Babies

(Don’t) Give Me All The Drugs: Part 2.0

For those of you who have been following me for a while (hi, mom), you may know that I wrote about the birth of my first kid. If you didn’t read that post, let me sum it up for you: I went into labor and 41 hours, a bunch of drugs, and a few pushes later, our daughter arrived.

In 41 hours, someone could fly from LA to Nairobi, a whopping 9,653 miles. It’s a stupidly long time to be miserable.

But it wasn’t all bad, because drugs. Never having been a doer of drugs, my experiences with them were next to zero, so little did I know what magical effects they can have until 30 hours into my ordeal, when I got my first dose of morphine, and then an epidural. I ate the most delicious pudding I’ve ever had, took a nap, and woke up and had a baby. It was nothing short of amazing.

This positive drug experience gave me a sense of confidence about the birth of Baby 2.0, because I knew what the drugs were like, and I wasn’t afraid to use them.

Fast-forward to a Saturday morning in February.

The night before I had felt a little funny, but woke up on Saturday still pregnant. It was mid-way through my pre-natal yoga class -somewhere between Warrior pose and the push-ups- that I started to notice I was having regular contractions. I finished my class, drove home, and called the grandparents to let them know they needed to come pick up our daughter.

In the hour between establishing I was in labor, to when they arrived to pick her up, my contractions went from once every 15 minutes, to once every 6 minutes. Things were going fast, and as soon as they got to the house, we raced out the door to the hospital.

Driving through the hilly city, when we finally got close enough to see the valley where our hospital was located, we were greeted by an arching rainbow that appeared to end on the roof of our destination. It seemed like an omen that things would be okay, and for the most part, they were.

I labored for a while without anything, but then out of nowhere was blindsided by an anxiety attack. I went from breathing through my contractions, to screaming for someone to cut my sports bra off because suddenly I couldn’t breathe. My mind raced, my body shook, and I felt the room closing in on me. I felt completely out of control, and totally lost my confidence. Tears streamed down my face as I begged for something to make it all stop.

After receiving a dose of Fentanyl, I was able to labor a little longer until another round of anxiety hit, and we decided to proceed with the epidural. With my first epidural, I received it, and pretty much immediately fell asleep. With my second, I laid in bed and panicked.

Anxiety absolutely overcame me, and I found myself unable to do anything but worry. The epidural had taken to one side more than the other, making me feel off-balance. More bothersome, I continued to feel as though I couldn’t breathe, but found wearing the oxygen mask to be unbearable because of an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia.

For hours I laid in bed, trying to gather my thoughts as my mind raced. With each visit from the midwife, I became more and more depressed because the baby had turned, and my labor had stalled. I felt incredibly hopeless and helpless, and stupid for being so naive about the downsides to the drugs that had served me so well my first time around.

Things took a turn for the better when my nurse, after listening to me complain about not being able to breathe for hours, finally discovered that my epidural was creeping up, and at that point, was just below (or at) my diaphragm. After it was turned down, things progressed quickly, and the little man made his first appearance shortly after.

I’m sharing this story for two reasons.

First, to reiterate an important point: Every birth is different. From the duration, to the way your body reacts to the drugs, and everything in between, labors can vary wildly. I knew this, in theory, but didn’t grasp the idea fully until laying in bed feeling betrayed by my friend, Drugs. I’m not trying to scare people away from doing them. Given the opportunity, I would probably opt for them again. But this time, I would be mentally prepared to know that my experience with them could be very different.

Second, anxiety during and immediately following labor is pretty common. Since bringing Baby 2.0 home, it’s reared its ugly head a handful of times but thankfully as time goes on (and sleep improves), I’m finding the intensity of the attacks to be lesser and lesser. I mention this only because prior to my own experience, I didn’t know how common something like this is, and as always, just want other people out there to know they aren’t alone, and urge them to tell their doctor if they feel something isn’t right.

ruben

World, meet Baby 2.0

 

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I Think We’ve Been Here Before…

Deja poo


 

And even the more confusing when the creator of such copious amounts of doo doo appears to exist entirely on crackers and air…

10 Questions Everyone Googles In Their Third Trimester

Pregnancy, it seems, is different for everybody. Some people love it, and glow like a dimly-lit wall sconce at a cozy Italian restaurant, while other people find their pregnancies about as enjoyable as eating an entire Italian restaurant, brick by brick. The differences between my first and second pregnancies were astounding, yet upon reaching 37 weeks (which is full-term according to the World Health Organization, and my weekly Pregnant Chicken email), I found myself submerged in eerily familiar waters. Waters that remind me I have to pee, again. Waters that make me wonder when my own water will break. Waters that swirl with questions only Google can answer. (more…)

Things I Never Want To Forget: A Letter To Baby 1.0

A letter to Baby 1.0, days before you turn 18 months old.

Oh Baby 1.0, you are growing so fast. It seems like just yesterday you came into this world, with your head full of black hair, and your tiny pink lips. It’s no secret we had a bit of a rough start, but that doesn’t take away from how much I love you, and have loved you, from the very first second of your known existence. Every day you grow, and every day you change. Looking back, there is already so much I fear I’ve forgotten, little details buried under more recent developments that are equally as important. So today I will write you this, in hopes that someday, you can look back and know how I was feeling days before your 18 month birthday, and if not you, then me when I am days away from your 18th year birthday, and I want to rip my hair out because you have decided to get a neck tattoo and run away with a biker gang to Costa Rica.

-You sing songs and communicate with us by meows. You also seem to think you have kitty cat hands and feet, and often hold them up to me requesting I kiss them by making a pouty face and sadly meowing at me until I do it. In fact, as we discovered tonight, you actually quite like it when we talk to you and pet you like you are a cat. (Note to self: socialize Baby 1.0 with more babies, and attempt to reinforce she is indeed a baby.)

-Speaking of animals, you love dogs. I mean, you really love dogs. The way you say it “dawg dawg daaawg” makes me laugh every time.

-You have an insatiable appetite for dancing to questionable music. To be fair, it’s not all questionable, as you will dance to anything that makes a rhythmic sound (including the dryer), but you appear to show a strong preference for pop, much to your daddy’s chagrin. I may or may not have introduced you to that pop, so I don’t care much. I just like to see you happy. We both do.

-You still have baby breath, and it is the most amazing smell in the whole world. Sometimes while I’m rocking you to sleep and you are breathing tiny puffs of air in my face, I close my eyes and try with all my might to put that smell so deep in my brain I will never forget it. It is the only thing about you that is still baby-like, as you are turning into a little girl faster than I am prepared for.

-You love books. You have always loved books, but the bigger you get, and the more capable you are at handling them, the more you love them. I hope you always feel this way.

-You are so smart. I can’t imagine this ever changing, but you never cease to amaze your daddy and I with how much you know. You just have to see us doing something once, and for better or worse, with enough time, you will figure it out.

-You show an incredible degree of empathy for humans and animals alike. When our rambunctious young male cat picks on our old female cat, you drop everything to break it up, and then calm our old lady. When someone is crying, you are right there to pat them on the back, or participate in a good old-fashioned sympathy cry. You have a good heart, little baby. I hope that never changes.

-You are fearless. There is no play structure too high, no hill too steep. You take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ and this is equal parts admirable and terrifying. I hope you continue to toe the line here, and never fall too far on one side or the other.

-You love your daddy. I get that, he’s a pretty great guy. Watching the two of you together, laughing and being silly? It doesn’t get any better. I hope you always think he is as funny as he thinks he is, though I worry one day you will think both of us are actually quite embarrassing.

-You are loved. Though you’ve never been a snuggly baby, occasionally when I do get an extra long hug in, the feeling of your little body in my arms is enough. It’s all I could ever ask for in this world. You are all I could ever ask for in this world. I may make light of the parenting undesirables, but at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change one single thing about our experience together. You are truly my sunshine, little baby. I love you so much.

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