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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Childbirth Truths

I've been thinking about the birth of my girls, and yes, two of the best days of my life so far, goes without saying, but also two of the strangest days of my life. Since I was a little girl I KNEW I wanted to be a mom, I just didn't know exactly how it would feel to deliver them. You can read all about pregnancy /childbirth and typically what to expect, but until you have gone through it, you will never truly know.

I never had the pleasure of going into labour "naturally", both times I had the opportunity to have my body pumped with synthetic hormones to trick my girls into thinking that it was time to come out. There is this gel that was used for Emma, that was stuck up my unit, which was to make the uterus go into contractions. We waited for many hours for this action to take place and all that happened down there was an annoying sensation that my ovaries were on fire, and that I wanted to stick ice cubes up there to turn down the heat. Next came the hormones pumped through my veins. That brought on more action, and I was told do walk around the halls to help move things along.

With your first baby, things tend to be slower in the delivery department, your body hasn't done it before, it knows that it has to, but isn't too sure which way to shoot the baby out. There are many" techniques" that the nurses will give you to help open up your cervix and get it to dilate to the winning number of 10 cm. I did laps around the hospital, sat on an exercise ball and rolled around the room, nothing was making Emma come out any faster. So more hormones were given. That brought on contractions hard and fast, but still I would not dilate. I was in a lot of pain, but could not get the ever loving epidural until I was in the right "window" of opportunity. So instead they gave me "laughing gas". It made me laugh alright, at the idea that this stuff would take the "edge" off. It was making my visitors high more so than myself.

Finally I was ready for the epidural, (and if you are a woman that did this without this form of heaven -on- earth, you are my hero, a little on the Extreme Sports side, but still, my hero!), they brought the forms in for me to sign so I wouldn't try and sue them if the dude slipped and put me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I said," I promise I won't sue you, you are like my new best friend if you can make me comfortable." The best part was being told to hold still between contractions, (uh, right, I'll hold still but you have like 2 minutes to shove that huge needle into my spine and make my world a happy place for the duration of this miracle of birth.) He made my day in two deep breaths, my body was numb from my armpits down, I was peeing in a bag and finally giving my husband looks of "love" instead of "you are never touching me again".

I fell asleep for little catnaps of 20 minutes here and there and finally I was ready to push. And push, and push, and push, for 6 hours straight. The epidural had worn off and it was time for more, the Dude came back and did his wonderful job of making women in labour comfortable.( I bet he has like a gazillion "friends" on Facebook!) More pushing, pushing, pushing and nothing.

We had to call in more Doctors to help get her out, some complications presented itself, so another team of specialists were lining the room waiting for Emma. There must have been 10 or more strangers in the room all watching the action coming from the lower region of my body. And when you hear women tell you that once you've had a kid all modesty that you had, will be out the window; it's true. It was like Old MacDonald's Farm by the time she finally came out of my body. " With a snip, snip, here and forceps going there, here a push, there a pull, everywhere a scream heard! OHHHHHHHH, Old Mac Catharine had her first baby....E-I-E- OOUUUCCCHH!" We heard her cry and all was well, I was tired, so very tired and have been ever since. But it wasn't too bad since I went on to have Elise. (Although when it was time for Elise, I had the Epidural Dude ordered and ready to go by the time we parked the truck!)

This time, my husband did not help me out, as per mine and his request. ( Seems as though seeing how my "stuff" can morph itself from "pleasure zone" to "baby landing strip", didn't sit well with him.) So my sister "in-law", Teresa, was my coach. Corey was allowed in the room until it was push time.

Teresa was a great help, she put up with my complaining, my moaning, and my moments where I thought I was being funny while high on morphine. But really, I was being funny she just didn't get it until a couple of years later. I had seen the movie, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and while he is getting his chest waxed, through the pain he screams, "OHHHH KELLY CLARKSON!" So after a painful contraction I yelled the same! (She hadn't seen the movie nor did the nurse that was in the room, so "looks" were exchanged between the two of them and I was written off as high, not funny! )

Corey made the comment, "Why are you moaning so much you just had an epidural it should all be good." To which Teresa answered for me, "It's like you have to poop really bad and can't! You have to hold it in no matter how uncomfortable you are!"

"Oh." And that is when he made his exit. (smart!)

Once I was able to push Elise out, things went much smoother than with Emma, no snipping, no forceps just some long pushes and out she came. Tired again, but like I said before, I've been tired ever since.

After these precious little miracles are born, your body goes through some changes that will be "unknown" to you, let alone the people that surround and live with you. My hormone balance was so out of whack that I cried if Corey didn't say "hello" in the right tone, or I wanted to rip his nose off if he was breathing too loud while sleeping. Every minute was hit or miss with the tears or laughter or anger, but don't worry, you'll balance out in about 6 to 8 weeks! 

Through it all, of course I'm happy to have had them, but NO, we are not having more babies. With every sneeze, cough or jump, I am reminded of the "labour" I went through to bring these beautiful girls into the world, and I admire my stretch marks as trophies to a job well done. My body will never be the same nor will my life. Although, I am blessed to have healthy kids, and blessed that with each "time out" I give them, at the end of the day, I also get an "I love you Mommy." And that my friends was worth showing my "womanhood" to the world, and crying over spilled milk, or maybe it was the milk that engorged my breasts, due to pain or just how unbelievably HUGE they were! But that is a whole other chapter!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stress Turns Sweet

It's been a quiet week for blogging, but a hectic week none the less! Still on the "potty mission", and that is just never ending, well the laundry is never ending! We can put a man on the moon, but we can't make potty training a breeze,(well maybe someone has, or at least they claim to, if I pay them $47.95, they'll tell me their secret to training in just 3 short days! Yup, my lily white a** you can!!!) As you can tell we aren't quite there yet with the potty, but I hope it will be before she's 20! So enough bathroom talk, I thought I'd finally share something else......

I had to bring the girls with me to hip hop, Corey had ball hockey and I can't miss any classes, it's crunch time and I have a lot of practicing to do! The girls were so excited to see Mommy's version of what groovin' looks like, and I was just excited to get out of the house from potty lockdown.

I gave them both the "talk" all the way to class,

"Be good. Don't run around, don't scream, just sit and watch, okay? Do you both hear me?"

I hear, " Yes Mom!" from just one little voice in the back seat.


(giggle) "YETH Mommy.....I no run 'round..." (giggle)

I swear she was crossing her fingers behind her back while she said that because she so did NOT hear me!

Warm up begins, music pumping, bodies moving,( mine cracking), and you can just see Elise's "inner devil" come to life from her toes to the top of her head. She gets up watching me, watch her, I give her the stink eye, she looks away, and shakes her little booty. Small gestures at first and then all out, she got so excited she did what she thought was going to be a somersault, but turned into a flip, and she whacked her back. To her rescue I go to make sure she could breathe! All good, she shook it off. Again I tell her to sit and watch. I join back into the warm up and off she goes again, shake, shake, shakin' her groove thang!

We start the stretching portion of our warm up, (not my favourite part for so many reasons), and Elise decides that this would be a great time to join in again. She's trying to copy us and did a pretty good job, until , she fell on her head. So she figured that it would be fun to climb all over me in the middle of some kind of leg stretching deal. ( It hurts without a toddler on your back let alone with one moving all over you!) I try to move her back to her spot by Emma who is being soooooo good, but as soon as I did that she was up. I decide to just ignore her and let her have fun. Ignoring Elise is just not possible......

Now it's time for push-ups! Elise gets on my back. The other ladies in the class start laughing, "Ha Ha, let's see how many you can do NOW!" I managed to do 9 "girl" push-ups. And then onto bicycle crunches. Now she's on my stomach and I'm hitting her in the back with my knees with each one, she says, "Mommy, no hittin' that's no nice!"

"Then go sit with Emma and you won't get hit!"

Of course that isn't part of her plan. We begin some sort of butt lifting thing and now I'm bouncing her off my stomach and she decides it would be a way better ride if she just jumped up and down! I think she knocked the wind out of me a few times!

Finally we're done and, I again, place Elise back in her spot by her sister whom is still being really good! We begin our routine and I thought I'd hear Elise protest and tell Niki to turn it down, as she does to me on a regular basis. But she didn't, apparently we were in the right environment for loud music, and my living room is not. She watches us for the first run through, and then after that it was a free for all. She was running from one end of the studio to the other, looking at herself in the mirror, just about got taken out by one of the dancers, all while screaming and laughing her little head off. I finally put the not- so- nice mommy voice on and get her to sit. She's none to impressed but does manage to sit for a few more minutes, and then the whining starts, "Are you done yet Mommy?"

"5 more minutes Elise, just 5 more minutes."

Emma asks me if I'm going to get a sticker when I'm done, (she gets one for tap and ballet) I said,

"No Mommy doesn't get a sticker."

Elise was having no part of that, and starts yelling at Niki, "My Mommy get a ticker! That no nice!" Thank goodness she couldn't hear her over the music, I tell her it's okay, I don't want one. Finally class has come to an end, it was so stressful, I should've just stayed home!

On our way out to the truck Emma says, "Wow Mommy, you're really good!"

I laugh, "Thanks Emma."

"I really liked it when you did like that and then like this," as she makes the gestures of the moves as best she can as I'm running with them to get the h-e -double hockey sticks out of there.

Again, I laugh, and thank her. She says, "Mommy, I think I'm proud of you like you do to me!"

And then, I smile....and the tears well up.....and I stop the mad rush to the truck.....give her a great big hug...."Thank-you Baby."

The anxiety of the recital is still fresh on my mind, but as long as Emma is there watching and proud of her Mom I know I can get through it. All the stomach cramps and feelings of nausea, dry mouth and sweats will be worth it in the end. I'll take her being proud of me while I can because not too far into the future, her pride may turn to embarrassment during those hormonal years. And "if" or "when" it does, I'll remember the day she said she was proud and hope that she does too.