Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cake, A history

I started making cakes years ago. I am always trying to improve them and find new ideas. Some of them have looked terrible, some have looked amazing. Here is my timeline of cakes (I couldn't find pictures of some of the older ones).

To celebrate my niece's 5th birthday, she requested a Hello Kitty cake

To celebrate my close friend's bridal shower, Alice and Wonderland tea party themed.

To celebrate my own birthday a couple of years ago, Bacon Cake! Cameron assisted by making the candied bacon to add to the frosting and the cake, so good!

This is one of my favorites. Inspired by a cake topped found on Oh Happy Day, I loved this idea and can't even remember what the occasion was for!

Valentine's Cake, my first attempt at a rose cake

The photo makes this baby shower cake look green, it was actually blue/turquoise ombre cake. The cookies were made by the co-host of shower. 


My second baby shower cake, pink ombre rose design. The cake toppers are always fun!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

1 - 6 Months


From the moment that little creature is mushed up on your chest all covered in gunky ick from inside of you it is trying to root for your boob.

I didn't have the WORST time with breastfeeding but I didn't have the easiest time either. I think given more time we could have made it work really well.

The process of learning this is difficult and invasive and weird, not the magical natural thing I thought it would be.

I went through three lactation consultants in my short time in the hospital who were all manhandling my boobs without another care in the world. And after having my legs spread with god knows what going on down there for who knows how many people to see... this seemed mild in comparison.

I had colostrum, we were figuring out the latch, we were on a roll!

On day 4, the day after we left the hospital my milk came in.


That hurts SO bad!!!!! SOOOOOO sooooooo SOOOOO bad!

A slight breeze would bring me to tears, they were massive, I was leaking everywhere, it was awesome and terrible at the same time!!!

Baby and spent so much time together feeding. Eat eat eat! My boobs hurt, everything hurt, I was still healing, I spent half of our feeding time wishing I had a leather belt to bite down on to make it through the pain. My nipples, my boobs, my armpits. I kept envisioning those women who just toss their boobs around and couldn't even figure out how I would ever get to a point when that would be possible!

OH the pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whatever, I dealt with it.

About 5 days after I got home from the hospital I started noticing this weird feeling in my bladder/urethra.

Not having had a bladder infection before I didn't even know what this could be. I called the nurse after a couple of days and explained what was going on. They prescribed me some antibiotics. I started taking them right away. After one day it occurred to me that I was breastfeeding and should have thought to ask if it was ok. I called and they said ", it's not ok".

Well fuck, at this point I was a couple days in, and would have had to start over a whole new med (in retrospect I should have just done this). I decided I would just pump and dump. Seemed like no big thing right.


I was keeping myself so busy with all my projects and trying to get my shit together after baby that I just didn't make enough time for myself to pump. The medication was only supposed to last for 5 days, but in those 5 days I lost a huge amount of supply.

I managed to continue to breastfeed after that for the first 6 weeks but I could never satisfy the baby with how much I was producing, I was did not do enough pumping to keep my supply up, and I didn't do it frequently enough to get my body used to it, so everytime was just pain.

So I gave up.

I know I could have tried harder, I see the error of my ways. I wish I had made different choices.

I look forward to trying this again next time. I can totally see the benefits in this. Greyson had an easier time with eating (that became a much bigger problem a few weeks later). It was a very happy bonding experience for both of us. I deeply regretted stopping not long after I did. It wasn't until recently I realized that there was more I could have done.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I obsessed over this before he was born. All the reading I did and planning, it didn't help at all. The important things I wish I had known I didn't know. Some of those things I didn't know for months.

I also recognize the need for lactation consultants. I wish I would have called one. I thought I knew so much, but they would have known what I couldn't have.

Interesting things about breastfeeding I didn't know before going through it:

1. It hurts in a way I didn't expect. Sure the nipples hurt, but the pain from getting your milk in was way worse.

2. "let-down" is the most bizarre, creepy, weird feeling that is impossible to describe. The first time I felt it I involuntarily shuddered and gagged. WTF so random.

 3. It makes you tired! Like can't keep your eyes open tired! It is the most odd thing, you will  be sitting there nursing and it is like someone drugged you and you are fighting falling asleep. (I hear that gets easier to fight over time btw)

4. Your milk supply can dwindle VERY fast. It may seem like you are so engorged and no way you'll run out. But, nope! You do! So be careful and make sure you keep up the supply and demand thing.

5. You NEED to drink a shit ton of water. It makes you so thirsty it is almost insatiable.

6. You need to eat to keep your supply up. I was pretty lucky and lost all my baby weight very quickly, but I can imagine that contributed with my low supply.

7. It makes you sad when you stop. It must be hormonal.

8. The guilt I felt when I decided to stop was like no guilt I've felt before. I am not a sensitive, emotional person. But man, I was a sobbing wreck a few times over this. And TO THIS DAY still feel like a shit mom who couldn't have done better.

9. It is hard, I feel like there is no way to prepare. Books are interesting and satisfy curiosity, but it doesn't really help with the reality of it all.

10. You will feel pressure. Pressure for continuing, pressure for not continuing. People judge you no matter what you do. It is obviously a highly controversial topic. I was not prepared for it.

If I could do it all over again (and plan to try for the next baby) I would. I think it is worth it. I try not to beat myself up too bad, but I KNOW I could have done better so it is tough.

The first 6 weeks...

....were a freaking insane, chaotic, nightmarish, wonderful, amazing, crazy time.

And I miss them so much, and am also so happy they are in the past.

The first week home was basically just trying to get used to the fact that you have this tiny little terrifying thing that you are trying to keep alive.

Healing is hard work, breastfeeding is hard work, not sleeping is hard work.

It was ROUGH.

I wasn't eating enough, I wasn't drinking enough water. I was having issues. I have a hard time asking for help. I learned pretty damn fast that you just have to ask for help!

I feel like I got pretty lucky with recovery. Physically I felt light as a feather in comparison to just a few days prior!

I bled for 8-10 weeks. That part sucked.

I had a rough time breastfeeding. It was so hard, and not in the way I thought it would be (full post on that later).

I was SO happy to be myself again that I was not as tortured as a lot of first time Mom's are, I imagine anyway, but what do I know.

I was lucky to not have any post-partum depression.

We had him out of the house within the first week, for fun, not including doctor appointments.

I threw a dinner party for Halloween, he was only 4 weeks old.

I probably took on way too much. I spent my entire maternity leave working on projects, finishing the nursery, learning about the baby, learning how to be a mom.

Just having that kind of time off was such a luxury. It did go by way too fast of course.

And it is so easy to look back at times like that with rose tinted vision. Oh YAY everything was magical and perfect and amazing!! Hahaha no.

Baby Grey has proved to be a fairly challenging baby. He dealt with major gas, silent reflux, NOT a good sleeper, crying fits that would melt my heart and also make me want to throw a chair through a window.

Something I have learned is that my patience is close to endless. It is insane. I thought I would have a much harder time dealing with a baby screaming in my ear, but when it is is mine it is so different, I just shhhhh and coo until everything is better.

I feel very all over the place with this post. There is SO much to say about that time, yet for some reason I can't verbalize any of it.

I'll have to just break the important things down into individual posts. Le Sigh....

Greyson's Birth Story

And here we are. The big day(s)!

(In as excruciating detail as I can remember....6 months + later)

I went to work as usual on Monday, it was the start of my last week until Maternity Leave, which was super awesome! I was busy trying to wrap everything up before going out.

Tuesday morning, around 9am I went to the bathroom and saw lots of mucus, brown, not red. I instantly knew I was starting to lose my mucus plug. I rushed back to my desk and started googling the shit out of mucus plug/signs of labor.

I started getting nervous, until I read that most of the time it can be weeks before labor. So I went back to concentrating on getting my work done. Throughout the rest of the day I started having more and more gunk down there. Not a big nasty wad like so many people described to me. (I'll take it cuz ewww)

Other than that I was feeling ok, really tired, but sleeping had become non-existent by that time so that didn't seem weird. I was getting nervous though which made me a little more moody. Totally a "shit is getting real" moment.

I left work, drove home, changed my clothes, then headed to prenatal yoga class. I met a friend there, we'd been going for a few weeks at this point, she was about 3 months behind me in her own pregnancy. About 1/2 way through the class I bent down in some yoga move, that I don't remember, and felt a tiny gush. It was EXACTLY that moment when I thought, OH SHIT, I pee'd myself!! Everyone warned me it would happen at some point!! I listened, and luckily wore panty-liners the last week or so. Go me!

I casually walked out of class and to the bathroom, pee'd went back to class. During another move.... gushhhh.... the wheels started turning in my head... WTF I JUST pee'd. Like a champ I pushed through the end of the class. By the very end I was feeling a couple more tiny gushes. I started to think something was up. I said goodbye to my friend, after picking the time to meet up for the next class. I got in my car.

The very same second my ass hit the seat of the car I had a contraction.

At this point I knew. Ok ya, I'm pretty sure I wasn't pee'ing myself back there in class...

The whole drive home (about 30 minutes) I was having waves of contractions (just felt like longer, deeper, period cramping). I walked in the door and told Cameron that I thought I might be going into labor.

As soon as I said it out loud it kind of hit me that this might be it. I had just hit 37 weeks, and had been cleared from my placenta previa, so I knew there was no rush and this was just going to happen. I decided I was going to be super chill about it and wait it out at home as long as possible. So I started going into last minute OMG I'm having a baby mode.

I cleaned everything I could, did laundry, packed my bag and tried to get some sleep.

At 1am I woke up and the contractions were noticeably stronger. I timed them for an hour, they were lasting 1 minute and 5 minutes apart. I called the on call doctor. I explained to him that I was thinking my water was leaking/broken about the contractions. His advice was to stay home until I could no longer comfortably walk and talk through the contractions.

((( PSA: As it turns out, if your water breaks go the fuck to the hospital!!!! )))

I went back to sleep. I had already decided that I wasn't going to be going into work the next morning. So I woke up at 6am (no more contractions), did some work, emailed my boss and drank a cup of coffee. At about 8:30 I decided to call my doctor to let her know what happened and tell her there was nothing going on now. The nurse was kind of appalled that I was still at home and told me to get my ass into the hospital ASAP. I of course asked if I had time to take a shower and get ready, she basically said no (but I did anyway!HAHAHA)

We took a leisurely drive to the hospital. Got there about 10am -ish.

I got there, got all undressed and in the bed, etc, etc. The nurse checked my water. She said she still felt a bag and she doesn't think I broke it, so don't get too comfy since I'll probably be sent home (since I was having no more contractions). I was only 1 cm dilated (which I had been for like two weeks at that point anyway).

She came back a while later with what looked like cheapie pregnancy tests, the test came back positive for amniotic fluid, so this shit was actually happening! She said it probably broke up high and was just dribbling down the side and out, the big gush would come at some point.

Then things got serious, they wanted to know when I first felt a gush, I explained my yoga situation. My first contraction was exactly 8:00pm which was right around them so we basically chose that time. They then told me that I had 24 hours from that time to get the baby out, or we'll be in for a c-section. I was blown away. Like WTF I only had (at this point) like 10 hours to birth this little dude.

BTW to preface the remainder of my story, my original goal was to try for a natural birth with as little intervention as possible. Also, my timing is probably off because it is super easy to lose track of time during the whole process.

I was, in fact, having contractions consistently, I just could feel them, they were on the monitor.

Felt like a couple hours after I got there they were already pushing the pitocin. I was NOT happy. My doctor of course had the day off so some other doctor was there, I had never met him.  He comes in saying I waited too long to come in and that I needed to have the baby soon and the only way to push it along if I wanted vaginal was to use induction medications. I knew that any chance I had of getting through this birth naturally were thrown out the window. I wish I had been more informed and went into the hospital earlier, there were lots of other options besides pitocin for moving things along that I didn't have a chance to try because of time constraints.

Oh well. That wasn't what was important in the big picture.

I got up to pee at one point and bent forward to try to get out of the bed and GUSH the water broke completely. I can't even believe your body even has so much water in it. It just kept coming, and coming, forever, it was insane!!!

The pitocin was cranked, I was still moving pretty slow. And the pain just kept getting worse and worse. They wouldn't check my dilation as often as I wanted because of risk of infection. It was aggravating, but understandable. I got to a place of a lot of pain by that evening, no idea what time it was. They checked dilation, and I was only 4 cm. I wanted to scream. It was so painful and I had so far to go and I knew they had to crank the pitocin to max at this point, which they did. And the pain was fucking shitty. I was still refusing an epideral. Eventually I had a nurse basically telling me that I had been in so much pain for so long by the time the baby was ready to come I would have no energy left to push. That is when I decided to just do it. I still feel confident that I could have gone longer without the pitocin. Stupid pitocin.

I got the epidural which was super disturbing and icky. :: shudder ::

Fairly instant relief from the pain of contractions.

After we hit our max time limit of 8pm that evening I started panicking that they were going to make me have a c-section. After ALL that I had been through thus far I was NOT going to be happy about that. Luckily they told me as long as I wasn't showing any signs of fever (infection) then I could keep going.

At about 10 pm I was dilated at 9 cm. I was also starting to get a fever. To help move things along the nurse at the time started using other techniques to try to dilate me further. Being on my side with a yoga type ball rolling back and forth, etc, it was kind of funny. I was just ready to be done, it had been about 33 ish hours at this point, no sleep, no food, no water, I was DONE.

At around 11:30 pm, she announced I was 10cm and it was time to get this baby OUT!

Instantly I started shaking uncontrollably. Everyone said that it is from the meds, um no, basically one of the scariest things in your life is about to happen. Scary on many levels, medically scary, OMG I'm having a baby scary, just fucking scary. That is why I started shaking. I think it is just an excuse to give the woman's partner to keep them from freaking out.

I started pushing, every other contraction to "practice" I did this for 30 minutes then she wanted to give me a break, obviously shit wasn't going as fast, or I wasn't doing a good job, who knows. I didn't really care because pushing was hard and a break was nice. So I lounged there for about 30 minutes before we started again.

Then we started again....

I believe about 1 hour into it he was getting down in the birth canal or something was happening, I could feel the difference, but it was so slow. They turned down the epidural so I could really feel what I was doing.

2 hour mark I'm fairly certain they basically turned the epidural off. It suddenly became a lot easier, and I felt like things were happening. He was for sure in the birth canal and the intense pressure that comes with that was almost more than I could bear. He was probably like that for the last hour of pushing, it felt like my body was being torn in half extremely slowly. Contractions had NOTHING on that pain.

His head finally was spotted. He made it past the bone of doom (the pubic bone). The nurse told me to stop and she was getting the doctor, this shit was going down now.

STOP!??!? Are you fucking kidding me!!!??? I was in such intense pain and the ONLY thing that eased it was to PUSH through the contractions. For 3 consecutive contraction waves I had to hold back the urge to push. That urge is a primal instinct, every fiber in my being was trying to move forward to get this watermelon out of my fucking vagina. Stopping it was completely the worst part of all of it up to that point. BY FAR.

Yet somehow I managed to watch the magical transformation of the room that I had heard so much about. Lights dimmed and came out of the ceiling, tools came out of drawers, nightstands turned into special medical device things, and people started flooding in. My Mom and Cameron who had been there the whole time were placed to the sides or out of the way. I remember arguing fiercely the whole time this was happening that I could stop pushing. Sobbing pathetically. It was probably the most emotion I'd ever shown anyone in my life. I just wanted this to be over.

Right when I was about to freak the fuck out the doctor rushed in, It had maybe only been 10 minutes waiting but it felt like ETERNITY!!!

As soon as his ass hit the stool in front of me I begged him to just push this thing out of me. He said go for it and I pushed maybe three more times and he was out.

The relief from the pain was unbelievable.

So, after 36+ hours of labor, 3 1/2 hours of pushing, my little (not so little) baby was born, 3:30am he was 7lbs 15oz.

He was placed on my chest directly after birth, for bonding, it was all very overwhelming.

A few minutes later I was still trying to take it all in and I heard the doctor say "shit". I was instantly on guard and asking what the hell was going on.

He said the placenta broke off while he was trying to get it out and he has to "get it". With no more warning that that he reaches his entire arm up my very abused vagina and uses his hand to scrap the walls to get out all of the fragments of placenta.

I was screaming in pain. It was the most awful pain I'd ever experienced in my life. It took him about 10 minutes, they quickly took the baby away from me because of what was going on. My mom and Cameron were with the baby so a nurse was holding my hand while I was screaming and sobbing. Two nurses had to keep my legs pried open, because of course my instant reaction to that pain is to try to slam my legs together. I really can't even describe how painful that was. And right after he was done, here comes the shot of whatever it was that made me feel high and wonderful for the next hour.

I won't go into much more than that, I realize writing this out it doesn't even come close to expressing how dramatic and horrible/wonderful the whole thing was.

What matters is he is out of my body, and we are both safe and over the shock of it all.

Third Trimester, A Summary

Pregnancy, in general, goes by SOOOOOOO SLOOOOOW. Like anxiety causing, heart palpitating slow.

Third tri started slow. The first week maybe, I was like "oh wow, finally!" then holy crap that shit flew by.

Everything starts to come together. Kind of like the last couple months before your wedding, or some other big thing.

It was about baby showers, getting the last of your shit together. Painstakingly assembling all that baby junk, putting together the nursery, planning your hospital bag list, making your freezer stuff.

All the while it is getting harder, and harder, and much harder to do anything. I got huge during the last trimester. Doctor was estimating a 9 pound baby. I got asked almost daily near the end if I was having twins. It was bad.

At about 28 weeks I started having intense hip pain. It felt like my legs were slowly being torn apart in opposite directions. It hurt to sit, stand, move, stay still, swim, everything hurt. Tylenol dulled the pain slightly but it was constant, all day, it would wake me up at  night. It lasted about 5 weeks. Week 1 and 5 were not as bad, but the 3 in between I didn't know if we would make it until the end! And I feel like no one else knew what the fuck I was talking about!!!


At 35 weeks I hit maximum capacity. I was DONE. But I realized I didn't have long to go, and surprisingly it didn't get that much worse between then and labor day :)

Preparing For a Baby

This shit is actually happening.

I pride myself on my organization.

I am a control freak.

I attempt to do everything I can to be prepared.

Here is what I did that I feel like actually made a difference and helped.

1. The number one thing I did that helped the most BY FAR was prepare and freeze meals. HO_LY SHIT I cannot express enough how awesome this was. My mom came over and helped me for an entire weekend, we prepared about a month's worth of individually packaged meals. I can do an entire post on this at some point, but I HIGHLY recommend doing this. It is worth the time. Those first 6 weeks are hell and anything you can do in advance to help ease that transition is totally worth it. (crappy photo but it shows how full it was, everything you see there is an individually wrapped meal)

2. Prenatal Yoga. This felt amazing physically and mentally. I started it very late in pregnancy, the next time I will start right away. It really brought me into a calm place, when otherwise I was a basket case.

3. Register EARLY. If I could do it again I would have registered as soon as I started in the 2nd trimester. I waited until a couple weeks before the shower. There are so many options for baby stuff, and it is completely overwhelming. AND on top of that you don't ever know that you will even like it so really it is all about research research research! Figure out what your friends like, what the reviews are. Then go from there. Keep it simple.

4. Let yourself have an obsession. I was super obsessed with the idea of breastfeeding and having the perfect nursery. The amount of time I spent researching breastfeeding (it's own post later) feels like a waste of time now, where as the nursery I am so happy I spent so long thinking and planning on that one. I think it is hard when there is so much to learn, there are just some things that need to be learned on the job.

5. Do things you want to do. I was such a raging bitch during pregnancy and I couldn't drink and was just unhappy. Looking back now, I wish I had relaxed and done more things that I can't as easily do now. I did squeeze in a few things, mainly alone time. (being pregnant you never truly feel alone, but close enough)

6. Let the husband get his yaya's out. People were pretty shocked that I "let" him go off and do random crap during my pregnancy, get wasted, have so much fun, etc. But just because I was a grump and no fun didn't mean that he had to be. I feel great doing this and being so chill. He went on a couple of trips, got wasted, went out with friends more. We did have some bumps but I'm glad he got to prepare for baby in his own way.

7. Sign up for those classes early! I loved the baby 101 class! I had ZERO baby experience so learning what different color poo meant was actually helpful. Learning how to put on a diaper (though much easier on a doll than in real life) was great! And guess what!? Everyone likes to take classes so don't wait until the last minute, mine filled up so fast I had to hunt around the bay area looking for classes that weren't full!

I'm sure there are more... obviously one of the downsides about writing posts 6 months + after the fact! I'm trying to hurry so I can get to current stuff but don't want to leave out any of the details!

Placenta Previa

At 16 weeks I was diagnosed with partial placenta previa.

I was informed I would need to decrease my workout routine, and stop having sex, pelvic rest, no action from the waste down. Ummm lame. I was told that the odds were very high that it would just go away on it's own.

At 20 weeks they confirmed that it was still an issue and now it was complete instead of partial. Meaning my entire cervical opening was being covered by the placenta. The placenta cannot come out before the baby, this could lead to issues with the baby and possibly bleeding out for the mother.

At that point, I was officially considered high-risk. Lovely.

(Read here for more detail on Placenta Previa as I am not a doctor and cannot explain it as well as a medical expert can.)

Here is a quick visual which makes it pretty clear what it is:

Over the course of the pregnancy the doctor warned me that I should mentally prepare for a c-section.... at 36 weeks.... (this was a shock)

I was less concerned with that outcome as I was with the constant warnings of "BE CAREFUL!" Don't do this, don't do that, blah blah..bleeding out...blah blah...death...scary..

Um yikes.

So basically it was a pretty scary ride from that point on. I had to have extra ultrasounds to check progress. Constantly watch for any spotting. In the words of my doctor (who isn't an angstanator BTW just keeps it real) "spotting might be ok, BUT, it can turn bad really fast, so just call us immediately and pack up to leave for the hospital" Oh and "Don't ever plan to be out of a 20 mile radius from a hospital" and no flying, long list of no's, etc.

Um yikes again!

Needless to say I was pretty careful most of the pregnancy with staying within a safe distance from civilization, and tired VERY hard not to life anything too heavy, strain, anything along those lines.

BTW This was a huge challenge for me. I am the definition of a busy-body. I cannot sit still. This was seriously hard for me to do. I had to :: GASP :: actually ask for help sometimes. OMG it was a nightmare!! (of course worth it to keep the baby safe)

At 34 weeks I went in for an ultrasound. The placenta had moved a teensy bit, ever so slightly, in the right direction, but not anywhere near enough to make a difference. My doctor gave me the option of either scheduling the c-section in two weeks, OR coming in two weeks for a repeat ultrasound, with the caveat being I should be prepared for a c-section within a couple days of that.

At 36 weeks I came in for a VERY long ultrasound. The placenta had actually moved out of the way of my cervix!! I was totally shocked. It took forever to determine because my doctor made them look at it 5 times to make 100% sure that I was in the clear. And luckily I was given the green light to skip the c-section.

I suddenly realized that, holy shit, I had prepared for a c-section from basically like 20 weeks, I had not mentally prepared for a vaginal delivery. Que panic, this-is-happening-too-fast moment!

But I had a very lucky Placenta Previa story. For having complete previa for 1/2 my pregnancy I did not once even spot, have to go to the hospital, have a "scare". I consider that very lucky. I read numerous horror stories and even know people who've had their little(s) come very early because of this. I can't complain about my experience at all!

Second Trimester, A Summary

I feel like I had a very short 2nd tri. I didn't really view the first tirmester as ending until after I found out the baby might actually stick, post-CVS testing results.

So basically from about Week 16 -27 is what felt like second tri to me.

At week 16 we finally posted our announcement on Facebook. The amount of well wishes and joyful responses we got back from a simple picture was overwhelming. It made it so obvious that everyone in our life was rooting for us and hoping that some day we would have an announcement like this to make. It felt like a big bowl of warm fuzzies.

After that it was just life. I finally was not feeling sick constantly. I had lots of weddings and baby showers and parties happening. I started planning for the nursery, completing a registry. The normal things people go through, that I thought I wouldn't get to do.

At 16 weeks was also my last weekly ultrasound until the anatomy scan. I was told by the tech that I had placenta previa, but that it would probably fix itself throughout my pregnancy.

At 18 weeks I felt the first flutters from the baby. I was camping with some friends and the first day out there it was just constant flutters, like it had been happening all along he just finally was at the right strength to allow me to feel it. I was giddy all day about it.

One of the scariest part about pregnancy, especially if you have had losses is that most of the time you have NO freaking idea what is going on in there. The first day of being able to feel him started a much more at ease part of the pregnancy for me.

At 20 weeks I conceded to my  growing belly and gave up my regular pants. I remember thinking up until that point that it was so crazy how you could go half of your pregnancy in the same clothes, and it takes FOREVER to start to actually show.

From there it went very fast.

27 Weeks

Prenatal Depression

It's OBVIOUSLY a thing!

Who knew!?

I sure didn't!

As you may (or may not) know, I have quite a history with anxiety, panic attacks, and some depression. During my prior pregnancies they really didn't last long enough for me to think "long term" for anything like this. I never really got to the point of being like "oh hey! there will be a baby to worry about in a few months!"

At some point during my full length pregnancy I became concerned about having post-partum depression. I felt like with my history I was going to be prone to it.  Little did I know I was kind of already going through it....

Frankly, it has taken several months POST birth for me to really feel like this is actually happening, this is going down, there is a baby, and he is mine.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, through the day of his birth I was a BITCH. I was NOT happy. NOT HAPPY AT ALL!

And the shitty part about this, I was getting what I always fucking wanted. How the fuck do you explain this to people you care about, friends and family. Like, hey Cameron, you know all the tears I shed about babies and loss and sadness and shit? Well guess what, we have a baby on the way, for realzies, and I'm still fucking upset about it.


That doesn't fly.

With anyone.

About two weeks after our good test results Cameron basically called me out, and asked me why the hell I was so angry about everything when we just go the best news EVER!?

I had no explanation, other than "oh gee, I'm sure it is just pregnancy hormones". Which I suppose could have contributed to this.

Anyway, I decided to start seeing a therapist. I guess this was around 25 weeks, I saw her from then through about his 3rd month.

She kind of sucked, but I did figure out some things on my own.

Before I found out I was pregnant I had made peace with our situation and the fact that I probably wouldn't be able to have any children. I had started to live my life as if that were the case. Getting pregnant again brought up all the old emotions (remember it had been at least a solid year since my last miscarriage) I had time to move on and start doing things for myself.

I had never actually acknowledged this, and Cameron and I never really talked about it, it was just an unspoken thing that we were tired of being sad about babies, tired of loss.

After he was born I felt better nearly immediately. I was lucky enough to NOT get post-partum depression....however, I feel like I MORE than made up for it with an entire 8ish months dealing with some kind of weird depression.

I felt fabulous after giving birth. I felt like I was myself again. Like pre-baby, pre-TTC, pre-worry Katy. It was like a pile of bricks had been lifted off of me. I felt so calm.

It was then that I decided that I should go on anxiety meds. So I did. And I have no idea if it does anything but I don't have the level of anxiety I did before. I still have general anxiety occasionally. But I know meds aren't always a quick fix for things.

So for anyone who is depressed DURING pregnancy, you are not alone. Even if it is something you've hoped for and wanted, or even dealt with infertility, or loss, or whatever, it does happen. I'm very glad I found help for this. It is a very difficult thing for people to understand, probably especially, having tried for 5 years. And it does get better!! (And apparently it doesn't guarantee you'll get post-partum depression! Bonus!)

Chorionic Villus Sampling: CVS

If you are interested in the actual medical aspects of this procedure I encourage you to read this link:

Chorionic Villus Sampling: CVS

As for my personal experience with you, feel free to read below.

If you are squeamish or if you might be in for this soon and only want happy pie in the sky experiences then please stop reading.

In fact! Disclaimer - if you are looking for super happy bubbly bullshit pregnancy stories you may want to just skip the rest of my pregnancy #4 re-hash. (my guess is you wouldn't have found my blog if you are that type though)

I digress....

Even with pregnancy #3 I knew that a CVS would be in my future, I never made it that far. So this was the first time I had to go through it.

I was scared shitless for multiple reasons. The first being the most obvious. I was terrified that the outcome would be negative. The others involved fear of the pain, fear of the chance of miscarriage caused by the procedure, etc.

I had the procedure done at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, part of Stanford. I really couldn't have been in a better place which was great! I was super nervous and ended up having to wait over an hour later than my appointment for some stupid reason. I was told to hold my pee for the procedure, and pregnancy + holding pee + one hour overtime = pissy patient.

I assumed going into it that the procedure would be done vaginally, as opposed to more of an amnio type procedure (needle through belly). I guess it all depends on where your placenta is located at the time of the procedure. Mine ended up being very low so they went in vaginally. It was a HUGE relief because I had been terrified that they would have to go through my belly because I figured that would hurt like a bitch.

HA! vaginally hurt like a crazy bitch. Like trying not to sound like a total wuss and gripping Cameron's hand until he was like  "WTF ow!". For some weird reason I didn't expect it to hurt, well, now I know better. So here is my fair warning to anyone out there needing one of those!

The coolest part about the procedure is that it took about an hour* (which is btw WAY longer than I expected it to take) but I had a great view of baby/placenta during the whole thing because they have to follow the catheter in and make sure they hit the placenta, etc.

We were told results would take 2-3 weeks to get back. It was an agonizingly long wait. They mentioned occasionally it is really fast and so every single day I was waiting for a call, I called in once a week to make sure they didn't forget about me.

Finally I got the call that everything was ok. As mentioned in previous blog post, I was obviously going through some issues so it wasn't as dramatically awesome as I wish it had been. But whatever, the end result was good so I'll give myself a pass on not being all magical daydreamy about it.

*The actual procedure was very fast, maybe 5 minutes, and by procedure I mean insertion of the catheter to retrieve a piece of placenta. The entire time in the office was about an hour. 30 minutes spent finding the location of placenta/baby, determining which way to go in (exterior or interior) then the prepping the procedure, tools, my vagina, etc. Then performing the act, then looking around to make sure they didn't do any damage. Inspecting the sample tissue to make sure they got what they needed and had enough. Then I had to wait in a recovery area for a while to make sure I didn't have any contractions/cramping, and I'm RH- so I needed a Rogam shot.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Before I found out I was pregnant, Cameron and I, with 3 of our closest friends planned a trip to Boston. I had never been there before and was SUPER stoked about it. I can't actually describe how bummed out I was that the trip would fall into my 8th week of pregnancy.
"D week", two of my other miscarriages started about this time. (I didn't find out until later than this, but spotting, symptoms, etc started about that point)

I scheduled an ultrasound for two days before my flight. I REALLY wanted to go if possible but was terrified that something would happen while mid-flight or even while we were there. I mean how shitty would I feel if I ruined the trip for everyone else if I miscarried?

(side note: I'm also afraid of flying. And I would have to do it 100% sober. WTF. Not fair.)

The doctor gave me the OK to go on the trip.

I packed up, my friend, Zofran in hand.

The trip was really great. I had 3 friends to distract me most of the flight, so I didn't have a complete meltdown. Overall the entire trip was a good distraction. I was able to forget my pregnancies fears for almost a week and enjoy exploring a new place with good friends. I was even lucky enough to have the morning sickness ease up slightly so I could enjoy some local fare. (thank you meds).

And bonus, I didn't even have any spotting or cramping. Good shit.

Morning Sickness (aka all day, all night, all the time sickness)

Yep, I was pregnant.

Cameron and I went out to dinner over the weekend after I found out I was pregnant. We went to this local BBQ tavern, we sat at the bar. I ordered a sauvignon blanc, he ordered a beer. We shared chicken wings.

My last hurrah, I told him.

(when you like to drink, being unexpectedly pregnant kinda sucks, no time to say goodbye to booze)

The next day, 6 weeks on the dot, Sunday, February 16th, BAM like a ton of bricks.


It was bad. And it just got worse.

I didn't think to mention it to my doctor at my first appointment, other than just in passing.

About a week later I was on the bed moaning and hadn't much to eat at all in the past few days. Cameron forced me to call the doctor.

Thankfully I had my prescription of Zofran in hand the very next day.

It did not take away the nausea, but it made life a little more bearable. Took the edge off.

Overall I lost about 8 pounds the first tri. Nothing sounded good to eat EVER (pretty much the same as all the prior pregnancies).

I was pretty miserable, super hormonal, irritable, tired as fuck, depressed, sick, you name it. I was probably everyone's least favorite person for a goooooood loooooooooong tiiiiiiime.

First Trimester, A Summary

I found out I was pregnant for the 4th time on Monday February 10th 2014. As mentioned in previous blog post. I was concerned because I thought I missed my period. Of course, I didn't. I mean how lucky would it be to have a positive pregnancy test, and POOF you are magically 1/2 way through the first trimester.

No such luck, I was 4 weeks 1 day pregnant when I found out.

Then the waiting starts.

If you followed this blog you would know that my 3 previous pregnancies ended in miscarriage, ranging from 9 weeks to 11 weeks gestation. Two of the pregnancies were confirmed losses due to Triploidy XXX.

The next step in my trying to conceive, never ending choo-choo train was supposed to be IVF + PGD (pre-genetic testing to make sure that only a healthy embryo was implanted in my uterus) Life got in the way, and for various reasons that plan was put on hold.

It wouldn't have been enough to get through the first trimester, I needed to have additional testing done either way to make sure this little fetus was healthy.

My doctor was rad and allowed me to go in weekly for ultrasounds from 6 weeks on, until I felt comfortable.

Every week I went in to the ultrasound room expecting to hear the crushing news I was too familiar with hearing.

Every week I made it one step farther.

I never once let myself get excited.

It didn't matter that I had the worst morning sickness, all very strong pregnancy 1st tri symptoms. I didn't matter that everyone else was happy around me every time  we made a milestone.

I always left the appointments still feeling depressed even though that little heartbeat was still going.

Near the end of 11 weeks I went in for a CVS procedure (similar to an Amnio, only a portion of placenta is taken instead of amniotic fluid).

At 13 weeks I got a call. I was at work. I was sitting at my desk and I recognized the area code of the hospital I had the procedure at.

I walked into a conference room and answered it. I was shaking from head to toe. I thought I wouldn't be able to hear the nurse because I couldn't hear much over the deafening roar of my own heart. She asked me a few questions verifying my identity then told me she had the results and that everything was fine. The baby was healthy.

I almost didn't believe it.

Then  she asked me if I wanted to know the sex. I don't even know how I made a sound to answer her, but I did.

Then I heard "Congratulations you're having a boy!"

I was in such disbelief still, we waited almost 3 more weeks to tell everyone.

February 10th 2014

A little joke about not being sure when I should start my next period turned into quite a whirlwind of emotion.

I found out I was pregnant for the 4th time on a Monday. I was joking with Cameron about how I was extra emotional for some reason and how unlike me that was.... not surprisingly he asked me when the last time I had my period was. Wow. Totally couldn't remember. Ooops.

Fast forward a few hours, I got home from work, took a pregnancy test and BAM. Another set of two pink lines.


That was my first reaction. Then tears. Then SHIT! Then more tears.

I called Cameron, I told him what the test results were, he was hesitant in asking me how I was feeling. I'm not sure why he had to even ask being that I was obviously a sobbing mess on the other line.

With my history, getting pregnant again was sad and stressful. I wasn't happy, I was shocked and pissed off at myself for not being more careful.

It was just a countdown until the end of it.

Cameron understood, I think he was feeling very similarly.

It makes me sad now writing about this, I still wish I could have had the very joyous experience and deliberated painstakingly how to tell him we were going to be a happy little family.


And, well, you already know the ending to this story, so this was just to document my awesome motherly reaction to this news.

Let the games begin!