Attacking Women

I am simply baffled by what is going on in Washington and across our country. Thirty-eight years after Roe V Wade politicians are attempting to overturn it by trying to limit our access to reproductive health care. Plain and simple, the government is attacking our civil liberties and fundamental rights as human beings to make our own decisions about what happens in our own bodies.

Before I get to far ahead I do want to say this…if your religious belief is that life begins at conception I respect that. I accept your right as a human being and an American to form this opinion and to act accordingly. But riddle me this friends…why should your religious beliefs dictate my medical decisions?

So why all of a sudden am I getting political? Because it seems that more and more politicians are sticking their noses into my decisions in a very hypocritical manor. In one breath, politicians complain that the government is too intrusive in the lives of Americans and we should have a smaller government. In the very next breath they are proposing laws such as this one , requiring woman to provide proof that a miscarriage occurred naturally. WAIT, WHAT? As if having a miscarriage isn’t difficult enough politicians feel that it’s their job and right to “investigate” the reasons for a miscarriage. Are these men so far removed from reality that they don’t understand that anywhere from 10-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage? Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester without rhyme or reason. (Read all about it here.) All investigating the cause of a miscarriage would achieve is adding more pain to a woman’s situation.This bill is specifically aimed at stopping any attempt to remove a fetus or embryo from a woman’s uterus. And as I’ve said, if it is your belief that live begins at conception by all means do not have an abortion or any procedure that will prevent you from giving birth. However there are medical reasons for abortions. (I’m not even going to discuss the financial and emotional reasons.) Ectopic pregnancy. Cancer. Maternal bleeding. All of these can cause complications to pregnancy that include death to the mother. This bill (and many others that are being considered right now) doesn’t even consider that.

I have had an Ectopic pregnancy. An Ectopic pregnancy, if left untreated, can cause a rupture in your fallopian tube. Do I need to tell you that this is a bad thing? Allow me to say it anyway…any organ that ruptures inside your body is a BAD THING. When my Ectopic pregnancy was diagnosed I was told by my doctor that the best course of treatment was in fact an abortion. I discussed that in my post “Strike One“. Yes, I have had an abortion. My friends have called it a “medically assisted miscarriage.” Call it what you want…it was an abortion. Plain and simple. Any law enforcement official who tried to “investigate” things after the termination of my pregnancy would have been greeted with screaming and tears. It is not the place of our government to be involved in such things. It is NO ONE’S business. This was a medical decision. It was an amazingly difficult and emotional decision…but it was a medical decision nonetheless. (And really what major medical decision isn’t difficult and emotional?) It is not the government’s place to tell me what I can and can not do with my body. Period. End of discussion.

There are a few other bills that are before Congress right now that also, in an ignorant attempt to weaken Roe V Wade, take away women’s reproductive freedom. One of New York’s Congresswomen, Carolyn Maloney, lays these out quite well in her most recent article on the Huffington Post. It is titled “Acts of Outrage, Indifference and Arrogance.” Please go read it.

Ladies and gentlemen these are scary bills. We are on a very slippery slope. Not because of abortion…because of how they limit our rights as human beings to make decisions about our health, our very lives. I fear we are merely moments from some Senator telling us that yearly Mammograms and Pap Smears aren’t necessary. Or from some Congressperson telling us that we can’t remove a tumor from our breasts because our child may some day need that boob for sustenance. With a legislator in Georgia looking to form the “uterus police” anything could be next.

This is not something I want my daughter to have to grow up with…I want her to have the freedom to make the medical decisions she needs to and wants to make without any regard for someone else’s beliefs. And really, isn’t that what we all want? To be able to make our own decisions, right or wrong? Don’t we have the freedom in this country to do so?

Good-Bye 2010. Hello Five Month Old Baby.

I started a post in my head the other day…it was kinda a recap of 2010. Of course I never got to the computer to type it out…so it’s disappeared from what’s left of my brain. But the gist of it was this…while professionally and financially 2010 wasn’t my best year it will remain the most amazing year I’ve had to date. I spent the majority of the year pregnant with my miracle, and I loved mostly every minute of that pregnancy (being pregnant in a heat wave in NYC is NOT fun in any way shape or form). And then 8 months and 3 days into 2010 my baby girl joined NewsBoy and I. After two years of hoping and praying, of being poked and prodded, of anticipation and disappointment, of watching no less than 12 babies being born into the lives of my friends and family, I finally held our baby in my arms.

It was amazing. That night after I sent NewsBoy home to sleep, the nurse brought NewsBaby to me so I could say good night. I needed to see her and hold her once more. It was almost like she wasn’t real until I was alone with her. (I know that sounds crazy but there you have it.) In those few moments alone through overwhelming tears of joy I said to my daughter, “You are strong. You are smart. And you are loved.” And in the past five months she has proven to be all of that and more.

As of yesterday NewsBaby is five months old. In some ways these last five months have been very long…but it also feels like it’s gone by so incredibly fast I should have whiplash. Sometimes it still feels like a dream. At any moment I will wake up and be on my way to another appointment, still fighting infertility. Silly…I know.

Still she continues to amaze me every day. While she can also be frustrating, I continue to be amazed by the things she does and her reactions to me and the world around her.

Right now other than taking care of NewsBaby, I have started to look for a job again. Neither NewsBoy or I make enough to be a single income family, so I was always going to have to go back to work. I also want to work…I always said I wanted to be a working mom. And that hasn’t changed in these past five months. I still want to work…but the prospect of leaving NewsBaby with babysitters while I’m at work fills me with anxiety. Before I gave birth, I had a new contract lined up. For the last two years I have been basically working for the same company but bouncing from department to department. Each bounce started a new contract. So they were willing to let me stay home as long as I wanted. I work long hours. I easily work a 12 to 14 hour day…and that’s without commuting. I realized that if I went back with this new contract I would be leaving NewsBaby with someone else for a long portion of the day. And NewsBoy would have to take on the brunt of the baby care at the end of the day. (It is common for me to get home at 8 or 9 at night…which would also mean I wouldn’t see NewsBaby much at all.) The longer I was with News Baby the longer I realized this was not the type of mom I wanted to be right now. Some day…when she’s older…I would like to return. But for now…I chose to leave.

The problem is…other than temp I have no idea what to do. (And as a temp I’m expensive so I don’t get many jobs.) At the moment though, NewsBaby is up from her nap so I’ll end here. I’ll be back soon.

Time Flies

NewsBaby is 17 weeks old today. That’s 119 days since she was born. I can not believe it’s been that long and yet I can’t imagine what life was without her.

Over the last four months I have started many blog posts, but never found the time to fully write them out and share them. So much has happened I’ve become overwhelmed with how to share it here. I’ve started posts entitled “Sleep…What’s that?”; “Feel like a Woman”; “Torn”; “Reflux”; “The 1st 100 Days”; and “Mommy Boot Camp”.

But the one that seems to cover the most ground was one titled “What No One Tells You.” Because I’ve found over the last 119 days that there is so much no one tells prospective Mommies and Daddies.

Everyone will tell you while you are pregnant how little sleep you will get when baby comes home. I even had people tell me how little sleep I’ll get for “the next 18 years” and for the rest of my life. But no one tells you how the word “exhaustion” doesn’t even come close to covering it in those first few months and that after several days of not sleeping you start to lose yourself a bit.

Everyone will tell you that your life will be forever changed. But no one tells you about the strain it can put on your marriage and every other relationship in your life…if you let it.

Everyone will tell you how much you will love your baby. You will love that baby more than you EVER thought you could love anyone. But no one tells you how there are times when you will not only resent that baby, but question why you wanted her in the first place. And no one tells you how overwhelming that guilt can feel.

Everyone will tell you how you will worry about your child for the rest of your life. But no one tells you how helpless you will feel when you can’t make her feel better when she’s hurting. Or how frustrating it is when you can’t figure out exactly what it is that is wrong so you can fix it.

Everyone will tell you that you will have to make very difficult decisions that will decide the course of your child’s life. And everyone from your friends…to your parents…to your in laws…will have (and share) an opinion on what the correct decisions will be for your baby. But no one tells you that you will have to choose between a nap and a shower some days. I never thought that I would have to choose between having a clean house and being clean myself\.

Everyone will warn you about Postpartum Depression. And as someone who’s struggled with depression for 14 years (probably longer…but I was diagnosed 14 years ago) I was, am, hyper-aware of it. But no one tells you that maybe…just maybe your hormones are SO out of whack that you will cry for no reason even after the “baby blues” go away.

Everyone will tell you how amazing it is to be a parent. Everyone will tell you how hard it is to be a parent. But no one tells you how devastatingly lonely it can be at times.

I’m not going to lie. The last four months have been difficult to say the least. They have also been amazing, rewarding, frustrating, exhausting, exhilarating and inspiring. And while I wouldn’t change a moment that I’ve had with NewsBaby (except for that screaming that happened in the middle of the night…all night…before we knew she had reflux) I would have liked to know some of those things that no one tells you, so I wouldn’t have been so blindsided. So instead…I’ll share it with you.

NewsBaby’s Birthday

I’m so sorry it’s taken so long to post this…NewsBaby doesn’t like it when Mommy sits at the computer.

As I mentioned in my previous post, my baby girl was born on Tuesday, August 3rd. I worked right up until the day she was born…but per my doctor I worked from home for what ended up being the last week.

On Monday the 2nd I thought my water had broken, so I went to the doctor to be sure. The doctor told me that there was no way this baby was coming anytime soon, and he’d see me on Friday to work out a plan for what happens when I go past my due date.

Since I was actually supposed to have the day off that Tuesday, I had a big day planned. I was going to run a bunch of errands, have lunch with a friend who had just had her own baby, and get some stuff done around the house to get ready for the baby’s arrival. I hadn’t really been sleeping well leading up to that Tuesday, so I was a bit annoyed when I was awake at 5am with what I thought was bad gas pain. I stayed in bed hoping to fall back to sleep. For a split second, I thought about asking NewsBoy to stay home, because I thought I might be in labor, as this was a new pain, but I dismissed that thought because the doctor told me it was going to be a while. So after about an hour and a half (and another 2 bouts of “gas pain”) I gave up on that and went downstairs. I checked my personal email, and as I was logging in to check my work email I was hit with another “gas pain”. So it’s about 8 am and I realized that maybe I was in labor, but NewsBoy wasn’t even at work yet! Fortunately he arrived a few moments after the pain stopped. At this point it was pain but bearable. It didn’t stay that way for long. I filled NewsBoy in and told him to check the train schedule because I thought I might be in labor and he may need to come home. Yep…I still wasn’t convinced I was in labor after over 3 hours of experiencing contractions.

It was the next one that had me convinced this was the real thing. You see, I’d been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for months. Those contractions weren’t painful, just uncomfortable. They would start at the top of my uterus, where everything would get tight and it would stop after a while.

This next contraction was a world apart from that. Shortly after 9:30 am it started. It was like out of no where everything from the lower part of my uterus to my knees was in agony and every muscle in that region was tensing all at once in an attempt to escape my body. Imagine the worst menstrual cramps you have ever had…now multiply that pain by about 100…minimum. The only thing that came close to the amount of pain I was in was the miscarriages I’d had. And this was WAY worse. I could not sit, stand or do anything but pace the house in the hopes it would pass soon. Eventually I would find my way to a couch and bend over it, so that my body was essentially in an L. How long it (or any of my contractions) went on I couldn’t tell you because from that point on they seemed to run into each other. One would end seemingly as another began. I wasn’t even able to sit at the computer long enough to talk to NewsBoy over IM…so I paced the house with Blackberry in hand to keep him updated, but it was at this point I told him that he needed to get home.

Honestly the next five hours are a bit of a blur. A contraction would stop, I would try to sit and what seemed like immediately another would start. I was unable to eat or drink anything because I was so nauseous.

What I do know is this…NewsBoy got home about 1:30. He got off the train and texted to see if he could stop and grab something for lunch and I said no. Poor man dashed home without eating lunch and I couldn’t even let him stop to get a sandwich. He walked in the door to find me bent over the couch mid-contraction. I couldn’t say more than one word at s time. “What can I do?” Was the first thing he asked. All I could say was “Change. Get bag.” The contraction stopped finally and I felt like I was able to breathe. I yelled up the stairs and asked NewsBoy to get me pants and a clean shirt, seeing as I was still in my pajamas. He tossed pants and a t-shirt to me and I changed as he made his way down the stairs with my suitcase, his back pack and my messenger bag.

Once downstairs he asked if I had called the doctor. I hadn’t…I didn’t want to call until he was home and we could just go. I have no logical reason for waiting…I just couldn’t call until he was there. I called and spoke to one of the nurses…I filled her in and she instructed us to get to the hospital as another contraction started. She wished us luck and we were off.

Fortunately, the hospital is about five to ten minutes from our house. But I swear it was a LONG drive. I have no idea how anyone in labor goes farther than that. Our hospital has all pregnant women go in through the emergency room. So we pulled up to the emergency room entrance to be greeted by the valet. (Yep…there was a valet.) Again…I was mid contraction. I was quickly put in a wheelchair and I instructed NewsBoy to grab my messenger bag and leave the rest we could get it later. All I could think about was getting in and getting that epidural. I needed the pain to stop. I needed to breathe. I was wheeled over to the admitting window where a nurse asked what I was there for…I’m not kidding. I told her I was in labor…although I’m pretty sure I kinda yelled it. I gave her my name and she quickly found my pre-registration and got someone to bring me upstairs to Labor and Delivery.

It’s now about 2 o’clock. Once in my labor room a lot happened seemingly all at once. I was giving my labor nurse Jackie information as she was taking my vitals and I was changing into a gown. All I really remember is asking for drugs and a private room. Jackie promised to get me medication soon but she needed some measurements and things first. An IV was put in my arm and she did an internal exam and told me the doctor would be with me shortly. (By the way…remember that doctor that I had the bad experience with in March? Well that’s the one who delivered NewsBaby, of course.) While we waited for the anesthesiologist NewsBoy called our parents and instructed them to stay put. I was merely 3 CM and the doctor had to break my water. It was going to be a while before anything exciting happened so there was no need for anyone to sit in the waiting room.

Within 20 minutes of being there I had my epidural.

Ladies…allow me to share my opinion with you. This medication is a necessity when having a baby. Your birth plan should simple…you want drugs and you want the baby to get out in whatever way is safest for you and baby. That’s it. Anything and everything else is bullshit and unimportant. Yes I’m sure it’s lovely to feel your child come out of you, but it’s unnecessary. The experience of childbirth is in no way diminished by the medication. In fact, I would argue that it’s enhanced by the medication because you can think clearly without the pain. You will remember that moment your child is put on your chest, because you aren’t focused on the pain but the child.

Okay…I’ll step off my soap box now.

Within 10 minutes of getting the epidural I felt no pain from the waist down. It was heaven. For what felt like the first time all day I could not only breathe, but I could think. Once the epidural was in place and I was no longer in pain, I sent NewsBoy to get himself some lunch. Once he had left…I called my folks, knowing they would need to hear my voice. We chatted a bit and I told them NewsBoy would call them when things got interesting. I then texted friends to let them know I was in labor. NewsBoy came back with some food and sat and ate. And we waited.

From this point until I started to push at 6 o’clock I’m not sure when things happened, but at some point NewsBaby’s heart rate dropped. The nurse helped me roll to my side and she rocked me to try to bring it back up. That worked a bit and we switched to the other side. When the doctor came in and said a C-Section may be necessary but he wanted to give NewsBaby a chance. He also assured me that she was in no danger and if he thought she was we’d be in the operating room. So we waited.

I was rolled from one side to the other. Each side worked for a while and we’d have to switch. At some point I threw up. The nurse said that helped the baby drop and me dilate more.

I went from 3 CM at about 2 o’clock to 6 CM then quickly to 9 and then I was fully effaced and dilated. This all happened in a four-hour span.

Somewhere near the time I started to push…I began to feel pain again. I needed more drugs because there was no way I wanted to feel anything while this child was coming out of me. Jackie called the anesthesiologist who said the doctor needed to order the drugs. After what felt like a very long time the doctor came to talk to me. I told him I wanted more drugs. He said he’d prefer I didn’t because labor will take longer with the drugs and there is an increase risk of a C-Section being needed. I didn’t care. I wanted the drugs…and I kept saying so until he ordered them.

Just before I was told to start pushing the baby’s heart rate dropped again. The cord was wrapped twice around her neck. Jackie asked me if I thought I could support my weight on my knees. Honestly, I had no idea but if it was going to help I was going to do it. She and NewsBoy helped me to my knees and I spent some time on my hands and knees on the bed with Jackie rocking my ass back and forth in the air. While I was doing this the doctor came to check on me. He said again, that if the baby’s heart rate doesn’t come up “soon” we’d have to have a C-section. At this point I was getting worried. I said that if that’s the best thing we need to do because her heart rate won’t come up let’s just go. I even asked for the gurney. Both my doctor and Jackie looked shocked that I was so willing to have a C-Section. I said that as long as we get her out safely and I’m okay let’s just do it. My doctor didn’t think it was needed just yet. Her heart rate came up nicely while I was on my hands and knees.

It was time to go back to lying down…my hair was in my face in a way that just irritated me. So I asked NewsBoy for my brush so I could get the hair out of my face. Both nurses were shocked that I stopped to do this. They talked about it for a while. When I was lying down again I was fully effaced and dilated.

It was time to push. I looked at the clock because I knew my mother would want to know how long I pushed for…it was 6 o’clock on the dot. Now…it’s not easy to push when you can’t feel anything below the waist. Basically you need to push like you are pooping. So I tried my best to do so. With the start of a contraction the nurse would grab one leg and NewsBoy would grab the other. They would push my knees into my chest and pull me forward so I was folded in half. I would take a deep breath and bear down and push.

I did this for about an hour. It’s exhausting. They gave me oxygen…which I found I needed.

Finally I had pushed enough that it was time for her to come out…so we called the doctor. Yea that’s right…you spend the vast majority of your time in labor and delivery with your nurse…the doctor comes at the end and catches. My doctor wanted to use a vacuum to get her out quicker because the cord was wrapped around her neck twice.

At 7:11 PM on August 3rd my baby girl came out and was put on my chest. I cannot begin to explain how amazing it was to finally see her. After two long hard years of tears, hormones, misfires, miscarriages and watching just about every single friend and family member have their own children my baby was here and in my arms. She was real. She was mine. She was ours. I looked at NewsBoy, kissed him and told him I loved him. They took her cleaned her off and measured and weighed her quickly and got her back to me. She was perfect.


Sorry for the long radio silence…the last few weeks at work were beyond hectic.

And then…after being told by my doctor that there was no way this baby was coming out anytime soon…Newsbaby joined us the next day on August 3rd! My daughter was born at 7:11pm after a full day of active labor. (I will post that story soon…) She weighed 5 pounds 10.5 ounces and was 19 inches long!!

The last three weeks have been exhausting, exhilarating and amazing. I’m hoping to be able to begin posting again on a regular basis very soon…but until then…it’s lunchtime for Newsbaby.

How Do You Feel?

This is by far the question most asked of me right now.

The answer? I feel good. Really. I do. Honest.

No one (except NewsBoy and my mother) seems to believe me though. My brother and my father being the worst offenders. Every time they ask how I’m feeling there is a note of panic in their voices. I supposed that they could just be nervous for me (Dad especially) …but it just makes me anxious to hear the panic in their voices. I understand my brother’s expectations are that I should be miserable because my SIL had a “horrible” pregnancy. Everything about it hurt or ached or was “amazingly” uncomfortable and just pretty much sucked. (Once she started having Braxton-Hicks contractions they barely slept because he had to time every one.) But my SIL’s never had more than a pap smear so…I kinda took everything she said with a grain…or bucket…of salt.

It’s almost like everyone thinks that I should be complaining or be really nervous and anxious. But other than the heat, which I can avoid, I can’t complain. The “morning” sickness I had in the first trimester was difficult to deal with because of how sick I felt. But honestly, the OHSS l I had following my first IVF was way worse then anything this pregnancy has thrown at me. And I can’t imagine giving birth hurts much more than the 2 miscarriages I had (they were kinda brutal)…especially since I plan on being drugged. But other than the “morning” sickness I’ve loved every moment of being pregnant. Yes, I’ve had anxiety about the health of this pregnancy and fears about horrible things happening… but after everything NewsBoy and I have been through to get here, can you blame me for being overly cautious in those early months? Yes, there have been moments of panic…but they come when I follow or listen to someone’s advice that goes against my gut instincts. The majority of my friends who are mothers are much more tightly wound then I am…and well my SIL doesn’t do anything that isn’t on my nephew’s schedule. (They’ve even decided they aren’t traveling further than half an hour from their house because it messes up the baby’s schedule, so I’m pretty convinced that they aren’t going to come visit me in the hospital when the time comes.)

I got an email from a friend yesterday. She said “I know the anticipation the last couple of weeks takes on a whole new meaning. Please let me know if you have ANY questions or want to talk about anything!” This is one of those friends who got pregnant without issue. (I have A LOT of those.) She told her husband that it was time to have a baby and was pregnant almost immediately. She did this twice. Honestly I’m not sure what to make of her “whole new meaning” statement. I’ve been anticipating this child’s arrival for two and a half years, probably longer. I’m not sure why these last few weeks give that anticipation new meaning. Am I excited? Absolutely. I can not wait to meet my little Humphrey and hold s/he in my arms. But it is no more intense then it was over two years ago when I started this journey. It is no more intense now then it was last July when I had my second miscarriage (In fact it was more intense then.) So I’m not sure what new meaning my anticipation should be taking on just because I’m closer to the finish line.

I recently saw my “Uncle” (he’s in quotes cause he’s my parents best friend and not technically my Uncle). This man is one of my favorite people on the planet. We were talking and he stopped mid sentence to say “You know what? You just look content and happy, like you are at peace with everything. That’s something I haven’t seen on you in years.” And he’s right. 100%. Over all I feel calmer then I ever have in my life. And maybe that is why I’m not anxious (unless I’m lead there) or dying from the anticipation. I’ve been wanting, waiting and mentally preparing for this very thing for years. At this point I have waited years…what’s another couple of weeks?

What’s in a Name?

We still don’t have an outside name for Humphrey. We keep circling around the same two names, but honestly I don’t love either of them. And while I’m sure we will end up using one of those two names, I will never love them. Other than Sam (which is completely and totally off the table – in fact thanks to Dad’s meddling I’m not sure I even want to name my child after anyone) all the names I really like are either people in our lives or NewsBoy doesn’t like them.

So since I’m not sure what we will name this child, I thought I’d ask you…what are your favorite boy and girl names?