Posted in Write for me Wednesday

Write For Me Wednesday – 4 Surprises from my Son’s Otherwise Standard Birth (Jocelyn’s guest post)

This week, I have another wonderful guest poster who agreed to share her birth story with all of you.  Jocelyn is the witty, talented and incredibly funny blogger behind The Home Tome.  She has guest posted for me before and I am so happy that she has accepted to do it again, this time helping me with my project of providing a multitude of different birth stories for expecting moms to read.

Enjoy your read!

4 Surprises from my Son’s Otherwise Standard Birth

Ian

My son (now 19 months) came into this world after a fairly standard vaginal birth in a hospital with an epidural. But there were a few surprises along the way…

1. Four days before I went into labor, my husband came down with a serious inner ear infection called labyrinthitis. This gave him a severe case of vertigo (i.e. he suddenly couldn’t stand up or go a few minutes without vomiting). I had to call an ambulance and we spent a scary night in the ER – we worried it was some kind of stroke or a brain tumor. Thankfully, it was neither of these. However, his dizziness and loss of balance would last for several weeks and even lingered to some degree for months – what a crazy way to become a new father. He was able to be by my side for the birth, albeit sitting in a chair. He was incredibly supportive and positive, despite the fact that his own world was rocking like a ship in a stormy sea.

2. My labor was 36 hours, from first contraction to birth. When I arrived at the hospital at 4 am, I had already been up all night and managed 12 hours of contractions – I assumed I was at least 4 or 5 cm dilated. Alas, I was only one centimeter. Because I hadn’t slept and wasn’t progressing too quickly, my OB ordered some morphine so I could get some rest. Already feeling guilty enough about wanting an epidural (hey, I was scared), I resisted this at first – I didn’t want this drug to cycle through my little guy even if it would supposedly be out of his system when he hit prime time. But I agreed and it was the right decision – I was able to relax a bit and I also experienced a hilarious and very specific physical sensation – my hands felt huge, like they were the size of bed pillows. Go figure. My husband and I laugh about my Big Hands to this day.

3. Because I was so nervous about the birth (even knowing that I’d get an epidural – hey like I said, I was truly terrified), we hired a doula from Northeast Doulas (http://www.northeastdoulas.com/) to help us through the process. This was especially fortuitous, considering my husband’s wobbly state. Lauren Porte Schwardsfeld was exactly as supportive as I was hoping. What I didn’t expect was how much she was able to decrease the intensity of contractions (pre-epidural) through massage. The way she put pressure on my lower back and hips during the rough parts was nothing short of miraculous. She. Is. An. Angel. She helped me manage the pain and the fear – this allowed the labor to progress naturally; without her, I suspect I would have gone the way of a C-section. If you think you might need a little extra support, I recommend a doula, whether you are aiming for a drug-free birth or not.

4. Unlike the movies, I didn’t embrace that “bonding” moment with my son the second after he arrived. Nope, I had just pushed for two hours – a physical exertion well beyond anything I’d done as a lifelong athlete. I was exhausted and disoriented. When they put him on my chest, I was like, “No, no, not ready.” Ha! The nurses must have had a good chuckle over that – after all, who is ready for this crazy adventure called parenting? No one. But when it’s time, it’s time: we snuggle that child, we coo, and – dizzy as we may be – we stumble into the wildest and most wonderful journey of all.

Thanks again Jocelyn for sharing your birth story with us!

Would anyone else like to share her birth story?

Posted in Write for me Wednesday

Write For Me Wednesday: Breast Pump, How Much do I Hate Thee? (Jocelyn’s Guest Post)

I am really pleased to share a guest post from another amazing blogger today.  The oh-so-hilarious Jocelyn from The Home Tome has decided to share a post about pumping.  I am sure it will strike a chord with anyone who has done a significant (oh, and let’s be honest, a not-so-significant) amount of pumping to feed their little bundle of joy.  I am confident that you will enjoy her post and I strongly recommend stopping by her blog to read some more of the awesomeness she produces.

Cheers!

You know what I should be doing right now? Pumping. Instead, I’m eating lunch, doing laundry, and typing a few words here with re-runs of “Sex in the City” playing in the background. Today is my day off from work. If my baby naps for a while, I’ve got even bigger “me” plans from here: I’m going to pay some bills, attempt some yoga and possibly make some pumpkin soup from a new recipe I spied online (thereby re-acquainting myself with the kitchen, and reminding myself and my husband that I can still nourish humans bigger than two feet tall). This is all to say that pumping is not making the list. Nope. The pump is sitting less than two feet from me on the table, right there, taunting me, but I am not going to hook it up. No way.

I have been breastfeeding now for 10-plus months and pumping for about the same amount of time. I’m proud of the fact that I have breast fed my child: especially at the beginning, it was the most difficult, tiring and painful thing I have EVER done. I am also proud that I have kept up the breastfeeding longer than my original goal of six months even despite going back to work (part time) at six weeks. My new goal is 12 months, and I can even see myself extending it a bit longer beyond that. BUT mark my words, the day my son turns one years old, I am going to stop pumping.

Pumping has become my black cloud, my albatross. Though I have a decent pump – it gets the job done and it’s hands free – it’s still a time consuming and tedious process. You have to untangle it, hook it up, make sure you have on the right bra and the right shirt (or no shirt)…Make sure you time it so that you didn’t just breastfeed the baby and you aren’t about to breastfeed him…Don’t forget to lock your doors, and cover your windows (lest someone see you in this highly unattractive, super-unsexy state, straight out of a sci-fi horror film)… Also, don’t take or make any phonecalls, because the bowm-bowm-bowm droning sound will distract both you and the person on the other end. Afterwards, you have to clean all the parts and pieces thoroughly so they’re dry and ready to go when you need to do it all again in a few hours.

Unless I’m missing something (I have the Medela Freestyle hands free pump), it seems to me that pumping technology is pretty antiquated and downright lame. With all of our advances in medicine, science, engineering, etc, how is it that this is still so awkward and clunky? My wish for future breastfeeding mothers is that pumps can be built discreetly into shirts and women can pump silently while conducting board meetings and building bridges.

But I digress – the main upshot is that I’ve been procrastinating big-time. Avoiding the contraption all together. And the result? My reserves in the freezer are dwindling (I have only three servings at present, at one point I had about 20). My physical supply is starting to dry up. Sure, I am somewhat stressed about this but not so much that I can muster any motivation. I have only about a month and a half left and I’m trying to figure out how to get through it. How can I get “pumped”? Pun intended.

I’m not usually a vindictive person, but the only solution I can think of is to plot my revenge. So I am making a list of what I’m going to do with the pump when I’m finished with it. (Mind you, this is an inanimate object and a really annoying one, so please don’t judge me.) I think I might…

Drop kick it to the moon?

Pack it inside 14 boxes and banish it to the darkest corner of our spider-filled basement?

Bury it in a hole out back?

Climb to the top of nearby Hook Mountain and chuck it into the Hudson River?

Run over it on the driveway? Repeatedly?

Fire?

Hammer?

Maybe I’ll just tie it up with a nice red bow and present it to my worst enemy…

Ahhh. I feel better already. In fact, maybe I’ll just hook it up…and see if I can squeeze out a few ounces for the babysitter to use tomorrow…So much for all those other projects I wanted to tackle…Sigh.

 

Pump

How about you? How do you/did you get through the pumping?

Thanks again Jocelyn for agreeing to write a guest post for me :D!

If anyone else is interested in writing for me, please check out this post for more details.