I’ll Love You Forever…Even When You Are Driving Me Crazy

Love you Forever

I remember the days before I was pregnant with my first child the time spent longing for a baby.  I remember buying pregnancy tests in three packs because I was too impatient to wait the recommended number of days after sex to see if I had conceived.  I remember the joy I felt one January day when I tested positive for a baby…only to cry my eyes out when I started my period the very next day.  You wouldn’t think it would hurt that much.  I had only been knowingly “pregnant” for 24 hours, but after two years of trying it was like a knife through the heart all the same.

That day was the day I said out loud, “I give up!”  I was done trying to get pregnant.  It was just too painful to fail month after month, year after year.  Who knew the secret to getting pregnant was to stop trying to get pregnant?  Seriously!  I conceived my son the very next month.  No counting days, no plotting of ovulation times, not even the routine purchasing of a pregnancy test.  Before I knew it, January was mid March and it dawned on me one day that I couldn’t remember having a period in February.  I doubled checked the calendar and saw the date circled for January, but no circle for February, and now it was March.

A quick trip to Rite Aid and one bathroom use later and there it was.  Two blue lines.  Not one, but two.  I was scared to be excited.  After all, I had two blue lines in January and that ended in the blink of an eye.  I kept the knowledge of my condition to myself for a couple of days.  I was afraid to jinx it.  It was like if I actually spoke the words, “I’m pregnant,” out loud then it would suddenly go away.  After a week of it not going away I finally told my husband.

baby ajEvery mom-to-be hears over and over that the first three months are the most risky.  Most miscarriages will happen during the first trimester.  What I didn’t know, though, was that during the first trimester your uterus is building up lining and preparing to grow a baby, so you feel a lot of cramping.  For a woman scared to death of a miscarriage cramping and that “feeling of starting” a period makes for a living hell.

It is no exaggeration to say that every day for the entire first trimester I would go to the bathroom constantly to check my undies for any signs of blood.  I tried not to focus on it.  I really did.  I knew the fear and stress and I was putting on myself was no good for me, and probably not for my baby, but trying to tell yourself to not to be afraid of your worst fear when you body constantly feels like your worst fear is in process of happening is like telling a fish not to breathe water.  It can’t be done.

baby aj 2Finally the days passed on the calendar and I entered that oh so much safer second trimester.  Yes, women could still lose a baby even at this point, but somehow the pregnancy felt so much more real to me now.  I was in my fourth month and I had heard the heart beat at the doctor’s office.  There was a heart beating inside my belly and it was magical and my own heart was filled with joy.

Everyone would always ask, do you want a girl or a boy, and my answer was always the same.  “I’m pregnant!  Finally!  I don’t care what it is!  It’s a baby and its mine.  As long as it’s healthy I am the happiest mom in the world.”

As much as I would have loved for this to be a magical time to go with the miracle happening in my belly, it wasn’t.  My marriage was falling apart.  My husband had agreed to a baby, but I am fairly certain now that when he made that agreement he was under the impression that I would never succeed in getting pregnant.  Now suddenly I was, and he was not happy about it, and he let me know just how unhappy he was about the situation every chance he got.

Further, my Rheumatoid Arthritis was out of control.  By the end of the pregnancy I was no longer worrying about the baby coming out of it alive, his daily kicks let me know he was just fine, but I was seriously worrying about whether or not I would get to the end still alive.

Miraculously, and being induced three weeks early, my sweet little baby boy was born, and my life was for ever changed.  I had a new purpose.  I was a mommy and this little tiny person needed me.

AJ 5 indy

Today my “baby” is soon to turn 13, and this morning he said some very harsh words to me that left me speechless.  The angry thoughts rolling through my head were very different than the ones that came out of my typing fingers today.  What started out as a snarky and angry blog somehow became a stroll down memory lane, and the realization that the mouthy teenager insulting me this morning is still my baby boy, still needs me, and hopefully will always need me just a little when he is grown up and living on his own.

my babyChildren can bring us to the brink of madness at times, but once the anger passes, only the love remains, always and forever.










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Don’t You Just Love Being Pregnant? Uh, NO!

throw up

Mommies love to talk.  Get a group of mommies together in a room and we will talk for hours.  We talk about c-section or vaginal birth.  We compare delivery stories and try to one up each other on whose was worse.  Always there is the breast or bottle debate and the “to work or not to work” debate.  Next will come the stories of how long it took for everyone’s baby to start sleeping through the night.  Eventually the conversation will turn to poop, snot and barf.  Retelling stories of your child’s last bout of stomach flu will get all the other mommies talking about their pooping/barfing nightmares.

All the topics mentioned above make perfect sense to me and I have participated in all of them multiple times.  But there is one topic that makes no sense to me.  There will always be one mommy to announce that she just loved being pregnant and that it felt wonderful to know there was a new life growing inside of her.

I’m sorry, but I have to call bullshit when I hear women say this.  I know not all women experience the same kind of pregnancies, and some are easier than others, but the truth is there are many parts of being pregnant that totally suck!

I have been pregnant twice.  Twice was enough.  The first time was awful for reasons beyond just carrying a baby inside me.  The second time around I had a textbook perfect pregnancy, and I can honestly say that I do NOT love being pregnant.  I love the end result of pregnancy, holding that wonderful little baby in my arms, breathing in that baby smell, and feeling my heart fill with a love so strong that words fail to describe.  But the nine months it takes to reach that point, ugh.

The first three months my hormones went berserk.  I was weepy and whiny, constantly tired, and if I became even slightly hungry I immediately felt nauseous.    Plus, for reasons I still don’t fully understand, I needed to pee every half an hour even though the baby was the size of pea.

The second trimester you feel better, but you wardrobe looks horrible.  You are now too fat to fit your regular clothes, but your baby bump isn’t big enough to make you look pregnant, just fat.  Plus, maternity clothes are too big still.  So now you have to go buy a few pieces of “fat” clothing to see you through till you can wear the maternity stuff.  Plus, that lovely glow people say you have really isn’t a glow, but a flushed face and sweat because by month five or six you always feel hot.

The final three months brings unbearable heart burn and acid reflux, belching and passing gas, and you feel like a whale.  You can no longer tie your own shoes so you wear only slip-ons.  You also lose the ability to “groom” certain areas of your body forcing you into a rather hairy situation, if you know what I mean.  Sleep becomes almost impossible as no position is comfortable anymore, and now with the baby lying on your bladder you get up to pee five or six times a night anyway.

The only thing I really enjoyed about being pregnant was feeling my boys kick or have the hiccups.  But even that became uncomfortable by month eight when those light little flutters turned into painful kicks to the ribs.  My second child actually fractured a couple of them he kicked so hard!

I love both my boys and they were worth the discomfort, but believe me, I will not hesitate to use the “I carried you for nine grueling months and this is how you repay me,” speech if the time ever comes!

Share your pregnancy stories below; the good, the bad, the ugly!

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Attack of the Boob Nazis

Attack of the Boob Nazis

Before I even start this post I feel I need to put in a disclaimer. I endorse breastfeeding. I would have done it myself if for no other reason than breast milk is FREE and formula used to cost me about $150 a month!!

Having said all that, however, I think some women who breast feed need to cut women who can’t a little slack. I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Eighty percent of women go into remission during their pregnancies. For my first child I was unfortunately in the twenty percent that didn’t. That pregnancy was beyond awful. I had to give up all my RA medicines for the sake of the baby. So not only did I have morning sickness and the less than fun parts of pregnancy to deal with, but I also had a disease that was raging out of control.

To try to control my pain and the swelling that was damaging my joints the doctors put me on high doses of prednisone. When it didn’t work, they just increased the dose. Thanks to all the steroids I was taking I blew up like a balloon. Seriously, I didn’t even look myself by the time I got to the eighth month.

My RA pain was unbearable and I was practically bed ridden from month 5 on. My legs and feet swelled so badly that the doctors and nurses felt sorry for me. My OB/GYN decided to induce my labor at 37 weeks for the purpose of getting me back on my medicine because I was building up inflammation around my heart and organs.

I had known all along that I would not be able to breast feed. The five different meds I would take to treat my disease would turn my breast milk to poison. I was not happy about that, in fact I felt a great deal of guilt over the fact that I couldn’t breast feed. All through my pregnancy well meaning women asked me if I was going to breast feed, and when I explained that I couldn’t almost all of them tried to tell me why I should. Once I was on bed rest I didn’t see too many people anymore so the topic stopped coming up, which was a relief.

Then that glorious day came. I was induced and after a long labor I pushed the baby out. After recovery they rolled me into my semi-private room and pulled the curtain. The nurse wasn’t gone even a minute before the lactation consultant (a.k.a The Boob Nazi) was pulling back the curtain and smiling at me. She came armed and ready. Six assorted pamphlets and booklets were thrust at me and she proceeded to ask me what my plans were for managing breast feeding.

I explained that because of my medications I would be unable to breast feed. She just stood there, still smiling, as if she was unable to clearly hear what I had just said. Then she asked me if I would like a consultant to come and show me how to have the baby latch. Seriously!

I repeated the whole explanation once again, this time a little slower since she was clearly not following along. This time her smile began to fade as she realized I was serious about not breast feeding. Then she actually had the nerve to ask me if I could just not take the meds, even if for just a few weeks. The whole purpose of inducing my labor at 37 weeks was to get me back on the meds, and here was this crazy lady asking me now to voluntarily not take them. At that point I picked up the six pamphlets and thrust them right back at her and told her I did not need her services and to have a good day.

To add insult to injury, during the 48 hours I was at the hospital I was visited by two more Boob Nazis, both of whom were as hard of hearing as the first lady. I was so happy to leave the hospital with my bundle of joy and return to the privacy of my own home.

When I became pregnant with my second child I blissfully went into remission and had a perfect pregnancy. However, it was recommended that I get back on my meds as soon as I delivered because once the pregnancy hormones were out of my system I would quickly come out of remission.

I was no first time mommy anymore. I knew what to expect and I was prepared. I used the same hospital, and I literally made them write on my charts while I watched that Lactation Consultants were forbidden to enter my room. I even made sure to tell the nurse who rolled me into my private room to please tell everyone and anyone that I would not be breast feeding and that I didn’t need anyone to come and explain to me why the breast was best.

I also realized the second time that I felt no guilt. Now I knew I was a good mom and I had managed to provide my children with proper nutrition while dealing with my own medical needs. Sometimes it isn’t just a good thing to put your own needs first, sometimes it is mandatory that a mom take care of herself, otherwise she will be in no shape to take care of anyone else.

It no longer bothers me when people ask me whether I breast fed or not, but I still hear it said to many other pregnant women. It seems to be the first question asked once anyone announces that they are preggers.

“I’m pregnant!”
“Congratulations! Are you going to breast feed?”

The shocking truth is it really isn’t anyone’s business. I know some people mean well and are looking out for the baby, but I also know how judgmental and superior some women like to feel over their peers. They wear their saggy boobs like a badge of honor.

To all the breast feeding moms out there I say “Good Job! You gave your child something I couldn’t give my own.”

To all the formula using moms out there I say, “Good Job! You are providing your child with nutrition and your baby is growing just as well as breast fed babies.”

Being a mom is hard. We don’t need the added burden of guilt or judgment.

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