A blog about miscarriage, pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period that talks about everything no one talks about. Input WELCOME, email me at Swedishskier@gmail.com with suggestions, additions, or guest post submissions.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My husband has been eating inordinate amounts of gas producing foods lately. This became obvious the night I could no longer put clothing away in my son's room because of the stink cloud that had taken over his room. My son, was unfazed and smiling adoringly at his father. So I left them to it. FYI, when you fart really loud in the kid's room and someone is in the next room, it makes the "voice" activated monitor turn on and you can hear the fart in stereo. My husband got to fist pumping over this.

I'd react or ask him to put a handle on it, but in my first trimester I was the gassiest thing alive. So there's a little shit no one tells you. Everyone tells you about the vomiting in the first trimester and most ladies hear about how tired you are, but no one mentions the insane amount of gas. If you're embarrassed about it, you should get over it by farting next to the monitor, because it really is funny.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Everyone tells you that your body releases relaxin during pregnancy in order to relax your joints so that your hips can widen for the baby to come out. Relaxin ends up in weird joints though which on me ended up popping all the time. The weirdest two places that popped: my pubus, and my sternum. Didn't hurt, just creeped me out.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Before being pregnant myself, I thought of pregnant women as beautiful. As these benevolent looking beauties, swelling with mothering floweriness. Seriously.

But sexy and beautiful are not the same thing. You can be pretty without striking thoughts of wild romps in the hay into anyone's eyes. So felt I about pregnancy.

Plus, everyone envisions pregnancy as being about the 5-6 month mark. But you don't just one day look like you swallowed a basketball. There's an awkward stage or two to get there, where you don't look pregnant, you just look fat... or something.

And during that stage of awkwardness, I was shocked the first time I felt it. My stomach touched my husband's stomach during sex.

I thought I would not have to worry about weird feelings about sex until the time when it just doesn't work well to have sex in any position but spooning (also a myth.) Either that, or the thought had occurred to me that the baby might move during sex and completely take the wind out of my sails (that luckily never happened.)

There are, of course, body images to contend with when you're pregnant. Its a weird thing to have your body take on a brand new shape. Especially when you've gotten used to the shape its in for the past 10 or 15 years and most women, let's face it, aren't completely comfortable with that shape. And I had thought of all this. Heard about this. Read about this.

But the stomachs touching. Yuck.

Here's some thoughts I have on how to continue to enjoy sex if you feel like its not going so well. There's the obvious stuff: talk to your partner and share your feelings about your body. Buy clothes/makeup/shoes/purses something that makes you feel feminine and good about you. Thrift is no excuse, thrift stores exist to solve that one. Those are the obvious things.

Shit no one tells you, you might feel better if you've seen a preggo porno.

There I said it.

Not sure about you, but I have sexy images in my head that play at times during sex. I couldn't figure out how to sit in my preggo body and participate in any mental images of what was sexy. I needed an outside image to help me along. So I watched some pornos. If it works, don't question it. It gave me a mental construct of a sexy pregnant woman.

I'm not saying my husband and I took off on porno grade sexual escapades after this. But I was able to orgasm again. I have no science to back this, but it seems intuitively true to me that you should have lots of orgasms during pregnancy. Orgasms cause your uterus to contract and it seems likely that it helps keep your uterus healthy and strong during pregnancy so that in labor it will be able to contract easily the way it should. Again, I have no science behind this, but I'd call for an orgasm a day during pregnancy and say it sure can't hurt.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We've all heard the trite, (see also played out,) jokes about women's hormones when they're pregnant. We supposedly all turned into raging psychos eating ice cream and pickles and attacking husbands with knives over nothing. And the truth is, that's not really how it happens. Yes, some women get pika during pregnancy. Pika is a rare disorder where a person craves eating non-edible foods. And it does happen. And does happen to healthy women. Rarely.

This friend of mine got it and wanted to eat handfuls of dirt and drink gasoline. Cross my heart and hope to have more babies. She didn't do these things, but she thought about it. Her baby daddy pumped the gas for that pregnancy. Smart dude, that guy.

But its rare. So are the mood swings that mean that we for no reason freak out. Mostly when we get emotional, its something that would have made us mad/sad/striken with beauty, anyways. It just might be more pronounced. As in, when I was pregnant, I started watching Grey's Anatomy. Which is trash. I knew it was trash. And if I'm really telling it all, I would be slightly touched by parts of that show when not pregnant. Which is embarrassing. But true. Because that show is completely unrealistic drama trash. But while pregnant I loved it and cried to it and held on their every trashy dramatization.

And everyone's heard these stories. What everyone maybe hasn't heard, is that after you have the baby you cry. You're shedding hormones that you've needed for 9 months and built up a stock of and your body just sheds some of them out your eye holes. Apparently. This is science. Or something.

I knew about the "baby blues" and about actual postpartum depression. Some of the reason I wanted natural childbirth (and mind you this was what I chose to do, and does not reflect what everyone should do. Each family is different and has different needs for how to do the deed,) anyways, the reason I chose natural childbirth is because I had read that you had less of a chance of having postpartum depression if you did it sans drugs.

What no one told me, was there's baby blues, there's depression, and then there's this crying that happens because your hormones are all haywire and trying to regulate themselves out. I started crying because someone was late to lunch. Seriously.

I've worked in some of the most emotionally taxing jobs that exist. I've worked with abused kids for most of the last 10 years. I don't cry because someone's late to lunch.


Its not the baby blues. Or depression. I literally look at my life at least every other day and think "someday when I look back on my life, I will think of this as the best time of my life." But there's crying.

Then, there are some women who have more than crying. They're crying, and their crying comes with the feeling of wanting to crawl under the covers and have the baby go away forever and not caring that the baby's crying or just wanting it to go away. And that's a horrible feeling. Because you're supposed to get to feel like this is the best time of your life. And when you don't, you know something's wrong. And because we're women, we feel we should be able to fix it. And when we can't, we're ashamed. We feel like we're being ungrateful for the gift of this wonderful new life. But really its hormones. And we deserve help for this sort of awful thing that's happening instead of the wonderful thing we were supposed to get. So please, get help if this happens. Don't be ashamed. You didn't do anything wrong.

And go to the village you've been building. And make sure it didn't happen there. Because we need to help a girl out when she's down. Treat her like a queen who deserves to be treated when there's a problem. Swoop in. Sweep out the shame.

And if you or she are just a little extra teary now and again, that's normal. As it turns out, its just some shit no one told me about.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Here are a few small shits no one tells you:
- Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in your ass. Also, even if you don't get them through your whole pregnancy and so you think you're in the clear, they still might happen when you give birth. I missed that one. It happened to me. See? I told you I have no shame and will not blame shit on a "friend."
-Some women have orgasms during birth. Its called a "birth climax." Its the only thing in all of pregnancy that I heard about that didn't make me think, "I should put this on a list of things to keep teenagers from having unprotected sex." I do know someone it happened to. It really does happen. And it is supposedly one hell of an orgasm. It will not happen if you have an epidural. Or, maybe it will, but you won't know that it happened because you'll be numb from the waist down.
-MOST women shit during birth. Also, giving birth can be smelly. Think period smell only more. I know, its gross. But men should have a warning about these things. Men, if you are going to have problems fucking your wife after the birth because you saw her snatch all stretched out with a bloody baby head coming out and poop being wiped away by a nurse, that is understandable. Kindly be prepared for this possibility. Consider, am I the kind of man that will picture this later at an inopportune time? Because if you are, make an adult decision to stay by your wife's head during labor and skip the view. Also, the smell. You should be prepared for the smell. All our ladies have different smells. Some are slight and some are more pungent. Such is life. And that follows with birth too. I think women with stronger smells anyway have stronger smelling births. I'd be grossed out by this if I were a dude. As it was, I was in a birthpainfuckthis trance during my son's birth so I really couldn't tell you how it was. I'm ok with that. My husband stayed by my face. He's a smart grownup like that.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The most non-superstitous of us, become cross-wielding lunatics when it comes to reproduction. We're suddenly afraid we might not be able to reproduce or think that if we tell anyone we're "trying" then we'll ruin it all. We feel its our fault, that we somehow jinxed ourselves if we tell that we're pregnant before 12,13,14 weeks if the pregnancy turns out not to be viable. Which is all nonsense. We alienate ourselves from good supports this way.

My belief is that raising children takes a village and so we have to start building our village. In order to do that, we should take apart our notions of what shouldn't be talked about.

I'm not advising that you spread your beeswax to any and everyone. I'm saying, find people you feel comfortable talking to. And start talking to them. Because here's what can happen:

You can have trouble conceiving. And that feels crappy. And it feels crappier if your girlfriend (who doesn't know you've been "trying") gets pregnant the very first month off the pill. And it feels crappier still if she's bitching about her husband wanting sex all the time when she feels like vomiting "because of the hormones" while meanwhile you and your husband are starting to feel like you're getting a reacharound from the infertility doctor every time you schedule sex.

Or none of this may happen. But keeping everything bottled up seems to make things worse. So I'm generally advising that you find friends that you can talk to. I mean really talk to. And you set shame up on the shelf for now and cultivate those relationships with all your heart. Because you all will need each other. Because even if none of this happens to you. It might happen to her.