How to Prepare for Breastfeeding
Step 1 Order a pump through your insurance
I ordered mine with Medela. Fill out a questionnaire and see if you are eligible.
Step 2 Clean and sanitize your pump parts
Follow the directions that come with the pump. I boiled and then washed the parts the first time before using. Subsequently, I only washed.
Step 3 Buy supplies
Step 4 Take a class
Sign up for classes at your local hospital and research La Leche League near you to join support groups and classes for after Baby is born.
Step 5 Practice relaxing techniques
It's important to practice relaxing techniques now, so when your baby comes you can learn to relax your mind and body for your let down to happen.
Step 6 Get excited for baby!
This once a week blogging is definitely going out the window. With teaching and coaching officially underway, I collapse on my bed around 9:30 PM every night in a comatose state. I have little energy to wash my body and brush my teeth. Do you think I have time to blog? No! And don't make me. Thank you.
Anyway, Baby B is starting to develop a somewhat sense of hearing, and I am about to commence an all out North Korea effort on brainwashing my baby into learning about sleeping. We're going to talk about sweet, savory slumbering all day until I wear my baby out at nighttime, and then we are going to actually sleep after playing the propaganda Sleep Song: Sleep You Little Bastard. (*Disclaimer-I do not call my baby bastard. I actually play my tummy lullabies and classical music). So that's pretty much what is going on in the pregnancy now.
I hate this phrase. I always have. Some women are skinny by genetics. Some are skinny because they work out really hard and eat healthy. That doesn't make them bitches, Meghan Trainor!
However, that kind of changed when I got pregnant. So James and I are at the new Raleigh food hall, which is AMAZING! So much food everywhere and with my appetite back I was in heaven. After devouring empanadas and beans, I was feeling HUGE. My jean shorts immediately became unbuttoned, farts were escaping my butt, and I was spread out like I was Jabba the Hutt. While I was transforming from woman to creature, a Skinny Bitch came sidling up next to us with her boy toy. She had on high heels, skinny jeans, and a low cut top with no bra. She was drinking a Mai Tai and get this....eating nothing! In a place called a Food Hall, she was eating no food! Instead she was snapping selfie after selfie. As the umpteenth fart fought its way out, that was the moment when I first used the term Skinny Bitch. And I left feeling more satisfied than ever.
Week 17 Baby was the size of a Tangy Tangerine and Week 18 baby was a sweet potato. Yum Yum.
Hush Little Baby. Don't say a word. Or Mommy's going to call you a little Turd. And if that turd does stink, you better close your eyes and don't blink, you little Bastard
-The propoganda Sleep Song
North Korean Mommy
As you can see, I got a little behind in my blogging, so I will combine two weeks together. Here are the major points that happened.
Week 15 baby was the size of a Hass Avocado which I love! And Week 16 baby was the size of a Dill Pickle which I also now love!
A prayer copied from my weekly prayers from Polimino.
I pray for my baby's hair and skin. Thank You for the wonderful way You make us, with hair to beautify our appearance. I pray that as my child grows, she/he will be pleased with the type of hair You've given him/her. Help me instill a healthy self-esteem in my child, so she/he grows to be a happy person, content with the way he/she looks but not vain or narcissistic.
I pray for my baby's skin, that it will be healthy and perform the function You've created it to do. Thank You for giving us beauty combined with protection in the organ that is our skin.
You are a wonderful, loving God. Your Word says that You even know the number of hairs on our head, and I know that means You are concerned with every detail of us. Thank You for caring and loving us so much. I praise You for my baby, growing inside me. I know that You love my baby and see him/her even as she/he is yet unborn.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Dear Son or Daughter,
I am looking forward to seeing your beautiful skin and hair both of which are combined from a black man and a white woman. Know that we see you as a child of God and perfect in all ways. However, as you grow older the world maybe won't see you as such. They might judge you by the color of your skin and the texture of your hair. I pray that we can pass on a sense of pride and contentment in you for the way you look. I pray that your skin and your hair are never a reason to hang your head or think less of yourself. I pray that you see yourself as beautiful. The world may not always be just and equal, but I pray that you will rise above that and fulfill all your dreams.
Still sick. So tired. Just.want.to.sleep. On a prescription medicine called Diclegis. Helps with nausea but makes me more tired. Little motivation to continue this blog. The weeks are blurring together. What am I even talking about? I have no idea anymore.
THe Evolution of the gag
I have discovered four types of gag reflexes during my pregnancy. Let me introduce you to each one of them.
1.) The Silent Gag-This is a harmless gag brought on by unpleasant odors and sights. Usually I can do this gag discreetly, but if someone does catch me in the middle of performing this routine, it just looks as if I am making a rather strange face. This is a one and done gag.
2.) The Vocal Gag- This is a little less conspicuous than its partner gag, Silent. However, I can still usually pass off this gag unnoticed by feigning a cough or as if I am mimicking some dying animal. The Vocal Gag is brought on by aromas and foods that are slightly more distasteful.
3.) The Continued Gag- This gag, as the name suggests, is a repetition of gags followed in rapid succession of one another. Commonly caused by the inability to get said smell, thought, or vision out of my head in time, The Continued Gag could lead to vomiting if action isn't taken immediately. In order for the Continued Gag to be tamed, the smell must be removed from my nasal cavities immediately or I must remove myself from the Line of Fire. I must sit down, take deep breaths, and remain immobile until the gagging stops and the feeling of sudden heat passes. Anyone who is around me must seek to my needs instantly or otherwise he/she will be succumbed to puke on or near him/her.
4.) The Throw Up Gag - Sometimes this gag proceeds without warning or can stem from the Continued Gag. As you can likely guess, this gag ends in throw up exiting my body onto whatever location is nearby. This is the deadliest of gags and precaution must be taken to avoid this gag at all costs.
The baby is the size of a brilliant beet. I got the beet. I got the beet. I got the beet. Yeah, I got the beet!
Dear Beet Baby,
Mommy just wants you to know that she loves you, and thinks you are the most precious human. She will do al.......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. And justice for all. Amen.
This would have been another week of the usge, nausea, heartburn, upset stomach, diarrhea (well most of that), if not for a trip to the doctor's office. James went with me this time and together we got to see our baby on the screen. I was amazed! So much clearer this time. Like there is obviously something in my uterus that looks like a tiny human being with a heartbeat!! We could see him/her squirming around and kicking those legs a lot. The doctor said, "Looks like we have a runner." Score for me. Seeing our baby so alive and real made me realize what I am actually working for, and I temporarily forgot how poorly I was feeling lately (Don't worry the self-pity comes back). The heartbeat had climbed a bit to 165 bpm, another indicator that we are having a girl, and everything appeared to be healthy and running smoothly.
Usually at this point in the pregnancy is the time to start thinking about whether you want to do any genetic testing to find out if the baby has Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, or other chromosomal defects. Some of the tests are as simple as blood work and some are a bit more invasive. Talk to your partner and your doctor about what tests are right for you.
The baby is the size of a jalapeno, and I'm feeling hot, hot, hot. More like something hot is brewing in my stomach and lower chest, and I have little energy or desire to fix my hair and put on makeup although a lot of husbands have a newfound attraction to their wives during pregnancy. I see James checking me out as I am puking on the toilet. I know he likes that.
Dear Hot Stuff,
So you think you are a hot shot, showing off in the womb, kicking and turning about, doing 180s and flips. We shall see about that. If you get Mommy's genes and abilities, there is no way you will be a dancer, gymnast, or cheerleader. I have some videos to show you. However, Daddy is like a ninja and loves jumping off stuff and leaping up rocks. Whatever talents and abilities you have, we will love you no matter what and will help you foster and grow those talents. Keep moving around and never stop exploring, Little One.
Not much to update you on with this week. I'm still sick and still throw up occasionally. I think about the baby a lot. Is the baby ok? Is the baby healthy? Is the baby getting enough attention? Is the baby dying? Why is no one holding and massaging the baby? I also spend a good bit of time thinking about the actual baby too. Ba-dum-ch.
During this week, additionally, I spent an unhealthy amount of time binge-watching and analyzing true crime documentaries about husbands who allegedly killed their wives (#wherestheevidence #theowltheory #thestaircase) and mothers who allegedly (Please, she waited 30 days to report her daughter missing #guilty #justiceforCaylee) killed their daughters. This is a wonderful way to prepare for the birth of your child! I don't understand why it isn't in all the books.
Just when this week couldn't get anymore humdrum and repetitive, we had a nice little treat which really uplifted us. More on that next time.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
After being on a lot of forums and baby websites, I learned that new time moms have a lot of lingo that I need to gdw (get down with). Here is a short list of some of the most commons.
BF = breastfeeding
CC = controlled crying
CIO = cry it out
DH = dear husband (usually expressed when talking negatively about one's partner)
DPO=days past ovulation
EBF = exclusively breastfeeding
EDD = estimated date of delivery
FTM = first time mom
LO = little one
MS = morning sickness
NAK = nursing at keyboard
NIP = nursing in public
NTNP = not trying/not preventing
POAS = pee on a stick
SAHM = stay at home mom
WAHM = work at home mom
WOHM = work out of home mom
The baby is the size of a ripe apricot. Looking a little round, ammirite?
Just because Mommy likes to watch shows about (alleged) murderers doesn't mean that she is plotting to kill you or daddy. You can sleep well at night.
YCM (your crazy mom)
I am about to get vulnerable and slightly deep. I was at an all time low in the pregnancy. The morning sickness had reached it's peak. My stomach hurt. My head ached. I was beyond tired. I had thrown up multiple times. I was feeling what I imagine to be heartburn or something brewing in my lower chest. My appetite was pretty nonexistent. Week 10 was definitely the worst. I was feeling sorry for myself and having thoughts like If I can't even deal with being sick, how am I going to be a mom? There is so much worse happening in the world, and I am complaining about this. I feel so weak. How do other women do this? I can barely cope, and I don't even have to work. What's wrong with me? While those thoughts were milling around in the back of my head, something happened that began to change my perspective.
I have always been a big believer in the positive power of prayer. No, I do not think praying will stop bad things from happening. Bad things will still always happen. I do, though, believe prayer will change the way we view, perceive, and look at bad things. The more we pray, the more we can gain positive control of a situation rather than slipping into despair.
So there I was at the airport throwing the ultimate pity party for myself and silently weeping over how I could possibly endure any more weeks of feeling this way. The negative thinking was spinning out of control. That was until I sat down on a random seat in the airport and felt something underneath me. I pulled the object out from under me, and it was a rosary. I teared up, stuck the rosary in my purse, and began to pray and pray and pray until slowly my mind starting shifting. I would love to say that the sickness miraculous disappeared, but it didn't. In fact, it got slightly worse, for when I arrived home after the flight, I puked violently three times. But instead I received something better - the clarity that suffering is a part of life, and there is something meaningful at the end of it.
"What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later." Romans 8:18
A brief review of products
Here are some of the things I tried to relieve the nausea.
The baby is the size of a Brussels sprout, which have grown on me more since I have moved down South. Just like a Brussels sprout, this baby has grown on me.
Dear Sprout and all children who are suffering,
God, our Father, we pray that you
will protect our children.
Keep them safe from harm and help
them to grow healthy in mind and body.
Give them enough strength to keep their faith in
You, and keep alive their joy in the
Birth of Jesus at Christmas time.
(St. Nicholas Patron of Children)
Welp, the throw up has come. Before now, it was just dry heaving and gagging. But during Week 9, not to get graphic, chunks came out. One time I made it to the toilet. The other time I.did.not. We were in California at this time on our unplanned babymoon, and we packed a lot of things into the day, so by the evening I was whimpering in bed by 9:00. However, I will admit, as tired and sluggish I am to get out of bed, getting out and doing some exercise really distracts me from the sickness and brightens my mood. I highly suggest getting outside for at least a little bit and moving your body. The days I felt the best were when we were hiking in Yosemite, bike riding through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge, and kayaking in McCovey's Cove. I am gearing up baby to be a runner much to probably James' chagrin. James claims cross country isn't a sport. Please send him hateful messages. So in conclusion, Baby did a bad thing by making me throw up, but baby is forgiven. I think I also have forgiven James. We had a lot of fun on our trip, and he was really caring during my down times.
My one true love. My loyal companion through thick and thin. Why have thy betrayed me? I am talking about water. Water has been my ride or die since day one. I drink little else besides it. I don't like any kind of soda. I don't like coffee. I rarely drink fruit juice. Just water. I crave it all the day. Until now. Pregnancy has completely changed its taste to me. I looked it up and it's a thing that other women have experienced. Some how hormones or whatever is brewing in my body has made me totally not like the taste of water and has made H20 not quench my thirst fully. I either want water ice cold or with mostly ice cubes or no water all together but instead those sugary drinks which I have long campaigned against. All I have to plead to water is, "Baby come back. Any kind of fool could see. There was something in everything about you. Baby come back, you can blame it all on me. I was wrong, and I just can't live without you."
The baby is the size of a kumquat tart. Like what the what? What on God's green earth is a kumquat tart? Sounds like a name kids call each other on the playground. Tina, you fat kumquat tart, eat your dinner. Your mom is a kumquat tart. Is that what you are doing? Ruining my life and freakin' making me look like a kumquat tart. Uhh yes those were Napoleon Dynamite quotes in which I just substituted words for kumquat tart. Try it. It's a really fun, waste of time activity to do while you are in bed with the Morning Sickness.
Dear Kumquat Tart,
I have only one week to milk this fun-sounding name as long as I can. Anywhoozers, I hope you enjoyed your first trip to California. We plan to take you to lots of places with baseball stadiums and National Parks in the future. Kids these days need to darn tootin' get out in nature more and get off there thingamabobs and whooseamawhatsits. I also apologize that we are going to hide Disney World for as long as we can from you, so you might be the only one in your class who has never been. Unpopular opinion alert, we think Disney World is overrated and expensive and much rather deny you any magical joy you can gain from your experience there and make you hike up steep inclines instead to see yet another waterfall. Also, prepare to rarely see the beach because well sand and you have to lug all those sand toys and chairs across the oasis of hot sand after you just spent 10 hours trying to find a parking space that is a mile away. We are only looking out for your best interests. That's a lie. We are 100% thinking about ourselves.
Your selfless mama
The tables have turned. The friend has now become the foe. My ally now my rival. My partner my assailant. I am sleeping with the enemy (quite literally because, well, figuratively isn't going so well with all the gagging in the evening). The baby is no longer the object of my anger. It's now directed at my husband. He did this to me. He must pay. The morning sickness has stepped up a notch, and it is naturally all of James' fault. He is either being overly supportive and asking me how I am doing way too much, or is isn't being supportive enough and not hugging me when I need him to or just letting me cry. I am not going to split hairs here and debate who is right, but it's me. I am right. Duhh. Figure me out, James! I dare you.
By now in this point of pregnancy I have had some oddly specific, vivid dreams. I have killed the baby at least three times. By now, I am like Wake up, stupid baby. I know you are not dead. I literally see you breathing. Quit trying to scare me. In one dream, I put the baby down in his crib, turned my head for a second, and then the next thing you know heaps of blankets are piling on top of my baby. Not thin blankets but heavy ass ones, smothering him. In another one, my baby started choking on air. No one could figure out how to do the Heimlich Maneuver, and he was being passed around from person to person except to me who was screaming that I knew how to do it. Eventually, he got passed to a gym teacher, and next thing I know the baby is dead.
So if you are having these kinds of dreams, they are totally natural. It's normal to have fears and anxieties about your pregnancy and if your baby is healthy and what kind of mom you will be and will your son or daughter love you. It's important to remember that you are not alone and not crazy. It's totally okay if you cry out of no where. It's 2018 no longer should women be expected to suck it up and act as if everything is fine 24/7. Hopefully, you have a husband or partner who is there for you because, baby, you need his lovin'.
Oh well I do declare that the baby is now the size of a southern pecan. Y'all my little darling is just growing up so fast. Bless his/her heart, he/she will be here before I know it. Y'all come back next week for more updates.
Dear my new ally,
It's you and me pal. Daddy is actually a really nice guy and will be a great father to you. He's really excited to meet you. He asks how you are doing every day. Sometimes, Daddy doesn't know what to do when people cry. He's not used to that, but I am sure you are going to melt his heart and make him softer. Thanks, Kid. Mommy owes you.
Your partner in crime
The morning of the start of the infamous Week 6, I woke up feeling like a champ, thinking This ain't no thang. I went for a run, worked out in the gym, stretched, and ate healthy snacks full of protein and vegetables and fruits. I was fully convinced that my body was immune to morning sickness, and I would have a glamorous pregnancy full of clean eating, bountiful workouts, loads of energy, and amazing skin. #livingmybestlife I was wrong. So wrong.
By the afternoon, nausea was in full force. My head hurt. I was feeling dizzy. And did the thought of eating the snack I had just had early this morning suddenly revolt me? I think so. The week continued in a roller coaster of symptoms like way, ranging from me moaning in agony on the couch to being disgusted by the sight, smell, and even thought of a peppermint to taking about five naps in one day to driving to Target like a lunatic only to satisfy my craving for Yogurt popsicles and finally to crying ugly tears because James wrote me a letter for our anniversary (But in all fairness I think I would have done that anyway pregnancy aside). I no longer felt like a champ. I felt like a hormonal pathetic excuse for a human being who just wanted to suck on some ice and rid the world of peppermint flavor anything. Hey, at least I haven't thrown up!
Do I have pregnancy brain already?
I went to the gas station, put the gas pump in the tank, and clicked the handle down, so the tank would fill up automatically like I always do. Then for no apparent reason whatsoever, I got out of my car and took the gas pump out of the car before it was full, consequently spraying gas all over the car and myself. I still don't know what possessed me to do that. Pregnancy brain?
The growing baby is the size of a wee raspberry. With fruit being the only consistent food I can seem to stomach these days, I am having thoughts of eating my baby. Great.
Dear Sweet child of mine,
I can't wait until you have your first bout with nausea and the flu. Mommy is going to laugh in your face. And then make Daddy take care of you. Muwhahaha.
Your crazy mother