A Birth Story: Just call me ‘Precipitous’

Maybe you’re pregnant, maybe you’re not – Whatever the reason you’ve found yourself interested in a version of a labor and delivery story, I welcome you to read all you can, especially if you’re expecting your first baby or are a support person for someone who is. Before I had our baby I read and read, and even watched birth story videos all I could. I wanted to hear all of the first hand accounts available, to know what I could expect. The best piece of knowledge I gleaned from all of that reading and watching, is that every single experience was completely different. Not one was the same at all! So keeping that information in mind, I give you, my detailed, and some would say extreme, birth story:

(*Disclaimer: If you are a male who knows me, I strongly discourage you from reading the personal and intimate details below. Thank you!)

Precipitous Labor:
“The term precipitate or precipitous labor has been defined as a labor that lasts no more than three hours from onset of regular contractions to delivery.” (uptodate.com)

This is the term that describes my delivery in my discharge hospital report.
Thankfully, we live in a small town with an amazing hospital, so it takes us less than 5 minutes from our home to drive there. If I would have planned on driving to San Antonio from our home for delivery – I for sure would have had our baby on the roadside.

While pregnant, I wondered if I could do labor without needing an epidural. I wondered if I was strong enough. You can’t know what your pain tolerance is until you have experienced that pain before, and I also think that pain is relative to not only what you have experienced before, but also to each person.

I can’t say I ever got to the point of impatience with waiting as so many other pregnant people have complained about – but I also kept myself extremely busy with my work up until baby decided to come… and he also came three weeks early – but he was so ready to come!

H15A0319
Taken on January 20, 2018 when I was 34 weeks pregnant, 3 weeks before our baby was born.

On Tuesday, February 6th, I woke up at about 6AM and needed to go to the bathroom. While in there, I thought that I had lost my mucus plug, but wasn’t sure. (As I had only read about this pre-labor sign in my google searches.) Coincidentally, I was rescheduled to have my doctors appointment that day, instead of my original appointment day of that Friday. I was so thankful I had been rescheduled and waited the whole day in impatient anticipation for my doctors appointment. It was also my first appointment back with my doctor, since she had been out on maternity leave with her sweet baby she had had 6 weeks prior. At that appointment, we decided to do my first pelvic exam to see if I had dilated at all. To my absolute shock I was dilated to THREE centimeters and was about 60% effaced.

That is when the panic set in.
(I won’t type what I said as a reaction to her telling me how dilated I was.)

Continue reading “A Birth Story: Just call me ‘Precipitous’”

Protect The Mama’s

I’m not yet sure if it’s new motherhood specifically or motherhood as a continual journey that finds us at the point of needing to protect ourselves, spiritually, physically, and emotionally, from the struggles of the demands of life that pulls at all angles, but I can tell you that so far in my 9 months of being a mother, I have found this to be evident.

I almost have to argue with myself, to protect me from running myself ragged.
Whether that is giving myself some slack for not having the dishes or laundry done,  encouraging myself to eat more, start exercising, or to set aside the time to pray and be alone, I seemingly have to protect myself from me and  the world that constantly pulls from every direction, including online pretenses.

Go away, Pinterest-perfect, absolute shams and façades of a perfect life, Facebook and Instagram posts I see from my friends.
Go. Away.
I KNOW you also are struggling.
I have seen where you live and have met your family – and things are not always what they appear.

I see through your perfect photos and filters and I refuse to try to hold myself to an unachievable pinnacle of Stepford Wives domestic perfection.

What is a magazine-worthy home, with children addicted to phones and iPad’s, a commonly absent spouse to support the cost, and an anxiety-ridden mother run ragged trying to keep up with the next issue’s subliminal pressure of perfection anyway?

I see the photo of your combination Hello Fresh/ Papered Chef/ Le Crusét meal in your beautiful kitchen… But I know you’re eating alone at your counter with dishes in your sink, tracking the likes and comments on Facebook, while your children eat on TV trays or not at all. (And that’s okay, because we’re all in the same broken world just trying to make it.)

I love Jesus, but I cuss a little.
I love eating, but I hate cooking. (or rather planning to cook)
I’ll wear makeup, but have 3-day-old-hair.
I love my little family, but I am also tired.
I love people, but the general public can be taxing on a soul.

Every extrovert needs their re-charge time – and I have to protect me, from me! So help a mama out and be real. We can share in the joy and beauty of life – but also addressing the mundane and relatable struggles we all face are imperative to our friendships and relationships. Whether we see it or not, our social media presence is a form of camaraderie and fellowship. Take away the smoke and mirrors sometimes and be real, for the sake of the tired mama’s out there at least.

140 Days of Motherhood…

If you would have told me then, that only a short THREE weeks after I posted my last blog post I would be holding my baby in my arms, I think I would have melted with anxiety on the spot.

Because I value the birth story information that the big ol’ interwebs has to offer to first time mama’s-to-be, I will shamelessly be posting my labor and delivery experience soon in a different post, but in the meantime… just a few things I have learned over the past 140 days of motherhood…

  • I have fed our baby over 1,200 times with. my body. since the hour he was born. IMG_4590It takes about 30 minutes each time… which has been the total equivalent of 36,000 minutes, 600 hours, or TWENTY FIVE FULL DAYS  …however you choose to process that information best. Basically, growing a human inside, and outside the womb, is impressive, amazing, and commendable – so CONGRATULATIONS to all mama’s out there.
  • Nothing is comparable or the same to anyone else. Your body is different. Your baby is different. Your marriage is different. Your house is different. And Lord knows.. your (my) extended family is definitely different.
  • Time goes so fast! Everyone says it, and they do because it is true. It’s like BOOM – it’s almost July and I just had Christmas. I need to be planning Christmas events again, and I am in complete shock from this.
  • Pack. Extra. Clothes. For both yourself and baby. Trust me.
  • Do NOT put off for tomorrow what can be done RIGHT NOW! Don’t! If baby is sleeping and you need to start making supper- Be like Nike and JUST DO IT.
  • People remember and speak most about the negative things. Breastfeeding is hard. But it is not terrible and is manageable. Which brings me to:
  • Ask for and accept all help.
  • (Side note: If you can’t breastfeed YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE and are still an amazing mama! Find and befriend the lactation consultant in your area, and get all the advice you can, but if feeding your baby formula is going to take that elephant of stress off of your shoulders – A FED BABY IS THE BEST BABY. My little guy had to have formula for the first time last week (while at his first week of childcare during my work day, while I pump my stock milk supply back up..) and I was entirely way too stressed out over it for some weird reason. He didn’t notice a difference whatsoever from breastmilk to formula – much to my secret annoyance and disappointment. Also – Pumping is annoying, whatever the lady-term for emasculating is, and super hard to figure out where it fits into your day.. but you’ll figure it out. Ask for help and advice!)
  • Walk away when your husband starts to help. Let him figure it out on his own and don’t micromanage. Husbands are tender things and they need their pride – which involves their wives not making them feel like a kindergartener who has been given a special duty for the day.
  • Multi-use items are the bomb.
  • Don’t over buy, and don’t buy everything new. They have been manufacturing childcare items literally for centuries. Stuff is out there for second-hand purchase, and so much will be given to you by those sifting through dusty store-rooms of their treasured and long-past baby-raising years.
  • WRITE THANK YOU CARDS. So you can sleep at night and face charitable friends and family when you meet them again.
  • People who give diapers and baby wipes at baby showers are SAINTS. Do not look at these presents with contempt and thoughts of lacking originality – they will SAVE YOUR LIFE ONE DAY. And you will truly use them!
  • Schedules and needs literally change day to day. Roll with the flow and figure it out as time goes on. There is no normal.
  • Do what you gotta do to maintain your sanity and life! Do you need to order pizza because it is 9:00pm, you finally finished feeding the hungry monster called a baby, and you haven’t eaten all day?? DO IT. Do you work best by using an app to keep track of your grocery shopping list, or are you a wander-the-aisles-and-figure-it-out kinda person? Doesn’t matter – Just survive! Do you need a few hours to yourself to soak in the tub, catch up on the ever scrollable facebook feed while drinking a few glasses of wine and (finally) shave your legs, and then update your deprived blog website?? Hahaha…. Guilty. :)

 

Are you a mama? What advice do you have??

33 Weeks 5 Days Pregnant – Update

Nesting-brain is REAL.

No joke. It has literally overtaken my life the past few days.

My husband and I made a deal that I wasn’t allowed to purchase anything for the baby until after my baby shower. I felt like that day would never get here.
(I only cracked once with a 4:00AM 20% off Bed Bath and Beyond purchase on the most amazing product ever – the Doona carseat.)

Two weekends ago, the board of directors for the organization I work for, surprised me with an amazing baby shower! I was so excited to have teeny tiny clothes and blankets to wash, and supplies to put away! I went out and bought special baby detergent (I really tried to justify using our normal detergent, because i’m sure my baby clothes weren’t washed with a different detergent… but apparently baby skin is super sensitive, as all of my mama-friends preached to me when I asked their opinion) just to wash it all with, and finally the mini chest of drawers in the corner of our bedroom was not empty!

I am forever grateful for the love and support of so many people in our lives, and even more so for a supportive work environment and co-workers/bosses (of a sort).

The planned baby shower was this past weekend and put on by my 1st cousin (our mothers are sisters, although I think we are closer than your average cousins – she’s more like my sister).

It was amazing! We decided to forego the corny baby shower games, and instead just mingle. ..and of course open up presents! There were so many!

That afternoon when I got home, I started un-packaging and putting away everything, and yet again washing teeny-tiny clothes and blankets in special detergent, and then continuing to put away and organize. Husband put together the mini-crib while I sat nearby with encouraging words. (Honestly, I think building put-it-together furniture should be a marriage pre-requisite. If you can survive that, then you’re good to go.)

Putting away all of those gifts must have set some serious suppressed hormones in motion, because since that point I have been on an unending spree.

A shopping, buying, preparing, scouring, organizing, crazy spree.

I bought shelving for under our kitchen sink (and it’s beautiful).

I have re-folded and re-arranged every drawer in our dresser.

I have scrubbed our baseboards and vacuumed out my car.

I have an amazon wish-list that scrolls for days with all sorts of items to organize our life with.

I made a rash decision and bought an extremely heavy antique buffet I was convinced was a good price and could be refurbished into a changing dresser and table. ..and then spent the difference of what I could have bought a brand new one for online, in paint and painting supplies… I am my mothers daughter, evidently. 🤦🏼‍♀️
(Husband has since made me see the light of my mistake and thankfully the antique store owners are letting me return the piece tomorrow. This experience has also inspired him (after a he witnessed a few hours of crying and freak-out nesting-brain) to build a changing table for me! (and i’m holding him to it. Update on it to come (hopefully) very soon!)

The nesting-brain is strong, y’all.
It has overpowered my every thought for only four days, and it feels like a month.

Don’t. mess. with nesting-brain.

Pregnancy Excitement (and Woes)

Yay! Baby Dühring is expected March 1st, 2018!

We found out through a blood test pretty early on (16 weeks) that he is a boy and we have decided to name him Owen.

img_3863-1

I am now almost 31 weeks along and this pregnancy journey has been an interesting ride so far. Although I am ‘due’ on March 1st, and have been so excited about a March birthdate baby, I have realized that due dates are set at 40 weeks, and ‘full term’ is 37-40 – so it is quite likely we will have a February baby. This recent realization only has me more excited that in around SIX weeks I could be holding our baby in my arms!

img_4132

Although every person and each pregnancy is very different, I have learned a few things in my 1st and 2nd trimester experience:

Pregnancy ‘tales’ that hold true:
-The first trimester will be miserable.
Think living zombie mode 24/7 until you wake up on week 13 and it seems as if you have magically become a brand new once-again-functioning person. 1st trimester nausea is unrivaled in sucky-ness. There is no quick-fix feel-better cure, either. Ginger Ale only helped so much, and peppermint tea is terrible. You’ll feel sick because you haven’t eaten, and feel sick when you try to. I am immensely thankful that I only ‘got sick’ one time, and wasn’t best friends with the porcelain throne day in and day out, as many others I know were.

-Sleeping will become uncomfortable.
After about week 16, get used to building pillow forts.
Giant, ridiculous pillow forts.
If you don’t have at least a queen size bed to share with your spouse, things are going to get real uncomfortable, real fast. I am so thankful for our king size bed at the moment.
I love you, husband, but me and my pillows need our space. Continue reading “Pregnancy Excitement (and Woes)”