Thursday, January 31, 2008

cd wanted

After giving the Hypnobabies Cd's an initial listen, I already know that I would like something non-birthing related like this for my life beyond pregnancy. I am somewhat "into" and somewhat annoyed by so-called-soothing-new-agey things, but can DEFINITLY see how something groundng/calming/affirming in an audio format for nighttime would be REALLY cool for me.

Does anyone wanna be a champ and come forth with some suggestions for some Cd's or MP3's or authors or artitsts or titles of something along the lines of "relax your body...breathe in cool green fresh are a wonderful mother....feel your spine growing stronger...."?

:) thanks in advance!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My post section body

I take mincing steps, like a foot-bound lady of long-ago China, but only on my right leg.

I feel bruised, and to see no discoloration where there is such purple-green soreness is disturbing.

There is no where for my waistband to go without weirdness--either right on the scar like a hot rubber band with spikes, or up too high like some wedgey havin nerd.

I can no longer arch my back, for the front is so tight and shrunken from the mincing steps, anything beyond straight posture is just disconcerting ripping and heat.

I do not want the front of me touched, period. Too nervous, too tickly, too sore, too disconnected,too numb, too afraid, too wounded, too gross, too much.

I dream of walking around town safe and secure in a suit of armor, stainless steel, 1/2 and inch thick, something like a girdle, from the bottom of my ribs to the tops of my thighs, strong and thick and grocery cart handles or childrens hugs or car doors or blue jeans or seat belts or shelving units or fridge doors could ever hurt and shock and scare and embarrass me then, not with my metal protector on...

I wait for the entire part of me, the whole numb prickly blobby demented fat blob of it all to float away, fall off, dry up, shrink down, crack off, get better, go back the way it was, heal, die, leave me please please please.

I fantasize about a "tummy tuck", and would feel great victory and pleasure in seeing the entire fucking thing in the garbage can at the surgery clinic. The whole bloody thing they cut off, I wanna see it. No blue sheet to block my view this time.

(Numb me up enough and I'd do it myself.)

I get to enjoy useless Mommy-guilt at not being glad enough for my children or however that rhetoric goes. It infuriates me, this dismissive and limited idea that I could not simultaneously love and adore my children AND despise what I am left with corporeally. This is just more and more and more of the same old double standard shit I touch upon in past posts---NOBODY TELLS NON-MOTHERS TO "BE GLAD" WHEN THEY HAVE SUFFERED. Its always the mothers who have to cheer up or shut up. You're scaring the're delusional...just please be gladder...who cares if you weren't able to do one single thing on the post operative instructions list because you were completely alone in the hospital and once you got home, completely alone with all four children all day all night forever and ever and couldn't heal "right"...please be glad...

Like a bad bad mommy, i do not feel joy or pride when i live my life with this lumpy pinchy flap of fucked up pain, my babies showed no signs of distress, not for one second, and so I do not gaze upon my midsection and feel whatever it is that the thought police say I should feel---gratitude, love, amazement--no, my post section tummy symbolizes for me, deepest physical and mental isolation, mute and helpless pain, learning exactly where I stood in my familial and social circle when and if I ever suffer great bodily injury, fear and danger for my future, fear of sports or high speed travel, scarlet-black regret, and the impossibly heavy pressure to have experienced my own life experience differently...

So what am I left with here, where can I forge some nice firm closurey-conclusions out of this oily basin of quicksand? How does one form anything out of grey clouds;
I may or may not have been a failure. My baby may or may not have needed this. I may or may not have excessive or inappropriate pain. I may or may not have been a burden to others. I may or may not have scared the nice neighbor girl who loved her section. I may or may not have this done to me again. I may or may not receive any care or support afterwards again. I may or may not ever feel better or whole or healed. I may or may not piss off the "community". My pain and sadness may or may not offend, disturb, annoy, disappoint, confuse, or bother others. I may or may not ever be heard. This may or may not matter.

Tomorrow, I'll go put on some nice jeans and buckle up my nice seat belt and for heavens sake be nice about it. But it doesnt help me, it really doesnt. I wonder if they have at-home novocaine shots, and if that would help. I wonder if the tummy tuck and the throwing in the garbage can of my entire midsection would help. I wonder if some natural healer thingy that I could never afford like a deep tissue massage would rip me all up and cause me to hemmorage, or if it would release the tension or the adhesions or the nerves.

My all time favorite "advice": Dont live in the past. I wonder if the sick-knobs who keep telling me this can explain to me how my daily life and my future is "the past"??????????????????????

Its really really ok to tell someone who is really hurting that you are sorry that they are having sucky pain. And it really really is ok to tell someone that you are sorry they were abandoned. It really really is ok to go forward and help other mothers when they have their babies, and it really really is ok to just accept someone elses personal experience without putting your own judgemental spin on it. If it helped, to bark at people to MOVE FORWARD, buck up, cheer up, be glad, be gladder, shut up, squelch your self squelch your truth then yeah, I guess Id see it as some kind of tough love thing. BUT IT DOESNT WORK. IT DOESNT WORK. IT ONLY DOES ONE THING, AND IT DOES IT VERY SWIFTLY: IT TEACHES THE PERSON WHO IS HURTING THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE NOT DISCUSSED THIS WITH YOU. thats all it does. thats all it can do.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This entire post is probably all horrible to say.

This whole post will be offensive to some people, and might sound to others like self-hate, or something at the very least insensitive, un p.c., I dunno, let me just say that I know, I all that being said, lets talk about overweight pregnancy. I am coming out and saying that I am definitely overweight, according to the charts I am "morbidly obese", (have been even when I was a thin and athletic size 12/14 on my wedding day, but Ill gripe about those charts another day...) BUT, and there is always the very real chance that I am completely deluding myself, big time, but even at this size, a six foot one 18, I still don't think most people would describe me as "You, know, that big lady, you know, the fat lady, real heavy-set, shiney eyes"

I attribute this to the fact that I dress and carry myself more like a skater boi than Marge at the office, (and BELIEVE ME, put me in a rose print silky blouse thingy and polyester slacks and Marge would appear, immediately) so really, what am I babbling about? Oh yeah, overweight pregnancy and my body issues, real and imagined, etc. My blog, my spacecadette brain, my option to just ramble sometimes, right?

Ok. So, I ALWAYS ALWAYS was deeply disturbed and dreadful of being so overweight that I would be one of "those people" who didn't look pregnant. You know in your heart exactly what I am talking about. the big BIG B_I_G ladies who would walk around making great effort to rub and pat and smile and pat and rub their flat abdominal regions.....oh to be so heavy that I didn't look pregnant, that just freaked me out my whole life. but for me, the exact opposite has been my experience. I look huge almost immediately, about 5 months pregnant, and then just stay that way until I am about 6 or 7 months and then get even bigger. I always figured the actual baby and water and placenta and the whole thing was just pushing out what fat I already had, making me "show" earlier--does this make any sense? I also hate the feeling of "Still fitting into such and such jeans", it just feels awful to squash into stuff when i am pregnant, even a few weeks pregnant---yuck. So I never really did that, I poretty much peed on the stick and then went and put all the good looking pants away, and busted out the pajama-ish ones until the time came when I could fill those pouch-sack-tummy ones and then I wear those.

Now I am well into all my maternity clothes, and I look nice and round if I want to. But I know that my fundal height is only just now to my belly button, and that the big round egg appearance when I go sideways in the mirror and DON'T suck it in is mostly all blubber. does it matter? Is it weird? My abs have been severed by 2 c sections in 5 years and basically do not exist, so the mere hint of sucking anything in causes shooting pains in my entire back...Ill definitely want to work on that next year, I am picturing Yoga and maybe some water aerobic type stuff?

So I am getting really fat. And I care, and I don't, you know? I know that this always happens, I have had a really good sense of how this all goes for me and I have been laughing with Steve in a very good natured way about my otherworldly arms and chins and how random my feet look, being not fat at all, stuck to these strange hock-legs. My eating has calmed down ALOT, no more constant 24-7 chowing , no begging and actually crying for EGGS! PIZZA! CHEESE STICKS! PEANUT BUTTER TOAST! at 2, 4 and 6 am....I pretty much eat when the family eats now, except if they are having a relatively unhealthy thing like potato chips I will have tabbouleh, or if they are having pop I will have lemon water, etc. I do not do any sweets in the morning, so no cereal or pancakes for Mama, I eat alot of eggs and sometimes just go straight to a meal-meal like leftover spaghetti and baked potato or fish or hummous....I can do that now, with the nausea way under control---SO nice.

I would like to be in shape and I would like to feel flexible and strong, but it is hard. I dont want my entire leg to be encased in cellulite, but it is, you know? I'll wear pants. I don't know how much I can actually accomplish with my lifestyle and my schedule but when I say all that I feel like these are excuses. I try to do leg lifts and squats and stuff at work, but I do not excersize, per se. It has been near zero degrees for weeks, so we don't even hardly go anywhere for me to "walk", and my dreams of the water aerobics class are gone since I work Monday Wednesday and Friday nights and Steve works late Thursday night. IS there really a chance of me getting out with 4 kids in the dead of winter (and thats even IF I have the car that day, which involves me and the kids driving Daddy to work before 7 am in the dark/cold) and exercising somehow somewhere? I don't see it happening. Any advice? Ill walk in the spring but it is never enough to actually do anything. How much do these people walk to actually lose weight? A hundred miles? Screw that. I guess way after the baby is born I can worry about it, or not.

Tonight I bought a VCR off of Craig's' list for the sum of 10 dollars--and you know why? To retry my old Pregnancy Yoga tape. If I cant be smaller, I would definitely like to be stronger and peacefuller and more flexy. Well, that's enough about the ole bod. Gonna go enjoy the rest of my only night off with my darlin'. Goodnight!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

my first birth...and no baby!

On Thursday night, around 10:30 pm, my midwife called the house. When I said "Hello?" she said "LEt's go!" and I was off!

***I just started apprenticing with her, and there was only one woman pregnant/due, 41 3/4 weeks with her 4th baby, so I have been awaiting this phonecall, hoping it wasnt on a night I work****

Out of my nice warm jammies and into the cold, cold night, I had so much adrenaline I was shaking so hard I thought I would break my teeth they were chattering so hard. and it was 16 degrees out and my minivan takes along time to warm up! So down the highway I flew, feeling like a real assistant--very nervous (does this family really want me there? Where do I look? What do I do? What if I sniffle/cough/sneeze and they think I am germy girl? Am I going the right way? DO I knock on the door or just try to slip in? Did they leave it unlocked? Will the mom be all naked, will my arrival disrupt her? Do I smile or act all solemn? Whoa there's my exit already! 25 miles felt like 5)

So I got there and just acted like myself. But quiet and respectful. I tapped lightly and the dad let me in and the mom was just a mom, hanging around and talking in a turtle neck and yoga pants...ok....this is gonna be a long night...(?) but the story goes that she has fast labors, and this was to be her 4th homebirth....she had a few contractions but just stopped and held onto the table and was real quiet for about 60 seconds or so and then would resume it was definitely early labor.

Around 12:30 am my midwife examined her, spoke with her, and told her that she needed to get some sleep, and then we drove back to her house (near mine) to hang out and wait a bit. Our being there with the early-labor mom was determined to be not needed or beneficial at the time. So we hung out at midwife's house until 2:30 am until she told me to go home and get some sleep. I got home a little after 3am...told my husband the details...laid there in bed....sort of drifted off, 3:50am....BRRRRRRING!

It was the dad of the pregnant mom, calling me, "I think its time"---so much adrenaline I feel like I am going to be unable to drive. I shouldn't have fallen asleep, but I am pregnant and my kids were getting up in a few I got back in the minivan and drove back to her house. I got there at about 4:30am and she was in real labor. The pool for waterbirth was filling up, she was really loud and in her laborland, but I had to be back to my town by 6:30 so my husband could get to work at 7am! I whispered this to my midwife and she totally understood... I felt like this return visit was pointless and I felt sad to be missing out on an entire nights sleep AND a birth!

she labored and got into the water, and I actually got to do something helpful which was to help her husband scoop out buckets (soup-pots) of the water from her tub and dump them into the kitchen sink (it was filling with new hotter water but getting too close to the top of the pool!) she didn't seem bothered by us doing this, we were completely silent....

and then I had to leave! I was so bummed and felt like such a weirdo. I got home at 6:40 am and woke up Steve....

as it turns out she had a lovely big healthy baby at 6:30 am and I missed it. We don't have any moms due until me in June, so this one was just poorly prepared for as far as realisticness and childcare, etc.

Bummer. But I still felt cool, like this is something I really really like doing, even if I didnt do anything besides drive up and down the expressway all night.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

18 weeks

I cannot believe i am this far along. Despite all the stuff I have been going through and adjusting to, I dont FEEL pregnant. I feel weird and different and sometimes ill, exhausted, sore, itchy, old, crabby, messed up, but not pregnant. It is neat, and yet I feel strange about it.

One of the biggest most wonderful things that this pregnancy has been SO different from the other four is that I am not suffering from intense, constant bladder pain. I really thought that that was what "feeling pregnant" meant, to be quite honest. A STABBING, ACHING, 24-7 OVERWHELMING bladder pain. Like you drank a gallon of water and then someone sat on your lap. Every single second. I rarely had any official UTI diagnosed, at the doctor or the midwife, but this was what it was all about for me. I cannot downplay enough how distinct the lack of this feeling has been for me. I can walk and even run through the grocery store, the house, the park. Not for too long, as I get winded but there is NO bladder pain. My kids can jump into my lap, I can squeeze into a few last non-maternity clothes, and, like I said, there is no bladder pain.

I almost wonder if during the last c-section they put my uterus back in differently. Sick right? You are aware that they take the whole thing out and plop it up on your abdomen, right? Sick sick sick but I watch it on TV all the time. I wonder if the people who "didnt get" why I wanted some help postpartum thought that all they did was slice a little line like how you cut a little slit in the hotdog to slip in the cheese slice. : ) No, dude, they take your business right out, and put it back in, and it heals how it will.

I am so happy to be free of this overwhelming and semi debilitating pain, thats for damn sure. Even if they just messed up my nerves and I am numb to it now, that was the number one pinnacle thing, the overriding thing for me why "GOING FOR A WALK" was not my idea of fun when pregnant. It hurt like a knife, and took my breath away and my steps away from me.

Cool and weird and wonderful.

I try to feel the baby kick and I think I did this morning. I did-- I felt a flutter,which my belly would not just randomly flutter, but until I feel the thumps and bangs, I always feel a tiny bit stressed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


It started as an itch on my sides. Back in October, when I first found out I was pregnant. I thought it was from my new undies, because my sides itched and the waistband drove me nuts. I scratched and scratched all night and most of the day until I had big red circles on my sides. But now it has spread to my legs and belly. This is a picture of one of my legs. So hideous.

I dont know if it is "PUPPS" because I have read so much about this condition that I am left feeling confused. These women are inducing labor and wanting to kill themselves and I am nowhere near that. Just itchy and bumpy. I scratch so much that I am now all bruised but not bleeding or anything.

I also read about a much more serious condition called Cholestatis which I do NOT have, as it involves itchy palms and liver dysfunction. Although I think I do want to get some Milk Thistle to help support the liver, which I havent been taking this time, out of forgetfulness.

So, maybe I have PUPPS, maybe I dont. But its a bummer. I am going to try baby aspirin as recommended by my midwife. Anyone have any experience with this?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Guilt free living, circa 1997

I love Peggy O'Mara and this is a nice one she wrote.

I have been absolutely inundated/drowning in self consciousness, fears, doubts, insecurities, lately about so many things...alot of pregnancy hormones and stuff going on in my personal life.... so reading this tonight helped push me back towards something that has been helping lately when I get off track: I have been harkening back to the times, in my own past, that I lived the closest to my own heart, free or nearly free from "shoulds", "checklists", or what anyone else thought, and one prime example of that kind of existence was when my Greta was a baby, ten years ago.

I nursed her because that seemed nice and good, but I had never read a single thing about it being BEST or wonderful or difficult or anything. I had a few fuzzy memories of my baby sister being breastfed but that's about it. No stance, no fierce "position". I was intelligent enough to know that obviously, powedered cows milk in a tin would be costly, and inferior and stank to high heaven, but thats literally as far as my personal opinion on the whole affair went.

I kept her in the bed with me because my crotch was sliced open and sewed up painfully and it really hurt to move and so I didnt want to do all this up and down BS when me and the baby seemed so happy to just lie there and chill out all day. Never heard of Family Bed, Smothering the Baby, or little side-cars or blue plastic thingies to put the baby in. My arms seemed fine.

I didnt "wear" her too much because I didnt know too much about it. Someone gave me a weird front-carrier thing that was uncomfortable and she hated it and so I just carried her whenever I could, and sometimes she would sleep in her little carseat bucket and that was nice, too. No wraps no slings, but also no ignoring, no cruelty, none of any of that. Hadn't even heard of it. Just used my arms and hip.

There was a vague worry about her not having a crib late in my pregnancy, but as soon as we got her home we didn't give it a second thought until months later when nursing being well established, and me being back on my feet, and her being able to roll and buck and wiggle, did we start to want to "have friends over again" in the evenings and be able to lay her down for a little while. So, my family got us a nice used crib and helped us set it up, and for the most part, it made a great laundry basket for a while :) until after age one when "co-sleeping" turned into "Baby crawls on our faces, smacks us in the eyes, and says MAMAMAMA DADADADA and crawls off the bed and starts playing with the electrical sockets at 2 am"...then, without Ferber or anyone else, we got her to sleep in the crib after about a week of mild to moderate protest and fussing.

I gave her a nap everyday after that, in her crib, and let her have all sorts of toys and books in her crib with her. She threw them all on the floor, jumped up and down, took off her clothes, sometimes even took off the sheet and threw that out, too. We thought she was hilarious, and took lots of pictures! Sometimes she slept and sometimes she didn't. Even if she jumped and hollered the whole time, when the naptime was over, about 90 minutes, I would go in and get her and feign great surprise at all the stuff on the ground, and she would crack up. "Naked baby?!?! Books on the floor!??! Wheres your blankie you little rascal?!?!" There wasn't anything about being mad, really, at all back then now that I think about it.

We watched Sesame Street and Teletubbies and Blues Clues and Price Is Right and Jeopardy and never worried about it in the least! We never for one second worried about "too much TV", or really anything like that. This was our family, our marriage, our home, and the baby was here now, and we watched shows, like always, and it was all good. We thought it was really cute when she danced and clapped to the theme songs, we had some ideas about hating Barney and not wanting her to wear clothes with characters on it because that was ugly and tacky to us, but seriously, that's all the thought that went into it.

I made her baby food sometimes, when that seemed fun, and sometimes we bought her little jars of Gerber, when that seemed fun. I mean, come on, when you are a baby-o-phile like I am, how many years did I wait to finally get to shop in that aisle? The one with the tiny adorable precious jars of peaches and peas in it, are you fricking kidding me? The little soaps, the little creams and the little powders? It was a blast getting that stuff, and it was a blast feeding her bites of KFC mashed potatos, giving her lemons and ice cream to make her make crazy faces, letting her have pudding and bananas, popsicles---I didn't read the lables, she was breastfeeding 'round the clock, and we were just having a great ole time! We didn't give her pop or beer or jalapenos, because that just seemed wrong but besides that, she always got little nibbles of our stuff, it was so much fun to see her reactions.

We brought her everywhere, and it wasn't some big pout-fest about "we couldn't get a damn babysitter". We wanted to bring her everywhere, she was a great and fun baby, and she was nursing. In fact, back then, we did have a babysitter, and a very zealous one at that-- Steve's mom--but I didn't know the first thing about pumping milk, seemed scary and ridiculous to me, so their babysitting obsessions didn't get to be fulfilled until she was a little older. We never owned a baby bottle, but not as some militant statement, just didn't need them, didn't know too much about when to introduce "drinks", I think she was about 11 months old when a friend of ours asked me if she could drink from a cup and I said "I dont know" and she gave her one of those fabulous Gerber sippy cups that we still use today, and Greta didn't get it at all, but eventually she did after a few minutes, and had a bit of water or kool aid or something. See how much I didn't worry? KOOL AID, call the organic police! Lol

I didn't "switch" her to cow milk at age one or anything like that, we thought cow milk was pretty gross and knew it was generally bad for humans in the name of mucus and constipation and so we just never did that. We used Soy Milk on our cereal and so we gave her a cup of it and she hated it. She got really into Orange Juice when she was a little older, and so we got her the calcium kind. If she got any diaper rashes we cut back on acidic foods.

The good times rolled on, and yet things change. I could never begin to list everything that has changed, happened to me since my first baby was my only baby 10 years ago...but one major factor, one major negative factor was The Internet. Yeah, I said it. Reaching out for information, reaching out for others, trying to "network", started the beginning of the end of alot of things for me. So many other Pandora's boxes awaited my mothering journey, new neighbors who seemed so perfect and turned (quickly!) into living nightmares, email lists and local groups who showed me a competitive, aggressive, defensive, vindictive side of "Attachment Parenting" that I could not have fathomed existed, and then the Homeschool stuff, good lord I cant and won't even begin to re-walk that sore path for you far from the original intent I wandered there for a while...I shudder to think of the seminars and products I got lured into...

But where am I now? Well, I am on my way back to goodness. Happiness. The Right Path for Us. There is alot of unlearning to do, and alot of perspective going on. This nice little article by Ms. O'Mara helps. So does every single word of The Mother Trip by my guardian angel and certified imaginary best friend, Ariel Gore. It helps and it helps and it helps. Pulling ourselves out of the activities that don't work for us, pulling myself out of the books and the bulletin boards and the chat rooms, pulling myself out of the parenting books and the self help books and realizing, remembering, accepting, that really, no one of any importance or relevance is truly looking at me except my children (and, if you are so inclined, God). Anything else is my choice. Sharing pieces and bits of my time and myself through phone calls, blogging, emailing, visiting, going out, inviting in, that is my choice, and I do not have to do it if I don't want to or if I don't feel good about it. I feel sure that being able to make this distinction has to be one of the growing up things that I am learning now, at age 32.

I don't want to have to wait and end up one of those old ladies who write on the homeschool boards about how they wish they had made more mudpies and been more patient and made more cookies and left the dust bunnies. I don't want to wait until I am a grandmother to whisper things like "I wish I held the baby more and worried less about money" to 20 somethings. And thankfully, oh so thankfully, I do not have to be one of the women I have met time and time again, who looks off longingly and says "If we would have started sooner, I would have definitely had more babies...."

Here's to all of us getting back what is real. Whatever that means to you and your tribe. Please have a tribe, and please have it be one that you want to be in. Now. It will never be as hard or all consuming as it is to live your life for the real and imaginary others and their check-lists of why you suck. Go live your life, as you imagine it to be, and it will be. I want to give all of you who know what I am talkin' about a Get Out Of Guilt and Self Conciousness Free Card, but I cannot. It has to come from you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

c section blog

Please go read this right now

Please understand it is NOT cool, ok, or something we should ever ever blow off, downplay, or forget about, how messed up c-section surgery really is. Compound it with how many are so so unecessary and with all that is inherent in birthing itself for a woman and her family and then tell me it doesnt matter, be glad, be happy, get over it, dont dwell, move on, drop it, be grateful, you dont really know if it was unecessary.......

Great powerful new blog I found thanks to Meconium Happens, another great blog.

Please Mamas who have never been cut, WORK SO SO MUCH HARDER TO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU


and P L E A S E, friends and family of Mamas who have been through this, know that this is so much more than surgery, and that it is a major major surgery from which you do not get to heal or rest, only to be thrust immediately into the hardest job on Earth while severed in half, abused, battered and depleted. PLEASE help the new mothers, please do whatever you can for them, please hang out with them, please call them, please bring them pizzas and clean laundry and fresh fruits and veggies and please be there for them through the years--it still hurts, I promise you.

Great stuff, difficult stuff, worrisome stuff, happening everyday right here and now.
And PS my c section area and my whole lower belly hurt ALOT and it has been 26 months. It feels like it should be very badly discolored, as with a bruise, it is very sore and hurts to be brushed against lightly and to be pushed or touched, the whole area. It sucks.