Well, Hello there! You've made an excellent choice!

A dash of narcissism and a pinch of voyeurism and voila!

Monday, May 31, 2010

3/5/10 - A lesson on boobs

3/12/10 - The Postpartum Chronicles: Week 7.6 - The Cancer Scare

So at 7.1 weeks postpartum, I did my checkup. I think everything was fine. Thinking back on it, he said my uterus was the right size and my urethra was fine (i complained of pressure there - like it was bruised or something). We talked about birth control and I still hadn't decided on that so he gave me some pamphlets. I was pro-depo going in, but he said that sometimes it can take as long as 18 months to get pregnant after just having one shot. That concerned me. Because we need to have another baby. Anywho, I remember that part pretty well because it was right before the breast exam.

At first, he had me lift up the "shawl." It's this thing that gave me to cover the top, but it's fabric, unlike the paper blanket you get for the bottom. Anywho, he said he needed to see them both at the same time and i lifted the shaw and he said "that's enough" really fast which made me a little uncomfortable. I know what i'm in there for, it's not like it will seem suspicious if he's looking at my boobs. But anywho, then he did the exam. Right first, fine. Then left for longer, then back to right and back to left. He said not to worry, but asked the nurse to refer me for a mammogram. Don't worry? psh.

So i don't really remember the rest of the appointment. I had the front desk lady call and schedule me for a mammogram. All i remember is that he said it needed to be as soon as possible. "Tuesday the 12th okay?" Yep.

I totally held it together until I got on 64. I called babe 3x. I cried. I texted him while driving and told him they found a lump (which the nurse said was a "questionable cyst"). I freaked out. I got home and didn't even talk before i started crying terrible and steve had to hug me. Mom came in the room too and i told them and they assured me everything was fine. Of course, if someone else was told they had a lump, i'd tell them that i was sure it was nothing too. What else do you say? Yeah, you probably have cancer?

Mom asked me about the rest of the appointment and at that point she decided that i cant go to appointments by myself anymore. I don't ask questions. I don't remember things. Of course, this time I was totally thrown off by the lump thing.

During the course of a weekend, i thought out my plan. Worst case scenario, I have a biopsy and it's cancer and i have to get them removed and have chemo. Babe said if we had to get them taken out, I could get new ones the same day. :) I decided that when they schedule me for chemo, I'll go get my head shaved. I'm going to be bald on my own terms.

Everybody's going to die. Honestly, we're all lucky we've made it to this point. Mom suggested that I not blog it straight away because who really wants advice at that moment? Not me. Plus, there's no reason for everyone to feel sorry for me. Of course, not working came in to my head - total plus. Plus, I've always wanted to shave my head and now no one can make fun of me without feeling like a total ass after I tell them about the cancer. I pretty much went from depression to acceptance in about 4 hours. :)

So on Tuesday, I got all pinked out. Everything i wore had pink in it except for my jeans so i wiped some pink lipstick under the hem. I wore a pink sweater and headband too, for good measure. I filled out the paperwork they'd given me and read "No lotions, deodorants, etc" and had to take my top off and wash my boobs and armpits in the sink. Classy. Why didn't I read that sooner? lol

We (mom and mo and I) got to the appointment early and checked in. This is it. "Loren?" I get up and she says, "This says the 12th. Today's Tuesday the 11th?" Didn't catch that when I wrote it did you? Me either. The appointment lady said "Tuesday the 12th" and actually Wednesday is the 12th. She said they were backed up and it would be better if i just came at my scheduled time. Rats. Wasted all that pink.

So I took the baby to work and had lunch with babe, came home and didn't nap. I may or may not have figured out all the things I'd say to everyone when they tell me I've got cancer. I sleep like crap. There's a lot of thinking when you think you're dying from an actual cause.

Skip to today: WEDNESDAY the 12th. I wear a pink shirt and my pink converse. No makeup this time. No lotion or deodorant. They check me in. The lady comes out and says they're gonna do a diagnostic ultrasound instead of a mammogram because of my age (breast tissue is more dense in younger women - which is why they moved the mammogram recommendation age up). There's a line though and it'll be about 30 minutes longer, she says.

30 minutes later:

"Mrs. Cole?" I stood up and went back there. She showed me my "shawl" and said she'd be back in a minute. The ultrasound is exactly like you'd think it'd be but instead of on your belly, it's your boob. She took some pictures and asked me if i could feel what the doctor felt. I said no. It's true. I looked for it. I made babe look for it. We couldn't find the lump. I knew that meant cancer. She said to stay where i was and that she was gonna go talk to the radiologist and then he might want to have a look too. I waited. I tried to take a mini nap because morrison hated me last night, but it didn't work. Too nervous.

She came back in and said, we think that since you're postpartum that your breasts are just working their way back to being dry. We don't see anything concerning. Once a month, she says, feel it and see if it gets smaller. She showed me what the doctor had originally felt. (If you make a peace sign with your fingers and then spread them apart further, that's how BIG the lump was that he felt. But they think it's nothing.

Phew! Cancer free since '83!

4/20/10 - The Postpartum Chronicles: Day 33

Day 33 (4/20/10 - I giggled at that. How old am I?)

Not that this has anything to do with it being day 33 or 4/20. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, but it’s tricky to get things done in a timely manner when time ceases to exist the way it used to. My days and nights get mixed up. I forget which day is what and then what that day means. I forget to do things like thank Margie Rowson Morgan:


which i’ve honestly been meaning to do since the package came in the mail. Sometimes, my scheduling is a total mess.

But here’s the thing I’ve been thinking:

So I’ve got these stretch marks, right? And I was thinking that calling them stretch marks doesn’t really give my body the credit it deserves. I mean, yes, my body grew to a capacity that it was not originally designed to handle and so my skin stretched beyond where it had been (and it did it quickly). I mean, the term is technically accurate. They are marks from my skin stretching. But they’re a permanent testament to the physical sacrifice I made, not the result of one too many cheeseburgers. Yep. Overeating can give you stretch marks. Hormones can give you stretch marks. So I’m not going to call them that. And neither should you - less you got yours from puberty or eating too much.

I’m gonna call them birth scars. They’re permanent. They’re trauma related. The word scars somehow signifies something much more brutal than marks. Scars are interesting and have a story. You don’t get scars on your own (unless you’re a cutter and even those scars are interesting). Anywho, there was a battle and since I’m alive and she’s alive, I’d say we won. And I’m scarred (literally) for life. And that’s okay.

4/19/10 - The Postpartum Chronicles: Day 32

Day 32 - Stitch Pain Appointment
So yesterday was a “bad stitch day.” It’s what I call them and the phrase I use to explain slow movement, sensitivity (literal and figurative), wincing, or being uncomfortable. Last night the pain was so bad that it woke me up in the middle of the night and made me cry. On a “bad stitch day” the pain is usually dull and throbbing and unpleasant with a few sharp stabs here and there. Last night was all sharp. So I went in today and Dr. Levit said that my body “doesn’t like” the threading of the dissolvable stitches. Apparently, not one bit of one stitch had dissolved and my body was pushing the thread out instead. Anywho, whatever he did down there to fix it was so awful that I cried MORE and the nurse held my hand and drilled me with questions about Morrison to distract me. There was a lot of deep breathing and trying not to think about it. Afterward, he apologized for “tortur[ing]” me and making me cry. He also offered a pain pill prescription. I asked him if it was going to hurt worse later (by this time there was almost immediate relief) and he said no, so I denied the prescription. It might have been a sympathy prescription - I am not a pretty crier. Otherwise, I’m healing “nicely” and scheduled my 6 week appointment.

Honestly, that was so awful that I can’t even put its awfulness into words. It makes me dizzy to think about it. Ouuch.

In related news, I'm almost certain that this is not normal. Fret not, preggos, fret not.

4/14/10 - The Postpartum Chronicles: Day 27

Day 27 - Doctor’s Appointment
So we went in because she’s still not pooping on her own. She got her little insurance card (that you think should be the size of one of those key-chain discount cards, but isn’t) and we gave that to the people. She’s officially 8 pounds 6 ounces which is more than the recommended weight gain. The doctor liked it. He checked her belly and says that he didn’t feel any hardness in there (which is good) and then he did a rectal exam. With his pinky. All the way to the middle knuckle. Oof. Needless to say she was all like “What the cookie?!” and cried. He said she doesn’t have any webs in there (apparently that’s a thing that can be in there that’ll stop the poop, but that she does have a small rectum (not anymore, i bet). Here’s our new regimen:

Karo - 1 teaspoon in 2-4 bottles per day
Milk of Magnesia - 2.5ml once per day
Apple Juice - 1 ounce in 2 ounces of water (optional)

What he says is that her body needs to hold more water in her intestines because that softens up the poop. That’s why the milk of magnesia and juice have been suggested - because the MOM makes you hold water in your intestines and the juice has indigestible parts that will bulk her poop up. He’s not terribly concerned, but definitely wants her pooping on her own. She’s gained weight though, so she’s still doing fine otherwise.

4/8/10 - "A Whole Pregnancy's Worth of Statuses"

I thought it'd be fun to collect all my statuses in put them in a document for morrison's baby book. Read from the bottom up :)

Happy Birthday Savannah! That's one down. All that's left is Mo! If Savannah can do it, so can you! (3/17/10 - right before my water broke)

i like dates at riverside :) Meeting at 2 then maybe going home? I can't nap because it's too late in the day, but home beats work since always.

I am SO tired today. It's tricky because I have a date at 1 and a meeting at 2. Otherwise, I'd go home and nap. *yawn*

MAN, i'm sleepy. Happy St. Patrick's Day! maybe... Mo Patrick's Day? :D

come on, mo! tonight could be your night! i feel you in there. you can't hide from me forever!
no mo yet. i can't wait 'til i have my body back! (even if she has used up all its goodness and hung it up ugly) Come on Morrison. Don't make me use your middle name!

Mary Ann brought her puppy in from the car today. Yay for puppies at work! Yay for Scout!
lol, everyone's shocked that i'm still waddling around work

"God only knows how much I'd love you if you'd let me."

Happy Birthday to Ed Saunders, Gloria J. Mutter, Amanda Ooten, and Carla Lemons's Mr. Lemon :) BUT not yet to Mo, you bad, bad girl.

at home. beware the ides of mo. lol

girl scout cookies, coffee frap, whatchamacallit, starburst, mentos, and hubba max! Oh, and a water. -the breakfast of champions

beware the ides of mo

So far I've put all the guesses in mo's baby book. I'm still hopeful that everyone who voted for today is right :D

Happy 38 weeks, Mo! Now's time to get your bets in. I've heard the 16th! I've heard the 19th. Put your guess in Now!

Can't sleep. Not that I'm not tired. Or at least I was. Until the RLS set in. Now i'm up. Happy 38 weeks, Mo! (even if we disagree on your current housing arrangement). See Lindsay's post on my wall. Sunday could totally be your day! PLEASE let it be your day. lol

i'm still hopeful for sunday :)

come on, mo! i'm pretty sure you've cooked long enough :)

watching The Doors while i wait for the arrival of my donut pillow. Maybe hearing Jim Morrison will bring her out :)

how did jodie sweeden get in my nap dream? weird that she would pop up.

Saturday's child works hard for a living. Chances are, if you're more like me than your daddy, you'll hide in there all day today. LOL

Friday's child is loving and giving: It's not going to be today, then. LOL Your daddy and that molly were Friday's children. Don't you want to be loving and giving? There are prizes for you on the outside... :D

1cm is STILL for weenies.

Thursday's child has far to go. Don't you want to be ironic, Moe?

Well, Molly's trick didn't work. She's STILL in there. The food was GOOD though :)

work threw me a baby shower! AND there were NO GAMES!!! yay!!

There's still time to be full of woe, mo :) I'm just sayin...

Wednesday's child is full of woe. This would not surprise me in the least, mo. You're already full of woe AND you could share a birthday with some other pretty awesome girls i know. Don't you want to come out? It's supposed to be warm and rainy today. Very non-threatening. Also, we don't own a toyota, so you need not b...e fearful of that. lol Come out or we'll have to dust all your stuff!

maybe she'll decide she wants to come out while I'm at court. that would be hilarious! pretty and funny? today could be your day, mo!

Feels like she's making progress. Come on, mo! Be a Tuesday's child!

Tuesday's child is fair of face. Your mother was a tuesday's child. Don't you want to be fair of face, mo?

i've done something each day since friday (friday included) to naturally induce this baby out. the next appointment's thursday with the doctor i don't like. if mo REALLY loved me, she'd come out before then so i won't have to talk to him :D

important pregnancy update! she is STILL in there.

(so at work a coworker walks into my office uninvited) him: do you have anything to eat in here (looks around) nothing?!; me: i have cookies (show him the box) him: (grabs the box and pulls out the remaining row). I'm going to have this short stack okay?; me: um, okay. (he walks out of my office) *did that REALLY just happen? A**hole.*

this lotion smells like soy sauce to me. it didn't before now. maybe it's a sign of labor?! lol

Monday's child is full of grace. Don't you want to be full of grace, mo?

if knee pain was labor, i'd have already put my makeup on.

Pick your name now: Steph and Two are Tia and Tio, Mom's That Molly, Steve's gran-ma, Larry's papa, Mary's gramma, dad's granddaddy - Pick your name!

37 weeks today! Happy full term day, mo. Now get out.

friday :) pjs and tv and dove chocolate eggs.

go, mo, go!

Meh. I guess not this weekend then. AND to make matters worse, the doc thinks its great that i'm still working. he's got some kind of nerve.

1cm is for weenies. Come on, Mo! bah.

i slept! it's friday and the sun is shining and i slept!!

sleep, please? doctor tomorrow afternoon

thinks it's funny that the side advertisment on my facebook is for plan b. good idea, fb, but a little late. LOL

The diaper dude skull and crossbones diaper bag is here! We're so cool.

still sleepless

Well I can't go to work today. The primary reason is not, however, that I am sick, but that I have not slept. And not how most people haven't slept. I mean it like I haven't woken up since yesterday.

I hope i don't feel sick tomorrow!

I think i have cold. I've been perfectly healthy until now. at least mo's a fan of irony.

for the record: by adding "backrubs!" to my "pros" list does not mean that I never got them before. I have a wonderful loving husband, who also happens to be a credit whore.

had cramps that woke me up last night. Mom says that means my cervix is thinning out. It totally grosses me out to think i could be at work AND at court and be dilated. bleck
well, that was at least four hours... round two? i've got two more left i could have if she'll let me

mo must hate it when i sleep. it's a shame that when he's out, me keeping her awake punishes both of us. i am THAT spiteful. ugg.

would rather be napping

lol, i forgot to mention that my loving husband got me a baby shower gift: A shake weight
Back to work! I have to wait until Friday before we can see what's going on in there again.
Happy 36 weeks, Mo! One more and you're full term :)

and i'm not asleep yet because?

baby/wedding shower day!!!

Staying up late for steph and two

overheated and i bet my back kills me later. BUT my office is officially moved.

yay for fridays! the wedding/baby shower is tomorrow! Be there or be square! Let me know if you need any info :)

Dear Mo, Our next appointment is on the 5th. I need you to be really impressive by then so they can tell me to stay home from work. Thanks! Love, Yo Momma

back at work. let's see if we can stay all day, shall we? lol

let's do this!

sanity nap

And that makes 3x. I get to go home at 1:30. Dumb hormones, lack of sleep, back pain, and general uncomfortableness!

cried at my job. damn it, mo!

well, i'm at work. But I'm wearing jeans and tennis shoes. It's the most "supportive" outfit I have and I even added the bellaband. My supervisor doesn't care, but we're not sure her supervisor will be as leniant. I'll just explain that I'm more than willing to go home because of my outfit because this outfit is the on...ly thing that got me here this morning anyway. Well that and guilt.

if this sciatic nerve hurts this bad tomorrow, i can NOT go to work. end of story. oof.

occupational hazard: spilling someone elses urine all over the place

Dear Cervix, WHACK! Love, Mo

ugg. i feel icky. maybe the soup?

i've already eaten my breakfast and lunch and am STARVING.


so i guess we're awake then...

Happy 35 weeks to Mo!

back in one piece! (a tired hungry piece, but still...) Good time! Jim's the BEST.
Steph's bachelorette party is tonight (i.e. Mo's first bachelorette party!)

Mo let me sleep in! Good girl!

woke up with the need for chocolate milk. Now, it seems, i'm just awake? lame!

one of my ob's is an ass. (in other news, Pitts made a penis! Gooooo boys!)

what's fun is that there are no pediatricians near me that accept my insurance. I can get acupuncture, but I can't have a healthy baby. nice.

Done. We were already geniuses. Just didn't know it. lol

Infant care class tonight!

has way more boob going on than's probably allowed at work, but it's not like there's anything else I can do with them. lol

tired, hungry, in pain, and waiting. it's like my theme. (mom LOVES themes! lol)

It's a moderate pain day... which is 1000x better than a maximum pain day. I'll take it.


stayed up late to watch the new 16 and Pregnant. i bet this will cost me...

Mo's room looks cooler than my room and alls its got innit is paint! lucky duck!

39 days to go. That's less than that whole wandering lost in egypt business. yikes!

hungry hungry hippo

Tuesday's court day. Here's hoping for minimal pain.

note to self: spraying lavender body mist into your eye does not help you get sleepy.
154.2 pounds. That HAS to be where this pain comes from.

bridal shower games are stupid. lol, i'm doing research. If you think you know one that doesn't suck, feel free to send it to my inbox :D

my car is officially safe for baby (and it was less than $70). yay!

Dear right side, take a cue from the left side and don't hurt. Thanks! love, ashley.

We officially have a car seat. It's the one item that if you don't have, you're not allowed to take the baby home. Granted (we're still all for additional car seats - used or new) and any other baby anything :) I know I registered on babies r us, but we need all the regular stuff in multitudes from any store. Happy Valentine's Day and 34 weeks to Mo!

Worst valentine's nap ever. lol, happy VD, lola.

We've got baby room paint! The walls are gonna be "apple green" and the dresser's gonna be "gone bananas." NOW, it's time for the valentine's nap :D

So no valentine's nap, but soon to be valentine's lunch? I'm thinking McCallisters (sp). I even put my dirty hair into a valentine's ponytail. I'm soo classy!

The good thing about Valentine's day is that you can say what you're normally doing and just put the holiday in front to make it sound cooler. I've already eaten some Valentine's cocoa krispies, got the perfect Valentine's card and am thinking about a Valentine's nap. The rest of us folks are putting up Valentine's trim in the downstairs addition :D See? Cooler!

So no wii games for vday this year. We've made the practical choice of getting each other a car seat and crib. lol

i believe the constant back pain makes up for the lack of morning sickness. It's only fair.
i stayed up for that. Normally, it'd have a question mark at the end, but i've accepted it. I stayed up. for that.

I'm sad for canada.

i could go at anytime.

Just finished art class where I made a picture for the baby's room. Now lunch and then making beaded jewelry :) Today rocks.

Well, I called into work. And to my OB appointment. I can't believe they didn't close. On a side note, my boss did call me to say she was pissed too.

This just in! Jim says I can't go to work because it's stupid to. lol

so, i'm going to work today, until they close early or i get nervous. If i wait them out, i get paid. If i don't, i don't.

i hope this sleep thing is only temporary. As in last night and that's it.

Today, Mo's 33 weeks old (in utero). Might as well have a cane and be knitting. Old lady. And Fat!

i haven't napped since this snow AND i'm up late. what gives?

1 cinnamon roll for me, 1 cinnamon roll for mo :)

3 days-dance madness, 11 days-valentine's day, 15 days-infant care class, 17 days- bachelorette party, 23 days- cab's party, 24 days- wedding/baby shower, 41 days- dad's bday, 42 days- st. patrick's day, 53 days- morrison's bday

Alert Alert!!!! Save the date February 27th, Saturday at 2pm for a Combo Drizzle for Stephanie and Two and Ashley and Jim! Invites are soon coming!!!!! It will be here at 360 PIne Ave. Waynesboro! SAVE THE DATE!!!!! BRIDAL AND BABY SHOWER YAY!!!!!!! DINNER WILL BE PROVIDED!!!!!!! YAY!

fat girl in a little coat

grumpy (obvious) and sore (would be obvious if you saw me walking, lol). Stupid job.

I am so tired. Why is my job so dumb? If they had just canceled like everyone else in this town, I'd have been back to sleep already. Stupid job.

stupid job.

32 weeks. Fat girl :)

all my stuff hurts. neck. back. hips. butt. knees. shame on you, fetus.

TGIF! I'm soo sleepy. Sleeping sitting up is for the birds.

i am soooo getting the "A Dressed-Up Delivery" giftset!! http://prettypushers.com/. I suspect Lindsay C Pitts needs one too!

is Mo-ficially 150lbs. Even if only 3lbs 10oz is her, it's all BECAUSE of her. Fat girl :)

This level of tired has been brought to you by Morrison and Obama. Mo-bama. Conspiracy?
I also forgot to say that her head's facing down. I wonder if she can tell she's upside down.

Mo is 3lbs 10oz, frowny, and looks just like Jim. Pictures to follow shortly. She's a verified girl (we saw labia) and the doctor estimates she's be 7.5lbs and 21 inches long upon arrival. Go, Mo, Go!

1.6 pounds away from 150. lol.

it's only 1:30. Days go by so much faster when you break them up with naps...
watching the pregnancy pact. stupid girls.

Jim's gone again. Everytime he comes back, i'm fatter. That'll teach him.
31 weeks!

64 days to go. That doesn't sound like a lot does it?

"I wish my parents would quit telling me to be a better mom and let me be a normal teenager." -Farrah

i'm going to wear a bikini this summer if it kills me.

My pants keep shrinking. Weird!

my ribs are sore. i blame the fetus.

Back to work tomorrow. New clothes!

Week 30: She's 3 pounds, they say. I say, I better get bigger soon because we're running out of space in there. Mall tomorrow! EEEE!

My legs don't hurt as bad today! In other news, yay for Sharyn J. Hanna Bobb because she brought me The Lovely Bones and I liked it :) My favorite quote of the whole book: "There wasn't a lot of bullshit in my heaven."

Day two after the sleep that gave me a terrible leg cramp in the right leg and then a terrible leg cramp in the left. Hoping it's the same theory that after working out the second day always hurts worse. Did anybody else have that?

yawn... so tired.

'd rather be napping with a very sleepy ruxbin :D

Apparently, the amount of nights I can be pregnant, working, and go without sleep for any more than 4-6 hours before losing my mind is 4. I suppose on the bright side, that is a handy piece of information. God help us.

nose is stuffy and runny. eyes are watery. head feels full. eyelids heavy...

As soon as this baby comes out, I'm going to push on her bladder. Take that, baby!

feeling very awake at this hour. still yawning though. it's too early, mo. it's too early.

i know, mo. those nuggets ARE spicy.

sour cream and cheddar chips are orange. spicy chicken nuggets? orange. oranges? orange. everything i've eaten today's been orange... which is more interesting to me than the bachelor. LOL i make myself laugh!

I think i'll go get some chips. lol

mcdonald's sausage and cheese biscuits make me dance

probably sitting on the couch. it's my MO.

is at the doctor, then lunch, then court for work

worked from home, then OB appointment with Taylor, then the switcheroo and more work (but not from home). How do I still work on my days off? lol

last day of work this week. OB appt tomorrow :) (1-6-10)

i should video my stomach. It looks like that scene from alien.

Chicken for breakfast / The waist of my pants cries out / Just a few more months (Feel free to write your own monday morning haiku!)

I made it to work. I give myself points for that.

finally hooked up the new router and now have internet again. It's a shame work begins again tomorrow. Oh! And happy 3rd Trimester to me!

eating my lunch for breakfast again

women who use 12 weeks of maternity leave have significantly less symptoms of PPD than those who only take 6. (hint hint, babe) ;)

i wish i had some cheetos.

my ribs have never felt more in the way

you can't be tired like i'm tired. well, the other pregosauruses can, but that's it.

kick. ki-kickkick. KICK. punch. kick.

Back to work... it was bound to happen. In other news Taylor's here! And if i don't sit up straight i get kicked in the ribs.

I got wii muscles for christmas! I'm also undeniably pregnant. lol

RLS and hearburn. At least we know she'll have some hair. ugg.

Finished the blood glucose test. That stuff they make you drink isn't even unpleasant. Not bad at all! Cut to: Starbucks halfcaff gingerbread latte and two pieces reduced fat banana chocolate chip cake (Reduced fat? There are way to many chocolate chips for me or the fetus to believe that. Neither of us were born yesterday.)

restless legs and a sleepy family. on the couch. lol

babies like ketchup

is trying to figure out who'll serve me lunch at 9:46am....

lol, so tired that my eyes are crossing. Next appointment: 3pm - God Help Me. Going to quiznos.

OMG it's not even my regular starting time at work and I'm already close to passing out at my desk.

What's fun is that I figured, "I'm already up. Might as well get ready and go to work. Then I can come home early." What's not fun is that in the shower i remembered that the card that gets me in the building is IN my office and the work holiday party is immediately following work. eff.

And so NOW i'm sleepy again. That might have helped me at 4am.

I just ran with Ruxbin back to the house from our walk. Yeah. I don't think I'll do any more running. lol

Holy hurt, batman. I ate too much.

on a scale from 1 to starving...

wth is a nursing stool?

I think oranges are like crabs. You can eat them and eat them, but because they take so much work to get ready for eating, it's like you've worked it all off and you're still hungry. And except crabs are better.

I'm going to apologize to my boss today. lol, stupid pregnancy mad.

Just got pregnancy mad. Didn't cry though. I count that as a win.

Who knows an aries? What are they like?

Hungry hungry hippo

25 weeks. We didn't take a picture as promised (I told you!) but I did eat two large oreo blizzards and watch a criminal minds marathon... progress is based on perspective :)
I'm hungry and irritable.

back from the emergency vet. we went because rux woke up trying to vomit and couldnt (done before) and was hiding (done before) and shaking ( done before) and moaning (NOT done before). Of course when we got there he was fine, but he's got ear infections in both ears. I'm dubbing this pregnancy paranoia... but you cant... blame me bc my rationality is in NoVA. 3.5 hours of sleep b4 work.

God Bless you, glazed doughnut.

green apples are S.O.U.R! ugh. And I have a whole bag of them...

Just woke up. again. I went home tired and icky. I woke up very meh.

A big heavy mirror toppled onto Lola this morning. Thank goodness Jim was upstairs and had no idea. That way, when he came down, he could be rational. He says nothing's broken. How in the world am I going to survive an actual baby person? Phew.

Today's menu included: 2 cups of coffee, 2 bologna and cheese with mustard sandwiches, 1 entire bag of pre-sliced apples, 1 bucket (estimated) of french fries, and 1 totino's combination pizza.

eating my lunch for breakfast and babysitting at work

Celebrating my back pain by trying a McGriddle...

Sleep or bust

just almost fell asleep at my desk...very tricky of you, morrison. i can tell we're related.
I ate my lunch for breakfast... again.

Hello bed at 11:30. Good morning, Morrison and Lola at 3:30. Still thankful.
I'm thankful for the good night's sleep I got last night. And also the complementary Rob Pattinson dream... which could be the reason why I was late to work. What a good looking dude.

lol. To clear up the confusion: Originally they thought it was a boy (JAC) but at the last appointment, there was no penis, so now they say it's a girl (Morrison). There's still only one baby. They were just wrong the first time they told us.

getting food and then waiting in line to take Morrison to her first bloody cage brawl :D Go MMAI!

New photos! (now that it's a girl, lol) Bring on the tights and shiny shoes!

Oops! Please say hello to Morrison Annabelle Cole.... It's a girl! (11-20-09)

We get to see JAC today. I hope everything's going okay in there. Should be able to see a penis to verify that he's a Joshua Aiden and not a Morrison Annabelle. In other news, I think he/she? likes drums.

I just ate 4 mini baby ruth's... all because I left my work key at home and can't get into the work kitchen to eat oatmeal. This poor fetus. lol.

The thing about pregnancy is this: Everything is like normal except x10. You think something's funny? Chances are I'm crying laughing. You think something's sad? Chances are I'm crying like someone died. You think you're mad? Chances are I've already concocted a murderous scheme and changed into all black clothes. SO ANGRY right now.

Dear BB&T, FU. What's the point of getting alerts of a low balance if you don't alert me? I don't know how this happened, but now JAC's $600 poorer. MotherF. -Ashley

my hip hurt and lola's having trouble breathing. Hello, quarter to 4. ugg. I don't think her antibiotics, benedryl, or the stuff that stops her eating poop is working. If much of taste is tied to smell, and the little black rain cloud can't smell, chances are she won't be able to pick out the bitterness that the new poop is supposed to have. Calling the vet when the sun's up. It's a shame I'm this smart this early.

Jac's got a lot he's trying to tell me this morning. I think the overall message is, "Take THAT!" They weren't kidding when they said everybody was kung fu fighting.

uggg. The way charlie brown says it.

i'm hungry. i wish we had an olive garden and a reason to go there. haha

I have a headache and i'm sleepy and i feel icky. Thanks, dentist and lola and thing that made me feel icky.

To Do: 1. Go to OB 2. Get Puppy 3. Introduce Puppy to Dog 4. Get Candy and Pumpkins for carving 5. Carve pumpkins 6. Give candy to the dactyl and turtle that come back this evening :D 7. Work on not responding to a d-bag.

i always thought heaven would be full of bright lights and feel like floating and peace. Turns out it's a cup of nesquik chocolate milk and a bendy straw. Who knew?

Jim's out of town tonight. I'm too tired to have an affair. LOL Ruxbin, me, and the fetus makes three! (After friday, It'll be Ruxbin, Lola, Me, and the fetus makes ... chaos?)

What I wanted: A ham and cheese sandwich with mayonnaise on toast. What I ordered: A ham and cheese sandwich with mayonnaise on toast. What I got: A grilled ham and cheese and mayonnaise sandwich. What I didn't want: That.

So half the house is cleaned at least. I count that as progress.

I've officially been vaccinated. Take THAT, h1n1.

Columbus day should be a mandatory holiday. So sleepy.

this just in! Maternity clothes ordered from Oldnavy.com! The skirt? A dream, better than I could have thought! The pants? Suck like death.

Achoo! Sniff. Wipe eyes. Repeat. (Cough as needed).

You'll have to schedule in advance: Sunday 10/11 - Art by Bethany & Allison; Sunday 10/18 - Art by Stephanie SaundersalmostVera

I still feel partially sick, but now I don't have the fever as evidence for leaving work. lame
Dear what-seems-to-be-the-begin
ning-of-a-cold, Stop. Love, Ashley

Totally overslept this morning. Good sleep though. Bailey was conducting an aerobics class in my dream. :)

Attention all recent mothers: Do you want to let me borrow your maternity clothes? I know you do... Hit me up because i'm fat and i'm poor. :D

Ate my lunch for breakfast again. <-that'd be a good title for my pregnancy chronicles book :)

Not sure why JAC wants me to stay up late. OR how well we're going to handle discipline if I can't even control him in utero.

giving ruxbin a bath and eating icecream. in the opposite order.

I'm not sick enough for hospitals. I was worried since I hadn't heard back from jim that he might be hurt but he called. Do not be in a frenzy. I'm just ordinary everday regular not feeling great.

laying down to see if that will help. if anyone see or hears from jim today, tell him to text me asap so i don't start calling hospitals.

home sick. hoping it'll wear off so i can go into work.

I officially have one pair of work pants that I fit. That's totally JACked up.

What happened to that perfect night of sleep? I've tried to copy the conditions twice to no avail. Oh, bother.

Me and an incognito JAC are off to court. (Mostly, I haven't told people because of the occasional smoking, but it's really funny to think of him in there with shades on and the mission impossible theme song.)

Today's Forecast: Partly Cloudy with a 95% chance of it being a BOY. :) (also, the odds of JAC having Down Syndrome and Trisomy 13/18 are less than 1 in 10,000. Good odds!)

We might hear the heartbeat today. If we don't, i'll be certain not to start with "there's no heartbeat."

just ate 60 calories in broccoli and cheese for dinner. Then 700 calories in drumsticks for desert :)

my hip keeps going in and out of socket today which causes me to limp to avoid pain. Pregnancy's so gangster.

How am I hungry already? If the McDonalds sausage and cheese biscuit doesn't work anymore, what am I going to do?

totally cried at work today. Stupid hormones. Stupid postsecret.

The fetus and I are going to pick up our weekly vegetables from the co-op. Jim's got CPR/AED training today. Who schedules work on a Saturday? Communists.

Ruxbin, Me, and the fetus makes three.

Spoke to the car guy: I need 4 new tires. Not one or two. Sorry, JAC/MAC. There went mommy's maternity leave savings.

I quit smoking tomorrow... sissy embryo.

Dear Methodists, We won't be at your 11am service today, because we're in Louisa. Next week? Love, Ashley. Side note: Will be posting the pregnancy update tonight or Monday b/c I'm not at home

stay awake at your job. stay awake at your job. 2 days. 6 hours until you go home. Stay awake at your job. And carry on thinking about merk's cheese fries.

didn't get to hear the heartbeat. 10 weeks, 3 days. And some really mobile dangly little legs. haha.

no heartbeat. 10 weeks, 3 days. And some really mobile dangly little legs. haha.

Got an OB appointment today. Maybe now they'll know how far along we are.

Dear Mountain Dew, Thank you for being delicious and helping me function. I almost lost it there. Thanks for picking me back up. You're like a punch to the face of sleepiness. ♥ Ashley

so THIS is what they mean by "bone deep fatigue." Got it.

I think i'm gonna get my toes done today (with a wonderful certificate given by C&E&A Brooks!) in blue because I had an "it's a boy" dream.

iS "a blessing." or at least that's what I was told this morning. I forgot my psibands though. bleck.

is tired. And I keep thinking it's Friday. (it's not Friday.)

eating ramen and waiting for Jim to come home so he can check my head for lice. We're almost classy enough for a tv show.

oh. my. god. bat! in! house! (lastnight) ICK. (if I'd had an iphone, i could have updated you, but we weren't sure if the computer room was "clear" and I wasn't going to chance it.)

HUNGRY. in all caps.

Target sucks. I'm going to write a strongly worded letter to their maternity department.
i get to go maternity bra shopping after work. yay (said the family fun day way)

If the temperature of my body was any hotter, I'd spontaneously combust. Although, it wouldn't be spontaneous, because I just told you.

Holy hunger, batman! I ate my lunch for breakfast again. This packing a lunch deal is NOT saving me money. Also, ordered a bellaband online today

eating the lunch I brought to work. haha

ate too much. I hope you like those curly fries, embryo.

So they think I'm 6.5 or 7 weeks. (I thought we were going on 8 weeks for sure) I have another appointment on 9/2/09 to do the date again, but as it stands, I'm due on April Fools Day. hahaha

1st doctor's appointment today :)

watching I didn't know I was pregnant and cleaning. probably doing a little more of one than the other... but I got klondike bars! Go, Birthday! It's my birthday! (8-9-09)

i'm pregnant, with jet lag, nausea, constipation, and now I just got stung by a bee. great.

Dear Jet Lag, I'm too tired to come up with anything mean to say to you, but if I wasn't... boy would you get it. Love, Ashley

If it's a boy he will officially be: Joshua Aiden Cole or "Jac" for short :)

high fructose corn syrup = mercury = autism? may be a loose association, but worth cleaning out the pantry

cramps, coldsores, and insomnia, oh my!

thinks being married is easy. (7/14/09 - THE day before I found out I was pregnant. lol)

4/18/10 - The Postpartum Chronicles: Days 20-21

Day 20 (4/7/10)

She fussed most of the night. We’re still in her room and only had to come out for the playpen vibrations once :) When I called the pediatrician’s this morning they said to nix the flax oil and add the karo syrup. Same amount - 1tsp per 4oz 1x daily - or 1/2tsp for a two ounce bottle. She said it could take a couple days to work. (And she said to 86 the flax because she isn’t sure if both will give her diarrhea). She fussed most of the day, BUT she sure is a sweet angel.

I took my car in to the vw dealership last night. I have an appointment at 10am tomorrow and it’s much easier to drop it off than to have anybody ready to do anything by 10am. Honestly. The other day I got her dressed up to go outside and we lost a sock before we even left her room. That’s the day where she just looked unimpressed with the weather and the wind. Then she threw up. lol I don’t like the wind either, mo.

Day 21 (4/8/10)

Mom took first shift last night! I went to bed at 9:30 and woke up at 4:30am. Babe’s gotta go to stafford to work today so I got to sleep upstairs with him in the air conditioning! I looked the notebook when I came downstairs. Looks like she at at midnight and then again at 2:30am, but not since. She’s all woombied up and makes a very peaceful caterpillar. Hopefully, mom got some sleep. I’ll check in with her when she wakes up :)

Last night was my first try at sleeping without a bra on. I’ve been wearing pads to soak up everything since she came out. (Speaking of, we’ve (there goes the collective “we” again..) decreased from super to regular!) I thought that since I stopped breastfeeding that everything would have dried up by now. Originally, when I’d go to change the breast pads (yep, you have to wear those too) they’d be heavy and squishy from having done their job. In the last few days they’d look the same as they did when I put them in so... I thought, what the hay. They’re probably done!


When you’re wearing a shirt with military rifles all over it, breastmilk doesn’t really make it look cool. Nothing says kickass LESS than a gun covered in mother’s milk.

...OR does nothing say kickass MORE? Move over, GI Jane.

Speaking of kickass, Morrison’s been alive for 3 weeks. Go team!
Lets recap her life shall we:
Can sleep in her room (of course we sleep in there too. lol)
Graduated from breastmilk to formula (If i say graduated it sounds more like an achievement and less like i quit)
Has slept for 4.5 hours in a row before
Has stayed fully awake for 3 hours before
Smiled on purpose for daddy
Not smiled on purpose for anything that molly or momma does
Poops between 1-2x per day with assistance
Has an innie
Still has hair
Outgrew two newborn outfits
Made her momma cry 5x
Survived 2 rookie mistakes
Countless other things I’m certain to have forgotten

4/17/10 The Postpartum Chronicles: Day 19

Day 19 (4/6/10 - If I don’t start doing this, I’m going to get really confused).

Morrison wore an outfit that wasn’t pink today :) I checked my stitches today because things were really itchy. Turns out there are interior stitches too, which i can see. The hole’s still there and i can see the thread (Mom said I can’t post what I told her it looked like, haha). That and healing has to be why it itches. Ugg. I still have stretch marks (i’m assuming permanently) on my boobs and butt but all of it’s still bathing suit hideable. Yep, hideable. Still having to use head and shoulders and the skin on my face and neck looks like puberty has hit again. My knuckles aren’t nearly as dry as they were and I weigh 138.4. I gained a pound (or two) since morning. oops!

At 10pm we had to enlist the help of that molly for poop. Mo’d been grunting and uncomfortable and making her poop face (yep! she’s got one!) but nothing had been happening. Not even gas. Finally, during the new 16 and pregnant (so we didn’t see the middle or end) she started to push out a playdoh poop. It was so hard that it kept breaking off. That poor little angel’s butt. We looked in her pediatrician’s book and it said if she had hard poop to call them. She finally worked that poop out (it took quite some time). I can’t imagine how uncomfortable she must be.

4/5/10 The Postpartum Chronicles: Day 18

So on the way to Walmart this morning (re: formula run) I was thinking that I had forgotten to talk about one of the perks of no longer being pregnant: Being alone. (or maybe I did tell you and forgot. Either way, here it goes (again?)) I know she couldn’t read my thoughts while she was in utero, but while you’re pregnant, you’re never really alone. Everything you do, everything you say, everywhere you go. It’s like the police song. Just less creepy. Anywho, afterward, when you go to lunch with your husband or baby daddy or whatever you have, it actually feels like a date. :) I like dates. And rest assured it’s not a “lonely” alone. It’s a good kind of alone. Like peace. Like, “huh. check that out,” aloneness. :) Of course, then you get that whole other type of worry with the baby outside of you. Before you pretty much knew where they were and what they were doing and you can feel every time they move. Now, you’re trying to decipher baby sounds like a windtalker. Does that mean food or diapee? Now instead of phantom rings, there are phantom cries.

Yes, I’m a grown woman and we say diapee. We also say paci, poopie, doo doo and pee pee.

I also noticed I use "we" a lot. I don't know if I mean her and me, him and her and me, mom and me or just my baby weight and me?
Welcome to my life.

4/5/10 - The Postpartum Chronicles: Days 16-17

Day 16
Here’s how we’re doing on day 16:

Morrison: She Pooped yesterday (picture posted!) and we were so excited that I put it on the internet with a thank you note. (“We” might be a little crowded. “I” was excited. lol) And from the notes, it looks like she pooped early this AM too! Way to go, Mo! She’s doing the 1tsp flax oil per day and the gas drops. We never had any luck with the gas drops early on, BUT we’re willing to give them a second go round and have just been putting them in each bottle just in case they do work. lol

Her scabs from the hospital bracelet are still there, but clearing up. Her belly button’s gone, but we’re still alcohol-ing the little bit of scab that’s left there. Once I get the wii fit plus, i’ll be able to tell you how much she weighs :) but she still seems to be growing (our next appt is April 22). She had her first tub bath last night and liked it (or at least didn’t hate it). And we started infant massage last night and she didn’t hate that either. There are many benefits to infant massage. :) You should google it. Anywho, I think we’ll start doing that every night because she slept really well after it.

That woombie that babe’s work gave us is a dream! I’m usually opposed to swaddling because I don’t like that their arms aren’t free if they need them, but I’ll tell you what: As soon as we zipped her up and buttoned her in, she was out. And she looks like a caterpillar in it. (His work is so awesome).

Her little finger nails still look infected on the sides, but it’s not terribly concerning at this point.

She officially has eye lids. For a while she didn’t really have folds for eye lids. It just kind of looked like she had lashes coming out of no where (about 5 lashes per eye, lol). NOW she’s got lids for eyeshadow! and maybe 30?! lashes per eye! Way to work it, girl!

Me: My postpartum eczema is still around, but is less intense. I don’t think my knuckles have bled in a few days! Significant improvement! It still feels like i might be able to sand some table corners though.

I’m still leaking, but we’ve decreased from “overnights” to “super.” Super. lol Technically my hemorrhoid is STILL there, but less. Who knew it’d take so freaking long to get rid of those?! It’s not irritating though. It hasn’t been since I had her. Definitely a pressure thing. I shaved my legs! (well from the calf down, lol) which I hadn’t done since.. Fall?

I stopped breastfeeding/pumping. It’s made a world of difference in my mood. No more wondering how much I’ll make and if it’ll be enough. No more hiding in the baby’s room pumping (or sitting on the couch and pumping - depending on who’s at the house) while everyone else gets to love on her. I’ll take the pain of not breastfeeding over being unhappy any day. Yes, there’s pain. Like the insides of your boobs have been replaced with billiard balls. Did you know I could drink if i wanted to? I didn’t even get to use those alcohol test strips! I can also eat when I’m hungry and not when I’m not! It’s liberating!

I get about 7 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Sometimes 2 and 5. Sometimes 3 and 4. Sometimes less. Since yesterday I’ve had a headache which I assume is from lack of sleep or hormones.

I weigh 136.6 today (although it fluctuates about 2-3 pounds during the day) and I’ll try to get the post-mo-tum picture up today so you can see. Most of the weight that I notice is on my belly (obviously), my thighs and my hips. My thighs and hips don’t even let my waist get to TRY to fit into my old pants. lol. That’s why we got the new pair.

I haven’t looked at my tear lately, so I’m not sure how that’s doing. I’m trying to keep myself away from it so I don’t worry about it so much.

Day 17: Easter
So during the first shift (which begins anywhere between 10-11:30 and ends when I give up) she decided to eat off an on from 10-1am. Normally, she’ll eat, sleep then wake up an eat. This time it was eat, doze, eat, doze, eat, doze, eat. When I finally got her asleep and put into bed I turned the vibrations on. Success! I finally got to lay down for sleep. I’m a terrible sleeper, as you already know, so when the 30 minute vibration turned off, I hesitated to see if she would stay asleep. She started stirring so I was on that button with a quickness. And nothing.

It stopped working. I pushed and pushed and pushed and she started squirming and squeaking and I pushed the music button and that worked. I pressed vibrations again and nothing. Light worked. Second light worked. No vibration. And then she woke up.

If the war on terror was against the people who made the faulty vibrations button, I’d support it. And that brings us to! my “cry number 5”. lol Not long after, I woke Jim up. He says she went to sleep about ten minutes after he relieved me. I assume that it works this way every time I end the first shift. I’m not bitter or anything.

BUT I slept for 7 hours :) and woke up withOUT a headache (the first time in 3 days). Happy Easter to me! Although short term, sleep is always a good gift idea :)

Auntie Linda and Uncle Tucker came to see Morrison today! She had on her bunny feet outfit (thanks to the mother (and current host) of Ian Foster Carter!). She effectively slept ALL day. Crap.

Mom went to take a nap at 7pm in preparation for the dreaded First Shift. Upon making a bottle around 9pm, I noticed that we needed more formula. There was no way we were going to make it through the night with what was left. Steve babysat Mo so that I could make a mad dash to Walmart at 11pm (yay for 24 hour walmarts!) JUST to realize that during their renovation, they have actual store hours. They close at 10pm now. No soup for you.

That brings us to: Rookie Mistake #2 - Running out of formula. Mom managed to hold her off until I could make the trip when they opened. I suggest you buy the cans in twos. Just in case.

4/2/10 - The Postpartum Chronicles: Bad Night"

Bad Night

So last night, guess who was wide awake from 10pm - 1am? After I got her to sleep, she got VERY uncomfortable and cried a lot. Even holding her, she’d only doze off for half a minute and then wake up looking terrified, jolt her arms and legs out, and scream again. Since yesterday, her feedings have started taking much longer. She’ll eat and then stiff lip us and go to sleep in your arms. She’ll even close her little gums so you can’t get the nipple past them. So then she sleeps and wakes up and is hungry again. Ultimately she’s taking in roughly the same amount (anywhere between 1oz and 3.25oz; with the average being 2.19585 in the last 36 hours. Yes. I did the math. Math is very concrete. Babies are not. So, surprisingly, math is comforting.) The tricky part is that it can take anywhere between 25 minutes to an hour and a half to get that much down. Then she’s hungry again about 2 hours from the starting time.

Now, we’re exclusively formula - I made the executive decision yesterday evening that it’s better for her if I’m not feeling bad about myself and my inconsistent milk production levels. (And I bought myself a sympathy oil of olay skin care regimen and a pair of non-maternity jeans (which make me feel good even IF they are a size 9...)) She gets the gentlelease which has 80% less lactose in it, but it does have iron. I was taking prenatal vitamins while breast feeding, so I assume she got some iron that way too and I’m not really sure if it’s the iron that makes her not poop. When she does poop, it’s not hard (consistency) but we have had a couple green poops (Google says this means: it could be iron, a lactose intolerance or just normal. That’s the must frustrating part. There are no real answers for ANYTHING!)

Anywho, in the last day she has pooped once every 12 hours. She only got the last poop out because mom did the Vaseline/q-tip stimulation. Otherwise, she’s just doing all the tell tale signs of trying to poop but not pooping. Grunting, crying, squishing her legs up to her chest. I was able to continue the shift of holding her, putting her down, holding her, feeding her, putting her down, etc until about 4am. At that point, I was exhausted and I got relief. Then relief got relief at 7am. And then I got up at 8. Anywho, will you tell me again what you did for gas and pooping? And are these things you did for a newborn?

4/1/10 "The Postpartum Chronicles: Days 13-14"

Days 13-14
On day 13, Morrison slept from 12:30 - 4:30am. It was like a dream! I didn’t have to wake anybody up to take a shift and I felt like a “real” mom. Even after 14 days now, it still feels pretty surreal. It’s like she’s been here for a long time, but like she hasn’t been here that long. Fast and slow at the same time. However, that could be the reduced sleep talking. lol She’s doing really well. She fusses a lot because of gas and pooping. She DID poop 4x yesterday which is the most she’d ever pooped in a day (and the minimum amount she should be going. I read that some babies poop after every feeding. Morrison’s not that lucky. She works really hard for hers and gets uncomfortable quite often). We try to sleep her on her sides during the day (when people are watching - babies should sleep on their back until they’re out of the SIDS window) to keep her head from getting flat. She’s losing some hair, but she’s still got the bulk of it (which made the doctor happy - he loves her hair). And when we question whether or not she’s still breathing (like when she’s sleeping really peacefully) we just grab her hand and pull it. She pulls it back and that’s how we know she’s okay. lol. We check breathing a lot around here. (I told you I’m a SIDS freak, right? - blankets are only okay on the feet at night because she can’t get her feet to her head yet. She can have blankets during the day when people are around. She’s got the positioner to keep her on her back at night, and no one is allowed to fall asleep while holding her. Any picture you see where someone’s eyes might look closed while she’s on their chest is just their eye angle to the tv. I’m the only one who’s fallen asleep while holding her and i woke up terrified once I realized what I’d done. I was desperate on night #2 to get her to sleep, but that’s no excuse. Luckily, we lived through that one. Sounds dramatic, i know. It is. I am. lol)

As for me, I’ve still got that extra hole from the stitches. I googled it and it can take 2-3 weeks for a second degree tear to heal. Apparently, 1st degree is just skin and second degree is muscle too. Yowza. So, i’m going to wait until week 3 and give the thing some more time to heal before I call the OB/GYN to have another look-see. My hands are still dry as all get out. Trying to put on my smoking jacket (yes, we have jackets for smoking that are removed upon return inside - we’re very aware of 3rd-hand smoke) is like trying to maneuver sandpaper through a felt tunnel. It’ll be neat when that’s gone, although it’s much more unsightly than uncomfortable. I wash my hands a lot and we’ve got sanitizer coming out of our ears. Even the aquaphor that Tia left for me can’t compete with this level of hand washing. I weigh 138.2, which means I’ve lost 20 lbs. That can mean that the additional 22 I gained is mine to lose. oof! Luckily, I earned money from labor ($11 per hour!) and Jim’s work gave us a gift card which allows me to get the reeboks and wii fit :) Now, I just have to FIND the reeboks and the wii fit. lol

Breastfeeding (or bottle feeding breastmilk) is on a drop. I forgot to take the fenugreek yesterday and was only able to get 2oz total during the last pumping. A day after starting the fenugreek, i was able to get 4oz out of each side. That frustrated me last night, and then she was fussing because she was uncomfortable so we had to have an intervention and get mom up. If you ever find yourself telling a baby to stop crying, you should walk away. We’ll have to make That Molly a sign that says “Thanks for keeping my mom from shaking me! :)” In all seriousness, though, sometimes it’s REALLY frustrating. Especially at night. During the day, everything seems do-able. (Well, except yesterday when I had to wake That Molly up from her nap so that I could nap. Caffeine crash?)

And remember during pregnancy when i talked about pregnancy paranoia and how it’d probably turn into postpartum paranoia? it does. Practicing getting rid of it during pregnancy (changing my thoughts/stopping them, i mean) helped prepare for now. Like if I’m holding her, i can see me dropping her. But not just dropping her, her hitting her head on the corner of the table on the way down. Or spilling coffee on her. Or lola eating her face. All sorts of things. Very morbid things. And I don’t think these are abnormal. It’s like when you drive over a bridge and although you’d never actually drive off (or at least I wouldn’t) you still know that all you have to do is pull the wheel really quickly. That’s the problem with being a creative person in the first place. Imagination is not always a great thing. Heck, it’s why i’m afraid of outside at night and how i can still spook myself into thinking someone’s after me and I have to get into the door as fast as possible. Anywho, the paranoia is the same reason I don’t like handguns. There’s a risk. Move your wrist and you can shoot yourself in the face. There’s too much risk in parenting too. It’ll either get better or it won’t. Either way, it’s not too terrible of a deal yet.

And she made me cry again. This is the 4th time. It was about the reduced milk production. Mom says I have a picture in my head of how I wanted things to go. I’m rational enough to know that there’s not a thing in the world wrong with formula feeding a baby. However, I did want to be a breastfeeder. I know that NOT breastfeeding does not make me less of a mom. But it hurt my feelings regardless and I cried about it. Not bad if you look at the cry/time ratio. 4x in two weeks postpartum? I cried more times during Titanic.

3/30/10 "The Postpartum Chronicles: Day 12"

Well we had a full day! We got up, got everything together, and made it to a doctor's appointment ON TIME. There should be medals for that. The doctor says she's 6.15 pounds which is 7 ounces more than she was last week. He's very impressed with this and commended me :) wee! When she was naked though she peed and stopped and we got her on the scale where she released a good bit of the rest, then we got her off the scale and she proceeded to continue to pee (I've never actually seen her pee. I've seen her poop, but just not pee) on the blanket Tia got her. lol. oops! At least we remembered to take a blanket (actually 2) this time. What we DID forget to bring was another change of clothes. We failed to plan for the inevitable. lol. No worries, we didn't need them :)

So, then the answer to every question I had was, "She's gaining weight, so it's not a problem." Pooping only 2x per day? She's gaining weight, so it's not a problem. Gagging, and throw up? Not a problem if it's not consistent. For the other questions the answers were, "Since her belly button's gone, she can have a tub bath. I think soaking in the water will do her some good" (Q: fingernail/cuticle infection), and "That's a lot of work for a little bit of milk." (Q: Formula choice suggestions?)

He's the only pediatrician I've ever encountered who thinks it's more trouble than it's worth (for ME, specifically) to breastfeed. He's concerned with my sleep (although I DID wear concealer!) and although supports my decision to continue trying to get SOME milk into the mix by going half and half, thinks that me having to take something to do it is a lot of trouble. I don't think it's any trouble. I really want her to have the benefits of it. Even if she only gets half the benefits. I hope she gets the good half!

Then we went on our 1st! Major Outing! (It's technically the second major outing, but I really don't feel like putting "You went to the verizon store so mommy could get a droid" in her baby book. Sooo, "You went to see Daddy at his work today!" She pooped while we were there. I changed her on the conference room table. Apparently, not that I was looking because i was changing a diaper, the look on babe's face when i slapped that crappy diaper down on the conference table was that of sheer disgust and awe. LOL Apparently people eat there. Like everyday.

Meh, just clorox wipe it. ha!

Then, daddy took us to Friday's! We left home at 10:30am. We got home at 3:45pm. I thought I might die from exhaustion. I pumped again (2oz from each breast! Could it be the fenugreek?!) and had a nap. That Molly (my mom) is the BEST. I hope Morrison says that about me some day :D

3/29/10 "The Postpartum Chronicles: Day 10"

Day 11
Talk about scary. So at midnight, she starts getting fussy and I hold her because she looks so uncomfortable. She sounds all congested in her throat when she breathes through her mouth. I suck her nose out (successfully!) but her breathing still sounds labored. One thing I can’t do is clear her throat for her. I would if i could. I’d suck out ever orifice that little angel has if I could get that green bulb in there. I really would. Anyway, so she’s fussing and wiggling and seemed uncomfortable. She hadn’t pooped yet and would only take 1 oz at 9:15pm and again at 10:15pm. At 12:10, she did what can only be described as throwing up. Not spitting up. Spitting up is benign. I remember thinking right before it happened that it’d be really convenient for her if she could gag and throw up. Little did I know that she can. And so she started gagging and I leaned her over with her head over my stomach and out came what I assume is formula, but it was pretty well stuck together. Like a huge snot ball. It had the slimy consistency of snot. I’d never seen a baby gag before. I didn’t even think they could. I didn’t know they could throw up either. I thought it was just spitup until they’re 1. I’m not sure where I got these ideas. They’re wrong, you see. Anywho, she kept gagging, and I, in my extreme panic, started taking her clothes off immediately. She felt warm and I was definitely warm (i tend to assume if i’m cold, she’s cold, and vice versa). So there we were freaking out with her in her little t-shirt and jeans and she’s kind of crying - like purposeful? crying (not food crying) and I woke up Babe. (I’m gonna call him babe from here on out. That’s what I call him at home. I’ve been typing Jim so you’d know who i meant, but it feels weird talking about this “jim” character). So even though babe had to go to work this morning, I woke him up because I was scared. She is so tiny and when she’s close to naked she looks even more vulnerable than ever. Plus, I didn’t like that she seemed so un-babylike when she was throwing up. Maybe my panic removed me from the situation a little, but she seemed not real when she was doing that.

She had what we decided was labored breathing and I asked him if I should go wake up mom because she’d never heard it before. (By the way: The first night shift (from 11-4) is the absolute worst. If you get a shift choice, don’t chose that one. Then again, i suppose i’m spoiled in that I can even call them shifts...)

He told me not to wake mom up because she’ll be helping me at night until Mo gets the hang of sleeping better now that he’ll be officially back to work. So we watched her. And watched her. I smoked. And would have cried because it was THAT scary and I was still scared. Less scared than when I was alone, but still scared. I didn’t cry because the neighbor’s boyfriend happened to be on their porch. He talks a lot and wanted to strike up a conversation porch to porch in the middle of the night. Not the time, my friend.

So we gave her another bottle (at 12:20am) and she had almost 3 oz and stayed awake until 1:40am - give or take time for the feeding/burping. And then was back up at 2:45 where she had a little less than 2 oz. She was awake again until 4am. That’s when I woke up Jim because I couldn’t not sleep any longer. Apparently around 3-4am I hit a wall. Not a wall that has you nodding out during feedings. That comes before then. This is the, I can’t do it for our own safety - wall.

But while she was in her playpen, i turned on the vibrations and trying to get as much comfort in through her pacifier as I could. I was working on weening OUT the vibrations, but last night was a bad night to try it. She’s currently in her vibrating bouncer IN the playpen as we speak (I don’t trust Lola to not eat Mo’s face yet). We might just be sleeping in that bouncer until she’s 18.

In all honesty, I was praying a lot last night, and I was apologizing for complaining about not sleeping. I’ll take a messed up sleep schedule for a healthy baby. It’s a totally fair trade.

So I’m making a list of things to ask the doctor tomorrow:
Get the go ahead on fenugreek and peppermint sticks.
Her little fingernails - the sides that have that skin that comes up? Not cuticle skin, but that sticky out-y piece? a few of them look like the skin might have grown over or they might be infected. So I’m gonna ask him what I should do for that, what’s going on there.
Labored breathing - incline sleeping - formula choice - spitting up - fussiness - swallowing- bottle change

3/29/10 "The Postpartum Chronicles: Days 1-10"

Days 1-10 PP

**Quick note: I don't spell check these because I do them in a frenzy. I'm pretty sure my grammar and spelling and all of that are probably off. Blame it on the baby!**

I forgot to say Thank you to Stephanie, Mom, Holly, and Jim. Thanks for cheering me on, feeling bad for me, and helping in every way you possibly could. And thanks still to mom, who brings things to me from downstairs, babysits so I can nap, cooks, does laundry, cleans, and teaches me how to be a mom :) You’re a godsend. (I recommend you, reader, have someone who will do these things for you. It’s a stressful time. I don’t know how I’d do being a full-time mom straight from the start). And thank you still to Jim, who’s the best daddy I’ve ever seen :)

Me: Since being no longer pregnant, life has been no picnic. A few days after coming home, we’d set up the baby’s room with a mattress on the floor for me to sleep. (Turns out, she won’t sleep in her crib, but we didn’t know that at the time). Anywho, upon getting up from the mattress on the floor in a panic to calm a crying baby, I did what can only be described as feeling like I tore a stitch. If you’ll remember, I got a stitch from one hole to the other. It hurts really bad when you do whatever I did. It’s a different kind of pain than labor though. This is sharp, sucks your breath out and makes you stop in your tracks. Unless your tracks are working toward calming a crying baby, in which case you carry on. I had mom take a look at it and I took a look at it (with a mirror, of course) and it looked like ---0-- <--that. A line, a gap, a line. Not only was I concerned with the aesthetics of this (and still am), but I worry that it might become a fistula. I prefer to have as many holes as I did when this began. So after days of pain (i’m pretty stubborn) I called the doctor and they scheduled me the same day. I went in and he clipped the stitches, said there was a lot of swelling, but that it should continue to heal fine. He asked how I was with pooping and gas and I was honest. “Well, I can feel it coming, but there’s nothing I can do to stop it. So, I just have to act quickly.” And so I got a finger in the butt. Surprise! A pop quiz I couldn’t have studied for. “Squeeze my finger.” So I tried. Then he said again, “Squeeze my finger.” “I’m not doing it?” lol The books say you can’t do kegels until after the first week, so I’ve been practicing (when I remember) to stop my pee. I can halt it some, but i can’t stop it yet. It’s like starting from scratch. So now, I’m stitch free, but still healing. I have bacitracin (same thing we have to put on mo’s feet from her hospital bracelet scabs/cuts) for the tear, and prep-h for the continued hemorrhoid. The hemorrhoid is not so bad now that I have things to compare it to... So, I still have pain at the tear, and I just decided not to look at it for a while. I’m supposed to be doing sits-baths, but I haven’t. Not sure why really. Laziness?

Since the catheter too, sometimes when I pee it’s like there are razor blades coming out. At least I think that’s because of the catheter. It wasn’t an issue at the time I saw the doctor, so I didn’t bring it up.

Now, I’ve got this awesome feeling of bruising pressure. It’s like someone hit my lady parts with a baseball bat. Sitting hurts. I assume this is normal. They’ve been through some serious trauma. I’m free to take ibprofen and I’ve got some numbing spray. Neither of which I remember to do consistently. lol

My hands are still too swollen for me to wear my wedding ring. My scalp has started a revolution against me. My hands, forearms, and right side of my nose have contracted what I’ve dubbed postpartum eczema. I’m not sure if that’s what it really is, but it looks like i’ve spent some time rubbing the backs of my hands on a brick wall. They’re dry, cracking, and bleeding. It’s pretty sexy.

At the hospital, pre-birth, I weighed 158 lbs. Post birth, I weighed 148 lbs. We know a little over 6 of that was the baby, I assume some was the placenta (which the doctor took out - i forgot to tell you that I never had to labor the placenta) and the rest had to have been sweat. My body started ridding itself of fluid like nobody’s business. My feet were sweating into my rainbow flip flops. And I never sweat. Now, 3/28/10 (ten days after birth), I weigh 139.8. The doctor said that after two weeks, my hormones should be where they were and my weight would be the starting point. Meaning that whatever I’ve got after 2 weeks postpartum, is what there will be until I do something about it. lol. I’m not really hungry like I was before, but I’m supposed to be consuming an extra 500 calories per day for the breastfeeding. So I force feed myself.

My milk production between the left and right breast continues to vary. I’m pumping about every 3 hours, massaging from outside to inside, trying to get rest, but still get inconsistent results. In a good session, I can get 4 oz of milk (my best was 2oz and 2oz). Sometimes, it’s 2.5 and 1.5. Sometimes 1 and 2. I’m committed to trying fenugreek as soon as i can find it. Word on the street is that it increases your milk production as a side effect. It’s originally used for decreasing glucose, i think. Of course the FDA doesn’t back any of this, so we shall see.

Morrison: She’s doing really well. She gained weight and we go back to the doctor on Tuesday. She’s still sleeping days and fussing nights, but we did get 2.5 hours of awake time today, which is a huge deal. I’ve turned the heat up in the house (again) in hopes that she is able to stay warm - She’s got some cold little hands! She makes all these funny faces while she’s sleeping. Mom says angels are talking to her and telling her jokes. I got an accidental gum-wide smile yesterday. That’s the best. And when she purses her lips and looks like she’s singing soprano in a choir. She’s a funny little bird. We’re still working on getting the pooping thing regular. At this point she’s supposed to be pooping at least 4x/day i think. We’re at 2 or 3 and I think the gassiness might be part of the night time fussiness. Every once and again we lube up a baby q-tip and “stimulate” her butt. She doesn’t mind it a bit and it’s not going IN-in there, just around and putting some pressure on the sides there to let air/poop/whatever-might-be
-in-there out.

Currently we’re using Enfamil Premium w/ Lipil to cut the breastmilk, but I picked up some “for fussiness and gas” for when we run out of the premium. That shit is expensive. I usually don’t cuss, but i needed it for emphasis here. It’s no joke. We got powder this time though. Jim’s been picking up the premade which makes making bottles easier, but runs out pretty quickly (unless you get the big can of premade. The tricky thing about that is since we’re going half and half, we’ll probably have to toss about 9oz tomorrow because it only holds for 48 hours).

Her umbilical cord is still attached. We put alcohol at it’s base 2x a day. She gets bacitracin on her ankles for her little cut/scrapes/scabs from the hospital bracelets. We put .3ml? of gas drops in her bottle because she’s a pretty resistant burper. She also gets a dropper (not sure the measurement) of vitamins each day. A new AMA recommendation. The pediatrician thinks it’s crap, but he’s old school. I prefer to go by the AMA guidelines, lol.

I’ve sucked out her nose probably 3 times (1x successfully) because sometimes she breathes weird. I mean, babies breathe weird quite often. Fast short breaths. Gurgly breaths. Congested sounding breaths. None of which are consistent or last for very long. That’s how I figure it’s not something. It’s still scary though. We’ve got her sleeping on an incline just in case.

3/26/10 "The Pregnancy Chronicles: LAST ONE!"

Next up: Postpartum Happenings :)

(I forgot to say that we asked about the stitches. I’d never had any before and kinda wanted a number so that if anyone ever asked i could say, “I got 87 stitches in my hoohah,” BUT he said the tear was 2nd degree (there are 3 degrees) and that it was tricky to say because it was one long stitch. He pinched his fingers to about two inches apart though. That’s how long the tear was.)

A couple hours after labor, we moved from the L&D room to the postpartum room. Morrison aka “Cole, Girl” went to the nursery. Later they brought her in the room with these bracelets. She had bracelets on both her ankles with a number. Jim and I got matching bracelets with the same number. Every time we picked her up from the nursery or they brought her to us, they’d check our codes to make sure we matched. If that wasn’t enough security, Morrison had an alarm (like the one’s they put on Seven Jeans at Belk) attached to her remaining umbilical cord. During our stay we actually saw the alarm go off at the nurses station. Turns out that a doctor had an alarm in his pocket and happened to walk off the hall. The nurses were on it quick like a bunny. It made us feel really secure.

Although I was walking around, it was more waddly than ever. Everything swells and your pad is one of those super thick overnights and every time you walk its like your insides pound down onto everything that’s sore. But walking still happens. And I was grateful. I don’t like the loss of control.

During my stay I met with a bunch of lactation consultants. Breastfeeding was my choice method of nutrition and we did an okay job on the right side, but the nipple’s a little bit different on the left so we had to do what’s called “Holding your boob like it’s a cheeseburger” which means you just have to squish it a little. They made me feed her while they watched a lot. After feeding I was supposed to express a little milk and rub my nipples with it (watch out porno!) because that’s “all the nipple care you need.” I can tell you now that that is untrue. So at the nursery where the babies are kept, they wrap the babies up really tightly in a blanket. We call it the burrito. Technically it’s swaddling. Jim’s a great burrito-er. Not me though. No worries. It makes me nervous that they don’t get their arms anyway and Mo, who’s strong enough to roll already, needs her little hands out to make me feel better. At night in our room, I was thinking that Mo would stay in the nursery and I would get some rest. Like having top notch babysitters who stay awake all night. No such luck. I woke up at 1am when they brought her in for me to feed her. Then again an hour or so later, and then again. Jim slept like a baby. (for the record, when they say “like a baby” i think they really mean “like a baby who sleeps through the night” because otherwise mine’s broken. lol

They were very concerned that I pee. I had heard before that they want you to fart before you go, but apparently that’s c-section. Peeing felt like the water breaking. I had a bottle to squirt water on myself to clean/dilute pee/initiate pee. Once i did it, I had to go tell the nurse. I was excited, sure, but she also asked that I tell her when I did it. Then I made the call to go poop on my own. I figure - with something that seems so scary and IS scary to think about doing - it’s safest to have an emergency at the hospital. So i pooped twice while we were there. I told you I was a good pooper. Jim and I high-fived it, i think. lol

Not really a lot happened as far as much more progress while we were there. Every time I got a new nurse she’d take my temp and bp, check my “bottom” (that’s what they called it) and bleeding (which was still bruised (it’s still bruised today - ouch!) and the bleeding is fine) and feel my fundus (where the top of my uterus was). By the second day, the top of my uterus was out of my boobs and and under my belly button. THAT’s how fast it goes down. When we changed (we = me and one of my nurses) the first pad she said “See? Like a heavy period,” to which I replied, “Who’s heavy period is that?!” But it gets less and less each time. We declined the “New Parent brunch” because we were aching to get OUT of the hospital. On the first on our second night i think, an emergency call came to the nurse’s station while Jim was at the nursery to get Mo. It was a woman who was at 24 weeks and was being brought via ambulance from her ob’s office. Later we saw that one of the delivery room doors was shut and there was a rose taped to it. That’s the signal for “the baby didn’t survive.” Jim was instantly wrecked by this and experienced what professional’s call “survivor guilt.” He, and rightly so, felt sad because we had so much wonderfulness going on. We didn’t have a c-section so I was mobile. The lady in the postpartum room next to us was in a wheel chair with tubes everywhere and had to keep buzzing the nurses to help her move. We were lucky. Our baby only had a bruised head and that’s it. Other babies had wires and patches and monitors and heat lamps. We were lucky. It’s hard to confront the amount of sadness that concurrently exists while we were so happy. So we felt guilty and it was really tugging on Jim’s spirit. We wanted to go home where it wasn’t so sad. So we opted not to go to the lunch. The hospital seemed offended by this and actually accused of trying to leave before meeting with the lactation consultant one last time. Really, we were wheeling that angel back to the nursery so we could go smoke (and I could score more chocolate pudding!) I still got asked when I was due a few times while walking around lol. Then when we thought we were done, they made us wait longer because I had to be seen by my ob to be discharged. FINALLY we finished and carted all the stuff to the car and passed the carseat challenge where they check to see how much you screwed up when trying to harness your little one for safety. We did a pretty good job. And THEN we went home!

When we got home, we saw that Gramma steve had decorated for Morrison’s arrival. It was killer cute with balloons and a banner and carriages and bibs and the whole lot.

Since we’ve been home I’ve cried three times. lol.
1: 1st night home - Putting morrison in her crib in her room which is not the same room as the living room where i was. We’ve got Cab’s video monitor so we can SEE her, but it wasn’t the same. I know that my presence is not what keeps her alive. I also know, it couldn’t hurt. Either way I was scared. And i cried. And told babe and he let me keep her in the play pen in the living room. He’s really good about me being sad.

2: 2nd night home - Jim let me sleep in.

3: 3rd night home - Breastfeeding. I was getting SO frustrated trying to feed her because she’d suck for less than a minute and and then go to sleep. She stopped going for 10-15 minutes per breast at one sitting. I didn’t like being frustrated because I didn’t feel like I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do, but that SHE wasn’t doing what SHE was supposed to do. You should always try NOT to be mad at the baby. So we decided that I’d just pump instead. And that’s what I was doing. But then, she started wanting more milk than I was able to make. So now we’re supplementing with formula. We’re doing half formula, half breastmilk. She’s taking it pretty well and i’m almost caught up to make two bottles of half and half from one pumping session. Oh, btw: breastfeeding feels just like having your nipple sucked on. lol. It doesn’t feel sexual though. It sometimes (depending on the latch) hurts and sometimes not. You do get a sense of euphoria with it after a while though. You kind of feel loopy and sleepy. I suppressed the giggles more than once. lol Pumping, however, is not as pleasant. It’s harder to get milk out with the pump alone. Sometimes, if I can get her to feed even for a few seconds on just one breast, both will start leaking and make it easier to pump. Sympathy milk. That was another part of the frustration with feed her. While i was sitting there, boobs out, trying to get her to suck “vigorously” (they call it) for more than just a second, everything would start leaking all over everything. On her face, in her eye, on my clothes, on our chairs, everywhere. It’s difficult not to get frustrated when that happens. At least for me. Plus, in the middle of the night, everything is harder. It’s quiet. It’s dark. It’s lonely. Night is very scary and I had started (in only that short time being home) getting very anxious about the sun going down. Very anxious.

I’m a good pooper, but i’m a terrible sleeper. I had RLS before pregnancy. It increased during pregnancy, and it still exists. Sometimes, I can feel it coming on before i’m even laying down. Before I’ve even gone to bed. I’m still watching tv and then there it is. Also, it always takes me like 30 minutes or so to go to sleep. So you figure: You’ve got a baby who wakes up every 2 hours to eat. If she gets up at 2am, you take some time to figure out what she’s woken up for (diaper, food, comfort, cold - it’s cold in our house because we have bad windows - belly ache, whatever). Usually, I start with food. So factor in the feeding. You have to heat up the bottle, NEVER in the microwave, and get it all set up. Then you start feeding, maybe at 2:15. Between the bottle and burping you figure you can be done around 2:45 or 3am. Then you lay her down and she sleeps and you wash the bottles (for a while we only had one good slow flow nipple) and set up the next bottle. Then you lay down and it takes 30 minutes or more to go to sleep. By the time you can consider sleep she’s up again because it’s been two hours. The time of sleep you get is based on when the feeding STARTS, not when it ends. You can see how this might get old for me really fast. And you can see why I cried out of happiness and amazement when I woke up on my very own. Since we’ve switched to me pumping pretty exclusively (which they tell you not to do: They tell you to wait until after 2 weeks to 1 month, but sanity is very important to me. So is not shaking a baby.) i’m a lot less stressed. Since we’ve started supplementing with formula she can sometimes go 3-4 hours between feedings. Sometimes it’s still at 2 hours, but last night she let me sleep from 1-4am. Those are critical hours. I get about 3 hours total at night and about 2-4 during a nap in the day (when it’s not my shift!)

From here on out, these posts will be more like the regular TMI’s, maybe week by week?

Oh, and hear this: If you’re concerned about the smoking. The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the risks of my smoking. And we don’t smoke in the house, so the SIDS risk is reduced. I’m a SIDS freak - I’ve been to conferences, which is why I worry about her being cold. She’s only allowed blankets during the day while someone’s on watch. NEVER at night. We’ve got her wearing t-shirts and socks under microfleece onesies while we wait for our halo sleepsack to arrive in the mail :) And the socks don’t stay on. lol

3/26/10 - "Labor & Delivery: Part 5"

Part 5: Delivery
(I forgot to say that although the epidural numbs your lower half, you can still move it. At least that’s Martha Jefferson’s policy. I’m sure it’s possible to have one like my mom describes having where she had to ask my aunt martha to pick her leg up and put it back on the table after it fell off. But! Martha Jefferson wants you to be able to move your legs AND lift your butt up. Ha, I’ll get to the butt lifting. ALSO: for the first time pregnancies that may be following this blog: You may be discouraged at this point because it’s been terrible and is about to get worse, BUT Let me just ad this ironic tid bit. I would and am planning to do this all again - even knowing what I know. I have, by no means, forgotten any of the terror and torture and horribleness, but I promise, it’s just one of many experiences life brings... this one just happens to bring life. Definitely worth it. Please have your baby. It will be alright. (Just get the epidural as soon as possible)).

Ah, delivery! By the time I was fully numb, I got to 10 cm and the doctor said that I was ready to go! All we were waiting on was “the urge to push.” So an hour goes by and I’ve got nothing. Cynthia - My angel of a nurse who although told me things that I thought were dumb (like breathe through the pain - ha!) was the sweetest woman to me. I’ll get to why I love her now.

At that point my doctor was Dr. Wills. But during his rotation at the hospital, he had to do an emergency c-section on someone, so my doctor changed again! This time to Dr. Levit (the one I hadn’t been too fond of during my prenatal days). Rats!

Cynthia, my angel, decided that we could just “try” pushing during the contractions, even though I never got the urge to push. I’ll tell you now, as much as I then learned that we’d just push through the rest of the contractions, I actually never felt the urge to do it. Not that I didn’t WANT to. I was soo done with pregnancy. lol

She asked me if I had done any birthing classes. I gave her the same answer that I’ve given everyone who’s asked. “Nope. I’ve seen it on tv. I can do it.” LOL Talk about some sideways looks. Really though, I don’t think that people telling me how to breathe would really have prepared me anyway. It’s honestly a test that you can’t study for.

Here’s how pushing works: You have two friends hold your legs up - don’t worry, your joints are totally lubricated by this point from pregnancy anyway and you’ll be surprised how close your knees will go to the back of the bed. Then you, depending on how bad you want it, hold your knees or put your hands on the soft parts of your feet and use that as leverage. (I suggest holding your feet - it feels more productive). Then for me, we did 4 pushes at 8 counts each. So the contraction would come - didn’t hurt (sometimes she’d tell me when to start, sometimes I’d feel my belly with my hand and it’d feel like it was getting tighter and we’d push). I say WE because mom was holding her breath and pushing too. At one point during labor, Stephanie told mom she should stop before she bursts something and I started laughing and it totally ruined that push. “Don’t be funny, Steph.” lol Back to business: So pretty much you take a deep breath, pull your feet to your body (like on tv) and put your chin into your chest. You push for 8 seconds 4 times. It goes like this: Big breath in, pull your feet toward you and people count while you push hard 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 exhale quickly, inhale straight away, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, exhale quickly, inhale straight away, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 , exhale quickly, inhale straight away, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. A lot of the time, I was pushing from my face. That means, My face got red, I was holding my breath and i think that’s how people pop blood vessels in their eyes. Cynthia pushed her hand against my perineum (the space between your lady part and your butt part - very PC, lol) and said “Push from here.” So that’s what i started doing. And you can probably figure what happened. I hadn’t actually gone to the bathroom since the catheter and that was just pee. So, as scared as I was in the beginning that I’d poop on the table? Well, I pooped on the table. LOL

BUT hear this, pregnant women: It was perfectly fine. As soon as the poop would start she would flip up the pee pad (exactly the same as a puppy pad that you’ll be really used to sitting on after you check into the hospital because there’s all kinds of stuff that can come out) and as soon as the push was over, she’d clean everything up. She was fast. I couldn’t feel that I was doing it, but I knew she was cleaning me up. The hospital staff are used to this. To be an effective pusher, you have to push. She was so professional about the whole thing - as were my family who when I brought it up later, denied that it had even happened so I wouldn’t be embarrassed. I wasn’t embarrassed in the least. At that point, you’ve had so many people taking a gander at your hoohaa (technical term) and you’re so focused on being a good pusher that it’s really no big deal. Cynthia didn’t seemed phased or put off in the least which made me feel perfectly normal and not embarrassed. Plus she cleaned me up so fast and so often that it’s not like i built up enough to make the room smell. She was effective. One of the reasons I love her.

Anywho, the counts don’t go by fast. They’re slow counts. So you’re pushing for a full 8 seconds. Another thing that no one tells you (and you can’t really gauge from tv, lol) is that there are breaks between pushes. I did not know this. After your 32 seconds of sheer pushing you can stop and breathe and wait until the next contraction comes. (This is where Jim really worked the clutch. He was on the ready with a cold wet rag for my head and an ice water with a straw for my breaks. Yay, Jim!)

What you can practice now - which will sound silly, but what really worked for me is this: Wait, let’s get a little more personal. I’m a good pooper regularly. Forget about the on the table business and focus! I’m an in and out pooper. I go in, I don’t doddle. I poop in less than a minute and I’m out of there wicked fast. It’s one of my attributes! What you can practice now (via your own pooping - and even if you aren’t pregnant, you can gauge if you can do this so you know if you’d be an effective pusher) when you go to poop, push like normal and then continue to breathe while not losing the push. I mean, poop and take a breathe without letting go of that push you just had (i.e. don’t let the poop go back in). What will happen here is this: If you can do this, it will come in really handy when you’re trying to get the baby past your pelvic bone. What happens is that when you’re pushing that baby out, you’ll push and when you’re not pushing, she’ll (or he’ll) scoot back in. It actually works that way post pelvic bone too. Just practice it. Couldn’t hurt, right?

Here’s where the pain starts. Pain, you say? But you had an epidural! I KNOW. Another thing that would have been helpful to know is that there are things the epidural does not cover. Well, maybe it wouldn’t have been helpful to know in advance. Sorry to ruin it for you. Even with the epidural I had pain while she moved down to my pelvic bone. This is the part when your bones shift to allow the head to go through. It feels as good as it sounds. I was so frustrated that the pain came back, but you can kind of work through it with the pushing. Not that the pain is less, but it’s kind of like you’re too busy to focus on the suck so much. Noun, not verb. (Not long before labor, Jim, Mom and I watched Jarhead and during my hospital stay, mom and I kept saying, “Welcome to the suck.” lol)
Anywho, the pain IS dulled a little and I don’t remember it being a dollar. More like 75 cents. Once you’ve had a dollar though, and then had 0 cents, and then go to 75 cents, it’s not too terrible. It’s terrible, but just not TOO terrible. Not like dying.

So, we get her head past and I’m feeling really good about myself. And we’re pushing some more (and holding the push between breaths) and you can see Mo’s head kind of coming. It’s like, your lady parts become a beanie. lol. And from your real lady parts, other people can see her head - WHEN you’re pushing. The baby scoots back in when you aren’t pushing (because she’s a mean mean girl). This is where Holly would make a circle with her finger and her thumb to let Jim know how much of her head you can see. Cynthia was really positive at this point. Another reason why I love her is that she kept calling me ashley and being really positive. You can do it, ashley. Come on, ashley. She was like a calm cheerleader. A calm cheerleader who was off of work at 3. We started pushing at 2pm. I was trying to get Mo out quickly, but mostly trying to do it before Cynthia’s shift ended. And I told Cynthia that a lot. Which I think is why she stayed past her shift (reason 3 for my love for her).

When you get past the pelvic bone at Martha Jefferson, a really cool thing happens. Your bed is actually a transformer and they’re able to rip off the bottom half of the bed, swing those stirrups up, and really get down to business. (Don’t worry, by this time, you’re totally out of poop and it’s not even an issue. Not that it ever was before, but just in case you’re worried.) There’s this cart that Dr. Levit got too that had all these metal tools on it. When they got this cart out, I really felt like something was going to go down. In a good way. Here we go!

So I’m pushing and pushing for a little over an hour and then her head comes out! and Dr. Levit sucks out her mouth and nose and in the next push he PULLED HER OUT. He pulled her out of me. Once her shoulders were out (which ended up being less than an inch bigger in circumference than her head, thank you, Jesus!) I could feel a lot less pressure, and then he pulled the rest of her out and put her on my chest. I’M NOT PREGNANT ANYMORE! It’s over! It’s done! I did it! Hooray! And there she is, this little mess that had reeked havoc on my life for the last few months. And she looked asian. LOL. I was more than excited to have her, but I didn’t get all sentimental. I was just glad it was over. Done. Finished. And I thanked Dr. Levit again and again for pulling her out. He told me that I pushed her out, but I watched him and I don’t need the credit. I was never working toward a medal of honor. He totally pulled her out, regardless of what he says. So I like him now. A lot for that. She came out at 3:01pm and the relief nurse worked with Cynthia (who stayed 15 minutes past her shift to see me through) toweled and off the baby and set stuff up for later to the side. Dr. Levit said I tore and began stitching me up. I’d originally said I wanted an episiotomy, but I had all 4 doctors during my labor so it may have gotten lost. Doesn’t matter too bad I guess. You can’t feel them stitching, btw. AND Dr. Levit waited until the umbilical cord stopped pulsating before he let mom cut it. Jim passes out so we pre-decided he wouldn’t cut it. (Although, he’s now army strong and thinks he can do the next one!) And Tah Dah! I made a baby! A 6 pound 14 ounce baby :) All she had was a bruise on her head. I had bruising all around my bottom, stitches, and that damned hemorrhoid from the previous week(s). The new nurse cleaned me up, which i thought was nice, and not long after baby she had me walk to the bathroom. They’d set me up with pads for the bleeding and I put on my own underwear! Well, Holly’s underwear. I forgot to bring the pregnancy sized underwear in my go-bag. Jim forgot everything in his. lol

(Oh! and Dr. Levit said our family was awesome. He said that usually people lump up in the delivery room eating McDonalds and watching the lady do all the work. ALL of my people were working. Not as hard as me, but still. lol we rock!)

****UPDATE (3/27/10)***** So I forgot to tell you (because I forgot to put it on my outline) that at some point during contractions, post epidural but before any pain was gone (i think), i started throwing up. So add that to your mental picture of the miracle of birth. Luckily, the body adapts and lets you figure out really quickly how to throw up in a bedpan to the side while not ever actually getting up from the writing pain in your back :) (Don't worry, though. They give you something for the puking and it works really well. And the epidural works later, remember?)