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Why I deserve the greatest Mother’s Day of all. And you do too.

I know, I know. You’ve heard it before. We (moms) think were goddesses and fucking saints for pushing watermelons out of our easy bake ovens. And if you had a C-section- power to you. Because stitches through five layers of tissue makes any guy whining over a vasectomy look like the pansy ass douche he is.

Where was I? Why am I so angry? I don’t know. I mean, maybe it’s the PTSD from the pre-epidural catheter they gave me in the labor and delivery room when I went hypertonic trying to birth Emma. Hypertonic- abnormal muscle tone. Sadly, my over active uterus did not leave me with 6 pack abs.

Maybe it’s the bloody nipples I got a week after she was born because I spent those 7 days with her latching on improperly while trying to breast feed. Then cried when I was pumping milk sitting on the toilet in our cramped little bathroom because I felt like a failure.

Yeah. Moms unite! Bitches get shit done. And you know what? We get birthing done.

When I gave birth to Emma, there was a story that week in the news of some natural disaster in Africa ( I can’t remember because part of the brain that holds memory and reason comes out with the after birth. It’s true.)  that caused a woman to give birth in a tree. A GODDAMN TREE! By herself. Her and her baby were there for a good day or so before the rescue choppers got her. Did she worry about saving the placenta later because her MOPS group wanted to make smoothies out of it and then paint pretty pictures on canvases while drinking wine? NO! She did what she had to do.

And gosh darn, I was laboring in a comfortable first world hospital bed and I thought of her. HER. And she was my hero. But also, it kind of scared the shit out of me because the way things were going with Emma, I would have died in that tree and she with me. So yay, modern conveniences!

So I’m sorry if my wish for this Mother’s day is to be treated like royalty by the subjects of the house. But dude! I earned it. It’s been 15 years since all that happened. But still.

Not that you want to know this, but one of the first times I got up to go to the bathroom after I had Owen, I thought I had birthed a second child. I had been lying down in the bed for several hours. It was so scary, like, I paged the doctor  and all and told her that a pile of left over something and I think it had teeth and whatnot had just smooshed out of my cooch and did they need to weigh it or take it for a biopsy, because that twin baby looked like I was bleeding to death. It was frightening.

She laughed, sweetly, and said, you know, most moms forget that their vagina is a long tunnel that fills up with all kinds of good stuff after the baby is born. It was just waiting to come out. Sometimes the muscles contract and it doesn’t until you get up to go to the bathroom. And then I was all, “Like a JELL-O mold!” And she’s all, “YES! You’re fine!”

Oh phew! I thought I hemorrhaged. And so does every other woman who just pushed an 8 pound bag of potatoes with a 90th percentile head out of a hole the size of a golf ball.

Let’s not forget the old days when our mothers and their mothers had babies. When they gave them enemas, shaved their pubes, and knocked them out with drugs. You know. Because it’s easier for the doctor. The male doctor. Oh boo on him for dealing with female pubic hairs. Thank GOD when they changed that. Even though now everyone’s got a Brazilian, so who cares. And I’m all for drugs, but I’d rather NOT wake up two days later to find out if I actually had the baby or not.

Ugh. Men.

“Waa. Let me whine some more because my wife snores when she sleeps and insists on sleeping with a body pillow we’ve named Phil. She never wants to do it anymore. WAAA.”

Someone call the whambulance, because I’m sick and tired of men complaining. I’m sick and tired of men complaining about their vasectomies and that their wife doesn’t want to have sex. Oh, and then newsflash. She’s not going to want to have sex with you after because, well. You’ve seen the Hindenburg disaster. Who wants to fly after that? We need some time. And by time, I mean at least, at LEAST 6 months post partum. And lube. Lots and lots of lube. And probably booze. And the promise of a nap afterwards without a baby attached to my body.

And again, sorry for the graphic nature of this- but if you had hemorrhoids, you don’t want your man down in your crotchal region with anything other than some nice cotton or microfiber breathable underpants. Stuff changes. It’s not the same.

Did you have an episiotomy? Or how about a 4th degree tear? Do the words ‘transvaginal mesh’ send you into flashbacks of trauma similar to a combat veteran’s? You didn’t know what a ‘taint was before, but now you do.

Yeah. So lay off dudes. We deserve pie, and croissants. We should have long leisurely baths alone without people asking to climb in the tub with us. That goes for little kids AND husbands. STAHP. If I wanted a bath with you, I would have said so.

Plus sex in bathwater leads to UTIs and nobody got time for that.

Happy Mother’s day mamas! May you get all the worldly goods you deserve. And peace.

 

Frugalista Blog in the Pee Alone Trilogy

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Study says a study about labor pain is the douchiest dumbest thing ever

What if I said a study says that a man getting his balls chopped off isn’t as painful as men claim?

SAY WHAT?

That’s preposterous! I can’t even imagine. I mean, that would be terribly painful. Well. Now don’t get me wrong. It hurts. But ask the man 2 months later and he’ll say maybe he’ll have forgotten the pain.

Or, let’s say he pushed out the Hope diamond from his urethra and didn’t get any pain meds and he might say that it hurt like a mother fucker, but later he forgot the pain once it healed.

Where am I going with this?

Yesterday I read a ridiculous article with the headline, “Study says child birth pain not as painful as women claim.” I’m only linking to the article so you can see how shit it really is. And maybe it’s not the article so much as the study itself that is complete shit.

frugie blog and the study childbirth not as painful as women claim

Let’s look at that shall we?

Child birth pain, not as painful as women claim.

SAYS WHO??

Who the fuck says that?

Women claim? Claim? That seems to suggest doubt. We ‘claim’ to have pain. I mean, maybe just a smidgen. I claim to have seen Bigfoot, but did I really see Bigfoot? I might claim to have once been able to do a back hand spring on the balance beam when I was 15. I might claim I can sing the entire Grease soundtrack by heart.

These CLAIMS may or may not be 100% true. But I’m not ‘claiming’ I had pain during childbirth. I’m shouting it from the mother freaking mountain tops that it hurt like a beast. A mother fucking Johnny Cash Ring of Fire beast.

When you look up the definition of claim it reads:

“an assertion of the truth of something, typically one that is disputed or in doubt.”

Further in the article it reads that the purpose of the study was to see if epidurals were helpful for moms.

See, this is what pisses me off.

Why are we always having to bang down the door for our own worth? We have to fight for birth control, for pain control, for equal pay. I am sick and tired of it.

Like Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister, we’re not gonna take it anymore.

Let’s hear from my panel of experts:

“Everyone always says that childbirth for a woman is like the pain of passing a kidney stone for a man. I have passed two kidney stones and two babies. The gigantic bloody howling bowling balls passing out of my body were way worse. Just sayin’.” – Ellen from Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms (who is a retired DOCTOR by the way.)

“Illinois woman claims that childbirth felt like a flailing rhino was ripping through her body wearing her vagina as a party hat.” Kerry from HouseTalkN who birthed 4 – 10 pound babies! (Not all at once, we won’t give her that much credit.)

“I thought my uterus was going to explode from the pain. It became one giant contraction. Labor had stalled and I didn’t know if I would pass out from the pain, need a c-section, or if it was possible to actually die from pain. The baby’s heart rate was hovering at a danger zone. When they gave me the epidural, I immediately felt warm and relaxed and within 40 minutes I went from 3 cm to 10 cm and delivered my baby girl.” – Me.

Pain is a personal experience. It’s subjective. You would never tell a combat veteran how his pain ‘claims’ to be measured. Pain needs to be honored and respected. It scars us. My painful experience of labor was etched in my cortex for months and months. It brought me to dark places when I was left quietly nursing my daughter, or suffering from a sleepless night. It caused layers of underlying fears and thoughts of inadequacy that haunted me months after my initial post-partum recovery.

I’ve worked through migraines and broken limbs, endometriosis and back injuries throughout my daily life. I’ve never relied on narcotics for these. Does that make them not painful? Less painful? No. It is how I process the pain. It is how I perceive the pain. It doesn’t make it less real.

Pain is not quantifiable. Sure we ask someone to rate their pain on a 1 to 10 scale. It gives us something to measure it in order to treat what they are experiencing. But what a 4 is to one person, could be a 9 to someone else. It’s based on subjective factors like experience and emotion, mental state, fear, lack of fear. Whatever.

Studies like this don’t help women. It doesn’t help our cause for men in lab coats to  try to determine how painful we ‘claim’ child birth is.

I don’t know what it’s like to get kicked in the balls, but I believe a man when he says it’s his worst pain. Is it worse than childbirth? I kind of doubt that. But it’s a severe horrible pain.

Professional soccer players get kicked in the goody sack several times in their career, it doesn’t stop them from playing. Nor does it require 6 weeks postpartum recovery, maxipads the size of Volkswagen Beetles and perineum bottles of warm water every time they use the bathroom.

“The researchers … called the moms twice, two days after birth and again two months later, to see if they used the same pain scale and provide an overall evaluation of her labor pain. The results show the women rated the process less painful two days after their delivery than they did when the researchers asked them again two months later.” (shit study from stupid researchers)

Well gee golly whiz. We actually forget our pain. Yes, this is true. It’s our body’s coping mechanism. It’s why you need a few years between each kid for the amnesia to set in. What happens when a woman is 6 weeks post partum or 12 weeks post partum and finds out she’s pregnant? She cries. That’s what. Because it is no fucking fun.

It’s beautiful, it’s amazing and I love my babies, but it hurts. And that’s not a claim. That’s a fact.

Am I making myself clear?

 

And just for laughs- let’s watch this video and remember how funny it was to laugh at these guys thinking women exaggerated everything.

What I would tell Kim Kardashian when she has her baby

 

Recently, Kim Kardashian expressed to the media that pregnancy is harder than she thought. I will be honest. I thought that too after my first trimester. Pregnant women on TV always made it look so easy. Even people I knew didn’t seem to have such a hard time. Kim- Pregnancy. Is. Hard.

I want to be clear, I am in no way bashing a woman who is expecting a child. Any woman, even reality television celebrities deserve love, support and judgement free encouragement. That’s just the code of women. I mean, Taylor Swift would say there’s a special place in hell if I didn’t support a fellow woman. Right Taylor?

So instead, I will use this post as a service to Kim. To help her prepare for what she is in for. Now, Kourtney might be giving her advice. And her mom, Kris, is probably also giving her advice. But I’m guessing based on the way this show, er, her life plays out, Kim isn’t listening to their advice and telling them that HER pregnancy is probably the only one like it in the world. Which is kinda true. Pregnancies, children, and snowflakes. No two are alike. Except identical twins. But even they are different, sort of.

I want to warn Kim, that not only pregnancy is harder than it looks, so is labor, childbirth, post partum and, oh yeah- motherhood.

Labor- I know Kimye, or should I call you Mrs. Kardashian-Humphries West? I’ll just call you Kim. Kim, labor is hard and not pretty. It can go many different ways. You might schedule a c-section and not even deal with it. Of course the recovery of a c-section is no small task. But if you do go through labor, there’s things to consider. You might drop a deuce on the table. You might tear from  the front of your lady business to the back of your poop hatch. I’m not trying to scare you. I’m trying to keep it real.

If you do push that baby out of your canal, with or without drugs, about 24 hours later, you might see these things hanging down from your vulva that look like a bunch of California grapes. I don’t know if they are Merlot or Cabernet variety, but they are strange and uncomfortable. Don’t look down there. Just don’t. You might have the same cluster of grapes protruding from your asshole. Sorry, again, not trying to scare you, just keeping it real. These hurt. You need a rotation of ice, a warm sits bath and a pillow. I handled all this with just some ibuprofen because I wanted to be alert and ready for the baby.

OH MY GOSH- THE BABY! It’s hard to remember that after your insides have been turned outside, you have to care for this living, being thing! Even if you have a nanny, guess what- your milk is coming in sister. I’ve seen your girls. I mean, I haven’t SEEN them, seen them, but I’ve seen that you have a fine rack. Now times that by 1000 and you have a milk engorged watermelon that you are trying to get this little tit sucker to latch onto properly (properly is code for latching without shredding your nipples like a cheese grater (totally different story I can share another time)), but you can’t see their head for your mammary.

Even if you bottle feed- your milk will come in. And low and behold when it does- brace yourself. Nothing on earth will take away what is happening to you. It’s all you babe. So own it. A cool breeze will hurt like a mo-fer against them. Even the pulsating water from the shower head that felt good on your aching back, is like a fire hose against your fragile milk bags.

Let’s see, what am I forgetting? Oh yeah, you will continue to have the worst cramps, kind of like the mother of all periods, about 48 hours after the baby is born. Mother Nature doesn’t relent. First the cramps, then those subside, then the milk comes in. Holy cheeze-tits Batman. Don’t worry, it gets easier. In about 6 weeks.

I know that you have people to look after you. But remember, women have been doing this since the dawn of time. They have given birth in fields, barns and even trees. Yes, I remember a news story about a woman in Africa during a flood, seeking refuge in a tree. She was 9 months pregnant, and before rescuers got to her, she delivered her baby. Can you imagine?

These are the sisters in childbirth I was thinking of as I lay in a hospital, writhing in pain from my own complicated delivery of my daughter. I kept thinking, how did women before me do this? And bless those that didn’t make it through because they didn’t have the means they needed or the medical help. Geeze!

There will be haters out there, you know this. Just remember, you are this child’s mother. It has nothing without you. It knows only you. Not the magazine cover with its exclusive first photo, not the diamond encrusted bracelet or pram that Kanye will get it. It only wants you and the softness of your touch, the warmth of your arms and the closeness of your skin. That’s it.

I think this is a good start for now. Perhaps in a few months, should you speak again in the press and say some nonsense of why this is so hard, or frustrating, etc. I’ll  help to keep it real for you.

***********

And thank you Lady Googoo Gaga who wrote a brilliant post to then-new celebrity mom Beyonce after Blue Ivy was born. Us regular moms have to bring folks down to earth now and then.

I think the best advice would be to tell Kim she needs to buy the book, I Just Want To Pee Alone. This will help her put it all in perspective!

Okay, if she doesn’t buy it- at least YOU need to!

 

The happiness of being a mother. No- really!

We are celebrating my daughter’s 12th birthday today. And it happens to be Easter. One of the perks of being born in April, there’s a chance your birthday falls on Easter. This is the second time we have celebrated the two together. The last was five years ago. We were at Disneyland for spring break. I don’t think a 7 year old could have had it any better!

This year, Emma is on the brink of teenagedom. She has always been mature- beyond her years. She was uber sophisticated at the young age of 2 when she said very clearly- “Aunt Edna broke her pelvis” to everyone she met on the street. This was true. Aunt Edna had, in fact, broken her pelvis. She also would lay on our family room carpet with the clear plastic toy bin over her head pretending she was Snow White in the casket the dwarfs had made her. And we would have to take turns playing the Prince. Getting on bended knee, lowering our head in sorrow, then lifting the toy bin to kiss her. She would open her eyes and play the princess off to be with her prince. Oh gosh, how I miss those days. Sort of.

Emma was never really a good sleeper. She gave me trouble even in-utero when she decided she wanted to start coming out at 25 weeks. I was hospitalized and on strict bed rest for 10 weeks. When she was born, we couldn’t get her to latch on. Breast feeding was hell. I think this is what caused her to not sleep. Her poor sleep patterns continued until she was about 5.

Now, what do you know? I can’t wake her up in the mornings. She would sleep a solid 12 hours if you let her. Which is hard when you have to get her out the door for school at 7:15 am and most activities and homework keep her up until 9pm. She probably needs as much sleep now as a toddler does, but life doesn’t allow for that.

Well, let’s get back to my original point. Happiness in motherhood. Seems like a paradox huh? Just kidding!

But truly, I wanted to be a mom so badly. I wanted Emma to be born safe and well. I willed her to be healthy. Don’t patronize me. I know that it’s not my thinking that made her. But I prayed hard, I meditated, I focused all my energies to gestating that healthy baby.

When she came out- oh lord, that was something. I had the best epidural known to modern medicine. This was after two hours of my uterus being hypertonic in a contraction that was ‘off the charts’. I thought I would die. When they finally let me have the epidural, the anesthesiologist- Dr. Fritz- performed magic. I didn’t even feel the needle (this could be because I was in such a fit of pain, you could have cut off my toes, and I wouldn’t have noticed it for the pain in my midsection) and then he said that my legs would start to feel warm like in a bathtub of warm water. Oh. He was right!! I could breathe. The pain subsided, my legs went heavenly numb and warm. My thoughts returned to the room I was in and the people around me. Like my darling husband, McSweetie, my mom, and my doula Peggy. The labor nurse, Ruth, was awesome. She got me comfortable and we let everyone go get some breakfast since it had been such a stressful morning of watching me writhe in pain.

She assured them it would be a few more hours before it was time to push.

Tick tock. A whopping 30 minutes went by (tee hee, I kid) and I sheepishly told Ruth I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. You know- I mean, number 2. She’s like, uhm, I don’t think so, let me examine you.

Sure enough- she’s in there with her whole hand. “Oh yeah, I feel the baby’s hair- you’re 10 centimeters”.

Me- “So I don’t have to poop?”

Ruth- “Nope. You’re gonna have this baby!”

In walks husband and mom with lattes and smiles on their faces thinking, la la la, this is a piece of cake. Then I say, “Hey, guess what? I’m ten centimeters so we’re going to start pushing, and by we, I mean ME.”

So up my legs go in the stirrups, Dr. Johnson, the best ob/gyn known to woman,  comes by with all the paper gowns and masks, I’m sure they put something on the floor to catch the mess. I had my Mozart CD playing in the hospital CD player, the sun was shining and I didn’t feel a thing. Anything that registered on the pain meter anyway.  I did what they told me and in about 10 minutes, I could see Emma with her eyes wide open staring at the doctor! She was covered in stuff that looks like what babies look like on TV and the movies when they pretend it’s a newborn. The doc was a little concerned. Emma had had the cord around her neck and the fetal monitor showed a morbidly low heart rate. They wanted to get her to oxygen right away. The Dr. didn’t even ask if one of us wanted to cut the cord. My mom with tears in her eyes, is holding my leg in the air, cheering, “She’s here, she’s here!”

I started to cry. But in a good, relief-happy cry sort of way.  I hadn’t heard Emma make a sound yet, but since I saw her color and saw her eyes wide open, I knew she was going to be okay. Within a few minutes they had her wiped off and on my chest. When I placed my hand on her, I thought I put my fingers in a warm bowl of butter. I had never felt anything so soft. It was literally, ‘like buttah’. I could smell her, I don’t know how to describe it, but it was HER smell. I cried and cried for my baby. The universe shifted and my heart opened up to a big giant surge of power. Infinite power that I could never imagine. This is truly what LOVE feels like. I get it. THIS is what everyone talks about.

Bliss lasted for a few hours. Once the epidural wore off and I could help myself to the toilet- that’s a winning moment for post partum moms. You DO NOT want a catheter if your bladder is ‘injured’ in any way. I remember feeling fabulous that I could breathe, my lungs weren’t squished, my pelvis didn’t have 10 pounds of baby weight pushing on it, I felt incredible. Until the next day when my hoo ha, swelled up like a grapefruit and I had to sit with frozen maxi pads. But that’s another story…

The latching on- not so good. The sleeping that night- not so good. The sleeping the next 45 nights- not so good.

Both hubs and I were bleary eyed, happy parents. But we knew we were screwed.

I remember looking at her in her bassinet. She was about 4 days old. I was still miserable. My boobs hurt like mo fo’s and I didn’t know whether to, as my dad says, ‘shit or go blind’, I was so tired. But I looked at her perfectness, and started to weep. I was so grateful she was here and safe. I had this perfect child. Of course, now, I was immersed in worrying all about the things that COULD happen. Is she going to stop breathing? Is her bassinet safe? What if there’s a fire? What if we get in a car accident on the way to a pediatrician appointment? What if she gets a fever? And the worrying never stops.

Now my worries are- who is she hanging out with after school, who is she getting a ride with to the movies, is her school campus safe, is she safe in her friend’s parent’s car on the way to a camp-out… ??? and on, and on, and on….

But today is her birthday. And even while she is right this very minute making a spoof video on her new Flip camera with her brother about murdering a cereal box- she is the apple of my eye, the sun in my day, and the peach in my fruit basket.

YOUR kids make videos about murdering cereal boxes and stuffed animals too, right?

Happy Easter. Happy Birthday Emma. The world is better with you in it.