9.14.2014

PREGNANCY, THE RECOVERY AND OTHER POSTPARTUM THOUGHTS

things are about to get real honest up in here.

so i really didn't like being pregnant. like the thought of being pregnant again is very overwhelming. i hear there are women out there that actually say "i love being pregnant." i have personally never met one of these women, but if you are reading this and you love being pregnant please enlighten me on how that is possible.

i had a lot of anxiety while i was pregnant. anxiety that something would go wrong. anxiety that i would lose the baby. i don't know if that's because i've had a miscarriage or because i'm naturally pessimistic. probably both. i cried worrying about the tiny human growing inside of me. i didn't like not knowing that he was always alright. if i could just hear his heart beating 24/7 my problem would be solved.

i was pretty scared of the recovery process. i was fully expecting the worse. between the internet and people sharing words of wisdom i knew it could be pretty bad. the one i got the most was, "you know you're going to be really constipated after you give birth, right?" the recovery was not terrible, but i know that i got lucky (read had a small baby). i cannot imagine birthing a ten pound baby.

for the first two weeks it's like every time you sit down you have to act is if you're about to sit on a glass table. you go slow, put your butt down at the perfect angle and never fully relax. in the thick of this, i thought how in the world am i ever going to have sex again. this is never going to feel normal. after two weeks i was good to go in the sitting department. phase two of the pain came in the form of walking. going on walks, which was physically and mentally necessary, was so hard. it felt like someone was kicking me repeatedly between the legs. everything just ached. i didn't know it was possible to feel so sore down there. in the moments of pain i had to remind myself that people have more than one baby. it has to get better. and it did.

the pads provided a nice blast to the past. it's like being afraid of tampons the first time you get your period and sporting a pad instead. pads are the worst. they make the fact that you're bleeding ten times worse. and there is enough blood to film a horror movie the first few days. i have never had such loving thoughts about tampons.

i had no idea that you get cramps when you nurse for the first few days. every time ari latched on my uterus would would contract. i guess you're already in pain so why not bring on really bad cramps.

nobody told me about postpartum edema. i guess it doesn't happen to everyone because this is not something my mom filled me in on. between the fluids you receive during labor and the uterus expelling fluid you've got a lot of fluid in your body. and where does that fluid go? your feet. one of the doctors on call told me, "you'll see your ankles in about a week. oh, and it will get worse before it gets better." she wasn't lying. by the time we left the hospital i couldn't fit in my sneakers. a day later i couldn't fit in my flip flops. they looked like they were going to pop. no, explode. i had never considered feet to be a skinny body part until i saw how huge mine got.

and then there's the crying. anytime i felt an emotion i cried. happy or sad. i cried tears of confusion, frustration, happiness and love. i couldn't even have half the conversations i attempted to have because i would just start to cry and i couldn't get any words out.

the first few weeks with a new baby were intense. i experienced an entirely new physical and emotional state. i don't know how people heal with a new baby and other children to look after. i guess that's what grandma and grandpa are for.



8.28.2014

ISLAND PARK PART I

at the beginning of august we got to spend a week in island park, idaho with the kershaw family. a lot has changed in the five years since our last visit. the weather wasn't on our side and it rained the majority of the time we were there. the few moments we did get outside were perfect. it's really
beautiful up there. 
four generations of kershaw men

8.15.2014

ARI'S FIRST SWIM

so i found this newborn swim diaper for $6 while i was in utah so i obviously had to buy it. it barely fit him but he looked like a little stud in it. he wasn't quite sure about the whole swimming thing. the heater needed to be turned up a bit higher and there were a ton of people in there. we can't wait to hang out in grandma and grandpa's pool next summer. 




7.24.2014

MY MOM & DAD

spending the first days as a mom with my own parents was amazing. my mom flew out to san francisco the night ari was born and my dad followed the following night. there isn't anyone else i could imagine spending the first few days with. having them around made life feel a lot less overwhelming. my dad was the resident chef and cooked us every meal for the four days he was in town. my mom helped me with everything baby. even throughout the night. my dad had to go back to work and left us on monday night. luckily, my mom stayed for another week. i could have kept her around for a lot longer. but you know, she has other children. 

it was really hard to see them go. i cried. the last time i remember crying because my parents left me was when they dropped me off at the dorms freshman year. i am so grateful to have parents that are able to drop everything and fly to my side. i realize i am a very lucky girl. 

oh and seeing these two as grandparents is just about the cutest thing ever. i mean really, you should see my dads instagram feed.


7.09.2014

THE BIRTH

birth stories are full of what people consider TMI. i'm a pretty open person and don't believe in the whole TMI thing. but if talking about pushing, rectal pressure, and a dilating cervix isn't your thing, skip this one. so here is the story of the weirdest/scariest thing i've ever done.

here is some pre-birth info. i went into my 38 week appointment on wednesday the 11th and was dilated 3cm and 70% effaced. my doctor said "let's have this baby!" and sent me home with a mission to get moving. she was convinced she wouldn't see me at our appointment next week. i decided that friday would be my last day at work and told david he better start walking me (as if i was his dog). we walked. and walked. and walked. i hauled my butt up every steep hill in our neighborhood till my legs felt like they were going to fall off. i did squats. i danced around the apartment. but i got nothing.
view from one of my walks

i obviously made it to my next appointment. she told me i was maybe at 4cm and then stripped my membranes (spoiler alert: that did nothing). my doctor was heading out of town the next day and wanted to schedule an induction for me before she left. we set the induction date for my original due date (june 24) at 7am and told me to call the hospital at 6am to check on my status. she explained that i didn't need to wait a week past my due date to get induced because my cervix was already so engaged. obviously nothing happened before the 24th so induction it was!

at 6:00am i woke up after a terrible night's sleep and gave the hospital a call. they told me to call back at 9:00am. ugh. we tried to go back to sleep. david succeeded at this but i failed. obviously. at 9:00am i called the hospital back with pretty low hopes and nurse judy told me they were swamped and to call back at 1:00pm. at this point i had given up all hope of going to the hospital and was actually able to fall asleep for a few hours. after i wake up we decide to go eat lunch. i went with pizza. duh. and since i wasn't going to the hospital that day why not top it off with some ice cream at bi-rite? i was scraping my bowl clean, getting ready to call the hospital when the hospital actually called me. judy tells me to come on in. i was totally shocked. so we threw some last minute items into our bag and hopped on the scooter to head to the hospital.

yes, i rode the scooter for 9 months. go ahead. think what you want. 

we checked in at 1:37. i only know the exact time because i had to write it three different times in the paper work. i signed some papers and got a lovely wrist band and then we were just waiting for our nurse. then we met susan. the nurse that would be getting us all set up but leaving us at 4pm when her shift ended. 


we went up stairs and got set up in our room. then i answered a million questions about my medical history.  i got an IV and got fluids going. susan's shift ended at 4:00pm and we got pam who was new so she was accompanied by nurse shelby. 
getting poked

there was a lot of sitting around until we saw the doctor at 6:00pm. she came in and broke my water at 6:05pm. i don't remember her name and i am glad her shift was about to end because i didn't like her. once my water broke i started finally feeling contractions. at about 6:30pm i met dr. huang. she came in and told me i could get an epidural as soon as i wanted. i immediately liked her. at 7:00pm the anesthesiologist came in. he was being shadowed by a lady from china who was learning about american medicine. i would say getting the epidural was the worst part of the whole night. with two nurses, two anesthesiologist and david all huddled around me i was so hot. i could not stop sweating while i was getting the epidural. that also might be why my heart rate shot up really high. 

i didn't like the feeling of the epidural as it was taking effect. i was wondering how in the world i was going to push a baby out if i couldn't feel the bottom half of my body. after about an hour i could wiggle my toes and felt a lot better. the nurses told me i needed to rest. which was actually impossible since i was shaking uncontrollably from nerves. so i just watched a lot of tv. PBS had this animal special that was being narrated by a soothing voice that put me to sleep for a little bit. it was over too soon. they checked me and i was progressing fast enough that i didn't need any pitocin. 

at midnight we had another nurse shift change and we met colleen. who was amazing. it was around this time that i started to feel pressure in my butt. dr. huang came in and said we wouldn't start pushing till 4:00am which was really depressing news. 4:00am was SO far away. at 1:15am they checked me and i was dilated 10cm but the baby still needed to drop down a little further. at 2:15am colleen told me that she needed to take her 30 minute break but that we could start pushing when she got back. she asked me if i wanted to have the anesthesiologist come back and up my dose or stick with what i had. i opted to stick with what i had. i immediately started shaking again when she mentioned the word pushing. at 2:45am colleen was back and started prepping the room for the delivery. 

ready to go 

at 3:00am i started pushing. by about 4:00am i started to feel my contractions which was actually helpful in terms of knowing when it was time to push. colleen told me she could release some more juice from the epidural but that it probably wouldn't come in time to do much. had i known how uncomfortable things were going to be after the baby came out i would have told her to hit me one more time. colleen was amazing. i can't imagine doing that with any other nurse. she was perfect. at about 4:15am she paged the doctor. i think i had a total of three more contractions and then david told me it was a boy and then we met baby ari. the official birth time was 4:25am, though david claims it was actually 4:22am. an hour and a half of pushing and i had a baby laying on my chest. 


i expected the moment he hit my chest to be different. i felt so many different emotions it was almost numbing. i was also slightly distracted by the placenta pulling and gauze stuffing happening down below that i wasn't fully enjoying the moment with baby ari. in this moment i wished i had asked for a little more juice 30 minutes earlier.  

while ari was still on my chest, i got to facetime with my parents. though i didn't get to see the look on their faces like david did, it was fun to listen to them gush over this new baby laying on my chest. the next few hours were a blur. things didn't feel real until we were moved into our room and we were were all snuggling in my bed. i can't believe it's already been two weeks!