Wednesday, August 19, 2015

From Unhealthy..... To Healthy Part Two: The Curveball

My "oh shit" moment was a couple months behind me at this point. I still hadn't made any realistic changes in my life. I had a mile long list of excuses, I was very good at making excuses.

On Nolan's 2nd birthday we got an unexpected, scary, "oh shit" surprise!

Everything changed. All of a sudden the reality of my body, the weight that I was at was weighing heavily (no pun intended) on my mind. It wasn't healthy to carry a pregnancy at that weight. Especially with the issues I'd had with my previous pregnancy (swelling and high blood pressure mostly). I was so upset with myself, I couldn't even articulate it at the time.

The first trimester proved to be, as any mother can attest, survival mode at best. After that hurdle was over I began being more conscious of what I ate and made an effort to go for a walk every day. Exercising daily proved difficult between work, school, a toddler, and the general exhaustion that pregnancy brings but I dedicated myself and made it happen.

Since it is not suggested to diet or begin any new work out routines while pregnant I kept my changes mild and did not stress it too much. After all, this was about being healthy, not losing weight.

This "little" guy showed up at nearly 43 weeks weighing a healthy 9lbs 9oz. I had managed to only gain 2-3 pounds during the entire pregnancy and found my exit from the hospital already under my pre-pregnancy weight. If I remember correctly I weighed in around 210lbs at that time. Healthy choices during my pregnancy resulted in a quick 15lb loss - can't beat it!

As newborns tend to do, mine was quite attached to nursing for some time. Nursing results me needing to eat everything in sight and I was very sensitive to doing anything that might hinder my milk supply. I did my best to make healthy choices, I tried not to eat out, I drank tons of water, and I nursed my baby. I kept to this routine til Oakley was about 7 months old. At that time I weighed in somewhere around 190lbs. It is amazing what some small changes can do. I'd lost 35lbs and hadn't really 'done' anything of significance.

7 months post partum, 35 pounds under my pre pregnancy weight, and I was ready to get serious. I was ready to follow up on those feelings I had during my "oh shit" moment.

Friday, August 7, 2015

From Unhealthy.... To Healthy Part One: The 'Oh Shit' Moment

A lovely friend(s) suggested that I Blog about my journey. I struggle to articulate where I've come from and how I've gotten here when I'm asked by well meaning people in my life. I am self conscious about this new body that I've found myself in and it is not something that is easily explained, either.

Here I am today... In short, nearly 100pounds lighter and a million times healthier....

I won't attempt to speak for every heavy person out there, but there have been a number that I've spoken with who have experienced this same moment. The reality of years of 'abuse' to ones body. You spend so much time avoiding the truth. You might acknowledge that you've gained a 'little' weight. That maybe you aren't as healthy as you 'should' be, but you don't truly 'know'.

Than that day comes.... Maybe it is a glance in the mirror, maybe the way your stomach folds when you sit in a chair, or the way your arm jiggles as you reach into the pantry for that satisfying snack. Whatever it may be, this, is that 'oh shit' moment

My moment came in Christmas of 2012. A quick family photo at my Grandfather's. In front of the family Christmas Tree that we've always done. Looking at these photos. Myself, my husband, and my oldest - Nolan. A beautiful family photo, it should have been, but that is not what I saw.

What I saw was rolls, rolls, and flab. That couldn't be me? Could it?

Sadly, it was. I made arbitrary promises than. That I'd start changing my diet. After the new year. After school was out. ((sound familiar))

Here it is, my 'oh shit' moment. All 225 pounds of me.

This, friends, is Part One.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Newborn Cloth Diaper Review

Oakley was born at 9lbs 9oz and 22.5 inches. Not a little guy by any means. We still got lots of love out of our newborn diapers though. His cord fell off at 6 days so we didn't use the snap down nearly as much as I expected.

Grovia Newborn AIO
These fit right away, but sadly leaked. It was a combination of the legs being too loose and the fact that they just aren't all that absorbent. I think with a more chunky baby (as opposed to long like my guy) one might have better luck. They did fit for about six weeks though, but they were a last resort diaper only.

4 Weeks. I apparently didn't take any sooner than this!

 They just fit weird on the legs.

Lil Joeys AIO
We barely fit into these. He was on the widest snap from day one. These would probably fit a super tiny baby better than most. I found the inner gussets quite annoying for a couple of reasons. They left really deep indention marks on my Oakley and I found it nearly impossible to clean all the poop out of the gussets. At this point I am going to have to hand wash them before I sell them. That is frustrating. We also had a couple blow outs in them. They were fairly absorbent though and fit for maybe two weeks.

^^Less than a week >>>

 By 4 weeks we barely squeezed in them.

Fuzzibunz XS
Once the cord fell off these fit right away. They fit nicely around the legs and absorbed as much as you'd expect from a microfiber insert. Always a champ at holding in explosive poops. I am not a huge fan of PUL outer diapers, but these were probably the most reliable. At 9 weeks they still fit, with room to grow, but need extra stuffing if we were to use them out and about.

At 6 weeks, apparently these didn't gt much photo shot time, this is the only pic I have!

Rockin Rumps (RnR) Minis
Can not rave enough about this WAHM. Her diapers are consistent and always of the best quality. I fell in love with her one size diapers with my oldest and was nothing but thrilled with her minis as well.

We did not need the snap down rise and they fit right away. A little bit of rubbing did occur, but he was just too long for the snap down rise. A smaller baby likely wouldn't have this problem. She changed her inserts to a trifold insert (opposed to the snap in two layer insert). The trifold is an improvement on how absorbent they are.

We still, at 9 weeks, can fit into them. The wovens are too tight, but the knits still work quite well. I add a booster to the older style snap in ones and we are good out and about. Never a blow out or leak with these! I had mostly A12, but also 3 of her hybrids which I absolutely adored. They were so absorbent! 

Woven, not even 2 weeks old! 

Woven, not even 4 weeks old!

Woven, right at 6-7 weeks old!

Hybrid, not even 1 week old!

 Hybrid, right at 3 weeks old!



 Hybrid, jut barely fitting, at almost 8 weeks old!

Swaddlebee Simplex AIO

We had quite a few of these and I'm happy we did! They fit right away and we are still using them now at 9 weeks. They snapped under the cord great and we actually used them as our go to night diapers. They did blow out twice, but never leaked. He didn't generally poop at night so that worked out ok!

They are an AIO but have a pocket to add extra absorbency too. Super convenient for night time. We'll be rocking these for a couple more weeks I think.

Only a few days old!!

About 5 weeks!

 9 Weeks!! 
The rise is getting short, but still working just fine :)

Goodmama Fitteds (and one hybrid)

These fit from day one. Fit great under the cord and didn't cause any rubbing at all. These were our go to diapers at home. They are absorbent and cute, the whole package! The only down side to these is you will experience a number of size variations.

Somewhere around 4 weeks they started to lack what we needed in absorbency. It was about the same time we started fitting in the one size Goodmama really well. At about 6 weeks the wovens didn't have a high enough rise. At that point only a few of the bigger but knits fit well. We officially retired them at 8 weeks.

The one hybrid I had I could rave all day about. The hybrids have a naturally bigger cut and come with a tiny good.square! It solves both the rise and absorbency issue we have with the fitteds. I would highly recommend these for mama's with bigger babies and heavy wetters.


Hybrid vs Fitted

Only a few days old!
2ish week old! 

 ^^^4 Weeks!^^^

6 weeks, this is a larger fitting knit!

6 weeks, woven, and seeing butt crack! LOL!

Hybrid, 5-6 weeks, you can see the size difference!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Story Of My "Failed" HBAC

October 30th and 31st
                At 41 weeks 4 days, I decided to try to do a sweep to get things moving. A visit to MariAnne’s office showed that I was not dilated enough to do so. I was a fingertip dilated and 50% effaced, baby at station -1. I was not too surprised; tons of people have no signs of progression before labor starts! The next day, 41 weeks 5 days, was Halloween – I had been so worried I wouldn’t be able to go with Nolan and yet here I was, still pregnant! During the work day I’d been having contractions, some painful, most mild, off and on all day. Things picked up as the evening progressed and I had regular contractions, about every 6-9 minutes, all night.
November 1st
                I slept pretty well, hoping to wake up to some major contractions in the wee hours of the morning. Friday morning they were still present, but had not increased in frequency, so I thought that going for the NST/BPP to be on the safe side, just in case this wasn’t ‘real’. As soon as I walked into the hospital, my contractions stopped. The contractions that had been going for a whole day, stopped just from walking into the hospital – it is amazing how the mind works!
                We spent most of the day at the hospital. The NST was perfect, but the BPP showed low fluid. The staff was extremely harsh and pushy. They wanted to induce and they wanted to do it NOW. I couldn’t do it, I knew my body was getting things started and it just needed a little more time. So, I signed out AMA and went home. A call to MariAnne and she assured me that hydration would help and to relax and let the adrenaline from the visit go, she was sure it was stopping my contractions. By that evening they started coming back. They were roughly 10 minutes apart and needing me to focus on them at times. They continued through the night, disrupting my sleep a bit, but not in a major way.
November 2nd
                Things got real at about 5 a.m. I woke up to a pretty harsh contraction and they continued. I lost massive amounts of my plug during those first few hours. They ranged about 6ish minutes apart, lasting 30-40 seconds. Within 2 hours, they were 3 minutes apart, last 45-50 seconds, and I was moaning through most of them. MariAnne called at about 8:30 to check in and I gave her an update. Even with them being 3 minutes apart, the short frequency had me convinced there was no rush in her coming out. She said she would head my way at about 1:30, unless something picked up before then. I spent most of the day contracting by myself, hubs had running around to do and I was handling them by myself pretty well.
                By the time MariAnne got there they were pretty intense and having counter pressure felt fantastic. They stayed 2-3 minutes apart and lasting about a minute each for the remainder of the day. MariAnne arrived about 2:30 and I was 4/5cm dilated, 70% effaced, and Oakley was at 0 station. The contractions continued and there was not a position that I was comfortable in. I found the strongest contractions were present while sitting on the toilet. I tried to spend as many contractions there as I could handle. We rotated positions on the toilet, birthing ball, on all fours, etc. Nolan tried to comfort me during contractions; he would come up rub my belly and tell me – ‘it’ll be ok mommy’ over and over again, while rubbing my belly, during contractions.
                Around 5p.m. another check put me at 6cm and 90% effaced, Oakley still at 0 station. A problem presented itself when my blood pressure was hovering at 160/100. We talked with MariAnne and she suggested that getting in the tub might help bring down my blood pressure. They started filling the tub, which took some time. At about 6:00 I hopped in the tub, it felt amazing and best of all – my blood pressure came down! I continued to labor in the tub with contractions much easier to manage and they only slowed slightly to 4ish minutes apart on occasion. The decrease in blood pressure was only temporary and by 7:30 it was back up again. Another check within 30 minutes and it was still the same - 160/110.
                At that point MariAnne sat and talked with me about transferring. Oakley sounded good, but my high blood pressure readings had her worried. We talked for a bit and decided a transfer would be best. I got out of the tub and got ready to go while everyone else put bags together, cleaned up the tub, etc. At 8:45 my water broke, a relatively small gush, but noticeable none the less. It looked meconium stained, but initially we assumed it was more of my plug. The contractions got really intense after my water broke and were coming every 2 minutes. The hour+ ride to the hospital was much of a blur, I was in so much pain and unable to change positions made things even worse. I was crying through the contractions.
                We arrived at the hospital and walked to triage. Upon admittance my blood pressure was still elevated and they took urine and blood to check for pre-eclampsia. All was clear as I knew it would be. They did a quick check to ensure that Oakley was head down and sent me to L&D. I was still 6cm and 90% effaced at this point. I hung out on the birthing ball while everyone got settled in and MariAnne stayed and talked with me for a while. I had some more gushes of water that undeniably showed meconium in the water. My blood pressure stayed elevated, but since I obviously wasn’t pre-eclamptic they didn’t bother me too much about it. The doctor on call was not exactly VBAC supportive and kept claiming that Oakley wasn’t handling contractions well and that we should start considering a RCS. Granted he did have decels during contractions his recovery from them was within normal range. They pumped me full of fluids and his decels and my blood pressure both got better. I am guessing a bit of dehydration may have been a viable culprit. MariAnne left at about midnight and said she would check in the next day.
                The doctor, quite literally, harassed me all night. If she wasn’t coming in to see if I wanted a RCS, she was doing cervical checks with no regards to my contractions. My contractions slowed during the night, can’t even tell you the frequency because all I wanted to do was sleep and no one was letting me. She kept talking about my contractions slowing down and when I asked her if Pitocin was an option to pick them back up should they continue to peter out she told me that she would ‘never allow’ me to receive any induction medication, but if I wanted an epidural and RCS she would be happy to call the anesthesiologist. She was a peach, no doubt. Luckily the nurse I had, had two natural births of her own and was very encouraging. She came in as often as she could to help me through contractions while my husband tried to get some shut eye.
November 3rd
                Thankfully shift change came somewhere around 5-6. Our new doctor, Rankin, came in to tell me that I was the hot topic of the morning. He was quite encouraging and said that he was not ready to throw in the towel. I had managed to progress an additional cm during the night and was solidly 7cm and 90% effaced with Oakley still at 0 station. I talked with Rankin for a bit about my previous pregnancy/section and the reason for transfer and what course of action I wanted to take. I told him that I would prefer to avoid Pitocin and wanted to give my body a bit to see if the contractions picked up on their own. He was supportive, agreed, and left saying he would check back in.
                About 7:30 my contractions were still wildy inconsistent and sometimes, nonexistent. So we started Pitocin at about 8. Within minutes I started feeling contractions, some were mild, some were intense, and as they continued to increase the dosage the contractions got even more intense, longer, and closer together. By 11ish they were back to back longer and stronger than any of the contractions I had had previously. Oakley was handling the contractions ok, but it was important for me to stay on the monitors, his decels were starting to lag. A couple of cervical checks revealed no progress in dilation, effacement, or station. I was growing weary from the contractions, but was staying as optimistic as possible.
The contractions stayed 2minutes apart lasting a minute each from 11ish on. Most of those hours are a blur. At about 3-4 and showing no progress we regrouped and decided to try an epidural to see if relaxing would help things progress. The anesthesiologist was in surgery and unable to get there right away. She came in sometime around 5(?) to administer the epidural. She made my husband and mom leave the room while she did it which was quite upsetting for me. It took three tries for her to get the epidural in correctly. Once it was place I was able to feel contractions, but only that they were present, not the pain associated with them. I positioned myself in an upright position with my legs position Indian style to open my pelvis as wide as possible now that I was immobile.
The contractions continued and intensified, Oakley heart rate deceled, and the lags between it coming back up continued. A check about 2-2.5hours later showed no progress, no change in station. I had progressed 1cm in 24 hours. My water had been broken, with meconium in it for nearly 24hours, and my temperature was creeping up (though not high enough to call fever at that point). We had another chat with Rankin at that point and he left us to discuss our options. My husband, always supportive of my choices, even then, only said that he felt like we were – ‘just waiting for something to go wrong’. He was right. Independently these items were not significant, together, they were and that brought me to tears. I cried for a while and called for Rankin to tell him that we were going with the section.
I am not much of a negotiator, but I made demands as it was important this experience was different than Nolan’s. Due to the meconium they had a NICU team on standby for when he came out. They were to get him first and make sure that he hadn’t aspirated any meconium. I talked with the NICU team to ensure that my husband would be able to stay close and even to cut the cord, assuming all was well. I talked with the anesthesiologist to request that after baby was born that my hands be unstrapped so that I could hold my son. I talked with the nurses to ensure that he was not to leave our side, at all. Rankin, the surgeon, and I talked about being sure to use the same scar and to do another double stitch. They were wonderful and agreeable and didn’t fight me on anything.
On November 3rd, after roughly 36 hours of active labor, Oakley was born weighing 9lbs 9oz and 22.5inches long via RCS. He had the same markings his brother did at birth. An impressive cone head (sans hematoma thankfully) and bruises on either side of his head giving me the assumption that he was posterior as well. He was wedged in my pelvis and invoked some wiggling to get out. He received Apgar’s of 9 and 9 and did not aspirate any meconium. My placenta showed no signs of calcification and everything looked healthy. No one can ever say that he was in any danger by me going postdate, Rankin said so himself ;)
I, unfortunately, was far too shaky from the epidural to hold him. I still had them release my hands so that I could touch him while William snuggled him close by. Sewing me back up took longer than originally anticipated. Apparently from the previous section my bladder had adhered to my uterus, so they had a lot of scar tissue and adhesions to reconcile with. They even pumped my bladder full of sterile milk to be sure it was fully functioning - first time I've ever heard someone ask for milk in the OR - even some of the nurses were confused LOL 
William took Oakley to recovery so that they could check his blood sugar and wipe him down; he still had quite a bit of meconium on him. I was able to close my eyes for a bit, I could barely hold them open, likely due to the major blood pressure drop that I experienced from the epidural. Everything went as I requested, except for one issue. The bladder adhesion meant I only receive a single closure this time since they were worried about nicking my bladder while sewing me up. I don’t know what the future impact of that will be or if it will even matter since I have no idea if I will have more children.
I arrived in recovery about 30 minutes after they had taken Oakley back. Apparently his blood sugar was a little low (by a few points) and one of the nurses had tried to give him a bottle. Thankfully Oakley fought the nurse on taking it and my mom stopped her. A little less than an hour after birth we had our first nursing session, he latched on and nursed like an absolute champ. He was so alert! ((Also chewed out the nurse a bit, but that’s another topic altogether)) His blood sugar came right back up within minutes after we nursed. We stayed in recovery for an hour and almost got stuck there since apparently no one wanted to take me being that my blood pressure and pulse were still elevated. Eventually a number of calls to different doctors to confirm that my blood pressure and pulse had been elevated since admittance and was not a product of the surgery they allowed us into a regular room. 
The end result was this gorgeous little man that I would do it over and over and over again for. He is perfect and amazing. It will be a long time before I can reading someone else's birth story without crying. It'll be some time before I am not bitter about my utter inability to birth him the way nature intended and the sting of others who can does not pierce me so deeply. These are my petty, shameful truths, and I am working on owning them the best I can.