Thursday, April 30, 2009

And I Feel Fine

Or: The One With the Labor

I’m doing this in two more posts because I will never finish it otherwise. I don’t know what kind of moron thinks that they will have ALL KINDS OF FREE TIME after going back to work while wrangling a 10 week old in the evenings. Probably the same one who thinks that her regular pants will fit after she loses all her baby weight even though her stomach looks like delicious pizza dough.

(A really, really big moronnepper.)

I was in labor on my own, but not really. I probably would’ve been at home for another 10 hours or something ridiculous if my blood pressure wasn’t high. So that meant that I still had to deal with Pitocin.

And I was pissed, because I heard so many horror stories about Pitocin. For Example: Just kill yourself if you have to do Pitocin. Stuff like that. But as I mentioned before, it didn’t hurt all that bad (but you’ll see, I’m all about the drugs, doooode).

The Pitocin wasn't moving me along enough so they broke my water.
It was so gross.
I mean really. I gagged. It was like this:

I'm not even kidding. The medical professionals needed actual rescue boats and life vests to even enter my room. And that was after signing extensive legal release forms because it was a total enter at your own risk situation. And seriously? Just when you thought there couldn't be more water?

I don't even know how to describe it. Like, if someone shoved a swimming pool directly into your Lady Business, then pulled the plug, then tried to cover the plug with gum, which stopped the gushing for a while until POP! Another gush! That's the best I can do.

After having contractions for a few hours, the nurse asked me if I wanted any medication to help with the pain. To which, predictably, I said: I want my epidural thankyouverymuch. And she told me that I had to wait until I was at least 5 or 6 centimeters but would I like some morphine?


I’m not much for drugs. (aside from those drugs that facilitate the growth of multiple eggs and thickening of my uterus and caffeine. And Aleve. And DayQuil. And wine.) (OK, maybe I am for the drugs?) I will usually suffer through muscle aches and head aches and ridiculous cramps before I take anything.

I just pass on grass. I talk smack on crack. I wish death on meth. Etcetera.

And good thing, you know? Because OH MY GOD that morphine was, like, a little piece of heaven. Or maybe a big big piece of heaven. Or maybe I died and went to heaven and just imagined that I took morphine. I can totally see how someone could get hooked because my mood improved significantly after the morphine. Childbirth? EASY! Bring it on! I’ve got DRUGS!

So I’m in labor. But I’m all high, so I don’t care. One of the doctors asked me if I wanted my epidural, and told me I could have it any time. And for some reason (probably because I was all high) I told her that the nurse said I couldn’t have it yet.

Commence Argument #1. Oh my hell. The nurse comes back in and apologizes for “the misunderstanding,” and says that she didn’t think she said that I couldn’t have my epidural yet, and says that she should have made herself more clear so that I could understand what she meant.

Whatever, lady. I’m all high. You could tell me that my ass looked fat and I would probably just give you the thumbs up. You want to be passive aggressive toward me because you made a mistake? Well, that's fine. That's great actually! Now, bring me some ice chips while I ride this happy morphine high.

Eventually, I got my epidural. It was so easy that I felt like a total asshole for being worried about it for so long. I couldn’t feel anything below my chest and it was all that I thought it would be. And more. The combination of numbness and morphine high made for a fantastic night of sleep.

In fact, I slept so well, that I barely noticed when a posse of medical professionals came, spread my legs, and got elbow deep into my Lady Business. This happened approximately 497 times. I remember waking up a couple times to find the top of a head bouncing around down there, and just hoping that it was actually a doctor and not room service or maintenance.

There were a few scary and sucky times. I was pretty nauseated a few times, sitting with a barf bucket. I didn’t really think I was going to throw up but wanted to be prepared because who wants to throw up on themselves while numb from the waist down? Not me.

It was so annoying, because EVERYONE who came in the room while I was hovering over my bucket asked, “Are you nauseated?” No, I just like holding this under my face. I think it makes me look awesome.

I never did throw up, though.

There were a few times when all the alarms on my machines went off, and they had to come flip me over so that Olivia's heartrate would regulate.

Hands down, the worst part about labor was the shakes. And by the shakes, I mean THE SHAKES OMFG GAH! I had bouts of uncontrollable shaking. I wasn’t cold or anything but I couldn’t keep myself from making cold noises like “buuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr” and “uuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” Even though I wasn’t cold, I kept asking my weirdo L&D nurse for blankets.

Which was the start of argument #2, because one of the nurses had to lay the smack down on weird nurse when I spiked a bit of a fever being under 10 blankets. I believe it went something like this: It is your responsibility to tell the patient that she cannot have more blankets because the shaking is part of labor and has nothing to do with being cold.

This argument was swiftly sidetracked by two things: my wiley cervix, and my piss poor platelets.

Argument #3: Centimeters – they are not inches. Tis for sure.

I was so excited when I was roused awake by my weird nurse to the news that I was dilated seven centimeters. Because, you know, all the hard work I was doing. Being high and sleeping. It was difficult.

But I figured that I’d be able to freely eat carbs again after just 3 teeny tiny centimeters and some pushing, which is just so freaking worth it when you haven’t had carbs in 4 months.

That, and, you know, the baby.

A few minutes later, another posse of hospital dwellers made their way over to the main attraction (my vagina) and declared that lo! Weird nurse is a liar! This bitch is only 3 centimeters! And I was all, “wouldn’t you know the difference between 3 and 7? I mean, I know it’s not inches or feet or whatever, but that is a big difference.” And they were all, “we’re going to have a meeting to discuss this because Pitocin and progress and blah blah blah.”

After much deliberation, it all remained a mystery. (I think weird nurse was right, though, because I did start pushing about 3 hours later.)

I think they decided that they didn’t care about my cervix because there was a more serious situation a’brewin. I had high blood pressure, swelling, slightly elevated liver enzymes and low platelets, and right upper quadrant pain.

Which is BAD BAD BAD, apparently.
Like, so bad, that a bunch of nurses and doctors come in your room and talk about what to do with you like you are not there while you and your husband look at each other and shrug. Bad like that. Bad like discussion of pre-eclampsia, and HELLP Syndrome, and emergency C-Section.

Total buzz kill.

(I am not trying to create some sort of awesome cliffhanger here. It was all fine and eneventful in the end. I mean, I MADE LIFE, so it wasn't wholly uneventful. You know what I mean...)

And how perfect! My lunch break is over, and now I have to stop stealing Panera's WiFi from their parking lot and actually return to work, where I am very busy and important and whatnot and stuff.

(Or where I am a total bitch slave. One of those.)

See Part 3, or The End of These Ridiculous Posts, here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Can Haz Apple?

Yes, this is Baxter chewing on my iPhone.

And that bone sitting right beside him? Completes me.

I like to imagine that he at least thought about chewing the bone before going after my iPhone.

I caught him with it in his mouth, and he dropped it then put his paw on it. He is a bit of an asshole.

(I am working on my birth story. I swearz. It is really long so far and talks about my vagina and poop. I am sure you are glad and also very excited.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The End of the World As We Know It

Or: Olivia's Birth Story.

Well, the beginning of it anyways.

I have to make a confession: I don't like reading birth stories. Most of the time, they are filled with way too many uninteresting details and since I have the attention span of a monkey on crack, I cannot finish reading loooooooong birth story post.

So that is why I put off and put off writing a blog post. Because I know that nobody cares what time I got an IV (7 O'Clock) or what I was wearing when I found out I was in labor (clothes. I was wearing clothes). But I am going to post it because I've gotten a bunch of emails (14) and a few comments (3 or 4?) asking me to post it.

On Thursday the 12th, I woke up to a...gush. (Or, what felt like a gush until they broke my water at the hospital and I learned what a GUSH really feels like!) I had fluid and mucous all down my leg. One of my favorite ways to wake up? Is to slime on my leg. Delicious.

Now. The responsible thing to do would be to call your OB and see what they think. That would be the responsible thing. The Uber Pregnant Jen, however, decided that she should wait until after her highlight appointment to call the doctor. Because what if they made me go to labor and delivery? What about my hair? ROOTS! GAH!

After my highlights, I called the OB. They sent me to labor and delivery. My hair looked awesome.

It turns out that I didn't leak amniotic fluid, so after 3 hours I was sent on my way. The rest of the night was pretty uneventful.

The next day, FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH, I had my 38 week appointment. I planned to argue with Sexy Suzie (my hot OB) because I didn't want to be induced. We had our ultrasound first, then we went into the room for my weekly nonstress test. The NST was perfect as always, and the baby was measuring at 6 pounds 12 ounces. Gestational Diabetes my ass!

The nurse came in to take my blood pressure. I was sad in the first place because my favorite nurse wasn't there, and instead we had to talk to Snaggle Tooth Nurse who goes on and on and on about the most ridiculous things before she does what she needs to do. And I'm not sure if you heard? But I'm impatient and slightly bitchy at all times. So she annoyed me.

Anyway. The blood pressure. She took it, said, "Hmmm..." and walked out of the room to get the doctor.


You figure it's pretty bad if they don't even tell you what it is, right? It had been creeping up every week, and I was pretty swollen, but they didn't seem concerned until now.

Sexy Suzie came in and said that I had to go to Labor and Delivery AGAIN and have my BP monitored. If it didn't go down, I would be induced that night. If it did, I was to go in on Tuesday the 17th to be induced. Just to dig the dagger in a bit deeper, she said that she was going to let me go until my due date until my blood pressure was so high.


I didn't ask what it was. Because the whole thing was scary and I just figured I'd go to L&D again and come home late again. But we did go home and get my bag just in case.

Good thing!

My blood pressure did come down, but my cervix and uterus, those tricky bitches, had different plans. I was having contractions and dilating on my own!

The one thing I always wanted to know and could never get a good answer - What do contractions feel like and how bad do they hurt? And my answer is: Meh. I didn't really realize I was even having contractions, I just thought I was kind of crampy. Like, I was going to get my period in a few days. Of course, I have been known to curl up into a useless ball of painful cramps during my periods. So you and I might have different points of reference.

Also? I got an epidural. Because any time pain is unnecessary? I avoid it. Call me crazy.

Upon hearing the news that I was in labor, my very first thought was: I am so glad I ate that Chicken Tender Melt from Perkins for lunch. I'm sentimental like that.

After calling the parentals to let them know, we were whisked off to a labor room, I was hooked up to an IV, and all we had to do was waaaaaaaait. And TEXT. I think I sent and received eleventy thousand texts that night.

My nurse?? Was...interesting.

She looked exactly like this:

Except she was wearing scrubs.

You know when you go to the bank? And you get stuck with the new teller, who has someone looking over her shoulder and saying things like, "make sure the ones don't stick together!" And you're all Sonofabitch This Always Happens To Me? And you watch all the other lines disappear before you even get started?

That's kind of how it was in Labor and Delivery. I had the new nurse, who had old nurses looking over her shoulder and questioning her constantly.

Except I was at the hospital and instead of dollars we were dealing in vagina.

(I will finish soon. I have to get ready to go see Chelsea Handler tonight. I hope Chuy is there...)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Life: Tis Different.

I mean, duh. Right? Today was Olivia's two month check up. And for some reason, I was compelled to look back and see what I was doing this time last year.

This time last year, I was miserable. MIZZZZZRABLE. My first IVF failed. I had to continue with my normal routine and act human when all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and sleep until Christmas.

(I would've lifted the covers to fart, though. I have a strict No Farting Under the Covers policy. A policy which Mark defies. This is why we use separate blankets. I refuse the possibility of a Dutch Oven. Separate blankets is how we avoid divorce.)

(I also have a strict No Farting in the Car policy. For similar reasons. I basically just don't want to be trapped in any place that holds the smell of ass.)

Thinking about it now, I don't even know how I did it. IVF seems like a blur. It's almost better that I was working full time and going to graduate school at night, because I don't know how mentally stable I would've been if I had more time to think.

If I'm being honest, I almost never think about it anymore. Olivia is here. She is here, and how it happened really doesn't pop into my mind anymore (except when people say things about the fricking Octomom, which, dammit I wish she would just fade into obscurity already). And that is freeing, people. It is amazing to no longer be consumed with infertility.

It won't last forever. I'm sure at some point, we will want to try again. And I don't know if it will feel the same as it did before but I'm sure that the second round will consist of much suckage.

But right now, I am consumed with my squishy little baybee who suffered through 2 shots today and who has been sleeping it off for the past 4 hours.

At two months, Olivia weighs 8 lbs 14 oz (10th percentile). Mark thinks we should put her on a diet because she is really tanking up.* She is 21.26 inches long (10th percentile), and has a noggin circumference of 15.06 inches (50th percentile).

The shots were sad, but not as bad as I expected. Nothing of note really happened, except I may have made an inappropriate comment about how I would leave my husband for Dr. Karp** (author of The Happiest Baby on the Block) if given the opportunity. A joke which, surprise surprise, I don't think the pediatrician got.

Or if she did, she didn't think it was funny.

*Kidding. Kidding. Kidding. He was kidding.
**I'm going to post about this soon. Because Oh My God That Shit Works. ***
***Also, I'm going to post my birth story soon, just for the anonymous person who asked so very nicely.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Two Months, Five Hundred Names

This second month has been nuts. When I call the pediatrician, they know who I am when I say my name. I think Olivia is that patient who has that mother who calls about everything.


Mark thinks that Olivia is never going to learn her name. Because I think of something new to call her every day. Sometimes twice a day. Sometimes twice an hour. In no particular order:
Olivia. O. Livie. Liv. Livie Lou. Livie Lou Lou. Livie Lou Lou Lou Lou LOU! Lou Lou. Honey. Honey Punkin. Punk. Punky Brewster. Sweetie Peetie. Stinky Linky. Stinky Linky Linky. Chubby Cheekers. Chubby Cheeky. Chubby Cheeky Monkey. Pretty Girl. Pwetty Gwirl. Bootiful Girl. MAH BAYYYYBEEEE!

Is it worse to not know your name? Or to answer to, "Hey, kid!"

Olivia does a lot of the same things outside of my uterus as she did inside. At all of our ultrasounds, Olivia had her hands on or around her face. And she still does that!

And she is awake at all the same times. Every.single.night during my third trimester, I would bolt awake at 3 a.m. and wonder if my uterus exploded, only to find that it was just Olivia trying to bicycle her way out of my belleh. You can always count on Olivia being hungry at 3 a.m. And she's always awake at 10, 1, and 6 - her most active movement times in utero.

Much like her mother, Olivia loves to eat. Loves it. In fact, she screams when you take away her bottle. Which explains the recent development of rubber band wrists.

Not only does Olivia look exactly like me, but it appears that she may be plagued with my odd body shape (sorry, O - just get used to the fact that no pants will fit you right. Ever). Right now, she has outgrown her newborn clothes, but 0-3 too big. So most of the time she looks completely ridiculous, because I try to force fashion upon her because there is so much baby Gap in her closet and it goes so well with her new NOMable chubby thighs.

Leave my thighs alone, mom. Seriously.

The newest glorious thing to happen is that Olivia loves her cradle swing. LOVES her cradle swing. Like, will sleep in her swing for 3 hours during the day. Which causes me to Fisher Price two people? Are they men? Because I love the cradle swing so much that I would totally, totally make out with one or both of them.

The reflux. Sometimes better, sometimes not. There is no more blood in the stool, so we are just waiting until the May 1st appointment with the gastroenterologist to make sure everything is OK. We're sticking with the Alimentum, Rice Cereal, and Zantac.

5 Weeks: Oh, hello mother. This thing is WAY more interesting than you and Daddy.

6 Weeks: Tummy time is the worst, people.

7 Weeks: Did somebody say fresh diaper?

8 Weeks: This crib is a total waste of space. Taking photos in it makes the cost seem justified.

Two months! I swear, babies age in dog years. We keep looking at toys, and all of the 3+ month toys are SO COOL. And it is crazy to think that Olivia will be able to play with them in another month. And in another month? She will be a quarter of a year old.

Elton Johnnepper...her future's so bright, she's gotta wear shades.

I think we're going to have so much fun together.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My First Period

Well, not my first period, like, ever.
Just my first period since my vagina went from being an area of little acclaim to A PORTAL TO LIFE.

Granted, it came very unceremoniously. Nobody took me to the tampon and pad aisle to pick anything out, and I wasn't subjected to a pregnancy/STD/God Will Hate You If You Have Premarital Sex talk.

I did, however, have a talk with my gynecologist about my plans for birth control, because I'm not sure if you heard? But you are just so damned fertile after having a baby!

Which, HA HA. That is hilarious. She should blog.

The other thing that happened at my postpartum appointment: I am cleared for S-E-X with my H-U-S-B-A-N-D. Which is S-C-A-R-Y because of the second degree T-E-A-R that I had even though I had a 5 pound peanut baby.

(I feel the need to spell things out because our moms read my blog, and I don't want them to think that we actually do it. Because we don't. Do it. The baby came from science. Stop thinking about us doing it.)

When I had my exam, it hurt. Which sucks because it was a one finger job, and being cleared for S-E-X is pretty useless when a finger hurts and your husband's P-E-E-P is definitely B-I-G-G-E-R than a finger. And the last thing I want to do is to try to have S-E-X and have it end up like a scene out of The Shining.

(REDRUM is not sexy)

Hey! Speaking of blood! Olivia has more of it in her diaper. This is, as you can imagine, fucking fantastic. The pediatrican upped her dose of Zantac, which...psh. Whatever. And also gave me test strips to use for three days to see if she has blood in her stool for three days. Which is pointless, because you can SEE the blood.

But still, I am scraping poop from her diaper onto a stick and putting it on these test strips because FUTILITY: IT COMPLETES ME.

I have already scheduled an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist, but can't get in until May 1. Which is awesome when your baybee has reflux, milk protein allergy, bloody stool even on Alimentum, ridiculous gas, and lots of grunting.

The very nice lady who answered the phone at the gastroenterologist office told me that if I had my pediatrician call, they would get her in earlier. So I'm waiting for that to all go down.

If it doesn't, then I'm going to have to bust out the raging demanding bitch mode. Which probably makes for better blog material! And who am I trying to fool? I love using raging bitch mode, especially when I have such a justifiable excuse!

One and a half weeks until I go back to work.
Three weeks ago, I was so relieved that this would all be taken care of before my return.
Which, HA HA. I am hilarious. Good thing I blog.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mister Yuck, Look Out!

You're about to be replaced!

After last week's post, We did end up getting a prescription for Pepcid on Wednesday. I did not have to shove the bottle of Maalox up the pediatrician's ass. It was really a win-win situation.

I wish that was the end of this ridiculous melodrama. But no. Pepcid didn't do anything. Unless you count the hunger strike it caused, or the additional two copays to the sadist pediatrician.

Since Olivia didn't lose any weight from her babyrexia, the ped decided to give us a prescription for Zantac.

What's that you say? Why Zantac, when it does the same exact fucking thing as Pepcid?

Well, why not? I enjoy dicking around with the general satisfaction level of my newborn. It is funny to make her cry, because she looks EXACTLY like her mother when she does so. Like here, in a photo that I like to call "Mom, this hat is ghey":

Alternate title: Easter Blows.

Olivia absolutely refuses to swallow her Zantac. Not even when I blow in her face. Or when I hold her head up so that gravity is on my side. Not even when I do teeny tiny squirts. She holds it all in her mouth and spits it all over her pajamas.

Good news: her pajamas are reflux free.

If you would like to know what baby Zantac tastes like, follow these simple instructions:

1. Go to your bathroom cabinet.
2. Remove the crusty old tub of Vicks Vapo Rub that you've had for 3 years.
3. Scoop out a large glob.
4. Open your mouth.
5. Place entire glob on tongue.
6. Swish around.
7. Swallow.

I know from experience. Because after Olivia spit out every single dose of Zantac that I gave her, I tasted it just to see what all the fuss was about. And to tell you the truth, I can see why she is pissed off because I only licked the dropper and OH MY GOD I TOTALLY GAGGED.

Reflux: likes our house, plans to stay.
My daughter: the new mister yuck.
(I plan to lobby for a hot pink sticker instead of green.)

I'm going to call tomorrow and see what else they want to do to prolong Olivia's suffering. Perhaps we can hang her by her toenails? Or maybe we could tickle her nose with a feather so that she sneezes all the time? I think we should just pinch her really hard so that she forgets about the acid burning her throat.

In the interim, I'm trying to get creative about all this reflux bullshit.

The carseat formerly known as A Sleep Miracle? Not so much. It seems like it is bothering her to have her legs crunched up.

I read that propping her at a 30% angle would help. So I basically had to bust out some serious motherfucking math. Which sucks, because I almost got a D in geometry, and I think the only reason I got a C was because the teacher felt sorry for me for being so morose.

But I figured it all out by drawing a picture of a 90 degree angle, then splitting it into three, then translating it into the carseat jimmy rig. I looked in my desk for a protractor, but it turns out that I'm not a nerd and don't have one.

It's sort of working. We've got a growth spurt on our side - she has been sleeping nonstop for three days.

Olivia is 7 weeks old today! She's so alert when she decides to stay awake. We've gotten a few smiles that seem real (as opposed to fartsmiles), but they are on her terms. I haven't figured out how to really make her smile. She likes her swing now, and still despises her bouncy seat. Baths are a little piece of heaven; tummy time is a hunk of hell.

BUMBO: forcing children to meet their milestones months in advance.

Eat, poop, or cry? Eat, poop, or cry?

OOOOOHHHHH! Mah hands!

I go back to work in two weeks. Just typing that gives me a stomach ache. It was so much easier to think about leaving her with someone I don't know when she was just an alien in my stomach. Now that I know her, I can't fathom how someone could care for her the way she needs.