Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Birth

I did end up finding a doula to work with. Kate, who manages the Portland Volunteer Doula Program here, became my doula. I cannot imagine going through my birth without her there. My partner would have been panicked and scared and I would have been defensive and felt isolated. It felt good to have someone in our corner. Some one who has seen hundreds of births and gone through two of her own. She really did go above and beyond for us. She cashed in a favor and asked one of her friends to process my placenta for me so I would run less of a risk of having postpartum depression. The friend was Maria at Agape Doula Services.  I’m so grateful for Kate and I’m so grateful for Maria who encapsulated my placenta and had it ready less than three days after I gave birth.

I feel like we found a friend, a kindred spirit and not just someone to advocate for us during a birth.  I’m genuinely sad to be moving far away from here. [Oh, yeah, I’m moving, again. This time we are going back east. Back to my childhood home. I’ll tell all about that in another post.] I can imagine her at my Holiday parties and I really hope one day, if I ever have another kid, I can have her at my birth again, but this time, I’ll be able to pay her.

The link here is Kate’s take on my birth. I cry when I read it still. So does J. I’m not sure why we cry but we do. I’m pretty sure it just breaks my heart a little. And then I go hug Felix and I’m not broken hearted anymore.

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Here We Are Again

He sleeps. I smile.

There are not many aspects of birthing a kid that haven’t been covered pretty well on just about every other new motherhood blog, motherhood advice page and good old fashioned child rearing book ever printed. It’s pretty much the same for everyone. True, there are a few different things that can happen and not all things happen to all women, but for the most part, we’ve really got it covered. Pick from about 20 items and as long as you include having a new baby at the end, it could be one other thing and it could be the other nineteen.  Water breaks in public, okay and then a trip to the hospital. Sure. Then a labor stall. Right. Then some drugs. Mhhmmh. Then baby. Or it could be labor starts at home. Okay then. Make some labor tea. Yup. Call midwife. Check. Eat a sandwich. Right on. Then have baby. It doesn’t matter how ya’ want to do it, it’s been covered.

Because of the thorough nature of the labor coverage, I was surprised to learn there was one topic that hadn’t really been covered. I don’t blame women for not talking about it. Having two weeks of prodromal labor, while irritating (mostly to friends and relatives because they are “always on alert” for labor to start and kid to be had,) is not embarrassing. Having endless medical procedures to start labor mechanically because your Doc has told you your kid isn’t growing does suck and it is worrisome, but really, it’s not embarrassing. Been covered. And all manner of painful labor where you think something is wrong and needing and epidural and then a C-section because the kid actually is dying, while disappointing and scary, has been covered and covered and covered and is not embarrassing. Well, I guess some people would find it embarrassing, thankfully, I don’t read any self-destructive blogs like that or books for that matter.

The funny thing is that I have read plenty about tons of gross things. Girls go on and on about pooping in labor or the shits as soon as labor starts. We hear all about hemorrhoids  and stretch marks and varicose veins. I had even heard a little tiny bit about this from women who have pooped their kid out the normal way instead of having it surgically removed from their body, but shockingly, never for my situation.

I was going to toy with this topic a little more, but really, it’s just getting silly.  I have literally been trying to write this post for two days now. Let me just get on with this then. What was the shocking problem? Hugely swollen labia. Yup. Swollen like a coupla’ plums. Painful, swollen plums. So swollen, I could not sit without pain. I was even afraid I was going to stay like that forever or at best I was afraid they might burst. I didn’t know I had edges to my labia, but I do. Those edges were hard and stiff and bumpy. It was horrifying. I’m so fucking glad I didn’t have a hand mirror. I may have taken a photo with my little point and shoot, but to tell you the truth, I’m not terribly excited to see them. I’m not even thrilled to be writing about this except that I feel other women should know. No one told me and I thought there was something terribly wrong. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see stretch marks. I haven’t looked. I should probably do that though.  Keep in mind, I did not push my kid out. I had an unplanned c-section after zero minutes of pushing but 27 hours of labor. I was only dilated to 7 cm.

I shouldn’t really be shocked having swollen labia considering I had totally swollen body.  My feet were twice their normal size, my knees were the size my thighs were just one day before.  My hips were twice as wide as before as well. Once I had the catheter removed and I could waddle to the bathroom, I took a good look at myself in the mirror and was stunned to see my hips taking up twice the space they had before. I was easily as wide as two of mes. It was hard to take. I’m not so wide at this point, but it still is difficult for me to look at my body and see it so huge and floppy I’m still 24 lbs heavier than before I got knocked up. Today I weight 154. I weighed 176 the day I went into labor. I wanted to jump on the scale after my water broke, but the contractions were coming hard and fast and I was in no mood to do anything entertaining or fun at that point. The day I came home from the hospital, five days after the mutant was born, I was weighing in at 182.  I had managed to avoid stretch marks during my entire pregnancy, but acquired a few after labor or perhaps from the skin clamps used to pull my skin and muscles apart during the c-section.  Super.

** I’m not sure why I haven’t been writing since the kid popped out. Things just got too fucked up for me to want to share while I was still knocked up. I would write and then read what I had written and everything was depressing and gloom and doom and honestly, it wasn’t the least bit entertaining. No one wants to read about someone else’s problems unless they can at least describe them cleverly! I was lacking even there. I was totally at a loss to see the humor in what was going on in my life and I really didn’t want to spread that kind of shit around. I will post the rest of my knocked up photos and I still need to make a post that has photos from a few weeks before I got all knocked up to now, one month after the mutant was born. I’ll tell about what was going on, what was so fucking depressing and what kept my humor at bay. I’ll also tell ya’ what it’s like to have a catheter bulb placed in your cervix to open it and what it’s like to have someone run their finger between your cervix and your water bag. I’ll give you a hint right now, both are totally awesome.


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