Unsung Heroes

I don't think I ever truly appreciated my mother until I became one myself. Mothers sacrifice everything for the sake of their child! Looking back, I was probably more than a "little" shit. My mother probably had to deal with so much stress on my behalf...I was trouble in school, at home, I just couldn't focus and be the good school kid everyone wanted me to be. My mother was patient in a situation not many people would be patient in.

Now that I'm a mom, I completely understand this idea of sacrifice. There is no "me" time anymore, just "his" time. It doesn't matter that I had the kitchen halfway mopped when he starts crying, everything must be dropped. What I find funny is that I do it gladly and willingly. I was really scared while I was pregnant, that I wouldn't love my child because of the inconvenience it would cause. Now that he is here, it's obvious that my fears were based on nothing. I love this kid to death, and even when I am sitting there crying with him out of frustration, I would sacrifice anything to make him happy.

I don't think anyone can really understand the meaning of that until they have a kid themselves. You can read all the first year books you want, nothing truly prepares you for the real thing. It's not bad at all, so don't believe all those people who paint motherhood in such a negative light. So far it's been really rewarding: sleepless, but rewarding.

My hat goes off to my mother, and mothers everywhere....now I understand.


Ethan is here!

Austine and I went to the hospital Sunday morning (10/10/10) at 6AM to start an induction. We both got up at around 4:30, we really couldn't sleep anymore. Austine was really excited, and I was really really nervous. I just felt like an induction would 100% lead to a C-section, which is something I've been very fearful of the whole pregnancy. But, Ethan was a week overdue and needed to meet us already!

It took almost an hour to fill out paperwork, get into a gown, and get hooked up on the pitocin. They checked me and I was still at 2cm, what I was a week ago at the appointment. Dr. Sutton came in and broke my water, what a strange feeling that was! I really hoped that would get things moving, but alas it didn't. They turned on the pit, and the waiting began...at first the contractions were bearable. I would time them on Austine's iPod to give me something to do. I wanted to go as far as I could without any pain meds...knowing it would make my chance for a C-section smaller. Every contraction I would just repeat..."it's only pain". This continued on for a LONG time. I managed to bear out the contractions until about 2:30. They began to get really heavy around 1:30, but I decided to take a systemic narcotic to try and wait out the pain. While they were really nice and would let me sleep for about 30 minutes, it really didn't last long. It was at this point that I decided to get the epidural. I had previously wanted to wait until I was 5cm, but I had a feeling if I had the epidural I might make progress..being that I wouldn't be fighting each hugely painful contraction.

 Timing my contractions

The epidural was nothing compared to the contractions, it wasn't bliss but it wasn't non-functional either. I am glad I made the choice to get it. With the epidural I could feel each contraction, but it was only the pressure I was feeling. Unfortunately I got some of the horrible side effects...nausea, shaking, and itchiness. The itchiness was the worst! I was itching hours after they stopped the epidural.

Huge amount of medications!

At 4PM, I was checked again. I was still 2cm! However, I went from 50% effacement to 80%, so the doctor agreed to let me labor until 9, if I hadn't made any progress by then, we would be doing a section. It was really after this that things started to get hectic and scary. At around 6, the heart rate started to drop with each contraction. Hearing this was super scary.  They put me on oxygen and turned me from side to side to keep it up. It was becoming apparent that his cord was wrapped around him somewhere! Then, I got the news that I was running a fever, most likely from the sac being broken so long. So they added amoxicillin to the long list of IV meds I was on. At around 7 they did an amniotic tranfusion, they pumped saline solution into my uterus to give Ethan more room to "breathe". This didn't seem to help as much as laying on my right did.

On oxygen

 At 9, he checked me and I had gone from 2 to 6. He said he felt like I could do a vaginal delivery, but I would have to be prepped for a C-section and sign the consent form before I even started pushing. After nine, I started to feel a lot of pressure and pain in my bottom...the epidural wasn't working there. They really couldn't do much about it, so I started counting through the contractions. I labored for another four hours! Eventually they sat me up and Ethan's heartbeat started to return to normal. I officially started pushing at 1:00 AM. They turned off my epidural because they wanted me to be an efficient pusher, his heart rate was dropping with each push and the quicker he was out the better.

It felt so much better to push. I would definitely rather be pushing than not pushing during the contraction. At about 1:40, the doc came in and we started pushing. After many pushes, the doctor cut me, and Ethan was born. The doctor suctioned him and he started screaming. I was really relieved to hear him, but I didn't get to see him immediately, because there had been meconium in the fluid around him. A lot of people said that as soon as their baby was born, all the pain was gone. That wasn't so for me. Even after he was out, I was still in a great deal of pain as I birthed the placenta, and Dr. Sutton stitched me up. It only really went away when they turned the epi back on. I was really out of it as they watched Ethan for signs that he was in respiratory distress. Fortunately, he was fine. It turned out in the end that his cord was in a perfect knot, which was what affected his heart rate. The little fish made a knot when he was a tiny guy in there!
I finally get to see him!

Now we are home, and I am recovering from the episiotomy. Being a mother is a joy, the sleeplessness is worth it! Sorry for the length, but I had to type it out so I will remember it, and I figured I would share.

He has so much blonde hair!

Sleeping on mommy


2 days late!

Well, we all know babies come when they want to...but I am now overdue by two days. I remember reading about mom's who would try all the old wives tales in order to get labor started and thinking, "Wow, I'll never be that crazy!".

Well hello kettle!

I want this kid out, and I want him out now! I've tried pumping, a membrane sweep, and primrose oil.

The pumping wasn't so bad, I have a Medela Swing pump, and it's really not uncomfortable to me at all. I actually managed to get around 4 oz out between both breasts, which I guess is a lot! It did trigger some strong contractions....but didn't necessarily "start" labor. I'm not sure I'll keep trying, as it seems like it's not really helping. It is nice to know I have a decent milk supply already (even if it is only colostrum).

The membrane sweep was done by the doc, and was pretty painful. I am only 1.5 cm dilated, and when I requested the sweep he was hesitant because he said it would hurt. Well, no pain no gain! He actually felt really bad about it, which is ironic because I requested it. If birth is worse than having my membranes swept, then God help me.

I bought 1000mg of Evening Primrose Oil, and you have to insert it vaginally. It is supposed to soften the cervix and ready it for dilation. I have NO IDEA if this is working, but I'm still inserting it every night in hope that it's helping. I'm also taking it orally twice a day.

Long walks have been suggested (being doing that), along with castor oil. I don't think I'm desperate enough for castor oil yet! Not sure what other crazy things I am willing to try, railroad tracks have been mentioned...which was weird enough. Hopefully something will work. I may just be pregnant forever!


I'm a timebomb...

The anticipation of labor is killing me! My due date is October 3rd, only 3 days away! I haven't felt anything yet, just a few mild (we're talking period pain mild) contractions. So far I'm only 1 centimeter dilated and like 0% effaced. Every night I lay down, and just wait for the contractions to start!

Then, when they come a few apart (like ten) I get worried that I'm starting labor, and I wish I had more time?! Why am I a bipolar pregnant woman? You'd think by now that I'd be tired of this pregnancy thing, who would miss the heartburn, sciatic pain, walnut sized bladder, or carpal tunnel? I just worry about my life changing so much, not that I won't be able to handle it but wow, things are going to change!

I have found over the years that I resist change as much as possible, even when it's for the better. When I first got married, I was in such shock. Things were so different, I had no time to "me" anymore, I wasn't alone, I didn't have space! I was seriously doubting whether or not I had made the right decision. As time passed, I fell into a routine and I became to feel really comfortable with my life with my husband. Now that I'm finally used to it, it's going to change again! I know we can't stay stagnant, but can't we work into this gradually? How about I have the kid for 3 days a week?

Scared mom to be talking here, I'm not serious.

I think.


Are things ever going to get better?

I am due in a little more than a week and hubby is still unemployed. I'm really scared that this is permanent situation. We're even considering moving out of state now for any kind of job, two years and counting of nothing.

It's really hard since I've taken time off my job (as a nanny) to have this baby, and we won't be getting any income until January. We are living in a house my parents own, but they need rent from us as soon as we are able. Both my parents work for the government and their jobs also are up in the air. If my Mom (a 2nd grade teacher) loses her job, we are going to be in trouble. Pretty much my parents future is riding on our backs, and we can't seem to find anything for DH.

Everyone says worrying doesn't help anything and it's so true...but what else can I do?

As a Catholic we are supposed to rely on God's mercy and goodwill. I'm having such a hard time just giving everything over to him. I am supposed to trust that he knows best, but I've been trying to trust for how long? Two years? How much longer do I need to struggle with this until I can fall asleep each night not worrying about how I am going to pay bills. It is really frustrating, it makes me feel like we aren't good enough, we aren't doing enough to deserve His love and rewards.

It's hard to keep everything in perspective sometimes with so much going on around me. Church and God gets pushed on the backburner sometimes, and I worry that is why we haven't found Austine a job yet. Is it my fault for getting caught up in the rat race world? Are we being punished?


The Beggining...

I named this blog "Meat and Potatoes Mom", because I feel that really defines what I'm reaching toward and wanting to be. The expression "Meat and Potatoes" means a staple, steady, filling, wholesome meal or item (or whatever is used to describe it). I want to be a wholesome, god fearing mother. I want to be the "Meat and Potatoes" of my child's life when it comes to what he learns.

I am currently 38 weeks pregnant. I am due quite soon and I know my life is going to change. I would really love to document those changes, along with the trials of a new mom. Not to mention the difficulty of being a Traditional Catholic mom in these modern days filled with impure media and opinions. It feels so dangerous to be raising a child right now. Hopefully this blog will save some of my sanity!