 centimeters. Carolyn’s jaw dropped again. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “Sweetheart, we need to head on over the hospital. You’re 7 centimeters.” We all were pretty shocked…although now I realize I must have been pretty far along for my water to break like that. I started shaking- something I do any time I get a rush of adrenaline. We all were smiley and giggling about what had just happened.

I got dressed and met Carolyn in the waiting room. She was getting my admission paperwork and explaining to the receptionists that she needed to leave NOW. I was still contracting at this point, but was fine. It hit me then that I couldn’t walk home from this appointment. Carolyn wouldn’t let me. But I needed my hospital bag and still felt okay, so I needed to go home still. I had to call Matt. He was at the pediatrician’s office and I had his cell phone, so I had to call the office and tell them I needed to talk to him. I remember feeling silly telling them it was an emergency. He got on the phone and I told him what had happened. He left then to come get me. I called Matt’s mother, Janet, to let her know it was time. She was going to watch Lily.

We got home fifteen minutes later and started picking up the house and getting ready. Janet arrived. Matt took his sweet time getting ready- he had lunch and packed snacks and his PlayStation Vita. I was still shaking. I was still in disbelief. I was pretty excited, too…

An Orgasmic Birth

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This is going to be a short post- just one where I’m going to spill my thoughts.

 

Lately, I’ve been having a ton of positive feelings about the upcoming birth. I’m not sure if it’s my hormones trying to psych my up or what, but it’s been pleasant.

I’ve had dreams of an easy birth- like, an incredibly easy birth. One where I’m fine all the way up until the end and then there’s just determination through the crowing phase. I haven’t dreamt about the pain. I don’t think about being scared. I’m surprised! Just a few weeks ago I was terrified. I keep having thoughts about cruising through my labor! And the baby latching on seconds after he’s born.

Now, I know that these thoughts are unrealistic, but hey, I can enjoy them.

The title, by the way, doesn’t mean I’m hoping to having a orgasm during the birth, but instead just having such amazing, overpowering feelings that it feels orgasmic. I’ve read a few birth stories over the past few months of women who thoroughly enjoy their births. They post pictures of themselves smiling and laughing while laboring. I want that!

So anyway, last night, while I was up with a miserable teething toddler, I had three contractions. They were NOT Braxton Hicks. Trust me, after months of having BH’s, I know the difference. These ‘cramps’ pulled downwards and extended into my back. They didn’t just squeeze me like an anaconda. They were weak so they didn’t hurt very much at all, but the sensation of them pulling I could feel. And guess what? THEY FELT GREAT.

Why I guess they felt good instead of painful:

  1. They were weak
  2. I’m anxious and excited
  3. They pulled from a different direction that I’m used to, so in a way, they were stretching me
  4. I’m in the right state of mind
  5. I have always enjoyed a painful kind of pleasure…does that make sense? I’m not necessarily making a sexual reference. Think about me picking at my body- it sort of hurts, but then your body releases it’s natural sedatives, which feel good. So.

So, keep all your fingers and toes crossed people. I’d like all of my contractions to feel enjoyable. I’ve read in multiple books that if you accept the pain you can sit with it instead of (mentally) trying to run from it.

I’m ranting and this is a messy post- sorry! I’m excited.

Some links I like…

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I read blogs on a daily basis and there are some I absolutely LOVE, but feel as though they might be inappropriate to share on Facebook. Maybe I’ll add to this if I find more? I’m not sure.

Here’s an AWESOME birth story. An unassisted hospital birth- all with pictures.

(I’d also like to point out that the woman has dreads and I’m jealous. I love dreads. Matt would freak out! But I dream of having a head full of skinny dreads…someday I’ll be a hippie.)

Here’s a laugh-able cloth diapering post about stinky pee. Cloth diapering is great overall but there definitely are times when I hate it. It’s not for everyone.

Here’s a post about knowing your cervical dilation without sticking a hand up your snatch. Handy.

Here is my all-time favorite post on the history of breastfeeding. It’s an excellent post! It really helps you understand why breastfeeding is viewed the way it is in our culture. A must read.

I’ll link more when I find them. Lily just asked me for a piece of chocolate…and it’s 10AM.

NO.

38 weeks pregnant!

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Please excuse my absence…I have no excuses! I just didn’t post. I keep thinking of things to post about and saying I’m going to, but I never end up following through.

Well, here it is-

38 weeks

 

I know, I know. Check out my veiny belly. I need all those veins! I officially can’t see my bats anymore, FYI. I have to lean way over and pull my belly up to see them. They are almost 3 inches long now, compared to them being about an inch and a half when I’m not pregnant.

How far along I am today: 38 weeks and 3 days. Tick tick tick.

Weight: 153.4 pounds (+31 pounds from my ‘regular’ weight)

What I’m taking: Just my prenatal and vitamin D supplements. Nothing fancy! I was going to start drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea every day to tone up my uterus but I decided against it a few weeks ago. My uterus is already getting a bunch of Braxton Hicks on a daily basis. I really don’t think I need to aggravate it any more. I have Braxton Hicks’ when I stand up, when I sit down, when I cough, sneeze, laugh…pretty much all the time. I sneezed while having one a few days ago and it hurt. If I have to pee, I will have BH’s back to back. Strong ones! I have a sensitive uterus, evidently.

Baby’s weight: At this point, it could be anyone’s guess. Most likely more than 6 pounds and less than 10. Probably around 7 pounds.

Baby’s length: Lily was 20 1/4 inches when she was born. So probably about that.

How I feel physically: Pretty good being 9 1/2 months pregnant! Things are definitely changing. The baby is a low as he can possibly go without coming out. That is putting a lot of new tension on my lower belly. I can feel pulling from my back. He’s tipped forward a bit more now too, so that doesn’t help. My skin is sensitive and tight. I keep getting back aches and hoping it’s time…but nope, nothing.

Sleeping is making me miserable. My hips hurt if I lay on them for too long and I can’t really breathe on my back. Plus I always have a ton of BH’s if I lay on my back. I toss and turn all night. Not fun.

At my 36 week appointment I had my Strep B test (which was negative, yay) and the OB checked my cervix. I was 50% effaced and 1 centimeter dilated. That really means nothing to me but I figured I’d add it in. There hasn’t been any spotting or fun signs yet.

How I feel mentally: Anxious! I’m trying my hardest to stay distracted and not get anxious but there isn’t much you can do. I’m not excited about the birth itself (who is?!) but I can’t wait to see the little guy. I got to hold Summer yesterday (Matt’s brother, Tim’s, baby girl) and got all giddy. She is teeny and perfect.

This is who I got to hang out with yesterday- jealous?

 

TEENY TINY BABY! Looooooooove her!

Matt still hasn’t prepared AT ALL, so I feel pissy about that, but I’m keeping quiet and ignoring it. I feel all sorts of emotions about it but I’m not going to get into it.

I have days when I just fall apart- sobbing, angry, sad, worried…hormones! But they aren’t happening as often. I feel a lot more positive now than I did a few months ago. I few days ago Matt asked me if I wanted a new 8g iPod or a used 32g iPod. A simple question, right? Well I flipped out and was a huge bitch to him, saying I didn’t care. Then I cried and cried and cried because I felt sorry and regretted being mean to him.

Hormones.

Preparations: A friend on Instagram just sent me the book “Homebirth in the Hospital” by Stacey Marie Kerr. I’ve been reading that a bit…not very many other preparations have been happening. I’m staying physically busy. We haven’t toured the hospital yet. Maybe this week? I’ve met all three midwives and love them all. I gave the last one I saw goosebumps! I guess I’m doing something right. I’ve been rolling around on my exercise ball, trying to line things up. This baby is right where he needs to be!

The baby’s room is all ready. I still need to get a sleeper/chair thing for him. And prefolds. And I’d like to grab a Moby wrap. He has a million tiny socks and everything he NEEDS. Just not everything I want ;)

Other news: It’s our three year wedding anniversary today! Wahoo! I don’t think we are doing anything special but it’s worth mentioning.

Kaia had her baby! Summer Rose. She’s a doll and they are both doing great.

Lily finally met her cousin, Allyson. She loved her and cried when she left :(

We visited with my family from GA. A few of them came up to visit. We went to the zoo. Lots of fun!

Matt’s boat hates him. A few weeks ago the battery terminal melted or something, so he replaced the battery. Then it ran great and he went tubing. Then, on July 3rd, he realized he lost his keys and went bonkers searching for them. On the 4th he bought a whole new ignition and replaced it himself. We took the boat out and it melted the new battery. So. It’s at the marina getting fixed.

Lily grew out of her favorite pajamas. They are 2t. Not cool.

Lily has been very curious about breastfeeding. She asks me about it often and understands it as best she can. She saw Kaia breastfeeding Summer yesterday and wasn’t all that interested. I wear my nursing tank all the time- it has the snaps on the sides so I can pull it down- and she keeps unsnapping my shirt. I’m not sure if she’s more interested in my shirt of looking at my boobs, but whatever. She’s just looking and asking questions. This morning she unsnapped one side and said “oh, dats a big booby!” Hehe.

Lily just saw the NYSEG guy outside and asked me who it was. I told her “the NYSEG guy” and she said “oh yeah, the nice guy.” Sure kid, whatever :)

I’ll be sure to post when things get interesting. Well, I’ll try. Remind me!

 

Weeks 24 to 28…whoops.

Standard

BOOM. Pregnant belly for you.

How far along I am today: 28 weeks and 1 day. I only have 11 weeks and 6 days left, give and take 2 weeks. So. I could have a baby in 9 weeks and 6 days and still be considered normal. That’s only two months away. HOLY.

Weight: 142.7 pounds…yep. That was last Monday, so I bet I weigh more now. It is just piling on! I’ve gained 21 pounds. The recommended weight gain for this stage of the pregnancy is 11 pounds. The recommended weight gain for the entire pregnancy is 25-35 pounds. I gained exactly 25 pounds with Lily, and that was me weighing myself on the day she was born. So.

What I’m taking: My regular prenatal once a day, and 4 1,000IU’s of vitamin D3. Merideth asked me to get my bloodwork done again and we’re going to check my vitamin D level to see if it’s up where it belongs. I wonder, if it is, if she’ll still recommend I take the supplements. Wouldn’t the levels fall again if I stop taking them? How can I keep them up? I drink a ton of whole milk and orange juice. Both are loaded with vitamin D. Hm.

Baby’s weight: 2.7 POUNDS (1225 grams) Like a chinese cabbage. Google it.

Baby’s length: 16.7 inches (42.4 centimeters) Imagine that just chillin’ inside of your uterus. No biggie.

How I feel physically: Well…rounder. Still fairly comfortable. The baby is pushing out on both sides of my belly now. He kicks and makes me yelp sometimes! He’s started that ‘alien baby’ thing. Instead of just kicking, now he’ll slowly drag his arm(or leg or whatever) across my belly and creep me out. It’s totally weird to see it. He’s transverse- i.e. sideways. Horizontal. He needs to be vertical! I’m not sure when he’ll turn, but hopefully soon. I’m starting to worry. I probably shouldn’t just yet.

I have stretchmarks. With Lily’s pregnancy I got a few on my hips/butt and boobs. They lightened up almost immediately. They were more like deep lines instead of stretched, shiny skin. I didn’t get any noticeable ones so I would tell people I really didn’t get any. I’ve noticed some new ones on both my boobs, along with some on my hips/butt. I’m sort of surprised that they are where they are. You’d assume they’d be where your skin is stretched the tightest, like on my belly. My hips/butt is all squishy and soft. Extra squishy skin. I don’t get it!

Still lots of acid reflux, sciatica, and fatigue. Pretty normal.

Today I got dizzy and lightheaded with a headache. I almost called Matt because I didn’t want to pass out with no one here to watch Lily. I ended up chugging some water and eating dinner. I feel better, although I’m still fairly lightheaded. I’m not dehydrated. I don’t know!

Merideth gave me a glucometer(?) to test my blood sugar. You know, those little thingys diabetics use with the poker and test strips. I can do it at home instead of having to go sit in a hospital for three hours. She’s pretty cool.

I have to stab myself when I first wake up to get a fasting reading, drink 75 grams of sugar(like a juice box), wait an hour, test again. Wait an hour. Test again. Done! Handy. It just stinks because I can’t eat for three hours that morning. Oh well! I don’t have any signs for gestational diabetes, but there really aren’t a lot of obvious signs. The ones that are obvious are more rare than anything. She never checks my pee, so it’s not like she can check for sugar every time I go in. I’m not too worried about it. I just hate stabbing my fingers!!!

I’m having Braxton Hick’s contractions on a very regular basis now. Regular as in daily- not as in regular intervals. Don’t worry. Just strong, pain-free ‘squeezes’.

How I feel mentally: Better. Matt and I are working on connecting on different levels. I need someone to take care of me, and he wasn’t really sure what I was asking of him. Things are better with us.

I had a dream last night that I was breastfeeding the new baby. I had to keep reminding myself to do it because he wasn’t crying or anything. Now that I can consciously think about the dream I know that I’m just reflecting on my experience with Lily. The baby was latching fine and everything…I just kept forgetting about him. Is that weird? To be afraid that I’m going to forget about him? It seems weird but it’s a feeling I can’t seem to shake. I feel like I might just leave him in the bedroom and go on with my day. As if he won’t cry!! Hah! Pregnancy hormones… just weird.

Preparations: I’m about halfway done with Hypnobirthing. The whole first half is boring. It talks about what you’ll learn. What hypnobirthing is all about. BORING. I just starting reading the techniques and they seem simple. They don’t really seem like something people would pay $250 to learn. Like, visualize yourself as categorized as 1-5. 5 being your head, 1 being your feet. Then completely relax your body block by block. Seems simple, right? Maybe I’m just not far enough in. One of the visualizations was really hippy-ish. Something about imagining yourself laying on a cloud. Floating through a cloud. A RAINBOW CLOUD. A color changing one. Fancy… I’ll write about how they end the book once I read it.

Other news: My mom ordered my wrap and got it in the mail! It’s gorgeous! I want to get it so badly but I can’t see us driving an hour out to her house to just pick it out.

Lily says “shit” when she means to say sit. She says “fuck” when she means to say frog. She says “cock” for clock. It’s amusing. She has no idea and we are trying to not make a big deal out of it. It’s just an issue when we’re going through Walmart and she sees a clock and starts screaming “cooooockkkkk” across the store. And when we have guests and she’s walking around going “fuck fuck fuck, pop pop fuck!” Pop is how she says hop.

Matt also decided to tell me that he doesn’t like Preston anymore. *sigh*

You know that feeling when you’re in a hot tub for too long? Like that icky dizzy feeling? That’s how I feel right now, so I’m going to get this hot laptop off of me and lay down.

Yuck. :(