Friday, February 27, 2009

That's a Real Thing




Does anyone watch The Office? You remember when Dwight was in charge of picking the new medical insurance plan? He made everyone write down the medical conditions they wanted covered, and Jim and Pam wrote down a bunch of fake ones (my favorite: Count Choculitis). Then Dwight thought that Anal Fissures were fake, and Kevin was all: that's a real thing.




Well, Olivia is cuter than Kevin (thankfully). But man, does she know the reality of anal fissures (tiny tears, like paper cuts, on the anus). Or, mainly, one anal fissure, which causes bouts of Bloody Murder Howling at every diaper change. An anal fissure, plus a wicked case of diaper rash.

Olivia can't talk yet, but if she could she'd be saying NO FAIR!

After a trip to the pediatrician because of bloody stool, we are equipped with all kinds of lotions and goops to put on the offender.

I'm working on the birth story. And by "working on" I mean "thinking about writing sometime in the nearish future maybe unless I decide to fall asleep instead." But there is the whole baybee thing. And poop. And bottles and diapers and delicious edible baby and NOM NOM NOM...

Would you forgive me if I provide a link to the first few photo shoot pictures? Please forgive me: Olivia's RAK Shoot by Felicia Lewis.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's like bad karaoke, really.

I can not stop singing the following ditty in my head, over and over, to the tune of Beauty School Dropout from Grease:

Breastfeeding dropout
No more lactation days for you
Breastfeeding dropout
Boobs like a porn star that leak, too

Except instead of the ladies with all the curlers piled on top of their heads dancing around, there are gnomes with nipple hats who are giving you the finger and farting in your general direction.

(I reread this and I know I am weird. I'd blame lack of sleep but that isn't really a good enough excuse.)

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. My milk is in, and my boobs look like I had a serious upgrade. You know, on Dr. 90210? When they show them waking the person up after a boob job surgery, and their boobs are like basketballs with little pixels over the nipples and you think Dear Sweet Baby Jesus I would never do that to myself?

That is what my boobs look like, except instead of pixels, I have really disgusting bloody nipples that got HUGE overnight. HUGE! And they leak! Like a faucet! I had to stand with toilet paper over my nipples for 15 minutes after my shower. And I can't raise my arms above my shoulders because it hurts and also because I would create milky spray wall art with the milk stored in these BOULDERS.

And also? My right boob is bigger than my left on a normal day. Today? My right boob is like Texas, and my left is like Rhode Island. It makes for a really interesting uniboob in my sports bra, that's for sure! (And if anyone has tips on how to get rid of all this fucking milk, PLEASE post them! Please!)

So. Engorged. Because, listen: Breastfeeding was just not working for us.

And I know, I know, my GOD I KNOW that breastfeeding strikes a nerve with the internets sometimes, and that some people are really judgy about choosing not to breastfeed. And obviously I wouldn't write a blog post about it if I didn't feel at least a bit guilty for quitting.

The first problem was the jaundice. (Which, by the way, seems to have cleared up - no more doctor visits until her 1 month visit.) I was able to attempt breastfeeding just a couple times before her test results came back and she was taken to the nursery to be put under the bilirubin lights. After that, she was brought to me for a limit of 20 minutes to try to nurse. And seriously - it took her 20 minutes to calm her down after being taken from her easy bake cradle to my Alaska-like recovery room.

I pumped what colostrum I could, and it was given to her by syringe. I did meet with two lactation consultants who were very helpful, but we still couldn't get it all done in the 20 minutes. Finally we just gave into skin-to-skin contact and let them just go with the formula. I pumped for 15 minutes after every visit.

After coming home, I tried really, really hard to breastfeed. It would take about a 45 minutes to get a good latch that lasted more than 30 seconds, and by that time, Olivia was crying and frustrated, as was I, and she would nurse for 5 minutes and fall asleep. Finally, I'd just give her the formula supplement, change her diaper, pump for 15 minutes, and that would leave me with an hour to start it all again.

So stop me if you've heard this one:
That first night at home was hard. Harder than I ever ever imagined.
HAHA! I know - a very unique experience for a first-time mom, right?

The next day, we found out that Olivia might have to go back to the hospital, and all I could do is cry and wish for her that she would just be OK and would just get to stay home with us. I just felt like she wasn't mine yet, or like she was just on loan to us. The very little sleep I got was crappy - I kept thinking that the baby was in the bed, and I woke up a few times digging in the blankets to find her.

In other words: Bitch was going crazy.

Two bilirubin checks later, her jaundice is clearing up. I decided that I just could not breastfeed. My major problem with quitting was hurt pride; I said I was going to breastfeed and damnit, I was going to breastfeed. I wanted to lose weight and save money and if I'm being honest with you, the benefits for the baby had nothing to do with my choice.

So we have Olivia. Hungry, tired, completely frustrated, and only satisfied when she got her formula after an hour of fighting the breast. And we have me - determined to torture my daughter to get skinny and to be able to buy more clothes?

Yesterday was the first full day of the breast boycott. It was a good day.


I remember reading that every day that you breastfeed is a precious gift for your baby. And I guess I generally think that breastfeeding is the better option. I see the benefit in feeding the baby milk that was made especially for her, and being able to bond, and all of the other fantastic perks of breastfeeding. I get it. I also know that I could've tried more - gotten less sleep to work on the latch; seen lactation consultants; pumped more until she got the hang of it; tried different positioning; learned ways to keep her awake.

But instead, I gave up. And you know what? Olivia is satisfied. She is getting healthy.

She is getting to know her mommy and daddy.

And I think that is also a precious gift.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Got Thunder?

Miss Olivia sure enjoys stealing The Thunder.

Thunder Theft #1: On Thursday, February 12, Olivia decided to perform some sort of acrobatics in my uterus that caused a gush followed by a splat in the general area of my Lady Business. I thought that I was possibly leaking amniotic fluid, or that my water broke. I was also seriously barfy and just felt "off" all day. This happened on Olivia's second cousin Val's birthday, and her cousin Mathew's birthday.

I'm all up in ur berfday, stealin ur annual kaboomz.


After first going to my hilite appointment, I called my doctor and was told to go to Labor and Delivery to see if my water broke. False alarm! I was sent home with nothing more than a vag swab and a funny conversation about how the doctors there all associate themselves with a Scrubs character, and how I want to be Carla and Mark wants to be The Todd.

Thunder Theft #2: On Friday, February 13, I woke up feeling really sick again. It was the day of my 38 week appointment, and I was busy gearing up for an argument with Sexy Suzy about how I don't want an induction.

And you know what? I had her drinking the No Induction Until My Due Date Kool-Aid. Well, I had her drinking it until she took my blood pressure and then spit it out directly in my face.

I don't know what my blood pressure was at the appointment. I didn't ask, because the nurse took it and didn't look at me and walked directly out of the room to find the doctor. And when things are That Kind of Scary, well, I guess I don't need to know. So for the second day in a row, I was sent to Labor and Delivery to be monitored for preeclampsia. I was to be induced if my blood pressure didn't regulate over the next few hours. We loaded the car just in case, but figured we'd be home that night and going in for a scheduled induction on Tuesday, the 17th. All this happened on Olivia's Grandpa Joe's Birthday.

Grandpas are speshul, but baybees are speshuler.



We spent two hours sitting around while a machine took my blood pressure every 15 minutes. They were still pretty high, but I was convinced that I'd be going home. At my appointment with Sexy Suzy a few hours earlier, I was 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced. Just before we were going to leave, they decided to check me one more time to find that I was dilated 2 cm and about 90% effaced.

In other words: Laboring on my own, bitches!

Thunder Theft #3: Valentines Day has been abolished. It is now Olivia's Birthday. That is all.




I'll save the entire birth story for another time. You know, a time when I've had more than 2 hours of sleep, or maybe when my boobs don't feel like they are going to fly off my body like rockets.

But! Here are some photos!

Thunder Theft #4: Grandma's Birthday - see Thunder Theft #2 re: Grandpa's Birthdays.

Poor Olivia has a pretty wicked case of jaundice. They took her from us Saturday night and put her under lights. We only got to see her for 20 minutes at a time every three hours, and only to try to breast feed (which...that is a whole 'nother post right there). She required an extra night in the hospital. I only cried twice.


Olivia came home with us on February 17, which is her Grandma Lori's birthday.

Being that she is a teeny 5 pound cocktail peanut, she has no clothing that fits. My mom bought us a couple preemie outfits, and we had to run out and get more today after she pooped on one of them and spit up on the other.


We had to take her for a follow up appointment yesterday and today, and her bilirubin levels are going up again. So she may be going back to the hospital, again, and under the lights for no less than 18 hours a day. Bringing my grand total of crying to three. Because I just want to have her home and give her all the cuddles and love that she deserves.


The only plus is that my maternity photo shoot will now be a newborn photo shoot. And Olivia might have a nice little sun tan for her first modeling gig (because seriously, who wants that orange jaundice spray on tan look?).

Friday, February 13, 2009

What has two thumbs...

And spent 3 hours in Labor and Delivery last night?

THIS GAL!

Yesterday morning, before posting my blog, I woke up and felt a...gush. Followed by some real wetness on my thigh and blanket. Yum.

I remembered one of my friends saying that her doctor told her to lay down for a little while, and if there was another gush, that it was probably her water. So I did, and it didn't happen again. But things felt...a little...slick? Or, something. For the rest of the day.

This was after I was up all night with really stiff Braxton-Hicks every half hour, followed by 5 minutes of kicky baby retaliation with every BH. It was a fun night, and by morning I was nauseated and my entire abdomen just felt tight and kind of sore.

So I did what any responsible mother-to-be would do: I ignored the entire situation and went to my hilite appointment! Because screw labor! I need beauty!

After my hilite appointment, I decided that I was a bit perplexed by the feeling of sitting in wet underwear all day and decided to call the OB, who decided to send me to Labor and Delivery because it all just sounded a lot like I was leaking amniotic fluid.

As it turns out, my iPhone battery was dead because I surfed the internet during my entire appointment, so I had to stop at Wal-Mart for a phone charger to call Mark and my mom. When I got to the check out line, the electronics guy told me that I was wasting my money on the charger I bought, and gave me one that was half the price. Sweet!

Until I plug it in and get the message: "This accessory is not compatible with your iPhone." Fucker.

So I went to Radio Shack, where they sold me the correct, sufficiently expensive car phone charger, and I was on my way! To embarrass myself! In Labor and Delivery!

***********

So I started this entry this morning, with the intentions of finishing up after my appointment today. But, as it turns out, Sexy Suzy is sending me to Labor and Delivery again because my blood pressure is being a total asshole. After some labs and monitoring, if things don't calm down, we're inducing tonight.

If not, Tuesday for sure. Not because of the beetus, but because of the blood pressure.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I know when I will get my stretch marks.

Friday, February 13, 2009.

That's because someone nominated me to win a maternity photo shoot by this amazing photographer, Felicia. AND I WON!! Saturday is the day of our session, so I know that I will wake up Friday morning with the most bizarre stretch marks that have ever graced a pregnant stomach. Because seriously people, that's just how I roll.

Also, to further illustrate how I roll, I should mention that I turn into a complete and total flaming moron around doctors. Really at any given moment I can flip the switch on total flaming moron Jennepper, but always around doctors. I can never get my point across, I feel like they are never really listening to me, and I always leave with more questions than when I arrived and end up adding continuing education credits to my Google MD. I know it is me, because other people see the same doctors that I see and don't have the same issues with them.

So, I had my 37 week appointment on Friday, and it went just like this:

Dr. Sexy Suzy: Well, I'm sure you know that we don't like to let diabetic patients go to their due date, so we'll probably plan your induction at the next visit.

Me: Yes, about that. I don't know that I want to be induced. I would like to go to at least my due date if things still look good.

Dr. SS: Welllll...we don't like to let the diabetic patients go to their due date, so we'll probably plan your induction at the next visit.

Me: Right. And my concern is that my body won't be ready, and that I will end up with a long, painful labor followed by an unnecessary c-section.

Dr. SS: Yes, that's possible. But, you see, we don't like to let the diabetic patients go to their due date, so we'll probably plan your induction at your next visit.

Me: Mmmmkay. See, as I said, I don't know that I want that. Doesn't there have to be a certain amount of dilation and effacement for an induction to be successful?

Dr. SS: Yes, that's true. But we don't like to let the diabetic patients go past their due date.

Me: So you've said...

Dr. SS: So we'll probably plan your induction at your next visit. It will probably be on 2/17.

Me: Um...OK?

Flaming.Moron.

I was so pissed off after my appointment. Mark was not pissed off and thought that Sexy Suzy was "pleasant." (I maintain that Sexy Suzy could kick me in the teeth and Mark would still find her to be pleasant because she IS very much with bringing the pretty.)

But really, couldn't she try to...I don't know? EXPLAIN why I need to be induced? You know, kind of like a...doctor? Instead of just shoving it down my throat with no reasoning? Isn't that what my insurance company pays for?

Let's be honest. I'm talking so much smack about arguing with her at my next appointment (Friday), but what will happen is that I will simply nod my head and hope for a sticker for being such a good little patient.

How about a belly pic?
37 Weeks:


That was last week, and I haven't taken a 38 week picture yet, but things haven't changed much. I'm convinced that Cupcake has moved out of my uterus and has decided to take residence in my ankles.

Also fun? Jimmy Dean is sending me some Omelet coupons. I was hoping for FREE OMELETS FOR LIFE! But I'll take coupons. Jennepper: 1, Diabeetus: 4,723.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Next pregnancy will be Jimmy Dean's love child.

Dear Jimmy Dean,

I have a confession to make: Sausage is not my thing. Sure, I'll enjoy the occasional pork dish - bacon! and pork chops! oh my! But sausage does nothing for me. (I am trying really hard right here not to make a sex joke. You know, so that you will take me seriously.)

It's not your fault, Jimmy. Whenever I eat sausage, I burp it all day long. Which is disgusting, right? I know that you don't care, I know that. But I'm just saying, this is why I had never purchased any of your delicious (or so I hear) sausage.

And while we're being honest, Jimmmy? I also hate your logo. Just between us: I do live in Ohio, and so I'm sure that most people will assume that I am a bit of a hilljack, but I have a very strong dislike of cowboy boots. And other things country. If people are into that then I think that is fantastic, but I am not, so I'm sad to report that I am a little turned off by the cowboy boot portion of your logo.

Anyway! I'm not writing to tell you how much I hate you! No! I'm writing to tell you that I think that I might be falling in love with you and to see if you want to get married. You know, in case I ever get a divorce...or maybe just make out? I'm good at making out.

First of all, the sun commercials complete me. I know you probably hired some sort of fancy marketing company to create that for you, but I'm sure that you, being Jimmy Dean, were in charge of making the final decision to make the sun your new commercial logo of choice.



That shit cracks me up every single time.

Whoever reads your letters is probably getting really bored with my rambling. But at least they will be earning their paycheck, right? HA!

So anyway, I'm not sure if you read my blog, but I have gestational diabetes. Or, as you may better know it via Wilford Brimley/Liberty Mutual/Google Images: The Diabeetus.



Since I have The Diabeetus, I can't really eat carbs. And really, how many hunks of colby cheese can a girl eat, right? It's hard Jimmy. It's hard to find things that fit my gestational diabetes diet and also taste delicious enough to satisfy my giant pregnancy hunger.

But then I found you! You and your cowboy boot logo bearing microwave four cheese omelets and OH MY GOD! I feel like we're close enough that I can tell you that I really needed a moment alone after eating the first one. It was THAT GOOD. And hardly any carbs! You little devil, you.

So what I'm writing to tell you is that I think I love you. Or, I think I am very much sexually attracted to that handsome cook who wears the cowboy boots in your logo. If you are looking for someone to have little cowboy boot, pig slaughtering, omelet making offspring? I'm in.

Giddy Up!
Jennepper

Sunday, February 1, 2009

36 Weeks: Just the tip.

I guess when you're 9 months pregnant, that phrase takes on a completely different meaning.

I had my 36 week appointment on Thursday with my first internal exam since the very beginning. It's been an incredibly long time since a medical professional has wanted to take a look at my vagina. I'll have you know that I feel much prettier now that my Lady Business has been properly inspected, and swabbed with a Q-Tip (and as an added bonus, my bum was included in the Group B Step test fun).

It appears that I am a fingertip dilated and 50% effaced.
Or: move along, nothing to see here, still pregnant for a while.

Dr. Handlebar Mustache didn't do anything funny this week. As per usual, everything looks perfect. Much to Mark's delight, I scheduled a Friday appointment next week and so we will be meeting with Sexy Suzie. Two more appointments until we have the induction talk!

Friday was my last day of work. It felt like the last day of school! I found it really hard to concentrate on anything of importance, mostly spending time chatting and being annoyed when asked to do anything beyond sit aimlessly and look fabulously 9 months pregnant and get paid for it.

So. No more work for me until May. Which means that I shall surely commence Project Let Approaching Due Date Neuroses Take Over. Hopefully I will have some more interesting things to write as The Crazy takes over (more than usual, that is) because right now I am just tired and kind of boring!

And I will try to update more, because I've been informed by mrsyak* that I am too close to my due date to leave everyone hanging and thinking that I gave birth then lost the ability to type. Or something. But I know that I hate reading blogs who update waaaay to often with things that are B-O-R-I-N-G, and I'm trying to avoid that. Nobody wants to read my daily report of: Big, pregnant, hungry. Trust me.

Things I promise to post soon:
1. Picture of my swollen feet, ankles, and hands. My hands look like delicious baby hands with dimples instead of knuckles - delicious on a baby, but disgusting on an adult. And I would say I have kankles (or, cankles, whichever you prefer), except that they can more accurately be described as TREE TRUNK LEGS - and if we were friends in high school then I know you are totally thinking of Tree Trunk Legs from ELHS and her boyfriend, The Log Splitter. HA! Must be karma...

2. My hip-to-belly ratio. It's pretty comical. I'm not sure how to get a good picture of it since it can best be seen whilst in my underwear at a side angle, but I will figure it out. I'd also post a picture of my leg-to-belly ratio, except I seem to have developed a pretty serious case of Disgusting Cellulite and I do not wish to share it with the Internet. But Mark told me that my legs look like toothpicks under my belly and I have to admit that I agree.

3. Nursery pictures. The nursery has been finished for a while. I just have to figure out how to blur out the wall letters of Cupcake's name.

4. Belly pictures in general. I'm still taking them, but it is just way too much work to put them into the computer then put them on my blog.

Things I should leave alone, and kind of will:
The whole octuplet story makes me want to claw my face off, and I have officially quit following along.
I will keep my opinion to myself, except to say that it really pisses me off the way that the media takes any opportunity to make ART look like a total freakshow sham instead of presenting it in the way that it is normally used - to make great parents out of people who have medical conditions which would otherwise prevent the possibility.
Beyond that, I'll direct you to Julie, who always says things better than I ever could (and really, if you haven't found her blog by now, it's about damn time you did).

*mrsyak - I don't think you're rude. I will do better. My most sincere apologies.