Tag Archives: baby

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Had My Baby

14 May

On March 15, 2014, Nathan and I welcomed the most beautiful baby girl into the world. Sadie Elizabeth Poolman was born at 7pm on the dot via C-section, weighing in at 6 pounds 15 ounces, and measuring 20 inches.

First Sadie pic

The labor….ah the labor. Yes, I had a C-section, and no, I do not feel disappointed about it. On the 14th I was having contractions but they were not regular. I cancelled plans with a friend since they were painful. Luckily I had quit working a few days before due to lack of sleep. I think my body knew what was coming.

At about 11pm that night I just knew something was up. The contractions did not feel like descriptions I read in books or learned about in our birth class. I can’t even really describe it–it’s like my whole body from neck to hips just got really tight and hurt. We went into the hospital, and of course got stuck behind a train. By the time we got there I was in so much pain I threw up in the garbage can in the lobby. After bringing me back to triage, I got the most thrilling news–only about 1cm dilated. REALLY?! The nurse offered something for pain and told me I could walk around, or they could give me pain meds and I could go home and try to sleep. Since I knew I had a long journey ahead of me if I progressed, I chose sleep.

The pain meds only really worked between contractions. Luckily Nathan got some sleep and I dozed off between contractions. At about 3am I took a bath, as the nurse said that would help–no such luck. At 5am I woke Nathan up and told him I didn’t care how dilated I was, we had to go in. He said, “Why don’t you take a shower?” Apparently men can sleep through anything since the bathroom is literally right next to his side of the bed.

When we got to the hospital my water started leaking and I was about 3cm, so they admitted me. I asked for an epidural immediately and had to wait a couple of hours. Poor Nathan tried to talk to me but apparently I snapped at him. All of that time is really a blur. After I got the epidural, I felt much better and slept. I did have to get Pitocin to speed things up though. I wasn’t ready to push until 5pm. I pushed for about an hour and a half with no progress. After about 45 minutes the doctor got the ultrasound to see what was going on–Sadie was head down but what they call “sunny-side up.” This means her head is down but facing my abdomen causing her head to keep hitting my pelvis. The doctor tried to turn her for the another 45 minutes with no success. He finally gave me the option of trying to push for another hour or two and possibly still wind up getting a C-section or just getting a C-section. At this point, my heart beat was much higher than normal and I had a fever. We opted for a C-section.

Sadie came out with a conehead from all the pushing and her poor little head hitting my pelvis. She also had a fever and elevated heartbeat when she was born. Our baby was in the NICU for two days as a precaution in case she had an infection. Mom, Dad, and Sadie all left the hospital safely four days later.

The first two weeks Sadie was home were the hardest weeks of my life. I’ve learned so much and come so far since then. Below are the things I wish I knew before I had her.

1) When you get home you could feel like, “Can I please take my baby back to the hospital?” even though you love them, and wanted them so badly. Sadie was so wanted and so loved, but those first two weeks are so overwhelming. But each day gets better and better, and like Nathan and I kept telling each other, “This won’t last forever.”

2) A lot of women get the baby blues, but few talk about it. My emotions were a roller coaster. I would cry because I was happy, cry because I was sad, cry because I thought people thought I was crazy, cry because I was tired….Your hormones are completely out of whack and are out of control. Be patient with yourself, talk to your spouse, and don’t let other people get to you.

3) While you will want help the first few weeks, it’s hard to have someone stay with you the whole time if you want to establish some sort of routine. I love my parents, and they were so helpful–more than I could even imagine. But I think having them at the house for that long while my hormones were out of control was not a good idea. I couldn’t gain my confidence as a mother, it was hard dealing with the baby blues when you have so many people around you, and you feel like you need to be a hostess. I knew I was being crabby with them and that just made me feel worse. I couldn’t get my footing and I just kept feeling like I was disappointing them.

4) Say yes to help, food, and people visiting but set your boundaries. We had SO many people wanting to visit almost as soon as we got home. While it was helpful since most people brought food with them, it was also very overwhelming. I wasn’t feeling my best, so I didn’t really want people to see me that way. I was also really protective of my daughter, worrying about her getting sick, getting overstimulated, and visits upsetting her schedule. I am the type of person who finds it very hard to say no, but I found that I really had to get over that.

5) Some people will not agree with your parenting decisions and LOTS of people will give you unsolicited advice. My in-laws came for a few days and my mother-in-law would jump every time Sadie cried. I don’t even think Sadie cried for ten seconds before my mother-in-law was like, “Is she hungry? Is she wet? Is she in pain? Are you going to go get her?” People would also ask me how things were and I would say, “Oh good. Sadie had a little trouble sleeping last night, but I’m sure tonight will better.” I would then receive an email of what to do during the day to ensure she slept at night, and how late to keep her up before putting her down for the night, etc. The advice was nice and coming from a good place, but was not what I was looking for. If I need advice, I will ask for it.

6) Breastfeeding is not nearly as easy as it seems. I agree it is the best thing for a baby, but I don’t believe a mother should be made to feel bad or feel pressured into doing it. Due to Sadie being in the NICU, my milk not coming in right away, and her getting supplementation, breastfeeding did not work for us. It got to the point where I was in tears, Sadie was in tears, and poor Nathan didn’t know what to do to help. We saw a lactation consultant, went to a doctor on a Saturday, etc. I’m pumping, so my daughter is receiving all breast milk (and so what if she wasn’t–my kid, my decision), but I still have doctors and people asking me, “Well have you tried again?” Yes, I have and she just cries. It’s not worth the stress, which could cause my milk to dry up, or my daughter not gaining enough weight because the breastfeeding isn’t going well. She’s gained over the amount of weight she should (an ounce a day), and she is healthy. That is all that matters to me.

Photo Courtesy MKDaughters Photography

Photo Courtesy MKDaughters Photography

Reserve Judgment

25 Nov

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This weekend I had incredibly debilitating pain in my chest. It hurt so much, it radiated into my upper back. It felt like someone was sitting on my chest, and it was hard to breathe. Normally I would panic in a situation like this, but since it’s happened before and went away, I just dealt with it. Normally my heart burn has been quite manageable during my pregnancy. Papaya enzyme pills and Tums helped. In the past month, nothing has really helped. It constantly feels like there is bile in my throat, I’m burping a lot (sorry), and often get close to throwing up. Luckily I haven’t lost any weight, as my doctor has told me I don’t have any I can afford to lose.

To make sure everything is normal, I went to my doctor today. We discussed my symptoms, went over remedies (one of which included eating smaller meals throughout the day which I already do). I have literally tried all of them. I made the decision to go on a prescription medication for the heart burn. The drug I will take is graded B for pregnancy (the scale is A-F, with A being the best; pretty much the only thing graded A is water), so that makes me more comfortable.

Throughout my pregnancy I’ve been trying to do everything I can to protect our baby. I try to get in all my veggies and protein. I try to eat as much organic food as possible. I’ve even started to eat more dairy products again (again, organic) for the calcium. I meditate, take walks, and do stretches/yoga when I can. Taking medication during my pregnancy sometimes makes me feel like a bad mother. It’s not even so much how I feel about it, but how I feel others feel about it.

A friend of mine added me to a moms’ group on Facebook recently. It’s nice to have a support network, however, I feel some of the mothers in the group can be quite judgmental. Instead of “Oh, this works for me when my child won’t sleep,” some moms will say, “Well, you should really be co-sleeping with your child until they are such and such age.” Granted, most of the mothers aren’t like that, but when you are a mom, a mom-to-be, or new to the whole mom thing, you can be a little sensitive. My cousin’s wife posted on Facebook that she needed a C-section due to some medical reasons, and some moms went on to tell her some very insensitive things about C-sections. A C-section might not be her first choice, but she is going to do what is right for her and her baby’s health, under the consultation of her doctor who she trusts.

It seems like sometimes women can be so competitive when it comes to “finding” a man, competing for jobs, and in relation to children. I feel like we should all be more supportive of each other. We are all in this together, and are all trying to do the best we can with what we have. Each and every child is different; not every child will respond to something the same way as another. As long as your child is happy, you are not physically or mentally hurting anyone else, you aren’t doing anything illegal, and everyone is healthy, I say do what you need to do. Don’t judge another mom for using formula; you don’t know what is going on with her, her child or her body. You don’t know if she is crying on the inside each and every time she gives her child formula. You don’t know if she is suffering from a medical condition that prohibits her from breastfeeding. You don’t know if her child might have an illness that requires them to be on a special kind of formula. You don’t know if she has been yearning for a child for years and was finally able to adopt. It all boils down to this—you do not know what it’s like to walk in another mom’s shoes. You only have your experiences. Use those to try to help someone, and not lecture them. And don’t judge them if they choose not to use your advice.

Tomorrow, if you see a mom struggling, go give her a hug. That may be all the support she needs.

So…I’m Pregnant…And Blogging Again

20 Nov
I woke my husband up at 5:30am on a Sunday to tell him I was pregnant. Needless to say, his reaction really wasn’t what I was hoping for. Pretty sure he mumbled something along the lines of, “YAH!” or “That’s great!” I can’t really remember. I just really have no patience, so there was no way I was waiting until he eventually got up around noon to break the news.
I’m due March 19th, 2014, the same month as the birth of my best friend, my mother, my father, and my husband (expensive month). At the time of this writing I’m 16 weeks along. Here’s what I’ve experienced so far–
Workouts–The first trimester, I won’t lie, the workouts were few and far between. I never threw up, but felt like I was hungover pretty much the whole time. I started to alternate running and walking again around 12 weeks, and continued that until week 16. I’ve also been doing prenatal yoga, and barre3. I’ve stopped running purely because it makes my stomach feel uncomfortable. During my pregnancy I’ve made the decision to really listen to my body. When I started getting lower belly pains while running, I decided to stick to walking. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since getting pregnant–everyone and every pregnancy is different.
Food–The first trimester I could only eat carbs. Everything else made me want to vomit, which is strange because I love veggies, smoothies and juicing. The second trimester I began developing heart burn. It did not matter what I ate, how many TUMS I took, what portions I had, etc. On the advice of a friend and my doctor, I started taking papaya enzymes pills. They’ve worked like a charm.
I’ve also realized there is no waiting when it comes to food. The hubs and I went on an early babymoon in Boston and had trouble finding the restaurant in a museum. We went in a door we weren’t supposed to and a guard told us to leave. I asked him if he could at least direct us to the restaurant, and he told us to go back in the main entrance and ask them. When you are pregnant and starving, you do not like when people are rude or inconsiderate. After turning around I started crying. My hubs said, “Oh my God,” and rolled his eyes. Never do this to your pregnant wife, no matter how ridiculous she’s behaving. Tears and angry words streamed out, and museum programs thrown. Needless to say when we found the restaurant, hubs said, “You can have whatever you want!”
Symptoms–I actually haven’t had anything major, just the nausea and heart burn. I’ve had a few small leg cramps and some tummy growing pains, but all around I am very lucky.
Weight–Since I am 5’1, my belly bump is going to be quite prominent. I’ve been asked if I’m having twins, how big I’ll be by the time I give birth, people thinking I’m farther along than I am, etc. I’m trying to just take it all in stride and am comfortable in the fact I’ve gained the right amount of weight so far.
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I’m a very organized, scheduled, by-the-book person. I’ve tried to let a lot of this go out the window now that I’m pregnant, because I know babies do not really adhere to any of the above. I’m trying to go with the flow, and not have too many expectations of how things “should” be. I’m cleaning my house less, and relaxing more. I’m taking a lot of me time, since I know it will be limited in the future. My husband is already nesting and picking up so much of the housework. He’s already moving things around the house to make room for baby without me asking.
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(Photo Courtesy of MKDaughters Photography)

I just feel so blessed to be on this journey, and I can’t wait to share the rest of our adventure with all of you!