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[this blog left intentionally ugly]

Friday, June 06, 2014

May's Birth Story

I should probably write this birth story for the sake of being consistent.  I'll begin with the same disclaimer as last time:

WARNING: This blog entry is a completely uncensored story about birth. If you're grossed out about things like natural labor, placentas, poop, vaginas -- specifically those belonging to me -- please stop reading now.


I suppose I have to begin on May 5, my due date.  Actually I suppose I should begin the week before that because that's when Husband's grandmother died.  Her funeral was to happen two days before I was due and we weren't sure who, if anyone, was going to be able to go.  Sitting in a car for 8 hours was completely out of the cards for me and Husband didn't want to be out of town when I went into labor even though his dad offered to fly him there instead.  Turns out everyone understood and would have been horrified if he would have gone anyway, but had we known how this pregnancy was going to end I would have pushed him to go anyway.

Ten days later, May 15.  I had another appointment at the birth center that morning.  Husband came with because, seriously, WTF we're 10 days overdue.  We were actually going to try this balloon catheter thing to try and force my cervix open that morning but it turns out I was dilated to 4 or 5 cm and it wouldn't have done any good anyway. "Do you want me to strip your membranes?" the midwife asked.  Uhh... I don't know... that sounds really uncomfortable...... yeah, sure, let's do this thing.  So after being basically fisted (actual midwife's words) I was sent home with a bottle of cotton root tincture and instructions to take it every 15 minutes four time, then wait an hour, then repeat until I went into labor or did five rounds of that.  Cotton root tastes like kerosene so I put it in a shot glass with a little water and chased it with lime like a tequila shot.

Four rounds later I'm feeling really uncomfortable.  My contractions are stronger, getting steadier, lasting about a minute each every 5 minutes or so... kinda.  They were still pretty inconsistent but by late afternoon it was getting a hard to concentrate on work.  I told my boss I was going into labor, signed off, and called the midwife.  I don't remember much of what happened before we arrived at the birth center.  At some point Husband came home and we either both got the kid from school or Husband picked her up... I honestly don't remember.  I was focused on timing contractions.

We got to the birthing center and my cervix hadn't changed.  The midwife told us to go for a walk.  We did for a little bit but decided we were all hungry and since we didn't know if or when dinner was going to happen we went to Noodles and ate there with everything in to-go containers in case we had to run.  We went back to the birth center, Big Sister was picked up by Husband's uncle and driven in his "hiccup truck" to Husband's cousin's house to have a sleepover with their girls.  I walked around the halls between our room and the balcony for a while, tried to hang out on the sling a little bit, drank some Gatorade, and ate more of my dinner until it was time to check my cervix again.  No change.  While she was up in there she asked if I wanted her to break my waters.  There's nothing quite like the pressure of getting asked that question with a hand up your vagina.  Umm... uh... I don't know... do I?  Does that hurt?  Uh... OK.  Let's get this going.

I had a lot of waters.  None of us were prepared for that.

Then!  Finally!  Active labor!  For real!

I had forgotten how much those contractions suck.  They really suck.  I was still able to force a smile and talk a little between contractions but mostly I had to lean over the counter in the kitchen area or hang off Husband while he put counterpressure on my lower back.  The contractions felt a little different than with Big Sister's -- not quite so much pressure in the butt.  I was able to poo a bit earlier so I'm sure that helped.  Then I had to push and I got into the tub and things got a little hazy.  The water was really warm and the pain level went down by at least a quarter when I got in.  I should have gotten in much sooner.  I spent the entire time squatting on my knees because that's just what felt right.  Husband swabbed my face and head with a cold washcloth and fed me water.  The midwife and nurses basically just stayed out of the way and offered just a few words of encouragement.

I had told Husband earlier to just remind me to shut up and push this time.  Last time I was making a lot of (involuntary) screamy-moany-grunty noises and once a nurse told me to put my energy into pushing rather than screaming things moved a lot faster.  So I did my bearing down with as few sounds as I could manage and after about 45 minutes we finally got crowning.  She didn't come out all in one go like Big Sister did and I unfortunately had to wait with her head hanging out of the ring of fire until another contraction and there was some twisting and pulling that had to be done but we finally had a baby!  She came out looking completely calm, if a little bewildered, but she wasn't crying so they had to use a respirator bag on her to get her going.  She was totally fine after a minute so we moved onto the bed for the placenta delivery and some quality bonding.  I liked that the cord wasn't cut for a long time -- I think it was well after the placenta came out -- and we were able to just chill in the bed for a while.  We cuddled, attempted breastfeeding (forgot how much that sucks at first too), and just had some time to decompress.  Then Husband accompanied her for all her checks and measurements while I got to relax in an herbal bath.  That was a nice perk of the birthing center.

We could have gone home sooner than we did but my blood pressure was staying high for some reason so I was very nearly force-fed water and juice until it came back down again.  We were back home by 2:30 AM.  We had a celebratory Fulton Libertine that we had been saving since fall and went to bed.

And now we have May.  Life with two kids is exponentially harder but we're figuring it out more and more each day.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tiny update

Considering all the horrific problems I had with my last pregnancy with sciatica, heartburn, and vomiting I’ve got it pretty easy this time.  This time I get super thirsty, drink a glass of water, then feel completely bloated for the next hour.  All I want to eat are cooked veggies, steak, cream of wheat, and doughnuts (I had the doughnut craving last time too but I’m not giving in nearly as often now).  I get the occasional twinge of sciatica now and again and it takes me a little while after I stand up to be able to walk normally.

I finally bought Frank Turner’s “England Keep My Bones” album and over the next few months I’ll proceed to listen to it incessantly until I hate it.  Like you do.  It’s just a great rock album. 

I renewed my domain name for another year after waffling about it for weeks.  Maybe I’ll actually do something with the design of this blog.  Eh, probably not. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Always wanting what I can’t have

I am over 5 months pregnant and I have never wanted to ski so much as I do now.  I mean, we’ve been in the ski capital of the US for over a year and we haven’t even so much as set foot on a slope yet, not that Husband would anyway, and I used to ski quite a bit in my youth.

By “quite a bit” I mean I’d go down Buck Hill once, maybe twice, before deciding that being cold really sucks and spend the next 1-2 hours in the chalet with hot cocoa by the fire, then maybe once or twice down the hill again before my parents picked me up from ski club, but it was more skiing than I’ve done in the last decade or so.

I’d like to get Lily out on some skis in the next year or so.  Maybe a snowboard.  Maybe we could take lessons together.  I realize that mountain skiing is quite a bit different than Minnesota skiing and I’ll basically be starting over.

I admit that what I really want to do is rent a private chalet with a wooden hot tub on a private deck overlooking the mountains.  But I’d go down the mountain once or twice.

Do you know how hard it is to write when your hormones are raging with all the fury of gestation?

Lily and I had the day off yesterday so we went and looked at some beds.  She’s in her convertible crib in toddler bed mode so we’ll either need another convertible crib or just a regular bed before September or October.  We’re leaning toward a regular bed unless we can find a truly bitchin’ deal on a convertible, but we’ll need to buy a full size mattress either way.  So now we need to figure out if we want to go to Ikea or American Furniture Warehouse.  Ugh, grown-up decisions.

I had one close call with a panic attack at work last week but other than that I’ve been feeling OK.  What’s weird is that the physical part of the attacks have hit first and the mental part hasn’t been as much as a problem.  So are these actual panic attacks?  I don’t know.  It certainly feels that way.  I hope this is the last I see of them.  I really don’t want to have to go back on medication, though Lexapro wasn’t as bad as all of the other meds I’ve tried in my lifetime.

Also, in the last hour we have decided that if we get approved for a rental duplex that just showed up in my inbox we’re totally breaking our lease and moving immediately.  So that’s exciting.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sure, why not.

I might as well just jump right in here and write something since I had a panic attack completely out of the blue last night for seriously no fucking reason at all and my midwife suggested journaling as a way to release tension and stress I might not even know I'm carrying.

So... panic attacks.  Not so much fun.  It has been probably 3 full years since I last had one and even though last night's episode was fairly mild it still sucked.  A lot.  Thankfully I wasn't so far gone that I couldn't try different coping techniques.  I discovered that lying on my back and attempting guided relaxation meditation was a really terrible idea, because when it feels like you have bees in every single muscle in your body it's not so easy to just focus on breathing.  Being in a completely dark room was good, though, and helped with the sensory overload.  I ended up having to take off all my clothes and just pace around in the dark until I felt like I could move on to something else.  I sat in a really hot shower until there wasn't any hot water left and finally I was exhausted, but OK.

There was absolutely nothing that set this off.  In the past it has always because I was around too many people at once.  Last night I just came home and moved straight to the couch because I was feeling some heavy morning sickness.  I was just laying there with my eyes closed, almost dozing off, when suddenly my legs jerked and I started getting that restless leg syndrome feeling again -- suddenly, like someone had just flipped a switch.  I stood up to try and walk it off but the panic feeling crept up from there.

So that was weird.

I have to day off today for a prenatal appointment and a "24 Week Chat."  It was just me, one other lady, and a midwife and nothing much came of that.  So I decided to have a little me time and go wander around Cost Plus and look at unnecessary consumables and go drive around so I could sing Dr. Horrible songs for a while.  Then I got bored and had to pee anyway and now I'm home.  The end.

In other news, I'm really irritated by the rampant hypocrisy happening on a certain birth month board I visit.  At this point I only go there out of sheer boredom.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

It’s been a year

We’re slightly past the official year mark for being in Denver.  I’ve barely touched this blog since we arrived.  I keep thinking about it, and I’ve realized that I just simply don’t have much to bitch about anymore.

Hang with me here while I go off on another OMG Denver Rules Seriously You Guys post.

Back in MN I was stressed out.  I couldn’t even watch the news without having a vein-popping freakout.  Being trapped in a house we could barely afford in a place neither of us wanted to be was taking a serious toll.  Seriously you guys, I’m not cut out to live in Minnesota and I don’t think I ever was.

I like Minneapolis in June, I like the north woods and the Iron Range.  I like camping in the BWCA.

I don’t like the weird Minnesotan clannishness and passive-aggression.  I don’t like not being able to breathe outside in the summer because of the humidity, and I don’t like not being able to breathe outside in the winter because of the cold.  I don’t like being paralyzed by weather for 10-11 months out of the year, and I don’t like coming back inside looking like a smallpox victim because of the mosquitoes and biting flies.  I can’t even begin to handle the humidity anymore after experiencing legit heat exhaustion one afternoon.

A recent week long visit cemented my attitude, and validated some things that I had been feeling about some people.  I like living in a place where we are treated as welcome members of the community/family/office/bar/whatever.  I don’t like being taken for granted.  I’m really excited about not going back to MN for a while.  A long while.  Hopefully it will be a full year this time. 

So here this blog will sit being underused and I will keep renewing my domain name every year. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Only one of many secretly inappropriate moments

I was shopping for prenatal vitamins tonight to aid in the getting-ready-for-another-pregnancy plan (which also involves working out like a beast and losing a bunch of weight... hopefully) and Lily asked why I got gummy vitamins and she didn't.  "To help me make a baby," I replied.

"A baby right now?!"

"Soon, hopefully.  These will help mama get ready to grow a baby inside."

She thought about it for a minute.  "Can I help you make a baby tonight?"

"...No."  I did tell her she can help me to grow a baby by listening to me, doing what I say, and keeping my stress level down.

Eh, it was worth a shot.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Aaaaaaaaand my life is boring again.

Thyroid is fine.  However, I just learned that the technical term for my enlarged thyroid is goiter.  GOITER.  I never knew what that was and it sounds like something that old people get, like gout and bunions.  A goiter.  Fuck me.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Everything is probably fine

Got my thyroid ultrasound today.  The tech said I probably have nothing to worry about and my doctor will contact me in a couple of days.  Exhale.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Just need to get something off my chest

It all started in December when I was getting checked out by my new (awesome) doctor.  "Your thyroid is a little on the bigger side," she said, hands on my neck, "We should get some bloodwork on that just in case.  It's probably nothing though."

Bloodwork came back perfectly normal, I got to crack an off-color joke on Twitter, and life went on.

So the other day I was back at the doctor's office and she was frowning at her computer before the procedure started.  "I was just looking back at these notes about your thyroid.  The bloodwork was normal but we should probably have this checked out with an ultrasound.  Just in case."  I agreed.  Better safe than sorry.  Safe from what?  I have no idea.

I didn't think much about it until I made the appointment at the radiology office today.  Safe from what?  What exactly do I need to be looking out for here?

So now I'm paranoid about thyroid cancer.  Great.