Thursday, August 27, 2015

Adventures in Pregnancy, Delivery, and Motherhood

Here is Ada!

She has arrived in all her glory (as Granny used to say). Ada is everything we hoped for. She is a wonderful baby that is just starting to smile, loves eating delicious milk, and sleeps on a consistent basis.

As a new mom, let me share what I learned about pregnancy, delivery, and the first two months of motherhood. I read everything I could on pregnancy and delivery, so it is only fair that I related what ended up really being important.


Pregnancy is both exciting and boring.
  • When you find out you are pregnant, nothing is better. Then you have to wait 12 weeks for the first ultrasound, then wait for test results, wait for the 20 week anatomy scan, and most of all wait for the birth. Because waiting is fun, right?!
  • Your pregnancy might be easy (as mine was) but you will still be fraught with anxiety. The doctor's only prescription for anything is to remove the baby. Yeah, that's not anxiety inducing.
  • The last trimester is no joke, you will be HUGE and have trouble doing things like staying awake, resisting the urge to pee every 3 seconds, and sleeping through the night (weird, right because you are so tired).
  • You will have no idea what you actually need for the baby even though everyone (good-heartedly) keeps asking what they can give you.
  • All the lists of WHAT YOU NEED to do before the baby arrives is just to keep you busy. None of it actually matters. The baby will probably sleep in your room to begin, so why did you stress your partner out about getting the baby's room done when she won't be using it for a couple of months yet. You read about what to pack for the hospital but really all you need is YOU. 


D-day: It's all you've been waiting for! Time to meet your baby, time to use all you've learned from your childbirth classes, time to use that damned birthing ball you spent so much time bouncing on, and time for most of that to be inconsequential.
  • At the hospital things happen, pain happens, laughing at the stupid jokes your husband makes happen, and then a baby comes out! That's it really.
  • After you are holding her in your arms, you realize that all you wanted was informed consent and your baby. If you have those two things it doesn't matter where you gave birth, when you gave birth, or how you gave birth.

My Birth Story

My water broke at 9:45 a.m. I called my doctor's office and my doula. A nurse at the doctor's office told me to go to the hospital. Unfortunately, I wasn't having contractions yet. My doula and I decided that I could delay for a bit. My husband and I took our time getting ready and arrived around 1 p.m. 

When my doctor checked on me, he said that I shouldn't have come in for 12 hours but since I was here, I should stay. (Damn it!) Then I labored for 12 hours. I finally took some pitocin to get things moving and had indescribable pain until I asked for an epidural 5 hours later. Then I slept and when I woke, I was fully dilated and ready to deliver. Only 25 hours of labor. I pushed for 30 minutes and voila! A baby! My baby! 

Motherhood: First Two Months

Early motherhood is both tiring and awesome.
  • Don't feel ashamed that you keep checking to see if she is still breathing. Everyone does it. (Except my husband, so I have to  keep asking him to check, lucky guy!) I fear the SIDS.
  • Breastfeeding is an eye-opening experience; you realize your breasts actually have a function. At first, it will be awkward, but eventually it will comfort both the baby and you.
  • Having a supportive partner with six weeks of paid paternity leave is the best thing ever! Pump some milk, hand him the baby, and disappear for two hours. It is glorious.
  • Hormones are REAL. You may find yourself crying at ridiculous things, like an episode of Deep Space Nine. Yep. Best thing to do is tell someone. Lean over on the couch and tell your partner through sobs and tears that you are feeling trapped, inadequate, tired, ugly, and that you are afraid he doesn't like your body anymore. Then watch as he holds you close and tells you how ridiculous you are and that none of that is true. Then cry some more and finish that emotional episode of Deep Space Nine (hopefully there is some ice cream nearby).
  • The bleeding. Yep, gonna mention it. If you happen to be a woman, then you know how to deal. It won't be that bad. You are just making up for lost time.
The one thought I kept repeating to myself is that everyone has children. This whole pregnancy and birth might seem strange and alien but is one of the most common things people do. Your grandma did it, your mom did it, so just relax and you will do it too!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Confessions: I'm afraid to wear white

Even before I had a walking stain-creation machine (also known as a toddler), I was hesitant to wear white. I have a handful of white shirts, but they're all machine-washable pieces that I change out of when I return home from work. I'm spill-prone, generally clumsy, and I like doing hands-on things like cooking, baking and playing in puddles with a toddler. So in the season of "WEAR WHITE," I find myself staring longingly at summery white dresses, colorless shorts, eyelet shirts, gauzy peasant tops and all things pale, creamy or ivory.

But in addition to the mess factor, I can't get a handle on the fashion. There's a weird clinical look if you opt for a white jacket or a certain kind of dress. If it's a dress that's too long or formal, it veers toward bridal. Some cuts and patterns look futuristic. Like a world where white culottes are the rage. DO WE LIVE IN THE FUTURE?

Is there a secret to wearing white? Do you invest in a lot of bleach? Clorox also scares me. I haven't bought Clorox in my adult life, though I regularly purchase stain removal sprays, scrubs and treatments. What am I missing here? Has anyone mastered the secrets to including white in your wardrobe?