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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On Pregnancy Body… and Stretch Marks

When I got pregnant with Peanut my body was totally on my side.  It had taken me through cancer.  It held up phenomenally through 16 months of treatment, weight gain, hair loss, weird drugs, radiation burns and even weirder side effects.

After chemo ended, I rewarded it by losing 25 lbs and getting in shape.  Arguably the best shape I'd been in since dancing 6 days a week in high school.  Then I got engaged and was in even better shape. I worked out regularly, I mentally and often physically journaled my food, I drank 12 glasses of water a day.  I got regular sleep.  We took our honeymoon in New Zealand where we balanced our eating of enormous amounts of food with vigorous activities like climbing glaciers and kayaking rough waters.

My body rewarded me with a quick and surprising pregnancy.  I felt fantastic.  I was tired and a little nauseous for the first trimester.  Then I felt great.  I felt the pregnancy high.  I developed gestational diabetes but my body was still on my side.

I made it up until the last week of my pregnancy without any stretch marks.  It's as if my body just couldn't hold out any more and you know what, I really couldn't blame it.

Taken just now, it's been a hot and humid day so I'm counting on you guys just focusing on the belly.
Oh, the belly.

Then things changed.

I rewarded my loyal body by getting very little sleep over the next 3 1/2 years.  Peanut still wakes in the night some times.  I thought about working out more but never did so regularly.  I lost weight and gained it and lost it again.  I worked too many hours, got too little sleep.

I got pregnant twice.  Actually this is the third pregnancy since Peanut.

Now my body is angry.  I can't blame it.  Instead of growing a baby it's quite possible I'm growing a watermelon and then there are the stretch marks.  The ones I already had from Peanut showed up immediately in that pale, silvery way.  I didn't pay much attention.

Then my skin started to itch.  There were a few weeks where the 2 inches below my belly button felt like my muscles were tearing apart.  I didn't feel any better when my doctor told me it was actually just my abdominal muscles separating… which is apparently better than tearing apart.  Who knew?

And now, the stretch marks are spreading out.  From my belly button and below they are there and they don't feel good.  At least I assume they are below but I can't really see.  I have 2 giant X-shaped stretch marks coming from the long ago belly button piercing I had.

I'm losing hope of one day wearing those super cute, retro, above the belly button bikinis some day.  And yes, I know this is all worth it, really I know.  But seriously, I'm just not sure how much more this skin of mine can take :)

This was not the belly I had during my first pregnancy.  This is craziness.  If this baby comes out a mere 6 lbs or something, I'm going into hiding.

Overall, I'll admit that I feel better in my pregnancy body than I do normally.  There are no fat rolls, no muffin top, I welcome fitted clothes.  But now there is the sensation, after a long day on my feet, that my pelvic bone might be fracturing.  And my hips hurt and sometimes I limp.  And if I sit for a long time my legs fall asleep because my belly cuts off circulation to my legs regardless of the fact that my legs are spread in a really uncomplementing way.   I'm amazed that my body will some day pull itself back together…. because have you seen this belly?!

And all you ladies out there who don't get stretch marks.  Well, I can't type what I think of you here… because this is a family blog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Labor Amnesia

I often hear people say that after the baby is born a mother forgets what labor was like.

To which I say



Yes, yes, you are overcome with love for your new little bundle of joy and that may take your mind off your battered, possibly stitched, and definitely swollen nether regions.  

Obviously I consider this all very worth it because I did try for 2 years to have another baby but

Labor Sucks.

And I don't like pain.  I'm not going to lie.
I'm not going to try and go without drugs.
And I haven't forgotten what it was like.

Seriously, I would need to suffer a special type of amnesia to forget labor.  And I had an epidural.  So perhaps I'm just remembering the first part of active labor and the aftermath.

Oh the aftermath

So with 19 days until due date, I'm here to say, 
I know what's coming and I'm not exactly looking forward to it.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Art Interpretation… and immaturity


I spend a lot of time sitting in the waiting area of Women's Health, 
Obstetrics and Gynecology at Kaiser.  

I often sit and ponder the fine art displayed for our viewing pleasure.

And I'm always giggling.


Because you know, maybe it's just me,
or maybe it's just that it's displayed on the gynecology floor,
but I cannot keep a straight face when gazing at this artwork.

I often look around to see if anyone else is thinking what I'm thinking.
I never see anyone pointing and laughing.  Or looking perplexed.

So I had to wait until there was an empty waiting room to snap these pictures with my phone.

Because I think of only one thing when I look at these….



Is this woman trying to climb back in?
Is she going to pull a baby out?
Did she lose something in there?


In case you were wondering what the artist was thinking,
Ms. Gibbons was creating artwork about swimmers.

So there you have it.
I'm about to have my second child and I have the maturity of a 13 year old boy.
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