Weigh In.

I’m finally down to my pre-Pepper weight, which is still a surprisingly high number that I will not disclose to ANYONE. There is this mom at the gym who I was chatting with the other week and we were discussing our struggle with weight loss after child(ren) and she said, “Yeah, after working out for 9 months I finally got back down to 116 …”  

That’s when I started laughing. Um, I have never in my life weighed 116 pounds. I have absolutely no recollection of ever getting on the scale and seeing 116 flash up. I am fairly certain I was born at 120 and it just went up from there. 

However, I really am proud of the fact that I have managed to shed the 50+ pounds I gained with Pepper. I’m older now, and that does make a difference … although it’s not like I had a lightning-fast metabolism before. This is an accomplishment. 

Apparently I come from hardy stock; the ancestors on my dad’s side were Vikings. That’s probably why I weigh a lot. Vikings stepped on people’s necks and broke them. They had heavy feet. When I type that out, it doesn’t make sense, but I’m TELLING YOU, it’s my ancestry. It’s not the cookies.

This is how I lift weights.

My old jeans still don’t fit, but I plan to start going to yoga a few times a week which I swear helps everything move back into place. I really don’t know why I don’t go to the gym every single day, because the days that I do go are much less stressful than when I skip. Sometimes I check the kids into the nursery, sit somewhere, and stare into space. Sometimes I read a magazine. Sometimes I think about lifting weights, and then I go right back to reading my magazine.

Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I have to give up. At this point in my life, it’s not so much about anything other than how I feel about myself. Attitude is everything, you know. I have to have a big one to balance out my ass.

Finito.

I am finally (really, truly, for real) finished with the nursery!

The chevron rug from Urban Outfitters arrived yesterday, adding the final touch to Pepper’s eclectic room. Will she be an eclectic kind of girl?? We have no idea. Maybe she will grow up and beg for an LSU-themed room, and Husband’s dreams will finally come true. 

So much is happening this week in addition to the arrival of our youngest that I feel pretty overwhelmed, but I am trying to just give myself over to it and ride the ride. Tonight some very sweet girls are throwing me a baby shower, and I really can’t wait to sit around and eat cake and not be bothered by anyone or anything.

I have also decided that the best way to view my upcoming induction is to think of it as a tiny vacation away from my life, hanging out in bed with Husband sitting nearby, and no children running around. Yes, I will be hooked up to numerous machines and have people probing and poking me … but that’s not a far cry from my everyday life. The probing and poking part, I mean. At least the people poking me will be adults and can be reasoned with.

Induction.

You know what they say about the best laid plans. I don’t know who “they” are or what their plans were, but MY plan was to have a completely natural, unmedicated birth like my last one. It went so much better that way. I felt great, it was over quickly, and I recovered much more easily. I wanted a similar experience with my third child. No inductions, no interventions. Just show up at the hospital, allow them to slap a heplock and some wrist bands on me and let me do my thing.

My doctor actually specializes in natural birth so she was as excited as I was about this plan.

38 weeks, 1 day.

Alas.
 
Yesterday, when I went to my 38-week checkup, I learned that I tested positive for Group B Strep, which is something I knew nothing about … that is, before my doctor told me I have it and what that means and I started sweating profusely. It’s a fairly common bacterial infection that doesn’t affect my health, but could really make the baby sick if she comes in contact with it. Now, if this wasn’t my third child, I would have just brushed it off — the standard procedure is to administer antibiotics during labor, so I could still stick with my plan and just hurry to the hospital as soon as I felt like labor was underway. They would start the rounds of penicillin, and all would be well.

The problem is that in my previous delivery, Asher came really fast, and chances are this one will arrive even faster. I know it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen, because childbirth is capricious, but my doctor is concerned that she won’t have enough time to give me enough of the penicillin before it’s time to push — therefore putting the baby at risk. She suggested an induction.

I hate the medicalization of birth. I hated not being able to feel my legs when I got an epidural with my first child. I hated having a catheter and that feeling of helplessness that comes with being completely bedridden. Hospitals make me nervous. I am terrified of having a c-section. I don’t like feeling out of control. I was very puffy all over from all the fluid they pumped in me the first time. All of these factors make me an outstanding candidate for natural birth, in addition to the fact that I am confident that my body knows what it’s doing because I was made for this.

But after we talked for a long time, I asked all of my questions and got sufficient answers, I sweated through my clothes and all over the exam table (ew), and weighed my options, I chose the induction. The risk of medical intervention does not concern me as much as the potential risk of exposing my child to a bacteria that could make her really sick. People get induced every day. People also have home births every day. I am making my decision based on this particular situation, and trying to make the best of it.


Needless to say, I have some anxiety and sadness over the fact that my plans have changed, but I can roll with it. Now I know that my daughter will be born sometime on June 7th, and I can make arrangements for my older children and stop worrying about what will happen if I go into labor at an inopportune time. I am going to check into the hospital and let them hook me up and enjoy the fact that I will be completely numb. I briefly entertained the idea of moving forward with an unmedicated birth after they break my water, but after mulling that over, I decided not to. 

When my appointment was over, I headed downstairs to finish the registration process so my check-in on Friday will go smoothly. The nice lady at the desk asked me to fill out some forms, and when I was done, she handed me a sheet with a phone number “So you can check on your anesthesiologist.” 

“What do you mean, check on them? Like … make sure they are there? THEY BETTER BE THERE.”

She started laughing, like dying laughing. “No, sugar. I meant so you can check to make sure your insurance will cover the bill … oh lawdy, that’s so funny. You’re not looking to be a hero, are you?”

“No ma’am. Not this time … but I do seek to have a baby, which is pretty damn heroic in itself.”
 

The Beehive.

Yesterday I got my hair done and I feel so much better. I think when you have things happening to your body that are beyond your control, the best thing you can do is get those roots taken care of.

Last time I got my hair done was in February by a chick who was drunk. No, really. I do not jest. I know I talked about it here, but I can’t seem to locate the blog entry. Anyway … my hair was effed up and after spending over $100 on that foolishness I went to a very sober person the next day and paid more money for her to fix it, and now I shall call her my hairdresser for ever and ever, amen.

If you live in the Baton Rouge area and you are looking for a totally sober person to do you up right, call Pam at The Beehive Salon. Yesterday I went from this …


To this …



… in a few short hours. I feel much better, and ready to birth a baby. Not really. But my hair looks a thousand times more presentable. “Hello, daughter. I’m your mother. Aren’t you SO glad I got my hair done before we saw each other for the first time?” We can file that under Things That No One Has Ever Said, Ever.

While I’m talking about people who make my life easier and better, I want to address my OB-GYN. I have never had such a level of care from any doctor before. I really like her a lot. My old doctor would never have laughed with me over the fact that her hand was seriously about to go there. She was much too serious for that. But Dr. Boudreaux is professional AND totally normal — yes, that is possible — and I enjoy that about her. Because nothing is normal about having your cervix checked, even if it is the upteenth time it’s happened to you.

Before I left my appointment, they gave me a copy of my “papers” which I am to “keep on me at all times” and “present to the hospital when I go into labor.” Here is another reason why I love her: she wrote on my papers, and on the envelope which houses them, to call her when I go into labor. I wanted to ask her, “What if you’re busy? Or sleeping?” But I kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want to break the spell.

 
Yesterday we saw Pepper during an ultrasound! We made it a family event – me, Husband, and the boys. She weighs 6 pounds, 11 ounces and is in the ready position. We could even see her hair! I really wanted to see her face, but since it was toward my back and she seemed kind of locked in place, it will remain a mystery until she arrives.

I am very nervous about what she will be like and what the hell I will do with her when she gets here.

Today I decided the Earth was going to open up and swallow me if I didn’t pack up my kids and go to the store to get a new toothbrush to put in my hospital bag.

I now have a new toothbrush.

Whew – that was a close one.  

Belly Bandit.

Today I ordered myself a Belly Bandit. Well, I actually ordered two Belly Bandits, because you’re supposed to wear it for 6-8 weeks postpartum and if the thing works (AND IT BETTER), then I should go down a size during that period of time.

I followed the instructions and referred to the sizing chart and felt somewhat surprised that my stomach is only 46 inches around at the widest point. It feels more like 66, but I measured it twice. Anyway … after much internet research I finally decided that it would be worth the money to compress my midsection with some kind of garment after this baby arrives. It is, after all, my third. There is no telling what kind of wreckage I will be left with.

http://www.bellybandit.com

The website annoys me because — for starters — do I look anything like this girl? NO. Also, the people in the “testimonial” section look like half-starved models, not normal people like me with cellulite. But it’s okay … we’ll all know in a few months whether or not I just wasted $100 of Husband’s hard-earned money on compression garments.  

In my fantasy world, I imagine him getting all pumped up after selling a car and telling his co-workers “YES!! Now Harmony can afford to get her spider veins zapped off!” Or, “YES!! Now Harmony can go to the spa!” Or like today, in my fantasy world, he will say to someone “I am so glad I’m having a good month so Harmony could buy not ONE but TWO Belly Bandits!”

I know this isn’t what happens. But I would love to hear Husband say “compression garment.” Just once.

More Proof That I Am Slow.

This just happened …



  
… because I am slow and TWO is extremely agile for such a young chap. I leaned over to turn off the water, and he slipped right in there like some kind of toddler ninja.

Rather than fight it, I just let it happen … which is my new motto. Just let it happen, and deal with it later. 

I’m sick of wiping my kid’s noses and kind of sick of feeding them, honestly. I’ve become very lackadaisical about both of these things. I have a certain number of times per day that I can haul myself off the couch to get more Kleenex, or bend way down to wipe oatmeal off the floor. And normally I’m maxxed out by, say … 11:00 a.m.

Normally, I actually enjoy housework. I like to clean and put things in order. I’m an orderly kind of person. I like to live in an orderly environment. But now? Now, I have this fantasy of simply refusing to wash one more dish or deal with one more wet, sandy towel or wipe one more nose. I am teetering on the point of not caring about order anymore, because I just want to lie down. 

And then I think to myself, “What’s the worst that could happen, if I just stopped cleaning and wiping noses?” Well … Husband would come home to a filthy house. And he would not notice. In fact, I believe he would happily add to the filth, roll around in it like a happy pig in a sty, clip his toenails on the living room floor and think to himself with glee, “FINALLY! I AM FREE TO BE GROSS!”

So … I guess that is the worst that could happen. 

050 Orange.

I may or may not have hit the mailbox with my van this morning.

And someone’s vehicle in the Albertson’s parking lot last week.

Both were minor … very minor. No dents, just a little of their paint rubbing off on my monstrous van. But over the past few weeks I’ve just started to feel like I’m unraveling. I am a walking cliche. It’s not just that I can‘t DRIVE. I am also:

1. Acting like a lunatic

2. Unable to calculate anything correctly, even with assistance. I usually just tell Husband/the cashier/whoever I’m talking to on the phone “just tell me how much it is,” or, “just tell me what that means. I don’t care anymore if I sound dumb. JUST TELL ME THE ANSWER SO I DON’T HAVE TO THINK.

3. Slow in mind and in body. I can’t chase children and I don’t get jokes.

4. HUNGRY. So, so hungry. 

This morning I had my glucose tolerance test. I was supposed to fast for 6 hours beforehand, but I had to take a shower, make lunches, and get the kids ready for preschool and Mother‘s Day Out and I cannot do that without any food. It’s hard enough when I can’t drink my coffee … and before you say anything, I know I have a coffee problem. I do not wish to discuss it. I do what I need to do to get through the day. 

If I wasn’t pregnant, I would be taking crazy supplements from GNC to help me be faster, stronger, and smarter than my young. It feels like I’m in a constant battle to maintain my sharpness, and right now I’m losing. Coffee helps me hold on to just the tiniest bit of the cliff I’m hanging off of.

Anyway, clearly there was no way I could get through my morning without any food at all. My friend Lila just had her glucose test and her doctor said she could eat protein, but nothing that turns to sugar in your body … so if she can do it, so can I, right?! Yes. Yes I can. I immediately asked Husband to make some eggs, and he did, and I proceeded to eat all of them even though he was making them for he and I to split. I tried to act sorry.

I was not.

I won’t bore you with the details of my morning, but suffice it to say it was one of those days where I wondered why we are having more kids when the ones we have are so hard to keep a handle on. You know, the same question you’re probably asking yourself right now. ONE put two, perfectly-shaped, syrupy handprints on the wall. TWO seems to have discovered nakedness and now strips himself and runs away when you try to catch and clothe him. Husband has an irritable bowel. It was just a lot to deal with on a day when all I was allowed to ingest was water (and eggs). 

I then hit the mailbox, dragged the kids to their destinations in the rain, and after that, while I was searching in vain for a parking spot at the hospital where my OB’s office is located, my mother called to see “how I was feeling.” PISSED OFF. That’s how I was feeling.

Husband said we have our health and our happiness so life is not that bad, and I know he’s right. It’s not bad at all. I am just a hormonal wreck, lumbering around and crashing into things, looking for food. But I love my kids, and we do have our health, and I won’t be pregnant foreverand even if all hell breaks loose, there is always medication.  

So, CHEERS TO THAT!

This stuff isn’t half bad.

 

This Is Why I’m Grumpy.

So it’s time I get real about what is really happening over here. I’ve been trying to avoid writing this post because:

1. Some of my family members read my blog and will be uncomfortable with the content of this post. Which means if they continue to read past this sentence, it’s their own damn fault if they regret it.

2. Not everyone wants to know about what really truly can happen to someone who is gestating a baby, especially their third one.

So if you are reading this and you fall into one of the above categories, this is your chance to jump ship. 

Wheee!!

You should understand that I cope with the difficulties of life in several ways, and all of those ways except writing have been temporarily stripped from me because I’m pregnant. I feel very much like I’m locked in some sort of preggo purgatory and all I want to do is drink vodka straight from the bottle and smoke pot. Apparently when I know that I can’t do something, it becomes all I can think about. I have this fantasy of sending all the kids away so I can be completely irresponsible. I get tired of being responsible.

The older I get, the healthier my coping mechanisms have become. Like I try to exercise, and spend time outside and with people I love. But when I am pregnant (or have PMS), I don’t want to do shit and I don’t want to see shit and I especially don’t want to deal with shit. 

Part of my current coping strategy is to say shit or bullshit a lot because I can’t do what I really want to do (drink straight from the bottle in the middle of the day). So if this bothers you … you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog.

Husband kept asking me, “Why are you so grumpy?” until finally I TOLD HIM WHY. Then he acted like I was being irrational for ranting like a lunatic when all he did was ask me a question.

First of all, that is a dumb ass question to ask any woman, especially one who waddles around like a penguin. I hit 26 weeks and all of the sudden I have this gigantic stomach I can’t see past. I run into my kids and knock them down and knock them into things and shut their hands in doors (yes, that really happened) because I can’t see them down there.

I feel like a terrible mother and I don’t feel like going outside to play or reading to anyone and I especially don’t feel like chasing anyone down to change a diaper or brush their teeth or make them put pants on because I’m constantly out of breath. Writing that sentence winded me.  

I don’t feel like dealing with shit. This makes me feel guilty because ONE and TWO have nothing to do with their little sister who is baking in my tummy, I need to be sweet to them, because our time together as a family of four is shrinking quickly. I try to remind myself of this, and take deep breaths, and tell myself I’m not that uncomfortable and this is not that bad and it will only take a few minutes to help them build a blanket fort to play in.

But. This is my main problem. I have all kinds of things happening to me that no one warned me about. No one told me my vagina would look like this before I even hit my third trimester. So I am telling you, whoever you are, out there reading that if you have another baby THIS MAY HAPPEN TO YOU AND MY DOCTOR SAID IT’S COMMON AND NOT PERMANENT.


I Googled “angry blue monster” and found this little guy and keep texting it to my girlfriends when they ask me how I’m feeling. “I am fine, thank you for asking! My vagina is still angry and blue, and she says FUCK YOU.”

Apparently when you decide to go ahead and have a third child, there is a likelihood that your entire lady area will FREAK OUT on you and be like Oh hell no, biyatch, the entire time. In addition to my lump (it’s a round ligament that’s covered in varicose veins, apparently), I have a very angry vaginal area. It’s ugly and pissed off. I don’t know how else to describe it. And no one has seen it but me, because I have been on pelvic rest for … I have lost track of how many weeks. So there’s that.

I went to the doctor this week and she lifted the sex ban, and that very day, after not spotting for an entire month, guess what happened?

No, really. Guess.

I started spotting again. I also nearly fainted the next morning, and when I tried to wake up Husband to tell him I thought I might pass out, this was his response: “ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.” And then, “Did you make the kid’s lunches?”

I try to avoid talking about our sex life on my blog because Husband doesn’t like it when I go too far, but COME ON. I can’t drink, smoke, have sex, exercise, starve myself so I feel less fat … the list of “can’ts” keeps growing and growing. I am trying not to go down the rabbit hole of self-pity. But that is why I’m grumpy. That. All of it.

I started making a list of things I am grateful for, because that makes me feel better. So far, I have listed (in addition to the obvious ones like my lovely family and friends, and the DVD player in our van):

1. I still have full control over my bladder.

2.   

  

With All Due Respect, Men Could Not Handle This.

My friend Amy and I were having a discussion this week and she said if men could procreate, she would totally be down with that. I said there is no way men could handle this shit. 

I mean that in the nicest possible way. Pregnancy and childbirth is super hardcore; the most discomfort and pain I have ever dealt with in my life, times three. And it’s funny to me to think about a big, tough man bearing a child, because I’m certain it would turn even the toughest man beast into a sniveling wimp.

I have the utmost respect for men — I’m not one of those women who dog them and talk about how stupid or incapable they are. My husband is a wonderful man. He is smart and strong and able. He’s very, very manly and tall and looks like some kind of woodsman … and although I have never seen him do anything woodsman-like, I’m sure if push came to shove he would figure it out.

BUT.

If he had to watch his body change shape, with his innards forced up and to the side to make way for a person living in there, feel the alarming discomfort associated with a baby pounding on your cervix, and witness his private parts turn inside out I’m fairly certain he couldn’t deal. Maybe it’s the way men are about their private areas –highly protective — that would prevent them from being able to handle child birth. Either way, it ain’t no joke. 

I mean … LOOK AT WHERE MY INTESTINES ARE RIGHT NOW.

All of this makes me wonder, “Why did I want to do this again??” And truthfully, I have no idea. There is just something in me that said “It’s time for another one,” and so I said “Okay then.” And here we are. 

I have things happening to my lady parts that are definitely NOT normal. I assume it’s because this is my third child. I also assume that if I chose to have a fourth, I could expect my situation to go even more downhill the next time … which is why Husband will be getting a vasectomy soon.

Husband: You know you’ll have to drive me to the doctor and bring me back home and take care of me afterwards, right??

Me: I’m aware.

Husband: And bring me breakfast in bed.

Me: WHAT?!

Husband: I’ll be in pain, Harmony!

Me: DON’T YOU DARE TALK TO ME ABOUT PAIN.