Raw Birth.

screen-shot-02-25-17-at-01-23-pm Here are some pretty amazing birth photos from BoredPanda from a birth photo competition that show the raw power and emotion of birth. They capture the journey of bringing forth new life and the anticipation, pain, strength, exhaustion,endurance, love, support, bonding, relief, joy,elation, emotion,and  wonder of the miracle of birth.

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Gross Truths.

screen-shot-09-15-16-at-04-28-pm Have you ever read the truth about what really happens to your body when and after you give birth? All the true but gross details? Probably not. Well, I am here to enlighten you, a public service, if you will. All the pregnancy and birth books gloss over it, or maybe purposely leave it out as so not to scare you off or gross you out, and you probably wouldn’t want to believe it anyway, so here goes….

Contractions themselves feel like a tight belt of spikes facing inward being tightly squeezed around your middle and then the actual birth itself feels like your cooch is being pried open by a tire iron and the a blow torch being turned on. The baby’s head feels like a bowling ball and the birth itself feels like you’re shitting a football. If you want to know what it feels like, pull your lips back over your head, then you sort of get the idea. It’s not “discomfort” like the birthing books will try and tell you, it’s excruciating everlasting ungodly, unholy pain! It burns and it hurts! You are being stretched like never before, and your yoo-hoo will very likely( unless it’s made of elastic!) either tear or be cut and then be later stitched up, and when that happens it stings like a motherf*cker.

You are never fully prepared for your recovery after the baby is born. First of all, your belly looks like a big deflated balloon( as seen in the photo here), all stretched out, saggy,flabby, and just hangs there helplessly, sort of like a hot water bottle, or like a Shar-Pei dog, with all it’s wrinkles and folds. It’s a shocking, horrid sight that will literally bring you to tears, and no, it will not get much better unless, of course, you get a tummy-tuck. You will never get your body back the way it once was.

You will bleed like a stuck pig, and it can last for up to 6 weeks! I was shocked at how much blood there was, and standing up in the shower after the birth it just poured out of me like a faucet, and I even passed clots ranging in size from golfball-sized to fist-sized. It looked like my insides were falling out! I honestly thought I was bleeding to death there was so much  blood.I honestly don’t know how a person can possibly lose so much blood and still survive.I wish I had been prepared for how much you bleed after.

Afterpains. These get worse with each subsequent pregnancy, and it’s as the uterus contracts to shrink itself back down to normal size and also is triggered when the baby breastfeeds,and they can be quite painful, painful like contractions,and enough for Tylenol 3, and when you get them you can feel the blood gushing out of you as well. It’s just awful and one of those things they don’t tell you about.

Sitting down. Your bottom area will be sore for quite awhile after. It has been traumatized beyond measure and I wasn’t able to sit for literally a week afterwards with my first baby. I found that soaking in a tub of epsom salts for 30 minute periods helped, as did wearing a Tucks medicated pad, the same kind for hemmoroids.You can also make the same kind yourself by putting witch hazel on a maxi pad.

Bathroom function: It will burn when you pee for the first few days but I found that using a squeeze bottle with warm water on the area as you go pee is soothing and helps, and you will be constipated,too. I wasn’t able to shit for a good week. Your body is so traumatized it’s almost like it “forgot” how to shit! Take stool softeners and laxatives. My first shit was like a rock.

Breast-feeding. It may be natural but it’s not “easy”. It can even take up to 2 weeks for a baby to get the hang of latching on properly and it can be frustrating. When your milk comes in and your boobs are engorged(esp. first thing in the morning, but even if you go too long between feeds) and they will be hard, hot, heavy, veins bulging, sore, and leaking thru your shirt, and I mean really leaking; the front of your shirt will end up soaked! You will wake up in the mornings with 2 big round wet circles on the front of your shirt. I found wearing nursing pads( which fit in your bra) helped.

Sex: This is what got you into this mess in the first place, so you probably won’t be thinking about it for awhile and it’s likely the last thing on your mind with your broken body and your sleepless nights(you will feel like a prisoner of war you will be so sleep deprived with a newborn) but you must wait 6 weeks anyway for the body to heal and be warned: expect it to hurt the first time you do it after you’ve had a baby as the area will still be tender as it’s healing.

 

The Baby.

Screen Shot 06-20-16 at 06.31 PM I had a dream last night that I had a baby, a girl( I am in the photo here prego with our youngest, who is now 9) which I know isn’t true since I’m still on “Aunt Flow”, plus at my age (49) the “plumbing” is now  broken and I’m too old for that shit now, but wouldn’t it be a “scream” it I ever DID have another baby though? There are worse things that could happen ,though; having cancer would be worse, having AIDS would be worse, being taken hostage by terrorists would be worse, being shot would be worse, etc…plus I couldn’t breast-feed anymore now since I’ve had the 2 breast reduction surgeries AND we’ve given  away all our baby stuff; all the baby clothing, cribs, car seats, playpen, etc. so we’d have to start all over again, and now the kids are older I’m practically “home-free” now  and I’m enjoying the idea of no more kids now and I can just take it easy and relax and enjoy things. It was just a dream, though, but it sure freaked me out just the same. I can’t even imagine…..

Screen Shot 06-20-16 at 07.14 PM Here is also the 15 YR old’s new manicure and I’m considering going and getting MY nails done now,too; I’ve never been to a nail salon before or had it done and it might be the “cure” I need for my nail-biting…. she also has this slushie cup that looks like a bong and it just cracks me up, esp. when she blows bubbles into it…..then I really start losing my shit….

BodhiAndKamarin and here is a sweet photo of the 21 YR old and his friend in California relaxing on the hammock. He comes back home Sunday and she returns with him and stays for the remainder of the summer. I just love this picture; it’s so cute,and you can just see the love in her eyes; the way she’s looking at him. I wish someone looked at me like that, too. We’re getting a big-ass storm rolling in any time now as well, incl. ping-pong-ball-sized hail and a tornado warning even came thru on the Emergency Broadcast network on the TV and I love a good thunderstorm at night when I’m snuggled in bed under my covers, but a tornado not so much….the 17 YR old was also laughing and having fun with her friends and it brought back happy nostalgic memories of my own teen YRS and I hope she cherishes these times and enjoys them now, and that she ponders them in her heart and keeps them as good memories to fondly look back on later, just as I did, and that now she realizes them for the happy times that they are and enjoys the moment.

 

Baby Envy.

 There’s someone at our homeschooling group that just had baby # 10. For an instance I felt a slight twinge of baby envy; not that she’s “catching up” to me, but that I will never again get to experience having a sweet newborn. I love the baby stage, although the exhaustion of breast feeding and getting up during the night to feed not so much! I am also not up for all the doc’s app’ts(prenatal for me  and then for baby) or worry overs SIDS with each baby,either!

I am sad I will never experience it again; that it’s all over for me now(I’ll be 45 in a few months) but at the same time I also know it’s for the best,too: I am high risk(I was even before but now I’m older it’s only increased) plus 90% chance my liver disorder will recur(and the baby might NOT be so lucky next time!) and the high chance of having a baby with chromosomal defects, and I have high BP anyway, and physically I’m not “up” for the demands and exhaustion of another baby anymore, even though it also saddens me at the same time and I have fond nostalgic memories of it and will miss it.

Besides, my last baby(now age 4) was a very difficult baby(and he still IS!) he cried alot and was hard to feed and was fussy and difficult. Now he’s an unholy terror and I’d be afraid of having another one like him! All in all, an era has ended and it makes me sad to see others still having babies when I’m done, but I know it’s better this way as well and have come to accept that now, even thought it was hard and did take awhile to get to that point. Afterall, I did have 11 kids and spend a great deal of my adult life either prego or with a new baby, so it feels kind of “empty” and weird now without it. A new chapter in my life has now begun and I have to redefine my role and my place in life.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Myths.

 Having had 11 kids here is my advice on all those pregnancy and birth books that down-play and sugar-coat pretty well everything. Here are things they say that are lies, or at the very least, myths, and what I wish someone had told me when I was expecting my first child:

TIREDNESS IN PREGNANCY:

They say you will feel “extra tired”. This is an understatement. You are sooo tired that you can barely keep your eyes open. You can’t get thru the day without a nap. You have such fatigue it’s the extreme kind like when you’re fighting off an illness. The only other times I felt as tired was when I had pneumonia, a liver disorder, and when I was breast feeding, which is also exhausting, even more so than being prego.You are so sleep deprived you know what being a prisoner of war must feel like.This must be what narcolepsy feels like; you always want to nod off.Making a baby is hard work and take alot out of your body!

MORNING SICKNESS:

Morning sickness as they call it is supposed to occur in mornings during the first 12 weeks. For me it wasn’t just in the morning but ALL day,and not on and off either; all day for 12 weeks straight and I wasn’t just queasy,either; I BARFED!

HUNGER:

They say your appetite will “increase”. That’s putting it mildly. I was ravenously hungry and had to eat every 2 hours. I would have a TV dinner for a snack.I was always eating and starving-mad hungry all the time.I gained 50 pounds with my first!

INCREASED URINATION:

You don’t just pee a bit more. I went to the bathroom literally every 10 min. and 3-4 times during the night.Your bladder feels like it’s the size of a pea and it has a watermelon constantly pressing on it. Poor anatomy design plan on God’s part if you ask me. Why couldn’t the bladder be on TOP of the uterus, NOT under it?

LABOUR PAINS:

They describe labour pains as “discomfort.” Now that’s a laugh! Discomfort is if you stub your toe. Labour is the worst most excruciating pain there is(medical studies have proven it to be the most severe and extreme pain a human can experience) it even hurts more than after surgery.I give my immobilizing headaches a 10/10 and give labour a 12.It was the worst pain I have ever had in my life!! They describe it like “bad period cramps”; that’s like saying you just need an aspirin when your leg’s been cut off. Now very EARLY labour you feel crampy, but when full-blown labour hits you, you will be climbing the walls, screaming in pain,and praying to either be knocked out cold or killed. I drifted to the edge of unconsciousness from the pain. It can be compared to shitting a watermelon, or pulling your lips back over your head, or trying to force a St. Bernard thru a cat door.It feels like a belt with spikes poking inwards being pulled tight around your body, released, tightened again, etc. almost like some sick cosmic torture device.When you’re in heavy labour NO amount of focusing on anything will work. You won’t care less about your focal point when it gets that bad. It helps in the early stages but nothing works later, esp. during transition. Nothing that is except either going into a coma or getting an epidural!

CROWNING:

When the baby’s head appears(called “crowning”) they describe the sensation as a “burning.” HA! It feels like a tire iron is ripping your you-know-what open and a blow torch being turned on. That’s the closest description to it. It hurts so bad you howl like a mad animal and I tensed up so much with the pain I almost pushed myself right up over the top of the bed!

LOCHIA:

After a birth, you will bleed(called “locia”) they compare it to a “heavy period”. Ha, ha, very funny! Mine was more a hemmorage. I had blood clots ranging in size from golf ball size  to as big as the baby’s head. When I stood up blood all gushed out and ran down the legs. I soaked thru a pad a minute. This is NOT like any period I’ve ever had,and it lasts 6 weeks, even when breastfeeding. I wish someone had prepared me for how much you really bleed afterwards. It was quite alarming and frightening.When I passed my first clot I thought my insides were falling out.

BREASTFEEDING:

They make breastfeeding look so natural and “easy.” It is natural, but it’s not “easy”. It took me 2 weeks to get the “hang” of it.It’s not easy to get a baby latched on and to stay latched on in the beginning, esp. when they’re so sleepy and don’t want to eat. You also generally have to feed every 2-3 hours and for the first few months that’s pretty much all you do. My nipples were black and blue, hurt, were scabbed and bleeding and every time the baby latched on tears ran down my face with wincing pain. You also leak like a faucet and soak thru your shirts and end up with big wet circle stains.I struggled with it so much at the beginning I almost gave up.It is also very painful when your boobs are engorged with milk; they are big, hot, tender,heavy, leaking and have prominent veins.Nursing is also very exhausting and makes you very hungry as well.I literally felt like I had the life sucked out of me.

The Factory Has Now Shut Down.

The factory has shut down. The shop is closed. It is the end of an era. After 11 kids and now being 44 years old my “womb for rent” is out of business. I am done having kids. I do miss it, and spent many years of my life prego, breastfeeding, having and raising kids and now it feels weird with no more babies. Our youngest is now 4 years old and after my high BP(175/150) and  the liver problem I developed with him(and he had to be induced at 37 weeks to prevent stillbirth) it has a 90% chance of recurring, only earlier in the pregnancy(it started at 35 weeks last time) and the outcome for the baby may not be so lucky next time. My age and high risks also put me at increased chance of having a Down Syndrome baby. All things considered, plus my 4 year old is an unholy terror and honestly I can’t take another one like that(God sure knew what He was doing when He saved him for my last!)and am just not “up” for the demands of a new baby anymore; the exhaustion of nursing and overnight feedings, it’s best that it’s over now, even though I do feel a sad loss that it’s really over I have come to accept it.

I follow a blog where a woman lost a baby at 23 weeks and is now losing another one at 17 weeks. This is heartbreaking and a good reminder to me why it’s best I’m done having kids; I also no longer have the intense risk, stress, fear and worry anymore now either that goes along with it. I no longer have to fear miscarriages(I have had 6 of them), losing babies, defects, complications, SIDS, etc.In this way it’s a relief, even though I still do miss it. I also know it’s better this way. We still don’t believe in or use birth control but I know it’s over now, esp. since it took 3 years to even GET prego with the last one, so, all things considering  I think it’s safe to say we are done now.

Baby envy.

I know of a few people who are pregnant(incl. my cousin’s wife) and I have been feeling a case of baby envy lately, even though I also know that it’s best for me now that my baby-making days are over, esp. given my age(I’m 43), the complications(Obstetric Cholestasis) I had with my last baby 3 years ago, and the fact that physically and emotionally I’m just NOT “up” for another baby anymore; I just couldn’t handle the demand anymore and it is too high risk as well,given my complications,and the high chance of Down Syndrome,etc. with my age.Not to mention the exhaustion of nursing and getting up during the night for feedings, and the anxiety and worry that always goes along with having a baby, and the numerous trips for immunizations,etc.it’s just all too much now. I still have nostalgic memories of being prego though and the wonderful newborn period(even though my labours aren’t so great!) and I miss the fact that I will never experience it ever again. It was a big part of who I am and how I defined myself,and I was practically ALWAYS either prego for nursing for the most part of 18 years! My oldest will be 21 this year and I honestly don’t know what to “do” with myself now it’s over and I still feel a twinge of sad envy when I hear or see others that can still have babies, that still have it ahead of them and for me it’s over now. I feel like a dried up withered old plant,and it makes me feel old and “broken”.It was a big part of my life,and my identity and now it’s gone.It feels “empty” now,like the end of an era. I HAVE accepted that chapter in my life is over now and it’s for the best and I’m better off like this, but it’s still sad to see something you’ve loved and enjoyed and that was a big part of your life come to an end but nothing lasts forever and everything has to come to an end eventually,so now when I see “pregos” and babies instead of thinking what I’m missing, I concentrate on all the other things I’ll no longer have to WORRY about,so it takes the sting out of it a bit and makes the loss a bit easier to bear.