Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Four outfits

That's the average number of outfits I must try on to find something that a) doesn't let my belly completely stick out, and b) doesn't hurt my lower belly so much that I'm confused and think I'm having labor pains, and c) doesn't squeeze my upper belly so much that I can't catch my breath.  

Good Times!!

I'm noticing this familiar trend when I go in public (which is not often these days).  Last night, for instance, I went to Target.  (Don't hate me, I know some of you are boycotting, and that's cool if that's your thing, but they have things that I like, and I can only get them at Target).  I did have to try on a couple of outfits before heading out...nothing fancy, just run-up-to-Target outfits.  Maybe for some of you, that's still a fancy choice, but for places like Wal-Mart and Target, I'm just trying to avoid getting posted on a "People of Walmart" site...that's it for my standard.  And for me that standard right now, simply means a shirt that pretty much covers my belly.  So, I finally settled on some gray jersey shorts, my ghetto "Love is gonna get ya!" shirt (gotta be true to my ghetto roots), and some flip-flops that well, were a little nasty looking, but they were the only things that wouldn't do my feet in while walking the gigantic store (This is Super-Target, not some little Target...sheesh!).

Oh, back to the trend...

I'm being snickered at in public!  I've noticed it several times, and I'm starting to think I'm maybe NOT imagining it.  

Take last night...  I've already mentioned how striking my outfit was, so maybe it was jealousy whispers.  And let's face it, I'm 5'2" and that belly  has no where to go but out.  And, well, I am in pain with almost every step I take, so I am probably wincing a bit.  And as hard as I tried to find the right outfit, those shorts were riding down in the front, leaving nowhere for my hunormous (an old Sophie term) belly to go, and at times was probably slightly exposed.  At the same time, my ability to feel when said belly is exposed to the air...not so great these days.  Sigh...

Now, last night, to be fair, wasn't filled with moms at the store who could at least give me a sympathy glance.  It was filled with college-aged kids who were sort-of hanging out at the super-cool store.  So, I'm sure they can't imagine ever looking so awkward when someday they are starting a family.  But seriously....they were actually covering their mouths, whispering, and looking back at me...oh-so-sly-like.  And then they would often not  move out of my way, because they're that cool.  

Even last weekend, we went to a splash-pad to have a fun family outing before baby's arrival.  I was self-conscious splashing around with my kids anyway...and felt the stares of the non-splashing adults.  And this was another typical day here where the temp was about 105 (not exaggerating).  So, to splash at all takes great effort on my part, and for the most part I wanted to just sit down.  There were several shady spots, but all were occupied.  I was headed over to a freed bench when some lady cut me off and spread her kids towels all over it.  I stood awkwardly nearby thinking she would surely offer me to sit on part of the shaded bench.  It's not like I don't look miserable.  But, no...had to save those spots for her kids who were busy splashing and not sitting.  Finally another bench opens up and I take it!  A few minutes into it, I have to stand up to call for my daughter.  I maybe took 3 steps out, and when I got her attention, turned to sit back down, and some man had grabbed it and spread his kids stuff all over the bench.  I was done.  I should have enlightened them all as to their inconsiderate nature, but instead, I just told my family I couldn't find a shady spot to sit and I couldn't breathe, and it was time to go.  I don't think Joe minded the excuse anyway.  

People are amazing.  I hope to remember these moments and show a lot of mercy and compassion on poor, miserable 9-month pregnant people.  

In the mean time, I hope to make the most out of the couple outfits that still fit.  

I'd post a pic...but I don't want to tempt you to gawk.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Natural Childbirth

WHY???  is what I get from most people.  Then there's the occasional, "Good for you!"


As it gets nearer, I can't help but ask myself the same question, and then hope I can exclaim "Good for Me!" when it's all said and done.  

But, I do have reasons.  

First of all, I had a terrible 1st epidural experience.  If you're a first-time-mom, you maybe shouldn't read this.  At the same time, I felt my experience had a lot to do with the fact that the real facts and risks about epidurals are often glossed over by the medical staff, and so most people go into it only hearing "it's the worst pain ever, why wouldn't you get the epidural?"  And quite frankly, it's a lot easier on the medical professionals when mom is calmly bringing forth her new life, unaware of any trauma to her nether-regions.  

So, in my first experience, I was induced with a cervical pill that put me into hard labor with contractions every 2 minutes from the git-go.  And since all I'd heard was how horrible labor was, I wanted the epidural IMMEDIATELY.  The anesthesiologist comes and starts the procedure.  I feel this pop in my back, and my leg kicks forward on it's own, and I say "I didn't do that," and he says, "uh-oh."  

Not exactly what you want to hear from someone placing a sharp object into your spine!!

As I rolled over and was told I was fine, I started to notice that everything was numb from my chest down.  They didn't like that so much, so quickly sat me up.  Then my blood pressure crashed and my baby's heartbeat dropped significantly.  They quickly put some emergency drugs in my i.v. to correct all that.  I also noticed a headache right away.  The anesthesiologist said, "oh that's just your sinuses."  I told him I didn't have any sinus issues before labor.  When it came time to push, I couldn't feel a thing, and nothing was happening.  It took 2 hours of pushing to get her out.  

Immediately after she was born, I noticed a pretty significant headache.  I spent my day in the hospital hoping it would just go away, and the only thing that seemed to help was to lay as flat as possible with no pillow.  My anesthesiologist even came to visit me...has your's ever done that?  He even called me at home.  I think maybe he suspected he had screwed up.  

Then I spent the next 5 days  in the most excruciating pain...worse than any labor pain.  My head hurt so bad that to sit up to eat or go the bathroom just brought me to tears.  Apparently he had gone through the dura layer of my spine, and the spinal fluid was just leaking out.  So it was like my brain was sitting on my brainstem....I don't know if that's accurate, but it was horrendous.  By the time I was to the 4th day, I could barely hear from all of the pressure.  It was this strange mix of emotions from being thrilled to have brought my first beautiful baby into the world, and being in such constant overwhelming pain.  So on the 5th day, I got the go-ahead to go to the emergency room and have a blood patch.  This is where they take blood from your hand and insert it into the same hole in your spine.  If it works, it clots and within an hour you are better.  Thank God it worked for me.  Within that hour I could hear again.  I was a new person.  

I've got to say that with headaches that  bad, I didn't even notice the normal post-delivery pains that a mom would feel.  So, I guess there's a bright side to everything, right??

When I got pregnant the 2nd time, I decided to look into my ability to do natural childbirth.  I did a lot of reading on-line and decided on a book called "About Hypnobirthing."  For me, it was a concept where I had to throw out a few ideas that didn't mesh with my spiritual beliefs, but overall, it gave me some real tools and confidence to get through labor and delivery.  It gives a good history about how most of the world gives birth without assuming it's that horrendous, and even how the U.S. first started overmedicating women in labor, and how that's affected the stories we tell and our psyches ever since.  It also gave great deep breathing and focused relaxation techniques.  And it reminds me that my body was absolutely created to do this.  

With Jossie, I went into labor on my own, which made a big difference.  I had been laboring for 3 hours before I woke my hubby up.  He didn't believe me, since I was so calm.  By the time he took his hour-long shower and changed car-seats to our friend Angel's car, I was feeling pretty confident I was in labor.  At the same time I was so calm, that I was totally second-guessing myself by the time I was at the hospital.  In fact, I told them my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and I was so calm that they were in no hurry to believe me or check me.  When they finally got around to it, I was 7 cm and they were rushing me to the delivery floor.  I walked, which also shocked them.

Now, I won't lie that there is this moment of wanting to change my mind and even screaming as the baby is coming out, but in the end I don't have to be catheterized to urinate, and I can get up and walk around, and I can know that I didn't risk paralysis, or my baby's health.  The nurses have been very impressed with my overall calmness.  

Ahhh...I feel better reminding myself why I do this. 

I feel ginormous right now, like this baby has to be a 10 pounder at least.  And the thought of a 10 pounder all natural, does not sound appealing.  I also have some anxiety because something has gone wrong with each birth afterward.  I won't tell you what it was with Jossie...definitely TMI.  With Norah, she came out so easily, thankfully, but then a week later I contracted viral meningitis and spent a week with the most horrendous headaches again.  This time I couldn't lean my head backward at all or I would cry in pain.  I had to sleep with my back straight against the wall and when I'd get into too deep of sleep and my head would slip down, I'd wake right up with excruciating throbbing in my head.  I went through several tests, and my heart rate had even dropped to the 40's and the stupid urgent care doc told me that she was about to send me in for a pacemaker.  WHAT???  I'm obviously fine now, but wow...I want everything to be as healthy and normal as possible this time around, that's for sure.

Then there's the diabetes issue.  For Sophia, so much has changed since Noni-bear was born.  I have so many more details that whomever is watching her HAS to think about and do.  And since I'm the mommy, only I feel I make the best decisions regarding what she eats and insulin.  But, I'm having a baby regardless and she will be fine, I know..  Her emotions are all over the place at times too, which gives concern for baby transition.  I know God will give us grace and we'll get through this just fine.  

I have several doctor's appointments for me and the girls this week, so once those are through, I say, "bring it on!"  Norah keeps noticing my outie belly-button and saying "turkey's done!"  I agree, oh I agree.  

My foot is slightly swollen, and is causing me lots of pain, so I'm barely walking around.  The average daily temperature (not including heat index) here right now is 102.  I can't even breathe when I go outside, and feel like I could pass out when I stand for long.  My mom spent the week with me getting my last necessary "nesting" things done, so all that to say...I AM READY.  

Praying little baby is ready soon too.