Reflection: Post-Pregnancy

One week old. He’s already over one week old already. I had my baby boy last Saturday, at 7:45 PM, we named him Xavier. I have a son. How do I have a baby?

I’m in such a change in my life, I feel like my days have been running together. September was busy, we moved into our apartment, and I spent so much time just unboxing things, and cleaning, that my days just blended together. There’s still a lot more to do, but I only had so much energy, being nine months pregnant and all. We’ve been here a month already, and I feel like we just got here. But at the same time, this is the first time I’ve felt at home since we moved up here.

This, this is what I’ve been waiting for: my own place. We can actually unbox things we haven’t seen in almost a year. What a difference it makes once everything gets put away.

The hard part this past month was getting to work for me. Being so pregnant, I had two options to get to work. I could take the 12 minute walk (that turns into like 20 minutes for me, because I was walking quite slow) uphill to catch a bus to Walmart and wait for the other bus to take me to work. OR, I could take the 15 minute walk (like almost 25 for me) downhill and catch one bus to work. The choice should be obvious, I did the latter. It sucked. I was closer to work, yet still had a long commute.

I was so over it by this point. This is the day before I really went into labor.

My feet got so swollen, it hurt to stand for hours at work. I got so big. My last week and a half I had, I managed to get a written doctors excuse allowing me to have a fifteen minute break every 2 hours. It gave me a chance to sit down more often. I cut back my hours to three days a week, 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM. But the schedule kept getting switched around. I had to keep 30 hours a week to keep my insurance. I worked two Saturdays with that schedule, and had to pick up extra time to an already long shift. Because the bus only came at certain times, I could either leave early or leave later. And to get home at this point, I had to catch one bus to Walmart and catch another one to get home. So if I left at 7:00 PM, I wouldn’t get home until 8:00 PM.

My days were so long. But having a day off in between made a difference. It gave me time to get the house together, at least the main stuff. And I can take more frequent breaks at home, not to mention I feel so more relaxed now that I have my own place. Living with people kept me feeling trapped in the room. I don’t want to come home and talk to other people (except for C). And, you know, living with mice wasn’t exactly the cherry on top.

Work is ridiculous. I’m still dumbfounded that I’m not going back, and I didn’t know my last day was my last day. But that place is getting more ridiculous by the week. And they’re trying to make a lot of changes, dumb changes, in an effort to save time and get more work out of their employees. Sweat shop. The commute to get there sucks, and it’s too far away for me to be comfortable leaving my son. I’m going to look for something closer, and easier to commute. It’s a lot easier for me to walk around now.

Speaking of, post delivery is such an odd stage. You go from being so big to just basically deflating. My belly is going down, and my breasts are getting huge. And I have this awful rash that won’t go away, but it’s due to so many hormonal changes going on in my body right now. I’m hoping it starts to go away soon, the itchiness is everywhere on my body. It started to develop a week or two before I delivered. My skin was so stretched out that it was causing this itchiness in my belly. From scratching so often, it started a rash that went around my belly, leaving a ring by the belly button (called a PUPPPs rash).

They tell me it’s supposed to get worse before it gets better, but it could last for a few weeks before it goes away. It started in my belly and just spread all over. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. But compared to how bad it was before, it is starting to slowly get better at this point. Thank God. On top of post delivery soreness. Which has gotten much better at this point.

My last day of work was not this past Tuesday, but the one prior to. I was just coming in to make up extra hours for that week so I could get my full 30. I would’ve had a little extra hours even, but contractions started coming Thursday night. They were irregular, so I think they were just false contractions. But they were extremely painful, and got worse at night. It started out sporadic. At night they got a lot closer. No matter how I tried to change my position, they wouldn’t go away. My boyfriend was trying to joke about it with me, to make me feel better. It didn’t. I was in pain.

And when they started coming 5-10 minutes within each other, for hours, I was ready to call the hospital and see if I should go to the there. They told me they were probably false contractions, that if they got closer to each other I should come in. They had sporadic timing. So I just tried to grin and bear it, even though I couldn’t eat because every time I started to I got a contraction. As hungry as I was, it was associated with pain by a certain point. But I did get a little bit before it was too painful.

By the time the light started to come out, my labor pains had spread further apart again, making it more bearable. Both C and I had been up all night. C had work later that day, and I had to call off because between the pain and lack of sleep, there’s no way I’d be able to handle going to work.  At this point I knew he would be coming soon, and I really just wanted this kid out of me. Everyone tells you that childbirth is the most painful thing they’ve ever gone through. It definitely was for me.

I’d had my fill of those first contractions, whether they were real or false, I couldn’t tell at this point. My water had apparently broken when I took a shower – I didn’t even realize, even though I did feel a gush, I didn’t think it was my water for some reason. I think I expected more or something. I’d already been leaking at this point. Which is a really annoying feeling, because you feel like you can’t control your bladder, but you don’t know at this point if it’s your bladder or amniotic fluid. Pregnancy is weird.

Point is, my water broke, and I didn’t realize it. I was using the shower to attempt for relief, but I couldn’t do it very long. And at this point my contractions had started to spread out. But I think it was actually the start of real labor. And once night hit, they got bad like the night before. Except this time they were actually getting more intense and I was in a ton of pain. Friday night into Saturday morning around 6 AM, I wound up calling the hospital again. I had been wearing a pad because of the leaking, and it was filled with blood. Which scared me, because I didn’t know if it was labor or something worse.

They told me to come in. The doctor on duty was the most recent one I had seen, and the one who wrote me the excuse for work. And I was happy it was her versus one of the other ones I hadn’t seen that often.

C wanted to hold off for a little bit. I know why he wanted me to, but I was in so much pain that it pissed me off we weren’t rushing out the door. But where I’d been lacking the sleep, he had also been unable to get much sleep, and we were both exhausted and beat. And C had gone to work all day with no sleep, and he was supposed to work that day as well. He didn’t want to miss work just for us to get sent home from the hospital when we got there. Because they will. If you’re not far enough along, they’ll tell you to come back when the contractions are closer. Otherwise you’re using up a room when the baby could still be hours away.

So while he slept a little longer, I rested my eyes for awhile. Couldn’t really fall asleep at this point. He wound up making me an egg sandwich so I could eat something before the hospital. I was only eating half a sandwich and I could only eat half of that. But it’s better than nothing and we finally called an Uber to go to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital right around 10 AM. They took me upstairs and finally got things moving along. Turns out I was 4 cm dilated at that point. On my appointment that previous Thursday, I was 1 cm dilated. They admitted me. Stuck me with needles. I had to get my veins poked at three times. The one nurse tried two veins and the second vein the thing came out and blood came out. She apologized and warned it could bruise. It did. Badly.

Anyways, we were taken to an actual delivery room. The hospital I went to had a really big room, and it was comfortable. They poked me again for the epidural, which I had definitely accepted that I needed one at that point. The pain went away almost immediately and I couldn’t feel the contractions anymore. My legs got tingly, they were like rubber at this point. But for the first time in over 24 hours, I was able to actually relax my body and rest.

They had my IV’s all set up, and they were giving me antibiotics (I tested positive for Strep B, and it’s just to prevent the baby from getting it. It’s nothing bad to worry about), and something called Picodin to help induce the labor and make the delivery come faster. I had already gotten 3 cm further in a day and a half. If they hadn’t of done that, it probably would’ve been one more day until I reached 10 cm. Luckily for me, around 3 PM that day I was already at 8 cm, so we knew baby was coming that night.

Right before delivery, the epidural seemed to be wearing off. So I did hit it again, but I think the pain was already too intense originally, so even with the epidural, I still felt some of it. And during delivery, it was real painful. Once I started pushing, she told me that it could take an hour, hour and a half for some women. But I could do it in less than an hour if I pushed hard enough. Then she told me I could probably see him in a half hour if I kept pushing how I was. I was determined, and I got to hear my baby cry 25 minutes later.

At 7:45 PM October 5th, 2019, my baby, little Xavier, was born. Completely healthy, all ten toes and fingers. 7 pounds, 11 oz, 20.5 inches long. Three days early. They placed him on my chest immediately after for that skin to skin contact. He was so tiny! And so much hair, my first thought was the bad heartburn I had during my pregnancy. He lifted his head off my chest and all the nurses were impressed by him. And he latched to my breast almost right away.

I just can’t get over the fact that I’m a mom.

And to be honest, a part of me was terrified he’d be born with complications or something would go wrong. But he was okay. Perfect. He’s so precious! I can’t get over him. How is he mine? His cute sounds and cute little faces. And he’s such a good baby, he only cries when he needs something. Most of the time he’s sleeping (but he has his days and nights mixed up).

I just like to watch him. He sleeps so peacefully. And he makes so many cute faces.

It’s bizarre to me that I’m not going back to that pharmacy I was at. I probably won’t see more than half of those people ever again in my life. This girl is starting EVERYTHING over again. And it’s going to be a little rocky.

Moving into the new apartment, the first place I can truly say is mine, to not being pregnant anymore, to recovery and having a baby – everything else in my life is changing, why stay at a job that just brought me misery anyways? Time for a fresh start. New people, new experiences.

Change.

This last year has been such a whirlwind, and I know that time is not slowing down anytime soon. But I feel a weight has started to lift. I’m starting to feel a little bit like the old me. She’s working her way back. The pregnancy threw me off for everything. I felt in such an odd place with myself. Time was passing, and I was doing so much my days just went together so fast.

It feels surreal. Everything does now. But I blame that partially on the lack of sleep. I get power naps now. I feel energized during the day when he’s sleeping, and drained at night when I want to sleep but he’s awake.

I can’t remember the last night I had with good sleep.

But it’s worth it. This little guy is so amazing already, I love him so much. And I know it’s going to be hard these next couple months, until I land a job and we get things figured out here. But, it’s all worth it. I just hope life adjusts better with this big change than the last one.

And now that I know what it feels like to be away from that workplace for a week, I think I have the energy, finally, to put towards updating the blog a tad more. I’ve said this a few times, but with being stuck in the house for the most part, I’m going to get bored and need something to do. And my thoughts are become clearer.

I’m ready for it this time.


8 thoughts on “Reflection: Post-Pregnancy”

  1. Oh my gosh, Laken, he is absolutely beautiful!!! I am so so so happy for you, all my congratulations!!! 💗🥳 I enjoyed reading your birth story so much. I can’t believe your water broke in the shower & that you were able to push him out in 25 minutes. That’s amazing! Thanks SO much for sharing. My heart is completely melted.

    Liked by 1 person

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