The Baby Story

Greetings and Happy New Year to all you pats of butter!

And may I present to you the newest member of our posse, Miss Clara Jane Michaelis!

Quick stats: Clara was born at 10:02 pm on Thursday, December 27th. She weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.

Now for the story…

But first, a little background. I had terrible heartburn throughout my entire pregnancy. In early December, it got so bad that I went to the E.R. They gave me some medicine to try and numb it and when that did not work, they gave me some Benadryl which also did not work. I ended up going home in severe, toe-curling pain and finally fell asleep sitting completely upright and hunched over a pillow.

I had bouts of heartburn a few more times but it was manageable with Pepcid AC. Then a couple weeks later, I had another very severe flair-up and found no relief…yet again.

Fast forward a couple more weeks to my 36-week doctor’s appointment which involved doing a swab for strep (down there) and also an exam. The swab stung a little and when my midwife performed the exam she told me I was doing great, 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced. As I got dressed after the exam, I began to bleed immediately. I let my midwife know and she said it was totally normal due to the exam.

That night and into the next day, I experienced a stinging sensation when I went pee. It felt different from a UTI, but the symptoms were similar. I called my midwife and after discussing all the possibilities and the fact that my labs wouldn’t be back until after Christmas to confirm or deny whether I did indeed have a UTI, I decided I would start a powerful antibiotic to treat the UTI. David went to pickup the prescription at Walgreens and also got a UTI test-kit from AZO. I took the test and it came back negative so David urged me to go to Zoom Care for a UTI test, as they can get instant results. We went to Zoom Care around 8:30 pm and I took the test. No UTI. The resident doctor that night came into the room and we explained my symptoms and she asked if she could do an exam on me. I said yes and she found two small abrasions, explaining the stinging sensation. My blood pressure was also high. We ended up telling the doctor about the heartburn and the fact that we were exploring the idea it could be my gallbladder but that we did not know for sure because we did not have a chance to do an ultrasound. She offered an ultrasound on the spot and we took it. The ultrasound revealed that my gallbladder was fine, and the pain I was experiencing was just severe heartburn. To be safe, the doctor then asked if she could draw some blood (which I hate) for some quick labs on me. Of course I said yes and when she returned with the results, she started with “I am going to call your doctor’s office tonight and speak with the midwife on call.” My platelets were at 52. I had no idea what this meant and she did not go in to any great detail explaining it either. I went home, expecting that we would talk to my midwife the next day once she looked at my labs.

We ended up not seeing her until five days later when I had my 37-week appointment. I did the usual routine of peeing in a cup and getting weighed. I was dehydrated and my blood pressure was high again, but not off the charts. Then we had a discussion about all the bloodwork and information we had found out while at ZoomCare. After looking it over, my midwife decided to do another blood draw. She was concerned about the platelets and some of the other levels in my blood as well. Additionally, the quick results from my urine contained elements that concerned her..and they pointed to pre-eclampsia.  She sent us home with all the materials I would need to do a 24-hour urinalysis the next morning. She said she would call us the minute my labs came back with further instruction but to start the test no matter what.

That night we went bowling with friends. I went bowling. I felt fine.

The next morning, David called my doctor’s office around 10 am to see if the results were in. They were not, but we knew they had been placed on a rush. 30 minutes later, we got a call from the doctor. This time, it was our midwife herself (not her assistant, per usual). She said, “Natalie, you are very sick. You and David need to go to the hospital right now. You have something called H.E.L.L.P syndrome. You are having this baby as soon as possible.”

I. Was. Of course.  SHOCKED.

I told her we could be there in an hour and she said that was too long. I needed to get there ASAP. Holy balls. This was happening. David chatted excitedly and began to throw items into duffel bags while I tried to process what was happening. I began to stuff random items into a bag and before I knew it, David was whisking us away to Good Sam while I scratched my head and tried to navigate the 1,000 degrees of anxiety hitting me all at once.

In the elevator at the hospital

They checked us in as soon as we arrived and I was immediately clad in a hospital gown and they started IVs in both of my arms. I was given liquids and magnesium. The magnesium, they warned, might make me feel woozy or sick. It was administered in order to relax my body and warn off seizures which can happen with pre-eclampsia. We immediately began to go over my options. In several cases, a c-section may have been preferred to get the baby out as soon as possible but my case was unique in that my blood counts were so bad. My midwife and the doctor recommended a typical delivery and said in many cases, sometimes all it takes is an invitation. Also, my labs had revealed that my platelets had come up to 84 from 52, meaning that I could have an epidural. Most anesthesiologists will not do them below 80.

We started pitocin and my midwife broke my water. Immediately I felt 1,000 pounds lighter. It was crazy. Then I started feeling the contractions and yeah, they hurt. Mine were somewhat random but instead of having one every so often, I would get two or three in a row and then a rest. The midwife surmised that the baby would come out by 7 am the next day. Then I had my epidural. Oh, the ever-famous epidural. I had been anticipating this moment for the past 9 months. We practiced the correct “position” to take and as she prepped my back and did her thing, the nausea, sweating and very intense dizziness began. I was having an all-out, raging panic attack and I went in and out of consciousness as David sat directly in front and held me. As soon as I was able to lay back down, the nausea and dizziness slowly subsided and within 20 minutes I felt the warm numbing sensation begin….down the right side of my body. I was still feeling the contractions on my left so they had me lay on my left to let gravity take over and hopefully nudge the meds down that side of my body. After a few more rounds of contractions, we realized it wasn’t working so the anesthesiologist came back and recommended they manipulate the position of the epidural slightly. This required me to sit up and assume the “position” again, which sent me into the same episode as before. Ugh. I laid back down on my left once again to no avail. My midwife then recommended we try moving me onto my back.

The SECOND I shifted onto my back my midwife said something under her breath to the nurses, looked up and said “Okay, you’re having this baby right now”. I went from 4 cm to 10 cm JUST LIKE THAT (which I would later find out is very typical with pre-eclampsia as your body is basically ejecting the baby). They gave me a mask I could breathe into with a 50/50 nitrous/oxygen blend. and I began to push around 9 pm. And really, it was no big deal. The epidural was definitely working on that part of me and the nitrous was AWESOME. I took deep, soothing breaths into the mask and was immediately calmed and actually able to be present in the experience. I know these kinds of things can be controversial but I felt as though these interventions were MADE for people like me. I welcomed the help and truly do not know what I would have done without it.

So I pushed for about an hour, but I had these giant gaps between contractions. Sometimes up to 12 minutes. It was pretty fun to just be chillin’ like that, just on display for what seemed like ever (haha) but the fact that the Blazers were playing made it  fun. You see, the Blazers were playing the Warriors that night and the game was super close. I did a couple big ol’ pushes as the Blazers headed into overtime and then experienced a 12 minute gap as the Blazers clawed their way to victory. When the last contraction came on,  I knew I was darn close so I pushed hard and wouldn’t you know it? CJ McCollum, (David’s favorite player) hit a jumper to  put the Blazers ahead in overtime. Clara Jane was born at that exact moment. It was kismet. We had loved the name Clara and Claire throughout my whole pregnancy and this just sealed the deal. We chose “Jane” for her middle name and there you have it, our little CJ.

DON’T CRY NATALIE. GOSSHH.

They wiped her off a tiny bit (at our behest) and set her directly on my chest. I couldn’t believe it. She was on me. Me. I HAD A BABY. The girl who still loves Hello Kitty and matching her eyeshadow to her outfit sometimes. The girl who dances awkwardly similar to Eliane Benes. The girl who still gets lost in her neighborhood, after almost 2 years. ME. I am her mom. Holy t*ts. I did not feel one singular emotion, instead all of them mixed together in this overwhelming, wonderful concoction. I did not cry (still dehydrated) but was definitely deliriously happy. She was here!

Meanwhile, my midwife went to work on me…and she worked her ass off. Turns out I had 5 pretty minimal tears but tears nonetheless. And they would not. stop. bleeding. After about 30 minutes, they handed baby to David next to me and told my mom and sister to leave the room. At this point, about 15 people rushed into the room. I was told it was people from departments all over the hospital. They worked on me for an hour and a half and (again, we found this all out later) were stitching and stitching and every stitch she made “dissolved into nothing”. I was losing an absolute sh*t load of blood. They kept talking to me, encouraging David to keep me talking, but I was fading.

My midwife and the doctor were eventually able to get things under control and the team left. It was about 1 am at this point. They encouraged David to put the baby down and get some sleep. They continued to monitor me. I was doing okay and my midwife and doctor left.

I remember coming to around 2:30 am and the nurses kept checking my pain level, asking “Rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10”. I felt fine so I told them I was around a 1 or 2. Within 10 minutes of saying that, I noticed a pretty significant increase in my pain down there. I told the nurse it was at about a 5. Another 10 minutes passed by and my pain had just skyrocketed. I was at an 11 out of 10, I told them. Mind boggling, horrendous pain had completely taken over and I sobbed and sobbed as they ran to get the anesthesiologist. THANK THE LORD the nurses had not taken out my epidural yet, because the anesthesiologist was able to at least get me some lidocaine on the spot, which took the edge off the pain. She then administered something more powerful and I felt nothing once again. However, in between all the action, the nurses kept looking at me and I heard the word hematoma. More and more of the L&D nurses came in to take a look and they all agreed that it was probably a hematoma. My midwife and doctor were called back and as soon as they checked me, they confirmed it was a hematoma.

Around 3:30 am, the nurses asked me to call someone who could come down and help David with the baby. I called my mom, calmly explained what was happening (I had no idea how serious my state was at this time) and could she hop in an Uber to help hold the baby while they took me in another room for “a procedure”.  Of course, she said yes.

The nurses frantically began disconnecting me from the 17 (yes, 17) things I was hooked into and asked me “Should we wake David?” as they wheeled me down the hall to the OR. I had no idea of the severity of my situation. I thought they’d drain the thing and that would be that. I told them to let David sleep. I’d be right back…Hahahahaaa.

This is where things took a turn for the worse.

Without getting too graphic, I’ll do my best to explain what happened. They removed all the stitches and went to work to remove and repair the tennis-ball sized hematoma I had down there.  They also placed two “balloons” in there to put pressure in order to stop the bleeding. It seemed pretty straight forward and at first, I was stable. After about an hour, the repairs they had made were no longer holding and the bleeding was not stopping. They could not locate the source of the bleeding inside of me, and things got pretty serious.

The doctors had some serious questions for David at this point and also needed his permission to do an angiogram on me. An angiogram is where they place a stint inside your major artery and pump liquid dye inside to track where the blood is going and hopefully, stop it. David consented and I was taken to the IR to have this done.  They ended up finding the source, two spots inside of me where they placed teeny coils to stop the bleeding.  This is what really saved my life because had the bleeding continued, it could have gone into my lungs or other places they did not want it to go. I had lost all of the blood in my body, and had received 4 units of blood and 2 units of cold  plasma.

At this point, I was taken to the ICU where I spent a couple of days being very closely monitored. I had wires, tubes and monitors attached to basically every appendage including my feet.  When I finally came to, a nurse from L&D introduced me to the ICU nurse who was taking care of me. They sort of explained what had happened and that the most important thing for me to do was rest, which was why I was in the ICU. David came in with the baby at one point and the L&D nurses kept coming down to check on me as well, but I was very lonely. I wanted to see my daughter and husband. The next day I finally got to leave the ICU and head back up to the 5th floor to the maternity ward to be with David and Clara. Seeing their faces again was total bliss.

Over the next few days, I was bedridden. They put these air boots on me that inflated and deflated to promote blood circulation. David made sure I was eating and drinking as much as possible, but I really had no appetite. My biggest motivation at this point was to take a shower, but I was not able to even put my feet on the ground without getting completely out of breath.

After two days of being back in our room, one of the other doctors (Dr. Davis) came in to talk to us about the state of my blood. He did an amazing job of explaining exactly what had happened to me, what they did to help me and why. Then he spelled out all the reasons why I felt so weak and would have a long road to recovery.  It all boiled down to my blood counts (red blood cells, platelets, liver enzymes, creatinine, etc) being low. He recommended another blood transfusion to try and boost these numbers and David and I agreed.

I received another 2 units of blood that day, but my IV’s were starting to really hurt. I did not think this would be a big deal, and that I was probably done using them but I was wrong. After the transfusion, my blood pressure was still really high (up around 190/114) so they kept treating me for that as well. The first medication they tried on me (levatol) was brutal. It was a very high volume and I had to receive it pretty frequently. The IV sites hurt really bad when I received the medicine and I just wished there was ANY other way I could take them. After the first medication proved not to work, they tried the next one down the line. Thankfully, they took out one of the IV’s that really hurt and used my other arm for the next one. This medication worked like a charm and my blood pressure went back down. They also put me on a slow-release blood pressure medication which I am still taking today. I ended up also developing a pretty severe rash on the entire back side of my body. It spread down to the backs of my knees all the way up to the back of my neck. The assumption was that it was a reaction to the medical tape I had ALL OVER my body and they gave me Benadryl and Hydrocortizone cream for it.

My whole immediate family had been in town during the ordeal and were staying at our house, visiting us everyday. I do not know what I would have done without them. My Mom came back to the hospital in the middle of the night when I had my hematoma. My Dad sat with me for hours in the ICU and read me the entire menu in his best radio voice. Megan cut Clara’s umbilical cord! (And she was actually admitted to the hospital as well for a night due to some light bleeding. She left the next day totally fine, but it makes for a crazy story!) And Amy ran back and fourth from our house to the hospital, running errands, taking care of me and everyone else.

I left the hospital a week after having the baby. I knew every single L&D nurse and had become good friends with a few of them. I was totally overwhelmed the day we were leaving. I was of course in a good amount of pain, hormonal, traumatized from what had just happened to me and then of course anxious about every facet of brand spanking new motherhood. We made it home and my mom had the house spic and span, my favorite candle burning (Marshmallow Fireside from BBW) and all our laundry was done.Did I mention I love my mom?

So that’s the story. I knew I needed to write it all out and I feel better now that I have. If you read this entire thing, thank you.

And speaking of thanks, there is one person who I need to thank and skip ahead if you’re not into cringey, sappy proclamations of love. To my David. There is absolutely no way I would have gotten through this without you. Seeing your face after getting out of the ICU was just…everything. I will  never forget that moment as long as I live. Thank you for taking care of me, of Clara. We will love you until the end of time.

So where are we now? DOIN AIGHT. Baby sleeps fairly well, eats great and is overall a tiny, happy camper. As for me, I am very emosh. Happy. Scared. And in love.

So in love.

 

 

 

 

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The Home Stretch

Hello little hummus cups.

And thanks for being here. I realized the other day that I do not say that enough. I absolutely love my teeny tiny corner of the internet and the fact that you or anyone reads this makes it pretty darn special. At least to me. sothanks.

Welp. I am due in just about a month. Let’s talk about some sh*t.

Physical Health –

Overall I’m aight.  I have lower back and persistent tailbone pain and bad heartburn, but other than that things are not too shabby.

Mental Health –

My mental health game is surprisingly fairly strong! My therapist and I have tackled lots of issues together, such as:

  • Dealing with the mental side of putting on weight
  • Anticipation of losing my identity
  • Worry over the changes that will take place in my marriage and relationships
  • Anticipation of sleep deprivation
  • Medical procedures (such as getting an IV)
  • The pain of childbirth
  • The physical ramifications of childbirth
  • My body after childbirth
  • Childbirth

If it is not clear from the list above, I have a fair amount of anxiety surrounding childbirth. Man alive, how many times can I type the word CHILDBIRTH? Cripes. I think my anxieties are normal but the anticipation can be pretty crippling. Ya feel me?

Although I am (selfishly) quite nervous about the parts that involve MY body and psyche, I actually feel pretty okay about the baby-care part. Mostly due to the fact that I have a seasoned pro by my side (David) and a very enthusiastic junior mommy (E). She has already requested that the baby sleep in her room and volunteered to do much of the feeding. Sure thing, kid ;). Homegirl is excited and we cannot wait to see their little relationship unfold.

Here’s what else is going on:

We went on a maternity tour and took a Newborn Essentials class at the hospital.

The maternity tour gave me  a few minor panic attacks, mostly at the mention of blood clots and the hospital’s baby friendly policies. One part of this involves doing skin-to-skin RIGHT after the baby is born. As in, they pull the sucker out, do minimal cleaning, and set it directly ON YOU. You do this for one hour and then they take the baby away for measurements and whatnot. Mostly all of these things freak me out and I would rather have someone else do it. I called my Dad after the class and jokingly asked him if he would be willing. He replied, “Nat I’ve got my shirt off right now.” Baaaaaaaaahahaha.

*I also realize that my feelings about these kinds of things may totally change once I meet her, but this is how I feel right now.

The Newborns class was also pretty darn insightful. It was basically a 3-hr crash course on babies. Here were my favorite take-aways:

  • If someone comes to “visit” during those first couple of months, keep a list of chores on the fridge. When the friend/family member asks if there is anything they can do to help, you can say, “Sure, there is a list on the fridge. -OR-
  • Make visitors do a chore or bring food over if they want to hold the baby. *Not sure I would actually do this but it gives me a chuckle.
  • The phrase “sleeping through the night” for an infant is considered 5 hours.
  • Taking the baby for a walk between the hours of 10 am and 1 pm helps them start understanding that there is a difference between daytime and nighttime.
  • Tummy time is like, really important.
  • So is breastmilk, or breastfeeding.
  • Talking to the baby and explaining what you are doing early on, “I’m setting you down to change you,”, “It’s time to eat!”, etc. even as an infant is really good for them and helps them understand what you are doing sooner.

And while I have your attention…I have asked David multiple times if he would start taking hormones so that he can lactate and share the chore of breastfeeding with me…sadly he is not going for it.

I have also been trying to prepare for the busy life of primary caregiver to an infant baby by being as lazy as possible! Also being horizontal is just nice.

I like to binge watch Counting On! Gotta love those Duggar girls. I also folded my first batch of baby laundry!

Or nap in our big chair watching The Affair on HBO and staring at the Christmas tree.

Or walking around in the world’s comfiest pants c/o my homegirl Dana who got me these from Soft Surroundings.

In  my spare time, I also like to look at cute baby items that are out of my price range or completely and utterly unnecessary. Like this item:

Def do not need this but MAN do I want it. For myself 😉

Overall, I am tired and sore, excited, grateful, emotional, scared shitless and happy all at the same time.  I am so thankful for my David and my family, because without them I would be monumentally more worried than I am right now!

Baby Registries – A Rant

Hi pigeons!

So…baby registries. Registries in general. A list of sh*t you want people to buy for you. Unlike a wedding registry, a baby registry is not really about YOU so much as the human you are growing. But like, YOU are growing the baby and you own it so it IS kinda about you. And the baby does not get a say. Wouldn’t it be great if the doctors could tell you the baby’s preferred color palette and sleeping arrangement at the ultra sound? Is the baby more of a winter or summer? Would it prefer co-sleeping, a bassinet or something that rocks? I guess what I mean is, registering for your baby is a little cart-before-the-horse if you ask me.

When I asked my best friends with kids what ONE item they loved with ALL of their kids, the results were scarce. My friend Carey was like, “all my kids were so different! at first all they really need is you, diapers and a blanket”.

That sounds easy.

But then hundreds of baby websites and apps and Pinterest start popping up and make you feel like you NEED a bottle warmer. Or a freakin’ WIPE warmer.  They focus on taking all of your money! I feel I cannot rely on those resources. I decided I would approach this subject as I do with most things in life, in a practical manner.

I am 34. My husband already has a kid. It is not amateur hour over here. We have a smaller home and ideally I would prefer it not be hemorrhaging baby crap. So what does that mean?

  1. Stick to the necessities.
  2. Try to get things that are multi-purpose.
  3. If our home has to contain ugly baby stuff, lets make it the cutest ugly baby stuff we can find.

Additionally, KNOW THYSELF. I know my kid will have an abundance of clothes, books and toys. Why? Because – my mom. Because – Goodwill. And because – baby girl stuff is very hard to resist  due to rampant cuteness. THEREFORE, I will not be registering or buying items like toys, HOARDS of clothing, books or random contraptions. And speaking of contraptions…

The amount of apparatuses (not apparati, I looked it up) to hold, swing, rock, vibrate, swaddle or otherwise contain a baby is astounding. You’ve got your rock’n’plays, your pack’n’plays, your dock-a-tots, your bouncers, your walkers, your freakin’ mamaroos. It’s  a little ridiculous. Is all this sh*t really necessary? I mean, our little house is already going to be taken over by baby stuff – why add more unsightly, primary-colored gadgets with smiling lions and elephants into the mix?

And I know they are starting to make nicer looking ugly baby stuff, more sleek and modern.  Believe me, I know…

hhhhelllo lover…

nice to meet you 😉

But you know how much these items cost? $1,200 and $200 respectively.

To put it into perspective, here are examples of items within my budget:

Do you see the distinction?

Can you say, Restoration Hardware taste on a Craigslist free section budget?

And it’s all a gamble! The baby could hate being in a swing or being rocked. A white noise machine could make the crying worse. The baby may hate being strapped to my chest in a Baby Bjorn.

My point is, there is so, SO much . It seems to me that a baby registry should happen like 3 months after the thing is born. But how practical is that Natalie?!

C’est la vie.

In creating our baby registry, of course David’s expertise came in mighty handy. We talked through what kind of sleeping, feeding and diapering situations to shoot for, knowing perfectly well that all of it could go flying out the window based on the level of asshole our baby decides to be. Here is a random sampling of some items from our registries (Target and Amazon).

A Pack’n’Play

Our hope: She will sleep on top in the bassinet for awhile. Then we can move her halfway down when she starts rolling over and moving more. Then we can move her to the bottom when she gets bigger. She will get used to sleeping/existing in it and we can take it with us everywhere.

Stokke High Chair

This expensive MF-er looks nice and apparently you can have it forever. It grows with the kid.

Nose Frida

This thing completely grosses me out but David swears it works amazing.

Diapers

We have decided to do disposables because when it comes right down to it, I don’t feel like carefully dealing with baby excrement. We registered for Pampers too, but the designs on these Honest Diapers are completely to die.

Clothes

I KNOW I will have cartloads of clothes but I could not resist adding  a few things. You’ll understand why…

And yes, I threw in the white onesies too.

Random Crap

One thing I have absolute power over is the decor of our extra room she will (fingers crossed) eventually sleep in. I’m going full-bore ballerinas, swans, shabby-chic blush pink AND I AM NOT LOOKING BACK.

And of course we need Little Mermaid bath toys. This girl will be singing Les Poissons with a perfect french accent by age 2 SO HELP ME GOD.

Loungewear 

Full disclosure: I registered for some new nursing/post-maternity pajamas and lounge clothes for myself because DON’T I GET SOMETHING?! I almost added some Sunday Riley Good Genes serum but thought that might be pushin’ it.

In all seriousness though, having some cute new lounge clothes to wear home from the hospital is going to make the fact that I am wearing an 8-inch thick diaper a little easier to swallow.

And if you’re interested in all the items we registered for, check them out here:

Target

Amazon

*I did register for a bottle-warmer. Haha.

Halfway Done

Salutations lollipops!

Thought I’d do a bit of a check-in on this whole growing a baby thing that is apparently happening to me. I am officially around 18 weeks but like, that is almost halfway so I am just rounding up. In fact, I kind of despise counting everything in weeks. 18 weeks is a little over 4 months so why can’t everyone just stick to that? Then when the baby is actually born, it starts all over again. “Little Emma here is 43 weeks old!” I MEAN. staahhhp.

By the way, we are NOT naming her Emma. Nothin’ against the name but it won’t be my kid’s.

And speaking of names, this sh*t is hard. And there are SO many traps to fall into, for example:

  1. Picking an old-timey name you love but that has made a HARD comeback. Example: Meg and I used to looove the name Olivia but now everyone and their sister is named Olivia. Same thing with Madeline. The kids book with the 12 little girls in 2 straight lines? Set in Paris? COME ON. Of course I love this name. But again, there are about 83473 Madelines (or Madeleines or Madelyns) and also Madisons.  So when someone yells out “Maddy!” at soft-play about 8 little chubby faces turn to look.
  2. Picking an intricate spelling to give the name a fresh spin. Just, no. I am so done with this. Christina becomes Krysteenah. Jessica becomes Jysikah. For the love of God, no more. I know it is tempting but just stick to the norm people.
  3. Trying to be TOO creative. So, I get it. You don’t want to name yer little tike Tom or Jim or Sarah. But you are also not Gwenyth or Kim K and know you’re not famous enough to have an Apple or Chicago or Blanket (like poor MJ). But like, you want something kinda cool. It is easy to convince yourself that putting together two weird sounds is all of the sudden a name, but stay strong, because it isn’t.

For me, girl names are easy. I like about 823734 of them. But so far David has vetoed:

  • Savannah
  • Aurora (Rory for short, like Rory Gilmore!)
  • Dorothy (my dear G-Dot’s name, may she rest in peace. however this is still a middle name possibility)
  • Noel (which my parents almost named me)

Tell me your thoughts on these good or bad.

Other new and exciting ventures on this blissful journey of being with-child include:

  • Acne! These hormones are just completely kicking my ass lately. I am using a spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide but clearly (or should I say not-so-clearly) it isn’t doing much.
  • Bone pain! My tailbone especially hurts like a MOTHER but also my back.
  • Heartburn! As if I did not have this bad enough before, the heartburn is real and unrelenting.

But wanna know what has sucked the MOST!?

Not bein’ able to booze…Yeah, I said it. It was MUCH easier at the beginning of this ordeal when I felt sick because at that point nothing sounded good. But now that I am back to my old self plus a ponch that could be mistaken for just a large lunch at Chipotle, I miss my vodka sodies man. I miss wine.  I miss it. All. And I have to do this until January. JANUARY. No yule tide libations for me. No spiked cider or hot peppermint schnocholate. It is moderately depressing at the very least. And I know I can have a little, but at this point it is just a tease. One small glass of wine is like eating any less than 10 potato chips. It’s juuust enough to make you want more.

Despite all this, I have managed to do fun things. Such as:

Go to the Oregon Coast and take picture like this:

(it’s a Gare-Bear)

Run

Stand up for an entire Timbers game

So I guess it’s not allllll bad. Just mostly bad.

Current Beauty Favorites: Pregnant Addition

Gross I used the p-word.

I feel this topic warranted a blog post for a myriad of reasons. First, there is the fact that nothing is harder than caring about the way you look when you feel like sh*t. You just want to do the bare minimum and be able to walk out the door. (I am thinking that this is going to be a predecessor for my style once the baby comes…).Second,  there’s the fact that I am obsessed with beauty products anyway. And third, nobody welcomes stretch marks.

Some of these items are new purchases, for the aid of being with-child while others are items I’ve had and simply make sense to use at this juncture of life.

Kopari Coconut Melt

When I saw this product launch at Sephora, I was intrigued. Cute packaging, COCONUT, what’s not to love? Then I discovered it was basically just coconut oil, which I already own a large jar of from Trader Joes. So I thought nothing of it until I was shopping at Ross about a month ago and I saw a FULL-SIZED jar of it for only $12.99! It retails at $28.

 

I bought it and threw it under my bathroom counter in the ol’ stock pile. Then I started growing a baby and realized my stomach would probably be expanding :(. So I busted out the Kopari and read the back of the box:

Turns out it is recommended for the tummy! So I started using ‘er and oh my laww is this stuff good. My skin is SO much softer since I started using it and the little spatula is not only super cute but also handy! I put this everywhere, including my face and hair and it makes things SO easy. Plus, the light coconutty scent makes me so happy.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray w/Aloe, Chamomile and Lavender

The old wives tale about a girl stealing your beauty is true in my case. From about 9 weeks in, I started developing bumps on my forehead. Not necessarily acne but just bumpy, uneven texture up there. Since then, I have definitely experienced small breakouts and on parts of my face where I have never had issues before. While this product does nothing to cure acne, it feels AMAZINGLY refreshing on my skin and sometimes I like to spray it REALLLY  close to the bump to achieve the maximum desired effect.

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo

Not only has the skin on my face been affected by this little bugger, but also the skin on my head. As I mentioned here, I used to be able to go days upon days before washing my hair. Now, I can barely make it to every other day. David had purchased the Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner a while back and I decided to give it a whirl one night. Well now I am addicted. It feels SO amazing on the scalp and literally clears out my sinuses. It has a cooling sensation which has been so welcome during these summer months and I just cannot get enough.

Lush Body Conditioner

Ever since I started using this product years ago, I knew it would be genius for a pregnant lady. I currently have a small tub of the Snow Fairy scent and I rub it all over my mid-section and hips. I feel like the added moisture is just so hydrating on my skin and will help prevent stretch marks. When I was super nauseous, I’ll admit the smell did make me kinda sick (it’s a super-sweet, candy scent) but now that I am out of that phase I am back to loving it.

Oral B Electric Toothbrush

I went to the dentist right after I found out I was pregnant and the hygienist went on and on about how teeth cleaning is so important while pregnant. I kinda wrote it off until a couple more people mentioned it to me, saying they got lots more cavities while pregnant. I get  lots of cavities as it is, and could really stand to do without more. So on Amazon Prime day, David and I bit the bullet and bought expensive electric toothbrushes. I used mine for the first time last night and MAN OH MAN do my teeth feel clean. I am also slightly dizzy from the thing rattling my brain but you know, trade offs.

That is it so far. What are/were some of your favorites while P? Let me know!

 

A Girl

The results are in gummy bears!

It’s a girl.

No, we did not have a gender reveal party. No confetti cannons. No balloon-filled boxes or frosting-stuffed cakes. No posts of our dog with a sign saying, “I’m going to be a big sister!” or baby clothes carefully strewn on an ironic reclaimed wood table.

We sat on the couch, read the email (we did FaceTime with my parents and sister Meg) and I spent the next 45 minutes ugly-sobbing onto David’s shoulder. Why, you ask?

Because I kinda wanted a boy.

Annnnnnnnd RELEASE THE HOUNDS! 😉 I know I am not “supposed” to say that but it is the truth.  You see, when my sister found out she was having a boy almost three years ago, there was a period of adjustment. I have two sisters, all we ever knew was girls! But when Tate Maxwell was born my heart was literally ripped out of my chest and stolen by this tiny man. We all fell so hard for him and since then, I have fancied a boy for myself. I wanted a mini-David. I wanted to call him Baby Davey until high school and have him get mad at me. I wanted him to play basketball like his Dad, or play the fiddle like his Auntie Bekah, or play Rolf in The Sound of Music, a role his mother was sorely robbed of. I wanted him to drink milk straight out of the milk jug so I could yell at him but secretly NGAF. I wanted so much for me and my boy.

But really. OF COURSE I am ecstatic to a.) have conceived a baby at all – AND – b.) have a healthy baby so far. And while a little boy was what I had on my mind before, of course all I can think about now is this little girl.

But I tend to like to think about things in terms of pros and cons.

PROS OF BEING MY DAUGHTER

  1. The Fam

Being my daughter means she will have unlimited access to my family. Within that group are professional musicians, Goodwill/Yard Sale aficionados, coders, an AMAZING hair  dresser, teachers and an aunt who can teach you to beat people up.

2.  24 Hour In-Home Beauty Consultation

Big zit right before the school dance? Talent show tomorrow with no planned costume? Unruly bed head every morning? Your dear mother will be there for it all and prefers to live life by the “better to arrive late than ugly” motto.

3. A Possible Upper Hand in Athletics

While I cannot guarantee coordination or a ruthless competitive nature, (she may however, get that from her father) I CAN guarantee the ankles and wherewithal to make it happen. Extra props will be given for choosing an indoor sport or of course, volleyball :).

4. The Music

What she may lack in perfect pitch, she will surely make up for in appreciation and a general enthusiasm for music of all kinds. Musicals, jazz and classical will be favored over country but most genres will at least be considered. She will however be subjected to made up songs, dance and soft-shoe routines on the fly.

5. A Sugary Diet

Both mother and father have horrendous sweet tooths meaning any offspring will hugely benefit. While a wholesome diet will be encouraged, foods such as kale, bananas, cantaloupe, sauerkraut and several other items will never be served. Name brand Pop Tarts and Snack Cakes will be regulars and a love for black licorice will be wholly supported.

CONS OF BEING MY DAUGHTER

  1. The Possibility of Being Freakishly Tall

While this is not certain, there is a strong possibility we’ll be dealing with an Amazon. Being one myself means that I am acutely aware of the trials and tribulations she will inevitably face. She WILL be the last person asked to dance at school socials. She WILL get asked “How’s the weather up there?”, “Do you play basketball?”, and “How tall are your parents?”. She WILL struggle with all kinds of clothing but mostly jeans, ROMPERS, full-length dresses, long-sleeved shirts and trying to convince herself that her shoes are NOT boats. I will be there for her, every step of the way. Reminding her that yes the boys will catch up to her (some girls will too!), that tall is beautiful, that she can reach things on the top shelf and all the other wonderful things about being a tall woman.

2. A Little too Much Enthusiasm

Both father and mother are pretty excitable and enthusiastic people. Depending on the personality type, this could be a good thing or a very bad thing. For example, if she is really into Fortnite I’ll be buying us matching gaming chairs and a mini-fridge of Mt. Dew. If she is into Irish step dancing I’ll perm my hair. If it’s larping, just buy me  a scraggly wizard’s beard and point me towards the forest.

3. Drama

I have been told I am a bit dramatic. I KNOW. Ridiculous accusation. Eccentric? Yes. Wildly talented? Sure. But dramatic? Surely not. If this child is exposed to any amounts of drama it will be in good fun and well-warranted. I’ll admit I do get slightly worked up in certain situations or when certain events occur. But really, don’t we all?

4. Mental Health Challenges

If being freakishly tall is not a sure thing, having issues with mental health unfortunately will be. The entire family struggles with various forms of anxiety and depression and this little angel will be no exception. She will however, have a village of mental-health advocates surrounding her and a mother who will continue to talk openly about it, try to breakdown stereotypes and encourage plenty of self care.

5. Possible Weird Physical/Personality Attributes

Physical attributes include, but are not limited to: thin hair, man shoulders, a VERY pointy chin, bad eye sight, BUNIONS (I’m so sorry), a longer second toe, bad hearing, and large nostrils. Personality attributes that are hopefully not passed down include: no sense of direction, preemptively laughing at own jokes before the punch line, over-apologizing, being HORRIBLE at math and singing wrong lyrics to popular songs. *Let’s hope to God David’s genes can take over here.

So there you have it. While the odds are definitely not in her favor in some areas, in others she will be blessed beyond measure.

It’s Baby Time

Say whaaat!?

Yes, my friends. I am with child. EW. That sounds gross. But I also do not care for the word “pregnant” or “prego” or the worst offender, “preggers”. I’d rather just say I am growing a baby or something more matter-of-factual.

And really, I do not expect you to care. When I hit 25, people’s babies starting popping up like spring tulips alllll over my socials and while my official sentiments were always something along the lines of “Congrats! What a cutie!”, inside I was like:

And also. Before you say “well that was quick”, like my sister Megan lovingly pointed out upon us telling her…Yeah! It was really quick. We were trying, but not for that long. I am about 3 months into this thing and as per usual, I plan to tell you allll about it.

But first, a disclaimer. Or rather, several disclaimers.

  1. I will not be over-sharing.

There will be absolutely no TMI anywhere near this blog. If you want that kindof thing, there is a  lady on YouTube who filmed herself having her baby IN A CREEK. So go watch that. I did.

2. I will be speaking my truth.

98% of being with child, having the thing and being it’s mom genuinely freaks me out and not in a good way. I have decently high generalized anxiety and I plan to talk about it. I am  overwhelmingly excited and happy to share love with this person, but if you are expecting a glowing, healthy-eating mother-to-be, wearing floral crowns and getting maternity pictures taken at sunset than BYE.

3. I mean no offense.

I am well versed in the mommy-shaming that goes on everywhere, all the time. I am aware that MY opinions on the subjects I may or may not decide to write about may evoke certain feelings or thoughts in others. Please know that I mean no harm, no offense, am always happy to learn and am just doing my best here guys.

So now, onto the things.

As previously stated, I have about 6 more months until this thing makes it’s grand entrance in to the world. The logistics so far have been fine. We have seen and heard a heartbeat, talked about vitamins and I had a blood draw (where I nearly passed out). I am seeing a midwife and she is wonderful. This worked out well, because my therapist recommended I use both a midwife and a doula to try and help with anxiety. Which leads me to….

MY MENTAL STATE

After I took the two initial tests to confirm the state I thought I might be in, I was SHOCKED. See pictures for proof:

Due to my age, my sister’s difficulty in conceiving and just my dumb luck I just thought it would take me a while to conceive. Not the case. Since then, I have continued to exist in almost an out-of-body state. This whole thing has not come easy or natural to me. The app I downloaded to compare the baby to a piece of fruit each week had to be deleted. I just couldn’t look. The book my doctor gave me to read? Still sitting on the kitchen table where it will never be touched. I divert my eyes when I spot  pregnant women on the street or see a “hospital bag must-haves!” post on Pinterest. I feel paralyzed. I don’t wanna know.  My anxiety has flared up harder than a tiki torch. But luckily, I have David to lean on. I truly do not know where I would be without him. I also have my family, friends, MEIRA, medication, and weekly sessions with my therapist.

My rock.

THINGS THAT HAVE SUCKED

Nausea. I started wearing Sea Bands from the get-go and whether or not it is a placebo effect…I just don’t care. I started feeling a teensy bit better when I wore them so suck it. I now have three pairs of them in both black and gray. Plus by wearing them I am always only a pair of spandex away from sweatin’ to the oldies!

My sense of smell. The lady 2 blocks away wearing one too many sprays of Shalimar…I can smell you. The 22-year-old bike courier with taco pits who just stepped off the elevator…I can smell you. Co-worker who had an onion bagel for breakfast – yesterday….I can smell you. I should really go down to the Portland Police and offer my services to sniff out drugs because… I CAN SMELL YOU.

Impatience. As of late, I do not have time for anyone or anything. Lady on the train blocking everyone from an aisle with several available seats with her giant Ikea bag filled with cat food – I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOU. Computer monitor at work that keeps flashing “cannot detect display port”, I do not have time for you! Even my own mother, telling me a story about her next door neighbor’s daughters graduation party where they rented an entire taco truck! Mom, love you. I don’t have time for you.

Acne. Not only is my forehead decorated with lovely bumps, but my skin type has also completely changed. My skin is noticeably more oily and don’t get me started on my hair. I used to be able to go 4 days between hair washings and now I am lucky to make it to every other day. I can srsly empty a can of dry shampoo in my hair and it makes no difference.

Bone Pain. My bones they are a shiftin’. Man that grosses me out. My tail bone as well as hip bones are just in a constant state of ouch. I feel like my body is being rearranged and I have no say in the matter.

I could go on and on guys. Food aversions, drippy nose, FATIGUE! You name it, I’ve got it going on. The other night, David and I planned to actually GO OUT FOR DINNER together, a rarity given all the aforementioned inflictions. I got ALL READY and then a big ol’ wave of nausea just swept over me and we had to abandon ship. I had to take off freshly applied makeup! FRESHLY. applied. Of course I first snapped a photo.

So that’s where we are. Complaining, being impatient and eating a pack of Strawberry Sour Punch Straws a day. Let’s do this thing.