Hopefully this does not become a regular feature of this blog. It seems, however, I am destined to have crazy poop situations occur whenever it’s just Brandon and me, so I’m sure this won’t be the last crazy story.
Brandon was playing in his little infant activity chair (like a Bumbo with a disc of toys around it) earlier and I was sitting on the couch, Internet shopping. Lately, he has learned if he fusses, we will pick him up, so we’ve been trying our best not to be manipulated by him in this fashion. How do we know he is playing us? Well, the minute we walk toward him, he abruptly stops crying, smiles and puts his arms out to be picked up.
So he was fussing a little and I kept talking to him, telling him it was okay and to wait just a minute (I was in the middle of paying for my order). I smelled a shitty aroma, but ignored it because I swear his bottom is like the little butt that cried poop. His farts smell so bad, you would think he pooped his pants. I am constantly gearing up to change a shitty diaper, only to reveal absolutely nothing in his diaper. That had already happened twice this morning. He kept fussing and I noticed he was getting pretty upset, so I put down the computer to pick him up and that’s when I saw it. Poop everywhere. It was all over his leg, his little chair and dangerously close to dripping on the floor. I felt horrible. I had made him sit in a shitty chair longer than he should have because I wanted to order a couple of hand soaps from Bath and Body Works! Mother of the Year nominee here.
I very carefully extracted him from the chair and he had poop all over him. I held him away from me, making sure no poop was dripping off his foot onto the floor as I headed back to his room. I put him on the changing pad and realized this was bigger than the both of us and a bath was in order. I managed to get his onesie off him somehow (I considered cutting it off for a split second). I carried him to the bathroom (leaving behind a majorly poop-smeared changing pad cover) and put him down on a beach towel on the floor. I started running some warm water in the bathtub and took his diaper off and held him up while he “stood” sort of in the stream so I could rinse the poop off before putting him in his baby bathtub. This seemed to make him very happy. As I was doing this, I realized the tub was filling up. The drain was closed! I still have no idea why. As I let the water drain, I put him back on a towel on the floor. Then I realized I had poop on my shirt, so I took it off (apparently I’m going to end up in my bra every time there is a poop situation). Guess what happened next? The doorbell rang. I picked up my wet, poopy, naked baby and held him up against my bra-clad chest. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and nearly burst out laughing. I made the decision to go to his bedroom and look out the window to see whether or not I really needed to answer the door. Whew! It was just UPS.
Back to the bathtub. I cleaned him, took him out of the tub, drained and rinsed it and filled it up again and rinsed him off. It was a big to-do. As I drained the tub for the final time, I stood up to grab his towel and happened to look down. I had poop on the front of my shorts. So off those went. I have never felt as awkward as I felt at that moment, bottomless (no, I didn’t have underwear on. Don’t judge.), wearing only a bra and bending/squatting down to pick my slippery baby out of his bathtub. I hightailed it to my bedroom where I deposited him safely on the bed and went about putting on a clean pair of shorts. I diapered and dressed him quickly, knowing I had foolishly left the poop-filled seat in a room alone with the dog. I put Brandon in his crib and prepared for the worst. Surprisingly, Bella had not eaten any of it! I took the seat outside and hosed it down (upon the appearance of the hose, Bella hightailed it for the screened-in porch, still emotionally scarred from the last incident, no doubt) thoroughly. Once back in the house, I had to retrace my steps to ensure there was no poop on the floor and to make sure I had gotten all the towels and clothes that had come in contact with the poop and put them in the wash.
Luckily, the rest of the afternoon was pretty uneventful. I was just glad there was no more poop to deal with. David came home and I went to go take a shower. As I took off my shirt, I noticed in the mirror there was something on the left cup of my bra…yep, a poop smear. I should just go buy an entire new wardrobe in various shades of brown to get me through the next few years.
My day last Friday…
Woke up early, of course. As David was leaving, he let Bella in the bedroom and she promptly jumped on the bed, where Brandon and I were lounging. I was so sleepy and was really hoping he was about to take a little morning nap so I could rest too. That was not to be. I looked over at David’s side of the bed, where Bella had jumped up, and there was a huge brown smear on the sheets. I don’t know why I did what I did next because clearly it was dog poop, but I leaned over and sniffed it. Yep, dog poop. Bella at this point was laying on our blanket. I immediately shouted at her to get down and grabbed Brandon out of the bed. Think it ends here? Not even close.
I noticed Bella still had poop on her butt, despite smearing a good bit of it on our bed. So I hustled her outside and grabbed a little seat for Brandon and put him on the deck while I went to turn the hose on. Both baby and dog were extremely confused by this flurry of activity. As I turned the hose on, I realized the hose itself was in the pool with the spout on the concrete of the other side of the pool. There was something on the end of that spout. I squinted (I had on my glasses and the prescription is probably six years old, so essentially I might as well not even bother wearing them) and realized it was this rubber drain bladder for the pool. I don’t know exactly what that item does (in fact, I had to ask David the proper name for it), but I know they easily explode because I’ve seen David get angry when they burst. I had the water going at a pretty high level and in a split second all I could think was, “Oh my god, that thing is going to pop and hit my baby in the face, disfiguring him for life.” I promptly turned the knob to the left. Yes, you read that correctly–the left. In my panic, I had forgotten the age-old rule of righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. Of course, this sped up the process and POP! It sounded like a gun shot. Bella freaked out and ran for the safety of the screened-in porch. Surprisingly, the loud noise did not faze Brandon at all (nor was he disfigured in any way–the thing simply split open when it popped).
I was at my wit’s end. I yelled at Bella very sternly to come to me. Now, that upset Brandon. His face crumpled and he began to wail. I couldn’t do anything about that, though, because I had to clean Bella up. She’s not an outside dog and it was going to be very hot outside that day to boot. She very hesitantly approached me. I grabbed her by the collar and proceeded to put my thumb over the hose to make it spray out harder and gave her rear a good spraying. Brandon stopped crying and watched this scene with great interest. Bella wouldn’t stop moving and I got drenched so I took off my shirt. There I was, at a little after 8:00 in the morning, in my bra and shorts, cleaning my dog’s ass while my baby watched. I sprayed her butt until I was satisfied that it was clean (it was very hard to tell because she kept putting her enormous fluffy tail down over her butthole). I went to turn off the hose. Guess what Bella did? Promptly went and took a dump. I picked up Brandon, leaving my wet shirt outside, and went inside to clean myself up a little and, of course, to wash the sheets and blanket in scalding hot water. Bella stayed outside.
I went to check on her a little while later. She appeared to be pretty dry so I let her inside, prepared to scrutinize her butthole for any debris. I didn’t have to scrutinize. She had a turd hanging from her butthole!! I mean, what the hell? Brandon was napping, so I directed her back outside and hosed her backside down again. That turd was not budging. I couldn’t believe it. Finally I had to grab my t-shirt I’d left outside earlier, put it over my hand and grab the damn thing. It’s amazing how unbothered one is about handling poop when they have a dog and a baby.
So I never got my nap that day. Bella eventually got to come back inside. I thought to myself, “I really am getting better” because a couple of months ago, I would have lost my head. Actually, a couple of months ago, I would have probably just thrown a pillow over the poop spot and rolled over and cried. So I’m improving. I knew when I laughed about this whole thing, rather than letting it irritate me, that all this medication and therapy is really helping me. Still, I’m hoping I don’t have to be a dog bidet again anytime soon.
I took Brandon to the doctor for his three-month visit and for the second half of some vaccinations last Wednesday. He was actually supposed to go last Monday, which I realized the day after I had missed the appointment. What sort of wackadoo doctor’s office doesn’t call to remind you of an appointment?! My ob’s office starts off with an email a week before my appointment and follows up with another email the night before and an automated phone call at some point as well. They don’t mess around. And every other place I go calls if I miss or am running late (as I’ve discovered with my dentist and chiropractor). Anyway, as I was checking out, I noticed they are starting an email list for appointment reminders, which reassured me I am not the first mother to miss a well baby visit.
So. My son is huge. Enormous. 85th percentile in both height and weight, so at least he’s proportional. He weighs 15 lbs and is 24 3/4 inches long. People always express surprise when I tell them his age. Poor baby is 15 weeks old and looks like he’s ready to drive. Anyway, so no worries there. He is in perfect health and not failing to thrive in any way, clearly.
As for me, my doctor sent me for an ultrasound of my lady bits several weeks ago. Everything looked good and my hematoma is gone. Still having some pain from time to time. Actually, I would describe it more as discomfort. And it sometimes gets worse at the end of a long day, especially if I’ve been very active. It’s mostly incision pain, but I still have that weird pulling sensation in my gut. I decided to start running again and have gone twice so far. Don’t see any reason not to do it because my tummy discomfort feels the same whether I’m walking or running. The doctor told me if I’m still having discomfort (mainly the pulling sensation I get in my belly) when Brandon is six months old, then I need to come back in and they might have to go in laparoscopically to see if I have any adhesions. Then she used the word “bowel” in the same sentence and I sort of zoned out. So let’s keep our fingers crossed I start feeling normal again soon and don’t have to ever hear the words “bowel” and “adhesions” in the same sentence again. Anyway, so no ob visits for a while and hopefully not until my next annual checkup!
Here is a picture of my big baby taken a few days ago. Sorry, I have none of my incision or any screen caps of my pelvic ultrasound. I know, I know–such a disappointment for my readers.
This is a term I picked up from Adam Carolla, someone I tend to quote quite a bit. I see eye to eye with him on a lot of things (from what I’ve gathered via his podcasts and book) and we have a lot of the same pet peeves, etc. Anyway, a good example of a white people problem is something like: “I’m really pissed off the air conditioning in my Bentley went out. It’s going to cost me over $1000 to fix.”
I realized today, as I was laying by my pool, listening to a podcast and smoking a cigarette, that I have white people problems. Clearly, I am nowhere near the Bentley scenario league, but I do have it pretty good (despite that dark bad luck streak that does pop up quite often). Even my bad luck isn’t ever totally terrible. Let’s examine this using a few examples of my past/ongoing “hardships”:
I’ve been in two head-on collisions. (Who gives a shit? Everyone involved lived.)
A crazed man tried to break in my house when David was out of town. (I lived.)
I was laid off twice in one year. (I ultimately started working part-time from home and don’t have to go back to work full-time because my very hardworking husband knows I want to stay at home with our baby. Am I wearing Chanel and Prada? No, but I am still able to afford Ann Taylor Loft, Gap and the like, and that’s good enough for me.)
My favorite cat died. (Pets die. I got to spend 12 wonderful years with her.)
Someone stole my car. (At least I had a car to steal. It was recovered and repaired because I am lucky enough to be able to afford insurance for my car. And did I mention this car is paid off?)
I had a terrible labor and birth experience. (Poor me. I was able to get pregnant very easily, had an easy pregnancy for the most part and ended up with a healthy, beautiful baby.)
My recovery from my section was awful and extremely painful and I’m still dealing with it. (See above.)
I am overweight and don’t feel like I am half as pretty as I once was. (At my most recent physical, I was completely healthy. I’m working on the weight thing. And well, nobody stays pretty forever, I guess. As I said, I’m healthy and not completely hideous. I’m not going to look like I did in my 20s forever.)
Instead of instantly being a great mommy, I fell into a deep postpartum depression and struggle with it every day. (I have great health insurance that allows me to see a therapist once a week and afford antidepressants, etc. More importantly, I have an incredibly supportive husband.)
I could go on and on. Anyway, this blog is more for myself than it is anyone else. I have to remind myself (even though I loathe putting things into perspective) constantly that these are incredibly lucky problems to have. That my “bad luck” could be so much worse. So yeah, I have white people problems. Living in an air-conditioned home in a nice neighborhood with my sweet little family and pets? Again, poor, poor me.*
Today, a PostSecret entry really hit home with me. In fact, it’s sort of what prompted me to write this entry:
*Don’t get too comfortable with this Pollyanna entry. I’ll be back to my cynical self in no time, truly believing everything is the worst.
So I’m about to write about what I’m not supposed to admit out loud (according to society’s expectations). Here is my confession: I did not love being a mommy right away. There are still times I don’t love it (give me a break–he’s not even 14 weeks old yet!).
This entry is even harder to write than my birth story. But again, I want to be as honest as possible about my entire experience as a new mom. Without any exaggeration, I will say March 21 marked the beginning of the worst period in my life to date. Those first several weeks are still such a blur. I was in a lot of pain and could barely get out of bed because of it. I vaguely remember nursing, crying, pumping, changing bloody pads, watching the LMN channel on a loop and, most of all, wondering when it would all get better. I thought I had the baby blues but instead of getting better, I got worse. About a month ago, I finally broke down to my husband and told him it was unbearable. That was the only word I could think of to describe this new chapter in my life: unbearable.
Sure, I had moments where the old Emily would creep back in. I would crack jokes, text with my friends and everything felt okay. But she would disappear as quickly as she would appear. I wanted to grab her and force her to stick around. But instead I just felt so, so sad and wasn’t really that into my baby. I had an overwhelming urge to leave my husband and baby and just run away from everything. I cried every time I had to shower or get dressed because I hated my postpartum body. I cried when I couldn’t console my baby. I could see the worry on David’s face when he would catch me rocking a crying Brandon, me with tears streaming down my face. And Brandon is such an easy baby to console! But I just didn’t care enough to try sometimes. I just wanted to leave. I truly felt that Brandon and David would be better off without me.
I could sit here and list many other reasons I felt things were so unbearable, but I really just want to move forward. I think I have said plenty. Mainly, I just want any of my friends who might go through the same thing one day to know they are not alone and that it can get better. My very loving and supportive husband sent me packing to the ob/gyn who sent me packing to the therapist, and I have officially been diagnosed with the dreaded PPD. While I still have my rough days, things are getting better and I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to some talk therapy, Wellbutrin and Klonopin. And like I said, a very patient husband, not to mention my extremely helpful in-laws.
A lot of people don’t know I haven’t been able to take care of Brandon by myself for more than a few hours at a time. It’s because I felt too anxious to do so. I am still having trouble with that, but I had him by myself for an entire day earlier this week and had the best time. And lately, I’m not as relieved and happy to hand him off to someone else. I realize I miss him when he is not with me. I feel like a piece of me is missing when he is not around.
So, slowly, but surely, things are improving. During my last session, I asked my therapist if there were some sort of drug I could take to make me nicer and would make my husband seem less annoying. She laughed even though I was dead serious. She pointed out to me that I need to give myself time to let things level out. Before, I was okay with everyone else but completely annoyed and resentful of my beautiful son. Lately, I’ve wanted to hit everyone else in the head with a hammer or throw them in a river, whereas Brandon is my sweet, precious angel who I just want to cuddle and bond with. Hopefully my therapist is right and I will soon find a happy medium because I really don’t want to be forced to hit any of my friends or loved ones in the head with a hammer. But goddamn if they haven’t all chosen the worst time to annoy me and do every last thing wrong.
Oh, one more thing–I don’t usually believe in fate or things “happening for a reason” but I find it quite the coincidence that my therapist also has a son named Brandon James.
This is a post for all my friends who have recently had babies, are currently with child or are planning on having children in the future.
One word: Squeem.
I’ll explain in a bit. First of all, let me say that, unless you are truly a supermodel or an insane person, no one likes their belly postpartum. Prior to giving birth, I ordered a Belly Bandit and a Shrinkx Hips. Because I had an unexpected section and my abdomen was very sensitive, I did not get to use these binders right away as directed (optimal time for postpartum binding is within the first eight weeks); however, the binders I purchased were approved for women with section incisions. I tried the Shrinkx Hips first, but found my incision was way too sensitive for it. I then tried my Belly Bandit and loved it. It supported my incision and, more importantly, my back. Anyone who has had a section knows that you overcompensate for your weakened ab muscles by really overworking your back muscles, resulting in a very sore back for most of your recovery. I wore my Belly Bandit for a while and eventually had to order a smaller one (yay!). The problem with the Belly Bandit, however, is that I could only really wear it around the house–it is pretty obvious under clothing and secures with velcro, which you can sometimes hear when you sit down or move in certain ways.
So I got back on the Internet to do some more research and found a mom blog where a woman had tried the same binders I had and then some. She raved about the Squeem, which I had never heard of. Apparently, it wasn’t as bulky as most and used hook-and-eye closures versus velcro. I placed my order for the Squeem Classic Perfect Waist, which is the one the woman had recommended on her blog. I ordered it from Amazon and tried it for the first time today and it is wonderful! It really holds you in and isn’t bulky. While I don’t think you could wear a skintight dress over it, I can’t imagine anyone who has just had a baby would want to! It holds everything in and feels great.
Here is a link to the Squeem I ordered:
Also, I would like to say I have two pairs of these and like them too, but they aren’t for serious binding/compression:
So that is my take on postpartum binding/compression products. If you are lucky enough to have a vaginal birth or a not-so-sensitive incision/belly after having your baby, start wearing these suckers right away, no matter which one you decide on. And if you are lucky enough to have a beautiful flat tummy after giving birth, I hate you and we probably shouldn’t be friends.
Did you know that both Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy slept in the bed with their parents as infants?
They really didn’t. I just made that up. And trust me, I actually looked into their childhood sleeping habits (my husband officially thinks I’m nuts because I like to read about notorious serial killers’ mothers to know what not to do when it comes to child-rearing). Anyway, the way some people react when they find out your baby sleeps in your bed, you would think that such an act truly does create future deviants.
You can guess where this is headed…I’ll admit it: my son has not spent one night in his crib. Was I a diehard proponent of cosleeping before I had my baby? Not really. I thought it was nice to have your baby near you at night. We even bought a cosleeper to attach to our bed, thinking it would be easier on me as far as breastfeeding in the middle of the night. But then nothing went the way we planned. We couldn’t attach the cosleeper on my side because it would be harder for me since I had such a difficult time getting up because of the pain from my section. I quit breastfeeding after nearly two weeks anyway. So up until the other night, Brandon slept on his Boppy Newborn Lounger on our bed. We positioned it between us, kind of further down by our knees. If he would fuss a lot, I would often hold him and sleep with him in the crook of my arm or on my chest. This was working out great for everyone involved until I woke up in the middle of the night the other night and saw he had completely turned sideways on his lounger and the upper half of his body was hanging off it on David’s legs. My heart stopped when I woke up to this–he looked like a little ragdoll. I don’t know how he slept through that because he looked so uncomfortable. Thank god he was okay. He spent the rest of the night in my arms as I stayed wide awake, imagining all of the horrible things that could have happened if I hadn’t discovered him when I did.
So we decided to use the cosleeper. We had tried to put it against the bed not too long ago but it wouldn’t sit flush with the bed so we abandoned that idea. Last night we set it up as a freestanding bassinet in our bedroom. We got ready for bed and put him in it and he seemed quite happy. David and I stood over him in the dark and I cried. The baby eventually fell asleep. Of course I was completely awake in our bed, missing him like crazy. Just as I was about to finally drift off, he made some little fussing noises, nothing huge. But I immediately went to the bassinet and picked him up, brought him back to our bed and cuddled with him. And that is where he remained until this morning.
I know so many people are critical of this. And to them I say, mind your baby, not mine. Brandon is nine weeks old. He has no concept of being “spoiled” yet. He is not clever enough yet at this stage to realize he is sleeping in our bed every night. And he is certainly not old enough to be damaged emotionally in any way by sleeping with his parents in their bed. If he’s still sleeping with us when he leaves for college, now that’s a problem. But for now, I am going to enjoy cuddling with my newborn all night because it’s what I want to do and I’m not hurting anyone. He sleeps better on his side or tummy anyway, pressed up against me with my arms around him, than he does flat on his back in the bassinet.
So I’m not saying this is right for everyone. I am saying while he is this little, I just want him to sleep well at night. And if that means it’s next to me on most nights, then that is fine. Whatever works. And I am fairly certain this will not screw him up for life. So to my critics, as long as we all love our babies, who cares where they sleep?
He had his two-month visit at the pediatrician last week. He weighed in at 11 lbs 15 oz and measured 23 1/4 inches long. His head circumference is 16 inches. These measurements put him in the 50-60 percentile, which is great. He is growing like crazy, that is for sure! He has now outgrown most of his newborn clothes and is in 0-3 months and is even able to wear some of his 3 month sizes.
He had some professional pictures taken last week and was such a good boy for the photographer. They should be ready in 3-4 weeks so I’ll post some then.
I went back to the doctor a week after my four-week checkup but she was called out to do a section so we had to reschedule for the following week.
I forgot to mention in my last post that by my four-week checkup I had lost all the weight I gained while pregnant. When I had gone to the doctor the week after my section, I had already lost 15 pounds, so I didn’t have too far to go, thank goodness. While this is a huge relief, I still have a long way to go because I had gained weight before I got pregnant. Anyway, when I weighed in at this visit, I had lost a few more pounds. I can’t wait until I can exercise so I can shed some more weight and stop wearing my maternity clothes.
The doctor said the hematoma definitely feels softer than it did before, which is a good sign. She spared me the pap smear again because she could tell I was hurting. We talked about several other things, including exercise. Since I’ve had such a rough recovery, she really wants me to just stick to walking and swimming for a while and to not push myself when doing either activity. She switched my pain meds from Dilaudid to Vicodin, which isn’t as strong, because I told her I was only taking them as needed and alternating them with Aleve. I really, really hate the pain meds because they make me so constipated! Seriously, how do people get addicted to these things?!? As much as they help at times, I just cannot stand that aspect. She also prescribed me birth control pills because I got my period five weeks postpartum.
Tomorrow will mark nine weeks since I had the section. This recovery has turned out to be worse than I ever anticipated. While I do feel things are getting better, I definitely have days where I hurt a lot and feel very discouraged. And I have weeks where I feel like there has not been much improvement at all. I just keep telling myself to be patient but it is so difficult.
The doctor wanted to see me again three to four weeks after that visit so I have an appointment the week after next. I will be so glad when I don’t have to keep going all the time. I am sick to death of being poked and prodded.