Mind Your Business & Miscarriages

A very common question that people like to ask, especially once you are a newly wed or have been in a relationship for some time, is when you are going to start having children. I too, have asked friends this and while they’ve always smiled and or given an answer, what they should have done was told me to mind my business!

IF, when, where, how and with who people choose to have children with is a very personal matter. You never know why someone who YOU think should have children doesn’t and by asking you just may be bringing up something painful for them. So mind your business, will you!

Before I had my very precious almost always smiling little boy, I also had two miscarriages. One at 5 weeks and another about 2 months later, at 8 weeks. The first pregnancy wasn’t planned but we had just done our pareja de hecho, I was late but not too concerned (cuz I was wearing a white dress) and I was sure I wanted to have a baby eventually with Guille anyway. (Guille would be HuzBun dearest from a previous post).

So I took a test, it was positive and we were shocked but happy. Didn´t waste too much time in telling our immediate family and one or two close friends. A few days later, I start spotting but friends who have had children tell me it’s normal and the Internet indicates more or less the same. So I carry on with life.

The spotting gets heavier and the colour changes so I decide I need to go to the hospital. They examine me and tell me I need to rest due to amenaza de aborto which translates to risk of miscarriage-I’m worried and scared and pray like crazy but about a week later, my gynecologist says something to me about the embryo and the sac being irregular. I can’t tell you what he said because I was crying so hard. He said it’s normal and it happens. I respond that I don’t care and I don’t get why it has to happen to me.

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Sac with no baby

The miscarriage drags on and the remnants of what would have been a baby leave my body in the form of an extremely heavy and painful period.

The next few days I experienced a roller-coaster of emotions but was mainly just angry. Angry at God, at my body, at my husband (then partner)and very angry with people who said to me ”Well at least it was early. You weren’t that far along!”. I suppose the purpose of those (stupid) commments was to comfort me but all it did was piss me off more.

After being angry I was jealous. Jealous of everyone with a baby and every smiling, glowing pregnant woman I saw. One day I went to the park and sat for about an hour just looking at mothers with their children and babies and baby bumps and that’s when I decided that surely these women have nothing over me. They were no better than me and if they could have a baby, so could I! So while Guille was hesitant, I wanted a baby! And I usually get what I want.

A little over a month later, I was pregnant again! I got prescribed low dose aspirin and progesterone shots. Once the injections were finished, we switched to progesterone pills. I felt fine. There was no spotting and every week I rejoiced!

I passed the 5 week mark and was optimistic! 6 weeks! 7! Going great! and then the spotting started again. I didn’t wait to hear from a doctor, I just knew it was going to happen again. Later that evening, we went to the doctor and the same story about an irregular sac. I decided they didn’t know what they were talking about so we went to another doctor and they said almost the same thing but that I should rest. SO I confined myself to bed, put a pillow under my hips and had my feet elevated. The spotting stopped, friends came to visit and we decided to go on a mini road trip to the beach. The doctor said I could, but that if the spotting came back I knew what that meant. So I stayed on the beach while my friends went to the aquarium, still hopeful and smiling.

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A few days pass and I go back to the emergency room, they examine me and tell me to rest and come back in about a week to see if anything changes. I go back a few days later and things have changed but they are worse and they tell me they can schedule me for a D & C the next morning or insert pills in me to bring on contractions and help my body pass the remnants of the pregnancy out.

I chose to have the pills because going home and waiting hours knowing what would happen the next morning was too much for me. I didn’t speak to the doctor because I was angry with her and when she put the pills in me and it hurt I didn’t cry or react because I was pissed at my body and thought I would ‘ignore’ it in that way.

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Sad after Miscarriage # 2

Fifteen minutes later I started having the worst cramps I’ve had in my life. I could barely walk. I got home and intense cramping, felt a constant need to go to the toilet and vomitting. Add heaving bleeding to the list and you have the process of miscarriage # 2.

A year later I would experience these symptoms again but with a completely different outcome.

I suppose that each miscarriage is different and that varies even more with each woman. For me they both started with spotting. I didn’t have pain until the process started- by the process I mean my body actually passing  out the remnants. I use the word remnants, not to be cold but because in both cases there was no embryo or a barely developed one. According to my doctor the foetus is what comes after the embryo develops. I don’t know how accurate that is but I’m no doctor.

I had one naturally occurring miscarriage and the other was induced. With both, the cramps were almost similar to labour pains with a lot of bleeding. At some point you pass a HUGE clot and then the pain becomes a bit more bearable- more like regular period pains. The pain eventually subsides but the bleeding lasts about 2-3 weeks.

The emotional side effects lasts probably forever. Even though, I now have a healthy, happy beautiful 5 month old, I still get upset about having lost 2 pregnancies. I still wonder what life would have been like if I had a baby before. Would those babies have been boys or girls? Would they look like Liam? Would they be happy and smiley like he is? SO many questions!

So, the next time you think about asking or commenting about a woman not having children, stop yourself. She’ll talk to you about it or bring it up if she wants to.

In my next post, I’ll be discussing how these 2 miscarriages affected my pregnancy and how you can heal emotionally after losing a pregnancy or baby.

As always, your comments and feedback are welcome and appreciated!

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Whose Body is This Anyway? Part 2- It’s All About the Boobs

Like many of the things pregnancy and baby-related, I thought breastfeeding would be simple. As simple as: you have the baby, your milk comes in, you breastfeed the baby until you see fit. That’s how it goes- as simple as that- in VERY FEW CASES! Breastfeeding is not as easy as you may think, but this post is not about breastfeeding. It’s about the stuff that happens to you actual BREASTS that no one bothers to mention or at least they don’t go into it in much detail- Have no fear, Queen Overshare is here!

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Somewhere during that 2 hour period of skin to skin bonding with my baby, a midwife came in and asked me if I was going to breastfeed him and if I wanted to try. I said yes, they turned Liam’s head towards my breast and he made his way- unassisted to the nipple, latched on and fed until his little heart was content. Great right? Amazing! Loving, sweet touching and all that!

Why however did the boob he wasn’t feeding from hurt?! And more so, why did no one tell me about this? So with that put out there, here goes my list of things that happened to my boobs that I wasn’t prepared for…

  • In Trinidad, we have a saying ‘don’t let yuh right hand know what the left is doing‘ (or something like that). If this applied to breasts, then I’d be in trouble. Aside from the ‘pain’/tingling in the breast that I wasn’t breastfeeding from, out would spout milk as well. Anywhere from a goteo to a full fledged chorro. Granted, this happens more if the baby hasn’t breastfed in a few hours and not every time you breastfeed. But it almost always still catches me by surprise.

What can you do? Wearing breast pads is handy so that you don’t get your shirt wet. My favourite disposable ones are Medela and Chicco brand. They’re soft and discreet and not too expensive. I also bought some washable organic bamboo nursing pads but as fancy as that sounds, I honestly didn’t like them that much. They’re bigger than the disposable ones and absorb a bit more, you can also obviously wash them and use them time and time again, but I just prefer the disposable ones.

 

  • I don’t know if this has to do with pregnancy and breastfeeding or my skin just happened to be really dry but OH DEAR LORD did my boobs itch the first  couple of months! Obviously you can’t scratch too hard because breasts are sensitive, that or you’ll end up squirting milk everywhere! But I just wasn’t prepared for the constant itchiness.

What can you do? There are tons of creams for this but I didn’t like any that I tried. What worked for me was olive oil- extra virgin. Right after getting out the shower I’d rub olive oil all over my boobs and let them air dry (or at least try to- let’s face it, long, luxurious showers are a thing of the past). If you don’t have time to let them air dry; you can gently pat them dry. The olive oil on your nipples is safe for the baby as well. (Says our pediatrician).

 

  • Then there was the one (read thousand) time, my boobs were so full that they were rock hard, a little lumpy and hurt like a bitch! This happened a lot in the beginning. They recommend you feed the baby every 2-3 hours for about the first 2 weeks, then you feed on demand- that can be as often as every hour or two or more than 5 or 6  hours if your baby sleeps a lot. Because our bodies are wiser than we realise, so our boobs tend to fill up around the time our baby will want to be fed. Perfect! Or maybe not, because sometimes they fill up really fast and you might have the spillage I mentioned before long with some pain and tingling. But what you may also notice is that your boobs are hard (call them firm if it makes you feel better) and they hurt to touch. They also look very ‘veiny’.

What can you do? Take a warm shower or put warm wash cloths on your boobs. This alleviates some of that pain and tenderness and it helps get rid of some of those lumps. It may cause the milk to leak out though.

 

  • WHOSE boobs are these?! There is so much that can go under this heading. The fact that your baby is now the CEO of your breasts is probably the top of the list. Your baby gets the boobs when are where he/she wants/needs. Once they hit about 2 or 3 months and start observing things around them, so they pull your boobs in which ever direction that catches their attention and without much gentleness while feeding! Also the fact that it’s hard for your boobs to be used during ‘sexy time’ because getting milk squirted in your eye or face is pretty much un-sexy (unless you’re into that kinda thing…). But in direct response to my question… your boobs when full are round and firm. After breastfeeding they are soft and saggy! My haven’t fallen to my navel just yet but once they aren’t full, they are somewhat sad looking! The joys of motherhood, I suppose! Does this get better? I’m not sure because I’m only 5 months in and will probably be breastfeeding for at least another 5! Who knows though. I hope it does but if it doesn’t at least I know my saggy boobs would be the result of a good deed and a full baby!

What happened to you boobs after pregnancy? Anything really strange or funny? Please feel free to share in comments.

 

***Just as a disclaimer (after the fact): This is about my experience. While other mothers have shared that most, if not all of these things have happened to them as well. This is not a guide to what will happen to you but if any of it does- know that it’s perfectly normal or at least, that it’s happened to me! However, if anything feels uncomfortable, too painful or just off, please see your doctor, midwife or lactation specialist.

Whose Body Is This Anyway? Part 1- And this belly?

The other day, while taking a shower- a quick shower- somewhere around soaping my tummy, I stopped and wondered ”what the hell happened here?!”.

Now I know I had a baby. I know my belly went from being the size of a LARGE watermelon to the size of- well… a smaller watermelon but jeez!

My friend Daniella, who really gives me great advice and is always there to give an encouraging word, always reminds me ”It took you 9 months to get this new body, don’t stress to get your body back to the way it was in 2 months”.

She’s absolutely right.

Everyone knows that during pregnancy, your body changes. There are the obvious physical changes that everyone is more or less aware of. Then there are the internal ones that maybe not everyone talks about.

Let’s start with the belly!

BLACK BELLY- During my pregnancy, I obsessively rubbed cocoa butter on my stomach every day- in the morning and at night. I would have my mother send me blocks of cocoa butter with anyone I knew who was coming from Trinidad because I couldn’t find it in Madrid. I was 8 and a half months pregnant with not a stretch mark in sight. 

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Now, I have pretty dark skin- deep mocha, I like to say. So I was quite shocked when I happened to look at my belly a few days after having my son and notice that it was black. I’m not talking about the ‘linea nigra’; I mean my entire belly was black. 

Apparently, this is hyperpigmentation which has different causes and can show up on any part of your body. During and after pregnancy, it’s mainly due to hormone (mainly progesterone) levels. 

If this new tummy colour wasn’t enough, it was also now covered in stretch marks. Lord knows l wasn’t pleased

Now, 5 months later, my stomach  has more or less returned to its normal colour but unfortunately, I haven’t found a ”cure” for stretch marks. They’re somewhat less visible and no longer itchy but they’re there. I make sure to put lotion on my stomach after I shower. Just that and hoping for the best but I’m not holding my breath.

SOFT JIGGLY FLABBY BELLY- I have never really been a skinny chick with a flat stomach (past the age of about 18 or 19) and I’ve never really cared to be. The one thing I’ve always been was thick skinned and firm- literally. Nothing jiggled unnecessarily. Well, until giving birth!

It’s recommended that you wait at least 6 weeks to begin/resume exercising if you’ve had a vaginal birth. The time is longer after a caesarean birth- for obvious reasons. I waited my 6 weeks and got the all clear to do light exercises. So I started off going to yoga for Mummy & Baby. I also tried exercising at  home. Let’s just say, I started this almost 3 months ago and I’m only today on day 3. Every time I tried t exercise, my baby would suddenly be extra fussy or need to be fed or changed. I took comfort in the fact that breastfeeding burns calories.

Now that my son is a little older and can entertain himself for a little bit, it’s become a little easier to exercise. I highly recommend this program I’m currently doing- 8fit. It can be done at home and on your own time . The program offers short, effective workouts, tailored to your specific goals. There are also meal plans and delicious recipes.

It will probably be hard to start whatever you decide to do- unless you are a fitness enthusiast. Whatever it is, start small. It can be as simple as taking your baby for a walk and walking 5 minutes longer. Every little bit counts. And while it may take a while to get that flat (or whatever you had before) stomach back, I can assure you that you will feel much better by just doing something for yourself.

WHAT THE GAS? The last thing I’m going to mentnion quickly has to do what goes on inside the body. I’m not going to get all biological or too graphic. But basically, after all that moving and stretching your organs experience during pregnancy, they need time to settle back into place. With this settling come (or goes) lots of gas.

My only advice is to take it in stride and in good humour. SO you fart 3 or 4 times in a row without trying- and maybe you have company? Oh well! Shit happens- not literally-at least not to me- but you just grew and gave birth to a little person. You can be excused- pun intended!

Did anything out of the ordinary or totally unexpected happen to your tummy after having your baby? I’d love to read about it.  Leave me a comment!

I don’t have a bloody manual/Why are you asking me- Part 1

Chatting with other mothers over the past few months, there’s one thing that’s common among all of us- our husbands/boyfriends/baby daddies can sometimes act SO FRICKING USELESS!

Let me put it out here now, that this is not an attempt to bash my husband- the poor man tries (probably not his best or hardest- but he tries). If you’re reading along and shaking your head or shuddering- you either:

  1. Have the perfect husband/boyfriend/baby daddy OR
  2. Are in denial or a damn liar

 

I currently live in Spain. Here like most other countries, it’s highly recommended that you…

I had to stop writing to go give Liam a bottle. Mind you, I’m in the living room with the door closed and heard him fussing. HuzBun dearest is in bed, next to his crib… (SEE ATTACHED PHOTO). I couldn’t breastfeed him because I am enjoying a beverage (of the alcoholic persuasion) while writing. We’ll leave the details of that for another post.

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As I was ‘saying’.. it’s highly recommened that expectant mothers (and fathers) attend prenatal classes a few months before the baby is born. In these classes, (usually) a midwife preps you for what to expect during pregnancy, labour and delivery and then post partum.

I say all of this to say, that my husband attended these classes with me- he even TOOK NOTES- so for the life of me, I CANNOT understand WHY he asks me so many (obvious) questions on a DAILY basis, as it regards to our son.

I could literally write a book or (refer to title) manual on this. But I will summarise in sections so that you can skip to what interests you.

 

WHY IS THE BABY CRYING?

While I wish I had the answer to this question almost every time my son cries, the truth is your guess is almost as good as mine. Yet still, at the faintest little whimper, he (huzBun dearest) looks at me and asks me what is wrong with the baby.

My advice: Just shrug your shoulders or invent something. It makes no sense arguing or getting too deep because he will ask you again the next time the baby so much as frowns.

 

THE BABY IS HUNGRY!

I exclusively breastfed Liam for the first 3 months. I only started giving him formula because he developed the appetite of a grown man and my poor breasts couldn’t keep up. Not that I wasn’t producing enough milk (in most cases, your body produces as much as needed and sometimes even extra), but true talk- my nipples felt like someone cut them with razors and then dipped them in salt water (or rubbing alcohol)- they hurt! (again, that is for another post).

It turns out, when they don’t ask you why the baby is crying, it’s because they’ve already decided that the baby is hungry ad if you’re breastfeeing your baby and don’t have pumped/expressed milk, then obviously the only way the baby can be fed is by you. Now this is all well and good but has he:

  1. Checked the baby’s diaper
  2. Tried to entertain/play with the baby
  3. Does he remember the last time the baby was fed to actually decide if it is in fact hunger?
  4. Tried to put the baby to sleep

This list can go on and on… but let’s not.

What I want to say most times: Not everytime the child cries does it mean that he is hungry. Can you please discard other issues before running to me, with that ‘matter of fact’ smirk and telling me the baby is hungry? K, thanks!

My advice: Smile (or not) and say, he/she might not be and calmly ask if he has done the stuff on that list I included above.

 

WHERE IS…?

I lost my job in early June 2 and a half months before I was due (yet another thing for another post…) So I was at home with lots of time on my hands and a little bored, So I decided to organise all of Liam’s clothes by type, size and season- and all of his things by use (sponges, lotions, bath gel, wipes, blankets, etc). After working on this for about a month, I proudly tried to show it off to huzBun dearest- he however wasn’t very enthusiastic, if I’m to be honest. So now, 5 months (and 3 days) later, almost every time he has to bathe, change, clean, burp, play with the baby, he STILL asks me where the stuff he needs is.

What I want to do most times: CUSS and say ”Well, you maybe should have paid attention when I was trying to show you back in July! It has however been 5 months (and 3 days), so maybe- JUST MAYBE you should investigate in your free time and make a mental note of where everything is!

My advice: Act like you didn’t hear him ask you where whatever it is is. (I never promised good advice, this is just what I do from time to time). You can also label drawers/shelves etc- but be warned that even with labels, he will probably still ask you where things are.

 

This post is becoming quite long. Trust me, I could go on and on.

I’m curious to know, other mums out there, what are some of the annoying questions your significant other asks you. Share in the comments section and I’ll include some in Part 2 of this post.

What the hell do I know…?

If you know me, you know I had a baby 5 months and 3 days ago. I can count it down to the hours and minutes- but let’s face it… you probably don’t care.

Since I’ve had my son, a few mums have reached out to me and asked me for advice or my opinion on various things ”mummy/baby” related. I always think to myself- ”What the hell do I know…?” but I always try to help however I can.

You see, this whole mother thing doesn’t come with a manual. Of course there are various self help books and such but I honestly haven’t found one that’s my ‘definite go to’.

So what do I do, you may ask… well, I employ a bit of common sense, a bit of reading and very much appreciated advice from friends who are also mums and hope for the best.

To date, Liam (my son) is fine.

SO now to the business of this blog.

I am currently home with Liam- possibly until he turns 1 and while I love my boy, it’s only so interesting talking to a 5 month (and 3 days) old baby. If you know me, you know I am very opinionated and I don’t care too much about what people think (my days for that are long over).

Since I love to write and I have tons of opinions- I figure why not blog about this new adventure called mummyhood. Which direction is this blog going to go in? NO idea… but if I Can help another mum or entertain someone reading this- all the while doing something I love (writing)- well, why not?!

 

Disclaimer: This is NOT for the faint of heart, play by ALL the damn rules, judgy, boring mother.

Who is this blog catered to? New OPEN-MINDED mums, future mums, friends, family and quiet maccos.

Let’s see where this goes.