Wanna feel human again

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Most moms can relate… And if you can’t, you are probably some sort of alien or something! After you have a baby, you feel like a mess!

You are physically exhausted from growing your baby for nearly 10 months, then there’s the actual birthing process and there is no really recovery period. Baby comes out and the real work begins! You go from exhausted to barely functional. My blog has suffered for sure, as you can tell, it’s been a few days since my last post! (I have so many posts to catch up on!)

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It does get easier with each baby, at least I think it has (or maybe I am the alien?!?). It depends on the neediness level your baby as well. My most high maintenance, and fussiest baby, was my first… And each baby seemed to be less fussy and more laid back. Maybe it’s a reflection of how I have evolved as a mom. Although Hubbs would not agree that I am less fussy and more laid back! Haha!

Anyhow, there a few things that make you feel so “human again” in those first weeks of post-partum. For me, a shower works wonders. I hardly had time to shower every other day before Peanut was delivered so you can imagine how hard it is now that he’s here and I have four children vying for my attention. It takes extreme efforts to work it in the schedule in the morning, which is my preferred time of day to shower, because washing my frizzy hair at night and sleeping on it only results in terrible hair day. Anyhow, making time to not only shower but also blow dry my hair and apply make-up is like the equivalent to a day at the spa for me anymore.

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Another thing that really makes me feel good is making my bed. I think it tricks me into feeling like the house or my room is really not as messy as it truly is. When I realize how truly behind I am on housework, my anxiety level spikes. The whole thought process of this house is a wreck, laundry is 15 loads behind, when the hell am I gonna get any of it done?!?!? Make the bed. All is calm.

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What makes you “feel human again”?

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“You can’t stay pregnant forever”…

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Yep… That’s what one of the nurses said to me, the lady past due with her forth child, as I laid there in terrible pain, being discharged because they did not have time to induce me. I needed to be on the “schedule” for that. (but if my cervix was working, I guess they make time?)

Had I been composed enough to school her, I would have. Mostly I wanted to scratch her eyes out but decided too control myself.

I am not a doctor or midwife or doula. I don’t deliver babies all day. I do know my own body and from experience, it is not cooperative when it comes to the actual act of going into labor. I joke about it and try to make light of it, but really I am being dead serious and it bothers me quite a bit. When I hear someone talk about how they went into labor on their own, I get ridiculously jealous… Like too an unhealthy level.

People will say, especially the nurses and midwifes LOVE to say tell you (and if you are like me, you get real freaking tired of it and you want to go insane on them) … your baby will come when your ready. Oh really?? Apparently you missed that special on tv about the woman with the 30 yr old fetus, didn’t you???

Not every one’s body works the way it should. If it did, there would be a lot of pissed off doctors and nurses, out of work with piles of college bills to pay. I do not know why this is the general assumption… Ya know, especially since we all like in a perfect world. Not.
It makes people like me feel broken and insufficient, like a failure.

Not to mention, although it was probably barbaric, c-sections have been dated back to like 300 BC. Why? Well, it wasn’t because mom wanted too but because there was a medical need. Nowadays, I think c-sections and inductions tend to be performed more often unnecessarily and for social reasons but it is not always the case. If mom is having a medical emergency, a c-section will save lives.

I have been lucky so far that I have not needed a c-section. My body reacts positively to petocin so my babies have been born via induction. I firmly believe that if not for modern day medicine, I would still be pregnant with my first – just like that woman in India.

As I have mentioned, we grow big babies in this family. It is a trait on Hubbs side of the family. There is no history of prenatal diabetes… just big, hearty, healthy babies… Ready to be put to work on the farm! Haha! Which is also another pet peeve of mine… The drs and nurses assume me or baby has a sugar problem when they find out how I have big babies. It is just as simple as genetics! It also makes a natural birth a little more challenging, even if you are able to go into real labor on your own.

Anyhow, with my first baby, the doctor allowed me to wait over a week past my due date knowing the possibility of the baby being rather large. I understand this is common practice with first time moms, I get it. A week past my due date, and my cervix had not done a thing and I had been in false labor for weeks. (supposedly contractions are what cause your cervix to progress and ready for labor). My labor with him was so bad, I SWORE I would never get pregnant again. (well we see how that worked out). He was huge and I was in hard labor for 2 1/2 hours, so physically exhausted, I would sleep for even 30 secs between contractions and pushing. My dr was on the verge of rushing me to the OR for emergency c-section when I was finally able to get him out. An absolutely terrible birthing experience… Not like I would ever call a birthing experience good. I mean, the end result, your beautiful baby, is good but the process is excruciating and there is a lot of yucky fluids involved.

I know women who start to dilate and get stuck therefore needing a c-section. So how does the “when your ready” method apply here?? You continue to labor and not progress therefore causing stress on the baby and baby passes meconium, or worse! So if one is in the sort of situation, you cannot sit around and wait for your body to finish “getting ready”. Maybe you see where I am going with this. “You’re not ready” is a freaking cop out. I hate it. I hate hearing it. I want to banish it from all languages.

So, why doesn’t my cervix work? (all you all-knowing can kiss it if you try to tell me there is no such thing as a cervix that doesn’t work- I have been through it!!!) I get nice strong contractions. This morning they felt like the contractions I get on petocin… Bent over, crying in pain. But my cervix is still doing a whole lotta nothing. When the midwife tells me I am dilated to 1, I do not believe her. I think she is trying to be nice to me and lift my spirits. I am not freaking idiot. This is my forth pregnancy, remember?!?! Your mind games only set me up for disappointment and anger.

So I am curious, what is it that I am deficient in? Why do i have such a hard time going into real labor? And why is it that the petocin helps me?

I have done a little research and it all makes sense to me now. I can’t wait to educate my drs tomorrow! It is going to be awesome. Well, for me at least.

Both men and women have a hormone called oxytocin. This is the “cuddle” hormone. It is also the hormone responsible for causing contractions that ready your cervix and help you deliver your baby. It is also believed to vital to the nursing process. On this note: I have never produced more then 2 oz of breast milk, ever. It’s all starting to make sense… The nursing specialist (the one who cost me $450 with her nonsense) had told me that all women make enough milk for their babies, can shove it now.

When someone is deficient in this hormone… Well I am just going to quote it:

“What is oxytocin used for?

The medical use of oxytocin has centered primarily on labor and delivery, dating back as far as 1906. Common trade names for prescription oxytocin used for labor and delivery are pitocin and syntocinon.

The science of oxytocin outside of labor and delivery use is still relatively new. However, studies as early as 1998 have been conducted on the effectiveness of oxytocin as a treatment for autism as well as schizophrenia. Essentially, oxytocin’s role is to assist in the modulation of the amygdala — the brain’s center for stress hormones.

Oxytocin deficiency

If oxytocin production is not working optimally and an individual has an oxytocin deficiency, then he or she may be prone to postpartum depression, generalized depression and anxiety, social isolation, phobias, panic attacks, sleep difficulties, and other common stress related ailments.

In 1995 the Atlanta Center for the Study of Disease Control estimated that 80% of diseases and disorders are related to stress. Hypothetically, if the brain’s modulating hormone for cortisol is not working effectively then the outcome is an increase in many of the ailments common today.”
-task.fm

Ha! It is a real problem. Oxytocin deficiency. Cortisol levels are also linked to being over weight… I really think I am onto something here. Need to do more research! Oh and cut out all stress… Oookkkkkkkkk

In the meantime, I will take great pleasure in responding to the nurse when she asks if I am dilated, “Due to oxytocin deficiency, NO.”

Anxiety

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Being 4 days away from the official 40 week mark of this pregnancy… I am freaking out!

Most moms, even when it’s your forth kid, go through the normal mommy worries. Will delivery go well? Praying he’s healthy. Will I be a good mom? How in the hell am I gonna be able to handle 4 kids? Yadda yadda yadda… This little man was very much not “planned”… Hubbs and I had decided that we were good and were not going to have anymore children. Well, unbeknownst to us, there is certainly another plan in place!!

One day I was just feeling like crap, I was sitting there being a lazy load and realized my monthly visitor had not arrived as expected. My part-time college student helper was out running errands for me and I asked her to pick up some tests… I felt horrible asking her – I mean how embarrassing! She said she didn’t mind. What followed was an extremely emotional afternoon… That feeling like “how am I going to handle another baby… And one that’s due during our busiest time of year” … Ya know that OH CRAP kinda feeling.

**Note: none of my babies have ever been “planned”… I am really a roll with it kind of person. I believe that babies are miracles, blessings, and gifts from God. So when I say “handle another baby”, I am referring to adequately caring for him… There is no other option in our minds. Babies are a lot of work and we will do it… It can still be scary.**

Anyhow… As I said… Baby boy is due during our busiest time of year. And it’s busy. And I have never gone into labor on my own so I am normally induced after 40 weeks. I firmly believe I am broken and even though this pregnancy has been a breeze compared to my past pregnancies, I have lost hope of going into labor on my own and I am sure he’s going to be just as big as his brothers and sister. I have big babies (all have been 9+) so letting me go too far past my due date isn’t very desirable. Even my daughter was a little more then 9lbs. That’s just how we roll.

And now I have the added stress of Hubbs being hurt and unable to walk!

So let’s try to handle 15 job sites, a broken husband, and a newborn in the next two weeks. Oh and ya know, my 3 other kids. FREAKING. OUT. The house has gone to hell… And I am going to have to let it go for now. I’d like to claim super mom status and be able to have it all under control but I can’t. Ah well. Everyone’s fed and has clean clothes to wear.

Today is GORGEOUS! Kids were out playing bright and early.

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Hubbs is feeling a little better and wants to try to make it through the day without pain meds (just taking the anti-inflammatory). We have a drs appt for me and baby in a few minutes and I am hoping we can plan my induction for the end of this week. Hubbs should hopefully be able to at least stand better by then and I would like to be home with baby so we can roll right back into work by Monday. Last week, baby boy was still too high. Hopefully, he’s figured out that the exit is south! I feel like he’s confused and thinks he can come out through my belly button. It’s a bit painful! Considering I have been having lots of contractions, I am praying he’s moved down!!

Today feels like it’s going to be a good day.

I guess we will know soon enough!

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Happy Mother’s Day

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Happy Mother’s Day!

For me, Mother’s Day is usually just another day. I feel the same way about Valentines Day and my birthday. I know what an awful thing to say, right? We might go out to dinner, but other then that, it’s business as usual. There’s no flowers or chocolates or presents or breakfast in bed.

Just moments ago, I found myself having a self-pity party. I felt jealous that I couldn’t lay around all day in the beautiful sunshine, drinking cocktails. Kids needed to be fed, things picked up, dogs taken care of. Plus, I am 33 weeks pregnant so cocktails are out of the question… Maybe if I demanded more of a fuss?

And time to get real!!!

Right now, I am enjoying a couple moments of peace sitting on my front porch. Hubbs, Boss, and Cakes are all passed out. Wildman is playing with the neighbor kids. Just sitting here listening to all the birds and the kids laughing… And thinking.

What more could a Mom ask for? (well, I could certainly think of a couple things haha). But for real, so I don’t get fussed over or waited on for Mothers Day. I do know that my family does appreciate me. I need to be thankful for all that I have… My hard-working, loving, and loyal Hubbs, my beautiful healthy children, food in our bellies, and a roof over our heads. We live in some of the most beautiful country here, I am thankful I can walk out into my yard and I am surrounded by trees and fields and luscious green grass. It wouldn’t be as enjoyable if I didn’t have my family (and my lovely extended family aka our neighbors 😉 to share it with. Really, I am the richest woman alive!

Being a Mom is hard work, there are no vacations (even if you are lucky enough to get a actual vacation – you still worry and miss your children). And when they get older, it doesn’t end. You worry and care for them and their children too! It’s part of the job description. It’s generally a self-less, thankless, and never-ending job.

I hope you enjoy your Mothers Day. If you don’t get fussed over (and I hope you do because it is kinda nice), I wish for you to at least get a couple peaceful moments today to enjoy some reflection and to be grateful for all your blessings.

“smile instead because I have lived”

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Before I dive into some therapeutic cooking, I wanted to do a little reflection.  It seems like March has been just one blow after another.   We have been touched by 4 untimely deaths and at least 3 others by illness or serious injury.  In my Bruschetta Chicken Bake post, I mentioned that I was making it for family friends who had endured a great tragedy this month.  Yesterday was Jimmy’s Viewing and today they will have his Funeral service.

I do not handle funerals well.  Death is overwhelming for me and difficult for me to comprehend.  Especially, when a young person who leaves behind a young family is called home.  I am a very emotional and compassionate person, and frankly, I cry like a baby.  I would rather avoid funerals.  I know, it is selfish.  I just do not like when people are sad and hurting.

So on our way to the Viewing, my anxiety was on overload.  This was Hubbs friend, and we found out in a strange sequence of events that Jimmy’s wife is actually Hubb’s 3rd cousin – so technically, we are actually family and did not even know it.  We would have rather found out under different circumstances.  The Viewing was like a high school reunion and family reunion all rolled into one.  This made it more difficult at times, and easier at others.

Jimmy was a in terrible ATV accident where he and his passenger lost their lives.  They were not wearing helmets and he succumbed to a head injury.  I found out at the viewing that before the accident he had a perfect day with family and friends celebrating his son’s birthday.  The accident occurred later at night and he was just in a happy place that day.  His friends do not believe he suffered as he did not ever regain consciousness after the accident.  Jimmy donated his organs, giving life in his death.  The casket was closed and there were wonderful pictures all over the room of him and his family and friends.  In gathering more information about the day before his accident and all the happy pictures, I think it made the room a little less sad.  At one point, Hubbs and I ended up talking with some family right next to the casket, and I asked Hubbs if we could move.  We then ended up right behind Jimmy’s wife as she greeted and hugged an endless stream of people.  Seeing her remain so strong and her small children in such a difficult position, was more sad then standing next to the casket.

One of his friends told us, Jimmy lived with no regrets.  It wasn’t until I read Jimmy’s prayer card, I came to terms more with what is happening.

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Do not shed tears while I have gone but smile instead because I have lived.

Do not shut your eyes and pray to God that I’ll come back but open your eyes and see all that I have left behind.

I know your heart will be empty because you cannot see me but still I want you to be full of the love we shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live only for yesterday for you can be happy for the tomorrow because of what happened between us yesterday.

You can remember me and grieve that I have gone or you can cherish my memory and let it live on.

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There was nothing more important to Jimmy than his family and friends.

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“Come on, just five more minutes… life is too short!” -Jimmy Maticic

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I think that the way Jimmy’s family is handling his untimely death, is so admirable.  All of his friends have come to his wife’s and children’s aid.   The support is amazing.  It does not take the sadness away or make him less missed.  Jimmy will be missed greatly, he was and is, well-loved.  When tragedy strikes, we must come together to support those in need and help them move forward, keeping the love and memories alive.

Do not take life for granted, even for a minute.  Enjoy and appreciate every second you have with your loved ones.  Life is too short!

Funny Farm

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This week has been awfully hard for me… lots of stress.  And unfortunately, it’s affecting my health.  Today on our weekly visit to the farm for our share, I was greeted with a bit of comic relief.

First, the alpacas… they are generally goofy looking anyway… but a freshly clipped alpaca is just funny.

And because the alpacas weren’t enough amusement… when I went in to collect my share… there lie this eggplant.Call me immature… but I found it pretty dern funny… a laugh I needed desperately.

Blessings

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Lately I feel like the Lord is trying to send me a message. A realization that we/I have been taking life and all that we have been blessed with, a bit too much for granted… That I have begun to lose sight of what’s truly important.

Our health, our lives, are not guaranteed. My father in-law had a scare just recently. We almost lost him once already a couple years ago. My beautiful cousin is sick again. I write this as I sit in a school for the mentally-challenged and my middle child is being evaluated for learning disabilities. No, our health is not guaranteed and we must be responsible for taking the best care of our bodies possible, right? But what if it’s not enough? Things still happen without cause or reason or explanation. I like to think there is reason for everything but sometimes, for the life of me, I cannot see the reason. Thank goodness for my Faith. Some people may see these things as a reason to doubt Faith. I see it just the opposite. I pray more, my Faith grows stronger.

These latest events, coupled with the fact I have been stewing over if our work (which we do constantly) is worth it? With the economy the way it is, we are having to work harder for a lot less money (and then the govt takes their ridiculous “share” of what we do make). I have been wondering a lot, what’s the point? What’s the point in working so hard if we can’t even enjoy TIME with our children or each other? We are always stressed and running constantly. Then I feel ungrateful for thinking such things because are lucky to have work!

I guess my point to all this is that we are so, so very blessed… For my beautiful family, fabulous friends, & simply for the opportunities we have to work hard and be (somewhat) rewarded for it. No one has a perfect life, every one has struggles… Some people are challenged much more then others, and I need to be more conscious of that. I need to stop getting so upset over insignificant things. Every day, every minute we have TOGETHER needs to be cherished.