the road to motherhood, was long. i am not going to pretend that i have had the toughest struggle. the reality is, a LOT of women go through what i have been through and worse. miscarriage is INCREDIBLY common, as is infertility. the unfortunate thing is that many women feel ashamed or embarrassed and don't talk about it much, until long after they have gone through the experience. so, while i was going through everything, i felt so incredibly alone. absolutely isolated. remember, we weren't talking about it. so i didn't know how common my issues really were. and of course, now that bella is here, i can freely talk about everything i went through.
my pregnancy wasn't terrible. but i was sick for most of it. i would wake up early to take joel in to work, with every intention of working out. i was determined to stay healthy through my pregnancy and keep my weight gain under control. i would drop joel off at PT (physical training, not physical therapy, for all you non-military readers), drive to the gym, and then.....sleep. in the car. in the parking lot. for an hour. then joel would call me to pick him up and i would groggily rouse and drive over.
joel: "you fell asleep again, didn't you"
me: "yup. don't judge me. i'm creating life"
one morning, i was driving joel to work and was overwhelmed by a nauseas feeling. driving down the street (on base, so like 15 mph) i opened the door, stuck my head out and puked all over the road. then kept on going. this was very common for about the first 18 weeks. i hated it, because, like, who really enjoys throwing up? i lost 10 pounds, i slept a lot, and i felt all sick and vommy most of the time. my kitchen was full of ginger snaps, ginger ale, candied ginger, raw ginger. none of it helped. and i felt miserable.
but i was pregnant. i was having a baby. so i complained and felt incredibly guilty. this was what i wanted, after all.
for most of the first trimester, if you mentioned anything that had anything to do with meat, i would be sick for the rest of the day. joel got on a "homemade beef jerky" kick right around week 8. which meant our house constantly smelled like......meat.
then we moved and i felt great, swollen ankles aside. even in the middle of a southern summer, carrying around an extra 15 pounds, i felt amazing.
my morning sickness was gone, i could eat meat again (hallelujah!!), and i hadn't gained much weight. actually i was back at my pre pregnancy weight after dropping about 15 pounds from the first trimester. life was good.
bella's birth was amazing. i was induced at 7 am and she was born at 7:31 pm. the worst part was that i hadn't eaten in over 24 hours, threw up about 32 oz of fluid (no one warned me about that......from all the fluids and the adrenaline, as i was pushing i was puking. it was very lovely) and it was sunday, so the chick-fil-a combo i was so excited about gobbling down was disappointingly absent (i lost track of the days and didn't realize until around 5:30 that is was sunday). so i settled for a big bacon classic combo (which is called something else, but i like calling it that) from wendy's. and when i say settled, i mean i scarfed it down with reckless abandon.
bella latched on with no problem, and nursed right after her birth. and a couple of times after. then she stopped.
the night after she was born, she hadn't eaten for 12 hours. my nurse had been in and out, trying to help me about every hour. i was frustrated and the baby was frustrated, so they took her to the nursery to give us both a break. at around 3am, the nursery nurse came in and started to yell at me.
nurse meanie: "why haven't you fed her!?"
me: "i've been trying to. every hour. for 12 hours."
nm: "well, obviously not hard enough. she needs to eat. i am going to take her into the nursery and give her a bottle"
me: "please don't. i really want to nurse her and i am afraid if she takes a bottle she won't nurse"
nm: "then keep trying. but don't let her fall asleep, because if she does, she won't wake back up"
me: stunned silence............
was this medical professional seriously suggesting that my child would DIE if she fell asleep before i could feed her? i started sobbing and told her to get out of my room and not come back.
my nurse came in and i blubbered what had just happened. she told me to keep trying, but not to worry about her. then when she left, i heard nurse meanie yelling at my nurse about how i told her i hadn't tried nursing her all day and that the baby couldn't latch. which wasn't true. and my nurse knew it.
around 7am, bella finally gave in and nursed for 45 minutes. while she was eating, the lactation consultant came in. i recounted the last few hours for her.
lc: "i am so PROUD of you! good job standing up for your baby. welcome to motherhood"
(by the way, this isn't a statement
about nursing vs bottle feeding.
it's a statement about ignorant,
pushy night nurses who are on
power trips and trying to take
advantage of tired, new mommies)