Trying for Number Two

If you want kids, you’ve probably thought about how many you want to have. Maybe you’re of the mindset that you’ll stop having babies when your family feels complete. Or maybe, you have a predetermined number in your head that you will not waiver on, no matter what. Either way, at some point you have to decide if you want to start trying for number two…. unless you’re chill with one.

We had sort of decided more or less, that we would have 2 kids (hopefully). And then we’d call it. We weren’t going to keep trying for a girl or a boy, we don’t want to have to buy a bigger house or a (much) bigger vehicle. It was one for each hand, or one for each parent. On our drive home from the hospital with Callahan; me crying in the front seat because I was too far away from him, I looked at Tyler and said “so you’re good with 2 right?”. He agreed.

The next thing you have to figure out isย when.ย When is the right time to have a second one? Is there a right time? No, there isn’t. Is there a wrong time? Probably. I certainly didn’t want Irish twins. Nothing about that seems appealing. Thankfully (not so thankfully) I had very little desire to make any more babies. It was the furthest thing from my mind.

We debated with trying to get pregnant before I even got back to work. But I didn’t want to do that. I wanted a chance to get back into the swing of things at work (it was like riding a rusty tricycle with no seat). I wanted to lose more weight. (HAHAHAHAHAHA) I wanted to enjoy the summer, and the weddings that we were attending.

We agreed we’d start trying again in September- roughly translating to a June(ish) baby if things went hunky dory the first time around. When we didn’t get pregnant, neither of us was really disappointed. It was a weird feeling, almost like relief. Like okay, we can keep on doing what we’re doing. I mean, were we really ready to toss a hand-grenade into our lives? Everyone was finally sleeping…. What if we don’t like the next kid as much as we like Callahan? How can you love 2 kids the same as you love one? I honestly sometimes think my heart is going to explode with only one kid. I’m not sure I could handle the emotional stress (good stress, but still) of loving 2 kids. OMG!!!

I made a proposition to Tyler; I was turning 30 in November, how about we don’t try to get pregnant in October so that I can play a bit more basketball and soccer, and so that I can enjoy my 30th birthday. He wasย 100% down for this arrangement. Of course, we attended a friend’s wedding downtown in October, overnight, hotel, no kid… and peak ovulation day. We basically said, “Fuck it…Fuck you? I mean, Fuck me…?” ๐Ÿ˜‰

It would have been Murphy’s Law for me to get knocked up that night. But it did not happen. Which was A-okay in our books. On-wards and Upwards, or Upwards and Inwards? ( ha I’m hilarious)

So far I think deciding when to start trying has been more stressful than the first time around; for a myriad of reasons. The first time around you’re fucking clueless and blind with excitement. Now, I can’t imagine loving another child as much as I love Callahan, but from what I understand, it does happen. Its also in fairly recent memory the unpleasant pregnancy and postpartum symptoms. What if the next pregnancy isn’t as smooth as the last? What if there are complications? Say the world just keeps getting worse, do we want to subject another child to that? Plus we have Callahan to remind us every day of what the next kid could be like… or the exact opposite of. There’s no way to tell! You’re just fucking flipping a coin and hoping for the best!

In the end, it came down to the fact that we cannot expect any cousins for Callahan any time soon (which is totally fine, our siblings are all younger than us and there is no rush), but it means Callahan needs a sibling so he doesn’t become too spoiled. But also, so that he has a sibling he can be friends with. I also just wanted the unpleasant physical parts of pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum to be over. I didn’t want to drag it out and wait years, allowing me to forget things about the process, or adding complicating factors that sometimes come with age. Plus, you don’t know what life holds for you, so we figured, let’s get at it.

Whenever it happens, if it happens, we’ll be excited, we’ll be calmer, we’ll be more aware of what lies ahead, and yet totally unprepared for handling a toddler and a child. At least the next time, the baby won’t have to sleep in the kitchen!

Excuse me while I try and get as much sashimi and booze in me while I still can.

trying for number two

Please follow and like us:

Things No One Tells You :: Babies

This is my final installment in the “Things No One Tells You” series (you can read the others here and here). This time its about babies, and if you’re thinking “oh man here’s another long rant/list” you can relax, thankfully, people never fail to tell you endless amounts of information about babies (even when you don’t want it). So here I go, throwing more information at you, unsolicited.

Things No One Tells You:

Soft Indicators on your Ultrasound. I’m not a doctor, but I’m going to try my best to give you the simplest explanation I can. At our 20 week ultrasound, they identified a “soft indicator” or a spot on the heart. This is likely a hole in the heart (which is very common at this stage, and will likely close up). The doctor asked us to come in and explained this to us. The first thing she said was “I am legally required to tell you this, otherwise I would not. In my experience this is usually not an issue, so don’t stress out about it”.

things no one tells
Our 1st ultrasound was hunky dory

What they are looking for are indicators of a genetic disorder (most commonly, Down Syndrome). This particular indicator was considered a “soft” indicator; basically there needs to be other indicators for this one to be taken seriously. I had initially said no to some blood tests at the beginning of my pregnancy, because the doctor explained there are a lot of false positives and it wasn’t worth the stress unless I was willing to put a giant needle into my belly for the 2nd set of tests (which I was not).

This day was the last day we could do the test. We opted to do it, not so we could terminate the pregnancy based on the results, but so we could prepare ourselves better for the future. (If you did terminate a pregnancy based on these tests, no judgement, everyone is different and every situation is different). The doctor scheduled us for another ultrasound a few weeks later and the test results came back fine.

That day was stressful, and it took mentioning it to a few friends before things no one tellswe realized how common this is. You probably know someone who has experienced this exact scenario, and all turned out well. This would have been a nice thing to know about ultrasounds prior to having one. Rather than the usual pseudoscience of gender guessing based on the location of the placenta.

As it turns out, many doctors are pushing to be able to withold this information unless there are more than one indicator, citing that the stress is harmful and the extra testing is a burden on the system, given the low rates of actual diagnoses compared to the high number of ultrasounds with “soft indicators”. So don’t panic and definitely don’t google this when you get home from the doctor’s office.

Benign Neonatal Sleep Myoclonus. This is the fancy term for this absolutely terrifying thing your baby might do. But guess what? It’s common and its not an issue. If you do a search of this, there are THOUSANDS of posts of panicked mothers looking for direction.

Here’s what it is, in simpleton: While nursing Callahan, he was falling asleep and he started shaking. Initially it looked like a seizure. And I freaked out. I started yelling his name (which he still didn’t know, so, not helpful) and then I noticed a few things that helped me calm down… 1) Only his upper body was shaking. 2) He wasn’t clamping onto my breast, but still nursing. 4) He wasn’t flailing, it was fairly mild, but still alarming. 3) It stopped after about 7-10 seconds. I immediately googled this and saw all these responses and calmed down.

things no one tells
see he’s fine, LOL

You know when you’re falling asleep and sometimes you twitch/feel like you’re falling? Essentially this is what’s happening with the baby. Their Neurological systems are still developing and are just firing at random. This happened a few more times and then it happened one day as he was waking up, poor Tyler, I had forgot to mention it had happened at all, so he rightfully panicked. I decided to mention it to my doctor, as the waking up shaking wasn’t mentioned in any of the posts, just the falling asleep. I wasn’t worried, but as one of my sisters had been diagnosed with epilepsy a few years prior, thought it best to be sure.

Given the family history, my doctor agreed it was likely nothing, to try and catch it on video (which I never managed since it was always done before I could grab my phone), and referred us to the pediatrician for peace of mind. All was well, the pediatrician said its very common and not a concern. My sister having epilepsy (and her type of epilepsy) was not a factor, unless I or Tyler had epilepsy, and unless it gets worse or he doesn’t outgrow it in the next year or so, there is no need to be concerned.

Having mentioned this to a few co-workers and friends, yet again we learned it was common and no big deal. He rarely does this now, but he also doesn’t nurse to sleep anymore, and when it does happen, its always when he’s being woken up in his car seat or stroller. Even then, its usually just one of his hands twitching, not a full body spasm anymore.

things no one tells
nothing wrong with the kid, the other guy? not so sure

So there you have it, things no one tells you about your baby. Now you won’t panic if it happens, you’re welcome. I also think the advice my friend told me about pregnancy can be applied to babies:

Everything is normal until its not.

Please follow and like us:

Things No One Tells You :: Postpartum

Last week, I provided a list of things no one tells you in relation to pregnancy. I will admit that list isn’t too bad, but it was more of a precursor for this one anyways. Postpartum. The fourth trimester and beyond. The time in your life where you think to yourself “what the fuck is going on?” hourly, if not more. Again, there are tons of lists out there on the world wide web. They claim they will tell you things no one will about delivery and postpartum; again those lists are all the same, and its all in your “What to Expect…” book. Here are the things I wish someone had sat me down, looked me in the eyes and told me.

Things No One Tells You:
  1. Somewhere in the first week you will have a hormone dump. This usually
    Things no one tells
    The calm before the storm

    falls around the 4th night, but can vary person to person. This day is the worst; do not have visitors, do not plan to do anything, have lots of snacks and water ready, and have a helper. This hit me at about 4am on the 4th night, struggling to breastfeed, tired as fuck, clueless, I sat on the couch holding my baby and sobbing. Tyler sat next to me and just said over and over, “I’m so sorry I don’t know how to help you”. The hormone dump is brutal. I suggest writing it on the calendar so that when you think you’ve broken irreparably and you can’t be a mother, you can look at the calendar and go “oh, that’s why this seems so hard”, take a breath, and get through it.

  2. You will sweat. You probably read about this, but what they all fail to
    Things no one tells
    notice how I’m shirtless in nearly every pic? SWEATY MOFO

    convey is HOW MUCH you will sweat. You will wake up and feel like you’re in the Amazon, it will feel like the air is heavy and you might even feel a bit claustrophobic (another reason to avoid a summer birth.) You will wake up in the middle of the night drenched and needing to towel off. The baby will wake you up 30 mintues later, and you’ll need to towel off again. You will feel disgusting. I suggest buying a mattress protector and an extra set of sheets before D-Day, also keep a towel next to the bed, for convenience.

  3. Fluids. SO. MANY. FLUIDS. You will have heard about how milk will just pour out of your (no longer) funbags, about the lochia which can last up to 8 weeks, and I’ve explained the sweat situation already. Let me paint you a picture… You will wake up and feed the baby, feeling disgusting, you will hand the baby over to Dad and go have a shower; so you can feel less swamp monster, and more human. You will save time (and water) and pee in the shower, it is then that you will consider for a moment the absolute leaking mess that you are. Water, tears (the shower is a good place to cry and you’ll cry through many of them), sweat, pee, milk, lochia… You will feel very odd, and then you may even laugh like I did. Because WTF, a woman’s body is totally amazing and fucked up. You will get out and dry off, put your hair into a bun, grab a fresh enormous pad, and feel clean again, for a short time at least. That is your new heaven; feeling clean, a baby who is sleeping peacefully, drinking your coffee and eating your breakfast that your baby daddy made for you. ahhh.
  4. Breastfeeding blows. Yes, its amazing that you can nourish a child with only your tatas, and yes its an intimate time, just you and your little one. But seriously, cut the crap. Its fucking hard work, it can be uncomfortable to the point of torturous, and while there is more support than there has
    Things no one tells
    The day the milk and the hormones dumped. ooof

    been in millenia, there is still not enough. If your nips are sore to the point you are crying or dreading feeding your baby, I highly recommend seeing a lacatation consultant (I actually recommend seeing one even if you aren’t struggling, because there is always room for improvement. They may catch something that isn’t an issue now, but will be in the future). By the time I called Jodi, I had nearly broken my foot kicking the coffee table as Callahan would latch. My nipples were bleeding (which was alarming when Callahan spat up brown fluids) and raw and I hated life. Jodi will know when the next kid is born before any of our family does. If you are set on breastfeeding, spend the money and book with an LC in advance, you won’t regret it.

    1. In addition to breastfeeding being hard, it will KILL your libido- its not the fact you had the baby that kills it, its the breastfeeding (hormones are a mother fucker). And it lasts a LOOOOOONG ass time.
    2. Also, breastfeeding doesn’t ruin your breasts. Pregnancy does. The damage is done long before the milk comes in. Speaking of milk coming in, that is also a brutal day. Hot, sweating, leaking, hard as rocks, baby still doesn’t know what it’s doing… I wish you luck. I ran around like a chiken with my head cut off, my boobs looked like a fembot’s and Callahan wasn’t interested in eating that day to relieve the pressure. It was also the day of the hormone dump, yowza.
  5. Breastfeeding DOES NOT equal weight loss. Yes, it burns extra calories,
    Things no one tells
    Weight/gut still there. Also this was basically my uniform

    but you also have to eat more to sustain your milk. I’m sure there are some lucky bitches out there that swear they lost all the baby weight by breastfeeding, but that wasn’t me, nor was it most of my friends or relatives. I was SOOOO hungry. Given that I didn’t have any real cravings while I was pregnant, I was unprepared for this primal urge to eat. I couldn’t control it, I had to eat. I remember one day, when Tyler left the house for a few hours and I just scrounged food like a freaking raccoon and ate nonstop for 3 hours. I’m not exaggerating.

  6. Your hair will fall out at an alarming rate, you’ve probably heard this before; but it will do this for AGES. Callahan is over a year old and my hair is still falling out like mad. My hair receeded at the temples and I have those lovely little “mom bangs” all around my face. I look like a pubescent lion. No matter how much effort I put in, my hair looks like hell. My lovely friend and hair stylist told me not to wear my hair tight in buns and ponytails; but to braid it. Keep it loose to help with all of this. But its impossible since I can’t do anything other than a ponytail or a bun, and I am so sweaty, the hair HAS to be up.
  7. Joint pain is a bitch. The relaxin hormone is starting to subside, the extra weight, the fatigue, the sitting and feeding baby for hours on end; it adds up. I would wake up in the morning and my feet would hurt to walk, I
    Things no one tells
    so much time on the couch

    would waddle, making quick little steps to avoid putting too much weight (haha) on them. It would take a solid 20 minutes before they stopped hurting. They would ache again if I was sitting for a while. My knees ached, getting off the couch became a struggle. You can also become susceptible to “mother’s wrist” which is caused by putting your wrist at weird angles to hold your baby while feeding or carrying. (Try to support the baby with your arm, leaving your wrist in a neutral position.) I “threw my back out” almost monthly, carrying him, sitting, tight muscles, relaxin, baby seat, strollers, etc… there’s a lot of pressure on your body, pretend you’re still pregnant and get other people to do stuff for you. Take it easy, and go to the RMT and Chiropractor. When you’re cleared for take off, see a trainer that specializes in postpartum fitness.

  8. Loss of bladder control is VERY common, but NOT normal. If you have
    Things no one tells
    hair always up. shirt never on.

    these issues, see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. It will change your life. If you’re a mature woman who’s kids are long grown, they can still help you. I only had 3 appointments and saw a difference in my control and my back problems after the first appointment. Your pelvic floor is the foundation of your body, if there is an issue there, nothing else will be truly fixed despite all your efforts.

I think the thing I was not prepared for (most pissed about) was how long all of these things last. For real, Callahan is over one, I stopped breastfeeding completely 3 months ago, and I still have some of these lingering on! My rings will now go on, but won’t come off. My feet still ache in the morning but not as bad, my joints and back are finally feeling better, my hair still falls out like mad, and the weight is still there, but slowly going away (like molasses uphill in the winter), and I still sweat like a mofo! Although not as bad as the time immediately after birth, but it’s not a cute amount to be sure.

Considering I had a smooth pregnancy, I would say I hated the postpartum feelings more than a third trimester in the summer or actually giving birth. I’ve said it many times since, but those first few weeks were so hard with all of the above, and our difficulty breastfeeding, that I would have given birth 3 times a week for 3 weeks than deal with that again. People focus on what your body is doing during pregnancy, and then they focus on the baby, but what we really need to be talking about is Mom and her body in those postpartum months (and months, and months). Add in any amount of postpartum depression/anxiety/blues/rage (yes, postpartum rage is a thing) and you’ve got quite a hole to climb back out of.

Things no one tells
would do it over again in a heartbeat

So there is my list of things I wish someone would have told me. Try to find the humour in it all. Yell at your tv, or cry in the shower. Ask for help, and more help. You will all survive this and thrive. When people ask you how you’re doing, tell them the truth; no one can help you if you don’t tell them what you need; even if all you want is to stop spewing fluids like a colander.

Please follow and like us: