Thursday, March 27, 2014

Two Months Ago I Took the Drugs

Two Months Ago I Took the Drugs


It's hard to believe that two months ago I was in the hospital healing from giving birth to my
daughter.   When they laid her on my chest a little after 6am, I stared into the most beautiful face I have ever seen.  She stared back and stuck her tongue out at me repeatedly.  The steps I took the nearly 24 hours prior were not easy.  They say you forget everything about birth once they're born.  That isn't true.  I remember most of it actually.

I was exactly 40 weeks pregnant when I called the hospital that morning.  I was told that because of my age, they didn't want me to go over my due date so they would induce if she didn't come out on her own.  So, despite all the internet chatter about the dangers of induction and the lines of rhetoric I perused that said don't let anyone take your right to have your baby away naturally, I decided to follow my doctor's orders.

I was given a drug called Cytotec shortly after I arrived.  I googled it, big mistake.  Apparently Dr. Google says it will lead to an almost guaranteed hysterectomy and loss of baby.  My sweet nurse told me to only use my phone for Candy Crush and texting friends for the rest of the day after I told her of my findings.  She reassured me that a woman my age had delivered a healthy baby a week before using this same method.  She then asked me what my pain tolerance was.  I told her fairly high.  She said, ok, but she would still keep the anesthesiologist on call.  

After taking the first round of Cytotec nothing happened.  They told me I could walk around and I did.  It was a Sunday so I walked around the entire hospital.  When I returned to my room I was told not to do that again.  I broke the rules.  I was only to walk around on my floor.  Oops!  I didn't know why it was such a big deal, that is, until I took my second round of Cytotec and my water broke.  

That was actually very weird.  I had been napping and when I stood up to use the bathroom, everything was all of the sudden soaking wet.  I don't know if I was in denial, looking back, I think I was, but I didn't say anything.  I went to the bathroom, and more water leaked out.  So, I went in, and out of the bathroom, making these tiny little circles of steps trying to figure out if I should call someone.  My husband was asleep so I woke him up.  I will never forget waking him up and saying in the calmest voice,

"I think my water just broke."

So, we called the nurse and she came in and we all came to the conclusion that yes, that's what just happened.  They asked what time, and I realized it had been half an hour and they were confused as to why it took me that long to call them.  I didn't know.  I think it was fear. 

Shortly after that the cramps became so intense I opted for the Epidural.  It was also time for the other drug I was told to stay away from, the Pitocin.  I would like to say that the epidural was one of the more enjoyable experiences I have had.  The labor was so intense I was on my hands and knees screaming like a feral cat.  Once the epidural kicked in, I just laid there and giggled.  It felt like water was slowly washing over my back.  It was wonderful.

After some time being turned from one side to another to keep the epidural even, I was stuck full of tubes with a catheter in and I honestly didn't feel a thing.  I was a little uncomfortable with each turn due to the fact that my nurse didn't get me all the way on my side and I was laying there like some kind of strange crumple of flesh and bones.  Brian and I would work together to try and get me comfortable.  I was pulling with all my might up on the sides of the bed while he worked to get my legs even.  Up until that moment, that was the worst part.  

Then, all the nurses rushed in, someone put an oxygen mask on my face and I was being wheeled out of the room.   No one explained until Brian asked.  They said I had dilated to 8cm and it was almost time for Cora to arrive.  

Nothing happened for another hour, then it all happened.  I pushed for nearly 3 hours.  Even though I had taken the epidural, I could still feel just about everything, except for my legs. I was useless in my legs.  But, they had to turn the epidural off because her head was stuck.  So, we sat in that holding pattern for almost the entire 3 hours.  At the end I had torn my hospital gown off and was on my hands and knees begging to quit and would someone please just give me a c-section.  

I thought I could handle pain.  I was wrong.  Lesson learned, labor is something different.  A pain no one can prepare you for at all.  

She finally came out and the room was silent.  No baby cry, no word from the nurses.  I looked at my husband who refused to show any expression.  The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck three times and she was face up.  He told me later she was completely white.  I as so exhausted from pushing and puking, yes puking, I didn't really grasp that my baby wasn't breathing.  But the doctor was calm and cool and she cut through the three wraps of cords and then we heard a faint cry, but we heard it nonetheless.  

Now, when I hear her cry I am still happy.  I still love the sound of her but I get sad when I can't settle her down as fast as I would like to.  There is nothing worse than seeing that little frown and nothing more exhilarating than seeing her smile.  I told my husband after the first time I saw her smile that I would do just about anything to make her face light up with that toothless grin.  Luckily, I am doing something with my improv training.  I make up tunes and have rewritten most of the Disney princess songs.   I also voice all of her dolls and she seems to dig that as well.  

Labor sucked but it was worth it.  So, in closing, like my title says, I did the drugs and we all came out fine. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Midweek Money Saver

Midweek Money Saver

I have to be careful when giving these money saver tips because I don't want to sound like I'm selling you something.  I spent a lot of time studying advertising in college so if this sounds like a pitch, please accept my apologies.  This particular blog is about stretching your dollar.  Now that you have read my humble disclaimer, I hope you continue reading the rest of this entry.

As a new mom and starving artist I am always looking for ways to save.  My sister-in-law and mother both suggested Ibotta.  It's an app that gives money back on your grocery purchases.  It's easy and it links with your paypal.  You simply scan the bar code of the item listed, take a picture of your receipt, then send it in and get money.  It's that easy.  So, in a city like Los Angeles, where we can't double coupon, this is the closest way to save a little more on an item.  

For example, a couple of weeks ago, Ralph's was having a sale on milk and cereal.  For $5 you could buy a gallon of milk and two boxes of cereal.  I then followed the instructions on Ibotta and got 50 cents added to my Ibotta earnings.  I am currently up to $10.75 since I started in January.  I love this app and it works at grocery stores all across the country!  They are constantly adding new items as more and more companies are finding out about this app.

Oh, and another great's free!  So, download the free app and start making money.  It's that easy.  It's not a lot of money, but any little bit back in your pocket helps.  For me, $10.75 is a 6 pack of formula!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Job Hunting in my Fat Pants

Job Hunting In My Fat Pants


And so it begins... the search for an evening job when my body hasn't quite gone back to what it was before I had my adorable bundle of joy.  I spent the last two nights torturing myself on the elliptical before finding strength in yoga poses, so tonight, I'm allowing myself to rest and ponder this whole body image thing.

I have always taken my body for granted.  It's been pretty awesome for the most part.  Of course, during my Texas days, I call that my Republican era, I was beef fed and I enjoyed pints of Guinness, heavy Cabernets and  chocolate volcano cake.  Then I moved to Los Angeles and went vegetarian, substituted my alcohol intake with juices and cleanses and slimmed down.  Fast forward 7 years and I found myself back in Oklahoma where I met my husband and saw that my tiny little frame may not be able to get pregnant, so I eagerly fattened back up and we made a baby.  Now, here I sit, with a closet full of cute clothes that no longer fit.  I want to work, but, a bartending job in southern California isn't as easy to get as it may be anywhere else.  

We've all heard the snide remarks about how your bartender is also trying to be an actor, writer, musician, whatever.  Generally these come from transients and bloggers and considering, Mark Ruffalo made bartending his occupation for years, I don't get down on the job because I know I'm in good company.  Plus, in Southern California, the view from my "office" is generally top notch.  So to those bloggers and transients I say...

  Ah, but I digress, this blog is about my fat pants.

 I had a pair of mom jeans that ironically were given to me by my mom.  I laughed when she handed them over and said I would never wear them.  I swear she's psychic as she told me to never say never with a little twinkle in her eye.  I cannot fit into those pants right now.  The pants that used to come up to just under my boobs and hang a little long on the leg now won't fit over my thigh.  

Now, I wear the two pair of maternity pants I bought when I found out I was pregnant.  Now don't get me wrong, I would never trade this body for my old body if it meant never knowing Cora.  Absolutely not!  And I get it when people say to be kind to myself and accept that some things may never return, but it's hard.  It's hard to see how wide I am and that I might need to make a beeping sound when backing up.  But I look at some of my other friends, well, one in particular, who looks like she did in high school when she played soccer, and by that I mean ah-mazing, and she had a baby at my age so I guess I will just suck it up and keep moving.

I have learned that I will stay north and avoid Hollywood.  I have found coastal cities and places deep in the valley seem to be kinder to those of us who have decided to make a life here, and, God forbid...age! 

I will be proud of the body I live in, but will work hard to be in the best shape I can.  I want to foster the attitude of pride and acceptance so that my daughter never doubts herself.  I doubt I will diet, just return to clean eating, cardio and yoga.  And I will be kind to myself and realize that it isn't about me anymore.  My daughter needs me to be an example and her little face and smile make me want to be better than I was before.  So, until my old clothes fit or I find a job and make some money for new ones, I will keep job hunting in my fat pants with pride.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Spring is in the air and so I am inspired. As hummingbirds flit about and new life sprouts up all around I am excited to be joining the activities with my baby girl. It's wonderful to feel like part of the season.

Waterfall in Los Angeles

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Baby Cora

Baby Cora


It's official!  I'm a mom.  We welcomed Cora Sophia into the world on January 27th.  It was a painful delivery, one that I will write about later, but we all survived!  After taking the past 8 weeks to recover,  I have made a promise to myself to start blogging regularly again.  

In the past 8 weeks it feels like I have learned more about myself than in the past 20 years combined.  I have looked into the eyes of a brand new human whom I helped create, as she communicates her needs and wants with cries, grunts, wiggles, smiles and coos.  

I have learned things from my own mother, things I didn't know I didn't know.   I also have a different love and respect for my mom after going through the entire process from pregnancy to birth.  Through this process I have thought, if women ruled the world, things truly would be different as we see the value of life through the pain of bringing a life into existence.

I have also opened my eyes to how selfish I used to be.  I also see the freedom I had that I didn't even realize.  I could nap when I wanted to, eat crap and not feel good and drink, smoke and be merry any time I wanted.  I do not regret giving up those things, well, maybe the naps.  I miss naps.

I am more alert to the needs of others.   A woman with a crying baby in the store no longer gets on my nerves.  I now want to comfort the mom and tell her it will be ok.  Of course I have held onto my own selfishness in that if my baby cries and you give me a dirty look, I will shoot you an FU look before I will feel embarrassed by her cries.    In that way,  I will still carry on my selfish entitlement.  Babies don't cry for fun, they cry because they need something.  So, I will get her to a safe place and administer to her needs.

I have, for the most part, replaced selfish with selfless, and selfies with baby photos.  I have learned to love in a capacity I could never realize existed, and I'm a huge softie and big lover.  I often think my large dog stuck around for nearly 16 years because I loved her so much with my big huge heart.  I also found a huge chunk of my heart open up for my husband because, not only is he a wonderful man, but in my memory of birth, from the time I went into labor, I would look over and see that he was by my side the entire time.  Even if his head was in his hands as his floppy black hair fell into his resting eyes, he was there, providing support and stability as I entered into the unknown.

I am thankful and joyful and excited for this incredible journey of motherhood.  Also the awesome journey of creating a family with my amazing husband.