Tag Archives: motherhood

Just An Extra Hour of Bodily Fluids

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It’s 6 am. I’ve been up since 2:30 am. This is my story.

Yesterday was the end of daylight savings, which for parents is pretty much the worst day of the year. Not only does it mess with your kids sleeping schedule, but it adds an extra hour to the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son, I love spending time with him and I love every second of every 24 hours of every day with him. But 24 hours is enough. I don’t need 25. Because for me, it wasn’t an extra hour of sleep, it was an extra hour of spit up, poop and very demanding yells to be  held. Mama don’t need that.

Okay so daylight savings was rough. And to top it all off my usually fantastic sleeper of a baby has been regressing in his sleep patterns and that night was one of the worst. So I woke up with him at 6 and started counting down the hours till naptime. We went to church, picked up lunch, and by 1:30 it was time for us to hit the hay.

My glorious hour and a half nap came to an abrupt end when the dog decided that the nursery floor was the perfect place for her to throw up. Seriously!?! As if I don’t have enough bodily fluids to deal with, now I have to deal with this? Again I repeat, momma don’t need that. The baby was still asleep so I dozed for a few more minutes. When I got up with him I couldn’t find the barf, so I’m assuming the dog ate it, which is so gross but at least I don’t have to touch it so whatever. That dog is honestly at the bottom of my priority list and is the most annoying aspect of my life right now. But that’s a story for another day.

Not 10 minutes later I’m changing AJ’s diaper and he pees all over his face and then poops all over the changing table. Its at this point I start looking for this kid’s parents because I am done. Then I remember that I am the parent, and the other parent is at work, which means I’ve just got to buckle down and deal. So then we start the long stretch until bedtime, which involved copious amounts of spit up. Not projectile spit up, thank goodness, but the kind of spit up that just dribbles onto everything including the purple pants I was going to wear to work tomorrow and don’t have time to wash between now and then. Oh ya, did I mention that maternity leave is over? So this Sunday Funday is occurring before reality check Monday. Awesome.

So the baby goes down at 9:30 which is perfect I’m ready for bed myself so after talking with the hubs for a bit I settle in for what should be a 4-5 sleep stretch. NOPE! That blessed baby wakes up at 12:30. So we move to the nursery futon so that for the rest of the night he can sleep beside me and eat with minimal amounts of effort on my part because I really need some sleep at this point. Things are going quite nicely until 2:30. Now to truly understand the horror of this next part of the story, you need to know two things. First, the wall that the futon is against has the bathroom on the other side. You can hear everything that goes on there. Second, you need to understand that I abhor vomit. I would rather have any other temporary illness other than vomiting. And I HATE it when others throw up. Having said that, what sound do you think I woke up to at 2:30? Nursing brain (aka my sister) was THROWING UP! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? OF course I wasn’t made at her, poor thing can’t help contracting whatever weird illnesses the hospital gives her, but I was definitely angry at the events of the day. Dog vomit, baby vomit and now this? Stupid.

So I move baby and myself back into me and Joe’s room, because there is no way in hell I’m going to risk hearing dear sister expel more demons. But I know, even then, that my chances of sleep are slim to none. The baby has another three hour stretch, during which i dose off but don’t really sleep because I’m to afraid of waking up to the awful sound of vomit. At 6 he was super fussy and wouldn’t go back in the bassinet, so we ventured back to the nursery where I’m currently sitting with headphones cranked up because, seriously, I can’t handle the vomit. In fact, I’m so paranoid that even though I’ve had to pee since midnight, I refuse to use the bathroom. I’ll wait until 7 when my parents wake up and I can use there’s.

So there you have it folks. I’ll need a crap ton of chocolate and tea to get through this day. And I’ll be praying that this sickness of nursing brain’s is only a 24 hour bug, or else Joe and I are getting a hotel tonight. Now, if only I could find a night sitter….

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10 Tips for Birthing a Giant

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Those of you who know me know that having a huge baby was always a fear of mine. My husband was 12 lbs when he was born and I would regularly tell people that we were adopting so that I didn’t have to birth his giant spawn. When I actually did get pregnant, his siblings assured me that all their babies were normal size, so mine probably would be too. It was a nice thought, but it was wrong. My perfect, wonderful, amazing giant of a son was born 1 oz shy of 10 lbs and was a whopping 22 inches in length. Granted, its not as big as 12 lbs, but I’m smaller than his mom so I think proportion wise it evens out. Anyways, I wanted to share the story of birthing my giant and instead of doing it in a boring long narrative (which STFU Parents has informed me is not cool) I’ll simply share with you a few tips I learned during the birthing process. I don’t get graphic, but I do mention the V-word a couple times so if that makes you uncomfortable, you should probably skip this post (I’m talking to you, dad.)

Tip #1- Don’t ask how big the baby is. Knowing that will just freak you out. If the baby’s size is a concern, the doctor will tell you. If you’re still concerned, simply ask if the baby’s size is measuring healthy. Under no circumstances should you ask for a specific size estimate at any time, not even during labor.  About halfway through my pushing process the midwife pushed on my stomach and realized that my son’s feet were much higher than normal, indicating that he was, in fact, a giant. My sweet husband saw her face and said “It’s a big baby, isn’t it?” She answered with a look that said “We’re gonna need a bigger vagina.” Thankfully, though, I was unaware of all of this until after the fact. Had I known, I probably would have just given up and demanded a c section. When it comes to baby’s size, ignorance is bliss.

Tip # 2- Eat. They don’t let you eat in the hospital until after the baby is born, so before you go in eat, eat some more, and then eat one more time. Giant baby’s don’t just slip out of your lady hole. They are a long time coming and you need your fuel. Of course if you’re like me you’ll barf it all up within the first 9 hours of labor, but I’m pretty sure some nutrients still get to you.

Tip #3- Get in the tub. If I had to birth my giant over again I wouldn’t be in such a rush to get to the hospital and would have spent at least another hour in my tub at home. I was having contractions 4 minutes apart for two hours before I went in, but I still would have waited longer. When I got to the hospital they were worried about my blood pressure so they made me stay in the bed. I would have much rather been at home in my bathtub, which was the greatest natural pain reliever.

Tip #4- Get a good partner. Birthing a giant is definitely not something to do alone. Get a good birthing partner, or in my case, a birthing team. Joe was awesome. He was super encouraging, always telling me how awesome I was, and the whole day he asked what he could do to help me (and sometimes he didn’t have to ask he just knew what to do.) He was always calm and positive. He was my rock in every sense of the word. My mom and my sister in law where also awesome. Towards the end they had to physically lift my shoulders off the bed for every contraction.  And of course, all my nurses and my midwife were absolutely the best.

Tip #5- Ask for more meds. If you decide to go without drugs, more power to you. But if you ask for the drugs, don’t be afraid to ask for more. When my epidural started wearing off I thought I was just going to have to tough it out the rest of the time. But my sweet angel of a nurse came in, saw that I was a wreck, and immediately called the anesthesiologist to up my dosage. Since I was only 7 cm at the time, the extra meds helped me get some more sleep before the big show.

Tip #6- Find a focus point. Again, this goes back to the point that birthing a giant takes freaking forever. I wouldn’t have gotten through three hours of pushing if I didn’t have something to focus on. I had brought visuals just like our lamaze instructor recommended, but what ended up being my focus point was AJ’s health. They were concerned about his heart rate as it was elevated during the entire pushing process, and I used that as my motivation to keep going. Every time I wanted to give up I just told myself  “you have to keep going. You have to get him out so his heart rate will go down.”

Tip #7- Yell. In your labor or lamaze class, they are going to tell you to be as calm as possible. They are going to tell you that yelling will only deplete your oxygen and make things worse. This is probably true, but there will definitely be times in the birthing process when yelling will be worth the wasted oxygen. For example, if your very smart and capable midwife somehow forgets to use numbing cream before she cuts your lady bits. That’s a true story folks and that was definitely a yelling moment.

Tip #8- Speaking of oxygen…get the oxygen mask. Have you ever been doing an intense workout and realized you weren’t breathing? That was me the entire three hours of pushing. Luckily sometime during hour 2 the nurses gave me an oxygen mask and it was a lifesaver. It not only reminded me to breath but it helped me relax in between contractions, since I wasn’t one of those lucky people who fall asleep in between contractions.

Tip #9- LImit the visitors, increase the icepacks. After you birth your giant, you’ll be exhausted and in indescribable amounts of pain for days. Seriously, sitting, standing, lying down….it all sucks. Don’t torture yourself by entertaining guests. Those moms you see with a room full of family, hair all combed and their makeup done? Trust me, they just sneezed out a 6 pounder. Your lady bits, on the other hand, just went through freaking Vietnam so don’t push yourself post partum. Don’t be afraid to tell people to postpone their visits. Don’t be afraid to ask for more ice packs. And be sure you take home a ton of ice packs, numbing spray, pads and whatever else the nurses offer you. You’re gonna need it.

Tip #10-  If at all possible, avoid having a giant. While genetics would have prevented me from having a tiny baby, I’m pretty sure he would have just been a normal 8 lbs if I hadn’t gorged myself on watermelon the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my son and would go through that whole process all over again for him. He’s healthy, happy, a good sleeper…I really couldn’t ask for a better baby. But if we are crazy enough to ever forget the condoms again, you can bet your booty I’ll be restricting the sugar intake towards the end because birthing a 2nd giant would be just plain insanity.

 

Where Is My Nesting Hormone?

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Here’s the thing. I was under the impression that pregnancy came with a magical nesting hormone that motivated all women to start cleaning, organizing, decorating and even cooking. Seeing as I’ve never been one to enjoy any of those activities, I was really looking forward to the biological change that would suddenly transform me from a passive Pinterest user into one that actually did the projects she pinned.

And yet here I am at 30 weeks and I’ve got nothing. Over the long Memorial Day weekend I tried to muster up some nesting feelings and went into the babies room to start organizing. BORING! I lasted an hour. Yes, I did get some necessary cleaning and organizing done, but it felt the same way cleaning and organizing felt before I was pregnant. It felt like a chore. A chore I was happy to do because I knew it would prepare for the baby, but a chore nonetheless. There was nothing magical about it.

Meanwhile, Mr Alexander is in nesting overdrive. That man has knitted three hats and four stuffed animals for his son, painted the baby’s room by himself and he just finished making a pallet headboard for our bed. Next on his list is refinishing some shelves and creating some art for the babies room. And now that he has a Pinterest account, the good Lord only knows what other types of projects are going to pop up around the house within the next 10 weeks.

The real kicker in this whole scenario is that while I didn’t get the nesting hormone, I definitely got all the other crappy hormones that come with pregnancy. My lack of a nesting hormone (combined with the fact that I ruined the homemade granola I tried to make) triggered my emotional hormone last night and I was fighting back tears as I verbalized my frustrations to my husband. While hubs listened dutifully, he wasn’t really in the comforting mood and so I was forced to “self soothe.” (Yes, he actually uses that term with me when I’m upset over things he considers trivial…”B, you’re gonna have to self soothe with this one”). And the conclusion I came to was this: I don’t have to be a nesting mom. I’ve got other good mom traits. I can help with homework. I can give advice on friends. I can teach Aaron how not to be annoying on Instagram. I can cheer at sports tournaments and encourage him in musical endeavors. And I can take him a gazillion field trips. Seriously, I cannot wait until he is old enough to go places like the zoo and Discovery Science Center, and do activities like fish, camp and play with sidewalk chalk. Hopefully we will keep him so busy he won’t even notice that his room is lame. Unless of course this nesting hormone of daddy’s sticks around. In which case he’ll have an awesome room and awesome experiences. Which will pretty much make us awesome parents.

All that to say, if any of you mommas are feeling insecure about a certain aspect of motherhood, just take a moment to self soothe and think about all the good mom traits you have. Write them out, stick them on your mirror, dashboard, coffee pot or any place where you will see the list often and then daily remind yourself of your strengths. As for your weaknesses, either work on them or be content with letting your partner shine in those areas 🙂

P.S. I hope that the whole self soothing thing doesn’t make my husband come off as disinterested or uncaring. This is not true at all as he is one of the most caring people I know. But he knows me well enough by now to know when I’m genuinely upset and when I’m just temporarily upset. And he knows I usually work out the temporary upsets better on my own, hence the whole “self soothing” thing. It works for us 🙂