Day 30 or 40 something, or 121.6

Getting close to having to abolish my weight from titles. I weighed 123.0 on the day of my IUD placement last Wednesday, 125.6 on Monday and 121.6 on Wednesday. I’ll probably be like 121-124 when I weigh myself again on Monday. I weighed 118-119 when I got pregnant and would like to be between 110-115. Though I think 115-120 is where my body naturally resides. We’ll see what I can take, physically and mentally. Eric’s going through a growth spurt and nursing like crazy and as such I am allowing myself to eat whenever I am hungry which is ALL THE GODDAMN TIME. It struck me today that if he’s eating more, I need to be eating more. Ohhh, logic.

New theory: babies suffer from rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. Honest Toddler described it best as “laughcrying.” My son’s mood swings- how he can laugh and smile with glee one hour and screech inconsolably an hour later is startling, no matter how normal it is.

Restarting P90X has been nightmarish. Starting it two months ago when my sleep deprivation, postpartum depression was at its peak was easier than it is now.

Went to Goodwill today to get my 11-week old some 6-month clothes because he’s exploding out of his 3-month clothes. I shouldn’t be proud my kid is so…robust. They were playing Billy Ocean and I had to fight the urge to break into song and dance. My god, I’m going to be the kind of mother who embarrasses her child with my weirdness.

Had a physician explain Light’s Criteria to me last week. It was fascinating.

My favorite coworker, and someone I find to be an amazing nurse, quit under scrutiny (possibly narcotics-related?) during my maternity leave. I’m floored. In my mind she’s too talented/compassionate/educated for it to have happened. We’re in the same adult nurse practitioner track.

God, can you believe I work with nurses who don’t have their bachelor’s? North of the Mason-Dixon line I’m pretty sure hospitals shy away from ADN-prepared RNs. The two people I found out were ADNs are, of course, the best at stating IVs. Obnoxious as hell. I hate that no amount of education will ever allow me to get an IV on some dehydrated 80-year-old.

Day 20, or 126.2

Did you read that number?! Man, I hope that sticks.

Plus I lost an inch in my chest which makes me a D cup. I will breathe a sigh of relief to a B or C cup again. On Roseanne, a character joked that she didn’t want to carry around a bowling ball in her stomach for nine months. Then Roseanne joked that after you had the bowling ball you carried two around in your bra for a year and a half.

Man, I love how pro-breast feeding that show is. How unforgivingly large and painful your breasts are during breast feeding are ONE OF THOSE THINGS I wish I had been warned about. For as uncommon as breastfeeding has been among most people I’ve known, a lot of unexpected people have breast feed as well.

Can I just say..I am married to a man who is semi-voluntarily reading Dostoevsky?  (He’s stranded in Afghanistan with nothing else on my borrowed Kindle to read, haha). And who thinks the beginning of The Idiot is kind of funny?

I am the luckiest woman on earth, and so lucky to have had his baby.

It was funny he mentioned Dostoevsky because this morning, while exhausted and feeding my son, I started watching Woody Allen’s Love and Death. I’m totally on a Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman kick now, because one reminds me of the other.

How pompous is that? I feel like I’m 22 again. It’s a nice revisiting though.  I can’t wait until I can catch up on my sleep and have the brain capacity to read 19th century literature again.

And on that note, my mother-in-law arrives tomorrow afternoon. Relief is in sight! It only took consenting to a hernia surgery….

Day, um, I weighed 129.0 two days ago

So I’m having surgery next Wednesday. I agreed to it mostly so I could be almost-healed in time to go back to work. My mother-in-law is coming to help me out for a few days. She’s an awesome human being and I’m so excited to have her coming. Not only for the help, but for the company and also because Eric needs someone to love on him. I don’t feel as unstable as I did a few weeks ago but I’m definitely looking forward to some relief and an ease to my stir-craziness.

(By ‘unstable’ I mean half-crazed from sleep deprivation and trying to balance exercising with childcare and loneliness and cleaning and the 2700 things stay-at-home-moms never have time to do).

Surgery means a 3-week ban on P90X. I’m disappointed because it seems like my gut was finally starting to make progress. I have been cleared to use a treadmill. But hours on a treadmill was what was causing my gradual and stubborn weight gain, so ugh. I guess I need to use those 3 weeks to diet like hell.

And what sucks about this repair is it’s just going to make my outie an innie. You’d think if I was going to have surgery I could just have the mess that is my belly repaired. Oh well.

I have to take the car to the dealership tomorrow early in the morning, It feels weird having to set an alarm when I never really sleep for more than a few hours a night. This kid sleeps great but I’m the one having to pump and clean bottles and equipment and then fight to fall back asleep. Breastfeeding and pumping is by far one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my life.

Yup, sounds dramatic. It tops:

1) getting a bachelor’s in journalism and political science

2) nursing school. and clinicals. (jerk/twitch/shudder)

3) grad school

4) working full time since the age of 16

5) 2 deployments

6) childcare

Yup. Breastfeeding is a bitch. I keep telling myself 5-10 IQ points, 5-10 IQ points. That’s what the fat in my breast milk can do for his brain. Think about what a huuuuge difference that could make in your life if your IQ was 5-10 points higher. The difference between a 120 and a 130 IQ seems astronomical, life-changing to me. 120 is like, yeah, you’re clever, but 130 means you have a shot at doing something great with your life.

If additional intelligence turns out to make my kid an asshole or a psychopath (because both tend to have higher IQs) I’m going to be super f-ing pissed.

Why am I blogging when he’s down for the night? Clearly, I was not breastfed as a child.

Day 14, or 129.6

It occurs to me that I use this space to whine and be negative. This site is my place to dump. It’s not here for entertainment, it’s here for my sanity. That being said, I swear I have a maternal instinct. That’s what’s interesting about my relationship with my son. I’m always impressed at my ability to anticipate his needs and provide them. He never has to out-and-out cry before I’m able to get to him and rectify the situation.

Those three weeks I had family here, I never held him or took care of him. But when he was getting upset, I was always the one who got it right- he needs to be fed. His diaper needs to be changed. He hasn’t pooped in a while and he’s trying to poop. It seemed like I was the only one who got it.

However, my bond with him leaves something to be desired. I feel like we’re not mushy-in-love with each other (like we’re supposed to be? Are we?). I get a few smiles a day from him, but nothing like the face-splitting grins he’s wont to give total strangers. And I feel protective of him, and desire to please him, but nothing that melts my heart. Nothing that feels like it should be.

It feels strange admitting this here. Publicly admitting I’m a bad mother. I love him but I’m not in love with him. Am I overthinking this?

Notice it’s taken me two weeks to lose a pound? And god knows if that represents an actual weight loss given my daily weigh-ins. Yesterday I called to see a doctor about my sore and swollen foot. I twisted it during my P90X  kenpo routine 10 days ago and it was still sore so I finally decided rather than prolong the injury and my healing time to get it checked out.

Of course it was a two-week wait to be seen in the clinic. I told the triage nurse I was considering going to the urgent care clinic but didn’t want to expose my six-week old to the waiting room. She asked if my husband was deployed and when I said yes put in a referral to an urgent care clinic off post. One of the many times having a deployed spouse has worked to my advantage. I sometimes wonder if having him gone makes my life easier than having him here.

Diagnosis: negative x-ray, sprain to the anterior ligament. More importantly, 14 days worth of Vicodin and permission from the pharmacist to express or feed breast milk 4 hours after taking one. I took one last night and composed Fiona Apple-esque songs in my dreams, no joke.

I bonded with the nurse about trying to lose postpartum weight. Her story was she went from 108 to 208 and was back into size 00 jeans six months postpartum without exercise and only counting calories. She now weighs 134 and complained to her husband that her BMI was overweight.

Sounds suspiciously familiar to my story. I know this weight loss is going to come more from diet than exercise. Fuuuuuuck.

Meditations on a pregnancy

The first five and six months of my pregnancy were so precious to me.  I realize that in hindsight. (The last several months were ruined by a soul-sucking job and generally getting huge, but that’s not the point).

I was sick as a dog. But I had an easy job and sympathetic coworkers. I wasn’t getting big. Oh my god, those first few months were awesome. I ate whatever I craved and didn’t gain anything. I lived off of candy and Spicy V8.

I remember nights reading David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King and gorging myself on nacho cheese sauce.

The day spent watching Twin Peaks, when I had terrible nausea. And my husband brought home a dozen doughnuts from Dunkin Doughnuts and I couldn’t eat them I was so sick, so he ate them all. To this day the idea of Twin Peaks makes me nauseous.

I spent two months listening to  an audio book of The Help when driving back and forth to class.

I would watch Ken Burns’ Jazz while studying for pathophysiology tests.

I was happy and I knew it. So many times, you don’t realize how great a time was until you’re thinking back on it when it’s long gone.

Everything began falling apart in March/April 2012. There was school and clinicals and all the paperwork was taking over my life. And at work I was responsible for more and more patients. Sicker and sicker patients. My husband was clearly gone and not coming back for months. I was getting uncomfortable and overweight and there were weeks and weeks of the same to come.

I’m in hell now. I know it now, and I’ll know it in hindsight,


Day 10, or 127.8

I don’t know whether to be furious that the scale at the OB/GYN’s said 130.8 or thrilled about today’s weight. What’s with the 0.8 lbs?

So I do have a hernia. The midwife put in the obligatory surgical consult despite the fact I’ll probably never have it surgically repaired. I’m going to take advantage of this consult to see if I can get some or any kind of cosmetic surgery. Namely a vaginoplasty. (Yesterday marked the first time a pap smear and bimanual palpation wasn’t uncomfortable- utterly fucking depressing).  The midwife said that our facility may have surgeons who don’t usually do plastic surgery who may be interested in keeping current on plastics. God wouldn’t that be amazing? I am more than willing to let students learn on me if it means I can repair the (extensive) damage pregnancy has done to my body).

And to the labor and delivery nurse who made me feel like I wasn’t pushing effectively- well, I literally pushed my guts out. Laws of physics state: it is easier for your intestines to explode through your abdominal wall than for an 8-pound baby to explode out of your vagina.

I spent 6.5 hours away from my child yesterday when I went to my four-hour class at my school that’s an hour away. After four hours without feeding or pumping I had to leave to pump 11-12 ounces. By that logic, I am producing 44-48 ounces of milk a day. Three quarters of a gallon. The hell? And if an ounce of breast milk has 20 calories in it, I should be burning 880-960 calories a day. So why the hell do I not look like Miranda Kerr by now?

Oh, the cruel ironies of motherhood.

Day 8, or 129.0

Well, that was my weight yesterday morning when I had that awesome triad of empty stomach, empty bowels and empty bladder. And considering I have to be weighed tomorrow at my 6-weeks postpartum appointment and have some peppy midwife actually COMMENT on that shit, I’m not going to weigh myself today.

Heh. I got my rings fixed today. They were bent to size 5.5 but I measured at a 5 so I had them sized to 5. I feel like my wedding ring MAY have been 4.75 originally but I’m not going to drive myself crazy thinking about it.

(Just kidding. I AM going to drive myself crazy over something as stupid as possibly going up a quarter of a ring size, because that is what anxiety and an eating disorder does to you).

Instead of celebrating my son’s 6-week milestone, I can’t stop thinking that I am 26 and now I know I was not ready for this. Financially, career-wise and probably in terms of maturity I am but now my body is screaming WHAT ABOUT GOING TO THE GODDAMN BEACH?!

I feel guilty that I can’t stop thinking about all the things I’d rather be doing. Shouldn’t I be so in love with and in awe of my child that nothing else matters? I think being a single mother without any support, help or relief until November probably has something to do with it. It’s just me and him, 24/7. No one can step in and relieve me for 10 minutes if he’s fussy and I want to shower. If I’m frustrated on the verge of tears because I can’t set him down without him whining, there’s no one here to take him. No one here to reassure me. So fantasizing about all the wonderful things I cannot do may be a reaction to caregiver burnout and not a sign I am a heartless human being and a terrible mother.

Who am I kidding. I’m never going to be one of those women who love their kids to the exclusion of everything else. But I feel like that’s what society expects me to do.

I need a vacation. I just want to spent a few days in Jacksonville or Orlando or some beach resort town. And the idea that I can’t just get in my car and DO that frustrates me to no end. I have three weeks until my sitter’s infant slot for childcare opens up and I cannot WAIT.

It strikes me that this is my second deployment that I have not been able to make the most of. Deployments can sort of be fun, a time for self-exploration and growth. A time to grow strong and self-reliant. Last deployment I was new to the area in the height of the recession and as a new grad couldn’t get hired to save my life, so I was very much limited in what I could do.

And this deployment I was half crazed with full time school, work and clinicals, not to mention being exhausted with pregnancy and now a newborn. I wish I could be spending this time relaxing, working out, enjoying the summer and the local attractions and getting so goddamn hot that my husband won’t know what hit him when he sees me again. That ain’t happening, and I’m mourning it. Today I mourn the absolute loss of my freedom.

Melancholy much? Well, fuck you.

Something happened in Afghanistan that rattled my husband. Something so bad he can’t talk about it just yet, which means a soldier casualty. And god knows what kind of ambush/battle/gunfight that caused it. He even posted on Facebook that he just had the worst 2 days of his life, which he never told me. It’s very unlike him to 1) post on Facebook and 2) post anything that dramatic, ever, so I know this is a big deal. The kind of thing that can cause PTSD. The kind of thing that will reflect on me the rest of my life if I respond inappropriately/don’t take him seriously enough.

I’m nervous about our next phone call because I know he needs to talk but he’s very hard to draw out. I feel like I can’t even say anything about my day because who gives a flying fuck about my homework assignment in the face of being shot at? I have no clue how to convincingly say, “I am here for you.” I don’t know what to say or do to let him know he can talk to me, that I give a damn about what happens to him. I mean, being that I am his wife that should be a given but it still bears repeating.

Day 5, or 130.2

So what the fuck is a baby concierge? Wait..I think I’ve got it. And, whatever. I can’t stand that woman’s lisp and/or pseduoaccent. It’s ridiculous that I see Huggies commercials campaigning to “diaper babies in need” in conjunction with people who will pay a concierge to do things like design a signature color for their baby.

And if your baby is in “need” of diapering, man the fuck up and use cloth diapers. And get your broke, pathetic ass that couldn’t afford a kid in the first place to Planned Parenthood. Emphasis on PLANNED. Babies should be a privilege, not a right. And so should those lovely, convenient, expensive, ecoterrorist disposable diapers.

Why is it that after I change a wet diaper my son immediately gets to work on taking a shit? Without fail, he’ll poop no longer than 10 minutes after a diaper change.

It’s been almost a week since I purchased the scale and my weight hasn’t budged. I can tell this isn’t going to be a lose-a-pound-a-week type deal. Or even half a pound a week. The before and after P90X stories for women always seem to involve women who are already fit and at a healthy weight. And then lose only 5-10 pounds after 3 months of grueling workouts and intense dietary restrictions. Which- fine, I guess, as long as I can get rid of this pooch and trim my thighs.

I only gained 30 pounds with my pregnancy. That I still have 10-12 more to go is exasperating. I thought for sure I’d only have like 5-7 pounds to go by now (5.5 weeks postpartum). I know your body layers on 7 pounds of fat in anticipation of breastfeeding. Apparently my body realized in advance what a big eater this kid was.

When I was pregnant I had so many people tell me I wouldn’t even look like I had a baby and that the weight would come right off. So much so that I started believing it, especially with my slow and steady weight gain. But that was a pack of lies. I mentally prepared myself for the worst, which is what happened, so I don’t know why I’m so surprised.

I think I have an umbilical hernia, which is freaking awesome. If it requires surgery it’ll have to wait until my damn husband gets back. And it’ll also mean a moratorium on exercise and thus weight loss which fucking sucks. But with my luck it’ll be the kind of hernia that makes me look fat but requires no medical reason to treat. Either way it was my pregnancy’s way of ensuring I’m going to look horrid the rest of my life.

My husband called at the peak of my son’s crying jag and of my exhaustion. I know his job is just as hard as mine and amazingly he sleeps less than I do but he sounded shockingly unsympathetic. We’re both being pushed to the absolute limit mentally, physically and emotionally with working out, sleep deprivation and being responsible for the lives of others. I don’t know which is harder- keeping a group of 6-8 men from being shot or keeping a 5 week old healthy and safe.

Wow…that is a good question. All I know is that I didn’t know being this drained was even possible.

But I proceeded to have a breakdown of my own. Which garnered even less sympathy from my husband.

I got strength not from him but watching P90X before and after videos on YouTube. Perhaps if I make getting back in shape my religion this’ll get easier. Eric says this’ll get easier once he’s “here to help” (ha!) but I may as well realize that this misery IS MY LIFE for the next year or so.

Day 3, or 129.8

It’s only been twice, but whenever I post these numbers I know I’m not going to get any sympathy from the majority of  basically anyone who would read this. I’m going to be getting annoyance from people who are truly overweight and who struggle to lose weight. And disgust from that lucky minority who are either naturally thin or have the self-control to be so.

But for my height my BMI is 23-34, which is borderline overweight. And I’ve got a husband who has only been with one girl other than me, and that girl was a drug addict and super thin. So that’s who I have to compete with- druggies and porn stars. Talk about competition! This dude has no clue what “Rubenesque” really means.

But posting my weight, whatever reaction it might evoke, holds me semi-responsible for what I eat and how hard I choose to exercise (God damn it all).

I have this idea that whenever I’m about to eat something unhealthy, or feeling anything stronger than “I wonder what time it is?” I should weigh myself and then choose whether I want to eat or blog my feelings. With a 5 week old and being a single mom, it’s laughable to think I’d have time to do either but there are SOME moments.

What’s on my mind right now is my sister. Rachel Getting Married was written in her honor, except my sister has absolutely jack shit to feel sad about minus the lies she’s made up about people hurting and violating her.

The annotation to the above is that I am exceptionally sensitive to domestic and relationship violence. Which is kind of weird considering that I’ve never been subject to it, despite the myriad of weird people I’ve dated.

Anyway. To recap, I have a psychotic sister and dating violence upsets me more than it does the normal person. A few days ago she beat up her girlfriend, stole her car, and checked herself in the hospital for another one of her 23-47 hour stays that does nothing but annoy the shit out of everyone but her. (And overly tax our criticized and inefficient health system- oh, the joys of getting a master’s degree in nursing).  My mother, who is always one to gloss over the horrendous things my sister does in the name of mental illness, even admitted her girlfriend was “still bruised.”

My mom is still prattling on about getting my sister back on track, and chatting about her work and sleep schedule AS IF REGULATING THAT SHIT WILL EVEN DO ANYTHING. Completely ignoring the girlfriend who was beaten/assaulted and had her car stolen.

(Like I said, I’m sensitive to this kind of thing).

I can’t even call my sister out on this. Texting her girlfriend my sympathies (who used to be a friend of mine) would ignite a monstrous heap of ridiculousness. My mother was even talking about how the girlfriend wanted to “hash it out” but how my sister “doesn’t event want to talk about it.”

To which I replied, “Yeah, not acknowledging it is like letting her get away with it.”

I mean, fuck- dating violence sucks. But the fact my sister gets away with it and doesn’t have to own up to it because she’s mentally ill and too ‘sensitive’ to deal with the fallout? That’s unbelievable and despicable.  I suppose the best path is avoidance. Because getting into it ignites the risk of my sister putting a mental illness stunt too close to death (this time). But avoidance of blatant physical abuse is anathema to everything I believe and have been taught.

Anyone else out there deal with this kind of stuff?

Day 1, or 130.8

Well, hello there! I hope you’re not expecting a birth story, because that would take more time and concentration than my mind and this baby will allow.

Let me just say: 32 hours of labor. 2nd degree tear. Variable decelerations, nuchal, thick meconium, respiratory distress and medical-hospital BULLSHIT. That, and 8 lbs 0 oz, 21 inches. May 30th at 1:56 p.m.

And let me also say that at 3 weeks postpartum, after having to do nothing to care for this child other than breast feed it and change its diapers at night, I became a single mother with no support other than inconveniencing phone calls and texts throughout the day. So cheers to that!

And cheers to the 16 days of paternity leave my husband got. And spent retooling guns, drinking, watching porn and playing on his computer until 4-5 in the morning. I intuitively expected he’d be no help whatsoever- but really? Your wife is exhausted-on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown and chatting on gun forums is more important than getting me a glass of water or changing your son’s diaper?

Ugh, whatever. I asked for this. I asked for this the minute I stopped taking birth control. The minute I saw another pregnant military wife and thought, “Hey, why not me?”

But. Aside from caring from my son to the best of my ability, now comes the dreaded part. The weight loss part. There was a military wife who delivered the same day as me. We spent 8 days texting and supporting each other while we waited for our husbands to come back from Afghanistan. At 1 or 2 weeks postpartum she posted on Facebook that she was only 2 pounds heavier than her pre-pregnancy weight. Ugh, whatever, she was overweight to begin with, but still- screw her!

And me? 12 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. At 4 weeks and 6 days after delivering. And I’m still 20-25 pounds heavier than I’d like to be. What sucks so much about this is that EVERYONE blathers on and on about how hard that last 10 pounds is to lose. And I just know that losing this weight is going to take more out of me than I’m going to be able to give.

At least now I know. Now I know what damage has been done to my body and how much I’m going to have to fight to get it back. My entire life I’ve had a morbid fear of what pregnancy would do to my body. Now I know. It’s not as horrendous as I expected but there’s still a battle ahead of me.

I’ve been breastfeeding for the past month and doing P90X (yes, 2007 called and wanted their gimmick back) for the past 10 days. My husband is due back in late October so if I lose a pound a week until then he’ll be able to see me the way he left me before we had that blackout sex in late August/early September 2011.

Monster has been quiet for altogether too long. His birth name is Eric Elliott but I can’t break the habit of calling him “MON-ster.” I can’t say I’ve fallen unconditionally-in-love with him but I find myself sacrificing my comfort and happiness for his round the clock. God help the two of us.

And, obviously- welcome to the new formatting in titling each post of dis ‘ol blog.