Saturday, March 30, 2013

Postpartum Frustrations

Yesterday I was going to post something here that was annoyingly cheerful, but I ran out of time.  Nothing major has changed today.  The baby is still absolutely delicious.  Roo is such a sweet big sister.  I am just so in love with my little family.

But today?  I am really really postpartum-y.  I found myself on the verge of tears for the entire day. Jerry called to say he was going to have to work tomorrow.  Then his mother called (lets just leave it at that, shall we?).  I couldn't get schoolwork done, and I didn't much want to.  Roo was frustrated with playing by herself and entertaining herself with movies all day.  I was frustrated.  Stressing about finances, and other nonsense I can't do anything about.  My incision hurt all day long. I'm still pretty fat and swollen, and my body just isn't bouncing back like I desperately wish it would. 

Oh, and let us not forget that I am STILL toting a catheter for a few more days.  Allow me to elaborate.  During my surgery, Dr. VBAC toted a resident into the operating room with him.  I was really having a pretty shitty time between the anesthesia and the sheer terror and whatnot, so I was making sure to listen to everything that was being said on the other side of the curtain.  I even sent Jerry and my mother scampering over to the baby's side of the room to watch him be weighed and measured so I could just listen and take it all in.  The sound of my son's crying, the tears pouring down my cheeks, the wave of gratitude I was feeling.  All of it.  

Then I hear Dr. VBAC say quietly, "See that?" to the resident.  As a recent nursing student I was very much aware that these are the kinds of things my nursing instructor would say when she wanted to call our attention to something interesting or irregular without alarming the patient she was referring to.  So immediately I know he's pointing out something abnormal.  

I start panicking, thinking it is likely something to do with scar tissue and I'm about to be told there will be no more children.  They take a really long time finishing me up.  By the time the doctor comes to my hospital room to talk, I am relieved to learn it is "only" my bladder experiencing the complication. 

Apparently c-sections aren't that great for you, and when you have multiple c-sections you can sometimes get adhesions.  And I got them.  My bladder was adhered to my uterus, so then it got all kinds of little incisions and stitches from being separated.  The catheter is to keep my bladder nice and decompressed so it can heal.  I'm supposed to remove it on Monday.  Thank goodness.  The bag is super annoying to tote around.  If I have the handy "leg bag" on that straps to my leg, I can't get down on my knees to play with Roo or clean.  If I have the large foley catheter bag on, I have to pick the bag up and tote it with me wherever I go.  There is also no concealing it.  I end up hooking the damn thing to the waistband of my pants, which can potentially reflux the urine from the tubing back into my bladder.  Not ideal.  

Today, was just the kind of day that I am glad to be done with now.  Tomorrow, the kids and I (it still feels really strange and new to be able to say "kids") are going to attempt our first outing alone.  Driving to the town an hour away to see the Easter bunny.  I'm trying not to focus too much on the fact that the kids outnumber me when Jerry is at work.  Or that I haven't actually gone anywhere in the car without riding in the back seat with the baby...Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


My little family all together for the first time.

Daddy and Tanner

Busting out of the hospital

First time in the car seat!
Here are the promised photos.  Sorry it took me so long to get them up--I haven't wanted to put my little guy down for a second.  Actually, he's snuggled up on my chest right now.  As you can see, he's got a full head of dark hair that is perfect for burying my face in.  He smells amazing--nothing better than that new baby smell.  His pajamas have rockets on them.  I feel like my heart is going to burst a lot these days.

We are all tucked in at home now, and it feels really good to be here.  It's been a long road.  It is so surreal to be using the baby things, dealing with the sleep deprivation, the whole package.  Until I heard that baby cry in the operating room, there was a huge, fearful, quivering part of me that did not believe we would be taking a baby home.  Thankfully, now that he is here, that fearful part of me is a bit more in control.  Although, I am really nervous about one of my dogs being around the baby--he's a real weirdo of a dog, and I'm not taking any chances.  

As he's laying here on my chest, I feel a sense of disbelief that he was in my belly just a few days ago.  He isn't even back to his birth weight yet, but I just don't know how he fit in there.  He still folds himself up the way he was positioned in my uterus, with his knees pulled up to his chest.  It really explains why his kicks were capable of inflicting pain for the last bit of pregnancy.  

As for me...I'm looking pretty postpartumy.  I want to save his birth story for its own post, but I do want to share that I brought something else home from the hospital besides a baby.  Any guesses?  Okay, I guess I'll tell...It's a catheter.  It conveniently allows me to empty my bladder into a bag.  And it lets me know when my urine is bloody from trying to accomplish too much in one day.  If I could think of a disadvantage?  I guess it can be a bit awkward trying to tote a pee bag everywhere while also holding a newborn.  And it makes it difficult to want to answer the door when the neighbors knock.  So anyway, that's my excuse for not posting any pictures of myself in the above collage.  I'm a bit behind on commenting, but I promise I'll catch up soon.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Tanner Parker was born at 8:08 this morning weighing 7lbs 6oz. He is named for my maternal grandfather who held him in his arms and cried this evening. We are too happy for words, too grateful for words. I am holding my newborn son on my chest as I type this from my iPhone because I cannot give him up to retrieve my laptop. Will do a longer post with pictures very soon but for now just picture us soaking it in. We cannot thank you enough for your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

On the Eve of My Child's Birth

To my as-yet-unnamed baby boy:

First we called you The Embryo, then we affectionately referred to you as The Fetus.  Now here we are, the night before you are scheduled to be born.  We are nervous, scared, excited.  I can't sleep even though I know I should be sleeping.

I can't wait for the next stage, but I know I will miss you as you are now.  You've been such a lovely little guy in utero.  I'll always have pleasant memories of this pregnancy because it brought me you.  

I feel like I know you, but there is so much I am looking forward to learning about you.  I know we will take great joy in watching your personality unfold before us.  Right now?  I know you are a fan of chewing because you flip around without fail every time my jaw starts moving.  You are a very punctual mover, and as we progressed through the last few months I've used my doppler less and less because you are so reliable.  Over the last couple of weeks, you've become capable of inflicting pain with your shifting and kicking.  You still seem to have quite a few options for positioning in there, and you switch frequently.  You don't really appreciate being pushed on from the outside, but as you've begun to run out of room you've started to push back a bit in irritation. You've been quite a stoic and reassuring little fetus.

We know you have hair because we've seen it on ultrasound.  I hope you look like your big brother and sister.  I hope you are born fat and healthy and screaming.  Your daddy, your big sister and I are waiting for you.   See you in the morning, Baby Boy.  We can't wait to officially meet you.

Tags Off!

Friday, March 15, 2013

And Now...We Wait

I'm writing this post with a sense of disbelief.  I'm having trouble accepting the fact that we actually made it.  I mean, I'm not actually scheduled until Monday morning, but this baby could come at any time and it would be OK.  We are ready.  We are waiting.

I finished my class (with a B) in the early hours Wednesday morning.  Jerry finished the week at work.  I drove home this morning to pick him up and bring him back to the city with me so that we only have one vehicle to get home after I am released from the hospital.  My family is here to watch Kiddo (and driving me absolutely crazy, as usual). My dogs have been dropped off at the vet to be boarded for the next week.  Kiddo's sibling gift is wrapped and ready.  My hospital bag is packed. The car seat base has been installed for weeks and the car seat is sitting by the door. 

I still haven't done the baby's laundry, but I am making progress.  I opened the breast pump today, which is a big committment because they cannot be returned once the seal is broken on the box.  So there.  I'm acknowledging that I will likely need a breast pump soon.

Tomorrow my daughter is off to stay with family until Monday afternoon.  Jerry and I are going to, well, basically do nothing.  I'm looking forward to it.  

I really never thought I would get to have a scheduled sort of delivery where things are organized and calm.  It's strange for me to feel so ready for this little one's birth, but I'm not complaining.  If I were to complain it would be about family members who think their presence in the OR is absolutely essential when it absolutely is not.  But I'm not in the mood to complain tonight.  The overall mood today between Jerry and I has been one of sheer elation.  I woke this morning feeling excited and looking forward to the next few days.  When I arrived at our home to pick him up, I found Jerry in exactly the same state. 

I plan to relax and shop as much as my swollen ankles will allow until it's time to go.  Can't wait for what comes next, but I'm so glad to not have to be worried about going into labor anymore. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In Which Pregnancy Brain Officially Takes Over...

I definitely believe in pregnancy brain.  This time it's ripping my GPA to shreds.  I don't know if I come across as Type A here at all...but I would assume I do.  I think it would be difficult to spend five minutes around me and not realize that.  

I don't often do poorly in school. I do very well in school, and if a grade doesn't meet my standards, I have trouble accepting it.  I haven't seen a substandard grade in....a very long time.   I see A's as the minimum grade that is personally acceptable to me.  I don't appreciate B's but I can let one slide every once in awhile.

Pregnancy has apparently changed all of this for me.  Why?  Because I DO NOT CARE anymore.  I hate these classes.  I'm having trouble convincing myself that I shouldn't just quit.  I can barely focus on the assignments and I dread opening my computer and books to study. I'll read, underline, highlight, take notes, do the practice questions.  I'll be positive that I know the material inside and out.  Then I'll take the weekly quiz and feel like I don't know anything.  I just want this stupid class to be over so that I can zone out for the next few days and hang out with my Kiddo.  

As proof of my apathy (maybe that's the wrong word?), today I received a 72% on one of the two finals in this class.  You would think I would've seen it coming, but I did not.  I actually felt like the test was going okay, and then BAM.  Oops.  Lucky for me it is only worth 10% of the final grade in the class, but since I still have another one to take I am a bit concerned at this point. 

I'm really hoping that the history class I'm taking next session restores the balance a bit for me.  I cannot continue to force myself to take classes that are dull and that I hate when I will hopefully have my lovely children to pay attention to.  Little guy will be a week old when the history class starts and I just know I'll have better things to do. 

I have one more test that is worth 10% of my grade, so as long as I pass the test I won't do too much damage to the final grade.  Here's hoping.  Because I prefer to spend my last nights of pregnancy reading bedtime stories and overdosing on bad television.

6 more days...

Monday, March 11, 2013

38 Weeks

7 days at the most.  Daylight savings is here and it feels like spring outside these days.  Spring is my absolute favorite--isn't it everyone's?

I'm feeling...pretty large.  Anxious. Definitely short-tempered. Ready for this to move on to the next stage.  Saturday evening I was having a string of steady contractions along with a lot of irritability and some radiating back pain.  I was thrilled.  Jerry was here with me, we were at 37 weeks 5 days (with lung steroids on board), and I was more than willing to let things progress.  So of course, it all came to a standstill as soon as I had come to this conclusion.  Little Guy was kicking merrily away the entire time. He would rearrange his butt position on alternating sides of my stomach every couple of contractions and he almost always gives a little kick at the end of each contraction I think he's happy in there for as long as we'll leave him in.  He seems to have no plans to escape whatsoever. 

Jerry is completing his last few days of work before his leave begins.  Hopefully I won't go into labor until Saturday now.  Since he is anywhere from 3.5 to 6 hours away from me during his workdays, I am extremely worried that he might miss the birth if it comes at an inopportune moment.  On Friday morning, I will be driving up to pick him up and bring him back to the city with me to await Eviction Day.  This way we only have one vehicle to deal with getting home afterwards.  

I'm also hoping not to have to use the babysitting services of my elderly grandparents in the middle of the night.  My grandfather is at that stage where he really shouldn't be allowed to drive anymore, but no one has found a solution yet and he hasn't had any accidents so.... he still considers it appropriate to drive.  But I can't have them driving ANYWHERE with Roo.  

I have a window of just 4 more days to get through before we are home free.  My mother is coming up in a couple of days so that will eliminate my grandparent worries and if we can just get through Friday, I won't have to worry about Jerry missing the show anymore.  I have a few days of studying to finish my finals for my current class, and then I am officially on break for almost two weeks.

Aside from the baby excitement, I really cannot wait to go home.  I'm just praying everything goes smoothly and that Little Guy's emergence goes well and he is healthy.  I'm ready for that weight to be lifted.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

37 Weeks 1 Day

Full term!

My second attempt at the Chuck E. Cheese experience went much more smoothly and Roo left fed, exhausted, and with a bunch of crappy ticket counter jewelry.

For most of last week, I was feeling a bit frustrated about being stuck in the hospital halfway house.  So Jerry and I decided that it wouldn't be terrible if I snuck away for the weekend as long as I was only home while Jerry was close by to drive me to the hospital if need be.  Roo and I were so excited to get home.  It felt great to finally be able to nest away in my own habitat.  I finished cleaning out the office/future nursery of clutter. It now holds my desk, bookshelf, treadmill and baby dresser--a vast improvement from all the junk that was sitting in it a week ago. I organized and filed a year's worth of paperwork.  I supervised Jerry while he painted the living room and scrubbed the floors.  I did the laundry.  I folded all the baby outfits (tags still on, of course) and put them away in the baby dresser.  It felt great.

I was planning on heading back Monday morning after Jerry left for work, but a huge winter storm came and I was stuck.  I have to admit, it panicked me a bit being stranded so far from the hospital 37 weeks pregnant.  Then we lost power for about 3 hours.  Thankfully, the roads had cleared up enough for us to get back to the city this morning.  Needless to say, that was our last trip home while pregnant.  I'm thrilled to be full term, but I'm still not keen on going into labor in the middle of nowhere. 

I miss being around Jerry when we have to split up for the week.  His presence keeps me from getting too anxious or stressing about all the things I have no control over right now.  Today, my worry-of-choice was the medical bills, a particular favorite subject of mine.  Don't think I limit myself to actual medical bills either.  I like to consider all the potential medial bills as well.  Even listening to a little of D. Ramsey's financial wizardry didn't help me settle down.  I found myself wondering what he would have to say about hi-risk pregnancy and the things women like myself are willing to go through to get a baby.  To hell with him.

I feel much better about bringing a baby home after getting some cleaning and organizing in this weekend, but I still have quite a list of things to get done before I'm "ready" for baby to come.   If all goes as planned (Ha!) I will be having this little guy during my one week break between my microbiology class' end and the beginning of my history class.  I can potentially increase that time to almost two weeks if I kick butt on studying this week and take the final on Monday.  The problem is, I'm quite the procrastinator and it seems unlikely that I will change my ways in the next few days.  And if I don't finish and I have to take my final from my hospital be it. 

It's hard to believe this will all be over in 13 days or less.  It still feels like it's a long way off, but when I start to go over my to-do list, it doesn't feel like long at all.  My body is sore and slow.  I am eager for a happy ending, but I dread the ending at the same time.