Disappointment

My little girl turned 1 year old a week ago today. That is not the disappointing part. The disappointing part is that I am not yet down to my normal weight and I HATE that I CARE SO MUCH.

scale

I am disappointed, not it the weight, but in the fact that I care so much about the weight.

I have really, really been trying to re-frame my image of myself, especially since having a daughter. It would break my heart if she felt so concerned about her weight.

I know I need to be kinder to myself. I did, after all, have foot surgery in December which kept me sedentary for two months. So I have really only been able to be active for about 2.5 months.

But in that 2.5 months I have only been able to budge my weight a couple of pounds and now it’s plateaued. I am still recovering from the foot surgery so I’ve been slow to get back into my old exercise routine but I would have expected a little more show for my efforts.

muffin-tops

I am frustrated you guys. I just want my old clothes to fit the way they used to.

I am also cheap and don’t want to have to buy new clothes to feel comfortable. But I am not going to lie and pretend that this is mostly stupid vanity and being too concerned about what the scale says.

SO. If you have any tips that worked for you. Words of encouragement. Or just tell me that I am being shallow and vain.

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For the record, I plan on never talking about weight loss and dieting in front of my daughter, or expressing any disappointment in my appearance as I know that’s the worst thing for her to hear as she grows up. Which is why I am venting here instead of at home in front of her (though she is only one and wouldn’t really know what I am saying).

SO I keep in all my head, but in my head I am frustrated with myself, my weight, my wardrobe, and my overall fitness level.

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I Don’t Wanna

I am having a hard time doing things lately. My job is stressful and I used to love this job, but now it is stressful and I feel like I am failing.

Being a mom is hard. So much harder than I thought it would be.

If I quit my job, there’s no reason to keep my baby in daycare anymore. That would mean I have a new full time job of being a stay at home mom.

I love my daughter but she’s a handful right now. We aren’t even into tantrum phase but she has so much energy and get into everything and does throw fits if you take things away from her (like choking hazards). So my days would be following her around the house making sure she doesn’t hurt herself.

Inevitably she’d still hurt herself. OR I’d make her cry by taking away things – or moving her away from the dog’s water bowl again and again, all day long.

I wouldn’t accomplish anything else around the house.

I’d still feel like a failure.

How do all you mom’s out there do it? Work? Stay home? How do you not feel like you are failing? I’m really struggling at the moment.

Scream or Stay Silent

I am having a debate with myself. Over and over in my head. There are all these thoughts I want to scream from every corner. Injustices in the world. Hypocrisies I see everywhere. But do I really want the headache of debate this will bring…

Then I am tempted in the exact opposite direction. To go silent. To delete my Facebook, and Instagram and maybe even this blog and just ignore the ignorance that is infuriating me.

Right now I am leaning more in the #deletefacebook camp. The couple of people who I still have in my (acquaintance) friend list who I disagree vehemently with on political issues are not going to be swayed by my logic. They are beyond logic

Exhibit A

Capture

Capture2

 

I mean… how do you argue with that level of delusion?

Exhibit B

Capture3

 

Is it even worth pointing out the stupidity of memes?

I could delete these two (yes, these are two different people) from my friends list and then shout my opinions into my echo chamber of like-minded friends. What good will that do?

The recent revelations of Facebook selling user info to companies without our consent has me one step closer to the delete button.

The reason I haven’t pulled the trigger yet? I have family who I live far away from and I love seeing pictures of my niece and nephews. Also, most of my friends use Facebook to stay connected and it’s the most convenient place to make plans with others and see invites.

Have any of you struggled with the same questions? What have you decided to do?

These are NOT New Years Resolutions

These are NOT New Year’s Resolutionsbitmoji1105603469

I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I think we all overdo it around the holidays and use the New Year as an excuse to detox a bit from the overindulgence. But far too often we give ourselves lofty unsustainable goals that we fail to attain and get discouraged and fall back into our old habits defeated and forlorn. 

NY-Resolution

 

So these are NOT New Year’s resolutions…

BUT

I had a crazy 2017. Becoming a mother for the first time in April. Trying to figure out my new life/role as a full-time mom with a full-time job.

Experiencing the ups and downs of new motherhood, and lots and lots of body changes. Losing (most of) the baby weight. Boobs filling and deflating with breastfeeding. Trying to figure out what I can eat that doesn’t upset baby’s tummy.

Then I had foot surgery right before Christmas. I have been mostly sedentary for the last 6 weeks. Just this week I started physical therapy.

A couple weeks after my foot surgery we had back to back illnesses in my house which you can read all about in my last blog post. Somewhere in the middle of all that stress and sickness, my milk supply dried up and I stopped breastfeeding altogether.

So needless to say I have had a lot of changes to my life, my body and my schedule in the last year. 

Now that I have stopped breastfeeding and am no longer trying to keep a milk supply up.

Now that I am in the active healing phase of my foot surgery, starting some light exercises on my foot.

Now that I am (mostly) over my head cold that has knocked us all around the last few weeks.

I feel ready to try and reinstate some of my old habits that kept me healthy, both mentally and physically, prior to baby.

I don’t expect to return to my old life. I don’t want to. I love being a mom. I will never have the freedom over my schedule that I used to (at least not until the little ones are out of the house). But it is time to find my new normal, which needs to include some healthy habits. As much for my mental health as my physical health. 

So here’s my starting point:

  • Break my sugar addiction. This is a big one. I have a BAD sweet tooth. It had gotten to the point where I was eating gross store-brand cookies that WEREN’T EVEN GOOD. But they were sugar and I needed a fix. SO for the month of February I have committed to cut the sweets. Of course there’s been sweets in the break room every day since! 28 days to break a habit they say. Perfect. We’re at day 7, so far so good.
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Had to turn down this delicious looking treat 
  • Establish a gym routine. So I haven’t started on this one yet. I need to sit down with Beau and we need to make a plan because we both value gym time and need to figure out a way to take turns. My plan is to talk to him about this in the next couple days and start this weekend. exercise
  • Reduce my carbon footprint. So this isn’t as much for my own health as it is for the health of the world. But I believe that we should all have at least one goal that gives back in some way to our community and/or world. So I am committing to take the  bus more, and eat less meat. My plan is to give meat up entirely for Lent. I am not Catholic, but I like partaking in Lent anyway. And thereafter choosing meatless options for lunches and anytime I go out to eat.

public transit

 

Anyone else out there make goals for the year? How are you doing on them?

Daycare Drama

Picking a daycare for an infant is no easy task. If you live in a big city, it can also be quite competitive. A friend of mine, we’ll call her Julia, had a baby one year prior to me and advised that I look immediately and get on wait lists as soon as I know I am pregnant. So I took her advice and got on a list pretty early on, before I had told most people that I was pregnant. At the time the daycare said their wait list was around 9 months out, which would be perfect timing with my maternity leave.

Julia was using a woman who lived near us and had an in-home daycare and she LOVED this woman, whom we will call Claire. Claire was also half the cost of the daycare whose wait list I was on. Julia insisted that I must use Claire and offered to tell her about me and “get me in” with her.

This sounded great to me. Paying half and much and having a word of mouth recommendation sounded perfect. 

Every so often Julia would tell me that she was telling Claire about my pregnancy. How far along I am, how I am excited to use her to watch my little one. Everything sounded great.

And then things got weird. 

Around January (I was due in April) I asked Julia for Claire’s phone number so I could start coordinating with her myself.

Julia got weird about it and said she’d “ask” Claire if it was okay if she gave her number to me. Which had me a little worried, after all, why would Claire be mad at Julia giving me her number if she’s expecting to care for my child? 

When I followed-up about the number, Julia said she forgot to ask if she could give me her number, but that Claire isn’t sure yet if she’d have a spot for me and so I didn’t need to “waste my time” calling her about it yet?!

WHAT?!

So this whole time she was assuring me that I’d have a spot with Claire and suddenly she’s not so sure… I was PISSED and confused and I panicked.

So I reached out to another friend, we’ll call her Wendy, who also had a baby about a year before me (her daughter and Julia’s son were about the same age). These two were not friends but were mutual acquaintances. I asked Wendy if she had found a daycare for her daughter (at first Wendy’s mother was watching her, but I knew she was looking for another option). Wendy knew that Julia was going to get me in with Claire and so asked what happened there. So I told her that Julia was suddenly being weird about it and wouldn’t give me Claire’s number.

I suppose I shouldn’t have said anything to Wendy. This was my mistake. 

Wendy reached out to Julia and called her out for not giving me Claire’s number. BIG DRAMA. SO then Julia confronts me about talking shit behind her back. She gives me Claire’s number but says she’s going to “stay out of it now” and stop talking to Claire to try to get me in with her.

So I guess it’s my fault now. 

So I call Claire. And she is elusive as to whether she will have a spot available. Apparently she had some older kids who should be starting kindergarten at the end of August, but she hadn’t confirmed with their parents that they will stop using her daycare services. I needed daycare starting mid-July anyway.

And now I was only on ONE list because I trusted my friend and counted on getting in with Claire. Another mistake. 

I never brought it up again. I actually don’t know where the breakdown was with Julia. If she had second thoughts about me getting in with Claire After all, her son was the youngest there, and my baby would probably need more attention in the beginning, which might take away from her baby. 

Maybe she wasn’t sure if I actually wanted to use Claire and so she didn’t really push it with her, not wanting Claire to save a spot for me and then have me back out, she didn’t want to risk souring her relationship with her son’s provider.   

But this is really just me making excuses for her. 

Luckily the one daycare list I got on came through and we were fine.

Needless to say, I have learned my lesson with Julia. We were pretty new friends when I first got pregnant, and now that I know her better I see a side of her that I have to keep an eye on. She is very competitive. Detrimentally so. She is unfortunately not a trust-worth friend.

In some ways I feel sorry for her. She is so insecure and constantly compares herself to others. I figured out a long time ago to not compare myself to others. Some days I still struggle with it, but mostly I am happy with who I am. Constantly comparing yourself to others is exhausting. Everyone you meet will be better than you at something, and worse than you at other things.

Why do we women do this to ourselves? Have any of you had a similar experience with a friend, or another mom? How did you handle it?

Colic and Acid Reflux

So Baby Dolly turned out to be a little bit tricky.

crying esme

(Beau trying to soothe Dolly bouncing on a fitness ball with her)

She wasn’t sleeping well and definitely did not like being put down on her back to go to sleep. She slept well on my chest held upright in my arms. Which was amazing, but also I needed to sleep sometime. 

Oh, and nobody warns you that newborn babies make weird breathing noises in their sleep. They grunt and gurgle and it can be soooo exhausting if you are a light sleeper like me. 

But aside from those normal grunting noises she was definitely having trouble being put down. So after discussing her symptoms with the pediatrician we were sent home with a diagnosis of acid reflux and a prescription for Ranitidine.

Her improvement was night and day! SO so glad we started the Ranitidine. She almost immediately had a easier time being put down to sleep without arching her back and crying. I even noticed a reduction in the amount of grunting noises she made in her sleep. It was a miracle drug.

BUT – she was still a bit of a fussy-butt every evening. Most nights she’d have a crying spell that was only quelled by bouncing on a pilates fitness ball while singing to her for upwards of 45 minutes to an hour.

Beau and I would take turns trying to coax her to sleep but regardless of what we did she had a crying spell most nights. Beau refuses to admit, even now, that she had colic. I, however, admit it fully (I also believe this is why we’re still having a bit of trouble sleeping at 8 months Confused Face on Samsung Experience 8.5 (Galaxy Note S8)).

Sure, I’ve heard of others who had WAY WORSE cases of colic. I thank my lucky stars it wasn’t worse than it was. Still, it was NO FUN and definitely made “Healthy Sleep Habits” hard to form.

I think the only way I survived this phase was with Beau’s help. We made the decision to introduce a bottle when she was around 2 weeks old. She took to it like a champ and still took my breast. No nipple confusion!

This did mean that I had to find some time each day to pump enough for one bottle to be given each night. But this was a small price to pay for 4 straight hours of sleep! 

She was still waking every two hours to eat so I’d feed her and then head to bed super early (like 7pm, no kidding). Then Beau would take the first shift and give her the bottle around 9. Then he’d hang out with her until she woke again around 11 and then he’d come get me and I’d take the rest of the night. Those four hours were essential to my sanity, and Beau still got enough sleep to function at work the next day.

We are lucky enough to have a spare room so one of us could sleep with Dolly in our bedroom (she slept in a bassinet of course) and the other would sleep in the spare room upstairs so as not to be woken by the cries. I realize this is a luxury not everyone has.

In all though, she did eventually grow out of both things. So if you are dealing with either of these issues. I feel for you. Hang in there, it does get better!

Birth Story

It’s interesting thinking back 8 months later on my birth and writing it out now. I think this post would have looked different had it been right after giving birth, but with a little perspective I hope this post just highlights the important moments and decisions along the way.

Like all first mom’s-to-be, I had a well thought-out birth plan that I intended to stick to. It wasn’t anything crazy. Just a few reasonable requests:

Labor:

  • Skin to skin immediately and for first hour
  • Heplock in forearm rather than hand or elbow by phlebotomist
  • Please do not offer pain relief unless I ask for it.
  • As long as Baby is doing well, I prefer that fetal heart tones be monitored intermittently with an external monitor or doppler
  • No routine cervical exams. Prefer not to be told how many centimeters dilated I am.

If a C-section is necessary:

  • If C-section is being discussed, please have Beau and Hannah (Doula) get in scrubs
  • Suture not staple preferred
  • I’d like Beau to stay with me when possible, then stay with the baby. If Beau goes with the baby, have the Hannah come stay with me.

Postpartum:

  • I’d like a room away from nurses’ station
  • Please do vital signs for baby and mom at the same time when possible.

Feeding:

  • I would like to meet with a lactation specialist after birth

 

I wrote this up and printed it off about a week prior to my due date. I was all ready (or so I thought) with my bags packed and my birth plan and my doula. My story begins two days before my due date, April 24, 2017

4/24/2017

12:00pm: Two days before my due date I decide to treat myself to a labor inducing massage. I didn’t really believe that it would put me into labor, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to have a nice massage and if it sped things up then great!

But man oh man, it was a little more intense than I anticipated and that night I felt a little bit sore.

4/25/2017

7:30am: I woke in the morning to find that I had lost my mucus plus. So naturally I Googled it and saw that it could be hour to weeks after loosing the mucus plug before you actually go into labor.

I texted my doula to let her know. She responded advising me to go back to sleep and take it easy as much as I could the rest of the day.

Oh had I only listened to the person I was paying to help me through my labor, who had assisted in over 300 births. But the internet said it could be weeks! So I didn’t want to take any precious sick time. Hindsight is 20/20…

So I go to work and I work on getting all my stuff squared away and tidied up, just in case my labor really begins.

12:00pm: I think I am starting to feel contractions… kind of. They aren’t painful but they are different from the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been feeling for weeks.

They are still very sporadic and far apart and I am starting to get a little excited, but also trying to not get my hopes up because again… women can feel sporadic contractions for a long time before true labor begins…

3:00pm: I think my contractions are getting closer together. I am trying not to time them closely. Trying not to obsess about it, because apparently that can slow things down. I decide to leave work early because my boss was out of the office anyway.

I call Beau and let him know that maybe, possibly things are happening and I am going home but he doesn’t need to rush because things aren’t REALLY happening but he should definitely pick up some food on his way home, and extra for left overs.

6:00pm: Beau brought home Pho from one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants. The rest of the night is very uneventful and my (non)-contractions slowed down to a stop.

So surely nothing was really happening yet.

10:00pm: I had sent Beau to sleep in the spare room because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be up and down with sporadic contractions all night and didn’t want to keep him up. I wanted him well rested in case something happened. Well… something happened!

My water broke! Just as I was laying down to sleep – woosh!

So much for well rested!

I go downstairs and wake up Beau (yes, he falls asleep when he hits the pillow – bastard).

Me: “Hey, my water just broke”

Beau: (a bit disoriented coming out of sleep) “Okay. Okay, okay…. okay” as he climbs out of bed and starts putting on his shoes.

Me: “Wait, we don’t need to leave for the hospital yet. Let’s call Hannah (doula).”

Beau (now waking up a little more): “Oh, okay. I thought we were supposed to go if your water broke.”

Me: “Well, yes but not really. Let’s call Hannah and see what she says”

Hannah said to hang tight and let her know when my contractions are close together and I think I need some help. And no, I didn’t need to rush to the hospital just yet.

Beau and I decide to bake some cookies to take our mind off my contractions – which started pretty light and easy.

4/26/2017 (my due date)

1:00am: I feel like I am ready for the doula. My contractions are getting stronger and closer together. A lot of the pain is in my back and Beau has been massaging my back while I bounce on a pilates ball.

Hannah arrives and I ask her to check my cervix. I don’t want to be checked a lot, but I am curious where I am at. I am starting to leak a lot of fluid with each contraction. Hannah thinks I am dilated to a one or a two. Still a ways to go – but it hasn’t been long.

As the night wears on my contractions are getting stronger and closer together. Still a lot of pain in my back, which I had failed to mention to Hannah (second mistake). At one point she asked if a lot of the pain was in my back. “it’s all in my back” I said.

I labored for a while on my hands and knees, trying to do the belly lift to change her position, didn’t work.

I labored in the shower with Beau rubbing my back. No help.

I labored in the tub, but that was the worst decision of all. We don’t have a big water heater and the water was not hot enough. It was cold. Beau and Hannah started boiling pots of water on the stove to dump in the tub for me. It wasn’t great.

5:00am: Now my contractions are really intense and they are coming every minute if I am lucky, but a lot of them are coming on top of each other. Things are escalating. Hannah says it’s time to go to the hospital.

This baby is on it’s way! I think to myself.

Trying to get my dressed was a challenge. Each time I put on underwear I would have a contraction and more fluid would come out and wet my pants (glamorous, I know). Finally I was able to get on a try pair of underwear and pants with a giant pad so I didn’t leak everywhere.

I can barely make it into the car because my contractions are coming so close together I am convinced I am going to have one in the driveway. Good thing it’s 5am and dark out and no one is around.

Beau pulls up to the front doors. There’s no valet at 5am at the hospital so he parks illegally by the front doors to help me in and intends to go back and move the car once I am settled. Hannah has followed in her own vehicle.

We go up to labor triage to get checked in. They check me and let me know that my water has, indeed, broke (It was pretty clear it had, but they have to check anyway).

Then they check to see how far dilated I was….

wait for it…

1

One

ONE?!!?!?!

You have got to be fucking kidding me!

I tell Beau that I can’t do it. I feel so defeated. My contractions are giving me no breathing room, no chance to catch my breath and regroup. It’s rough.

Apparently when your baby is posterior, or sunny-side-up (the cute way of describing a NOT CUTE AT ALL situation), baby’s head is pressing against your tailbone causing a lot of back pain. Baby’s head is supposed to be pressing against your cervix to help it dilate open. So with no pressure on the cervix and lots of pressure on the tailbone, there no progression and lots of pain. And apparently no real good way to fix it.

There are lots of internet sites out there claiming to have strategies for fixing this scenario, but unfortunately the research says there’s not much to be done.

Of course I didn’t know this in the middle of labor, else I would have asked for the epidural MUCH sooner. Instead I went on to labor at the hospital in their tub for several more hours before finally asking for the epidural.

10:00am: I get the epidural. And it helped. Too well. I almost immediately feel comatose from the waist down. This was better than the pain I’d been having before, but it was still uncomfortable enough that I wasn’t able to sleep (which they told me to try to do).

At least Beau and Hannah got to nap while I lay there resting.

Around this time my OBGYN comes in and checks my cervix. I have made it to a 4. Boy am I glad I went for the epidural. I will be even more glad later – but we’ll get to that…

I am so uncomfortable from the waist down that I ask if they can lower my epidural strength. They start everyone at a 10.

The anesthesiologist comes in and is reluctant to reduce the dose, saying they don’t want my pain to come back. They do lower it to an 8. I still can’t feel anything

2:30pm: Around this time my OBGYN comes to check me again. She informs me that I have dilated to a 10 and can start pushing!

Hooray!

OBGYN: “Try pushing against my fingers”

ME: “What fingers”

OBGYN:”Can you feel anything?”

ME:”Nope, I am completely comatose. I asked them to reduce the dose and they did but it didn’t help”

OBGYN: “Let’s get them back in here…”

In all the anesthesiologist comes back three times to reduce me to 2 before I start getting feeling back and can start pushing.

and pushing….and pushing….and pushing…

4:30pm: They want to start Pitocin because I am not progressing fast enough. I am reluctant because I’ve heard it makes everything more painful. And if I increase my epidural I am afraid I wont be able to feel to push. Finally though I relent, because I fear that we will end up in emergency c-section if I don’t get this baby out faster.

They start the Pitocin and increase the epidural to a 4. This seems to be the perfect balance. I can still feel but it’s not painful.

I have, however, at this point been awake for 33 hours. And I am starting to feel exhausted. 

But I keep pushing… and pushing… and pushing

and FINALLY….

8:05pm: She’s here! She finally makes her screaming entrance into the world. They lay her on my abdomen and she poops on me. It was perfect. 

They cut the cord so I can hold her higher in my arms and get to work on stitching me back up.

I think we’re home free, but here’s where the real fun begins…

My placenta isn’t coming out. It’s not budging at all.

9:00pm: They finally say that the placenta NEEDS to come out. Like NOW. And they proceed to un-stitch me, and reach in to manually extract it.

in pieces.

several pieces.

This part was the most acutely painful part of the entire experience. They were ripping my placenta away from the wall of my uterus with their fists.

I guess I can cross fisting off my bucket list (joking).

Thank God I got the epidural. I cannot imagine what that would have felt like un-medicated.

MIDNIGHT: We finally make it to the maternity ward sometimes around midnight after they removed my placenta, re-stitched me back up, and made sure I wasn’t going to hemorrhage.

I had been awake around 40 hours. I was exhausted.

But I had a healthy baby that was finally here. I would do it all again…

Differently…. I would do it all again differently. Hindsight is 20/20