I’m trying to find a way to discuss what happened to us over Easter weekend with the blogosphere, but I’m not even sure what to say to myself quite yet. Here goes…
I went for my first prenatal appointment on Friday morning. The OBGYN’s little ultrasound machine wasn’t picking up a heartbeat in my little bean, and he/she was measuring 7 weeks, and I was 10 weeks. So, they sent me down a floor to radiology, where the more powerful ultrasound machines could give us a better picture. We had to wait in the radiology lobby for almost an hour. The longest hour of my life. Well, except for the next hour after that when results were being read and sent back to the clinic.
Then, they laid the bad news on me: bean had no heartbeat, and had probably passed away two weeks ago. And it’s not my fault and it’s normal and blah blah blah. Nothing anyone said to me for the rest of that day or the next made me feel better about it.
I had to take some medication to get things moving. It had already been two weeks, and they were concerned about things still being inside me. THAT was easily the worst part of all of it. To have to endure the physical pain in addition to all the emotional pain I was already in. Though, it has made it easier to begin healing now that it’s officially over.
We are hopeful for the future, and know that having a successful pregnancy later on is very probable for us. It’s just getting through the here and now that’s giving us some trouble. Trying to sort out why this happened, and how we can make some sense of it, if any at all. Trying to pick up the pieces of our lives and our hearts and move forward.
I am going off of the birth control pill. I am taking my last pill on Saturday night, and then that’s it. No, we’re not trying to have another baby. Because we’re not ready. Well, we are, but we aren’t. And we are. But we’re not. I know you know what I mean.
The reason I want to stop taking it is that I have been completely miserable for the better part of the last 18 months, and the more reading/talking/advice-seeking I do, the more I am convinced that the pill is to blame for all of it.
If you are a regular reader, you will remember when the trouble started. After I weaned Bowie from the breast, and went from the mini-pill back to the regular pill. Remember all those months of “holy crap, I thought I was pregnant again this month” posts? Only got WORSE as time went on. Until last month, when I was so sick, so tired, so mood-swingy, so hungry, so fat, so needing to pee every 5 seconds, that I was convinced–CONVINCED–we were expecting baby #2.
But no! Not pregnant! Just having trouble with the hormones RAGING THROUGH MY BODY. So, after talking to a few friends, my mother, and the good old Interwebz, I have made the decision to take a break from the pill.
The nausea, the weight gain, the depression, the fatigue, the appetite, the mood swings, the panic attacks, the near-fainting, the crying, the lack of (ahem) libido. Turns out, it can all be attributed to hormonal imbalance. I’m really, really hoping it all goes away.
And if it doesn’t? I don’t know. I guess I will go get some blood work done because, WTF BODY, THIS IS NOT NORMAL. I want to feel good again. I want to have energy. I want to be able to be in a crowd without heart palpitations. I want to go to bed happy, not sad. I want to stop needing food every hour. I want to lose 10 pounds!!! Hoping I get there. Thanks for coming along on the ride with me.
- Childbirth isn’t that bad. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it hurts a lot. But, you get through it. Some simple breathing exercises, an epidural, squeezing the life out of your partner’s hand, there are ways to get through. Think of it this way: it’s what your body was made to do. So, don’t have a planned C-section just to avoid labor. As a friend has said, “You don’t know pain until you sneeze with a fresh C-section wound.”
- Breastfeeding is hands down the best thing for your baby. I know some of you will have trouble with it. It’s not easy for everyone, in fact it’s not easy for anyone. If you stick with it and your milk supply is ok, you’ll get the hang of it. I’m not saying you have to stick with it for very long, an amount is beneficial. But, just try it. If it doesn’t work, so be it. At least you tried. P.S. It’s not weird, not even with a son. I too thought it would be, but it was quite the opposite.
- You don’t have to go for days without showering. I used to read about this all the time and I was seriously freaking out. I loves me some showers. But, I have yet to go a full 24 hours without taking a shower. There are simple tricks to doing this: putting the baby in a swing or bassinet outside the bathroom door, showering while baby naps… just rest assured you don’t have to give up your regular morning shower to be a mother.
- You can have alcohol if you’re breastfeeding. Just one or two drinks has no affect on your baby. More than that, and you should not nurse for 2 hours, but you can pump and have milk on reserve for such occasions. I mean, abstain from alcohol if you want to, but it’s not necessary.
- Go to every mom-baby activity or new mom group in your area. You might not click with all the women, but you will find a few good go-to people, and maybe even make some new friends. Plus, you and baby both need that time away from the home to keep your sanity. Trust me.
- Rotate the toys. Keep a healthy stash of toys hidden away, and a handful of toys out in the regular play area. If one day the baby seems to not want to play with anything, swap the toys with some from the stash and it’s like a brand new set of toys to them. Works like a charm.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. At least in the first 6 months. I know you’ve heard this a zillion times, I know I did. But, I’m telling you to take heed. It’s so important to keep yourself rested and healthy so you can take care of the little one. Let the housework go. Nothing will happen if the laundry or dishes sit for an extra day, believe me.
- Take me-time or have a date night only if you feel like it. I felt really pressured into taking a date night with my husband, about the time my baby was 5 months old. But, I wasn’t ready. And I sat and worried about the baby so much that I could barely participate in conversation with my husband. He and his sister (our babysitter for that evening) told me I was too much of a worry wart and needed to “cut the cord”. But, I was totally ready two months later, and relished in the time away from baby. Yes, getting away is important for your marriage and for your sanity. But don’t feel pressured into doing it before you’re ready.
- Travel early and travel often. In the first 6 months, your baby is so portable and travels so well, you have to get out and go places, even if it’s only a few states over to visit family. After 6 months, they become more mobile and are harder to transport. They don’t want to sit still, they don’t want to be quiet, and good luck trying to keep their nap schedule. It will be tough to travel for a few years, so try to get the travel bug out of your system while the little one is still really, uh, little.
- Sex is going to feel different. And I mean *different*. And you may not want to have it for a while. But, don’t fret. You WILL want to again. And you just have to acclimate yourself to your new body and learn a few new tricks.
At Bowie’s six month check up, I was feeling pretty good about myself because I’d been making my own baby food for the previous month and he was loving it. I followed all of Dr. A’s guidelines about when to start what, and how much milk he should still be drinking.
But, once she saw him without his shirt on, she put her hand up to his chest and I instantly knew what she was looking at: he was really orange. “You’re feeding him too much orange food,” was all she said. I was devastated. Not only because I had turned my baby orange with my cooking, but also because he loved sweet potatoes, carrots and squash and now I was going to have to find something else to give him, something not orange.
We managed. We moved on to things like spinach, corn, broccoli and cauliflower. And eventually he looked less orange to me, but a month later when he was in getting the flu shot he still looked too orange for her taste.
Today I was looking through all the food I have for him in the freezer, and I saw it there. The lonely little bag of sweet potatoes I had made for him. Sometimes his nose still looks orange in pictures, but I said screw it and gave him sweet potatoes for dinner. Afterward I wiped him up thoroughly and joked that we had to “hide the evidence from daddy”. I hope the little bugger appreciated that.