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And now for the bad news

Yesterday I wrote about the perks of pregnancy.. but there is a dark side to the magical joy of growing your very own demon-spawn. I’m never one to gloss over the bad stuff, so let’s get right to it. Put your reading glasses on, because this is going to take a while.

“Battle Scars”
I’ll readily admit I got lucky when it comes to stretch marks. My stomach is basically in the free and clear (minus one ugly one on my bellybutton from a piercing-scar gone wrong). I’ve seen pictures that would make expecting-mothers scream in horror.
Almost no one is safe from getting them. You might think you’re doing good during your 6th month of pregnancy when one morning you wake up, look down, and your tummy looks like an over-stretched balloon. Ugly purple and red marks going in all directions.
Regardless of what the commercials say, Palmers Cocoa Butter DOES NOT WORK. it just doesn’t. It doesn’t stop that horrendous itching you’ll experience either.
I went to a store called “The Body Shoppe” and bought the most expensive cocoa butter I could find. In lotion form, in body wash form… in every form you can think of to ward off looking like a zebra. I oiled myself up like a Thanksgiving turkey..
Unfortunately, I missed my ass. I don’t know how.. i guess I was just so focused on the part of me that was obviously expanding the fastest that I didn’t even think twice on my poor rear end.
It now looks like a roadmap. Again, luckily.. mine are white and not pink or purple.. It just kind of looks like I laid in a tanning bed the wrong way, wrinkled up my skin and missed some (read: a lot) of spots. Whoops.
Also, for a few months after pumping, my boobs looked like starbursts. Ugly white stretchies all around the nips. Those were fun to look at.
Try telling the women who end up with terrible stretchies that they are just “battle scars”, then duck- because you’ll most likely get a swift kick to the head.

Braxton Hicks
or “just kidding, you’re not really in labor!”
Some women describe these ‘fake contractions’ as just uncomfortable.. but for me, from 6 months on they were pure hell. I had them just like regular contractions, constantly. Was put on medication to stop them that made my heart race, body shake, and caused migraines.. in and out of L&D.. Non-Stress Tests to make sure Holden was still ok.. etc etc
Basically, they suck. There’s no two ways about that.
And they make your stomach look like you have a tumor instead of a baby growing:

Braxton Hicks also made for quite a few false alarms towards the end of my pregnancy (those.. and accidentally peeing a little and assuming it was my water breaking).
I was never told what I was having were in fact BH, so when I went into REAL active labor, I was blindsided by the intense pain. BH are NOTHING in comparison to active labor.. I just wish i’d known that prior to being induced, would have saved me a total freakout in L&D.

Touched by a stranger
Get used to having your vagina stared at by strangers, ladies. I can not honestly count the number of hands that have poked and prodded my cervix during pregnancy. I consider myself pretty shy when it comes to being naked (I hate it, to be exact), so growing used to the nurses and doctors at my OBGYN was a huge feat for me.
Totally different story on all of my trips to L&D for monitoring.
Big fingers and short are by FAR the least fun of them all. A petite women shoving her hand as hard as she can into your snatch to try and check the progression of your cervix? Total hell.
I actually had a complete meltdown when my doctors thought I may have been in actual labor at 26 weeks and a random man at the hospital wanted to shove a strip in my cooch to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. WASN’T HAPPENING. It’s one thing to have 100 different women sticking there fingers in there, some random (and extremely young) looking male doctor? No way in hell.
Once you’re IN labor.. well.. you stop caring who sees your vagina and what’s coming out of it. You just want the baby OUT and don’t care who has to see every bit of you in order to get it.

Waddling
There’s no escaping the preggo-waddle. Your body just isn’t sure how to handle all the weight protruding from the front of your body.. so it makes you waddle like an emporer penguin.. or like you have a poop in your pants.
It’s the worst in the last trimester. People see the waddle and immediately tell you “Man you’re about ready to pop, you look so uncomfortable!”
DUH! the HUGE stomach didn’t give that away?

Preggo-Brain
You’ll feel like a crazy old woman with alzheimers. Suddenly, you can’t remember what you did yesterday, what you were supposed to be doing now.. your age… maybe even your name. Pregnancy is like having a constant ‘brain-fart’.. and I have bad news for you.. I’m over a year post-partum and my brain still hasn’t fully recovered.

Fat Ass-ness
Get used to the idea of getting fat. It’s a given during pregnancy. You’re going to gain weight whether you like it or not (unless you are already over-weight, then you are lucky and might not gain any at ALL other than what’s growing and floating around inside of you due to baby). No matter how little or healthy you eat, the weight is coming. Your ass WILL get fat, your thighs WILL get big.. cellulite will start popping up in places you never dreamed of having it. Hell, even your face gets fat.
It’s easier said than done to just accept your new found fatty-status. I know I was completely horrified when I stepped on the scale at my OBGYN and was told i’d gained 10 pounds in 1 month (even more horrified when I was told to ‘stop eating so much’).. but your body is going to gain what it thinks it needs to gain in order to grow a healthy baby, so there’s not much you can do other than just embrace yourself as festively-plump and move on.

Preggo-Clothes
Sure, they look cute. You can’t wait to wear the flowy pretty clothes you see in all the ads at stores like Motherhood… but they’re much prettier on paper than in practice.
I had a hard time finding ANYTHING that fit, and preggo clothes? they’re expensive.
Finding pants was a thorn in my side. Nothing fit.. And those pants tummy panels were straight out of nightmares. U-G-L-Y.
Size 1 preggo-jeans? too big. It’s like they expect your legs to be built like a lumberjack. I was never even a size 1 BEFORE getting pregnant, the sizing just makes no sense at all.
They also expect you to have size G boobs.. so everything hung off in the boob area, and I wasn’t about to expose myself to random strangers (though i’m SO SURE they would have liked to see lactating tits staring them in the eye).
I ended up going to regular stores, and buying a large size. Luckily, empire waisted shirts are the ‘in’ thing to wear.
The preggo look is so in.

Morning Sickness
is a crock of shit. Honestly, it’s more like “all-day sickness.”
The first trimester is a permanent hangover after an all-night bender.

Pissing like a racehorse
Not only will you be peeing upwards of 25 times a day (and getting up 5 times during the night), but you’ll find your bladder weakening as your pregnancy progresses. To the point where if you sneeze, you pee. If you cough, you pee. if you laugh, you pee.
basically.. you’re peeing all.the.time
The worst.. is that you’ll feel like you have to pee SO BAD, rush to the bathroom, sit down… and only get a tiny little drop out. Talk about unsatisfying. It’s like after you’ve had a LONG night of drinking and you’ve ‘broken the seal’

Just call me Granny
being pregnant is like being old. Really, really old. Your joints hurt, your muscles hurt.. you’re tired and irritable all the time. I even started developing carpal tunnel in my third trimester (it’s gone now, thank God).
Consider yourself a night-owl? Kiss that goodbye. I found myself dozing off at 8pm every night without fail.
Try and stop yourself from calling people whipper-snappers though, then you may be too far gone.

After giving birth it doesn’t get much better… Your body is going to take a long time to recover.
You can look forward to:

National Geographic Boobs
Remember how I said you’d get porno-tits DURING pregnancy?
Mmmhmm, well, after you give birth (assuming you aren’t breastfeeding. if you are, this will happen later) kiss those bad-boys goodbye.
My boobs went from being perky and fabulous pre-pregnancy, to weird and lacking fullness post-pregnancy.
I honestly can’t imagine the trainwreck my chest would be if I had big boobs beforehand.
Wait.. I can, long, saggy and thin like two strips of bacon.
yum!

Birthing Hips
Your hips expand during pregnancy to widen your birth canal.. While they do get a tiny bit smaller after giving birth, they NEVER go back to normal.
I am having to face the reality of throwing my ‘skinny’ jeans away and accepting the fact that my hips will just never be small again.

Things I could list but left out:
bad skin, pissing in a cup, urine-labs, getting massive amounts of blood drawn, no more drinking or smoking (unless you’re a total moron), bad skin, frizzy unmanigable hair…

I feel like this blog is getting incredibly lengthy and may scare women out of EVER getting pregnant or freaking out those already knocked up so i’ll cut it short and say this:
Even after all that my body/brain has gone through.. After all is said and done.. i’d do it again no questions asked.
Not any time soon mind you… but someday.
All the bad just becomes a moot point because of the wonderful whiny bundle of joy that comes out of you in a big bloody goopy mess.
It’s worth it, I promise.

Posted on October 24, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment
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Pregnancy Perks

Yes, growing a human-being in your rapidly expanding uterus is obviously pretty damn cool.. but let’s face it- i’m not good with the sugary sentimental crap, so let’s move right along to the less obvious perks of pregnancy

Porno-Titties
The boob-fairy never came for me. I was never blessed with big-boobies.. and I learned to love my small boobs (huge floppy tits never really were very appealing to me).
I didn’t even get the small boobs until late in my teenage years. Just like I was a late-bloomer in life, I was a late-bloomer in pregnancy.
When I FINALLY got pregnancy boobs, it was like Christmas morning. I went from a size B, to a C/D seemingly overnight. Not just big boobs, but big, full, perky boobs.. without the hurt on my pocket implants would cost.
They were every boob-challenged girls dream. I felt confident, and hell, even sexy. They of course were trumped by the huge belly that sat underneath of them.. but beggars can’t be choosers.
Sadly, I lost the huge porno-titties a few weeks after giving birth.. and am even smaller than I was before getting pregnant (double damn!) but they were fun while they lasted.
Now I know why women love having implants, big perky boobs are great!

Condomless Sex, yay!
Condoms are obviously a good thing, they protect against unwanted pregnancy and STDs.. but let’s keep it real- they feel like sandpaper rubbing your vagina raw. And lube does NOT work the way the commercials would like you to think.
If you’re already pregnant, the damage is done. You obviously can’t get pregnant AGAIN (and if you’re with a steady partner), so why not let loose and go bareback? We all know it feels about a million times better.
Go ahead and give your hoo-ha a break- assuming your significant other isn’t totally freaked out by preggo-sex.

Goodbye Tampons
Or pads, if you choose to use the bloody-diaper (eww). One of the things I was most excited about during pregnancy was that I would NOT have a period for 9 long months. No more period cramps (pregnancy cramps are another story), no more sticking cotton up my snatch to stop the week-long bleeding.. no more unexplained bloating (bloating is exciting during pregnancy because you actually think you’re shwoing when you’re not).
Trust me, it’s fantastic not to have your period. I certainly don’t enjoy having it back.

Playing the ‘Pregnancy Card’
As bitchy as it might seem, I definitely used being pregnant to my full advantage. Don’t want to get up and get a drink or snack? Play the pregnant card, if your husband isn’t a total twat- he’ll get up and get it for you. People will give you their seat if all seats are taken. Strangers go out of their way to make you comfortable or to get things for you. It’s pretty awesome. You feel like a queen. A fat swollen tired queen, but a queen nevertheless.

Solid excuse to be fat
Eating like a cow during pregnancy will come back to bite you in the ass after giving birth, but I won’t lie and say it isn’t fun to stuff your face while your pregnant and not have anyone bat an eyelash (well, except your OBGYN). Most people have heard the saying “eating for two” and take it at face value, so when you’re shovelling down your second serving of cheesecake- people smile and write it off to the fact that you’re pregnant and need the calories.
Gives a whole new meaning to being fat and happy.

Never-ending shopping
What women doesn’t love to shop? During pregnancy, the shopping-spree never ends. Whether it’s shopping for clothes to fit your fat ass (and the ones you buy at the beginning of pregnancy probably won’t fit towards the end, meaning MORE shopping), or shopping for baby.. there never seems to be a lack of the need to shop and spend ridiculous amounts of money.

No more birth control
It’s a no-brainer that you stop birth control when you’re knocked up. If you were taking it before and a sperm accidentally got through, well.. that sucks- but you won’t need it any more for obvious reasons.
No more remembering to take a pill, or sticking a new ring up into your freaking cooch.. no need for an implant under the skin on your arm (um, OUCH!), or to get a “tiny plastic insert” shoved up into your cervix, or even to stick a patch on your arm.
You will have to remember to take pre-natal vitamins.. which might just make you horribly nauseous, but… well… i’ll just keep this as a pro for now.

Being a bitch is a-ok
Some people might argue that it’s never ok to be a bitch… but c’mon, with all those extra hormones during pregnancy it’s hard NOT to want to snap at least twice a day and tear someone a new asshole. All you have to say? “Sorry, hormones!” and all is well in the world again.

Ain’t being pregnant grand?

Of course.. there are many awful uncomfortable disgusting things that come along with being pregnant, but i’ll save that for tomorrow’s post. Let’s all bask in the positive glory that is pregnancy right now.

Posted on October 23, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment
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Pumping A.K.A Milking your boobs

Holden was a formula fed baby, but for the first 7 weeks of his life.. I pumped. 5 times or so a day, for 30 minutes at a time. It was hell.
Time consuming, uncomfortable, and basically fruitless.

I’m not saying that pumping is bad, maybe my boobs are just broken. No matter how much I pumped, the most I ever got was 3 ounces at a time, and by the time Holden was a month or so old.. he was eating that much or more at every bottle, and the more I pumped the less I got.. so I had to give him half a bottle of formula, and half a bottle of boob milk (and only once a day, ALL that work for 3 oz a day if I was lucky by the end). Twice the hassle, twice the mess. Add in the reflux, and you had a screaming child while I was sitting there helpless with my boob being sucked into a pump.. only causing me to become highly frustrated with the whole situation (and I was told crying babies helped the milk flow… not true).

Let me clarify, I used a MANUAL pump. Which basically means I was trying to suck the milk out of my boobs by hand. Even if you get the good brand (which I had, a Medela), they just aren’t as effective as the electric pumps. Add in the fact that they are incredibly messy. The entire time I was pumping, I would try to situate my boob to get the best flow.. the best suction, causing my hard-earned milk to splatter and drip everywhere while make farting sounds. Super embarrassing when your husband is sitting right next to you wondering what the deal is, and why the hell it sounds like your boob is queefing.

To me, electric pumps are terrifying. They reminded me way too much of cow-milkers, especially the double-suction pumps… not to mention the lofty price.. but I suppose if you’re really looking to give your baby breast milk (because we ALL hear that ‘breast is best’), but don’t want a kid nibbling at your nip- it’s the only way to go.
You can be hands free while extracting the good stuff (and MUCH more of it compared to a hand-pump), what more can you ask for?
If you don’t want to BUY an electric pump.. you can always rent a used one from the hospital if they offer it, and you don’t mind using a pump that’s sucked the milk from Lord-knows how many other womens’ ta-tas’
But hey, they’re sterilized!

The moral of the story is,
Extracting boobie-juice with a hand pump is like masturbating with a vibrator sans batteries: Your hand gets tired before you make any progress, leaving everyone tired, frustrated and unfulfilled. Literally.


Posted on October 16, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment
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"It’s like throwing a hotdog down a hallway"

You’ve all heard the rumors, those of you who haven’t had children probably believe them. That giving birth will stretch you out like an old rubber band... or so the urban legend would like you to believe.

Now, I can’t speak for women who have had 10+ children… but I can speak for myself and friends i’ve spoken to about this subject and it just isn’t true!

Most of us are not lucky enough not to tear, or not to have the unfortunate experience of an episiotomy (getting snipped to make it easier for the baby to come out.. in my case, twice).. and while it’s a VERY painful recovery process to have either of those things happen- in my opinion it might be for the best.

Unless your OB absolutely hates you, they’ll stitch you up tighter than a virgin (seriously). That, and add the fact that any sane person will wait at least 6 weeks to have sex after giving birth due to pain- and it gives your nether-region a LONG time to heal.. and essentially.. ‘snap back.’
The way I see it, a vagina is like a piercing hole. If you put an earring in, and leave it in, of course it will stretch to allow the post to comfortably stay there. Take the earring out for a prolonged period of time.. and it will go back to the way it was before.
Obviously, a baby doesn’t stay in your birth canal long enough to get your snatch used to the feeling of being stretched to it’s outer limits, so saying that you’ll be loose after having a child doesn’t really make a lot of sense when you think about it logically.

Now, when you make sticking/expelling large objects in/from your hoo-ha a hobby it might be a totally different story..

but a child or two? maybe even three? Not going to give you a gaping hole where your vagina used to be.
So tell your significant other/friends to shut up- the rumors aren’t true!

Now, the rumor about post-baby sex hurting worse than losing your virginity? That I can confirm.

Posted on October 11, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment
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Another one of ‘those days’

Today was another day where I questioned how good of a mother I actually am.

I do not claim to have the patience of a saint.. hell, my patience has been ridiculously thin for a LONG time now.
Having a child who screams all day long, whether playing or eating… is wearing it even thinner.

I don’t know what’s wrong with Holden, but I know it needs to stop. NOW.
I feel bad for him because it’s so obvious that he’s completely miserable, he doesn’t have the spark in his eye that he normally does.. he isn’t laughing or smiling nearly as much..
and I feel bad for my head because it’s pounding from him screaming in my ear all day long.

Today was another day where I felt VERY close to snapping. I just wanted to get up, and walk out the door and clear my head- but I know I can’t do that because Holden deserves better.. and I know he isn’t screaming just to be a brat- but because he’s feeling like total crap.
Still, in the heat of the moment, I find myself white-knuckling.

I try to stay calm, but i’m not perfect. I’m human.. and what human wouldn’t get irritated with someone screaming and yelling for hours on end?

Posted on October 10, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment
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