And other things I learned the hard way.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Oh what a difference a year can bring

(Subtitle: It's not that I'm a bitch and don't care about your sob story/horror birth, it's that I have one of my own kthnxbai)

So I'm honestly not sure how many of you know the story of Charlotte's birth. But I figured on the year anniversary (give or take a few days) would be a good time to spin this particular yarn. So sit back and let's have a job down memory lane, shall we?

You may remember that this pregnancy was NOT easy on me. At all. I mean it took me a year and a half more or less to GET pregnant. Least the Almighty could have done was made it easy. BUT NOOOOOOOO.

Morning sickness. Dislocated ribs. Hip displaysia. HEARTBURN to rattle the fucking mountains. You may remember such hit tunes as me passing out at work from dehydration and then getting pulled out on disability because of my body's slow collapse like a flan in a cupboard. FUN TIMES!

Not really.

I hated being pregnant. I didn't feel special. I felt like the dinner scene in alien. I didn't glow, I dripped. I smelled funny. My feet gained a size. All in all I was GLORIOUSLY happy when my doctor called me and said "Yeah, we're tired of your fake labor. Come in early, we're cutin' that baby out yo' ass."

I practically SKIPPED to labor and delivery that morning my friends. Because it was going to be OVER.


How naive I was.

My c-section was probably one of the least eventful/totally cool operations in the history of the planet. There were no emergencies. No one was near death. In fact Todd sat there reading the paper while I rocked back and forth in my hospital bed saying "ohmigawdwe'rehavingababyohmigawdwe'rehavingababy."

So I got a catheter. Don't let them lie, it's not HORRIBLE. I got shaved by a stranger *eyebrow waggle*. And then in I was wheeled.

And then I got the spinal.

THAT is the worst. THING. EVARZ.

Let me break that part down for you. It's cold in there. Like 10 - 15 degrees below comfy. And it's LOUD. There's at least half a dozen people moving around and all talking. You have 2 or 3 nurses just for helping the doctor, so they are counting and double counting spikey sharp looking silver things in the corner. 2 or 3 men types who are your drug givers. They are talking off to the side. And 2 or 3 people I'm not sure what they were there for, they they were there. And it's REALLY bright. And the fucking phone is ringing. I shit you not.

So here I am, wide eyed and overstimulated to the EXTREME, and in the middle of all this I have to stay perfectly still while the guy shots 6 needles into my spine.

Yeah, you read that right. I cried. It was the worst worst worst part of the "birth".

So they lay me down and I IMMEDIATELY start to freak out that they are going to operate on me and I'm not going to be completely numb. I know, I'm insane. And the doctor is there telling me that's pretty much impossible. I can SEE her touching my feet, but I can't feel it.

And then the drugs kick in and two things happen in VERY quick succession.

They lift my gown up and expose my bits to the 6 or so people in the room and I literally say "Oh well hey now, everyone welcome to my vagina."

And my blood pressure PLUMMETS and I say "Oh, I think I'm about to..." hooooooorrrrrrk.

And I puke. And then cried. Because I was embarrassed. I'm half naked, spread eagle and just threw up in front of strangers. Seriously the only thing missing is me without my homework.

So I apologize to the drug tech. "I'm so sorry, I usually don't throw up in front of strangers." TRUE STORY. Ask Todd, he heard it. I then proceed to have small talk with the med student ass my blood pressure drops to like 2 over 6 or something scary low like that. Seriously, I asked him about his schooling.

Then my arm starts to cramp up and I START WAVING MY RIGHT ARM AROUND and GIGGLING because as they are moving my uterus it starts to tickle internally.

My doc pops her head over the sheet, looks at Todd horror struck and says "Is she REALLY laughing??"

Ladies and gents, after my horrible pregnancy, hand to God, my baby came into this world while I was near in tears with the giggles.

And she was pink and beautiful and perfect and screaming her face off and it was over so quick I was shocked and back in my bed in recovery before I could say "I'd like a shot of Jameson." Except the drugs wore off WAY quicker than they were supposed to and I needed an emergency shot of morphine in my leg because I started to go into shock.

They brought me my small burrito who was all squished and tiny and then it hit me.

Holy fucking shit I was a goddamn mother.

I'm responsible not to break it, or kill it. Keep it safe and warm and fed. Don't loose it. Don't let it grow up to be a republican. My mind was practically spinning with all the "ohmigawdohmigawd".

And then they took her from me because she was too cold. I went into shock and passed out.

Several hours later when I was allowed to FINALLY leave recovery (and at this point I would have walked out had I been able to walk because the bitch across from me would NOT shut THE FUCK up. With the screaming and the crying and swearing in Spanish. Ay! Dios Mio! Callate la boca puta!)

I went upstairs and there was my mom, my husband AND MY BABY!! And then Todd's parents show up. And it's all wonderful and sweet and loving.

Until about 3 am when shit starts going wrong. And here people. HERE is where I start to not care about your birth story. So I'm going to take a pause and explain why. It's not that I'm a bitch. It's not that I'm mean. It's that WE ALL have our own shit to deal with. And honestly, how DARE you try to make me feel bad that I'm not all hallmark commercial weepy about your sob story. I know that probably sounds heartless. Because I DO feel bad when I hear bad birth stories. I just get angry when people feel entitled. So, we continue.

She won't feed. This isn't abnormal. But I mean she REALLY won't feed. Boob or bottle. And I'm trying. And trying. And she's fighting. AND FIGHTING. She grabs my iv and RIPS IT OUT OF MY ARM and I start bleeding everywhere while she's in my arms wailing and caterwauling. And Todd and I are alone in room going "WTF do we do now??"

So the nurse comes it and I'll spare you but it took them 3 tries to get that iv back in my arm. OMG luckily at this point I was numb from lack of sleep and drugs that I didn't care. So, they took the baby to the nursery so we could get some sleep.

And that's the last time I was able to hold my newborn for 48 hours.

Turns out she had an EPIC HUGE myconium plug that her little butt butt just could not pass. So around 6am they took her up to the NICU and put her in a baby incubator and did all sorts of tests, pokes, prods, xrays and minor surgery on her. The stuck a tube up her nose to drain out the bile in her stomach. They tried to give her an iv in both hand and both feet but failed so they operated on her umbilical stump and inserted an iv directly through there. They then told me that if she didn't poop she'd die.

...I'm sorry, what?

If she didn't poop. She would die. They wanted to operate. They wanted to do a punch biopsy. But for now, we were just going to wait and see what nature did. And we were allowed to see her. But we couldn't touch her. Or hold her. Or wake her up. Or FEED HER.

So for two days I stared in silence as my baby got smaller and smaller from not eating. And couldn't touch her. I couldn't hold her. I WAS FAILING AS A MOTHER. She was less than three days old and already I can't tell her it'll be alright because I honestly don't know if it will be.

People, I have no words for my tears in these days. I have no words for the anguish in my soul.

This is why, when you demand that I feel bad for you, I'm out of those feelings. I'm sorry, I'm a selfish bitch that used them all on my baby. I have none left for you.

And then, the most wonderful thing in the world happened.

I got a phone call "Mrs. Griffin, we wanted to let you know that little Charlotte just moved her bowels for the first time!"


And then she came home.

And all sorts of stuff happened/went wrong.

Oh the breastfeeding drama. Reading over those first few blogs I still laugh. I didn't know WHAT the hell I was doing. At all.

And these days? I cart her around on one hip while I pull stuff out of the fridge to make dinner. My living room has never been messier, I'm overrun by her toys. And I've never been SO tired as I have the past few days where's she been nonstop sick and screaming every waking moment.

But would I trade it for anything in the world?

Nope. Sure as shit not.

BUT, let's clear up a few misconceptions:
*I LOVE being a mother, but that doesn't mean I have to ENJOY it all the time. Those are two VERY different emotions.
*You do NOT forget all the "bad" pregnancy things the moment your baby is born. It's been a year later and I STILL have nightmares about that back pain.
*And just because I didn't spend my pregnancy shitting rainbows and glitter does NOT make me a bad mother.

And that's the kind of clarity a year can bring. I don't have to be super mom. I just have to be Charlotte's mom. And I think I'm doing a damn fine job so far.


  1. You said it, lady. I HATE when people consider a woman to be some kind of soulless succubus if she isn't all rainbows and puppies about pregnancy and babies.
    You tell those bitches to STFU.

  2. I did, see my blog about sparkle moms from last year :)

  3. You're doing an awesome job :)