Friday, January 22, 2016

Because Everyone Loves a Good Birth Story

And by everyone, I mean the cool kids.  So, welcome.  The miracle of life sure is something.  The miracle of me finding more than 5 seconds of free time to sit on my arse and blog about the miracle life is something else entirely.  You wouldn't believe the list of things getting trumped by my blog at the moment.  Showering.  Napping.  Mopping our gross tile.  Cleaning out our car.  Organizing a multitude of OCD flare-up drawers and closets.  Heck, even changing the sweats I've been wearing for 3 days.  But, eh.  We'll see how far I can get before one of my offspring decides they need food.  Or a clean butt.  Or to chase the dog around with a plastic shovel.  The good news is that this birth story shouldn't be nearly as long as my first.  I mean, I say that now, but I'll probably still manage to make just as long of a blog post (ETA: Yeah, I did.), even though I was only pushing a human out my crotch for a fraction of the time I was the first time around.

Anyways, moving right along.  It was December 14th and I was 35 weeks and 2 days when I had a normal check-up with my doctor.  I go into the room and they tell me that my doctor's going to go ahead and do the Group B strep test today.  Not thinking I'd have to take off my pants until the next week, I was immediately and inexplicably overcome with embarrassment about the wookiee I had hiding down there.  And yes,  I'm fully aware that my vagina doctor has likely seen bajingos in a lot worse shape than mine was, but that didn't make me any more proud of the luscious pube forest I had burgeoning down under.  (How's the for a colorful mental image?  You're welcome.)  The nurse tells me to disrobe from the waist down as she hands me a giant paper towel sheet to cover myself with.  A sheet which, as usual, I manage to rip in 8 different places with my wedding ring while I wait awkwardly bare-assed on the table.

My doctor comes in nice and cheerful and we engage in the usual pre-exam pleasantries.  Admittedly, I didn't really remember what this "Group B strep test" involved - I just assumed that it was PAP smear-ish, so instead of worrying about having medical equipment jammed up my love tunnel, I was still obsessively worrying about her seeing my copious amounts of lady fur.  As soon as I'm laid back with knees in separate counties and my lack of crotch grooming habits on display, I immediately launch into an apologetic explanation of the glorious vaginal mess she was witnessing.  I tell her that I was waiting for the perfect time to get waxed, where it wasn't so early that it would already have grown back by the time I gave birth, but not so late that my kid would have to journey through the vaginal thicket to get to fresh air.  She laughed and said, "I don't think I've ever heard anyone put it that way before."  Yeah, probably because no one has.  I'm just a psychotic basket case.  Anyways.  As I was mentally giving myself a reminder to schedule a wax for that week, I was very suddenly reminded what the Group B test involved as she shoved some kind of swab up the ol' poop chute.  Good times.

After taking our relationship to the next level, she went elbow deep into baby town to see if I had progressed at all.  She tells me that I'm a "1+ to 2 and 60% effaced" which, while I was glad that something was happening, I wasn't expecting for that to progress much further any time soon.  She tells me she can feel baby's head, and that up to this point, she hadn't really been concerned about how big the baby was, but "feeling around [she wasn't] so sure anymore".  She commented that baby girl seemed pretty tall.  Tall, I can do.  Big is a much different and way more traumatizing story.  She let me know that we were at the point that if I were to go into labor on my own, they wouldn't try and stop it.  She followed that up by asking me if I wanted an elective induction at 39 weeks, and I'm not sure that my immediate "YES, PLEASE" could have been any more enthusiastic if I had tried.  I was due on January 16th, and because I'd be 39 weeks on a Saturday when my doctor wouldn't be on call, she was going to schedule the induction for January 11th.  It still seemed like forever away, but it was nice to have an actual, concrete end in sight.

Early the next morning (the 15th), I could not stop shivering to save my life.  It wasn't just a quick little shiver here and there, it was full on, non-stop shaking for a good solid 10-15 minutes.  I was pretty sure I was probably sporting a pretty good fever and managed to eventually stop shivering and fall back asleep.  When I woke up again, my body felt weak and sore all over.  As I was walking around, I felt more pressure downtown than I was used to feeling.  It wasn't the, "I have to push NOW" type of pressure, obviously.  More like a "this kid's head is resting on something down there that isn't holding it properly and she may or may not fall out of my vagina" type pressure.  (If only child birth were that simple.)  

The morning went on and my back was on fire and I kept having random sharp pains from down under.  I suddenly wished I knew what an actual contraction felt like, for comparison's sake. The only contractions I felt with Eli were the few that happened when my epidural started wearing off.  And, naturally, those were immediately repressed into the dumps of my memory.  I did notice that this pain, although bearable and not incredibly intense, would get a little worse and then randomly subside.  I wasn't sure if it was just how the baby was positioned, or if it was maybe contractions.  I decided to time the random waves of pain as best as I could - even though it wasn't super obvious when it was starting and stopping.  I managed to time some that were happening ever 5 or 6 minutes and lasting about a minute, and I was fairly certain that they were actual contractions.

My doctor always ends each appointment telling me when I should call in versus when I should skip the call and go straight to Labor & Delivery.  "Scary contractions" or "More than 4-5 contractions in an hour" were some of the "go straight to L&D" qualifiers.  The supposed contractions I was having weren't necessarily "scary", but I had definitely had more than 4 or 5 in an hour.  Even though I felt super dumb, I called and left a message for my nurse about the fever and figured I could casually slip in that I was having some random pain down yonder to see what they'd say.

While I waited for the nurse to call me back, I kept stressing about whether or not I needed to go to the hospital.  And then subsequently stressing about all the crap I needed to do before baby made her grand entrance into the world.  Like, you know, get waxed.  I decided to take a shower to see if that would stop the contractions, and while it mostly seemed to stop the waves of pain, I still had a pretty constant, unpleasant ache going on.  Probably a 6ish on my completely weak scale of pain.  The nurse finally called back and more or less told me to just treat the fever with "comfort measures" and if the contractions didn't subside with rest/shower/bath/etc., to go into L&D.  Even with the contractions more or less subsided, I still felt pretty weak and useless to do much else.  Shawn, bless his heart, cleaned the entire house while I was curled in bed drinking a crapload of water to make sure the contractions didn't come back.  I felt pretty weak, exhausted, and just all around crappy.

The next morning I had another episode of the "shivers".  Except it was a lot worse than the previous day.  I was shaking uncontrollably to the point where I couldn't even pick Eli up.  I was worthless to the world, and I could not make it stop.  I piled several blankets on top of myself and tried to make them stop.  When that wasn't working as quickly as I needed it to, I called Shawn and through sobs and rapid breathing told him I had a fever, I couldn't stop shaking, and he needed to come home.  You can imagine how quickly that got him home.  After standing in the shower for 25 minutes, I finally was able to stop shaking.  My lady garden was still hurting like a female dog though, and I decided that I should probably go into the hospital, if anything, just to make sure that all the shaking and the fever weren't adversely affecting the baby.  I figured I probably wasn't in labor, but needed the peace of mind that my baby was okay.

When I got to the hospital, they hooked me up to all the machines to monitor the baby.  Again, I find myself apologizing to the nurse for the untamed va-chia pet that was ravaging my loins.  (And seriously, I don't know why I feel the compulsive need to apologize for the condition of my cookie to medical professionals that literally look at them all. day. long.)  Anyways.  Gratefully all was well with Grace.  Her heart rate was a little elevated, but still within the "normal range."  I, obviously, had a fever and my doctor decided to have them do a flu swab to see if I had the flu, or if it was just some other random virus.  And if you've never had the pleasure of enduring one of those, they basically take a freakishly long cu-tip and shove it up your nose all the way to your brain and leave it there for 10 seconds.  I'd take a butt hole swab over the flu swab any day.  Anyways.  We waited for what felt like forever to get the test results back.  In reality, it was probably more like 2.5-3 hours.  In that time, however, my contractions started to pick up.  Up to that point, the little contraction monitor hadn't really registered much of anything, which made me feel ridiculous and like I didn't know what the hell my body was doing.  My nurse had told me that the pain I had been feeling down there was likely just my ligaments freaking out when Grace moved.  She didn't seem overly concerned about that, or the contractions I was sure I was having.

Towards the last hour that we were waiting for the test results, my contractions picked up even more consistently, and I finally shifted around to see if I could get the monitor to show anything, or if I really was just mental. As soon as I had shifted around, the monitor finally started picking up the contractions.  They weren't all that big on the monitor which, according to the nurse, didn't mean much, because it was an external monitor.  But nevertheless, I felt pretty vindicated with physical evidence that I was indeed having contractions.

The bottom line are the contractions.  (Top is Grace's heart rate.)

They finally came back with the test results and told me that I had the "coronavirus", which is pretty much the fancypants science way of saying, "Hey, you have a cold."  They told me it should fade after a few days.  You know, like a cold.  I made sure to call the nurse's attention to the contraction monitor before they booted us out of the hospital.  I confirmed with her that they were indeed contractions.  Even though by this point, they were painful enough that I didn't need a monitor to tell me they were contractions.  I cracked a joke at one point about getting an epidural to go, to which she responded I could go home and take some Tylenol.  Because that's the same.  I didn't bother mentioning that this particular brand of lady pain would likely be completely impervious to the vain efforts of freaking Tylenol.  She decided to do an internal exam, just to make sure Grace wouldn't fall out of my body on our way to back to the car.  I was still just somewhere between a 1 and a 2.  She gave me the, "You're fine, this is just normal false labor stuff that'll go away in a few hours" speech.

Yeah.  It didn't.

I decided that I'd make use of our amazing, giant bathtub when we got home to see if that would ease up the apparently "false" contractions I was having.  Shawn barely got it halfway filled before we ran out of hot water for no damn reason.  I tried to get in to see if I could still make it work.  And then the make-shift drain plug we were using (because ours is apparently broken) failed.  Probably because our idea of a make-shift drain plug is shoving one of Eli's plastic balls down the drain.  So, here I am, flopping around like a damn beached whale trying to get my enormous, naked body completely submerged in as much lukewarm water as possible while the tub is slowly draining.  All the while, cursing like a sailor through the contractions that weren't even kind of letting up.  I finally gave up on  what was literally the worst bath I've ever tried to take.

Again, I curled up into fetal position in bed and continued to wait for this "normal" pain to subside, like the nurse had been so sure it would.  After a bit, the contractions finally started to slow down a bit.  As in, they were closer to 5ish minutes apart, instead of 2-3 minutes.  Even with that brief moment of relief that the nurse was right, I asked Shawn to give me a blessing that this TOTALLY NORMAL FALSE LABOR wouldn't kill me.  The good news is that I'm still alive.  Yay.  The less great news is that I haven't gotten a full night of sleep since then.

Just when I thought the contractions were maybe starting to slow down, they came back just as quickly and with more vengeance than ever before.  It was mother lovin' BIRTHQUAKE CENTRAL up in this bi.  I tried my best to breathe through each one, but some how my breaths managed to come out full of expletives.  I paced around.  Tried sitting and laying in different positions.  All the while, Shawn was blissfully unaware of the R-rated scene unfolding in our bedroom, as he had ear plugs shoved clear to his brain so my pregnant snoring wouldn't keep him up.  I got in the shower to see if that would help at all.  I spent a solid 45 minutes in there.  I'd sit.  I'd stand.  I'd almost fall asleep until I felt the next contraction start to ramp up.  My breathing/swearing/moaning must have finally gotten loud enough to penetrate the depths of Shawn's ear holes, because he finally woke up and was like, "Are you dying?"  Trying to lighten the mood, every time a contraction would hit, he'd yell, "PUUUUUUUSH!" Fortunately for him, it was fairly amusing at the time.

At around 2 or 3 in the morning, I went to the bathroom and there was a bunch of blood.  I've always read in the crazy pregnant lady forums about the "bloody show" that happened prior to labor, but didn't really know much about it.  I did recall that my doctor said that if I had any bleeding, I should go straight to L&D.  So, between that and the unforgiving birthquakes,  I decided to call L&D to see if they'd give me any hints as to whether or not I should come in.  They told me the bleeding may just be from the internal exam I had had when I was there earlier and more or less said, "Well, if you feel like you should come in, then you should come in."  YOU DON'T MOTHER FLUFFING SAY.  I decided to just wait it out, partially because I didn't want to have to wake up either our families during the butt crack of night to watch Eli and partially because I didn't want to be the woman that cried LABOR and ran to the hospital only to be shooed out the door again.

I spent the next 5 hours wide awake and hunched over in pain.  By the time 7am rolled around, I finally decided that I needed to go to the hospital.  I was convinced that there was no way that I just stayed up all night long swearing at my uterus all in the name of false labor.  That said, I apparently still couldn't be bothered to make myself look even remotely presentable, let alone pack a hospital bag.  All I could focus on were the contractions.  And when I wasn't having a contraction, I was dreading the next one.

We dropped Eli off with my mother in law and headed over to the hospital.  The contractions were at a nice steady 2-3 minutes apart.  Every time the car went over a bump, I was sure my uterus was going to explode.  When we got to the front desk, I hurried and grabbed a mask to avoid the "Mask up, bitch" glare I had gotten from the front desk lady the day before, and collapsed into a chair.  (A mask I'd end up having to wear the entire time I was in the hospital.  So. Annoying.)  Luckily, they were able to take me back pretty quickly and hook me up to all the stuff.  Again.  Part of me felt ridiculous for even being there.  But the other majority part of me didn't give two craps because I was in pain, dammit.  The nurse came in and I explained to her that I had been having consistent, painful contractions for the last 15 hours and that it'd be super cool if she could make it stop.  She grabbed some gloves and was down checking my still unwaxed cha-chi when I hear her say, "Looks like you get to stay with us, you're at a 5 and 90%."  Then a bunch of angels started singing the Hallelujah chorus.  But it sounded more like, "EEEEEEPIDURAL. EEEEEEPIDURAL.  epiDURAL.  epiDURAL.  EPIIIIDUUUUURAAAAALLLLLL."

The sheer joy of knowing I'd be able to stay was quickly replaced with, well, another contraction, and then completely panicked thoughts of, "Holy crap.  I'm having a baby.  Today.  I'M NOT READY TO HAVE A BABY TODAY.  MY VAGINA IS STILL A MESS. I DON'T EVEN HAVE MY HORSE HEAD."  (For the record, that was literally the first thing we told my little sister to grab from our house to bring over.  Not clothes for the baby.  Not a toothbrush.  Not a phone cord.  A HORSE HEAD.  Priorities, people.)  

We called our families to tell them that, surprise, we're having a baby.  And I texted our photographer that I totally understood if she couldn't make it, because it was super last minute, but that we were at the hospital.  (And, bless her heart, she dropped everything and found somewhere for all her kids to be and came over super fast.)   The anesthesiologist came pretty quickly and I couldn't have been any happier to see him.  He cautioned me to hold still, because you know, he didn't want to paralyze me.  The process of getting the epidural was just about as not fun as I remember it being from Eli, but I didn't even care, because DRUGS.

For some reason they still hadn't gotten the results of the Group B butt swab that my doctor had done earlier in the week, so they told me they were going to treat me as if it were positive and put some penicillin in my IV.  Some of my family showed up to come hang out with us and bring Shawn some food.  After about an hour and a half, they came and checked me again and I was still at a 5.  The nurse left the room and came back after a little bit and told me that the doctor on call (because mine was out of the office for a few hours) said that because I was still so early, they didn't want to do anything to progress my labor and if I hadn't progressed on my own in the next 2-3 hours, they may just send me home.  ACCA-SCUSE ME?!  I immediately started panicking about getting my epidural taken away, much less having to go back home while I'm dilated to a 5 and almost completely effaced.  Did they WANT me giving birth on my kitchen floor?!  I immediately started pep talking/threatening my vagina to do her damn job.

The next several hours were pretty uneventful.  It reminded me a lot of all the waiting around we did when I was induced with Eli.  Although at least that waiting wasn't overshadowed by the sheer dread that they might rip my drugs away and send me home.  At one point during the waiting, my actual doctor showed up and explained, again, that they didn't want to do anything to further progress my labor and if my lady didn't cooperate, they'd take away my epidural and send me upstairs.  Now, upstairs is better than back home.  But they were still threatening to take away my drugs which made me feel a little stabby.  Even with the epidural, I was still feeling contractions.  Not nearly as bad as before I had drugs coursing through my body - but I could definitely feel them, more on one side than the other.  And it wasn't for a lack of me pressing the magic "MORE DRUGS" button or switching which side I was laying on.

My epidural continued to progressively stop working and the contractions were getting worse as I waited.

And worse.

And worse.

Around 2, the moment of truth arrived in the form of my nurse gloving up to check my progress.  The first thing I heard my nurse say from down there was, "Well, there's your bloody show.  Something's happening down there."  She told me I was at an 8 and fully effaced.  They decided they were okay to go ahead and break my water.  Oh, you mean you don't want to SEND ME HOME?!  Grumble.  It was going to be go time soon, and I was ready to have the contractions over with.  They were trying to get the epidural re-filled, or something at this point.  I honestly don't even remember.  All I remember is that the nurse didn't sound like she knew what the hell she was doing and kept paging random people to figure out some kind of code?  Meanwhile, I was feeling the contractions pretty full force at this point.  

My doctor came in around 3ish to deliver the baby and saw me clinging to the bed rail for dear life and asked if I wanted the anesthesiologist to come back and re-dose me.  I nodded an emphatic yes.  He came and gave me another dose and said it should be working in about 5ish minutes?  (Or some other amount of time.  Heck if I can remember.)  I do remember that it still wasn't completely working when he said it would be, and I was starting to panic about having to feel a baby rip through my loins.  Like Eli, Grace was posterior as well.  So they had me lay in a funky position for a bit to try and get her to flip.

As I was getting close to delivery time, my nurse asked me if I wanted the drug man to come back and I told her if it was an option, I'd take all the drugs they'd give me.  He came back pretty quickly and gave me some super drug that totally deadened my legs and while I could still feel the contractions a little but it wasn't nearly as bad as it had been.  It came time to start pushing, and I honestly couldn't even tell if I was even pushing the right way.  The doctor assured me that I was doing just fine.  Which, in my mind, translated as, "Yeah, you're crapping on the table. Atta girl!"  After a couple pushes, I got totally emotional out of no where.  I couldn't stop thinking about Eli and how he wasn't going to be my only baby anymore and I was worried about how he'd handle everything.  I was worried about everything being okay with my month-early baby as the NICU team stood in the background ready to whisk her away.  And I was just really, really tired.

I pushed for about 3 or 4 sets and she finally flipped and after a couple more pushes...

 It took her what felt like an eternity to cry - but really, was only probably a couple seconds.  And as soon as she did, I was sobbing.  The NICU team took her over to the table to measure her and all that stuff.  She was 6'13 and 20 inches long - which, for a baby that was a month early, is pretty good-sized.  When my doctor pulled her out, she was pretty surprised at how big she was.  She easily could have been a 9-10 pounder had I gone full term, or even to 39 weeks.  So, thanks for that, Grace.  I managed to get away with a teeny tiny 1st degree tear (which has made recovery stuff incredibly more comfortable than it was with Eli.)

They brought her back to me and let me just hold her and do skin-to-skin for about 45 minutes before they took her to the NICU to monitor her.

She passed all her NICU "milestones" like a champ, and was back to me later that night in all her perfect, newborn splendor.

Ever since I got pregnant with Grace, I had a pretty strong feeling that she'd come early.  I always just figured that was just me hoping she'd come a little early, so I didn't have to wait as long.  I never expected her to be a whole month early.  Turns out my momtuition is pretty on point.  I thank God every day that it all turned out alright, and that she was and continues to be perfectly healthy.  Eli is the cutest with her and has acclimated just fine to having a little sister.  I'm pretty darn grateful for my little family.  As I think back on how hard we fought to get these kids here, I can't help but feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude and love for both of them.  I am so unbelievably blessed to be a mother.  It's everything I've ever hoped for and then some.  And because it's starting to sound like I'm about to break out into song, let's go ahead and end this ridiculously long post with a nice little video of BIRTH.  Weeeeeee!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pregnancy Stuff & Things

So, I know it's been forever since I've actually blogged, and not just photo dumped.  It's certainly not for a lack of trying.  It's just an overall general lack of motivation and energy to actually finish a post.  I have drafts fo' days, yo.  Admittedly, this particular draft has been sitting in my box for a few weeks.  It'll likely take me a few more weeks to even finish it - you know, between catering to all of Eli's rampant wants and needs before he flies off the handle, keeping trying to keep the house clean, runnings errands, and sitting on my arse, doing absolutely nothing.

Anyways, I figure I should probably write down some pregnancy things - and what's this blog, if not for oversharing tales of being knocked up.  You know how people will joke about how women have to repress memories of certain pregnancy symptoms, otherwise they'd never want to do it again?  Or maybe that's not a thing.  Whatever.  In any case, I feel like there's several things about my last pregnancy that I must have repressed, because it wasn't until they happened again with this pregnancy that I was like, "Oh yeah.  This is a thing."  Some of them are things I figured would obviously happen, but they somehow have seemed so much worse this time around.  Curious what those things are?  Read on, my friends.  (Spoiler Alert: There will be 'gina talk at some point.  Because, hello.  Haters, proceed with caution.)

1. Fatigue

I remember being pretty tired when I was pregnant with Eli.  I do not remember being so blasted tired that I couldn't pick myself off the floor.  During the first trimester, I would literally just lay on the floor while Eli played around me.  Chores would go undone for weeks.  Any ounce of energy to do anything but nap had been completely zapped from my system.  The progesterone shots I was on for the first trimester likely didn't help the situation at all.  But, in any event, it was pretty dang brutal.  A short time after I had entered the second trimester, I got the most magical burst of energy and felt like a brand new person.  Chores got (mostly) done.  Eli had a mom that actually interacted with him, instead of being a giant, lifeless jungle gym to crawl all over.  I even showered a few times.  It was truly glorious.  Since then, I've had multiple waves of fatigue that come and go.  These days, the tiredness is likely from my poor, out of shape body, having to haul around my enormous, out of shape ass around.  Just kidding.  I'm totally in shape.  And that shape is round.

2.  Heartburn & Acid Reflux

The first time I ever experienced heartburn or acid reflux was when I was pregnant with Eli.  Waking up because you're choking on your own stomach acid is certainly a whole new fresh hell - and this pregnancy has been no different in that aspect.  Before about 5 seconds ago, I would've sworn that my heartburn started way earlier with this pregnancy than it did with Eli.  But as I've looked back, it looks like it started pretty much around the same time.  

I started out with my huge, Costco-sized drum of Tums and those quickly became about as effective as swallowing pieces of chalk.  (And then there was the one time I came upstairs to find Eli sitting in an enormous pile of Tums, because those lids are so not child-proof.  Mom points.  Thus making, "Will Tums kill my kid" a permanent part of my ridiculous Google search history.  Hint: They don't.)  I finally started taking Zantac again, which helped a lot more than just Tums.  I was, and occasionally still am, having to fall asleep sitting straight up though, otherwise I'd wake up choking on stuff creeping back up my esophagus.  At one point, I consulted with Dr. Google about foods to avoid to help ease heartburn.  Want to know what it said?  "Foods to Avoid: EVERYTHING YOU EFFING LOVE."  True story.  

A few weeks ago I finally asked my doctor if there was any other drug that was a little more powerful than Zantac, because even that wasn't quite cutting it this time around.  They had me try Prilosec, and I wish I would have learned about that majestic medicine a lot sooner.  It's like Zantac on steroids.  Three cheers for drugs!  I'll still occasionally get garbage floating back up my throat, but I would imagine that's more due to my blatant disregard for which foods I should avoid.  Although, there truly are times where simply a glass of water causes a flare up.  So, eh.  And while I'm aware the old wives' tale that heartburn = a head full of hair is just that, an old wives' tale - I can't help but hope the fact that my heartburn has seemed so much worse this time around, that baby girl will have some hair.  At the very least, good hair like her brother.

3. Bending Over

Yeah, I'm not even going to try Googling "Bending Over GIF".  

While bending over isn't actually a symptom of pregnancy, per se - it's something I don't feel like I did nearly as much of when I was pregnant with Eli.  And now I'll explain why that shouldn't sound nearly as awkward as it does: When I was pregnant the first time, I didn't have to pick up after a small human tornado-ing every toy he owns from hell to breakfast all day, every day.  Not to mention having to bend over to pick up said "small" human.  Obviously it wasn't a huge deal when I didn't have much of a baby bump.  But, at 34+ weeks, there's definitely a bump there - and it most definitely gets in the way.  Any more, I have to squat to pick things up, which is fine and all, except that because I'm so in shape, my body is like, "Um, lady, why are we doing squats?"  Not to mention that when I squat, I feel like my crotch is gaping wide open and the baby is just going to fall out.  (As if childbirth could ever be that simple.)   And because bending over isn't enough of a hassle, it also makes my heartburn even worse.  Nothing like a little encouragement from our good friend gravity to send all the stomach acid chunks hurling upwards.  Sometimes I feel like a lazy idiot when I ask Shawn to pick stuff up for me.  Then there's days, like the other day, when I go to the store, and Eli manages to grab something off a shelf and lob it clear down to the end of the aisle and another woman offers to pick it up for me, because she knows.  Then I feel understood and just a tiny bit less ridiculous.

4. Sex

Pregnancy be like:

Yeah, you knew I'd go there.  Fortunately for all, I won't be super detailed.  But I certainly don't remember intimate times being quite so uncomfortable and awkward when I was pregnant with Eli.  Sure, it was obviously a little bit more... challenging - but not impossible.  The heartburn and baby bump have been the biggest culprits this time around.  Nothing kills the mood quite as fast as feeling like you're about to puke stomach acid all over the place.  A few weeks ago Shawn and I were determined to get it on.  After taking a significant amount of time to try and make things comfortable and then completely failing in a major way, Shawn just looked at me and said, "You know, I'm good.  You good?"  I agreed that I was good.  We high-fived, laughed, and figured we'd have better luck next time.  And we did.  Mostly.

5. Drooling

I don't know what on Earth it is, but I drool insane amounts when I'm napping and pregnant.  I usually wake up on a saliva-soaked pillow.  (And then, apparently, I sometimes take pictures of my pool of drool.)  But, seriously.  It doesn't happen at night.  Just when I'm napping.  It happened with Eli as well - just one of those things I forgot even happened.  (In semi, but mostly un-related news: Pictured above is my Snoogle and 900 other pillows I sleep with.  But Snoogles, while totally a ridiculous amount of money - are so worth it.  If you're pregnant and don't have one, Google it and get one.)

6. Dreams

So, I think it's pretty common knowledge that "vivid dreams" are a pregnancy thing.  And that is no joke.  It was definitely a thing with Eli.  But it never occurs to me just how vivid the dreams get until I'm growing a person.  And they're always either so random and weird.  Or way too realistic.  Unfortunately, I've never been one to remember my dreams very well (unless it's the morning after), which means this particular paragraph won't be nearly as entertaining as it probably could be.  But one dream in particular that I remember having is that I was on The Bachelor, and I was getting ready to leave the show, because the Bachelor was a moron and I was bored.  (Not to mention, I'm pretty sure I knew I was married in the dream.)  Anyways, "Rose Ceremony" time came along - and I was full on prepared to reject the rose, when the roses suddenly turned into donuts.  The Bachelor called my name and said, "Chelsea, do you accept this donut?"  And I wanted a donut SO BAD in my dream, so I stayed.  The end.  Pregnancy is so bizarre.  (Also, donuts.  NOOOOOOM.)

7. Swelling

Now, I hesitate to say this, because I don't particularly want to jinx myself.  But, so far, I haven't swollen nearly as bad as I did with Eli.  That said, my swelling with him started to get pretty bad around 34 weeks, and that's where I'm at now - so, we'll see what happens in the next several weeks.  I did try to zip up my hooker boots a few weeks ago, and they wouldn't zip up all the way - which was my first sign with Eli that the swelling was coming.  But, my feet still look mostly normal - so now I don't know if my legs are swollen, or I'm just fat.  *Whimper*  One thing that is swelling that I really don't remember being happening with Eli is my freaking VAGINA.  It's just a puffy, hot damn mess down there.  Like, Macy's Day Parade status.  I'm constantly worried that it's just going to morph into perm-crotch puff.  And one of my worst nightmares of getting fat is having to sport the crotch tire.  No one wants that.  No one.  The good news now is that my belly is big enough that I can't even see down there anymore.  So, it's almost like it's not there.  Almost.

8. Charlie Horses

I have never had a charlie horse in my calf until I got pregnant.  I had them with Eli, and it's definitely a symptom I did my best to forget about, because those things hurt like a B.  The other night I stretched in the middle of the night, and I instantly knew I had gone too far and started yelling, "NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!" Because I knew what was about to happen.  Sure enough, my leg started cramping and I was sure I was going to die from the pain.  (You might recall just how terrible my pain tolerance is.  As in, I don't have any.  I don't tolerate pain.  At all.)  Shawn wakes up from a dead sleep, totally panicked, asking me if I'm having a baby because of all the groaning and shrieks of death pain.  I tell him my leg is about to fall off, and knowing what's actually happening, he tells me to try massaging my leg, so, I did.  Which was the worst idea ever.  Because then I got two more charlie horses on top of one another.  I was screaming at Shawn for trying to kill me with his terrible massage suggestions.  Crying because it hurt so effing much.  Thrashing around in the bed because I couldn't even handle it.  I'm a baby, I know.  But shi got real that night.  A couple days later, Shawn and I were sitting there, and he had a brief wince of barely-there pain and just goes, "Oof."  I'm like, "What?"  And he was like, "Oh, just a leg cramp."  And I was like:

9. Weight Gain

Okay, so I get that when you're pregnant you gain weight.  You're growing a person.  It's a thing.  And it's okay.  But nothing really seems to quite prepare me for just how high those numbers are going to go.  I always tell myself that I'm just not going to look at the scale when I go in for doctor appointments.  Yet somehow I always manage to look down at the numbers.  And I always find myself wanting to scream, "WHY AREN'T THE NUMBERS STOPPING?  THEY'RE STILL GOING?  WHY?!"  Then I start mentally adding up how much all my clothes weigh.  Because surely I couldn't weigh that much.  (And seriously, who's the genius that decided it was a good idea to take a pregnant woman's blood pressure AFTER she steps on the scale?)  One week my doctor said to me, "Now, I'm not concerned about your weight, it's fine - but let's try and stabilize it."  And of course all I heard was, "Whoa, let's take it easy there, tubby."  Yeah, okay.  Let me just go ahead and stabilize my weight through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  She went on, "Stay away from sugar and too many carbs.  Eat lots of protein.  Just eat like you'd normally eat if you weren't pregnant."  All good advice, except for the the whole, "eat like you'd normally eat if you weren't pregnant".  If only she knew.  Also, as fate would have it, all the "snacks" that are supposedly good protein-filled snacks, I hate.  So, that's fun.

Recently, I've felt extra huge.  And not even in the cute, pregnant way.  But in the huge, beached whale way.  And I don't say that to get the pitied, "AW, YOU LOOK GREAT" comments.  Because you can tell me that until the cows come home, but it still isn't going to stop the inevitable multitude of meltdowns that happen in my closet because all 87 outfits I've tried on look terrible.  Speaking of meltdowns... 

10. Hormones

Ah, hormones.  The undying reality of pregnancy.  And womanhood, really.  But pregnancy puts those hormones on steroids and, if you're me, you become a crazy, irritable basket case.  One thing that I know is different from my first pregnancy, is that I'm a lot more hot-tempered with this one.  Unfortunately for everyone living in my house, I lose my cool waaaaay more than I ever did the first time around.  And it's usually over completely ridiculous things.  Like clothes not fitting.  Or the dog sitting in the wrong place.  Or Shawn waking me up in the middle of the night because I'm snoring.   Or not knowing what I want for dinner.  A lot of times, the anger will eventually morph into a complete snot and tears meltdown.  A lot of the time it's because I feel so guilty for losing my temper with Eli, and feeling like the worst mom on the planet.  And then I start second-guessing how I'm ever going to have the mental capacity and patience to raise two small people.  And it just spirals from there.  Fortunately, I'm usually able to snap out of it - whether that's with a sandwich, a nap, or my husband, bless his heart, talking me off the ledge. 

All in all, this pregnancy has been good to me.  I'm extremely grateful to have the chance to be pregnant again (and with what I can only assume will be the most adorable girl ever.)  There are many women who have had it a lot harder than I have, so I feel like I can't complain too much.  Especially when this may or may not be the last time I'm able to be pregnant.  It's definitely a whole new experience to be pregnant when you already have a kid, which is maybe why things have seemed so much more intense this time around.  I just hope Eli isn't too disappointed when he realizes I haven't just been hiding a ball under my shirt all this time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Because Photo Dumps Are Easier Than Actual Posts

More Facebook/Instagram rejects for your viewing pleasure.  WEE!

Eli and Toby love watching Shawn mow the lawn. It's usually followed by Eli screaming "DAD! SIDE! DAD! SIDE! SIDE! SIDE!" ("Side" = Inside/Outside, depending on where he is.)  And sometimes a total diva tantrum because I won't always take him outside, because I'm a monster.    
One day I was working and Shawn, out of nowhere, gave me a back massage and then crawled underneath my desk and massaged my feet.  I think I'll keep him.

My sister-in-law and I threw a bridal shower for my little sister who's getting married soon and we gave out flower pens as favors.  I think we all know how not crafty I am, so I was pretty proud of myself for making all of these - even though a monkey could make one.  Blindfolded.

So, if you're from Murray, you've probably seen this sign.  I'm not sure if it's just my highly irritable hormones flaring up, or what - but it really annoys me.  Is that really necessary for a pet salon?  How does Carmen Electra's ass crack have anything to do with giving your animal a bath?  Grumble.

As I've mentioned before, we have to sit in the hall pretty much every Sunday during church, because it's just easier to let Eli run around than trying to contain his crazy ass on a bench.  (Also, I'm fairly positive it's at least 10 degrees cooler in the hall.)  He'll just walk around saying "Hi" and "Bye" to everyone he sees.  He'll throw balls at other kids' faces.  He'll walk to the drinking fountain at least 27 times.  All in between eating snacks for days.  

Every time we go over to Shawn's parent's house, Eli immediately starts saying, "SIDE! SIDE! SIDE! SIDE!"  For those of you that are familiar with their backyard, you know it's pretty epic - especially for a 1 year old who loves balls and pools.  Even though he's totally not scared of grass/nature anymore (because that was a thing), the other day he was crawling around without letting his knees touch the grass, and it was pretty amusing to watch.

This kid loves raisins.  I had some on my desk and found him doing pretty much anything he could to get some out of the bag.  I suppose he could like worse things... Like that Captain Crunch/Lucky Charms hybrid cereal.  Oh, wait.

One day I told Shawn that it really grossed me out when our toothbrush heads touched when they were in the shower.  So, naturally, this is what I woke up to the next morning.  Marriage is fun.

This is my 20 week bumpie that I couldn't be bothered to post anywhere at the time because I hated (and still hate) the picture.  (Even though I totally had big plans to hashtag the picture #HalfNeigh - because I'm hilarious.)  After about 20 takes of the same stupid picture, I gave up and ate a fudgesicle instead.

These guys.  Seriously.  My favorite.

Once upon a time Toby was chewing on a stick, and Eli thought it would be cool to try and grab the stick while it was still in Toby's mouth, and so he accidentally got bitten.  (At least we think that's what happened, neither of us actually saw.  Parenting win.)  There was a pretty good gash on his finger - and usually Eli's pretty resilient and easy to distract if he gets hurt, but no amount of going on walks, chocolate, or shows was making him stop crying.  We couldn't tell if it was deep enough that it would need stitches or glue, or whatever - so we gave him some Tylenol and finally decided to take him to InstaCare, just to be safe.  Once the Tylenol kicked in, he was doing alright.  He'd keep looking at his finger and saying, "Ouch."

It turns out that it was "just a scratch" and Eli got the most expensive hand bath ever.  Sigh.  I'm sure the staff chuckled to themselves as we left about how we were first time parents.  But, in our defense, in his almost 18 months of life, that was the first time we've ever taken him to the doctor for anything aside from a well-check.  So I felt pretty alright about it.  Oh, and apparently Toby has a record now.  So, there's that.

So, Eli finally hit the height limit for his rear-facing carseat, and we decided to just go ahead and get him a front-facing one, and it's awesome.  He loves it.  Oh, and that hat?  How darling is that?  We got it at a shower before he was born, and it had been a box, and I remembered I had it - and was sure glad I did.

And now we can take CAR SELFIES.
We're going to Disneyworld soon, and as sad as it is (since I work for an airline and all), it'll be the first time Eli's ever been on a plane and I'm beyond paranoid that he's going to be a that kid for the whole flight.  You know, the demon child who screams/cries/won't shut up for the whole flight?  And it's a redeye flight, no less.  So, anyway, dude loves his shows - so we bought him some headphones that will hopefully make things a little smoother if he decides he's too cool to sleep on a plane.  Luckily, he thinks they're pretty neat.
He's getting braver with the pool and jumping in on his own.

Churchie.  This kid'll start nursery soon, and we're pretty excited about it.  Well, mostly Shawn, because he's usually the one that gets to watch him while I teach my Primary class.  He took him in the other day, just to test it out, and he did awesome.  Granted, Shawn stayed with him the whole time.. So, we'll see how it goes when we're not around.  He apparently kissed one of the girls while he was in there, so I'm sure he'll be just fine.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that we love redeeming those "YOU WON A PRIZE" mailers you get from dealerships once in a while.  If you read the odds of winning each prize in the small print, you can pretty much usually guess what you'll end up winning (and it's always something).  This time we walked away with Creamies and a $10 Target gift card for 5 minutes of our time.  I'd call that a win.  Also, aren't Shawn's lips amazing?

For a while we had like 3 gift cards to Coldstone, so we were constantly taking trips over there to get strawberry shakes, because they're delicious.  And somehow they taste even better when they're free.

The other day my mom asked me if I've been writing down the things that Eli's doing - and I totally haven't been, which is sad, because I know if I don't, I'll totally forget a lot of it.  He's learning so many new words, and it's so cute.  Currently, "Wa wa" is my favorite (waffle).  And teaching him animal noises is pretty amusing too.  The other day I was talking to Shawn and the phone and was talking about how I felt like a fat cow, and as soon as I had said it, Eli goes, "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"  Hilarious.  Motherhood may not be glamorous, but it's sure awesome.  One of these days I'll write up a legit mommy post about all the adorable things my kid does that everyone can skim through and pretend to care about.

We went to the state fair again this year, and it was so much more fun with Eli being older.  He went on the merry-go-round with Shawn, and it was the most adorable thing ever to watch.  He was definitely a fan.

Eli was pretty intrigued by all the animals at the fair - especially the sheep.  (He cracked up at one in particular for like 5 minutes that sounded just like a grown man going, "MAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH".)   Anyways, when I saw this picture after we took it, I could not stop laughing.


Another fair selfie.  Or us-ie?  Or fair-ie?  Whatever.
You know how you look at yourself in the mirror before you go somewhere, and you think, "Eh, that'll do"?  And then someone takes a picture of you and you somehow look a million times worse and 900 pounds heavier?  Yeah.  That.  I'm not sure why I ever thought horizontal stripes was a good idea.  Especially with my belly consistently measuring further ahead than I actually am.  (I'm talking like 3-5 weeks.  And especially because my belly doesn't tend to grow out in front of me - it grows to the sides.  And apparently takes my face with it.  Sigh.

So, sometimes when I need to call Shawn, I'll track his phone to see where he's at, so I don't bug him while he's still at a job site.  Some people think it's totally creepy - and maybe it is.  But, eh.  Anyways, I always give Shawn crap about going to "business lunches" after they finish a roof and then never bringing, or even offering, to bring me anything.  Which, again, is totally ridiculous - but it turns out that the pregnant version of myself gets pretty offended when you don't feed me.  And I get pretty passive aggressive about it.  Isn't Shawn lucky?

So, making fun of women on pregnancy forums is one my favorite things.  But some women just make it too easy.  She USED A TAMPON?  And COULDN'T FIND IT?   Normally I'd think she was just a troll and move on, but there was 20 pages of gold that totally had me convinced she was serious.

It was mostly people making fun of her, which made it even funner to read.  

At one point someone sarcastically suggested trying to use some tongs to get it out.  Apparently the sarcasm didn't translate all that well.  I was dying.  Troll or not, the mental images of a dude trying to fish a tampon out of some chick's crotch with tongs was pretty amusing  (with maybe a splash of horrifying).

Then there's the just annoyingly dumb people.  

And then there's all the women that complain about their boyfriends/husbands/partners cheating on them, telling them to get abortions, and just being pretty giant douche waffles in general.  "Not whilst your pregnant"?  Seriously?  I would have gone Lorena Bobbitt on his ass.  Or penis.  You know, whatever.  All the "My partner is an jerk" posts definitely make me appreciate Shawn a heck of a lot more.  (Not that I don't already, of course.  HI, HUSBAND!)

So, who caught that last BYU game?  You know, the one against UCLA where they lost by one point?  Well, Shawn did.  In related news, we need a new coffee table. 

So, I've mentioned we're going to Disneyworld soon, and I'm panicking a little bit about dying of heat while we're there.  I went to Target to try and find something to wear that I'd be comfortable in.  Ever since I started working from home (4.5 years ago), I haven't really done much clothes shopping.  Just a few trips to Ross here and there, nothing special.  So you can imagine my absolute delight when I show up at Target and see a whole section of "palazzo pants" that are apparently a in "style" now.  Apparently "palazzo pants" are pretty much glorified PJs.  Guys, PAJAMA PANTS ARE IN STYLE.  SO MUCH REJOICING.  And since my legs were definitely not made for leggings, it was pretty much my best day, and I bought 3 pairs while I'm there.  I came home and immediately put the pair on that I got for $6 bucks off the clearance rack and model them for Shawn - he's anything but impressed, and calls them "horrendous Aladdin pants".  I don't even care how stupid they are.  They're comfy, breezy, and apparently fashionable.  So, suck it.

Once upon a time, Shawn went to Arby's because, per usual, I was throwing a tantrum about dinner.  He came home 45 minutes later with a little diarrhea for everyone: sandwiches, curly fries, and mozzarella sticks.  I rip into the mozzarella sticks, because yum.  I bite into one, and there's NO CHEESE.  What?  So I try another one and get the same result.  Starting to feel a little lot stabby, I rip all of them open, to find that none of them have cheese.  Arby's sold us fried air.  This being after it took them 900 hours to take Shawn's order and get him the food because they had been flirting with girls instead.  Working in social media, I did what I do best, and I tweeted Arby's about how irritated I was.  (And really, what else is new?  I'm pretty much irritated at something at any given moment these days.  I blame all the estrogen coursing through my body.)  Anyways, fried air and my complaining skills magically poofed into this:  


Speaking of winning, I bought a pad of these for Shawn and I.  Being the first to apologize has never been my strongest point.  Shawn's always the first one to say sorry, because he's a good person, and I'm a stubborn ass.  But now, apologizing has never been more fun.  Marriage WIN.  (Related: Apparently I become a bear when I'm pregnant and sleeping.  So much snoring.  But that's why I bought Shawn a giant thing of ear plugs when I was pregnant LAST TIME.)

Aaaand Eli just took the world's most underwhelming nap ever and is screaming MOOOOOOOOM.  And I still have to shower.  And it's 5pm.  And I'm still wearing what I wore yesterday.  Which, you guessed it, are my AWESOME ALADDIN PANTS.  Anyways, until next time, yo.