Welcome! This blog is Retired. However, you may still enjoy some of the finer pages of vintage online ramblings out there! Inspired by the certainty of my headaches, "The Headache Diaries" may include my headache log, people, places, and things that I don't like, as well as people, places, and things that I do like. Blog officially retired 02.14.2021
:: Welcome to The Headache Diaries (Retired)
Hello from the future! This blog is officially retired. I will not post to this blog again.
It has been a good bloggy run! I am going to start fresh on a different site. I don't know where, but somewhere. I have updated the archive links so have a blast from the past while you are visiting.
If you have found this blog from an internet search, congratulations! That was quite the keyword.
TB on her last bottle of newborn formula, August 8, 2014.
I think I am finally able to get my shit together. I think it helps that TB has been eating and sleeping better, thus allowing me time to get things we need. I was able to rearrange the rooms finally, and trust me that took a TON of effort. I needed TJ for moral support. First, I moved all the furniture. Then I exchanged the closets. Then I FINALLY went through all my old clothes and THREW A TON OUT (this all took over two weeks to finish). Well, I didn't throw it out, it's piled up on the old futon downstairs for donation. When I get to that is another story. I had so many old clothes that I was hanging onto, it was literally a weight on me. It is mostly winter clothes that I had brought with me when I MOVED HERE over SEVEN YEARS AGO. And I am not talking about fruit of the loom sweaters, I am talking big bulky wool and angora sweaters, cashmere, and other very warm textiles that are obviously not compatible with the Sonoran Desert. I mean, yeah, it gets cold for a few hours in the wee morning, but not enough that I need a 1/4 inch thick wool sweater. I also had some old coats to get rid of. I had to finally part with my favorite coat from Banana Republic. I wore that during my first round at nursing in KCC. I loved that coat so much! It was "on sale" for $350 (NOT MUCH OF A SALE HAHA!!) and it fit me beautifully. I brought that with me, and again, it is just too hot and too long for this climate. I got rid of a bunch of other wool coats, suits (I have a bout 25 suits), shirts and socks. Yes, I used to have about 300 pairs of socks and I finally dwindled it down to about 100. I was a prolific collector of striped socks and wore striped socks with heels all the time. Then I started working at Fedex, and striped socks are not part of the uniform hahaha. So those went to the back burner and I brought those socks with me to Arizona. And apparently I didn't feel like wearing striped socks anymore. DOn't get me worng, I love striped socks (and any crazy sock for that matter), but out here I just wear sneakers, so you can't see any fun-ness on the socks. Also, the polyester in the colorful socks are not compatible with the heat. I need cotton socks or my feet will melt. Well, I kept the most fun socks and if I wear them, I can certainly wear them in the "winter" out here.
Hopefully, my clothes will find a good home to someone who is kind of cold out here.
The other thing that happened was the air conditioner started leaking. I guess it was so humid this summer, all the water backed up in the A/C and started leaking in the house. Me and TJ tried to clean it out but it was still leaking. I said ehh big deal all A/Cs leak, but then as I was checking on TB for the night, I heard a buzzing noise. I thought it was the A/C rattling the decorations, so I moved the decorations. The noise was still there. Then I wanted to find out what was rattling... and after moving everything, I finally realized it was the outlet buzzing! The A/C water was leaking into the wall and onto the electric socket! Well, I had to wake up TJ, get him to turn off the electricity to the room, and we had to call to get the A/C fixed. Bummer. Well, we got the A/C fixed the next day, but now I had to finally replace all the sockets in the two rooms that the electricity was off in. I guess TJ said when he bought the house, the sockets were loose and some were painted over. Great. Well, I took to it like a champ. I even replaced the A/C socket and another socket near a leaky window with GFCI sockets. Now if one of those little shits leaks onto the socket again, it will trip and I won't have to worry that the house will burn down. Plus there is a little light thingy that glows when the socket is tripped, so I won't go for days with a wet socket. However, I am not done. I found one socket that had some melted wires in it! I'm like "how the hell does a ground get hot and melt the other wires?" Well, I dunno but I replaced the socket and "mended" the wires with electrical tape. TJ went out and got me 50 feet of 14 gauge wire, some 14 gauge wire nuts, and some new electrical tape. I guess my electrical tape was so old (another item I lugged with me from NY) that when I peeled the tape, the adhesive was on the wrong side. I didn't even think of getting a new roll so I am glad he got one. Now I just need a wire stripper. Well, I don't need on to complete this job, but I don't have one, so I would like one. I hope I can finish the box today so I can plug my computer into that outlet instead of this one which is kind of far.
So things at work have been going okay. I guess it is a lot easier to deal with "Wanda" when I am not pregnant. For starters, I can run away faster, ha ha ha!!! I know a lot of the therapists like her, but they don't have to work WITH her for hours on end. I think I get to see a side of her they dont see. Well, whatever, I don't want to dwell on her.
I am still actively looking for some kind of job I can do that is compatible with school and baby. The only one I can see is the sterilization tech. I finally cornered someone in the basement who gave me the names of the managers. Now I just have to contact them and ask them where do I go to get training for that job, if I have to. The woman I spoke to said she didn't have training, that they train you, but she doesn't know if that has changed. I haven't gotten a call back from the kitchen so I need to seek out other things. Right now, there is an on-call position available, so if I can have that for now, I can get started on training I suppose and then maybe get part-time later. We'll see. This is one of the few jobs at the hospital that is 24 hours and doesn't have a 12 hour shift. That means it is possible that I can do a shift while TJ is sleeping and be home before he leaves so TB isn't alone. It may also be compatible with school. If I can get a good rapport with the supervisor then maybe they will work with me. That is my hope because as it stands, I am looking at on-call only when school starts.
So speaking of school, my class starts in a few days. I had originally signed up for a section with a professor who got good reviews on the "rate my professor" website. But, like last time, they kept switching the teachers around. Well, I finally logged in a few days ago, and to my (not) surprise, I had a different teacher. Cue the bullshit!!! So here I am on Canvas (no one uses blackboard anymore), reading an announcement that the class is NOT on Canvas, but on ELSEVIER, and to get to that class, we now have to pay $60 to access it. I was confused because you can Pay $60 for the access code, but some other price for a class guide... and then there is the textbook. So I sent her a response to the tune of: So what are we getting with the $60? Do we get materials we need to study or are we actually being charged tuition for the class, access to the class, and a textbook??? I didn't get a response yet, big surprise. I did notice that the professor I wanted was in another section that was still open so I switched. What's the difference now? I know for sure the professor I want is NOT in that other section, and if she drops from this section I lose nothing. I have to take the class; I might as well try to get the teacher I want. Now as far as this extra fee to take a course, I am not surprised either. Remember, everything having to do with nursing is gonna be screwy. Honestly they should have said that there is an additional course fee of $60 for some bullshit access code. I just can't stand it when places are not forthcoming with all the information. But I know this; I have been through this already so I know what's coming: more and more bullchit. I just hope that this class is interesting, I get an A and move on with my application. I just wish that I would have took it at the beginning of the year when I originally signed up for it. But nooo, the stupid registrar guy didn't tell me the bill was due THAT DAY. I thought I had until the day before class to pay, but I guess they got rid of that policy. It would have been a perfect time to take it since I was baby free and just starting my new job. Oh well. That's life. Well, at least, that's MY life.
Right now, TB is snoozing and I have some time to actually update this thing! She has been eating more now, 6oz instead of 4oz, and can go about 4 hours now between feedings instead of 2 hours. This should certainly help me when that class starts! Today I have many chores to do, like make some bread, finish the baby book and announcements (Hahah! She is way old but oh well), and order some toys for her and a bookshelf for me. I want at least one good bookshelf so I can finally get rid of the ugly wire and plastic shelves I have now. Little by little, I am trying to make the house nice. Soon, I will have to install carpet so TB can crawl and play without cracking her head open on the tile. Then when she is too big for that chair she sleeps in, she will have to graduate to the crib. I hope it works out better than the first attempts!
Having a snooze.
:: Jane Dee 11:32:00 AM [+] ::
:: 8.01.2014 ::
Officially Back To Normal
Well, only technically. I mean, whether my mind is all there is another story.
Sunday went okay. "Wanda" wasn't as annoying as I thought she would be but that may be because she has some family issues to deal with. She did hog me all morning as usual. At least I was expecting it this time. It also helps not being pregnant! It was REALLY easy walking all day without a huge belly, loose joints, and an extra 50 pounds. It was also much easier dealing with "Wanda's" ways. It was much easier to give her a little 'tude back! Ha ha! I'm not dreading it too much anymore.
Now the interesting thing that happened this week is that on Sunday during lunch I went on the intranet to look up jobs that are only posted for employees and I saw the night position for dishwasher posted. I was curious because my supervisor had said she wasn't going to hire anyone for the night shift because she already had someone there. So I wondered if that person left. The next day I texted the cashier and asked her and sure enough, that guy left. What was funny is that she said the manager (who nobody likes) was leaving and that I should come back. I was like "He's leaving?? Hey, I'll think about it!" I asked her to ask the supervisor if she would be interested in working with me since I will need night hours and such. She said the supervisor said she would because she needs people. I said I would see what my manager thinks. I called the old supervisor and asked if she really would work with me blah blah, and she said she could but it would have to be a part time position because the full time isn't flexible. Then she mentioned there is a part-time position and some on-call position she will post later. At first, I was going to apply for the vacant full time position, hoping my manager would okay a transfer. Then I said hmm... how can I exploit this? My solution was to keep my position now and ask if I can add an on-call position. That way, when I start school and have to drop the weekend position (I am eyeballing the evening program that meets on Saturdays as well), I would, at the very least, have this on call position. I think that after a few months, I may be able to work something out because no one stays in that department for long and I may be able to go part time again anyways. My desire is to stay in a scheduled part time position so I can get tuition reimbursement, but I will settle for an on-call position if it doesn't work out. So I called her today and said I will be on-call with her and told her my hours. She said she would call me when she posts it. Not that I am negative, but I kinda believe her, and then I kinda don't. But if she actually calls me, I will take it and hopefully work into the night on weekends and add a few nights during the week here and there.
Other than that, things are pretty normal around here. I do plan to rearrange my office into the other room so that I can do my computer stuff/study/school work during the day while TB sleeps in the other room. She behaves most of the time and I could get stuff done, but when I tap away on the computer or move my noisy chair around, she wakes up. I don't want her to wake up if she doesn't have to so I will put my office into the "guest" room, and have TB have her own room. I was originally going to have the guest room her room, but after being in there a few nights, it is noisy as hell. You can hear the stupid neighbor dog barking, and when its windy and rainy it's noisy as hell too. She would wake up constantly. The room I am in now is pretty quiet so I will make that her room. I bought a new futon to put in my room and I will put the full bed in her room along with the crib. In the future, all my office stuff will go in my bedroom, but that isn't until I have another kid, so that won't be for a while.
My pathophysiology class starts in September, so I am hoping that I can get my shit together before then. What I mean is that I am terribly lazy during the day. I am thinking it is because I can't make noise in my room because I will wake TB. So I wind up just watching videos and doing nothing until TJ comes home. Hopefully, when I change the rooms around, I will be able to do more during the day and TB can sleep without being disturbed. I would also like to get rid of quite a few things, especially some old furniture and pots, clothes and makeup, etc.. Well, at the very least I will change the rooms. Then me and TB should both be happier.
So that's the plan for next week. This weekend I have my butt wiping session with "Wanda" and I can't wait!!!!!
Today is my last day of FMLA. I go to work tomorrow. Luckily, I was able to get Wednesdays off and now only work Saturday and Sunday. This schedule will work for now, until I have to go to physical school. The earliest that will happen is next summer. It could take longer so I may be able to secure a different job by then. I am actually hoping that happens. I would like to keep my job, but they don't offer evening or night hours. That is the type of schedule I need in order to keep working.
I know "Wanda" wanted me to come in today, cutting my FMLA short. I didn't want to do that. I don't see a reason to. I know she was saying so and so wasn't there blah blah, but what does that have to do with me? I don't know. I'm not sure why she is such a pest, but she is. Ever since she has been there, she has been demanding and manipulative. Obviously I don't do anything she wants, and I assume that if she winds up doing my yearly review, she will give me low scores. She will say something like "You need to work on ____" and "I've heard that you do ____ so you must make sure you don't do ________." Right like I really have a lot to work on. In any case, I am not excited to see her, and I assume she will say some kind of snide remark about me only working one day, to which I will say "Yup".
I think going back to work on the wekends won't be as bad now that TB sleeps through the night for the most part. I guess time will tell how annoying the job gets, especially with you-know-who.
Well, I guess I better finish the laundry and pick and outfit for tomorrow!
That's right! This is it! I go back to work next week!
It's kind of hard to believe it's been 3 months already. Perhaps I was enjoying myself too much. Ha ha! Well, the first month is definitely a blur; I barely remember anything until I read this blog. The second month I remember more, but it's not pleasant. The third month things start coming together. TB started to sleep through the night, and I got my sanity back. I have less anxiety than I did starting out, and I assume if I have another kid, I won't be as nervous and worried. I don't bleed anymore, my boobs have healed, I am losing weight, and I eat normally now. So I can definitely say I need the whole 12 weeks to get back to normal.
The good news is that I got the Wednesdays taken off. I now work only Saturday and Sunday. This schedule is perfect because I will not have to use daycare. At the rate I make, I wouldn't be able to pay for daycare. Not for a part time job anyways. I am still looking for evening jobs that will work with the school schedule in the future. Right now, working the weekends is okay, but it will conflict with school if I wind up doing the weekend program. If I wait until TB is two, I can go to the day program and leave her in daycare. But since they offer a weekend program, I would rather just do that and downgrade to on-call if I have to. I would rather find an evening job, like 1800 - 2400, but I don't think they have many of those at SHC. They might, and I would assume it is in food services or something. We shall see.
As for the past three months: I can't say I got much done! A long time ago, I thought that during my time off I would paint the rooms and do all kinds of things in the house. HA HA HAAA! What a joke. You barely know where you are half the time and I thought I was going to do painting? Well, now I know for next time. The three months won't be a time to do housework!
The next couple of days I guess I will just have to get my stuff ready. I have to see what clothes fit and what to get rid of. Luckily, I don't have to buy ugly green uniforms like I thought. I am good to go with the collared shirts that I have. I think some may be too big, but baggy is better than too tight. As I lose more weight, I can put those away for next time.
There are some updates here, but I won't do a backwards entry thingy. I will just state what things have occurred and their significance.
T-Bird Finally Sleeps Through The Night!
TJ went back to work on Monday, but while he was able to help me I was watching how T-Bird sleeps. In the last, almost two weeks, she has been sleeping at night for at least three hours. So, the weekend before TJ was to go back to work, I tried to finally sleep at night. Obviously, it didn't work the first night since my schedule is all messed up. The second night went smoother. Monday went well, and today went awesome! She eats, I burp her, and I rock her to sleep. I am still sleeping separate from TJ, but that should change in a few months. Her crib is on our bedroom, but for now, we sleep in my office. She has her little rocker chair thingy, and I have a crappy used futon. At night I keep the formula in my room and feed her while she is till kinda sleepy. She fusses in her sleep and wakes me up, so I feed her very quietly and she goes back to sleep for a few more hours. TJ goes off to work and I can take at least a two hour nap. I have been getting up by 8 (today was 7-ish), and feeling normal again. This "feeling normal" has only been since this past weekend, so hopefully it is here to stay because I can't diet unless I feel normal. So far, so good.
Need To Feel Normal To Lose Weight
I have only lost one more pound in probably two weeks. I don't know from what, since I am not really watching what I eat. And yes, I finally got my appetite back. I would assume that eating is helping me feel normal. And as ridiculous as it sounds, I need an appetite to actually lose weight. If I don't anticipate food, I can't diet. So now that I am anticipating food, I can control what I eat, leading to faster weight loss. In my case, it comes down to me having an appetite for nutritious food vs. junk because I don't want anything except peanut M&Ms. Now that I have an appetite for eggs and cheese, and foods like that, I can lose weight. Right now, I am finishing off my pregnancy carbohydrates lying around the house such as crackers and some chocolates. I have been slowly incorporating more and more proteins to get used to the low carbohydrate. Once the snacks are finished, I will try to repeat my diet (to which I was very successful with) but eat a bit more protein and less carbohydrate. I am not giving up rice, but breads and pastas can be cut down even more than last time. I also plan to up the ante on fats, since I lost more weight while in the Caribbean just by eating more chicken skins. I know how to make them quick and easy, and I love eating skins, mmm! (If you must know how, you cook them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, just as they do in food services to make bacon. Cook in the oven at 375 or 400 or whatnot for 15 mins or more and voila! Yummy, crispy, fattening chicken skins.) I guess I will elaborate on that later when I start actually doing it. For now, I am still kinda fat.
I Quit Breastfeeding
Unfortunately, I don't produce much milk. I was pumping and trying to squeeze out every last drop and hurt my arm in the process. After a while, I wasn't even making one ounce from both boobs. I just couldn't deal with it, so I quit. T-Bird is doing well on formula, ans she likes Parent's Choice the best (go figure). I gave her samples of Similac supplementing (and that didn't go well) and then gave her sample of Enfamil Gentlease since she had been fussier than normal. THAT didn't go well either. she drank it at first, but subsequent bottles she refused! She literally turned her head away from the bottle and cried. TJ tried to shove it in but she pushed it out with her tongue and cried. So he made the cheap stuff and she gobbled it up! What the hell. I know she does okay with regular Similac and Similac Total Comfort. I know there are a lot of crazy people out there on the internet who will tell you all kinds of stupid things about formula. Well, I was raised on formula, and I am healthy and doing fine. When you are losing your mind and feel like all you are is a milk machine (that doesn't produce anything), your mental health will be better off if you give the freakin' bottle. T-Bird didn't have "nipple confusion" or whatever they call it. She was more like "Dammit, the tap is dry and I'm hungry wahhhhhhh!" I learned that crazy people live on the internet and moms that go around fussing about other people's boobs have nothing better to do with their lives. Which brings me to my next point:
This Mom Crap Is Totally Overrated
I'm not saying I don't want to be a mom. I am saying that crazy women, like those mentioned above, who think being pregnant, giving birth in an inflatable kiddie pool, taking pictures of you drying and eating your placenta, and then posting those pictures of said placenta on a blog that talks about how "empowering" giving birth and eating placenta is, and what an amazing person you are for squeezing out a baby, and then going on and on about how you breastfeed all day and wear your ugly baby in a sling made of organic cotton that was "responsibly made" in Zimbabwe, and type out responses on message boards about how great you are and how awful so-and-so must be because she doesn't breastfeed or sleep with her babies in her bed because these "empowered" women sleep with their ugly babies in their bed with her smelly husband who doesn't shower so everyone can get beneficial germs that they refuse to vaccinate against because some washed up porn star said vaccines cause autism, and then tell everyone how those women are "uneducated" about birth stuff even though the woman talking probably never went to college herself, overrate this "mom" experience because clearly they have NOTHING ELSE going on in their lives. All they do is raise ugly babies and make fun of other women. I mean they can't really be serious in their accusation of people being uneducated when they believe the placenta has magical properties that will ward off the boogey man. My theory is that these women either have some kind of mental illness or just want an excuse to not go to the hospital because it is too expensive. Just fess up! You're a bunch of cheap-skates trying to make being cheap fashionable. Please stop. And stop trying to make everyone breastfeed until the damn kid is 15. People have lives, people have problems. Smoke a blunt and shut up. (And P.S., quite a few of these crazy bitches will say it's okay to drink ALCOHOL while pregnant because medical science is just trying to scare everyone with threats of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome that will never happen from just a few glasses of wine here and there. And that's another thing: STOP DRINKING WINE! HOW NASTY! I BET THEY DRINK THE CHEAP SHIT THAT COMES IN A BOX! I never even knew wine came in a BOX until TJ sorted it out for me. I thought "BOX WINE" meant there were two bottles of shitty wine in the box! HAHAAAA WOW!)
Some Tips I Learned Along The Way
I brush my teeth when I get up. If I linger in bed, TB will wake up and then I will forget then it will be 1230 and I will be scrambling to find time between feedings and diapering to brush my teeth. I also learned that my periods make my scar site tender. My scar site is also kind of numb but hurts, like it's halfway between healing or something. I also found out that hi-cut briefs are the most comfortable underwear to wear to avoid having the scar being rubbed by an elastic.
Oh and one more thing: July 7, 2014 was the first day in over six months that I wore underwear without a pad. That's right! Goodbye lochia! I won't miss you!
That is my update for now. I have to make rice and do other things. Maybe I can type something up tomorrow.
At this moment, I feel good enough to post something.
For the past few weeks, I had not felt good. Or I've been extremely busy. Or both. So here's another one of my reverse-but-in-order updates. Hopefully I can remember everything correctly. I hope that soon I can begin to organize my life better and not fall behind on so many things. It seems that it has become difficult to do everyday things. It's probably because this baby is quite demanding. Being a bit OCD doesn't help either. However, I am not being OCD about anything fun, just staying up all the time and changing diapers and feeding. There are many times I want to do something, but I can't or won't because I feel like I have to stay home with the baby. She isn't very fussy, which is good. I just think I have to do everything. The one song that goes through my head quite a bit (and actually the whole album) is "Brainstew" by Green Day, fittingly from the "Insomniac" album.
The way I feel mentally and physically is very similar to how I felt in high school: Tired and high strung. I assume it will get better. Or not. At least I know how to handle it if it goes on for longer. For now, I just deal with this here and there:
June 4: I finish my diapers.
After noticing my discharge has finally come to be brownish instead of red (or should I say BROWNISH not RED), I am down to my last maxi pad, to which I loving call my diapers. They are about the size of T-Bird's diapers. I was hoping I wouldn't have to suffer thorugh another "mega" pack of discharge diapers, and lucky for me, I am slowing my flow at just the right moment. I have a box of pantyliners waiting in the corner that have a special dry liner. Hopefully I will not overflow those. That would suck.
On Friday, T-Bird gets her 1 month well-baby visit. I don't think much is going to happen since she doesn't start getting shots until her second month. I am also going to visit my former coworkers at Thompson Peak. I will be nearby so I figure I can stop by and say hello. Maybe I can actually get a grilled cheese sandwich made my way. I hate getting grilled cheese at Shea because they don't let me change the cheese and they don't burn it for me. Ha, they don't even melt the cheese all the way. I stopped ordering grilled cheese. I only ate there because I was pregnant. I think when I go back to work I will just bring my lunch. I can't even order a turkey burger without them screwing it up. Anyway, I will save my work rants for later. In other news, my mother is finally coming out to visit on Saturday. Hopefully she won't drive me crazy. She is getting in at almost midnight, so I hope TJ won't be too tired to drive with me to get her. Speaking of TJ, he has a few weeks off (non-FMLA) with me in a couple of weeks. Hopefully, that will help me get organized and do things I need to do. Like sleep a bit more.
I still don't eat much. I haven't had an appetite. I haven't lost much weight yet either. I still make milk, but it's dwindling. I don't get more than one ounce a day. I assume I will not be making milk much longer. My mother never made much milk, and didn't make any with me.
June 6: Well-Baby and a visit to Thompson Peak
So the doctor's visit went well enough. I didn't have my usual nurse. Instead I got the murse with eczema. He's okay just kind of neurotic. Anyway, T-Bird impressed the doctor by rolling and picking her head up. In fact, the doctor thought she was two months old... I said "no she is one month" and the Dr. made buggy eyes and looked at her charts and said "oh my gosh she is one month." Ha Ha! Here is T-Bird at the doctor's office, looking good! (notice the length of my nails)
Afterwards, I drove up to Thompson Peak to see some old friends. I actually wanted to visit because I have been feeling sad and lonely. I would rather have someone to talk to, or someone to help me sleep, but seeing some old faces (not in age ha ha) helped me perk up. The cashier knew I was coming and didn't tell anyone else so it would be a surprise. Everyone recognized me and they liked TB (T-bird). Even my old manager came out. I was surprised she was happy to see me. I figured she would be annoyed that I left. Unless she was acting, which could be the case. But at least she was nice, so that's all I care about. I ordered a grilled cheese the way I like it and it was pretty tasty. Then one of the cooks put a hairnet on her head and said "Dishwahser for Liiiife" and did the DW "gang sign" ha ha! Luckily, TB didn't notice. Of course, I know she won't be a dishwasher for life:
After I ate lunch, I fed TB some formula that I got from the obstetrician, "Similac for supplementation" and she didn't like it. I fed her this style before and she was very fussy afterwards, but I figured it would be okay this time since she was older. WRONG! While she was eating it she spit a bunch of it out and when I got home she was very fussy. Little did I know what was to come!
June 8: The mother has landed.
Guess who's here!
Not that TJ has a particular bone to pick with my mother. I just thought that picture was funny.
Anyways, my mother came to visit, as I mentioned, and I was excited to have her stay. She brought me some stuff for TB too. We didn't do much except sit around most of the day, but we did go food shopping. She made some food that I reluctantly ate. Then I was crying. She is pretty deaf, so it is hard to talk to her without yelling. So when it comes to me "expressing my feelings" I always wind up having to yell it out. It doesn't make for a great relief of emotions. It's actually quite frustrating. But I try nonetheless. So I was explaining to her that I am concerned about work. Meaning that I don't know how I am going to have a job and take care of the baby and go to school and do whatever I need to do all at once. I was saying that I would really like to have Wednesdays taken off my schedule but I am not sure if they will do it. I mean they were hinting that they would do it, or were interested in doing that, but I don't know for sure. I mean, every time I go in on Wednesdays, I just wind up doing mostly nothing and the other guy leaves early. And my mother being my mother says "Well, then you can't work Wednesdays, that is the final decision." Huh? Uhm, yes I would love that to be the case, but you can't just assume I will get that. Perhaps I won't get that schedule and they will just say it's all or nothing. So she starts talking about how I will need to get rid of Wednesdays so that is what I will do.... So you can kind of see how it is frustrating to talk to her.
And of course while all this is happening, the baby had diarrhea or something. And this is where my OCD problems come in. Im crying because the baby has pain. And I am assuming it's from the Similac. Every time she poops, she cries like a maniac. She was doing this for two days, and I felt like I was going to faint. Or have a heart attack. Or some other medical condition. She had a bit of blood in her poop, and when TJ told me this (while me and my mother were at the Walmart), I thought I was going to faint. I couldn't even talk. I was a stone statue, hiding my emotions till I got near her of course. Then my mother is like "Oh she won't die, she is just getting rid of something. She will be okay." as I am changing her again. Then TJ comes by and I'm blubbering and he tries to change her and I don't let him and my mother is like "Let him take the baby!" So I reluctantly let him take it and cried into the bed, and my mother is like "She has postparrem (postpartem in her language), you have to give her a lot of support." and all I am thinking is "Ha! Yeah right! I always suffer in silence!"
To look into the future, T-Bird was okay. Not sure if I was. My eyes were puffy the next day from so much crying and staying up. TJ went to work the next day, and T-Bird slept well next to me in the bed as my mother slept in her room. We just hung around all day. She made me fried tilapia, which was much better than I have tasted before. I called my obstetrician to change my appointment because there was too much going on. I was originally going to have the ultrasound, then the obstetrician appointment, then go to the "information session" at Gateway about the concurrent program. They moved the appointment to Wednesday, so I felt better. I bathed T-Bird and got her ready for the next day. The hip ultrasound she was getting is to see if her breech position caused any problems. I picked out a nice outfit for her and even washed my hair. I told my mother to dress well so we don't look like bums. Then everyone else went to bed, except me. I don't really go to bed, I just linger, as I like to call it.
June 10: Ultrasounds like information sessions to me.
Before I go into the days events, I was pleased to see that my discharge has turned a "honey" color. Supposedly, this signifies the end of this lochia nonsense, and my incubator should be almost healed.
Anyways, the day started out as usual: zombie mode. TJ was off to work hours ago and I was getting ready to go to the ultrasound appointment. I dressed up TB in a nice dress and packed her baby bag. My mother got ready and off we went. I wound up having to park in the employee lot because the good parking was full. Well, maybe it's better to park in the employee lot since it's covered? We didn't wait too long and luckily, I didn't see "Wanda":
The ultrasound was relatively normal and they would call us with the results, so we left to go home and eat something before we headed out again to Gateway to go to the information session. I changed T-Bird into something more comfortable and left in a hurry because I thought the meeting started at 1630 not 1600. Well, I drove pretty fast, ahem, but got there on time. Thankfully, my mother was there to watch the baby in the hallway. I had gone to the info session at SCC in May a few days after I came home from surgery, so I was hoping there would be new info at this meeting that pertains to Gateway. I also wanted to ask if the evening or weekend programs apply to the concurrent program or can we only take the traditional classes with the concurrent program. Turns out I CAN take the evening program with the concurrent program and that there is a new partnership with Maricopa (hospital) forming next spring. Apparently, if you are in the CEP program, you can sign up with Maricopa and do most of your clinicals there, and get an interview at the end of the program! I would much rather do this because it is better to do your rotations at one place. They also give you the option of doing some kind of one-on-one supervised capstone project thingy. That would be great if they have some kind of psychiatric thing to do. Well, I don't want to get ahead of myself. But it sounds interesting.
After learning this, I realized I am in an even bigger conundrum. I can't work and go to school at the same time unless I put T-Bird in daycare. Not that I am against daycare (TJ is) but if I don't have a full time job, I won't be able to afford it (meaning my paycheck wont cover it all and I will have to use TJ's money). I had thought that I would go to school during the week and work on the weekends. But now that I know I can go to school in the evening, I would rather just do that than go to school early in the morning when I obviously hadn't slept. It would be infinitely more awesome to alternate with TJ concerning school. And to have a part-time schedule would be extra awesome. If I did the concurrent program, the clinical classes are in person and the rest is online, save the intro class and some class at the end. Gateway had a daycare, but it is for children two years and up. So that leaves me with very few options.
After thinking long and hard, and talking to TJ a bit, I think that doing this program would take priority over working. I do need to work to keep me sane, but I think I would do much better in the program if I didn't work. Kind of like the last time I was doing this, I was working at the kosher supermarket. I had to quit because it was just too much. Once I quit, my grades went to all As. The only thing I keep thinking about is that the hospital will give me tuition reimbursement, and virtually pay for the whole program. However, if I had to use daycare, the $5400 a year or so they give will be less than what I have to shell out for the daycare, thus negating any benefit. Not to mention having to work many hours just to get that money. The type of job I need would have to be "evenings" meaning it would have to start at like, 1600 at least and can go on until 2300 or so. I don't think I am going to find that though. For now, I will keep this job for as long as I can. I will ask to remove Wednesdays. If they don't I am not sure what I will do. TJ said he would come home early, but if has to turn down overtime, he will turn down more money in one hour than I would make in those four! Ha ha! See how this may not be worth it? It seems like the writing is on the wall, unfortunately.
June 11: Time is not on my side.
Apparently I missed my post partum appointment! Helllloooo! It was at 1330 not 1430. Rescheduled for next day.
Tonight my mother flies home. It was nice seeing her and it was nice having her spend time with her granddaughter. I hope to visit NY soon. Like sooner than two years?
June 12: Healing well.
My latest hoo-hoo exam reveals that I am healing well. Okay. What is funny about these visits is that they always ask if you have postpartum depression symptoms. Hmm. Of course I am going to answer no. I am not interested in talk therapy or anti-depressants. I mean, if this is temporary, then who cares. The last thing I need is some chart somewhere talking smack about me to my bosses. No thanks!
June 14: TJ is on "vacation!"
And all he is going to do for the next two weeks is help me! I have my own pet robot!
Of course I will be nice... enough
June 16: I don't sleep?
So I have something of an appetite, but now I don't sleep. Great! What's next?
To distract me, I take pictures. Here is a picture of T-Bird, who is almost as big as Meux Meux now!
Part of this weekend sucked. I was absolutely livid at TJ for doing the unthinkable: disposing good breast milk down the drain. Now usually, I am a rational woman. However, I don't make much milk; I've never made more than 4 ounces in a day. That bottle had only one ounce in it, and that was all I had pumped in two days. So on Friday night, when I came down and saw TJ making a bottle, I said "Is that mine?" and he told me he "accidentally" threw it down the drain... Before I could even say anything, I slapped him in the arm then started yelling at him. How could he do such a thing? And on and on.
Yes, accidents happen. However, saying it was an accident and apologizing doesn't make it better. I didn't talk to him for almost two days. I cried and cried. he said "Forgive me!" and I said "NO!" I had visions of violence and divorce and running away to New York. I said I didn't care anymore. I said I don't care what he does. I cried some more. Then, later on Sunday I said "Okay. I don't feel like killing you anymore." I was honest at least. I really wasn't going to kill him. I also stopped crying.
The problem with TJ is that when he doesn't sleep enough he is totally dysfunctional. He can't even keep a conversation. This is why I don't want him to stay up with the baby during the week: he will crash the truck and die. I can get by with little sleep but he can't. And Friday and Saturday night he stays up, as if I was back at work. So after a long day at work, he has to stay up (past 8pm) and make bottles and such. So after he told me to leave out my milk, he forgets it's mine, throws it out as he is washing all the bottles, doesn't even realize what he did until later when he goes to feed T-Bird... Where's the milk? Oh shit! Now he says he was upset about it all night. I said "I can see your real grief-stricken." Sarcastically of course. I don't like being mad at him, but you have to pay attention to things, even when you think you can't. I did say that if it happens again, I will leave. Not sure I mean that though, but maybe I'll just go on a mini-vacation so I don't strangle him.
My Discharge Is Finally Brown... ish
Well, after much anxiety about bleeding to death, I can finally breathe a bit as my discharge has turned pinky-brown. Meaning its brown with a hint of pink. Hoo-ray! Joyous I will be when this crap stops flowing.
And then in other news, after over TEN YEARS, I finally got a new walkman (mp3 player). This one plays video and shows pictures, so it is a bit more advanced. The bonus is that it actually works with my OS, and I don't have to open up my old Acer using Windows XP to change songs on the player. Double hoo-ray!!
Okay, now I have something new to complain about: STRETCH MARKS.
Yes. They can come afterwards. And that is exactly what the young man at the Seacret Lotion kiosk told me. I was hoping he was full of shit, but no he was not. I don't have a ton, and they are pretty small, but safe to say that I am feeling pretty gross right about now.
I feel like this:
Am I being ridiculous? Maybe. I had it easy enough during my pregnancy that I should be glad I only have a couple of 1 inch stretch marks. But if you ever get pregnant, you will see how difficult it is to swallow so much. So fast. Your only option is to buck up because you may actually try to take your life.
I can see why Post Partum Depression is so common. It's not hormones. It's having to take every hit and still try to function. You get no sleep, you've gained all this weight, your skin is discolored, you're bleeding, you're crying all the time, you're boobs hurt, or worse, they are infected, and you have this infant who demands your attention 24/7. Your body has been a slave to the fetus and now it is a slave to the infant. You begin to regret having a child, perhaps. And if you have no support from home, whether it is from your spouse or "partner," you will either want to kill someone or yourself. In my case, I wish I knew what the hell it wanted. I guess sometimes it gets "fussy" (well that is a nice way to put it) and I don't know what it wants. Food? No. Diaper? No. Oh I get it: She wants me to hold her all freakin' day. Well, sorry kiddo, my arm is shot. I use a bassinet, stroller, and a swing to hold her. I guess when you have a Cesarean, you cant be lifting things over and over. She was great at first, but now she is getting fussy. Hopefully this is a phase and she will be cute once again:
Until then, I will be a zombie. BTW, my ear hurts and it spread to my head, what does that mean? Am I dying again? I didn't know giving birth meant becoming a hypochondriac. Sigh
Of course I thought this long weekend would be a time to catch up and do the things we need to do around the house. Wrong! Thankfully TJ let me catch up on some sleep, but we were both tired enough not to do anything but move the kitchen trash to the large bin outside.
Well, not entirely. I did manage to go to Walmart and get some milk and frozen fruit. I also bought some colorful cutouts and such to decorate the area around T-Bird's crib. Then I went to the Asian market to get a case of tofu. I was looking for small bamboo spoons, but they didn't have them. They also didn't have the blue Adobo or the vegetable seasoning I need. That place is like shopping in the Caribbean: markets have empty shelves of stuff you want. Well, I am not going to buy stuff I don't want!
I still don't eat (much) and my milk is not going past 4 ounces. I am not sure if my poor appetite is causing that or I just don't make enough anyway. I still pump, but I will never be one of those moms with a frozen stash of milk. I am curious as to how that would be making all that milk.
Other than that, I haven't been bleeding out, thankfully. I barely have any pain at the incision and it is not red. Being able to sleep on my side again has been great. Well, when I can sleep that is. My main complaint is the anorexia, but after talking to TJ, I am feeling better about my future with food. After today, I must brace myself for another week of all-nighters with T-Bird. La de freakin' da!
Well, if I am not bleeding to death, then perhaps I can't eat anymore. My newest problem is anorexia.
My bleeding has actually almost stopped. Is it supposed to do that? Ugh, I don't know. All I know is that no blood is better than tons of blood. Now that I am approaching three weeks postpartum, I should be slowing with the bleeding, but for it to kind of stop is just weird.
Anyways, in all the "new baby" literature you read, there is always something about postpartum depression. Yes, I've been weepy, and tired, and all that. And I always have obsessive thoughts (before baby was even a twinkle in my eyeballs). However, I always like to eat. Now, I can't eat anything. I have to force myself to eat one meal a day. And it's not much of a meal. Just a sandwich. I almost went without eating yesterday, but ate a sandwich. I am not hungry nor do I have an appetite.
Combined with being weepy and I feel like I'm 19 all over again! Of course, I was miserable back then and I hated every moment. I don't particularly hate every moment now, but I do think back to points in my life and say how terrible my life is/was. Not that this is anything new to me. I do that all the time. So I can't really say I have depression. I'm kind of always depressed! The only truly new and disturbing symptom is not eating. What is funny, is when I went to my last doctor's appointment, the nurse asked me if I was eating the extra 500 calories to make milk, amounting to at least 2000 calories a day. I laughed and said "NO. I can't eat anything." She says I must "for the baby." Well, no shit! I know "must" but there is a difference between knowing what I am supposed to do and being able to do it. Well, I have not been consuming 2000 calories a day. I would be lucky if I was eating 800. I might be. But it is definitely not over 1000.
I talked to TJ about it last night. He says I should call my doctor. I said "there isn't a pill for anorexia." My best guess is that my brain is reacting to something traumatic, as if I was in a car accident, and is shutting off my appetite. TJ thinks its all the blood loss and I am reacting to it. I would have to agree. It was after all that bleeding that I didn't want to eat beef anymore. Then it just led to all food. I want food, but I don't want to eat it.
When I "woke up" this morning, I decided to make this anorexia work for me. Since I make myself eat something here and there, I will just have to eat high fat and protein so I don't dissolve my muscles. The stupid thing about not eating is that you'll lose weight, but your muscles get eaten away. So in the end you're kind of fatter. When I lost weight this time, I was very lean. That was from eating fats and protein. Kind of like an Atkins diet, but not doing the induction phase.
But since I have no idea what will happen to me next week, who knows if this idea will work out. I haven't been able to produce much milk (4oz at most per day) and without eating, I only pumped about 18ml (a little more than half an ounce) today. Hopefully, if I eat fatty foods, the supply will go up. Otherwise, I will suffer the fate of my mother and just have dry boobs. She was only able to give milk t my sister for a short while, and I had none. Maybe with a second kid, I will have none? I guess there is no point in thinking about that now. One kid at a time; One boob at a time.
Last week, my postpartum bleeding had slowed. This past weekend, it revved up and was literally leaking out of me. Am I bleeding to death?
Well, despite my anxiety and thoughts of death, I made it to the pediatrician to give T-Bird her second heel poke to check for PKU (phenylketonuria). The mean old doctor or nurse takes this poke-y device (kind of like a blood sugar poker thing) and uses it on the heel of innocent babies to draw their blood. Of course T-Bird did not appreciate this at ALL, and cried so loud, fists pumping and everything. I said to the nurse "Yeah. That's similar to how I react when I get a shot." Of course, she thought that was hilarious. Anyways, poor T-Bird was so upset she pooped her diapers. That doesn't happen to me when I get a shot, but sometimes I pass out when I get more than one at a time.
So when I came home, I was still bleeding. A lot. I mentioned it to TJ and he said to call the doctor. I told him I could have sworn they told me I would bleed for quite a few weeks, but I wasn't sure. I texted one of my coworkers from the kitchen who had 2 c-sections and she said she bled for about six weeks. Okay, maybe I was overreacting? Well it seemed that every time I took some iron to compensate for my blood loss, MORE blood comes out. The problem with this blood is that it is bright red, meaning new. So all day and night, I thought I was going to die.
The next day I saw no stopping in my bleeding. I called the doctor and they called me back. Apparently, lochia (the postpartum juice) can "ebb and flow" and go from bright red to dark red in the process. They also told me that if I am breastfeeding, then expect to bleed longer. (Funny, I thought breastfeeding helps you stop bleeding) Lochia can be pretty heavy I suppose before it actually is a hemorrhage. This page does a good job at showing what "soaking a pad in an hour" looks like. So apparently, I did not have that, and I was very happy to know that I was not bleeding to death.
This week, I plan to take it easy, meaning I will do nothing. Now that all the doctor appointments are out of the way and most of the shopping is done, I can rest. Well, as much as the baby will let me. If I don't update again, then I guess I bled out.
The last time I wrote, I was sitting around "resting" and finally on FMLA. Well, a lot has happened since Cinco de Mayo (May 5) so I will just go in chronological order instead of backwards like I normally do.
May 6, 2014: Why does my back hurt?
The night of May 5th I had some back pain. It wasn't terrible, but it kind of hurt. I figured it was just all the weight I was carrying since everyone kept asking me if my back was hurting. Well it wasn't hurting up until that night. When I went to bed, I felt a little ill. I thought I was coming down with something so I didn't pay much attention. The next day I had a doctor appointment so I would let them know I wasn't feeling good. I had rested all weekend since I officially took my leave, so I figured I was just exhausted. TJ thought I was about to burst, and it sure did feel that way.
That night, I got up more than usual. And I actually had to poop. And that is what kind of tipped me off that something wasn't right. I actually thought that I could be gearing up for labor. But I dismissed it because it's just poop. While TJ was getting ready, I had a feeling that he should drive himself to work. I had been driving him so I wouldn't feel so lonely, but this time, I thought that he may need the car because something might "happen" to me. I ignored that and drove him to work. I didn't tell him my back hurt since I thought it was nothing. When I came back home, which was around 0500, I sat at the computer as usual and my back started to ache again. I thought it was no big deal because I was 172 pounds and near the due date. However, the pains started to feel like a contraction. Or a spasm of sorts. I thought to myself "Did I eat something bad?" It kind of felt like I had ate something contaminated except the pain wasn't in my guts, it was in my back. I ignored it for another hour or so and then started to realize the spasms were coming in distinct time frames. Surely, this was not a contraction. I timed the spasms and they were five minutes apart. So I went online and looked up labor pains and back labor, and sure enough, I only found that back labor is not real labor, real labor is on the front yadda yadda. Okay, fine. I sat there and then when it was time to get ready, I took a shower. I felt miserable, like I was sick. I took a long hot shower to try to ease my back. It worked okay for a while, so I got dressed. As I got dressed I just had this feeling that I should pack my bag because I thought I was in labor. I said "well the 'internet' said I can't be so I must be wrong!" and just ignored it even though I had a real suspicion I was in labor. I figured I can let them know at the doctor's office and they can figure it out. Since everyone said the first child takes a long time to come out, I should have plenty of time to get my stuff later. So I got ready and went to the doctor's office. I drove there and felt worse. When I got there, I went to the bathroom to leave a sample and the phone rings. UGH! Of course it's "Wanda" the annoying supervisor. She left a message that she didn't get any FMLA stuff and she doesn't know how to code my time card. Well guess what? I DON'T EITHER! Just use PTO or whatever, I don't care. Gee whiz. Anyways, I went to the secretary to have her fax over the new FMLA dates and she said she had done that already but she did it again because I told her my supervisor can't find it. I called the Benefits office and they said they had it so I don't know what else to do. Whatever
When they called me back, they asked "How are you doing?" and I just shook my head. I felt awful. When I got to the room, I said "I think I am having contractions" and they hooked me up to the non-stress machine. Sure enough, I was contracting. I told them where it was and all they said that and the nurse practitioner was going to feel around down there to see what is going on. When she poked around she said "You are completely effaced.... and it seems you are 2 centimeters dilated." I said "I don't know what that means." and she said "You are in labor." Of course I'm like "hmmmmm" and she says "you have to go to the hospital now." I said "well can't it wait, I mean, it won't come out now..." Everyone there is looking at me like I'm crazy. I said "Well, I'm not going until my husband gets here." And so I said I could be at hospital in an hour or so.
I called TJ and said "Where are you." He says he's on his route, and I say "No, where on the planet are you, your location." He was about 30 minutes from the airport, as was I, so I told him to drive that truck back to the ramp because I'm in labor! We met up at the airport at about the same time and went over to the hospital. I drove us there (even though TJ was like WHY ARE YOU DRIVING!!??) and walked in. TJ says "Hi, my wife is in labor." So we get wheeled up to the maternity wing. I check in and get in a special little room. They are starting to ask me all kinds of questions and I try my best to answer, but my contractions are getting crazy! Apparently in that hour, I dilated to 3cm. They poke me with IVs and shave my cooch and I'm flipping out because the pain is getting intense. And I'm bleeding and naked, and poor TJ is in his Fedex uniform, putting scrubs over them. I asked him later if he EVER thought he would be there for the birth of his child in his FEDEX UNIFORM. Someone made a joke about delivery and Fedex but I can't remember how it went. I was too focused on my contractions. The anesthesiologist came in and said this will be nothing, I will heal fast blah blah, so I grilled him on his surgery in between contractions. Okay, maybe he is right. All I know is that he better not paralyze me when he sticks that huge needle in my spine!
Once I was all prepped, my doctor came in and asked if I could let a student watch. I let him since the people in the hospitals in St. Vincent let me watch them. I was actually hoping a student would be there. Don't waste the opportunity! Anyways, They wheeled me into the O.R. and I was yelling from the contractions. TJ was scrubbing up outside and he was saying "What are you doing to her??" and they said "It's just the contractions!" Well, I was trying to curl my back to do the epidural, but man, those contractions were coming faster and harder. All I could do was writhe. He tried to puncture it once and I yelled... bad timing! Contractions! So I said "Wait... okay now!" I curled up and he stabbed me and I yelped, but it cause a major contraction and all I could say was "AAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!" and my doctor is like "BREATHE! BREATHE!" and I'm breathing and heaving and spitting up, and she goes "That is the last contraction you will feel!" and she was right.
They helped me lie down and my legs started to get warm and tingly. It felt like they were asleep with that "pins and needles" feeling. One of the nurses was trying to put in the catheter and I felt this warm gush come out of me and her saying "huh?" I said "Did I just pee on myself?" and she says "Her water just broke!" and I was like "huh?" So they cleaned me up but all I could feel was a slight numb feeling. I could still feel stuff, just not pain. They then took my arms and put them on these arm rests, kinda like your in a crucified position. I was shaking, but I couldn't tell if I was cold or nervous or just shaking from whatever. I kept asking "Am I cold?" A few minutes had passed and TJ came in finally. I said "Did they start yet?" and TJ said "They already cut your stomach, I'm filming now." So, TJ filmed with my phone (since I didn't bring my camera because I ignored my thoughts of being in labor) as he sat near my head. Every now and then I felt a terrible sensation. Not pain, but my body didn't like it. I looked at the anesthesiologist and shook my head while saying "No! No!" and he would say "You're doing fine!" in between his text messaging, and then I'd start to shake. Apparently, when I would feel like that, they were doing something crazy like inserting some metal object in my abdomen to stretch it out. TJ said there was blood spilling out everywhere. I am glad he was able to stomach it and keep filming! Then I felt this really awful feeling, and I started yelling. And that is when they pulled the baby out. Almost immediately, you can hear her cry. I was crying. I don't know why though. When I heard her voice I felt better. The nurses were all like "Oh how cute!" or something. TJ then showed me the baby and she had little blue hands and feet and a look on her face that said "WTF is going on?" Well, she is definitely my kid then!
They took the baby to the table to check it out and it was doing fine. It was crying a bit, and TJ went over to film the baby instead of them stitching me up. It was good they told him to do that because you can't really see any detail on the camera phone. So they were measuring its head and all that and gave it some erythromycin and a vitamin K shot and her face was priceless. You can watch my "birth" video here: (not gory)
When the surgery was completed, I was rolled out of the O.R. to some other room. After that, it is a blur. I must have had some of the morphine or whatever go to my brain because I was there, but not. I could hear everything and my eyes were kind of open, but I couldn't really respond. The nurses were getting concerned, as they were asking if I had any medications. TJ said it must have been what you gave her, and they said they didn't give me anything. They asked the anesthesiologist and he said he gave me nothing. TJ said they were asking me if I wanted to hold the baby but was not answering. I don't remember much from that time, but I do know they transferred me to my bed in my room. In my hospital, you get a private room! That was nice because I could bleed in peace. Check out the room; makes you want to go there huh?
Towards the end of the day, I was nauseous and couldn't move the head of the bed up too quickly. I was bleeding quite a bit, but I wasn't in much pain. The catheter wasn't too bothersome, but that damn IV in my wrist was very annoying. TJ stayed with me all night and the baby was in the room with me all night. I was breastfeeding her, but she was definitely making my boobs hurt. It was not a great night for sleep, as the medical people kept coming in every two minutes and I was itchy as hell, which I later learned is from the epidural. They were going to let me take benedryl for that, but benedryl sucks because it just puts me to sleep. So I said "nah" and just kept rubbing lotion on me. The bed I slept in was awful. I could feel the bar under the mattress and it didn't go low enough for a short person like myself to get in and out of comfortably. Oh well. Day one was over!
Click here for some video
May 7 - 9, 2014: I Live In The Hospital
The next day I was starving. I ordered breakfast as soon as it was available (probably around 0500) and gobbled everything down when it came. I was disappointed with the potatoes. They weren't even cooked all the way and they weren't browned. Pfft. The bacon was wiggly too. I ate everything though. I ordered TJ some English muffins and we split the coffee. Everyday we were there we were constantly interrupted when we were eating to do checks and more checks. Yes, I understand I may get an infection, but let me eat first for chrissakes. Anyways, the bed was so uncomfortable I just started to get up. When the nurses saw that they were like "do you need pain stuff??" and "are you in pain??" And I wasn't really. I was like "no, why, should I be?" I guess it was really shocking for them to see me winding around the room without pain meds. They said I have oxycodone waiting for me, and I said "I do?" I never used it. They gave me a shot of tramadol through my IV the day before so I said that must be enough. They were seriously confused. Was I supposed to be in pain?
Every two hours nurses would come in and do their uterus check: press on my stomach to see where the uterus is. Since I was breastfeeding, it was shrinking fast. Or so they said. They also kept asking if I needed pain meds and what is my pain level. I said "2" and they had some interesting expressions. They asked if I have high pain tolerance I said "maybe" but I wasn't tolerating any pain, I just wasn't having any pain. The only thing bothering me was that stupid IV in my wrist. And my nipples. Ouch!
By the third day, my nips were bruised. The night before, the baby, who I hadn't named yet, had fed for almost an hour on one boob and 20 minutes or so on the other. They were noticeable bruised, like black and blue. Overnight, she tried to feed again, but I couldn't do it, it hurt so much. I asked for formula, and the nurses were like "Are you sure you are okay with that?" and I said "Get me some formula, she's hungry!" so they got me some. I was perplexed as to their resistance, but hey, my boobs were out of commission! I was formula raised, and I turned out okay. I know there are some people out there who will do anything to avoid formula, including starve their babies, but I am not one of them. Formula is just fine and my boobs had to heal. I can try again later, what is the big deal? Well, a bit later on, after much questioning, the nurses brought in the breast pump. She showed me how to use it and cranked it up. In 15 minutes I was able to pull out 15ml of colostrum from each boob. However, my nips were now bleeding. I was in quite a bit of pain and my frustration was growing. The third day I just lost patience and said "NO MORE!" I didn't want any more nurses bugging me with checks. I was doing fine, the baby had all her tests done, and I was tired, exhausted, and now I was in pain. I didn't pump or breastfeed, I just fed her formula, and that was that.
The second and third day was no picnic for the baby either. Every hour, it seemed, nurses, state representatives, hearing people, and whoever else was coming into the room and poking at her. She would just fall asleep and they would sure enough come in and wake her up and make her cry. UGHHH!! I was so exhausted and I was telling TJ "How do they expect me to heal when they keep interrupting me and her over and over??" He was also pretty annoyed as he wasn't getting much sleep either. His brother came to visit on the third day, which was nice. Tj's parents were supposed to visit, but they went to the wrong hospital and then decided it was too much to just drive up another 7 miles to the right hospital. His parents, or his dad I should say, are weird like that. I guess i was okay with it anyways. I was in no shape to have visitors.
I also couldn't eat anymore. Apparently, the epidural is a narcotic and narcotics cause constipation. So I hadn't gone in a couple days and that added to my frustration as well. I told that to the nurse and she said that some people "don't go for a week" when they are in here. Well, that certainly wasn't music to my ears. After I finally was able to go, they gave me a stool softener. Better late than never, although it did help me go more.
My doctor also visited me a couple of times, I think the second and third day. She was surprised to see me up and about without much pain. I said I felt "stiff" but not really pain. She said I looked fantastic. HA HA! No, I looked totally bloated and felt like a water balloon. The funny thing was that when I "came to" after they transferred me to the bed, I saw I had the "leg pumpers," or SCDs (sequential compression device) on my legs. It is funny, because my job entails me putting on and removing these devices all day. They put these on people who had knee or hip replacements so they don't get clots in their legs. Apparently, having a c-section increases your blood clot factor by some number, so you have to wear these to prevent them. Well, I didn't really need them after the first day because that bed was so uncomfortable that I couldn't lie there all day anyway. They did feel good the first day, but they became annoying after the second day because of my itchy skin. So I removed them because I was walking around enough, I thought. Everyone kept asking if I had leg pain, and the answer was always no. I did have a headache from not getting enough sleep and everyone bothering me, but they never asked that question.
After the doctor saw me the second day, she said I could get discharged early. YES! I was supposed to stay until SATURDAY, but because I am doing so great, I could leave Friday morning. She was kind of hinting that I could leave Thursday night, but I didn't want to argue with anyone since my nips were in pain and I was constipated and sleep deprived. I just let it go to Friday morning. And Thursday night, the nurses finally got the message to leave me the hell alone and I actually had some peace. I didn't sleep because the baby, who was now named, but I will call her T-Bird here, didn't feel like sleeping much. Whatever. As long as people weren't annoying me left and right, I was okay.
Friday morning, I was excited to leave but scared because I was going to be on my own. Luckily for me T-Bird was perfectly healthy, even though she came 15 DAYS early. She had no jaundice or other problems and the pediatrician discharged her that morning. Her hips even seemed fine, even though she was breech. She had a great appetite, pooped a ton, and had a good response to stimuli. So even though she was great, I was still scared. Well, we still had to pack up and leave. The nurse gave us more diapers, formula, bottles, nipples, and boob gel. I was appreciative because I had not got around to buying diapers and formula and all that because I thought I had a couple more weeks left. Well, I guess not! That is also why I hadn't had a name for her yet. I was still deciding and thought I had time left! Nope! Anyways, we packed up and was discharged. TJ got to push the "Lullabye" button on the way out. This button plays the lullabye song all over the hospital to announce a birth. It's funny because I was anticipating that for a while now. I would be at work and hear the song and think "Ha! That will play for my kid soon." Well, that time had come faster than I anticipated, but it was fun to hear it for my own kid. I also go my "goodie bag" on the way out. TJ came around with the car, and car seat installed at the last minute. It was a weird ride home, especially knowing there was a new human in the back seat. I did dress her up for her exit. I figured one of use should be since I had no clothes, I just re-wore what I came in with, ha ha!
May 9 - 19, 2014: Healing, Schedules, Rhythm, and Blues
In the days after I left the hospital, I had to cope with some "stiffness," as I call it, not pain really. Even so, the house was a complete disaster and I had no strength to clean it. I didn't want TJ To take FMLA so I was pretty much stuck in a mess. Before I gave birth, my mother told me to sleep with the baby in a separate room so TJ can sleep and be okay for work. I had something like that in mind, and that is pretty much what I have been doing. We put T-Bird down in her crib when we go to bed, but within 20 minutes, she starts fussing and I take her to my room, aka my "office." At first, I only had a swinger, so I had to stay up the whole night so she didn't suffocate in the fluffy stuff. I was waiting on my bassinet, which was taking forever to arrive. Once it arrived, I was able to nap on the futon while she slept in the bassinet:
This arrangement has been pretty good so far, at least for me. TJ seems to get enough sleep although he says he has been tired at work. I still get up with TJ and make his lunch and breakfast, and when he leaves I fix up the baby and when she naps, I nap. This method will become harder once I go back to work, but luckily I don't have to think about that for a while. The first few tries were hard, especially when the bassinet wasn't in yet. We were lucky enough to have some formula and diapers from the hospital, and we used those up within a few days. I also had some diapers a friend at work gave to me as a baby gift before I transferred to the Shea campus. She also gave me a ton of other stuff like a diaper bag, bottles, wipes, onesies, and more. I just got through the diapers and almost done with the wipes.
Even though I was out of the hospital, I wasn't ready to rest yet! I still had follow-ups with doctors and tons of stuff I had to buy. TJ said I should rest but who was going to buy what we needed? I hadn't gone food shopping in forever and I still had to buy stuff for the baby. Well, I tried to take it easy, but that just wasn't happening. The first few days out my stomach felt like a bowl of Jell-O. This meant that every bump in the road was accompanied by my stomach sloshing around everywhere. That was pretty uncomfortable. My first stop was the obstetrician. They took off my surgical tape and asked me questions about postpartum depression and all that. They said my scar looked great (or as great as a scar can look) and that I seemed to be doing well. They gave me some formula samples and I booked an appointment for a month later. I went shopping afterwards to get some baby stuff and food. I was still very tired. Then a day or so later I had a pediatric appointment. The pediatrician was shocked I drove myself and all that, and surprised I was doing so well after a c-section. Okay, I am not knowledgeable of what women do after c-sections, so I am perplexed as to why everyone keeps saying "are you sure you had a c-section?" Am I supposed to be writhing in pain? I was thinking "Hmm, maybe my doctor severed all my nerves? That must be why I don't feel anything!" But then I figured "Well, maybe she just did a really good job?" I don't know what to say.
Anyway, Although I wasn't "in pain" I certainly wasn't the epitome of energy. I was pretty tired and really didn't know how to fix it. I was still bleeding (or actually it was lochia) and it was making me nervous. By the time I went to my second pediatric appointment, I was bleeding more than I was a few days prior. I was very anxious on that day, and the next day I called my doctor to ask if this is normal. Apparently it is, especially if you are breastfeeding. Funny, I thought breastfeeding made you heal faster. Well, I also thought I was overdoing it, so after that last appointment, I didn't have to go back there for another month. I was happy that I would finally get to rest.
TJ helped me clean up my room a bit so I could lay out on the futon, and he bought me salami to eat because I hadn't had an appetite for much. In fact, when I went to my doctor, I was asked "Are you eating the 500 extra calories to make milk?" and I laughed. I said "I'm not eating much period." I also had some nausea but nothing to crazy. Since I have 6 weeks left to my FMLA (but I can add 4 more), I plan to take it VERY EASY so I don't bleed like that again. Then once that heals, I shall begin to shed whatever pounds are left on me. At this point, there are a lot of pounds to shed.
Well, this about sums up my two weeks in the birthing world. I do remember something funny: A few days before I went into labor, I called my doctor to ask something and was put on hold. This was the song that played (at about 2:00):
I think it's some form of subliminal messaging, don't you think?
One week after my eligibility, I'm out! However, my anxiety builds as I approach my dreadful surgery.
My last scan gave me good results: I have successfully filled my sac with fluids. Hooray!
Now I can't say my experience went well. The stupid place I went to charged me the $50 copay because "they are a specialist" and I argued with them that I am not "high-risk" who said that? Anyways, this place told the insurance that I am high risk, and so the insurance was freaking out and thought that I was seeing them because I was high risk. No, my doctor sent me there because she doesn't have a sonographer on Thursday or Friday. Ugh. Well, I wound up paying the $50 (but rest assured I will call them back since the insurance woman claims I should get my money back if I'm not high-risk... How do you think that will pan out?) and did this long ass sonogram. Meanwhile, my doctor just ordered a short fluid check. See how these doctors like to scam people? And they claim it is the insurance companies. No. It is the greedy doctors. This jerk took advantage of a situation and extended what was supposed to be a 15 minute sonogram into a 40 minute plus sonogram. I pay $50 for nothing. Well, I will call my insurance and describe my displeasure and then ask "and who is supposed to give me my money back?" And what will she say? No one.
In any case, I have regained fluids, even though the retard I saw at the scam place claims I can't possibly regain fluids that fast just by resting and drinking water; it had to be because the people at my doctors office don't know how to read sonograms. Right. Well, at work, I was very "leaky" and I would soak through my pads. Since I have been off work, I have barely wet my pad. Explain that Guido! (That doctor is Italian) This is why I don't want to go to "man" doctors for "woman-y" things: they are scientific, but there are things that women know because they know them. Not everything in life has a scientific explanation or rationale. There are things that work for whatever the reason. I know he thinks he is all that but I don't see why this can't be a possibility. So he said I could go back to work, and I said I was leaky at work, and he kind of scoffed. Humph. Well, I'm glad he ain't delivering my kid. TJ wanted me to walk out of there when we walked in, but I really wanted them to see fluids. I should have listened to him... again. Ugh! Well anyways, I called my doctor the next day and she said I could go back to work but I have to be careful, so I said "I don't want to risk it again, let me start FMLA now" and she agreed.
So I am off for three months. I hope that will be enough time to heal from my shitty surgery. I will be in major pain because after the morphine (or whatever good stuff they give me) wears off or prescription I finish, I will not be taking any advil or tylenol. I stopped taking those things because I am sure I have already damaged my liver and kidneys and I need to save what is left. I will just have to watch movies like "Gladiator" to inspire me to work through the pain. I have had oral surgery to remove some impacted wisdom teeth many moons ago and that shit was painful. I think I was taking advil for three months. I thought I was getting addicted to advil, but eventually the pain subsided. What is funny is that I was supposed to get antibiotics, but I never filled the prescription. Whoops. Luckily, I didn't get an infection, but I will definitely take antibiotics this time. The last thing I need is a huge infection in my abdomen.
So this is going to be tough as hell. I am still enrolled in that pathophysiology class, which starts on May 29 or something. I am keen on the drop date, which I may be utilizing given all my issues at this time. I have no idea how any of this will turn out so all I can do is hope for the best. Hope for a smooth surgery, hope for little pain, hope for quick healing, and hope for a well-behaved baby. Oh yeah, and I have the "concurrent program info session" the day before my surgery. Great! I was hoping to have been able to go to the one in April, but my supervisor was like "oh no! we have so many people off!" so I just said "okay I won't go." Well, hopefully, it will take my mind off of what I will have to be doing the next day. Of course, it culd also just cause me more anxiety.
Today I am "resting" and such. I really do hate sitting around though. I want to shop for baby stuff but I did that last wek and almost dropped. I can't do a shopping stint for two hours. I might be able to go in one hour chunks. I do need to get a few things but I will have to see. I wanted to use the Jazzy at Walmart the last time I was there, but all the obese people were using them up. Thanks! Maybe next time I can use it, otherwise, I can't stay long at all.
Now I have to go and eat. I am pretty hungry. Or is the baby hungry? (oh excuse me, I mean the "fetus") Well, in either case, my stomach is on fire!
My Dreams Of Having A Romantic Home Birth On The Kitchen Floor Have Been Dashed
So a seemingly uneventful pregnancy leads to an event or two: my baby is frank breech and I am getting a c-section.
Now, I cried at first, because we all know how un-afraid I am of surgeries. Then I just accepted it. I am not about to have a "homebirth" with a breech baby. The kid is also measuring kind of large. Therefore no kiddie pool in the kitchen birth for me! I am too scared it will get stuck or something and I will then have to get all kinds of interventions that will leave me traumatized. I am not saying that I ever wanted a home birth, in case you don't understand sarcasm.
I am starting to have some problems. Or perhaps one more: low amniotic fluid. I went in for a sonogram two weeks ago. That's when they said the baby is still breech, schedule the c-section, and your fluid is kind of low. Okay. This week, my fluid is even lower and my doctor is hooking me up to this monitor that sees how stressed out the baby is. Well, the baby is comfy, but my fluid is getting to the point where she would have to come out earlier if I don't get that sac bouncing. So now I am concerned. It is bad enough she is scheduled to come out five days earlier. Now she may have to come out when things still aren't developed yet. Not cool. My doctor asks what I have been doing etc., and I tell her nothing new. I told everyone there that my job requires a LOT of walking and no one believed me! Now they see. So she ordered me off work this week (Wednesday) and to drink a LOT of water and see if that raises it up. I scheduled another ultrasound for Friday to see how I do. My doctor says if I can get it up, I can go back to work (oh goody, pffft); if it's the same, we'll see; if it is lower, we have a problem and that may include an early carving of my belly.
So I am not looking forward to hearing bad news. However, the worst part was calling in the office and "explaining" what is going on. I reluctantly called in, knowing one of the supervisors who I think is working me to death on purpose, will answer the phone. You know, she "acts" nice, but I just get a vibe from her that makes me mistrust her. Of course she does all kinds of subtle things to me that are offensive, but this is a job, so I deal with it. However, there is a limit. I knew she was going to ask me what is the matter, so I made sure I had an answer. I called and told her that my doctor ordered me to rest this week and that I cannot come in tomorrow. I also said that I am going to see my doctor again on Friday and she will update me on the issue I am having and that may mean I have to take my leave early.
What do you think the first thing she asked was? "What is the matter?" of course!
Normally, I don't mind telling people details about things. But something about this woman just irks me. Let's just say her name is "Wanda." Now "Wanda" likes to constantly tell the patients I am with that I am pregnant, and that "you can't even tell!" or that I am pregnant with "baby Wanda." After hearing this 10000000000x, you just get tired of it. Well, I wish that was the only thing to worry about. Another thing she likes to do is "hog" me. Now I have heard she likes to hog the aides, so I am glad she doesn't just do this to me. However, she likes to do things backwards: she wants me to call her and see what she is doing when I am "free" just so I can basically follow her around and do nothing anyways. So instead of getting walkers and putting in orders while waiting for the therapists to call me for assistance (as I was told to do by those I was hired by), she would rather I just follow her around from room to room, standing there, ignoring calls from other therapists (cuz I'm busy now!), and then listening to her complain about everything while we walk over to the next room. This can go on for hours! When I am with her, I get dizzy. Sometimes, I feel like I will drop. Besides her constant complaining about EVERYTHING (nurses don't this, why does this hospital do that, omg I can't handle poop, and that patient is just blah blah blah...), she also likes to SIT DOWN in front of me. Then, realizes she shouldn't be sitting because a)she is on a patient bed, b)she should have offered me the seat since I am quite "great with child," or c)it's just bad etiquette. Then she will apologize for sitting in front of me, but doesn't really offer me the seat. You know the type: "Oh boy, I should have let Jane sit (as she is talking to the patient), she is pregnant. Sorry Jane, do you want to sit here?" and of course, I say "no" because we are not supposed to sit while working. Or are we? Well, "Wanda" certainly doesn't want me to sit. It's as if I am a slave that should be constantly moving to earn my keep. Hey man, I don't see why I have to constantly be moving when everyone else gets to sit. The last time I was with her, I sat way over at the nurse's station so 1)I could sit finally and 2)I wouldn't have to hear her complaining about everything wrong with her job. For chrissakes, she has one of the best jobs at the hospital and she can find that much wrong with it? Well, then go back to that other hospital you worked at! Oh right, they displaced you. Gee I wonder why?
Now that you know "Wanda" a bit better, I dreadfully called her and told her what was up. After she asked me what was wrong I said "I don't really want to go into the details." Immediately she apologized and said she wasn't trying to ask a personal question, blah blah. Really, then what were you asking? I take it this woman needs to THINK a bit about what she is doing/saying BEFORE she does it/say it. Anyways, I refrained from cursing her to the dammit, as my mother would say, and said that I submitted my paperwork for FMLA, and that I have another visit with my doctor on Friday. I also warned "Wanda" that the doctor may say I cannot work anymore and that I may have to take my leave then, so I will call that afternoon. What do you think she asked me?
"Do you think you can come in tomorrow to go over the 90 day review, just for a half hour maybe, you won't have to see any patients. I would LOVE to go over the 90 days before you submit your paperwork."
Hello? Did I just hear this sentence?
Did I not just finish telling her I have an issue with my PREGNANCY and my doctor ORDERS me to REST and I CANNOT WORK TOMORROW and that I ALREADY submitted my FMLA forms?
AND SHE WANTS ME TO COME IN TO GO OVER SOME BULLSHIT 90 DAY REVIEW THAT I KNOW IS NOT SIGNIFICANT IN ANY WAY BECAUSE I NEVER DID ONE AS A DISHWASHER AND NOT DOING IT HAS NO CONSEQUENCE, BUT APPARENTLY IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH IN HER MIND TO OVERRIDE MEDICAL ADVICE AND PUT MY BABY AT RISK BECAUSE SHE WOULD "LOVE" TO DO IT BEFORE I SUBMIT PAPERWORK THAT I ALREADY SUBMITTED?
And this, my friends, is what I have to deal with at work. I told TJ that if I change jobs, it's not because of the job, it will be because of her! I like the job, believe it or not. It is interesting to me, it stimulates my mind, I get to see lots of interesting things, learn new things, etc., but this woman will drive me over a cliff! The only problem is that she has to do a recommendation for me if I transfer jobs. That is why I don't see myself switching jobs soon. However, I may want to go full time as a CNA, so I will see what happens. I really wanted to keep this job because of the weekend hours. I guess I will have to see if she changes her ways a bit when I return.
ANYWAY! Now that I wasted enough time on explaining "Wanda," I can get back to my real issue: Low amniotic fluid. I have been "leaky" for a while, and haven't had much issue since two weeks ago. I would assume its because the baby is "big" and I have a slave-driver supervisor who wants me to die. So I probably got a small tear in my sac from my fabulous job and now I am leaking. After the first sonogram saying I had low fluid, I began to notice than I leak a LOT more on the days that I work than on the days I don't work. Like today, for example. If this was a work day, I would have soaked through my pantyliner by now. However, I am still relatively dry. I have already drunk 100+ ounces of fluid today, and still have more to go. I am not too bored, but I would like to go outside. I was planning on going to Sears after my appointment, but I guess that ain't happening! I am hoping all this non-movement works and I can keep the baby inside a little longer. Otherwise, she will have another birthday shift.
Oh yeah. I asked the doctor who can be there. She said one person. I was hoping to have a troop of people there, but no such luck. She did say my sussection (a funny) can be recorded. Well, I hope TJ is up for that! Ha! I would love to have it recorded. I would even post that! Well, in any case, the doctor said I would be in the hospital for two to three nights (with the door locked to avoid "Wanda") and would get a spinal thingy for the surgery so I can be half awake. Not bad I guess. What I noticed is that people who don't get sussections are like "OMG A CESARIAN! NEVAAAAHHH!" and those who had a cesarian are like "Wow that was easy!" Well, I don't particularly have a choice in this case, but I am still not looking forward to having my abs cut open. I guess I will update more on that later. I am not sure if I have to register with the hospital or not at this point since the doctor is scheduling me. We shall see.