Sunday, December 15, 2013

What I Didn't Expect When I Was Expecting

Warning: This is a mommy post. If you aren't into birth stories and such, you may want to skip on by. I suppose I'm feeling reflective considering that the kid's birthday is soon, and I'm still kind of not over it.

I didn't expect a c-section.
I had a textbook pregnancy. I had lots of nausea from week 5 until week 14. I gained 37lbs. I got hemorrhoids somewhere around week 32. I looked pretty good until week 35, when I got all puffy and my Dansko's became tight.

I had a textbook first labor as well. I'd been having contractions on and off for the whole week before the kid was born. On a Saturday in late December, I was on my daily walk/hike up Mt. Tabor when I had a different kind of contraction. I continued having those I-gotta-poop contractions for another 5 hours before I realized that I was in labor. I honestly just thought I was sick.

So I packed a bag, had some dinner and got out the yoga ball. Things were going well until Nate became uncomfortable with the amount of pain I was in and suggested we make our way to the hospital. We went, it was confirmed that I was indeed in labor and I was given a room where I continued to labor throughout the night while Nate snoozed on the couch.

The next morning, after being in labor for 20 hours, I broke down and got an epidural probably incorrectly believing it would relieve me enough to rest up for the final push. I drifted in and out of full-awareness while contractions continued. Finally, six hours later I was fully dilated and ready to push. Two hours after that I was wheeled into surgery for an emergency c-section. All that work for 28 hours just to be slashed open. It totally sucked. I cried the whole time.

My baby girl was born, poked and prodded several times with an IV and then whisked away to the nursery to be monitored without a single touch from the human she was just ripped from. That sucked, too. But it was only temporary, because three hours later we were reunited and most everything was fine.

I didn't expect it to be all boob all the time.
I expected that breastfeeding would be weird and possibly horrendously painful. I expected to breastfeed exclusively for many weeks in order to avoid nipple confusion. I expected that pumping and freezing milk would eventually become normal. I did not expect my baby to refuse a bottle. We tried many times, though I suspect we waited too long with the introduction. So, yeah. I couldn't go very far for very long for two years. We made it work, and it was only temporary

I didn't expect sleep deprivation.
For our family, this has been the biggest challenge. I expected to be tired. I expected difficult nights. I expected an early riser. I also expected that the kid would begin to sleep through the night sometime within her first year. Unfortunately, some kids just do not sleep well and she is one of them.

Her poor sleep and my insomnia were best friends and they hated me. For nearly three years I slept only 4-5 broken hours of sleep each night. Three hours in a row was a luxury. If I add up the lost sleep, it works out that I lost two 7-hour nights of sleep per week for almost three years. That's 300 nights of sleep that I can never get back. Her sleep pattern is now much more manageable, though I wouldn't call it predictable. I try to remind myself that it's only temporary.

I didn't expect to be so happy.
Our daughter was completely planned. All those months of wishing I was pregnant when I wasn't don't matter anymore, because there was only one single chance for this particular child to show up. She is absolutely who I wanted to add to our family. She is funny, kind, sincere, loving, interesting and completely wonderful. And thank goodness she isn't temporary.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Twiggy Star

While the kid was discovering the undeniable pleasures of destroying frozen water, I decided I needed a star made out of twigs. I just had to have one. So I looked around the yard for some twigs, and guess what! I had a pile of lilac branches waiting for spring trellis-making. You snooze you lose lilac branches.
I cut five kind-of-the-same-length sticks. Then I found some wire and wire cutters. Then I made a star. It took about 30 minutes total, including the cutting time and searching for wire time and the monitoring of ice bashing time.

I like it so much. I like it so much that I invited it inside. I took down a painting, and hung up that superstar. But that effer was filthy, and it dirtyfied my wall. Nature, why you gotta be like that? So I put it on the porch to let it think about what it did. It might have cried.