I'm a planner, so finding out I was pregnant for the first time came as no surprise, but what did surprise me was the tsunami of unexpected emotions...
I envisioned finding out I was pregnant and announcing the news to my husband, like I had envisioned my first time having sex. Orgasmic, slow-motion, life-altering, perfection! SO. NOT. ACCURATE.
I felt absolutely giddy with excitement for all of 3.8 seconds. Then worry and fear took over the show. So there I sat, pants down, grasping my positive pee-stick, waiting for my husband to come home and pondering how I was going to break the news.
My mind was reeling with all those Pinterest perfect announcements. I immediately regretted not planning something brilliant. I was such a wreck I decided to just go downstairs and attempt to tell him in a super squeally, high-pitched voice, because that's what excited girls sound like.
I took several leisurely strolls downstairs and failed to muster enough courage. I finally sat down next to my husband on the floor, starred off into space and said the words, FOUR OCTAVES LOWER than my normal speaking voice. Then I continued to slaughter every ounce of happy by immediately going into, "This remodel will never be finished in time!!! (You can read more about this in my blog post, The Pinterest Perfect Pipe Dream?) I'm not sure If I'll have enough money saved, to take any time off work!!!" ...and then came the ugly cry, EPIC. FAIL.
I had a normal pregnancy...
I spent the first 3 months nauseated, in my onesie pajamas, on the couch in the fetal position. Grape juice was my jam and Slurpee's were my weakness.
I have a negative blood type and my husband thought me getting a shot in the ass sounded easier than him having blood drawn. I'll never forget the nurse telling me to pull down my pants, bend over, grab the table and brace myself! Wait, what!?!
Working was okay preggo for awhile, but eventually I had to be pulled from the field. Ladders and a big 'ol belly don't mix and risking the chance of electrical shock while pregnant wasn't advised by my doctor. I've also come to the conclusion #carhartt needs to introduce a maternity line. (Hint, hint!)
Sleeping became uncomfortable towards the end of my pregnancy. Baby Drake was not taking after his Mama and thought the middle of the night was the perfect time, for ALL the fun activities!!! I'd end up sleeping with my own hand dug into my side, protecting my ribs from being plucked like guitar strings. I had also stained every shirt I owned from bathing in oil and oddly enough the stains were always on my nipples. I looked like I was lactating at all times.
The cherry on top was the borderline paralyzing back pain. Getting from my bed to the bathroom became a 20 minute travel time, without traffic. I was like a beached whale attempting to get back into the water. Over and over and over...I also slept with a pillow between my legs and turning over at night, was like straight up wrestling a crocodile! (Note to self, my next pregnancy pillow must resemble a crocodile.)
According to my husband, somewhere around the third trimester I developed a horrendous snore. To that I say, I am innocent until proven guilty. Deny, deny, deny! It was however, hard to deny that I no longer had ankles. I was officially the owner of a brand new pair of cankles, but if you ask me my boobs made up for them. They were on-point! Now two kids later, I'm rockin' empty coin purses. Let's just say National Geographic is the only magazine I'll be modeling for anytime soon!
At my last prenatal checkup, before my due date, I was dilated 1 cm. I decided to stop working. I was TERRIFIED of going into labor at work surrounded by mostly dudes!!! Five days before my actual due date, I had been off work two full days and was already stressing out about staying home for nothing, when the contractions started! I read all the books and went to all the classes, so I knew I had loads of time. I downloaded an app and started counting! My hospital bag had been packed for weeks. I showered and attempted to shave, but I hadn't been able to see that general area for months and my mirror kept fogging up. Eventually when I was SURE it was happening, I text my husband and told him when he got home from work, he wouldn't be going back the next day! The contractions became uncomfortable around 5 pm, so we headed to the hospital. I had been having contractions for several hours, 5 minutes apart. The "GO TO HOSPITAL NOW" notification had been flashing for hours. (I'm not going to lie, there was a second I thought, maybe I'm a total badass and have an extremely high pain tolerance!?!) We were given the option to walk the halls or go home. We went home and around 11 o'clock pm when I couldn't stop squirming from the contractions, we went back in. They admitted us.
So ladies, for baby number one... As a general rule, do not go to the hospital until the contractions fucking hurt and trust me, they will!
I went into my first delivery open minded but confident I was popping this thing out all natural and exclusively breastfeeding for a minimum of 6 months. My Mom had done it twice and felt "amazing" afterwards. (Side note, my mom is 63 and I'm certain her memory is fading.)
Around 4 am, I decided to labor in the tub. The heat did drastically help the contractions but at this point, I was exhausted. I could hardly sit up in the tub. I was falling asleep between contractions and two things were weighing on my mind. 1.) How much longer am I going to be in labor? 2.) I don't want to be so exhausted I can't push this baby out! I looked up at my husband and asked him how he felt about me getting an epidural. I wanted his approval because at that very moment, I was feeling defeated. (I'll also never forget when a certain individual came to visit me @ home after baby Drake was born and asked me if I had gotten an epidural. I of course answered, "Yes." and she replied, "Oh well, at least you can say you tried." I thought to myself, OK bitch. I'm not sure how you meant that to sound, but it seems as if you're implying I had a failed attempt. First, get back to me after you have a baby. Second, there are no failures in childbirth. We all do the best we can, with the choices we're given. Third, go fuck yourself.)
Back in the delivery room the anesthesiologist administered my epidural around 5 am. These were my EXACT thoughts, "O.M.G. re-name that thing the EPI-DUH!!!" It was AAAAMAZING. I could lightly feel my contractions and move my legs. I was able to nap on and off for the next 5 hours. In my humble opinion, labor doesn't get any better than that! Because I was progressing slowly, we decided to have my water broken and an hour later it was time to push. My Mom and Husband were with me the entire journey! I even asked my poor husband to take pictures of the birth so I could see them later. I am a very curious person by nature, but he obviously could have gone without, because when baby number two was about to exit my vagina, he BOLTED to the head of the hospital bed.
I pushed my bloody brains out. My entire vagina was bulbous and finally right before Drake shot out like a cannon, I tore. Thank god for those hospital hats because that poor baby looked like he just came out of a jelly jar. They immediately laid Drake on my bare chest. He was warm and velvety. I have never felt anything so soft! When this moment played through my mind I thought it was going to be slower. I thought I'd have time to digest every detail. Not the case, his eyes immediately shot open and he started bobbing for boob. I freaked out. O.M.G. I have to feed him NOW!?! Like, already!?! It was a whirlwind. They did all the necessary "repairs", cleaned both Drake and I up and moved us from the delivery room to the post partum room to begin our recovery.
This is where it gets real! (And remember this is baby #1. Baby #2, although I was DEATHLY afraid of reliving this recovery all over again was WAY easier. Like, WAAAAYYYY!!!) Drake was great! I on the other hand, was a hurting unit! The first time the nurse came in and asked me to get up and go to the bathroom I thought they were kidding. CAN I physically stand up, without gutting myself!?! I looked like an animal that had been dead on the side of the road for days, bloated beyond belief. The nurse helped me the entire way. She changed my dressings and hosed me down with that glorious warm water. It was like heaven in a squirt bottle. I felt amazing until I looked down at my vagina. Remember when I told you I attempted to shave!?! My lady parts were lost. It looked like a walrus mouth had eaten my vagina. I gasped out-loud. NO ONE tells you about this stuff! My sex life flashed before my eyes.
The next day the nurse came in and told us we could go home whenever we were ready. GO HOME!?! I panicked. She assured us we could stay another night if we wanted to. I didn't even let my husband have a choice. YES! The answer is YES! Every 24 hours that passed were dramatically better, but I was FAR from myself. Day two I decided to get up, shower and attempt to look halfway decent for visitors. I just finished showering, slipped on a brand new pair of adorable pink slippers I bought for the hospital and was going to blow dry my hair when all of the sudden I lost control. I straight up, shit myself! It was 5 steps back into the bathroom and every step I took released more and more poop. I yelled for my mom but she was on the phone. My husband opened the bathroom door, slammed it back shut and yelled for my mom. I couldn't stop laughing. Poop was everywhere! Even on those brand spanking new slippers. Ugh! I showered again and skipped the makeup and hair. I was over it!
We went home after three days in the hospital. I was as "ready" as I was going to get. These were my husbands words leaving the hospital, "It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be." What!?! YOU didn't even have to do anything!!! It took me SIX WEEKS to feel OK and TWELVE WEEKS to feel like myself again!!! Pre-baby my life was on-point. I was good at caring for myself, my husband and executing my gazillion lists. Post-baby, I didnt even recognize myself. My time management skills no longer existed. Showering before my husband got home from work was like climbing Mt. Everest! Big props people, BIG PROPS! It was a long, rough and windy roller coaster, but I slowly figured it out. We eventually developed a schedule and life started to feel like it was back on track.
I want to leave you with this...
You are not alone. Motherhood does not "come natural" to me. Being a mother is the hardest thing I've ever done and continue to do. Giving birth for the first time was brutal and my recovery took far longer than I expected. Breastfeeding fucking sucked and no, it's not because I didn't try hard enough. (That's another story, for a another time.) I was a hormonal, hot mess. Fuck you, hormones! It took me an entire year to loose that baby weight. I love being a wife and mom. My family is everything to me. Everyday consists of multiple failures and accomplishments, but I believe the world is as we choose to view it. Simple as that. Our happiness is, in the end, up to us, and no one else!
P.S. I no longer have a pet walrus. Thank. God.