Archive for pregnancy

Marital Mondays: Pregnancy, Rape, and Politics

M: Did you read about that Republican Senate nominee who said —
H: Wait! Don’t say it. I’ve been purposely not reading that story all day, so I could refrain from becoming angry.
M: It’s all over the web!
H: I’m trying to have a family day with my two daughters and my wife, all of whom have vaginas, and I’m not ready to process that foolishness right now.

Fast forward to night time.

M: So did you read the story?
H: What story?
M: The “legitimate rape” story.
H: Oh right. I guess we can have this conversation now. What happened?
M: Apparently, this douche trumpet in Missouri believes that when women are being “legitimately raped” (whatever that means), we can summons magical elves from our fallopian tubes to protect the egg from the rapists sperm.
H: What?
M: He thinks we can’t get pregnant if it’s really rape.
H: So if you get pregnant then, what? Your rape is disqualified.
M: Yup. Also, that guy won Missouri’s GOP Senate primary.
H: That’s why I vote nihilism.
M: What happened was he got trapped in a question about abortion in the case of rape, so that was his answer.
H: That shit ‘cray!’ You know my stance on abortion. I don’t have lady parts, so I don’t have a say. Women should have the right to choose. Period.
M: He also said it rarely happens. That’s funny, because I know at least five people including my sister, who it has happened to, and I don’t even have to think hard to come up with three more.
H: Exactly.
M: So, nihilism you say? Go on …

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Marital Mondays: The Candle




When he enters, just beyond the smiling children, the flame is flickering.

Most of the time when Hannibal comes home, I’m in hustle mode — sneaking in an episode of “Madmen” or buffing my elbows, while Mooch entertains Fuss, or scrounging to put together some jelly and tuna for these leeches to eat.  Okay, they’re not leeches.  That was mean.  Also, we don’t eat jelly and tuna for dinner.  That’s just weird.  In addition, my elbows haven’t been buffed in several years, and they may look like the worn wheels of a seventies Big Wheel.  What I’m really doing is lesson planning, baby wrangling, designing, blogging, and running myself into the hardwood floors.

Wax gathering at its feet, the candle sags on one side.

Some days, he has no idea what I’ve been through.  Our youngest daughter was sent by the FBI to drive us insane so we won’t take over the planet.  Mooch, on the other hand, can’t remember anything to save her life, despite notes, calendars, clocks, and charts posted around the house to remind her.  My clients expect more for less, and this chauffeuring kids thing is for the birds.  If I have to pull over to potty, listen to hollering due to a dropped crayon, or pull lent out of vaginas for too much longer, I may officially lose it.

Its corners turning in on itself, it is melting in the center.

Anyway, a while back we established a way for each of us to know we’ve had a bad day without talking about it and conjuring up the energy of the day.  We light a specific candle in a specific place.  If Hannibal comes home and sees the candle lit, he knows to go easy on me — maybe slow dance a cappella, handle the kids for the rest of the night, or offer me a massage.  Let’s just say that candle was lit a lot last week, and he lit it a couple of times himself this weekend.

There is nothing left but wick.

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Marital Mondays: Should I Get My Tubes Tied?

A lot has happened since I last posted here, but I bet I can catch you up in one paragraph. I spent a couple of nights at Occupy LA, and I plan to spend more — like most of this coming weekend. One of the nights, I even took Mooch with me. That scared the shit out of Hannibal, but he didn’t show it at the time. I also completed an ass-load of design projects and got virtually no sleep in the last three weeks other than last night when I went to bed at 8:45pm. Yeah.

Now for the Current Stuff

This past weekend was also my birthday weekend. Mooch slept over at the houses of two angels from her school, and Fuss spent Saturday night with a close friend. Hannibal and I went to a wonderful hotel with a spa tub in the room. I love those! We ordered room service and stayed in the room the entire time. It was awesome. Best birthday ever.

Sunday, before picking up the kids, we stopped at the Westside Pavilion and bought me a pair of much-needed brown flat boots for fall/winter. I love them. Here’s a pic:

Also, in big marital news, I’m debating getting my tubes tied. I know I’m only 31, but my friend did it, and she said it’s awesome! I don’t want to use my body in the way of pregnancy, labor/delivery, and breastfeeding ever again, so why not? I’ll tell you why not. I hate surgery! Even the non-invasive kind makes me quiver. I can take pain just fine, but I don’t cope well when they screw up! I had a c-section, where they cut my bladder by accident. I still have bladder issues because of that. Bah! Tell me what you think I should do. Feel free to share your stories — especially if they’re similar to mine.

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Thematic Thursdays: "Top Ten"

Top ten things I miss doing since I got these stupid stitches.

10. I miss being able to walk up a flight of stairs without stopping in the middle.

9. I miss being able to pick up my oldest daughter.

8. I miss laying on my husband. I can just barely put my head on his shoulder and throw my leg on top of his hip. It’s some sad cuddling.

7. I miss dancing. I only take like one or two classes per week, but I think it’s one of those ‘I want to do it really badly just because I can’t’ sort of things.

6. I miss squatting. I can’t squat down or bend over to pick anything up. It’s annoying.

5. I miss stretching in the morning. My muscles feel stupid right now. I need a chiropractor, a massage therapist, and an occupational therapist. Then I need a hypnotherapist to make me forget all this crap ever happened.

4. I miss not *having” to ask anyone for help.

3. I miss sex. I wouldn’t be able to do that with a natural delivery though either … I suppose. 😉

2. I miss hugging my oldest daughter. She sees me hold the baby all the time for feedings, but I can’t hug her, because it hurts.

1. I miss being able to laugh. I’m most famous for my loud ass laugh, but every time I do it now, it feels like my stomach is going to bust open and my liver is going to fall on the ground.

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Apparently, My Vagina is Only Good for One Thing

I should start by saying that I had no idea I’d be typing another grief blog about something completely different a year and a half after my mother died. I’ve only spoken to two people outside of my home in the last 24 hours, and neither of them had anything to say that I actually needed to hear. When most people think of grief, they think solely of death. It is as though if no one has died, the stages of grief shouldn’t be taking place. It actually applies to a myriad of things — divorce, illness, death, or anything else where a person is let down. When I say, however, “I just need a moment to grieve.” People say, “You’re still going to have your baby, girl. Stop tripping. You’ll be fine.”

Yeah, all of that is easy to say when you’re not the person going under the knife for a second time. I’ve read hundreds of women on the internet say, “The doctor cut my bladder trying to get through the scar tissue from my last c-section, so the urologist had to repair. The whole surgery was 2.5 hours.” So, no matter how many women say, “Girl, I had five c-sections, and I’m fine.” The fact is: that surgeon doesn’t know what my last incision looks like until he gets in there. Though I feel slightly powerless, I still have a choice, and I’m choosing not to worry.

I also had serious bonding issues with Mooch after I had her via Cesarean. Plus, I just went through a grieving process that took a lot of work, energy, and therapy. Now I have to go through it again while trying to connect with a new baby. A new baby that I won’t be able to hold as soon as she comes out. They won’t place her on my chest, so the natural love hormones can flow. They’ll be stitching me up, and she’ll be across the room some where. I’ll be full of drugs. She’ll be full of drugs. You’d think after a 3 week long prodromal labor, replete with contractions and everything, I’d just want to get the baby out. I don’t. I want my chance. My spiritual path teaches patience. I’d labor for another week to get it! My non-stress tests and biophysical profiles all came back with flying colors. I’ve been going every 2 days to be checked. There’s tons of amniotic fluid, the baby never showed signs of distress, I don’t have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. We’re both fine! There are women who went to 43 weeks and 5 days, and had perfectly normal deliveries. If one of us were unhealthy or showing signs of distress, I could understand rushing, but other people are the only ones worried — mostly about covering their asses legally. If I’d at least gotten a chance to go into labor on my own, give it the old college try, and it just wasn’t working, I wouldn’t feel so bad. Since my feelings are something that I get to choose. I’m going to choose to feel good about all of the “labor” and patience that I have put in thus far. I’m going to choose joy.

Even when my whole birthing team let me down with cell phones ringing during my labor, loud shouting, a painful unnecessary castor oil induction, and sharing stories during my contractions about their own births (and how quick they were), I still continued. I’ve been having violent contractions all week. My cervix feels like someone chewed it up and put it back (Men, imagine someone cutting your balls to pieces and putting them back in your scrotum. Ladies, imagine the worst bladder infection you’ve ever had multiplied by 800.). This is all because of other people’s attempts to rush the process — blue cohosh, castor oil, and black cohosh. All of these herbs are great if labor has actually begun, but when used to induce labor, they can lead to a condition called Irritable Uterus (excruciating irregular contractions that don’t dilate the cervix at all). I was told to begin them this past Saturday. It’s like I’ve been in active labor for 48 hours (most people only endure 2-6 hours) knowing that it wasn’t going to result in a baby. Each check showed very little dilation. I even went to Mooch’s show Tuesday night while having the violent contractions. I smiled, gritted my teeth, and ignored people’s “You’re *still* pregnant?” comments. I wanted to do this so badly, but when even the midwife said she couldn’t back me past 43 weeks for legal reasons, what else was I to do? I wasn’t going to have Hannibal deliver the baby on the kitchen floor unassisted.

So here I am left feeling defeated. I feel like my vagina is only good for one thing. I’ve gone from, “I don’t even want the baby anymore” to “I feel like a failure” to “I can picture us in 10 months happily planning her first birthday party.” It’s all part of the process. These feelings have all transpired in 48 hours. I’ve cried more from the loss of the natural experience than I’ve cried from the contractions. My face is red and puffy. I’d post a pic, but I don’t want to scare you. Feelings are real. I have chosen to speed up this emotional process for the baby’s sake. By the end of the experience, both of us will have faced so much trauma that the last thing she needs is a mommy who is angry with her. I still have a choice. I won’t choose anger.

I haven’t slept in two days. When I roll over I have a contraction. When I sneeze I have a contraction. If someone touches my stomach, I have a contraction. When I blink, I have a damn contraction! They are often one minute apart for an entire hour. We’re not talking Braxton-Hicks either. Hannibal has been great for the past few days. He’s rubbed my lower back literally all night, done all of the phone/email communication, and set up three different sitters for Mooch during our hospital stay. I packed all four of our bags between contractions and limped around clearing the house of anything that reminded me of homebirth. I even had Mooch deflate the birthing ball. I ignored my midwife’s text messages all day. She was very sweet. I’m not mad at her. She just doesn’t really have any answers at this point. I don’t even think she’d heard of an irritable uterus until I diagnosed myself online (I’m truly my mother’s child. Give me a Merck Manual, and I’ll run amok). The midwife just stared at us Tuesday night. Plus, just talking to her reminds me of the loss. As with all things, I have a choice. I’ll choose not to blame.

I give birth Friday (Yes, being cut is still giving birth. I give much respect to all of the c-section mamas out there). Later today, I have a pre-op exam, where I get to bank my own blood and discuss how I want things to go. You’d think after three weeks of labor and 8 million contractions, I wouldn’t have to fight anymore. Guess again. Now I have to go in and fight vaccinations, Erythromycin (antibiotic eye goop), routine pitocin, and all the other “protocols” that protect hospitals from lawsuits. I figured I’ve come this far, the least I can do is pick her birthday. I think 1/1/2010 is a cool birthday. Plus, now we’ll have three January babies in the house if all goes well. Mooch is 1/10 and Hannibal is 1/20. That makes me smile past the pain in my cervix a little. The lessons, at this point, are patience and choice.

Thank you for all of the supportive comments, texts, donations and messages delivered through Hannibal. I get them — even if I don’t respond. He’s just my filter. Your love has gotten me through this.

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