Tag Archives: new baby

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Pregnant (Part Deux)

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1. Kiss whatever’s left of your modesty goodbye. The night I was admitted for my induction, every time I got out of bed, I’d hold my hospital gown closed in the back so the nurses wouldn’t see my butt. Ha! Isn’t that adorable? Less than 24 hours later, it was lady-part central up in that delivery room and I couldn’t have cared less if the pope himself had walked in.

You see, in the movies and on TV, women are always covered up when they’re giving birth, and the baby daddy is beside her, holding her hand, completely and blissfully unexposed to what’s going down beneath the sheet. In my very limited experience, this common depiction of childbirth is a load of crap. We had planned for Jonathan to stay far, far away from “that area” during the actual pushing part. He was to remain above my shoulders at all times. It was going to go something like this: I grit my teeth and push while squeezing Jonathan’s hand and cursing him for “doing this to me” (cue laugh track). Baby comes out. Proud daddy cuts cord. End scene.

My doctor and nurse had an entirely different plan.

“You’re going to hold her leg up like this,” they instructed him.

I’m sorry, what’s that now? Who’s holding what and my leg is going where?

53 minutes later, Jonathan may or may not have been scarred for life. The jury is still out.

2. You are not Heidi Klum. Duh. Why am I dragging Heidi into this? Many of you might remember that Heidi famously strutted down the catwalk just five weeks after giving birth. To her FOURTH child. At age 36. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. 

Now, I wasn’t planning on walking the runway in front of a national audience. However, I was positive that by the time my maternity leave was over, I would be back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Sadly, I was mistaken. It didn’t help that I was so ravenous from breastfeeding that I routinely stuffed my face with graham crackers and once ate an entire sleeve full of Oreo cookies in under five minutes (true story). It took me a good eight months to squeeze back into my old jeans, and if we’re being totally honest, there are still a couple of pairs I don’t dare to wear (oh, super-duper skinny Seven jeans, I WILL conquer you someday soon).

This isn’t the case for everyone. My dear friend (who shall remain nameless to avoid incurring the wrath of women across the land) was back down to pre-pregnancy weight by her six-week follow-up visit.

I’m officially down to my pre-prego weight, but things just don’t fit the same. Well, they fit, but it ain’t pretty.

3. Mommy brain is a real thing. I used to roll my eyes at this notion of mommy brain. I thought it was a myth. An excuse created by The Mommy Club to forgive forgetfulness, habitual tardiness and general brain farts. But, people, let me tell you. That ish is real. Truth be told, I suffered from an undiagnosed variation of mommy brain before I even had kids. I’ve always had a tendency to misplace things (Jonathan has found my cell phone in the fridge more than once) and I’m always late (to be fair, I am Puerto Rican). But ever since C.J. screamed his way into the world, my random acts of idiocracy have reached new levels of WTF.

I’ve shared several memorable “momnesia” moments with you before (see Pajama Thursday and This Morning Is Bananas), but lucky for you, I suffer from daily episodes, so here are a few fresh ones. Just this past Monday morning, I came thisclose to getting on the 5-mile-long bridge to work before I realized C.J. was still in the backseat. I had completely forgotten about the whole “dropping my baby off at daycare” thing. Oops.

Last week, I was minding my own business, checking email at the kitchen counter when I noticed the room was suddenly filling with smoke. Turns out, I’d left oil heating on the stove for just a tad too long. Also, in addition to mismatched socks, mismatched earrings are inadvertently kind of “my thing” now.

4. Time will seem to fly even faster. And before you know it, your baby will be two months away from turning 1. (Refer to Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Pregnant Part 1, item #5)

 

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Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Pregnant (Part 1)

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  1. Labor and delivery is the easy part. Before and during my pregnancy, this was the thing I feared most.  And hey, if you’ve never had a human being come barreling out of your lady parts before, it’s perfectly natural to be horrified at the thought. I must have read three books on the subject, on top of the email newsletters I subscribed to and the classes we took. I’m glad I educated myself, but ultimately, I was induced and ended up having very little control over anything. And you know what? It was fine. Don’t get me wrong; it was no picnic. Contractions hurt. Pushing is exhausting. Your significant other will see your body do things they can’t unsee. But in comparison to the weeks that follow (see #2), my 10-hour labor and delivery experience was relatively easy.

  2. Breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally. And if we’re being totally honest, it kind of sucks. Yeah, I said it. For starters, it hurts like hell in the beginning, and some babies (I’m lookin’ at you, C.J.) have a difficult time latching at first. Oh, but what about the bonding? You ask. Isn’t it amazing?  Pshhh. Bonding? What part of it was supposed to be bonding, exactly? The crying, the bleeding or the cursing? From the sound of his shrieking, you would think I was trying to torture him, not feed him. For the first eight weeks (a.k.a The Longest Two Months of My Life) the only things I felt toward nursing were extreme stress and anxiety. I actually used to Google, “I hate breastfeeding” and, “My baby hates breastfeeding” just to see if I was the only one. Guess what? I wasn’t. I’m not exaggerating when I say that to begin with, I dreaded every feeding—which by the way, was every two hours. Which leads me to my next point.

  3. Babies eat every two hours. OK, fine. Technically, I knew this to be true. But the reality of this seemingly simple, harmless fact doesn’t really hit you until you’re doing it. Every two hours. Around the clock. Day and night. Your whole life lived in two- to three-hour increments between breastfeeding. One session ends and before you know it, another begins. This ball-and-chain phase doesn’t last forever, but when you’re in it, you wonder if it will ever end. No one told me how hard it was going to be. No one told me that as long you breastfeed your life will revolve around it.

Note: I don’t think everyone has the same challenges C.J. and I had when it comes to
nursing, and I’m happy to report that we eventually found our way (sort of) with nursing.
I could write a book about breastfeeding, which ultimately ended up being one of the
hardest, most soul-sucking, yet rewarding nine months of my life.

  1. After you deliver, you still can’t (really) drink. That glass of wine you’ve been waiting nine months for? Yeah, about that. If you’re nursing, you won’t be able to really enjoy a full glass of wine for weeks.

  2. You will be a ticking, tear-filled time bomb. I don’t cry. Correction: I never used to cry. Before I gave birth, I could count on one hand the number of times Jonathan had seen me cry (excluding TVs and movies).  Now, there’s no telling what might set me off. One day, while getting ready for a work party, Jonathan asked me if I was going to straighten my hair. If it were physically possible for daggers to shoot from my eyes, I swear they would have. “You hate my hair curly!” I exclaimed dramatically, my eyes filling with tears. I sometimes want to shake myself when these episodes take over and tell myself to “get a freaking grip.” But then I think about what I and my various body parts have been through (please refer back to items 1, 2 and 3) and I feel pretty entitled to a good cry.

Stay tuned for Part 2.