Pregnancy

How My Body Has Changed Since Having A Baby

So I thought this would be an interesting topic to talk about. It all started with me, standing in my bathroom, looking at my noticeably wider hips. I started thinking, “what else has pregnancy and child birth changed about my body?” I guess being my first pregnancy I never really bothered to think about how my body would be different afterward. Surely things were going to change but I never really thought about how. Well, I’m almost 7 months postpartum I and now I know!

Let’s start with the obvious one that I’ve already briefly touched on; wider hips. My hips are noticeably wider since giving birth and it is very evident when I put on my pre-pregnancy jeans. They’re so tight! The funny thing is, I was wearing those jeans comfortably when I got pregnant and for quite sometime into my pregnancy. I currently weigh less than when I got pregnant and there’s no way in hell I’m comfortably fitting into those jeans anytime soon. On a similar note, my old tried and true brand of jeans, the brand that I could always turn to (American Eagle), looks horrendous on my body now. They just don’d fit the same. I’m not complaining though. I really like my new wide hips and I’ve found a new brand of jeans that works just fine.

Second, my acne has improved significantly. I am so happy about this I could literally cry. My acne has always been terrible and it’s been extremely frustrating and discouraging. Up until the day that I got pregnant I was dealing with painful and unsightly breakouts. I had a few breakouts during the first few months of postpartum but now that my hormones are mellowing out, I just don’t get them like I used to. Sure, I still get the occasional pimple but I can go days, maybe weeks now without seeing one. Before it was an everyday occurrence. I’m beyond grateful for this!

Spotting! I spot now. It’s the damnedest thing. Pre-pregnancy I experienced minimal spotting before my period but now I get it days in advance. It was such a foreign thing for me that I initially thought something was wrong and started Googling. My dumbass eventually put 2 and 2 together and figured it out but it’s definitely different to say the least. Not bad, just different. On a somewhat similar note, my periods are so light now. My periods have always been on the lighter side but this is on a whole new level. Again, I’m not complaining because if I could have it vanish forever I totally would! For now though I’ll just settle for light.

Lastly, I get sore hips. I started getting hip pain near the end of my third trimester. I was amazed it didn’t happen sooner but I knew it was totally normal and bound to happen so I embraced it the best I could. Unfortunately for me, my achy hips didn’t end with the pregnancy. It’s not bad pain but it’s definitely noticeable when I sit in certain positions for too long.

That’s all I’ve noticed thus far. I’m sure new things will start to pop up the deeper I get into postpartum. Or maybe not. I guess only time will tell. Maybe I’ll have new fun things to report on after baby #2! We’ll just have to wait and see.

 

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Pregnancy

What WAS In My Baby’s Hospital Bag

Hey all! Here is what I packed for my baby while we were in the hospital. To be honest, this is going to be a pretty short list because the hospital did provide just about everything for him. Most of these items are things I wanted him to have in the hospital and not things he necessarily needed. Again, I’m pulling all of this from memory so some things may not be included but for the most part, this is everything. Also, before we start, I should say that I didn’t pack a separate bag for him. I packed all of his stuff in my bag because ya know, efficiency!

Clothing (coming home outfit)

  • Footless sleeper
  • Socks
  • Mittens
  • 2 hats (one store bought and one hand-knitted)
  • Matching top and bottom outfit

Blankets

  • Light swaddle blanket
  • Thick fluffy blanket

Miscellaneous

  • Avent soothie pacifier

WHAT I DIDN’T USE

Hats: I ended up not using either hat that I brought. He was a lot smaller than we were anticipating so neither of them fit. We used the hat the hospital provided for quite some time.
Matching top and bottom outfit: Again, he was a lot smaller than expected and this outfit wasn’t even close to fitting. He actually stayed swaddled in hospital blankets the whole time we were there. We brought him home in the footless sleeper.
Thick fluffy blanket: I only brought this blanket because I wasn’t sure what the weather would be like when we left the hospital. I wanted to have a thicker option to put over him in the car seat incase it happened to be cooler on the day we left but it was hot as hell so clearly it wasn’t needed.
Avent soothie pacifier: The hospital provided a pacifier for us. I actually never even thought to use one until they gave him one. Their’s ended up being smaller and a better size for him anyway so it worked out.

Pregnancy

What WAS In My Hospital Bag

Let me preface this by saying I am pulling all of this from memory so forgive me if I forget something. I really should’ve wrote it down or took a picture or something! Regardless, here is what I brought with me to the hospital for the birth of my son. Enjoy!

To start, I used a medium sized duffle bag from Victoria’s Secret PINK.

Clothing

  • Coming home outfit which included a pair of sweatpants and a baggy shirt
  • BIG underwear! (men’s Fruit of the Loom to be exact)
  • Shower flip flops
  • Sports bra (intended to use in the labor tub)
  • Pajama shorts
  • A second pair of sweatpants
  • Giant sleep shirt
  • Socks
  • Nursing bra

Toiletries (travel size when possible)

  • Toothbrush, tooth paste, and floss
  • Hair ties
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash
  • Depends underwear
  • Pads
  • Breast pads

Electronics

  • Laptop
  • Cell phone
  • Chargers for said laptop and cell phone
  • Camera

Miscellaneous

  • Tums (bitch was not about to be sitting in labor with heartburn!)
  • Lansinoh Lanolin cream
  • Snacks!

WHAT I DIDN’T USE

Shower flip flops: After all was said and done, I really didn’t give two fucks about wearing something on my feet in the shower. Some people might find that horrifying but eh, to each their own I guess.
Sports bra: Although I did labor in the tub for a little bit, I ended up not switching into the sports bra because again, I just didn’t give a fuck at that point. I couldn’t be bothered!
Socks: The hospital made me wear those grippy socks and it was hot as shit when we left the hospital so I wore flip flops home.
Depends: I loved them when I was home but I just used the hospital pads while we were there.
Pads: I ended up only using the giant hospital ones.
Breast pads: They weren’t necessary at the time. My milk hadn’t fully come in yet.
Camera: I still somewhat regret this to this day. Although we took plenty of pictures on our phones, I just never really thought to pull out my good camera.
Tums: To my surprise, I was totally heartburn free during labor.

Pregnancy

Postpartum Must-Haves (Vaginal Delivery)

In conjunction with my Newborn Must-Haves post, I thought I’d bring to you my top 5 postpartum must-haves. Here we go!

Depends underwear
If I could recommend one product for postpartum care, this would be it. Do yourself a solid and get a few packs for your recovery. Pads are nice and they do the trick, however, they can be unpredictable. I always felt like I could have a leak at any moment! Plus, they’re uncomfortable. With Depends you don’t have to worry about anything shifting and causing leaks. Your vagina could go rogue and bleed at all different angles and you’d be good because your whole “underwear” is there to catch it! They’re much more comfortable and anxiety-free. Get them!

Peri bottle
Your hospital will most likely provide this but regardless, it is a must for me. Your vagina is gonna be wrecked for a while and this gives you a gentle way to clean yourself. Trust me, you’re not gonna want to wipe yourself. Especially if you have stitches.

Stool softener
So you’ve probably heard horror stories about your first postpartum bowel movement. Well let me be the first to tell you that I really didn’t think it was that bad (speaking for myself of course). However, if you like yourself even a little bit, just use a stool softener. Your body is already wrecked so if you can do something to make your life a little easier, do it.

Nipple cream
If you plan on breastfeeding you NEED to get yourself some nipple cream. Any brand will probably do but I used Lansinoh Lanolin cream. Your nips are gonna kill once you start breastfeeding, that’s normal, but if your baby also has a bad latch like mine did then they’re gonna feel like razorblades. This shit will help big time!

Comfy clothes
This is a must! Unless you hate yourself of course. No but seriously, your body has been through the ringer and the last thing you’re gonna want to do is wear jeans. You need to give your body the chance to relax and recover and being comfortable is key.

Pregnancy

Labor and Delivery Story

I’m a little (read: a lot) late to the game but here I am, finally getting around to sharing my labor and delivery story. This will probably be a long one since nature decided to throw us a few curve balls so bear with me.

So at 1:40 pm on July 28th, I headed into my midwife’s office for my 38 week appointment. Around 36 weeks my blood pressure, although still remaining in normal range, had started creeping up. The initial reading at my 38 week appointment was high but I had gotten a few high readings before and my BP would always return to normal by the end of the appointment; I thought nothing of it. Unfortunately, that was not the case this time. I was still reading high so my midwife ordered an NST and some lab work. As I was getting strapped up my midwife decided it would be better if I had the NST done at the hospital in case anything further needed to be done. That logic made plenty of sense to me so off I went to the hospital. During all of this my husband was about to go into a certification exam for work and wasn’t going to be reachable for 3 hours. Thankfully I managed to get ahold of him minutes before he went in so he at least knew what was going on. Kudos to him too because he still managed to pass his test even though he’s a major worrier.

So I get over to L&D triage and they hook me up for the NST. Baby is doing great and my blood pressure is stable and in the normal range. I assume all is well and that I’d get to go home soon. Nope! My urine sample had elevated protein levels and I tested positive for pre-eclampsia. The on-call midwife wanted to induce me immediately. I certainly wasn’t expecting to have a baby that day and being induced wasn’t really something I wanted but I knew it was for the best. Thankfully by this point my husband was out of his exam and he was able to swing by our apartment to get the hospital bag before heading over. By now it’s around 6 pm, I’m moved up to labor and delivery, and my midwife is attempting to insert a foley balloon catheter to start the induction. Holy shit was this painful! It was by far the worst part of my labor and some of the worst pain I’d ever felt in my life. My husband ended up walking in during the middle of it and was very confused/slightly horrified by what he saw. My water ended up breaking as they were inserting the catheter so they removed it and let me sit for a while to see what my body would do on its own. They also started me on IV antibiotics because I was GBS+. Oh! I also forgot to mention that at this point I was only 1 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby was at -3. About an hour later the nurse came in to give me my first half dose of Cytotec to soften up my cervix and get things going. I started having consistent contractions but nothing too unbearable. A few hours later the nurse came back in to give me a full dose of Cytotec and that’s when things really started to pick up. My contractions started getting worse and I was feeling them in my back and lower abdomen. I tried laboring in the tub for a while but that didn’t do much for me. Around 2 am (I think) I was ready for the epidural. Thankfully my hospital was/is fantastic and I didn’t have to wait more than a few minutes for the anesthesiologist. I just wanna give a huge shoutout to modern medicine because that epidural was a godsend! After I got my epidural my midwife came in to check me and I was dilated to a 3. The nurse then had me lie on my side and placed a peanut ball between my legs to help encourage things along. About an hour later the nurse came back in to give me oxygen because baby’s heart rate was dropping slightly. At this point it was nothing too serious but definitely not something to ignore. The oxygen helped and his heart rate returned to normal. My nurse then started my first and only round of Pitocin and left me again to rest. Not long after I noticed the pressure had shifted from my back/lower abdomen to my crotch/butt so I could tell things were progressing. The nurse came back in around 6 am because baby’s heart rate was dropping again during contractions. I let her know that I was feeling pressure in my crotch and butt and she grabbed my midwife to come check me again. I was at a 10 and baby was at station 0. They sat me up to help baby move down and about an hour later he was +3! At 7:30 am I started pushing. Rowan Emerson Smith was born on July 29th, 2017 at 7:55 am. Things got a little sketchy because his heart rate dropped even more as I was pushing but overall it was a very positive experience. My nurses and midwives were amazing and although I wasn’t thrilled about having pre-e and being induced, I got the vaginal delivery I wanted and I was ecstatic with how fast and easy my labor and delivery was.

So now onto the not-so-great part. We ended up staying in the hospital for five days because my blood pressure decided to take a shit on me. For the first two days of recovery my blood pressure was reading a little high still but I was always in the normal range. On the day we were supposed to be discharged from the hospital my blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels and they decided to keep me. I was put on a 24 hr IV drip of Magnesium Sulfate which, by the way, was a shit show of an experience. It was like 24 hrs of feeling drugged and drunk. The next morning they started me on an oral blood pressure medication and my readings started to stabilize. They were still a little high but no longer dangerous. I was kept for another 24 hours for monitoring and on the fifth day we were finally allowed to go home! In the moment it felt like the worst thing ever but looking back now, I guess it could’ve been much worse.

Lastly, I would like to give a huge shoutout to the UCHealth Center for Midwifery and all of the amazing nurses that helped care for Rowan and I at The University of Colorado Hospital. I can’t thank them enough for how they handled my situation during labor and delivery. I feel like a lot of doctors would’ve been quick to jump to a C-section but my team was calm, cool, and collected! In addition, I’d also like to give a shoutout to the OBs at The University of Colorado Hospital who stepped in when things started going south during my recovery. They handled a pretty serious situation with calmness and efficiency and not once was I led to question their ability to take care of things. Thank you, all!

Pregnancy

Coming To Terms With Pregnancy Weight Gain

Weight can be a touchy subject for just about anyone these days. Weight gain in particular can be even worse. When you’re someone who’s dealt with food and weight related issues in the past, how are you supposed to deal with the mixed emotions that come with pregnancy weight gain? As a logical human being you know you’re supposed to gain weight during pregnancy. It’s a necessary evil (for most) to make sure that little creature you’re growing comes out as healthy as possible. However, there are a lot of people, like myself, who have difficulty coming to terms with the fact that the number on the scale keeps going up and, no matter how many times you tell yourself it’s necessary and for the good of your baby, there’s still that nagging voice in the back of your mind telling you that you’re ruining everything. It’s a strange emotion to try and process that’s for damn sure. I’m in this constant state of trying to do what’s right for my baby but also trying to appease the inner demons that constantly berate me and tell me my self worth is determined by that number on the scale. It’s insanity and I’m aware of it. I’m 31 weeks today and I still don’t think I’ve come to terms with gaining weight. Maybe I never will during this pregnancy but at least I can confidently say I’m “staying afloat.” I haven’t let myself succumb to the voices in my head that are trying to derail me. I think doing what’s right for this little guy inside of me will triumph no matter what but damn if it’s not a close battle. I have days where I get on the scale and the number has dropped. For a fleeting moment I’m happy but then the guilt and shame set in and I have to remind myself that that’s not good. Like I said, it’s an odd mix of emotions to try and process but I’m working on it. I’m just taking it day by day for now and that’s all I can ask of myself. I try my best to do what I’m supposed to and I leave the rest to nature.

Pregnancy

30 Week Update

How Far Along
30 weeks 3 days

Size of Babe
2.89 lbs. Baby is the size of a zucchini.

Symptoms
Heartburn is still going strong, dry sinuses, shortness of breath (baby has wedged himself up into my rib cage and my lungs don’t think it’s very cute), extremely mild cramping.

Loving
Watching pregnancy/baby updates on YouTube, english muffins with peanut butter, Mexican food (pretty normal for me), doing absolutely nothing.

Loathing
Repositioning myself in the middle of the night, baby kicks to my rib cage, cleaning (still prepping for that move!).

Belly Button
Same as last week. I have no clue if/when that’s gonna change.

Movement
Well as you’ve probably already caught on, baby boy is kicking the shit out of my rib cage. It seems like everyday he gets a little more rambunctious and I can feel him rolling around in there at all hours. I’m convinced this kid just doesn’t sleep.

Maternity Clothes
No change here really aside from maybe my regular t-shirts are getting a little too tight. I may be getting awfully clothes to exclusively wearing maternity shirts, although, my stubbornness would probably argue otherwise!

Best Part of the Week
We finally had our 4D ultrasound and we got to see baby boys cute little face!

Worst Part of the Week
Dealing with this damn move! I’ll be thrilled when it’s over.

Missing Most
Wearing regular clothes. My wardrobe is quite limited right now and I miss the days when putting together an outfit wasn’t a challenge!

Can’t Wait For
Finally purchasing all our baby necessities. I’m currently on a spending hold right now because of the move. Doesn’t make a ton of sense to buy a bunch of stuff just to have to move it so I’m just over here patiently waiting.