(Warning, some pictures in this post show a bit of skin and could be considered more private. I have no problem sharing, but view them at your own risk.)
I have been so preoccupied by life that I have not written in a long time. My life has been so busy and unpredictable. So, let me start off by apologizing for being absent again.
Pregnancy is miserable. I hate it. I theorize that some of it has to do with having Asperger’s Syndrome. I was constantly uncomfortable and could do nothing about it. Pregnancy isn’t some itchy sweater that you can take off if it’s bugging you. It’s constant, 24/7, and unavoidable. The hormones, the extra weight, the changes to the body, the constant peeing, the aching back, the exhaustion. It sucks. I have no clue how some women enjoy it! Several times, I considered never doing it again. I had to carefully consider whether or not I, in fact, wanted more than one child. I do want more, but the number that I want has decreased. There is a finite number of times that I am willing to put myself through that.
Big ol’ belly at 40 weeks.
I moved back in with my parents for the last trimester and birth of our baby since Moises was being stationed at a new duty station and the move dates were much too close to my due date. It was better for me to be in a stable home and not on the road when I went into labor. It was better to have a home to bring my baby back to instead of some unknown situation. It was a hard decision to make, but that is the life of an adult and parent. Sacrifices need to be made for our child’s welfare.
Labor was long. I was in labor for a total of 50 hours. I was at my OB appointment at 40 weeks 1 day gestation, the doctor said that I was 2 cm dilated, and the doctor manually stripped my membranes again (he had previously done so two weeks beforehand). It was two hours later, while I was having sushi with my mom, that labor started. I was determined to not be the cliché first time mom that goes to be admitted to only find out it was false labor, so we went walking around stores and did shopping for almost 5 hours before I went to the hospital. I made sure that the contractions were less than 10 minutes apart and had been constant and increasing in intensity. When we got there, I was checked and told to walk around some more to see if it would speed up the labor. (For first time moms, it is standard that they not be admitted until they are 5 to 6 cm dilated and that their contractions meet a certain standard.) When I was checked again, I was only 4 cm dilated and they sent me home to labor until something changed. The staff kept insinuating that I was in false labor. I didn’t sleep that night. The contractions gave no reprieve. I did everything I could to relax and nothing worked. Day #2 of being in labor, I labored all day at home and went to the hospital again that night. The contractions were closer together and more intense than the day before. To our dismay, I was still only 4 cm dilated. They suggested that I walk more to try and speed the labor up, but my muscles were too tired. I couldn’t do much walking. I didn’t dilate any further. We asked about getting something for the pain so that I could sleep, since they were sending me home again. They gave me a morphine sleeper and sent me home again, still insinuating that I was not in “real” labor. I got no sleep that night. The contractions gave no reprieve. Day #3 of labor, all my movements were slow and jerky. I was in so much pain; I could barely speak. I was closing in on being in active labor for 40 hours with no sleep and no break from the pain. My body was working against itself. It was laboring to widen and prepare my body for birth, but it had been laboring so long that my muscles couldn’t dilate any further. My mom packed me into the car and took me to the hospital a third time. She had to get a wheel chair to bring me into the labor and delivery wing because I couldn’t make it there myself. She did all the talking for me because I couldn’t. She did something that I affectionately call “going momma bear”. I was being treated the same way I had the previous nights and they were going to send me home again. Mom stepped in and basically told them that they were going to admit me and help me with the pain and she would talk to whoever she needed to talk to to make that happen. They finally admitted me and gave me an epidural. Thank God for epidurals!! I finally got a short nap before they said I was dilated enough to start pushing. I had my mother-in-law on one side, my little sister (traveled from Oregon to be with me) on the other side, and my mom right by my head. Moises, who was on the road between El Paso and his new duty station, was watching from Skype. I pushed for less than two hours and our son was finally here. They handed him to me and I was in love and in shock. He was huge! He was 9 pounds 13 ounces and 21 ¾ inches. That’s an almost 10-pound baby, ya’ll. And thus ended the 50 hours of labor. Sheesh! All the pain, discomfort, and miserable feelings resulted in the best gift I’ve ever received. His name is Marc and he is an amazing and beautiful little boy.
I spent the next six weeks with my parents, tip-toeing into the new territory of having a newborn. The feeding, dressing, diaper changing, and cuddling were all easy! I’ve done so much babysitting that I didn’t even blink an eye at it. What I had a harder time with was figuring out how he ticks. I had to cut all dairy products from my diet because he is lactose sensitive. Not to be confused with lactose intolerance. Intolerance means that he will never be able to comfortably consume lactose. Sensitivity means that it is uncomfortable for him for now. Luckily, he is only lactose sensitive. It’s already gotten better and I’ve been able to add whey and yogurt back into my diet. (YAY!) Other than that, he was a calm, quiet baby. He was easy! My parents helped me in figuring things out and my little sisters were great with him when I needed to take a shower! Hahahaha. I’m eternally grateful to my family for helping me out so much! I don’t know what I would have done without them.
Breastfeeding. I had no problem with it. Marc had no problem with it. We were a dangerous pair with how well things were going. At first, that is. I waited two weeks before trying the pump to make sure there weren’t any problems that needed to be addressed first. The pump worked great until it didn’t. My nipples started chaffing and dried out. I kept using the nipple cream, but it didn’t seem to help at all. Nursing became super painful. I might even venture out to say that it was more painful than labor. I ended up crying every time I fed Marc, and that was no good. But! I determined to muscle through it and keep breastfeeding. Until I started bleeding, that is. He wasn’t eating enough and he was spitting up my blood. I was fine putting myself in pain for my son’s health, but it became urgent the moment that it started hurting my son. I guess that’s just instinctual. I ended up making my own formula for him using goat’s milk. He ate that for a week until I was healed. It took a little longer to heal because I was allergic to the nipple cream. Once I was healed, I started nursing again. I still had to supplement with the goat milk formula for a while until my supply caught up with him. Now we’re doing perfectly. In fact, I’m actually producing more than he eats, so my frozen storage is piling up.
As mentioned before, Moises watched the birth of our son over Skype. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to make it to California for labor and delivery or for a visit afterwards. He’d only seen our son over Skype. I was missing my husband and he needed to hold his son. Obviously, I jumped at the soonest opportunity to make the move to Kansas and our new home! Some family friends were going on a road trip to their new home in Texas and Kansas was on their route. It was a long three days, traveling with an infant. I, of course, fibbed about where we were so that I could surprise Moises. I worked things out with one of his coworkers and the look on his face when he saw me standing there with Marc was exactly what I hoped it would be. He was so excited!
Here’s where I’m going to end this post. I’ll save how adjusting to things in Kansas has been for my next post! Thank you for reading.