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Archive for the ‘Opinion/Personal’ Category

We’re growing! Now let’s get real, Part 9

In Opinion/Personal, Personal on April 5, 2019 at 10:21 am

Part 1: Morning Sickness

Part 2: Cravings & Aversions

Part 3: Digestion

Part 4: Body Talk

Part 5: Second Puberty

Part 6: Irrational Fears

Part 7: Pregnancy Brain

Part 8: Discomfort

In the last update, I bragged on myself.

“I’m doing so good with hydration that I don’t swell!” Na-na-na-na-na.

I also speak too soon and stick my foot in my mouth sometimes. Look at these “sausages,” as my husband endearingly calls them…

So here we are: the home stretch.

We had a little uncertainty for a brief period, in which my regular 4 week check up resulted in measurements 4cm larger than they should have been. In the words of my OB, I had “barely squeaked by” on my glucose testing, so no gestational diabetes to cause size issues for baby. However, here we were at double the normal range of what would be considered normal uterine measurements for how far along I am. Is the baby too big? Will I have to have a c-section? Will this cause problems? What does this mean for the remainder of pregnancy since the last weeks are spent fattening baby up? We had to wait for an extra ultrasound to find out. To our relief, our little man was perfect. He is expected to be a chunky newborn, but not estimated to be big enough to have negative effects on delivery. Whew! Now to just wait for nature to runs its course.

We’ve got another month and a half, roundabout. I’ve got baby feet and knees constantly in my ribs, punches and jabs directly to my spine, and a regular wave rolling across my belly at the slightest little baby movement. My meals have been cut in half, but occur double time throughout the day because there is no room for an expanded stomach in this gut anymore but I’m hungry all the time. My balance is terrible, I’m constantly knocking things over with my belly, and my hands have essentially stopped working. I drop every single thing I touch at this point. The Braxton-Hicks contractions are growing in intensity and frequency, I have to prop my belly up on pillows to be able to lay down comfortably, and the only successful way I can get out of bed is to roll myself to the edge and just let gravity slide me out until my feet can catch the floor because all movement is just getting extra difficult. I don’t even want to try to explain the hassle of putting on pants or – god help me – socks.

Silver lining:

We already know he’s got dad’s nose and mom’s mouth and squishy cheeks and I’m in love. This little face is the only silver lining I need anymore.

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We’re growing! Now let’s get real, Part 8

In Opinion/Personal, Personal on February 2, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Part 1: Morning Sickness

Part 2: Cravings & Aversions

Part 3: Digestion

Part 4: Body Talk

Part 5: Second Puberty

Part 6: Irrational Fears

Part 7: Pregnancy Brain

The pain.  The discomfort.  The exhaustion.

And that’s before labor, delivery, and a newborn!

My insides are all fighting each other while being punching bags for baby boy.  Let’s start from the top down, to make things feel more organized:

  • Head – sinuses useless, definite mouth breather 90%  of the time.
  • Chest – short of breath just to change a sitting position.  Forget giving a long statement.  But hey, that’s the perfect time to have to lead 5 interviews for a new employee over the course of 2 days, right?  Pretty sure their nerves were more out of concern for if I was going to make it through than whether they were getting a job or not!  And add in an increased heart rate with all this extra blood flowing through, I feel like sitting up from a laying position is equivalent to running 3 laps around my backyard right now.
  • Stomach – starving.  All. The. Time.  But halfway through a meal, while still hungry, feeling like I’m about to explode.  I feel so full all the time, and I know it’s because little baby butt and legs are stretching up into my other organ space.  A small lunch at this point feels the same as pre-pregnancy me wearing skinny jeans to a Mexican restaurant and polishing off a whole basket of chips and salsa, most of an entrée, and 2 margaritas then trying to walk back out like my pants were busting at the seams.  And add on top of that constant burping and gas.  It’s super fun in meetings when the room gets quiet and my guts keep rumbling.
  • The bladder – good god the bladder.  My bladder has always been my enemy.  Nervous?  Emergency pee.  Just got into a vehicle and hit the road?  Emergency pee.  Had a sip of water 3 hours ago?  Emergency pee NOW!  Pre-pregnant bladder was approximately the size of a walnut, if I’m being generous.  And now that there are little baby limbs punching and tap dancing on top of it, it’s 10x worse.  I wake up at least 5 times over the course of an 8 hour night, and drinking a bottle of water equals probably 6 bathroom trips.
  • Crotch area – I learned “lightening crotch” is a real thing.  It’s about as fun as it sounds.

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HOWEVER!

My crazy amount of fluid intake and output means I’ve had zero swelling so far.  My leachco. maternity pillow has been a life saver in reducing neck, back, and hip pain, which has also somewhat helped reduce the lightning crotch.  And all these symptoms and aches and pains are easier to manage when I force myself to take a step back and relax.  I do not have to be superwoman right now and fix everyone else’s problems.  I can absolutely focus on myself and my needs, even if that is so out of character for me, because it’s not just my needs – it’s my baby’s needs too.

We’re growing! Now let’s get real, part 7

In Non-Fiction, Opinion/Personal, Personal on January 12, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Part 1: Morning Sickness

Part 2: Cravings & Aversions

Part 3: Digestion

Part 4: Body Talk

Part 5: Second Puberty

Part 6: Irrational Fears

Let’s continue the subject of thought patterns and how being smart doesn’t even matter when your body becomes the host for a new human.  We’ve covered the fears, which are greatly affected by the raging hormones in your body.  But how about suddenly becoming the most forgetful person in the entire world?  Because, trust me, it happens.

I am fairly organized.  Being in a management and supervisory position for 3 years has resulted in my organized chaos turning into actual organization.  I am the master of spreadsheets, tracking forms, to-do lists, and prioritizing.  My email not only serves as the majority of my communication, but also am always visible running log of flagged tasks organized by date to keep me on my schedule.  I rock this stuff – BUT

Pregnancy brain…it is not a myth.  It is real.  And it is currently rocking me.

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I have been getting ready for work in the pre-sunrise hours of Kentucky “fall” and “winter” (I use those terms loosely, since the last month has been rain – sunshine – light jacket – no jacket – good god I’m sweating through my sweater – where’d I store my scarves – hello snow) and between finishing my hair and packing my lunch I run out to start my car so it’s nice and toasty for my ~half hour commute.  Four times, I have then been late for work after losing my mind and destroying my living room scouring it for my keys.  My keys, which I had just used 10 minutes prior to warm up my car.  Convinced I had lost them, and taking way too long to remember that if my car was still idling then the keys must be still in the car.

On the regular, I lose my vocabulary.  Luckily, I am surrounded by people that know me well enough to fill in the blanks when it takes me too long to catch back up to my own thoughts.

I have almost ruined more than one dinner by forgetting that it was on the stove or in the oven, even if I am still physically in the kitchen but distracted by some other task I think to start while waiting.  Multi-tasking is absolutely not my thing right now.

Silver lining:  It’s common, and people are quite understanding.  Not only are you dealing with sleep interruptions – body discomfort, tossing and turning, hourly pee breaks, active baby in the wee morning hours kicking around all your organs – but you’re distracted.  Your mind is quickly becoming overwhelmed with the anticipation of meeting your baby, the questions, the concerns, the list of things still left to do before baby get’s here, the plans that need to be made, the uncertainties.  I could keep going, but I think we all get the point that this process is equally as mental as it is physical.  Being distracted and tired is absolutely acceptable and the people around you will generally get that, especially when you are surrounded mostly by other professional women and mothers.  Take the time to unwind, even if you just sit in a quiet room for 30 seconds to take a few deep breaths, and then give it another go.  Things will fall back into place, and even if they don’t fall back into the places they were before pregnancy.  That’s still okay.  Chances are, nothing will be in it’s place for the next 18 years anyways, so this is a good way to get reacquainted with the organized chaos, or chaos in general.

pregnancybrain_final_ii-lindsey_balbierz

We’re growing! Now let’s get real, part 6

In Opinion/Personal, Personal on January 6, 2019 at 8:15 pm

Part 1: Morning Sickness

Part 2: Cravings & Aversions

Part 3: Digestion

Part 4: Body Talk

Part 5: Second Puberty

I am an educated woman. I completed a four year degree at a well recognized (while still affordable) university in my area. I’ve honed my skills in my career to continue growing, proving myself, and climbing the ranks at a stable and comfortable pace. I am well read and was raised to be self sufficient. I was taught common sense and problem solving skills from as early as I can remember.

Guess what? None of that matters. Quite early on, and sporadically throughout the pregnancy, all reason goes right out the window.

Welcome to the world of Irrational Fears!

So far, starting around week 6 and occurring randomly ever since, I’ve had he following thoughts:

  • Don’t cough too hard, you might knock it loose.
  • Don’t use your ab muscles very often, you might squeeze it loose.
    What if those aren’t ligament pains and are actually your uterus detaching inside your body?
    What if that wasn’t a kick of the baby rolling over, but a sign something is wrong?

Those are only the main ones I can easily recall, there have been many other brief thoughts and worries. I have googled myself to death looking up every symptom, feeling, and sensation.

Silver lining: I think a touch of paranoia is normal. I’ve learned so much from googling even the most random things – I’ve learned details about the changes to a woman’s body and the development of the baby that no health book ever included. I’ve learned a lot of different scenarios, which can definitely be scary but also helps me feel more prepared in case any of those scenarios occur with me. Also, I am aware that my underlying daily anxiety is definitely playing a role. While concerns are normal, not everyone will experience the level of concern I sometimes do, but my being aware of that affect is enough for me to talk myself through any freak outs.

We’re growing! Now let’s get real, Part 5

In Funny, Non-Fiction, Opinion/Personal, Personal on December 30, 2018 at 11:00 am

Part 1: Morning Sickness

Part 2: Cravings & Aversions

Part 3: Digestion

Part 4: Body Talk

Noxema pads, Lip Smackers, Teen Spirit, and Cucumber Melon Body Mist. The essentials for the late 90’s / early 2000’s teen girl. A “grown up” haircut, hours in front of a mirror before leaving your room, and that lifted weight of teen dreams come true when you wake up to find the Noxema worked and that pesky puberty breakout is healed. Thank god puberty comes early in the life span and only once, right?

Wrong. Welcome to your Second Puberty.

I assumed that the rush of hormones in early first trimester, serving the purpose of sustaining the embryo until the placenta takes over, would pass. My first 3 months of pregnancy was a nightmare. My face erupted into massive breakouts without fail or remedy. It’ll pass, I naively kept repeating in my head. Truth is, is hasn’t passed yet and I’ve just rounded the halfway mark.

The mood swings have subsided – slightly. I’m a quick trigger with feeling annoyed but no more random bursts of tears for a while. I’m a sweaty, hot flashy mess almost constantly. This chilly, rainy Kentucky “winter” weather is prime for my body right now and feels a-maz-ing. But this skin… It’s dry, it’s patchy, it’s itchy, it’s inflamed, and it’s still erupting (albeit on a smaller scale). Thank god my husband loves me because my bed head, no make up mornings are less “naturally adorable” and more “ogre-troll with flesh eating bacteria disease” these days…

Silver Lining: Unfortunately, the hormones are necessary for pregnancy to sustain and baby to grow. I had always heard of the beauty and glow of pregnancy, and felt 100% like a hideous creature. However, I learned the “glow” is actually just the increase in blood flow (check – daily nosebleeds from weeks 14-17) and the hormonal hot flashes (double check check!) and hormonal breakouts are very common during pregnancy. While not enjoyable, it isn’t a major concern to be honest. I changed up my skin care routine a little to address the changes to my skin texture and habits, and this has helped to reduce the issues I’m experiencing. And the further I get in this pregnancy process, the less and less it occurs. Just find a routine that fits your new skin and stick to it, and all will be well.

Some suggestions for pregnancy and nursing safe skin care:

We’re growing! Now let’s get real, Part 4

In Non-Fiction, Personal, Random on December 13, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Part 1: Morning Sickness

Part 2: Cravings & Aversions

Part 3: Digestion

Very early on, there will come a day when you will be prepping for a shower or a nice long bath with a locked bathroom door pretending you can’t hear your husband asking if you know where he left his phone or keys or head, and your normal routine will be stopped in it’s tracks by a chance gaze into the mirror.

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Your Body

No joke – these changes happen in no time. Slightly swollen belly, okay. But the boobs are out of control! Where did they come from, like overnight? And it’s not just the boobs that quadruple in size. The nipples will change – color, size, shape, everything. Every day is like a surprise. Which nip do we have today? Ah, swollen and raw. Nice!  And heaven forbid it’s cold weather – visible nipples through thin fabric is the least of my concerns anymore. These things can penetrate a decently made bra and 2 shirts, but that’s not the worst part. Sore boobs suddenly becoming cold and shriveling, as our body parts do, means even the most delicate, cloud-soft clothing turns into aggressive sandpaper.  Layer up to keep warm?  You may try, but just wait until those hot flashes kick in.  I’ve barely worn a coat outside so far this season just to try to avoid having to double up on deodorant and publicly wipe my brow.

I think the real kicker for me was that even somewhat knowing that these changes were going to occur didn’t protect me, because I believed believe I had more time.  I was able to start noticing these changes as early as 6 weeks.  Literally, a week after finding out I was pregnant, pregnant things started happening.  My body just jumped right in head first to this thing.

Silver Lining:  It’s all prep work.  These boobs suck but tenderness and swelling, and even leaking when that time comes, just means there is a better chance that I will successfully be able to breastfeed my baby as I hope to.

And every body is different.  For example, a lot of women get linea nigra – or that darker pigmented line down the middle of the belly.  It’s completely normal and common, but so far I have no indication of that.  Some people go their entire pregnancy with no stretch marks, but I already have a few.  It’s all prep and battle scars for your body to say “hey, I made a brand new person from scratch like a champ.”

We’re Growing! Now let’s get real, Part 3

In Personal on November 18, 2018 at 9:59 am

Part 1: Morning Sickness

Part 2: Cravings & Aversions

So here’s the thing – the ugly honest truth – not being able to eat might not be the worst thing right now, since there’s a 50/50 chance that you won’t be going to the bathroom successfully anyways…

Digestion and…constipation

This was probably the first symptom I had, before I even realized I was pregnant. No test yet, no realization that my period was late, no sickness – just awful, terrible heartburn nonstop that refused to be treated by any method known to man.

Second was the opposite end. It’s not a pretty subject, but I figure I might as well do away with embarrassment and being self-conscious since all my boys and pieces will be poked and prodded endlessly through this pregnancy and delivery. Everything you manage to eat will collect in your gut for days and refuse to digest or pass.

Like, days…

And guess what? A lot of these OTC meds you may have on hand already aren’t recommended for pregnant ladies. So what does the internet offer? “Drink lots of fluids.” Check! I’m constantly thirsty even when not pregnant, but it’s gotten even more extreme. So I increased it even more, and quite possibly came the closest in history to drowning myself internally with the high amounts of urine my body was creating only around every 10 minutes. Still no changes in the bowel department.

“Try a natural solution, like prunes.” Sweet baby Jesus, prunes… I’d almost rather stay constipated than have to force feed myself another one of those things! And it only slightly helped get my guts rolling again.

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We’re Growing! Now let’s get real, Part 2

In Non-Fiction, Opinion/Personal, Personal on November 3, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Part 1: Morning Sickness

Let’s keep right on track with a similar subject to Part 1 – the biggest changes I’ve noted so far are my eating habits.  Obviously, when you’re trying not to vomit for the better part of your day, eating becomes a task all in itself.  So, how does that work when your gut says no, but your brain says “pickles and milk”?

Cravings and Aversions.

pregnant_cravings

Now first, let me clarify that I quickly learned that cravings aren’t always the Hollywood depiction of overflowing bowls of ice cream stuffed with pickles or peppers or some other gross combination every night at 3am.  So far, at 12 weeks, my cravings have been more of a minor obsession on some random food item that completely overtook all my thoughts until I ate it but they were all very normal food items.  First it was Wendy’s chili.  Hamburgers (sans veggies, because apparently this baby doesn’t want me eating lettuce for a while), homemade or from a restaurant.  Grapes, grapes, grapes all day every day.  Anything ground beef, but never ever shredded beef or slabs of solid beef.  Ever.  And all those favorites I trusted in pre-pregnancy – chocolate, coffee, big huge salads with spicy dressing – those are all a no go according to Baby now.  I was an avid coffee lover, 2-3 cups per day.  Now, the smell alone is comparable to old urine and enough to turn my stomach.

Sometimes, your cravings and aversions will even play tricks on you.  You’re out in public and a stranger passing by mentions nachos.  From that moment on, all you can think about are those huge nacho platters from Buffalo Wild Wings or an authentic Mexican restaurant.  It literally lingers behind every other thought you have until you have said platter right in front of you.  Here’s where it can get tricky:

  • Sometimes, you dive in a devour every last bit.  Is it successful?  Or within 5 minutes of finishing, do you realize that you overdid yourself and spend the next 4 hours just trying to breath around the mass amounts of nachos floating around in your guts?
  • Sometimes, you get 3 bites in to these nachos you so desperately needed only to find that this wasn’t actually what you wanted.  You might satiate your hungry anyways, but still feel this nagging in the back of your stomach for something that will truly quench that craving.  Or you might re-activate your gag reflex by trying to eat the nachos that you no longer have to have.  Now, you can add those nachos you loved so much at one point in time to the growing list of foods that Baby does not approve of.

Oh, and regardless of how the eating of the nachos goes, whether you finish, eat half, or only get a few bites down – enjoy the next 4 days of constant heartburn that even Jesus can’t get rid of.

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We’re growing! Now let’s get real, Part 1.

In Personal on October 23, 2018 at 7:22 pm

The miracle of life!

The wonders of procreation!

The trauma of labor…

Everyone talks about pregnancy. What to do, what not to do, what you can or can not eat or think or look at or talk about or stand near or have within a 25 mile radius. Everyone talks about the joys of parenthood and the love for your child and the glow of expectant moms.

Nobody talks real talk, though. Nobody talks about all those weird, gross, awful days leading up to having your baby in your arms. Nobody preps – and I mean truly preps- other females who have never experienced pregnancy before. So I will.

I am first time (and likely only time) pregnant, hitting in at 10 weeks right now. I have had so many experiences already that I had never heard of before. And while going through them I would mention them to another female, who would then respond with “oh yeah, that happens” or “just wait, that’ll get worse.” How did nobody say these things before?! Why did nobody share?! I’ve decided I will begin a log of all the WTF moments I have through the course of my pregnancy, not only so I can show my kid later in life when they wanna act like mom is being too harsh, but also to give fair warning to other ladies out there.

First, let’s start with an obvious one.

Morning sickness. However, did you know that morning sickness is not just in the morning? It can last all day. Or hit at random times, such as right in the middle of lunch. And it isn’t an “I think I need to vomit, head to the bathroom, get it all out, and go about your business” for some.

Oh no, no.

For others (lucky me), it’s more of an “I think I need to vomit, run to the bathroom – nope, that ones taken, run to the next bathroom, pray nobody else is there or standing close enough to overhear, pace the floor, hover near the toilet, dab your brow, try to self talk your stomach into cooperating, decide it’s safe to leave, return to your desk, try to resume working, shut office door, begin removing layers of clothing to reduce overheating while still dabbing brow/neck/maybe even armpits, sit miserably at your desk dry heaving with no results for 3 hours, suddenly feel its life or death if you don’t eat pizza, start eating pizza, think this was the solution only to get halfway through pizza slice and start heaving again, not be able to finish pizza, dry heave for 3 more hours while still hungry.” And so on until you manage to fall asleep.

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Electronic Drums: A Wife’s Review

In Non-Fiction, Personal on December 29, 2017 at 1:42 am

I married a musician. I was fully aware of this long before the “I do’s”. First it was guitar, then banjo, then electric bass, then upright bass, then back to banjo. Throw in some keyboard occasionally. But then my dear (lucky he’s so cute) husband decides he’s due to truly learn drums. This is fine, I support the arts. Except we live in a 2 bedroom house of small square footage, so even slight noises carry. It’s okay, dear (lucky he’s so cute) husband has a resolution:

Electronic Drums

So he gets them on a pretty amazing deal (kudos) with the promise of headphones and no noise disturbance so my sleep schedule won’t be affected – since I do have to wake up earlier than him on most days and, as is typical, his creative moments tend to hit late at night.

Except even electronic drum play is dependent upon the force with which they are played.

Get electronic drums, they said. It won’t be loud or disturb other areas of your home…

I love my husband.

I support creativity.

I support the arts.

I love my husband.

I’m going to scream if he isn’t done soon.

I love my husband.

I support creativity.

I support the arts.

I love my (soooo lucky he’s so cute) husband. Dammit.

And finally, it’s quiet. And he climbs into bed with (lucky) me.

Singing Heart

Poems by Karem Barratt

*UNBREAKABLE QUEEN'S LIFE LESSONS DIARY*

Breaking Free From The Past, In Hope For A Bigger & Brighter Future

One Day at a Time

The world is a confusing place, these are just my musings on it.

The Girl

enjoying whatever life has to offer...

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