How dare you. Continue reading “Small Stones 8/26/16”
How dare you.
How dare you.
How dare you. Continue reading “Small Stones 8/26/16”
Kyle and I were walking in a large department store, and several women kept stopping me and asking me when I was due. I got embarrassed and angry, because I wasn’t pregnant, but said nothing to them. After the 10th woman asked me, I turned to Kyle and asked him if I looked pregnant, and he looked at my stomach, hesitated, and told me that I looked very pregnant. I looked down, and sure enough, I looked 9 months pregnant, ready to pop.
Sure enough, as soon as we got home, my water broke, and we rushed to the hospital in a panic, because we were completely unprepared for a second baby, and hadn’t even known I was pregnant.
My delivery only took minutes, and then the nurse handed a very large baby boy to me. He was huge. She informed me that he was 18 pounds and 6 ounces. I was speechless. Everything was foggy, and the nurse brought in a birth certificate, and told me I had to write his name down on it. Kyle had stepped out of the room, and despite the fact that we already had our names picked out for our potential future kids, I wrote “Joseph James” on the birth certificate… which is not the name we agreed on. Then, I fell asleep.
When I woke up, Kyle was waving the birth certificate in my face, asking why I wrote that name down. I didn’t know. I asked the nurse if I could change it, since that wasn’t the name we wanted, but she said it was too late, and told us to pack our bags, because they needed the room. I protested, as I had literally given birth a few hours prior, but she continued to rush us, and then pushed us out the door. I cried the whole drive home, completely overwhelmed, and not sure what we were going to do. We only had one crib, and absolute not clothes for a newborn, even though he was very large.
When we got back to the apartment, we sent the babysitter home, and I crawled into bed with my toddler and my newborn, and just cried.
And then I woke up.
There were rapid-fire holiday and birthday get-togethers, and I found it harder and harder to control myself around all of the sweets and savory foods. So I didn’t. The weather had gotten gloomy, and sucked all the energy from my body, and I slowed down on my exercise, until I stopped completely.
In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/14/2016 | Fleeting
I have a very love/hate relationship with diet and exercise. As some of you may already know, from the middle of October to the end of December, I decided to make some changes, and started eating a mostly vegan diet (I still ate eggs). I didn’t do it for any moral reason, and I don’t care if you eat meat, or don’t eat meat, I did it for me, to be a healthier individual. I struggled a bit at first with giving up dairy, as a large part of my diet tended to include cheese, or milk products, but I found that giving up meat was pretty simple, as I never really ate much of it, and didn’t really crave it in any way.
Not only did I make this change to my diet, but I also decided to actually DIET during this time. I downloaded a free app called Lose It!, which I had used previously to lose weight, and began tracking my daily calorie intake, as well as my weight loss. If you are counting calories, and want a free, simple app to help you out, I highly recommend it. Between this complete overhaul in my diet, and counting calories, I found myself struggling to stay on track early on, as well as struggling with cravings. I had many, many slip-ups and cheat days for the first month, and kicked myself over it, feeling guilty and disgusted with myself. I tried to keep junk food and dairy out of my fridge, but that becomes incredibly difficult when you live with a dairy crazed carnivore who wouldn’t touch a vegetable if would save his life. Every other day he was bringing home cookies, or ordering pizza, or bags of chips, and it was unbearable. I even asked him to stop, but he never did.
I was losing weight, slowly, but not at the rate that I wanted, so I started exercising. I was already going on somewhat regular walks with my son, around 2.5 miles each time we went out, but with the weather getting colder, I knew it was only a matter of time before we would be forced to stay indoor. At the recommendation of a few friends, as well as my mom, I started looking up beginner Zumba videos on YouTube, and was instantly hooked. I was able to burn several hundred calories in 1/4 the time as walking, and it was fun. The weight started to melt off after that.
I lost 10 pounds. Then 15 pounds. Then 25 pounds. I had already reached my pre-baby weight, as well as my lowest weight since college, and I felt great. My skin had cleared up from the lack of daily in my diet, and I was able to buy clothes, several sizes smaller, for the first time since getting pregnant. I even began considering buying a bathing suit, and shorts, for the first time since college. I am not joking, I haven’t owned a bathing suit in 7 years, or work shorts in probably 5 or 6. I felt good, and I looked good.
For a fleeting moment, I was the happiest I had been in years.
Then, the holidays came. I tried to have some self-control, but no one in Kyle’s family seemed to understand my struggle with my body, or my diet. Despite being very open about my dietary restrictions, and politely turning down their cooking (they are the type of folks who cook everything with ten pounds of butter), they would just repeatedly tell me to “Just have a cheat day!”, or “You look fine, just eat!”, and it drove me nuts. Even when I did eat, his grandmother would keep pestering me to eat MORE, or actually BRING ME PLATES OF FOOD when I politely declined. She would get offended when I said no. I hated being forced to eat, but I allowed it to happen, just to please her.
That was the start of the end.
There were rapid-fire holiday and birthday get-togethers, and I found it harder and harder to control myself around all of the sweets and savory foods. So I didn’t. The weather had gotten gloomy, and sucked all the energy from my body, and I slowed down on my exercise, until I stopped completely. Over the course of barely two months, I gained back 9 pounds of the 27 total pounds that I had lost. I noticed the definition in my legs and waist going back to being flabby, and the new, smaller clothing that I had bought stop fitting me in a flattering way. And once again, I hated myself.
I tried to get back into my diet several times, but no longer had room on my phone for my calorie tracker app, and used that as an excuse to ballpark it, which ended in failure. I would get stuck eating my son’s leftovers from his meals, and using that as an excuse to eat other meat or dairy items, as I had already lost it for the day. I made a lot of excuses, and it showed. It showed all over my body.
The weather has started to warm up, and I have been able to get outside to walk more with my son, and he is finally old enough to play with me at the park. This has given me hope, and determination, to try to get back on track. My birthday is in a month and a half, and I have decided that I want to lose 10 pounds by then. I ate a vegan diet today, and managed to get a good walk in with my kiddo, as well as a brief Zumba workout (I am astonishingly out of shape from my time away from it). I felt great… until Kyle got home, made two amazing smelling pork burritos, and only ate one of them. He was going to throw away the other… and I ate it. Granted, I didn’t go bonkers on the calories today, but I ate a burrito that was basically nothing but meat and cheese, and I hate myself for it.
As I’ve written about in the past, self-control is my biggest downfall when it comes to anything. It has ruined everything in my life at some point. I love eating healthy, and I love exercising. I love fruits and vegetables and salad and cooking… but between the weather, my empty bank account, my un-supportive, carnivorous husband, and my horrible lack of self-control, maintaining any sort of healthy lifestyle is a massive struggle.
I’m hoping my self-hatred can outweigh my lack of self-control… otherwise, I fear I will never be happy with my appearance. And I can’t live like that anymore. I miss my fleeting moment of confidence.
Thanks for reading, friends.
Hello, friends! Recently, my good friend, Lindsey, asked to interview Kyle and I on our pregnancy/birth/baby experiences as part of a school assignment, and I was more than happy to do it! I thought it would be fun to share with you our answers, so you get a chance to hear a bit from the daddy part of our parenting duo. I had so much fun doing this interview, and it made me miss being pregnant! The baby fever is REAL, guys! Here was our interview:
1. How did you find out that you going to become a parent?
We weren’t trying to have a baby, per se, but we weren’t preventing it. We both wanted a baby, and after a while, I had my suspicions that it finally happened. I went to the store and bought two of those 88 cent pregnancy tests, the ones with the silly droppers, and sure enough, they came out positive!
Thanks for reading, friends! Thanks again to Lindsey for choosing to interview us. I hope you enjoyed our answers!
Was your pregnancy/birth experience similar to ours?
Jan (and Kyle!)
Today, my beautiful, baby boy turns one. I’ve had him in my life for a whole year, and it has been the most incredible experience. As well as writing a post about all of his milestones up to this point, I thought I would share the story of his birth. Warning, it is a bit graphic in some parts.
On January 23, 2015, my life changed forever.
I woke up at 5:07am with stomach pains. It was one day past my due date, and I thought I was just having Braxton Hicks contractions. I hadn’t had a single contraction through my whole pregnancy, and honestly had no idea what to expect. I waddled to the bathroom, barely making it to the toilet before I threw up. I hadn’t thrown up once during my entire pregnancy either. In fact, I hadn’t thrown up in years. After throwing up a second time, I walked back to my room, and tried to fall back asleep.
Several minutes later, more stomach pains caused me to jolt awake. I walked to the bathroom once more, and threw up once again. Then, it hit me. This was it. My son was on his way. I sat there for a while with my phone, timing my contractions, to see where I was at. They were anywhere from 8-13 minutes apart, and not too severe. I walked out to the couch and turned on Netflix, deciding to let Kyle sleep in a little longer.
Around 7:00, I walked to the room to let Kyle know that my labor had started, but told him there was no rush. He immediately got out of bed, and began making sure our hospital bags were ready for us to leave. I just laughed and sat back on the couch.
At 7:30, I decided to take a shower. I was still able to stand and walk without much difficulty, and my contractions were still around 7-8 minutes apart. I put on a little make up, double checked our hospital bags, and sat back on the couch to watch Netflix. I labored at home until around 8:45, when my contractions started coming every 2-3 minutes, and even walking them off was becoming painful. We left the apartment at 8:50, and arrived at the hospital just minutes later. I checked in (I had submitted all my paperwork weeks in advance), and waddled up to the maternity ward.
I changed into my hideous hospital gown, and waited for them to tell me which one of my midwives was on duty that day. I was relieved when they told me that my favorite midwife, Liz, would be delivering my son… if I gave birth that day.
Liz came in to check me, and was surprised to find that I was already 7cm. dilated, and that I wasn’t in much pain. She commented on being able to feel my son’s head, and mentioned that she could feel that he would have a lot of hair, which made me smile. She also mentioned that he was in the posterior position (head-down but facing your abdomen), which could possibly lead to complications during delivery, but I wasn’t too worried. She asked me if I wanted an epidural, and I quickly answered yes. The anesthesiologists came in to administer the epidural, and I made the mistake of catching a glance at the needle that they were about to insert into my back. The extremely attractive duo informed me that I would only feel a pinch, and then I wouldn’t feel anything.
They were absolutely right, and it was glorious.
Unfortunately, my painless high did not last. The nurse came in to check my blood pressure, which had been a bit high in the last week of my pregnancy, and informed me that they thought I may have Preeclampsia. They tested my urine, and sure enough, they found protein. Because I was already in labor, they chose to let things progress on their own. My heart rate was fine, and my baby was doing great. They gave me Pitocin to try any speed up my labor a bit, as well as a Magnesium drip for my Preeclampsia, and fluids to keep me hydrated, as I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything. I had forgot to have breakfast that morning, and I was starving.
The Magnesium drip made me so, so sick. I was able to get some sleep, thanks to my epidural, and was in and out of consciousness for several hours, only waking up to vomit, or when the nurses needed to check me. They did not insert a catheter, even though I had an epidural, and also had to wake me every hour so that I could pee into a bed pan, which was really awkward and strange. I couldn’t feel anything! Despite the nausea and exhaustion, I felt great, with zero pain. Kyle and I excitedly talked about the arrival of our baby boy, and Kyle started sending out the texts to let family know we were in the hospital.
Hours passed. Many hours. I could see that it had gotten dark outside, but I had no idea what time it was. The pressure was getting intense, and I could no longer sleep, so Kyle and I watched some TV for a few hours. The nurses kept coming in to check me, but it felt like I was stuck at only 8-9cm. dilated for the entire day. Finally, just after 7:30pm, they told me it was just about time to start pushing. Since 12 hours had passed, the anesthesiologists came in to touch up my epidural, which had started to wear off. I still didn’t feel any pain from contractions, but there was definitely pressure. And it was incredibly uncomfortable.
Suddenly, I was terrified.
Liz, my team of nurses, and Kyle were at my side. Liz and Kyle each held one of my legs, and I was instructed on when to push, and what I should be feeling. After several minutes of practice pushes, Kyle left the room. While I had expected this to happen, as Kyle has a weak stomach, and does not do well in high pressure situations, it scared me, and I suddenly felt alone. Liz took charge, instructing one of the nurses to grab my other leg, and the pushing continued.
Once again, no pain. Tons of pressure.
After 45 minutes of pushing on my back, Liz instructed me to get on all fours, and rest my chest on the top of the bed. This is when I started to feel some pain. Or something.
I found pushing in this position to be much more difficult, but Liz informed me that it was progressing much more quickly that way. I don’t remember much, just a lot of pushing, and the nurses laughing at me when I responded with, “I can do better!” when I was told that I was doing great.
Another 45 minutes of pushing, and Liam was finally here. He came out sideways, of course, and caused quite a bit of damage with his shoulders. One of the nurses passed him to me between my legs, and I was able to finally lay my eyes on my son. He was perfect. His head was covered with thick, black hair, and his skin was perfect, and not wrinkly or splotchy like some newborns are. He looked just like his daddy. I remember thinking, that is a BIG baby!
Kyle came back into the room to cut the cord, and I remembered repeating, “Hello, baby boy!” over and over again, before they took him away to get him cleaned and measured. I sobbed with joy. And shock. Kyle was at my side, holding my hand when I was instructed to push again, to push out my placenta. It came easily, and unfortunately for him, Kyle got to see the whooole thing. He handled it quite well!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t hold my son, or attempt to nurse him, for another hour and a half. Liz informed me that I had a 4th degree perineal tear (the worst kind), probably because of the position that I was in when I delivered, and the position Liam was in when he came out, and would need a lot of stitches. I then met the newest doctor to the practice, who was almost unbelievably good looking, and he proceeded to sew my lady parts back together.
I remember Liz and the other nurses laughing and commenting on how calm and talkative I was, considering that I had just gone through 14 hours of labor, and 1.5 hours of pushing, and a pretty significant degree of tearing. I was calm. I was happy. I was exhausted. I still wasn’t feeling any pain. I wanted to see my son.
There was also a comment made about how my lady parts didn’t look like “ground hamburger“, which apparently some look like after experiencing this type of tearing… good for me?
My baby boy came into this world at 9:01pm, at 21 inches long, and 7 pounds 15 ounces. He was absolutely perfect.
Unfortunately, despite my plans to exclusively nurse, Liam was unable to latch. There was nothing wrong with him, he just didn’t want to, no matter what we tried. Even the lactation consultant couldn’t help us. He also would not use a nipple shield. I ended up pumping, but it broke my heart, not being able to have my baby latch onto me, to feed him from my breast.
It got worse.
I was in the hospital for a total of 4 days. For the first 2 days, I was horribly sick from the Magnesium that I was on, and was extremely nauseous and drowsy. Kyle also spent most of his time throwing up, due to stress and exhaustion, which made for a very stressful environment. I sent him home on the 3rd day so that I could have some quiet.
I also received harsh criticism from Kyle’s family, who were not allowed to visit in the first 24 hours, which was hospital policy, and was told that they wouldn’t be visiting because that was the only day any of them could come, despite only living 15-30 minutes away. Kyle’s youngest sister, who was 17 at the time, was also not permitted to visit, because no one under the age of 18 is allowed to visit the maternity ward during cold and flu season, once again, hospital policy. For four days, I had no one. No one came to take pictures. It was just me, my broken body, my beautiful baby, and my baby’s father, who couldn’t get up from the couch without throwing up. Not to mention, the unnecessary drama that my son’s birth had created. It was hard, and it hurt.
When we went home, Kyle was called back into work immediately, despite having taken a week off to help me in our first week as new parents. He went back to work early, and I was alone with our baby, who still refused to nurse. He also would only sleep if I was holding him, and refused to sleep in his bassinet, swing, or bouncer, which made finding time to pump impossible. I had no help from anyone, and experienced a lot of frustration and depression over not being able to nurse or breastfeed. After a few weeks, I switched to formula, and have harbored so many regrets.
My healing process was relatively smooth. When I went in for my 6 week postpartum exam, she commented on how great a job the doctor had done sewing me up. Despite my 4th degree tear, I didn’t have much residual pain, my bleeding had completely stopped, and I hadn’t experienced any incontinence. I felt great… despite having some pretty bad postpartum depression, which I wish I had talked about more. I gained 31 pounds during my entire pregnancy, but lost all of it, plus an extra pound, before we even left the hospital. I was put on blood pressure medication, but after a few months, my blood pressure returned to normal, and I haven’t needed it since.
I also ended up sleeping on the couch for 3 months with Liam, before we got a new couch (our old couch was actually a small love seat), and Kyle switched with us, allowing Liam and I to co-sleep in the bed together. When Liam was 6 months old, I transitioned him to his crib, which went fairly smoothly, and he has been sleeping on his own, mostly through the night, ever since. My back, however, has still not recovered from those several months of love seat sleeping.
It has been quite a journey, this last year… but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not one, single thing.
And I can’t wait do it all over again in the future.
Thanks for reading, friends.
When Summer came, we made it outside a lot more. I started to clean up my diet a bit, and started teaching myself how to cook things that I used to never eat. This, specifically, has been extremely difficult for me, since my significant other is a carnivorous, dairy lover who refuses to touch vegetables. Luckily, my kid loves vegetables.
Apologies if this gets a bit rambly. It’s been a rough few days.
I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. Middle school, high school, college… after college… I never used to consider myself “obese” (though my doctor would disagree), but I’ve always been overweight. I’m short and busty, with wide hips, so I’ve always looked more heavyset than I am. High school was rough. I’ve battled an eating disorder, crash diets, liquid diets, exercising 7 days a week, going vegetarian, going vegan, then back to vegetarian… nothing sticks. I know, I know, I have no one to blame for my weight but myself. I have control issues. And commitment issues.
It is so hard to look at pictures of myself from high school, college, and even from just a few years ago, and think about how hard I used to be on myself. To think about all of the awful things I used to say about my body. Now look at me. I’d like to think that I’m in a better place, mentally, when it comes to how I see myself, compared to how I used to be. I had a baby less than a year ago, and managed to gain NO weight through my pregnancy (I “gained” 18 pounds, but the day I left the hospital, I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight). I tried so hard to stay active, eat well, and work right up to my due date. And I did! But everything changed after my son was born.
I ended up having to leave my job to stay home, and I was confined to the couch for the first month of my son’s life . I had a 4th degree perineal tear (fucking ouch!), and also needed extra time in the hospital because I developed preeclampsia during labor, and was pumped full of drugs, and became very sick. Let’s just say, I had a traumatic birthing experience, and needed lots of healing. I was completely unsuccessful when it came to nursing Liam, but I tried to pump. That didn’t work out either. So I didn’t even have that to help keep the weight off. Kyle had to pick up extra hours at his job, and was never home. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t cook, I couldn’t clean, I couldn’t go for walks. I ate garbage all day, every day. I got no exercise. I gained weight.
In fact, I gained 19 pounds in just a few months.
Once I was healed, it was easier to be more active, but Liam was still so tiny and needy, and it was very difficult to do anything at all. When the weather got warmer, and he was bigger, I tried to take him for walks to the park every other day, but I fell off the wagon pretty quickly, and it ended up only happening once a week. If that.
Things got better though. When Summer came, we made it outside a lot more. I started to clean up my diet a bit, and started teaching myself how to cook things that I used to never eat. This, specifically, has been extremely difficult for me, since my significant other is a carnivorous, dairy lover who refuses to touch vegetables. Luckily, my kid loves vegetables.
In October, I became a vegetarian, and gave up meat entirely. I have also tried to give up dairy, though I do slip every now and then. I’m not a vegan (nope nope nope), but giving up meat and dairy has done wonders for me. My skin has cleared up slightly, my hair is softer, I have more energy, and I’ve lost weight! Liam and I were taking regular hour-long walks right up until a few weeks ago, when it started getting cold and snowy outside. Since then, my progress has slowed.
Being stuck inside 24/7 is starting to take its toll. I’m getting more and more anxious, and I find myself having more frequent “cheat days”, and am completely unable to control my food urges. You’d think I was pregnant again. This, coupled with my lack of exercise, has started to get me a bit depressed. Guess who eats when she is depressed?
As of a few days ago, I finally made it back down to my pre-baby weight (18 pounds down!). I was so happy! My body is still not the same shape that it was, but I feel good. Sticking with my diet, and finding ways to stay active, has been a challenge, and one that I hope to overcome.
Just… not today. Liam has been sick/teething for days, and my nerves are shot. I am exhausted, on edge, and lonely. Kyle was supposed to quit his old job, since his new job pays very well, and was going to be spending a lot more time home… but he decided to stay. So he is gone every day, we never see him, and I have no help with the baby or anything else. At all.
Today has been one of those days, where I just don’t care about my diet. A stress eating kind of day. Liam has been so difficult, and I just found out that Kyle’s coat was stolen while he was at work (it had his freaking car keys in the pocket), and no one is doing anything about it. I am stressing out, and I just devoured a handful of shredded cheese, and ate three baby spoonfuls of peanut butter. See? No control.
But anyway. I dropped a full dress size, so Kyle bought me a dress (clearance!). Let’s hope I don’t screw this up and it still fits me for Christmas… I need to buy some shape wear.
Thanks for reading, friends.