Tag Archives: parenthood

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


5 Jan

I’m not a fan of change. In the past year I’ve become better at dealing with it, but I don’t think there are many things that will change your life more than having a child. Now that I’m in my third trimester, I feel like the crazy pregnancy hormones are kicking in. I’ve always been a more emotional person than the average Jane, but my husband made the comment a few months back, “You’ve done a lot better than I thought you would.”

Well, hello third trimester. I feel like I am a mix of emotions, going from one extreme to another. One moment I’m excited for baby girl to come, the next minute I’m absolutely terrified. It’s not like I’m not prepared. I’ve read the books, watched DVDs, talked to numerous moms, and signed up for a class at the local community college. There are just some things that you can’t be prepared for, no matter how many burp cloths, onesies, and baby items you own.

I’m scared that my relationship with my husband will change in a negative way. I’m afraid I won’t have any “me” time. I’m worried I won’t be able to work out. I’m nervous I won’t have time to make the healthy meals my family needs. I’m concerned about going back to work, pumping at work, and balancing all that goes along with being a working mom.

I was at the library yesterday and happened to see Jessica Alba’s book The Honest Life. I thought I would check it out since we plan to use the Honest Company diapers. I skimmed through the book last night and came across the chapter on parenting. Sometimes you come across the right things at the right time, and there is no explanation. Jessica wrote about my biggest fear, losing the connection with my husband. She talked about how having a child brings you even closer, how there is a new romantic once your baby comes, like when he offers to take the baby for an hour while you get some alone time. It brought me back to the day we found out our first pregnancy had resulted in a missed miscarriage. That day and the weeks to follow brought Nathan and I closer than we have ever been. Parenthood will strengthen us even more. I’m under no illusion that it will be easy, but with each other, I know we can get through it and life will be even more wonderful.

As far as my other concerns, I know it will be a challenge to get in workouts and healthy meals. But if I make them a priority because I know I need them to be a good mom, I’m confident I can fit workouts and prepping meals in. I might not be able to fit in an hour workout but twenty minutes is better than none.

With work, I will just have to take it day by day. If something isn’t working or I’m having difficulties, I will know what to do and who to talk to. If I continue to dwell on something that might not be an issue, it could become an issue.

Part of the reason for my concerns is I try to listen to everything that people tell me as far as advice goes. I think it’s come to the point where I need to respectfully listen, and let things go through one ear and out the other. I’ve had people tell me babies have colic for the first three months, I’ve been told there are times where I will just want to leave, and I’ve been told horror stories of labor. Every parent’s experience in parenthood is different. I can’t predict how I’m going to feel or how my baby will act. If we come across a difficulty such as colic, we have a pediatrician in place, parents who are willing to help, and plenty of access to information on possible solutions.

Bottom line, things will change. Change is uncomfortable, but without change there is no growth. Without change, I would not be the person I am today.

29 weeks

29 weeks