If You’re Going To Do It….Don’t Do This

So it was BU’s post mentioning spiteful masturbation that first caused lots of rolling on the floor, but then made me realize ‘hey I should masturbate more’. I mean, let’s be honest, dudes do it all the time. If you’re husband says he doesn’t, he is lying….maybe lying is too strong of a word. He is probably trying not to hurt your feelings. I know when I first learned of Andy’s frequency I was met with feelings of inadequacy. But after just shy of 9 years of marriage I am like ‘eh whatever, get down with your bad self’.

All I know is Andy makes time for it at least once a day, some days more. Maybe that is excessive? I am not sure. I guess maybe it is easier for dudes. I mean they “handle” their junk every time they go to the bathroom. Our is much more incognito. I barely remember I have a vagina until AF comes to town….which as we all know doesn’t happen often.

Andy has started working nights again. That adjustment has been a mixed bag. On the one hand it is hard to notice a real difference. He leaves for work about an hour before I go to sleep and he get’s home as I am about to leave for work. I would actually argue the plus side is that we actually have a conversation in the morning before I leave because previously he would still be asleep as I snuck out of the bedroom.

Someone actually asked me ‘so when does he get to see Jack?’. I was sort of offended by that statement. Because honestly, if you realize his hours, he’s just switching when he used to sleep with work and squeezing in some sleep when he would have previously been on campus all day.

He isn’t done with school, but he is on summer, thus only taking one class two days a week. So he still spends the mornings with Jack and the evenings before we put him to bed. It is about the same. Only big difference is sleeping by myself. And I have found we’ve needed to change our sex time from evening to mornings.

Now before I begin this ridiculous story, you must know we have a unique bed. Basically picture a king sized hospital bed. The head and feet raise for comfort levels. There is a “zero gravity” mode which is awesome….oh and it vibrates…which doesn’t do much for either of us, but makes Jack laugh. So our bed has a remote. Obviously it is an awesome bed for reading because you don’t have to stack pillows behind you and what not.

Anyhoodles. On Friday night it escaped me that I would still be in bed when Andy got home from work. I am so used to being ready to leave for work when he gets home, it didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t be getting up at 5:30 on Saturday morning. So while I was getting ready for bed on Friday I decided to put on the pair of pjs that Kelly bought me. They are super comfy and consist of a light green t-shirt and brown pants with butterflies on them. When I first brought them home, he was like ‘what are those?’. He’s not a bit fan of the pjs I tend to buy. Thus why I usually just sleep in a tank with built-in-bra and what not. But thinking he wouldn’t see my wearing of the comfy pjs I decided to put them on.

In addition I decided it was a good night to have a little vagina party or whatever it might be called. I get out my party accessory and turn off the lights ready for some romantical time. Next thing I remember is waking up to Andy walking in the bedroom door. Now it is hard to say if I just passed out as soon as the lights were off or if I did in fact accomplish a vajayjay party for one….if I could venture a guess I would say nothing happened. But my hand was still on my “accessory”. I was in such a groggy state though that I thought I was holding on to the bed remote, so I pulled it out from under the covers meaning to set the bed remote on the side table.

Imagine Andy’s surprise when I produce a vibrator in front of his eyes. I remember him saying ‘oh really?’ and me turning quite red. As I sat up to stash my party toy in the drawer he caught a glimpse of my pjs and added ‘in your sexy pjs no less’.

So yeah…..basically if you are going to have sexy time with yourself, don’t get caught. And if you are going to get caught, be wearing something sexy. Because I am pretty sure when dudes picture us taking care of ourselves they are thinking sexy lingerie maybe, I am not sure. Let’s just say they are not picturing butterfly pjs. Le sigh.


What other people’s Vajayjays are up to.

Since I know how much you guys love reading about vaginas, my friend S.I.F. just wrote a hilarious post about the recent happi-haps with her vagina. For the record I would like to officially interview her vajayjay as part of my vagina blogologs….I know that is the only reason you guys even follow me. Poop and vagina’s those are my most popular posts. Anyway check out S.I.F’s post and have a good laugh.

Up Close and Personal With Oak’s "pink parts"

In honor of the fact that 12 years ago today I got my first period (if you’re good with numbers, yes I was 16 when I started my period…and the reason I remember is because it was my best friend’s 16th birthday…we were both late bloomers and felt like outcasts for not having our periods yet and then I went and got mine leaving her behind by herself. Our friendship was never the same (tear)), I thought it only appropriate to write my first vajayjay interview….I have to say I am pretty surprised at how many of you ladies offered up your vajayjays for me to interview…we might have to make this a rotating installment on my blog. The Vaginablogologs *snort* oh I crack myself up. Alright here goes:

Allow me to set the stage. Two super hot moms, sitting in leather wing back chairs…let’s make them red leather because I like red…both wearing suits and stilettos. Her, a fierce Irish blonde bombshell, me, a brunette who will kick your ass for funsies; we’re all business today baby. In the background you see a crackling fire and bookshelves full of intellectual shit like case law and the history of sub-Saharan African politics….all of which we have both read and could recite by heart.

Natalie: Hello ladies and gentlemen, today I have Oak, another new mom with a very different vajayjay experience than my own. Oak, thank you for joining me today. How are you?

Oak: Quite well, thank you. I appreciate that your home is full of leather-bound books and smells of rich mahogany. As an aside, I got my first period on New Year’s Day of 7th grade…at the same time as all of my peers. That makes me cooler than you.

Natalie: That is highly unlikely, but to avoid a fight, let’s just say we tie for coolest and move on. Well I am just going to get right into it, when did you first learn that you had a vajayjay?

Oak: I like to refer to my nether regions as my pink parts. And as far as the great discovery goes, well, I’d have to say that its actual existence was never unveiled to me, it was something I always knew I had. But the tricks that my pink parts could perform were like small discoveries along the course of our adjoined lives.

For example, it wasn’t until the 5th grade when I was hanging out with a 6th grader from down the street that I discovered that pink parts could actually make sounds. This mature, omnipotent 6th grader, we’ll call her Emily because that was her name, had all the neighborhood girls gather round while she rocked backwards and then forwards. Whilst making the forward rock, she shot air from her nether regions, introducing me to the sound now popularly referred to as the queef. Although I prefer to call it a “vart”. I was never able to recreate her amazing feat – varting on command – although that is more of a source of pride than shame.

Sadly, I don’t remember my first orgasm either. But I do remember that I REALLY liked horseback riding.

Natalie: Very fascinating! I have never heard of the ability to vart on command. Okay, here’s where the questions get hard. When you found out you were pregnant were you scared that your vajayjay, I apologize, your “pink parts” might never be the same?

Oak: But of course, although I was more concerned about my tits to be honest with you. As far as my parts go, if I were to rank them I would have to say I was most concerned about my tits, next my belly and then finally my pink parts. Not sure why the pink parts took such a low ranking but I would have to assume that its due to the fact that I knew that there would be some highly skills physicians there to put humpty dumpty back together again.

I do believe though that I likely SHOULD have been concerned about my pink parts as genetically speaking, my family tends to have issues in that area. Example, my sisters bladder fell out of her cooter after baby numero tres…I should have been afraid.

Natalie: Oh My! Her bladder fell out? Shocking! But let’s get back to you. Now, for those joining us who do not know, you had the exact birth you wanted. However, things took an unexpected turn with the delivery of your placenta. I don’t want to relive those things here, but can you describe the state of your “pink parts” after the birth of your extremely attractive and smart son?

Oak: My pink parts have definitely had a lot of change over the past 12 weeks. And they (along with my boobs and belly) are still not back to “normal”. But maybe part of where I’m at is my new normal, although I hope not.

My pink parts feels like someone could drive a truck through them, like a big gust of wind might come and blow just so, fill my uterus up and turn me into a human kite. I worry about things falling out of me as well. And rightfully so, after my 6 week appointment, I began using tampons for my post-partum bleeding. And then about an hour later, my tampon was hanging out of me. So back to pads I went with my head hung low in shame. I haven’t put much else in my pink parts since then, foregoing one of my favorite past times. The cocaine supply in our region hasn’t been the same since.

Today, eleven weeks after the birth of my aforementioned perfect son, I’m still bleeding and I’m still wearing pads and I’m still thinking that maybe I got my priorities wrong and I should have been more worried about my cooter than my hooters.

I realize that I could, nay SHOULD!, be doing Kegels but I have a rather spiteful feeling towards Kegels. I can’t seem to DO them well, or without much effort. Whenever I try to squeeze the muscles of my vagina in the fashion they tell me to I end up looking like this:

which makes me think that everyone around me can tell that I’m trying to tone my pink parts and that’s just none of their fucking business.

Natalie: I must admit, my face looks like that while doing Kegels as well. Makes you wonder when you see women with this expression if that isn’t what they are doing. So just to recap you say you are still bleeding, can you inform our readers what would you equate the level to?

Oak: Enough to be a nuisance – too much for a panty liner, too little for a pad (that should be the name of a song). About the same amount as my period would be back when I got periods. Should we take a moment to revel in the irony that my infertility foe was that I didn’t bleed ENOUGH to get pregnant and now I can’t stop bleeding? Yes let’s take that moment……………fucking horseshit.

Natalie: Horseshit indeed! Now my understanding is that you also had some serious stitches as a result of some “pink part” tearing during birth. Perhaps you could enlighten us to the sensations you experienced from said stitches.

Oak: Well, it hurt like hell because she didn’t numb the area enough but I don’t think you’re referring to my actual stitching event so much as after? Let’s put it this way, my tears really didn’t ever end up being much of an issue at all. If I hadn’t been told I needed them, and know that I got them, I never would have given it another thought. But that’s because for the first week after giving birth, I couldn’t tell my asshole from my pink parts, it was just one sore, swollen mess.

I lived for my fresh ice packs which I would cover in Tucks Pads. Tucks and Ice was like heaven on Earth, the combo rivaled other such combos in life like: peanut butter and jelly, vodka and tonic, lube and butt sex…you get the point. There was also a eucalyptus salve that I used that gave me a cooling sensation which was pretty god damned amazing.

The thing I hadn’t really anticipated was post-partum potty parties. The first time I attempted to pee after giving birth, I did so with my head between my legs as I was about to pass out from my blood loss (but we won’t go there). My sweet nurse attempted to squirt water on my parts while I was attempting to not fall off the toilet. I’m sure it was fun to watch. Not so much fun to experience. Peeing after that was pretty uneventful – and is still uneventful albeit it frequent. Thank you urinary incontinence, and thank you pads. Do you need me to elaborate?

Natalie: I don’t think so, but we’ll let our audience decide. So peeing was, and still is, exciting. How about, you know, #2?

Oak: Number two has been the number two toughest thing I have ever had to push out of me. I had prenatal constipation and I have post-partum CONSTIPATION. I shit acorns when I shit at all…fitting no? But that’s today..which is a much better place than twelve weeks ago when I was navigating Hemorrhoid Haven, USA. Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about the hemorrhoids?! It’s a shame, really. I wish I’d known about those little buggers beforehand. Although my nurse said mine were nothing, she’d seen some assholes that looked like they were smuggling a bunch of grapes…so in the grand scheme of things, I’d say I lucked out.

In the not so grand scheme, my asshole wasn’t back in fighting shape until about 8 weeks and even now, my weekly, eh, bi-weekly poo can often take it back a few steps.

Have I officially crossed the line? I think maybe…

All that said, it really just felt like I said, a big, sore, swollen mess. And after about a week, it was totally fine – and by totally fine I mean loosey goosey but not painful. Intact but not tight. You know, we’ve covered that part already.

Natalie: I often wonder why ladies don’t talk more about post-partum hemorrhoids. I was fortunate enough to avoid them altogether, but I am pretty certain that had a lot to do with the fun that was my castor oil induction process. Which was not fun, not sure how it compares with hemorrhoids, but I digress. Reading your exquisite and Nobel Prize worthy blog, you mentioned your first time “back in the saddle” with “the boy” at around 7 or 8 weeks post-arrival of your prodigal son, would you describe that experience as “normal” compared to pre-offspring encounters?

Oak: First and ONLY time, I would like to make sure you all know. The first time back happened to be in a three day hiatus from the bleeding (seriously, what creature bleeds for this long and doesn’t DIE) and it was quite a nice time. That said, I’d heard horror stories so we used enough lube to create our own little slip and slide. Knocking the boots was a-ok.

Natalie: Well we are all glad to hear that your roll in the hay was lots of fun. Now, what are your future hopes for your “pink parts”?

Oak: Well, I’d like them to grow up to be healthy, strong and confident, have a long and happy life, maybe get a college education and marry a nice donger. Maybe someday even have pink parts of their very own. What the fuck kind of question is that?

Natalie: That was exactly the response I was hoping for. And with that I’d like to conclude this riveting interview with your “pink parts”. Thank you for joining me Oak and I am sure I can say that all my readers hope your lady bits stop bleeding soon and you can get to having lots of Brown Chicken Brown Cow with the boy. I hope everyone is now even more informed about possible expectations post-childbirth and may all your vajayjays be happy and healthy.

A Tale of a Vajayjay

I have to be honest, I really wanted to name this post “A Tale of Two Vajayjays” but who’s vajayjay would I write about….I would have to go out and interview someone about their’s and that would be strange. So I will just tell you about the vajayjay that I know best. If it isn’t obvious to you now, some of you might want to skip this post altogether.

I didn’t really know what to expect from this whole birth business, as illustrated by the fact that I dubbed it Vajayjay Destruction 2011. I was fortunate enough that one of my closest friends taught us our hypnobirthing classes and since I am super special, we were in the class by ourselves…..that was mostly due to the fact that we ended class by hanging out and having dinner together. I asked her all sorts of ridiculous questions, but probably the best one was near our last class when I said ‘um will my vajayjay go back to normal?’ followed by ‘how long will that take?’. She assured me that it would in fact return to normal “fun-having” size and it only takes a few weeks. Geez I hope so – thought me.

Then comes the fateful birth of Nugget. I’ll be honest with ya, that first couple pees afterward stung. Not as bad as I had imagined, but enough to wrinkle your brow a bit. I was stocked up on supplies. I had a ton of those super huge vagina destruction pads (for those who haven’t yet heard about these, they are approximately 6 inches wide by 12 inches long by 1 inch thick, but hey why let your kid be the only one in a diaper?) and two super sexy pairs of mesh undies. I had a squirty bottle, which my midwife explained was for if it was too painful to wipe. I fill that sucker up with warm water and squirt after peeing. That shit felt amazeballs. I also had a perineal ice pack, but I never needed it. Give me a shout out if you’d like me to send this jewel your way.

So you might recall I had a few small tears. Now before I had tears of my very own, the very thought of tears from birth sounded excruciating. Holy Shit it tears? That can’t be good. There are in fact some serious tears out there that recovering from has to be horrible, but let me reassure those of you whose eyes are about to pop out of your head with fearful shock, my tears surprised me. When she said ‘you have a couple tears’, I thought it was going to take forevs for them to get better and that I would be in super amounts of pain. Like I said the first couple pees sucked a bit, but then I never felt them again. Now wipe the sweat from your brow and settle back into your chair.

The “flow” of post-birth is a little interesting. So obviously baby comes out and lots of fluid comes out too. Placenta detaches and comes out. Along with some blood. I have heard that it is only around a pint. But Andy attests that he was shocked at the amount. The midwife had him help her change the pads under me, some guys probably would have flipped out. He is super good at staying calm, um thanks Iraq? I guess. The midwife pushed on my abdomen a few times. Once right after the birth and then again about an hour later and then two hours after. She said it helps to encourage the uterus to contract back down. Interesting. Well each time she pushed there was a gush….eeeeewww! Sorry peeps full disclosure. Even though those giant pads seem ridiculously oversized, you need them that big the first few days. I have told friends if you can steal extra from the hospital, do it. I think I had around 30 of them and used them all up.

Don’t freak out though. After a couple of days….I want to say 4 (sorry for not writing this when my memory was still fresh) things slow down to a medium period level. So you can switch to regular pads. But I wanted to feel fresh so I changed my pad every time I went to the bathroom….which holy crap, the funniest thing about post-birth pees is that you suddenly realized what an insane capacity you have again. I was sitting there thinking ‘wow I haven’t peed this much in forever’.

I was actually pretty surprised that by our 3 day post-baby check-up I was feeling normal downstairs…..obviously I was still bleeding, but I wasn’t in pain and if you hadn’t pointed out that I was holding a baby all the time, I would have thought I was just having a regular period. In fact, my midwife complained that she wished I hurt more than I did. This may sound odd, but I was asking her if it was okay for us to go out for sushi and she was like ‘no! dang it! I wish you were in more pain! you’re supposed to take it easy and mostly lay in bed all day’. She admitted that the problem with natural births (compared to epidurals to clarify) is that women usually feel recovered much sooner and want to go walk around and do things. But her biggest recommendation was in order for everything to ‘get back into place’ I should try to move around as little as possible. This was especially true in my case because I opted not to have stitches. She told me that I should basically walk around with my knees together. Since I wanted things to go back into place and heal correctly, I listened and spent my first week walking like a duct around the basement…..Oh did I mention I stayed in the basement my first week. Another strong recommendation she gave was to not go up the stairs. Thank goodness Jack was down there with me otherwise I would have gone bonkers.

The funniest part of my self-banishment happened pretty early on. I had a bunch of visitors, I think my grandma came and then Pickle’s mom and then the midwife. That was in addition to Bret, Andy, and Andy’s mom which were with me pretty much every day. Well when the midwife came my grandma and Pickle’s mom said goodbye and everyone else went upstairs to see them off. After Jack’s check-up I suddenly realized how alone I was down there…..and how much I had to pee. Shit! Now a rational person would have just laid their baby down in the crib or on the bed, or on the floor because shit they are a newborn and they don’t wake up that often let alone roll away. But in my not-all-there mind I was like ‘there’s no one to hold the baby so I can pee’. FYI this mental state is pretty much the reason he didn’t get set down more than about 30 minutes a day. Someone was always holding him. So I walked waddled to the bottom of the stairs and listened to figure out where everyone was. If they were in the kitchen I didn’t want to yell super loud and be laughed at. So as I was trying to figure out how much volume to use with my voice and what to say: should I say ‘hey’ or ‘excuse me’ or ‘andy’? Andy suddenly appeared at the top of the stairs. He took one look at me and cracked up. He said it was the most pathetic thing he had ever seen. Me holding a baby looking at the stairs like they were molten lava. ‘Can you hold him so I can pee?’. He laughed and came down to take the baby…and proceeded to make fun of me for the rest of the evening. Whatever I would make fun of me too.

Okay so despite feeling really normal, I followed all midwife-recommentations so that my lady bits would get back into place. By about four weeks post-baby I was feeling so normal that I couldn’t tell that I ever had a baby. Well beside that whole saggy belly bit with crazy claw-like stretchmarks on it. Okay but if I’d have closed my eyes – totally normal.

I talked to Caroline, the apprentice midwife, about what she thought about having sexy-time this early. She asked ‘do you feel like having sex?’. And I did. Oh man watching Andy with our baby made me like a bitch in heat running around with my tail in the air….was that one too graphic? sorry about that. 

But I was surprised. How was it possible that I felt like having sex after a grapefruit-sized head popped out of me? But I did feel like having sex again…..of course I decided it would be better to wait until the 6 week mark that apparently someone decided was official somehow. And as luck would have it, the 6 week “official okay” happened right before Andy’s finals week. So he was not so in the mood what with all the stress. Apparently boys can experience stress-related labido reduction just like girls. Who’d’ve thought it? We ended up waiting until the weekend of Mother’s Day after he was all done with school.   

Let me confess that I was scared shitless. Just because I wanted to have sex and things felt back into place, didn’t mean that the rampant thoughts didn’t plague my head about the state of the Vajayjay. Would it hurt? Would I be able to orgasm? Would he feel anything or will it be too big in there still? Andy and I approached this fear the same way we approach most things, with comedy. As I was laying there watching him strip off my super sexy tiny thong giant undies I teasingly asked (but I was seriously wondering) ‘Does it look the same?’. Andy looked at it, a surprise look crossed his face ‘holy shit! it’s sideways’. We both laughed and I relaxed a bit. He also teased me about my new “mom lingerie” which consisted of a milk-stained nursing tank. So hot! We got started with the foreplay and I joked ‘oh crap, where did my clit go?’. So as you can imagine our “first” encounter wasn’t a super hot sex-capade. But that’s just how we roll. Things didn’t feel 100% the same. There was definitely more space, but Andy wasn’t, how do I say this?, basically it still felt good to him. Which I was glad about. All I could think about while we were getting busy was this comedian we had watched who said ‘it’s like throwing a hot dog down a hallway’. FYI since our first encounter I have been kegeling the shit out of my lady parts and that has drastically improved the… spatial qualities? Man, this post is way too revealing. It makes it easier in that I don’t have to look you in the eye as you are reading this.

Which raises the question: why the hell am I telling you all this about my vajayjay? Well because I wondered what to expect and I couldn’t find the information anywhere. I wanted to know if I would ever feel like having sex again and if I would ever enjoy having sex again. I have heard women say it is super painful and their drive tanks, which worried me. So I feel it my duty to share with the world….errr well the four of you…that yes – I did feel like having sex again and yes – I still enjoy it. Woohoo! I was really shocked at how quickly I recovered from birth and that I still had a desire to be a woman, wife and partner besides just being a mom.

So this brings up one last little point….birth control. At my 6 week appointment the midwives told me their suggestions. They both used the low-dose estrogen IUD after their first babies and they really liked it. I talked to them about my apprehension of doing anything with hormones. So they listed off all the options which I am sure we all know: copper IUD, diaphram, cervical cap, condoms…..basically it is their duty to recommend I use some form of contraception. They admit that a lot of breast feeding women don’t ovulate as a means of your body saying ‘I’m busy with this one’, but there is still a wide occurance of Irish Twins so I need to keep that in mind. Then my midwife made me giggle. She said ‘and remember the pull-out method is not an effective means of birth control’. I felt like I was in fourth grade health class….wait that would have been too advanced for fourth-grade….okay middle school health class.

I talked with Andy about getting the copper IUD, but I think we’re going to go crazy and wing it. It seems ridiculous to try to prevent a pregnancy after I spent so freaking long trying to get pregnant. Maybe my lady parts are healed or they realized how to work and I will get preggoed again right away. And if that happens, cool. It is strange how your outlook on life changes. 5 years ago getting accidentally pregnant would have made me break out in hives. Hell getting accidentally anything would have freaked me out. I am a planner. So despite my rational brain saying ‘you should wait at least two years until you have accrued enough vacation and personal leave to go on maternity leave again’, the new baby-loving Natalie is like ‘fuck it! let’s see what happens’…..I am pretty sure that is also the hippie-peace-loving Natalie because that side makes me want to dance around a field with a flowing skirt on…..weird.

I Want My Pool!

Okay. Let’s start where we left off. So as of Saturday Bret had not arrived. But I went out walking with Andy’s mom and spent the day contracting. Things started to pick up and I was getting excited. Andy’s mom downloaded a contraction timer on her phone and we were hitting 50 seconds and 4 and 5 minutes apart. Woohoo! Andy went to get Bret and I waited at home for the midwife to come check me out. I listened to my relaxation exercises and that seemed to get things going even more. Bret arrived and then Karen (the midwife) arrived. We were all excited to find out what the progress was. I just knew there had to be some. 
Before she checked my cervix she wanted to do a swab test to make sure my water hadn’t broken. I have been wearing pads for several weeks, so she had checked my pad when I disrobed for my exam and was concerned that it was kind of full. I just thought I was still losing my mucus plug, but apparently there isn’t as much to the mucus plug as I imagined. The test came back for positive for amniotic fluid. Then I got my first of many “we need to talk” looks from Karen. She explained that what this means is that I am on a 24 hour clock and at a high risk of infection. Home birth midwives are told that if the water has broken they need to check the patient in at a hospital if active labor hasn’t started within 24 hours. Now this is America and I can of course refuse to do this. But she said it is usually a good idea because we would need to make sure the baby was okay and I was okay. She said she would not check my cervix because that would just add to the risk of infection (FYI- this is what you are looking for in a health care provider. Someone who will give you the time to progress without adding additional variables). I was disappointed again. But at least I knew I could keep on going. 
So looking back about the water breaking, I am not sure that there was ever a moment when it popped. I remember a gush during my walk with Andy’s mom, so this is where Karen set the “start” time for my 24 hour limit. But it was just a dribble really. Like a ‘maybe I peed a little’ after laughing too hard dribble. Karen said most likely the water had broken and Jack’s head slid down blocking the rest of it. So that was good. The fact that now I knew my water had broken made sense. My contractions were definitely twinge-ey. I remember wondering ‘these aren’t as comfortable as I was expecting from what I have read and seen and heard about from other people’. They say when your water breaks contractions are definitely more painful then when there is a nice water barrier. I could feel Nugget’s head against my pelvis with each contraction. The thing that got me through each one was the “filling the balloon” technique from hypnobirthing. We learned lots of techniques, but this was the one that kept me going. I just kept imagining a bigger and bigger balloon as the contractions got longer and harder. Fill the balloon with each breath. Let the balloon go when the contraction is over. 
So Karen left on Saturday night and told me to try to get more sleep. But at this point things were serious. Andy and Bret went to bed and I tried my best to close my eyes and relax. I didn’t really sleep, but I rested between the contractions as best as I could. The next morning when I realized I still didn’t have my baby, it was time for desperate measures. I talked to Karen when I woke up and after she answered ‘This is Karen’. I said ‘I am still pregnant’. She asked how things were going, what my temp was and gave me some pointers. She asked if I was willing to try caster oil. Now if you had asked me a week ago, I would tell you ‘hell no, I will not drink caster oil to get this guy out’. But when you are looking down at 12 hours until hospital intervention time, you are ready to try the technique that will have your ass burning and vomiting heinous evil (Oh peeps I am just warming you up, so if you are already squirming you might want to skip the birth story post. No apologies for this stuff). 
After getting the “recipe” for the caster oil (2 oz caster oil, 3 oz of OJ and a pinch of baking soda. Mix it in a blender and go to town….just in case you are out of things to do one weekend) I called Katie. She was already on her way up from the Springs to join the “Nugget Eviction 2011” efforts. I told her Bret and I were making a caster oil run, so if she beat us back to the house to come on in. Bret and I headed out for vitamin cottage for what I will dub Operation Evil Ass. It was at Vitamin Cottage that I realized what different places Bret and I are in life. She was looking at her favorite brand of cosmetics while I was frantically trying to find the caster oil on my own so I wouldn’t have to ask the older guy stocking shelves. Luckily a woman came by just as I had lost hope and pointed me in the right direction. Phew!

Back at the house it was time to mix up the concoction. Dudes looking at these pictures I am like the giantist blob of human flesh. Maybe it is just my “caster oil” face, but thank god I was less than 24 hours away from having a baby because I am looking done. 
Okay so in all honesty this isn’t the worst tasting thing. You will be able to get it down should you ever need this type of service. It is just hard drinking oil. But again desperate times call for desperate measures. After dose numero uno we waited 15 minutes. We had planned to go on a walk, but we wanted to see whether there would be an initial “reaction” before we ventured too far from the house.
I joked about how we needed to borrow someone’s RV and Bret and Katie could follow behind me as I walk down the street. When we did leave the house for the walk, this lead us to point out every RV “opportunity” along the way and we joked about how awesome it would be to go to someone’s door and ask to use their restroom. Bret was a tad on the nervous side as we ventured further away from the house, so we soon headed back. 
Then the “games” began. Oh and were they fun. Don’t worry I won’t go into details there. Karen and I continually checked in with each other. I took two more doses of the caster oil….probably that third one wasn’t necessary, but ‘When in Rome’…..not sure how that applies here, just makes me feel more classy about Operation Evil Ass.
Katie went through a “fear release” exercise with me, Bret massaged me (wish you could just massage a baby out that would have rocked), and they hit up my pressure points. It felt like things were rocking along. Karen was on her way back and although I was nervous I was feeling like we had made some real progress. 
Pickles, Emmicakes and Pickle’s mom came by to drop off a TON of food they had made. As you might remember Pickle’s mom was the big hippie who had both her boys at home…back when it was illegal for a midwife to assist you. Such a rebel. I have always seen her as a tough woman, but she was visibly distressed by me. I realize that at this point I had been laboring a long time, but I still consider the majority of my labor very manageable. Anyhoodles, Pickle’s mom pulled me aside. She said ‘listen sweetie, there is no shame in going into the hospital and getting some help. you have been going for a long time now and no one would think less of you for not doing this at home’. It was really nice of her. I know she was scared for me. Later when she came by to meet Jack for the first time she told me ‘that old hippie is gone, I am not sure where she went, but I was so worried for you’. I told her she was a momma bear now and just concerned about one of her babies….even if I am adopted. 
The Pickles clan took off and shortly after Karen arrived. We came downstairs and listened to Nugget’s heartrate through a couple of contractions. At first his heartrate slowed down…not good. Karen put on another “concerned” face and then said we would see if it improved when I was on my side as opposed to my back. She took my temp and blood pressure. Those were good. She watched me through my contractions, but was just not convinced I was “working hard enough” to be very far along. Enter the “we need to have a talk” face number two. She said that it had now been 24 hours. She wasn’t feeling like I had made enough progress. She said she couldn’t be sure without checking my cervix, but it just didn’t appear to be at the level she was looking for. She said it might be time to go into the hospital and get checked out. 
My heart was sinking again. 4 days! I had been at this for four days and now I was going to have to give up? It just felt so unfair. If I was going to go be induced or worse, get a c-section, couldn’t that have happened right away? Not after I worked so hard to get here. Karen said she would want to check my cervix before we go to the hospital. So that we could report to them where we are at and she wanted us to go to Boulder where we would be well received. Coming into just any old labor and delivery isn’t always met with the best reception and she didn’t want me to be treated badly by the staff who would give the ‘I told you so’ look at homebirthers who need medical assistance. She said if she checked my cervix and it was at least 4 cm then we might be okay to keep on going, but then I was at an even higher risk of infection so if my temp spiked at all and/or the baby’s heartrate dropped during the contractions, we would definitely be headed to an E.R. If she checked and my cervix was only 1 or 2 cm then we would be headed to Boulder.
I felt absolutely defeated, but I told her it sounded like either way we needed to check. I just kept hoping that it was a tell-tale hypnobirth and she was having a hard time judging my progress because I was rockin’ through my contractions. Oh please let that be it! I got nekid and Karen set up to check me. To all of our amazement I was 5cm dilated, 90% effaced, and at positive 2 station. He was right there. My cervix was half way, but it was working! She went from pointed to my spine to right in yo face in two days. Sure not the most significant progress, but I felt so relieved. Karen’s face was awesome. She smiled and said ‘Okay! I am staying, it looks like we are having a baby in the next 12 hours’. Oh thank you! Thank you cervix and uterus and vajayjay and every other part of my body that was making this happen. Everyone’s spirits lifted. I was like ‘Let’s Do This Shit!’ Half way there, so close. He’s really coming. His head was down past my pointy boney things (where I was worried he might get caught) and now it was just a matter of opening up even more, getting my cervix to efface 10% more, and getting him down the last station.

My motivation was renewed. I went into “try every position” mode. Here’s a picture of my favorite (ignore the yucky stains on our stairs. Note to self: get carpets professionally cleaned before next birth). I would stand on the stairs swaying back and forth. We put on Adele so I could sing in between my contractions. When one would start I would put one foot up two steps and sway and breathe through the contractions. Don’t worry peeps I held on to both the half wall there and the handrail on the other side. I joked about how Andy would want to anchor me with a robe so I wouldn’t fall back. I would switch legs and let me tell you what, this made those harsh contractions manageable. I just imagined opening up like a big flower and I imagined Jack hearing me singing and wanting to come out (I will say because I am such an amazing singer, but it would probably be so I would stop). 
To give you a time stamp, she had checked me at 6pm. So at midnight it was time to see how we have progressed. She monitored me every 30 minutes, checking my temp, my blood pressure and heart rate and listening to Nugget with the Doppler. There were a couple times my temp was getting high. This would get her worried face going again and I would panic. I would push more water and try to work a little less hard through deeper relaxation. When we went in the bedroom at midnight I just knew I had to have made amazing progress. I was in a lot of pain when I would go sit on the toilet to pee and do other stuff (ref: caster oil above). That was the absolutely most excruciating pain to be stuck there during a contraction and invariably one would start because they were about a minute and a half apart and 50-60 seconds long. If I was up moving around through my contractions they were conquerable but if I was on the toilet I had to work extra hard. And thanks to mr. caster oil, I was on the toilet a LOT! 
Okay, so midnight cervix check. I laid back thinking ‘this could be it! she could tell me ‘you’re at 9, let’s get you in the pool!”. Instead she said ”you’re at 7. Now let me see what is happening during a contraction”. Come to find out that instead of opening more during a contraction my cervix was closing back to 5cm. Damn it! Enter the “we need to talk” look number 3. Karen said after 6 hours I should have made more progress. She said it might be time to go. She said she was willing to let me stick it out for another 6 hours, but that was it! If I wasn’t dangerously close to pushing by 6am, we were going to the hospital via ambulance. I thought for a minute whether I should just give up then. 6 Hours and only 2 cm and not even really 2 cm because I was regressing during the contractions. I had worked so hard. I was tired, but I was also feeling stubborn. She told me that I needed to get rid of the crowd of people. Andy’s mom and sister were there, Katie and Bret and then Caroline and Karen. Plus obviously Andy and I. Karen and Caroline were keeping a pretty low profile. They would hang out on the opposite floor from where I was. But everyone else was hovering a little. Andy rightfully so. But when I was on the stairs his mom and sister sat at the top for a while. They weren’t meaning anything by it, they were just keeping me company. Bret and Katie would come and check on me too. And honestly it didn’t bother me. But I could see Karen’s point that part of my trouble could be because I was being “watched”. She had said women in labor are no different from animals in labor. Our body’s are looking for a dark secluded place where we feel safe to have a baby. 
I told her I wanted to keep trying. I couldn’t give up now, I would always wonder if I could have done it. She agreed to let me keep going, but said Andy and I HAD to go into our bedroom alone. We obeyed. We set up the birth stool and the yoga ball in the bedroom. Andy timed me on his laptop and I waddled between the toilet and the bedroom. Caroline or Karen would silently sneak in every half hour to check everything. We were doing great. The intensity just kept building and I kept visualizing opening up and letting this happen. 
Things got really intense. When I was on the toilet I would be practically crying it was so hard to sit there through a contraction. I remember my defeatist brain running through images from every video I had watched. Orgasmic birth was sounding like such a freakin’ joke to me, let alone the calm births. I was thinking ‘if I can just make it to my pool. Then it will be just fine.’ I knew I couldn’t be far off from getting to get in my pool. The soothing warm water welcoming my baby out and relaxing all my muscles. 
At 4:30 am Karen came in to check my vitals. She said she would do an exam in a half hour and if I wasn’t at least 9 it was time to make the call. I kept telling myself that it was only half an hour more. One way or another we would soon know how Nugget would make his entrance into this world. I remember being ready to give up. I was thinking ‘let’s just go to the hospital, get an epidural, sleep for 7 hours and do this again some other day’. I should have known this was transition. But the other part of my brain was thinking ‘no, what if I get to the hospital and am too far along to be able to get drugs. then it is either 7 more hours of this or a c-section’. Andy tried his best to help me through each contraction. ‘Breathe through it’ he would repeat. I could manage for the first 30 seconds of the contraction and then excruciating pain that I couldn’t place. Something felt wrong. He was stuck! I was dying! Something wasn’t working right. I just remember thinking where is my fucking pool! On the outside all I said to Andy was ‘I am just so tired!’. I looked at the clock after each contraction. Knowing that Karen would be there soon. I wanted her to come, but I didn’t want her to come too soon. It was a strange dichotomy. I wanted that full 1/2 hour to progress, but I also wanted the pain to stop. She needed to fix me. 
After a few more ridiculously long minutes and the crazy contractions that were tearing me apart, I bore down at the end of one of them. All of a sudden it hit me ‘I need to push!’. It was the only thing that made them feel better. Andy’s mom came in to see if I was okay. I was definitely making a lot of noise. I remember Andy saying ‘shhhh, just breathe’. So I knew it was getting really audible. 
Karen said she could hear me too. But it was only 10 minutes until she was coming down and she figured if I needed her I would ask someone to get her. I turned to Andy and said ‘I need to push. Get Karen’. His mom said ‘you want Karen?’. ‘Yes’. When she left I turned to Andy and said ‘I want my pool!’. He said he has never felt more helpless in all his life. Karen said it was 4:59 when Cathi came up and said I wanted her. She came down and into the room ‘What’s going on?’. ‘I need to push….and I am going to throw up’. I went into the bathroom and knelt by the bowl. Karen got everything ready to check me. I didn’t throw up, but I have never wanted to so much in my life. I finally got up and came back in. I must have just flopped on the bed and spread my legs. I was still contracting like crazy so I didn’t really hear her when she said ‘you’re complete!’. She said she was so shocked. She hadn’t thought I was there already. I remember seeing her rush toward the bathroom door, so I thought something was wrong. In my head I was thinking she was calling an ambulance. This was it. I was going to the hospital. Then I saw Cathi next to me and she said ‘it’s time, he’s coming’. Who? Who’s coming? The ambulance driver? Then I looked up and saw Caroline’s sweet face ‘You’re having a baby’. What? You mean something isn’t wrong? 
Turns out Karen was calling the other midwife. Like I said, they weren’t expecting me to be that ready to go in a half hour. There was a big bustle as everyone was getting stuff ready. Meanwhile I was laying on the bed like a beached whale. Still trying to manage my crazy contractions. If I had been with it, I should have stood up and got ready to squat or something. I think part of me must have thought they were all lying. That I was being rescued soon and they would whisk me away to the hospital to drug the pain away. Before I knew it Karen was telling me to push. She had me hold behind my knees and coached me through it. Each time I tried to push like she instructed I felt like I would throw up. I remember thinking ‘this is the worst position in the world’. I think they were worried I wouldn’t have the energy to stand and squat. They might have been right. All I wanted was my calm and soothing water birth. I thought about my pool sitting out in the living room, mocking me. I remember that we had the video camera upstairs on the tripod ready to film that calm soothing water birth. Did someone have the camera? I had no idea and there was no way I was going to be able to ask about it.
I remember looking up and seeing Bret come into the room. And I knew Katie was there. She got next to me and said ‘Breathe your baby down’. I nodded and tried to use my hypnobirthing techniques. In between each pushing contraction I was able to lay back and relax. I remember thinking ‘this was a terrible idea!’. Everyone was so great. ‘We can see the head! One more long push’. Karen told me to reach down and feel the head. I could feel this little sliver of hard. I pushed again and again. Feeling like he would never come out. I remember people saying that when you crown you feel a ring of fire. So I was trying to feel the ring of fire and push through it. I was making so much noise. There was no way I was the model hypnobirthing mom. My screams would get high pitched and Karen would say ‘lower Natalie, Use that energy downward’. Andy and I laughed about it later as I imagined myself screaming high and then going baritone the next minute. EEEEeee. OOoooooo. Hahaha. It is funny now. But not at the time for shiz. 

When I pushed I could feel him coming down and then I would relax at the end of the contraction and he would go back in. I was so frustrated. This is never going to happen – I thought. Then all of a sudden there was a pop and they said ‘There’s the head!’. What? That was the head? Then Karen said ‘do you have one more push?’ and I bore down and flop! Out came the rest of him. It felt so strange. Not what I was expecting. Next thing I knew he was on my chest. I was looking at this greyish blue slimey monster. His little eyes looking up at me. Cathi (Andy’s mom) said ‘he’s beautiful!’ and I was thinking ‘really?’ and then I said out loud ‘you look like yoda’. Everyone laughed. I started rubbing and kissing him. Saying hello. I said ‘you are so tiny!’ then I remembered ‘you definitely didn’t feel tiny!’.

I was in such a daze. I remember pushing the placenta out which was MUCH easier. Then I remember Karen and Caroline pushing on my stomach and feeling huge gushes coming out. I kept having to lift my butt up so they could change the absorbent pads. But mostly I remember just being so amazed that I had done it. I had really done this. I turned to Andy and said ‘so is it a boy?’. Everyone laughed at me. He was so warm and so funny looking, yet the most beautiful face I had ever seen. I remember staring at him and just thinking ‘hi, who are you?’. 

This is Amy, the secondary midwife, checking Jack out. She missed him coming out. She was on her way down the hallway when he flopped out. I don’t know how long we stayed like this. Eventually they said I could get up and go to the bathroom and take a shower. They needed to weigh him and things. Cathi helped me around the bathroom. She had to stay in there and make sure I didn’t pass out. I remember the shower felt amazing! When I came back Daddy was holding Jack. 

He looks exhausted too. I remember when we were timing the contractions he was falling asleep in between. I would look up at him and say ‘okay now!’ for when one started and he would bob awake and push the button. 

 Amy putting lotion on him. His skin was very peel-y. That combined with the redness in his face tells them that he was over 42 weeks. I had been mis-dated. Yet another factor that could have sent us to the hospital if we had known. There was also a lot of meconium in the water that came after him. If any of that had come out before he did, we would have gone to the hospital. Andy and I looked back at everything that happened and we are so amazed that despite everything, we were able to birth at home. And everything turned out just fine. Karen said if I had been with a doctor and had gone in on Friday after contracting for over 12 hours and they had felt my cervix pointed back, there is very little liklihood I would have avoided major interventions. It is hard to say if I just would have been given pitocin and if that would have done it. But with the water breaking, the lack of progress after so long after my water breaking, the meconium, et cetera et cetera. There was just so much working against this birth.
But you know what? I never felt like we were in danger. I thought Karen was being very safe in all her assessments. I think she was the perfect guardian of my birth and she knew how much I wanted to do this at home on my own time, but she was also ready at every turn to get me the help I might need.
Turns out even with everything that happened the birth and Nugget were just perfect. He is absolutely healthy and perfect. He popped out after only 30 minutes of pushing! Believe me it felt longer. I thought I was pushing for days. But he arrived at 5:50am. 10 minutes before his 6am deadline, go figure. At least he was early. I stand by that whole ‘if you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late and if you’re late you’re fired’ statement. So he was 10 minutes early. Just like momma would have been.
Karen gives him his vitamin K shot. Mommy and Daddy flinched at the needle, but he didn’t even notice. Not a peep or a reaction. 
Getting oiled up. Apparently Olive Oil is a must-have baby item. You put it on until they are done pooping the meconium and then it doesn’t stick to them. Meconium looks like black tar and acts a lot like tar as well. So he smelled like a little Italian for the first few days, but his bum was super soft and easy to clean. Everyone add that to your baby list. 
This is us yesterday for St. Patty’s! I didn’t have a picture from after I had showered and crawled back into bed. 😦 We are excited because we just heard that our pal Lucky was born that morning. We are decked out in green to welcome our leprechaun friend into this world. Can’t wait to meet you little dude and hear about your birth as well!

So that is basically the end of the birth story. As you can imagine I have no regrets. I do wish I had been able to get in my pool and that we had been able to record it. But those things really aren’t important to me now. The only thing that is important is just how absolutely wonderful he is doing. He is so sweet and cuddly. Next post I will tell you all about Milk-a-palooza 2011. Because he was overdue they are pretty certain he lost weight in the womb. What that means is he was born without the brown fat that is so critical to newborns. A juicy newborn (what they are called when they have brown fat) can go a while without eating. Sometimes a day or two. But an overdue baby needs food right away. If he doesn’t get enough fuel they start burning brain cells to stay warm. Don’t worry! Everything turns out fine. Just wanted to set the story up and I will knock it out as soon as we can.

Unexpected Growth

There are things we all expect to happen during pregnancy. You expect your belly will grow, your boobs will change, etc. But there are some things you aren’t looking out for….or at least there were things I wasn’t looking out for. Maybe the rest of you were on top of it. I am a moley person. It is because I am white. And I don’t mean like I am just a caucasian, like I am freakin’ white. Pastey, pale, you get the point. I prefer to say that I am alabaster, it just sounds so fancy. I don’t tan. During the summer when people laugh about my white legs I get defensive and say: ‘listen, I come in two colors, white and red’. I wish I could tan. I envy my cousins who seem to have stolen all our cajun blood because they have the most beautiful perfect skin…bitches. They inherited it from grandpa gumbo. I got my grandma’s complexion, white with freckles and moles.
Anyway, I try to keep pretty good track of my visible moles. It gets to be hard when you have so many. A few years ago my doctor sent me to a dermatologist to get a baseline analysis for future comparison. And this turned out to be a little humiliating, here’s why. I didn’t realize when they do a baseline that they look everywhere.  It isn’t just about your face and arms and legs. You basically get butt ass nekid and they get up close and personal with your moles…..and I have a few moles in some unmentionable areas.
There is one mole that my regular doctor was particularly concerned about tracking and it is right in my pubic area. It didn’t occur to me to want a female dermatologist until I was laying back on the table with a dude taking a super close look at my lady parts. I have never been to a male gyno. And for some reason the idea of that doesn’t bother me. He would be trained specifically to deal with your lady parts. And in my experience gyno’s get in and out pretty quick and keep a good couple feet between you and their face. But dermatologists get close and personal and they aren’t supposed to be that close to your vajayjay. In fact, they don’t even need to know you have a vajayjay. Anyway, as I was laying on the table I was working really hard not to be completely humiliated as I could basically feel the heat from the dude’s headlamp on my lady parts. After what seemed like a bazillion hours he emerged to say it looked okay for now, but we should watch it. Now technically I was supposed to go back every year to have it checked. Did I do that? No. Should I know better? Yes.
As I was getting out of the shower last night and drying off I noticed a raised area near the mole. Since I admitted to you a few weeks ago that I can no longer see my lady parts, I spent a good deal of time trying to will my head into a position that would get a view of it. If I had a hand mirror or a full-length mirror like a normal girl I probably could have compensated, but as you might deduce I fail at girlie things like that. So I resigned to the fact that Andy would need to look for me. My fingers were crossed that it was an ingrown hair and not the mole.
Let me just say, considering I came home with extreme amounts of gas and swolen feet, the fact that I added “check this growth out for me” to the list of activities for the evening just really put the cherry on the Valentine’s sundae. I was thinking about it this morning and I’ve decided it will be a miracle if Andy ever feels like having sex again. Anyway, Andy confirmed that the growth was in fact the mole I had suspected and he described that it looked like it had a dark ring around it. HOLY SHIT! I know from the dermatologist’s posters that this means badness. But here I am 3-5 weeks away from what we will dub Vajayjay Destruction 2011 and now I might have to add “burn a freakin’ mole off of her while yer at it” to the list of torture. This poor girl is going to need a Range Rover before she’ll ever speak to me again. 
I decided the best course of action was to call the midwife. As I suspected she said she would like to take a look at it at our appointment this Friday and if she thinks it can wait it will probably be in my best interest not to go in right now. She said if they do remove it now labor will most likely compromise the healing of it and if I need any sort of treatment I wouldn’t be able to do that while I was pregnant anyway. But she did say that it is really common for things to grow during pregnancy. You’ll get skin tags and moles will get bigger, etc. I guess I am glad I didn’t figure it out until now because I probably only have a month to worry about it instead of several, but now there is still a part of me that is wondering if I am going to follow up this awesome amazingly wonderful pregnancy with a bout of skin cancer. I have zero experience with skin cancer. Do they just take that shit off and you’re good?