Tramps and Wet Pants

This week’s adventure was to Jump House in Cologne. This place was awesome. Tramps (aka Trampolines) and padding everywhere. Obstacle courses, basketball hoops, dodgeball. This place was my pre-baby dream! Shit, it was my post-baby dream… I thought.

We get to this amazing place and in my excitement I hand the baby to my husband, take a few jumps and do a back tuck. (Just cause I can.) I land and in an instant I realize why when I was younger all the adult women that would jump on our trampoline would grab their crotch and say, “Oops! I peed a little!” and then cackle and laugh at each other. (You would have thought their was a pack of hyenas on our trampoline with the barks of laughter I was hearing. I didn’t have the same reaction while jumping post-baby.)

My body looks and for the most part feels exactly the same way as it did before having a kid so I was not expecting the bladder control issues.

I wasn’t going to let it stop me from having an awesome time, but I sure wasn’t taking the huge jumps like I was 12 again…

So ya, that f-ing sucked.

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Epidural? Epiduhhh? Of Course!

How Do You Plan On Giving Birth?

It’s a weird question…  I had an abnormal amount of  people ask me how I wanted to give birth. I could have gotten real graphic and made things awkward, but I would just answer, “C-section”. You should have seen the disgust and worry on people’s faces. The face would twist with this strong desire to tell me why I didn’t want one. So before anyone could tell me how terrible they were I would  go on to say,  “My doctor won’t let me schedule one, so I guess the only other option is to epidural and push it out the hard way.” The most noteworthy reactions come from those natural birth women. Always telling me I should consider natural birth and natural alternatives. (HA.)Telling me my body was made for birthing children (HA.)and then go on to tell me their story. Throughout the entire story I’m thinking… this woman is out of her mind! Having a natural birth is completely admirable and after having contractions for four hours  (at just three centimeters) and wanting to die while begging the nurses for an epidural… I have even more respect for anyone that voluntarily goes through that amount of pain.

German Baby Doctor vs. American Baby Doctor

When I first went to my German Baby Doctor he said, “If your baby doesn’t abort itself, then how would you like to give birth?” (Yes, he used the term ‘abort itself’ a lot.) I said, “C-section” and he was totally okay with it. So I assumed when I got back to the states my American Baby Doctor would be cool with a scheduled C-section… He wasn’t. For me, personally, why wouldn’t I want to go in at a scheduled time, not have to go through contractions, and come out with a baby? (I know there is way more to it then that… I’m not stupid or uneducated.. I did all the research, knew all the risk and read all the stories.) I’ve never been one that needed to experience childbirth. With the C-section out of the question, I knew an epidural was the next best option.

No amount of negative research could have changed my mind about getting an epidural. (Being an educated woman I know research can be skewed any direction the researcher wants it to be. Women need to make their own educated decisions.)  It may be a recent development in the history of child-birth, but if it’s available why the hell wouldn’t you?  Women dying in child-birth back in the day probably wouldn’t have turned down the help of science because “there body was made for giving birth”.

Natural Birth Women

I remember on my baby moon there was a couple of women that swore by natural birth because it was so rewarding and worth the pain. (I knew having a baby in any manner would be rewarding.) They talked about a process called The Bradley Method. I only remember it because it was my daughter’s soon-to-be name. I like to know fun facts for rainy days so I checked it out. What it does is teaches natural childbirth and views birth as a natural process.

“It is our belief that most women with proper education, preparation, and the help of a loving and supportive coach can be taught to give birth naturally.”

Taught? If giving birth was natural to a woman why would we need to be taught how to do it? Women giving birth naturally are doing it because they think it is best for their little one and that is completely admiral and pretty amazing, but besides being amazingly tough women they are also, clearly, gluttons for punishment.

The Option to use Science

Motherhood is amazing and rewarding and all that… giving birth was painful, hard and exhausting. Turning down my option to use science to make the process easier by purposely skipping the epidural to have a natural birth wasn’t one of the amazing and rewarding experiences I was going to go through. I can’t imagine feeling excruciating pain would make it more rewarding than it was, but it would make it more miserable. Maybe my body just wasn’t made for natural birth.
Side Note: The Headache
I did have an epidural headache after giving birth. It sucked.  When the Anesthesiologist came in to ask me if I had a headache I was in denial because I didn’t want to be stuck with anymore needles so I said, “No”. That was a mistake. While the headache was nowhere near the pain of contractions, it was debilitating for a few days.  I’ll still opt for the epidural for any future pregnancy, but next time I will get the spinal patch the next day and save myself from a few days of pain, a trip back to the hospital, and a $250 ER bill.

Hating Pregnancy? It Doesn’t Make You a Bad Person or Bad Mom Part II

Part Two…
Pregnancy Mask. This bitch of a problem is still plaguing me. Before getting pregnant I had cute freckles. During pregnancy those cute freckles grew together to make large dark marks on my face that resembled a world map. They were and are very hard to cover up. The worst part about this mask, it was also on my upper lip giving me the appearance of a mustache. It was horrible and super embarrassing when anyone suggested waxing, (like I was a complete idiot and hadn’t thought of all the possible solutions available to not look like a man.)  After giving birth they naturally lightened up on their own and the mustache disappeared, but I still have to use a heavy concealer to cover up what’s left. It seems the only thing to truly  get rid of them is a $3,500 laser treatment. I wish I had that kind of money. (Maybe if I would have bought cheaper bottles and shitty formula like suggested to me I would have extra money just waiting to be spent… too late now.)
 
 Do’s and Don’ts of Pregnancy. This part was hard.  Everyone thinks they know best and a lot of people like to act like you don’t know whats best for you or your baby. The list of do’s and don’ts for pregnant women is insane. Being an expat makes it even harder. German’s have their way of doing things and American’s have theirs. I was keeping in mind the American no’s and the German no’s (German doctor says I can sauna, American doctor says absolutely not. So much confusion).  Quite a few people, one in particular, couldn’t fathom that I stopped all medication while pregnant. She thought it was pretty important to inform me I was wrong and uneducated, (you should know that this individual DOES NOT know me, she didn’t know where I was from or my medical history. You should also know that she wasn’t a doctor.)  I know in America taking certain medications is technically okay for a fetus, but my German doctor said, “No medicines. No medicine is good for a fetus.” He was very adamant about it. So, like many other women, I took my doctor’s advice. (Just to be clear I never once said taking medicine while pregnant was shameful or makes you a terrible mother, which was why I was so confused by the amount of people who jumped all over me for saying I stopped my medicines while pregnant and that one of the reason I didn’t want to breastfeed was so I could take my medicines again. By the reactions I got you’d have thought I said I was snorting cocaine while pregnant instead of saying I was trying to do what I thought was best for my baby by not taking prescription pills.) My first pregnancy was mostly in a non-american culture, so the judgement I was getting and the people telling me I was uneducated and wrong based on their culture (and what their doctors and internet sites said) was and is fucking insane to me. I learned in 7th grade history that you can’t judge a person based on your culture. You can’t judge a pregnant German woman coming out of a sauna because your culture said that it is a big no-no.
Heart Burn. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was eating antacids by the bottle. I couldn’t eat or drink anything without debilitating acid reflex. I was amazed how I could still be gaining so much weight even though I could hardly eat. Zantac was my new bestie. It helped more than the antacids, but it still didn’t fix my misery. Nothing did except pushing that little thing out.
Being out of Breath and the Sweating. I couldn’t walk up the stairs without running out of breath and sweating, I couldn’t tie my shoes, I couldn’t bend over without a head rush and when I would try to bend over I couldn’t breathe. I was sweating all the time, for this reason I barely went outside all summer. (Our electric bill that summer was ridiculous.)
Saying we are Pregnant. All the shit that I have previously mentioned (and much more) that a woman has to go through while being pregnant is why I hate when men say we are pregnant. I’m pregnant… just me. I don’t say we signed a new contract I say, “Travis signed a new contract.” Just like we aren’t pregnant, I’m pregnant. I’m going through the changes, the pain, the sickness… we aren’t.
The Mom Shaming. I hate this word/idea… “Mom Shaming” (about as much as I hate when adults use the word Bullying to describe someone telling them the truth about themselves.) Let’s just be upfront about what “Mom Shaming” really is… It’s people being nosey, judgy assholes and getting involved where they shouldn’t be.  People love getting involved in pregnant women or new moms business. If someone tries to “Mom Shame” me I will be upfront with them and let them know that they are sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong and that they need to back off. I won’t go cry about how someone tried to hurt my feelings and that they were “Mom Shaming” me, I’ll say what they really are, which is a dick. Another problem with the invention of this word (and everyone being so freaking sensitive these days) is that I can not state that I don’t like breastfeeding without being a “Mom Shamer”. No one can state anything without being a “Mom Shamer”. If someone says that they think everyone should breastfeed then all of a sudden they are “Mom Shaming” formula feeding moms. This word makes it impossible for someone to have an opinion without getting ragged on and made out to be an asshole. Almost every negative comment I’ve gotten on any of my post have had the word “Mom Shaming” in them because these days no one can have an opinoin or personal preference without being a “Mom Shamer”. It is ridiculous. No matter what, there will always be someone who isn’t going to agree with what you do while pregnant (or after you have your baby) and they will tell you how you are wrong. I guess it just comes with the territory.
You have the ability to be good mom even if you hated being pregnant.  With all the shit that comes along with being pregnant having Bradley and seeing everyday how amazing she is makes me strongly consider doing it again. It was more than worth it.

Hating Pregnancy? That’s Fine, You Can Still Be An Awesome Mom! Part I

Part One…

As I sit here blogging, watching Real Housewives and face masking (being pretty basic) I am wondering why every year as soon as I get to Germany my face goes to shit. I can not figure it out. I have Never had more than one small pimple at a time. Germany does something to me, it got me thinking about how awesome my skin and hair was during my pregnancy (even when I was in Germany). They rocked! My skin and hair were on point. That then got me thinking about how awful almost everything else about pregnancy was. I KNOW there are other women out there feeling the way I did. I’m here to tell you you are not alone in hating pregnancy, you are not a bad person and it absolutely does not mean you are going to be a bad mom.  We will start after conception, because conception was awesome.

Exhaustion. Before I had even missed my period I knew something was up. The ridiculous fatigue and absolutely drained tiredness I was experiencing was not normal. After two days of this, despite drinking 2-3 coffees and a red bull a day, I went and got the test. Well… I was right and I was preggy.  The first three months of my pregnancy were a blur. I slept 70 percent of the time. I would sleep till 10:30 or so, eat lunch when Travis got home from practice, take a nap with him, eat dinner, then go to sleep about 9:30. Needless to say I wasn’t real productive. I don’t know how women with toddlers or jobs can do it. Hats off to you because you women are amazing!

Itching. My skin itched like no other. Starting about week 2 to week 14 nothing helped the itching. I lotioned, I took oatmeal baths, I used coconut oil… Nothing worked.  I remember itching so bad one night I had to take my shirt off and asked my husband to scratch my back while I scratched my front… he quickly went from my back to my boobs (because they were huge) where I almost immediately started throwing a crying fit because I didn’t want him feeling my boobs and trying to have sex with me. I knew I was being ridiculous I just couldn’t stop myself.
Crying. That crying fit story directly relates with my next reason I didn’t love (hated) pregnancy…. the crying. I am not a crier. I don’t see a point in it. It doesn’t get things accomplished,  it doesn’t make anything better, and for me, personally, I don’t like to show an overwhelming amount of emotion. (I’m sure I’ll get shit from those emotional women, because I have before in the past, telling me, “Showing emotion is okay. It’s not embarrassing. You should grow up.”  To those women I say, “Don’t waste your time, I’m not changing.”) However, when I was pregnant you would have thought I was  Robin from Sister Wives. (Not the sharing my husband part of Robin. If some woman touches my husband shit is gonna go down.) The Robin that cries over EVERYTHING!! Happy, sad, stressed, sentimental, anxious… crying for it all. I was an emotional wreck and I hated it.

Having to Lie about Loving Pregnancy. For the first part of my pregnancy when people would ask me about how the pregnancy was going I’d always say, “It’s going good.” They would then usually follow-up with, “Don’t you just love it?” I don’t know why it took me so long to start telling the truth and stop feeling bad about not loving it. I hate lying. It makes me feel so two-faced and I hate two-faced people. (People seem to either love you or hate you when you are truthful. This blog is a perfect example, people either love it or hate it.) So when I finally started telling the truth about how I hated it I learned A LOT of women felt the same way I did and didn’t like being pregnant. It was a relief to know I wasn’t alone and wasn’t going to be a bad mom just because I hated being pregnant.

Getting Fat. The absolute worst part of pregnancy. Around 3 months my clothes stopped fitting and not in that look at my cute preggy belly kind of way, but in that freshman 15, can’t quite get my pants buttoned, jiggly fat, boobs popping out kind of way.  My thighs were starting to rub together and I was constantly pulling my pants from my crotch. Cellulite was forming on the back of my legs…It. Was. Horrifying. My husband would continuously  tell me, “Kasey, you are beautiful. You aren’t fat, you’re pregnant.” I would usually follow-up with a less than nice response about how he was f-ing lying and then I would cry..(Gosh, I hate the crying.) It would be easy to say you aren’t fat, you’re pregnant when you aren’t the one getting fat.
Doctor Telling Me I Was Gaining Too Much. Along with the gaining weight… when I got back to The States at 6.5 months pregnant I had gained 18 pounds and my doctor told me I needed to start watching my weight because I didn’t want to gain too much. It would be unhealthy. So then not only was I sad about the cellulite, but I was also stressed and sad about needing to stop eating so much. I wasn’t eating ridiculously unhealthy, I was eating more pasta then usual, but not shoving myself with ice cream and candy. (Even pregnant I didn’t care for either that much.) I never had any cravings, so I can’t imagine what the doctor would have said if I was actually eating like your typical pregnant women.  I definitely would have weighed way more than I did.
Vampire Nose. Another shitty part of being pregnant is having what I call the vampire nose. I now know how Edward Cullen feels everyday of his vamp life. Being able to smell everything sucks. I could tell if my husband left the trash can lid open in the kitchen from the living room two rooms away. Me being the emotional asshole that I was would take it personal, usually get mad, and surprise surprise… cry.
Anxiety. I have always been one to hate large crowds and feel uncomfortable in them. I always feel like someone wants to shank me and now they also want to steal my baby. I’m always stressfully aware of my surroundings. I clearly have anxiety about some stuff, but during pregnancy I had anxiety about everything. Flying all of a sudden sent me into a can’t breathe, I’m going to die panic attack. At certain points leaving the house would give me anxiety… I don’t know what I was anxious about, but I knew I was… (Probably the impending pain and misery of giving birth.)
No patience. My patience for stupidity and people being ignorant has never been high. (For example,  some twit commented on one of my post trying to make me feel bad that I bought and suggested Doctor Brown’s bottles. She then bitched at me for telling the truth about Enfamil and Similac formulas in that they aren’t as good as they claim to be. Her reasoning for commenting was that she was so disgusted with my stupidity because ((I imagine her voice is very whiny, high-pitched and life is unfair)) “Not everyone can afford those brands so why would you ever shame women that can’t afford your fancy brands?”  I personally feel like her misdirected anger and the use of the word ‘shame’ regarding my post is stupidity. Because I NOW have a little patience I chose not to tell her how stupid and wrong I knew she was, but she is a perfect example of someone I would have completely snapped on while pregnant.)  While I was pregnant I was a complete snap show. I had no patience for anything. Now I had my days of being my sweet, normal self and my husband will say that I wasn’t that bad, but I felt like I was constantly snapping and angry. When everyone is constantly giving you unwanted opinions and advice it really test your patience.  I have my close friends and family that I liked to talk to about baby stuff, but it was those random people who barely knew me and think they had some sort of right to give me their opinion and tell me a horror stories because they have been through it that really got to me fired up. (I was also confused why advice and opinions always came with a complete horror story. Never did they come with a lovely, chill story. Note to anyone that reads this DON’T TELL PREGNANT WOMEN A BAD OR SCARY STORY. They are already scared enough. It’s a dick head thing to do.)
Part II coming soon! Find out more on the not so wonderful happenings during the miracle of pregnancy
**…Even after all the misery of being pregnant there is one thing makes me seriously consider doing it again some day and that is our amazing daughter. Call me crazy. (I’ve already gotten those sarcastic, asshole comments about how they hope ‘I’ve never have to go through that terrible thing called pregnancy again’ so anyone thinking about commenting can save it.)  My husband and I made an amazing, smart, cute, funny kid and the world would be blessed for another one of ours.

Formula Feeding… Doesn’t Make You A Shitty Mother

I was going to do my next blog on, “The Annoying Shit People Say To Moms (Me)” but with the fiery reactions I got from so many that I neither know or care to know I thought I would continue on with my Pro Formula Feeding blog.

As an advocate for formula feeding and the “free the nipple… from the baby” movement it is very frustrating when going to birthing classes or even once I gave birth that the doctors or nurses never gave me any information on formula feeding. I did breastfeed (with a combination of bottle feeding) the first couple days of Bradley’s life. I wanted her to have the colostrum I was producing. After the colostrum was over, I was over being milked. I was in so much pain that even if I wanted to breastfeed (ha) I wouldn’t have. I, personally, knew I wouldn’t be comfortable whipping it out in public, even under a blanket. If you are, then more power to ya! I still don’t want to see it and still think it’s uncomfortable.

Again, it blows my mind how many people will get so offended by my views on breastfeeding and  social media comment on it like I give a fuck. 

Not breastfeeding does not mean you’re a shitty mother, no matter what all the “expert mommies” say. You shouldn’t feel guilty. It’s not like you are smoking crack while mothering your child, you just aren’t choosing to breastfeed.  Not breastfeeding means you want to share the feeding responsibilities with your partner… let them bond with your baby like you get to bond with him or her every few hours a night. It means you want to get back to drinking wine, eating sushi and/or taking your prescription medicines again. These things don’t make you a bad mom, they make you a mom that wants to feel a little normalcy again. It makes you a mom that at the end of the day after nonstop baby, baby, baby wants to relax, chill and feel like an adult by doing adult things.  I really, really like wine. I obviously stopped drinking it for 40 weeks, but once she was born (well a few weeks after) I was ready to get my wine on!  Also, if you were anything like me you just wanted your obnoxiously huge (almost inappropriately large) boobs to shrink back down to their perfect DD size and be able to fit into your shirts again.

Not every mom has the choice to breastfeed or not, some women simply can’t produce milk so isn’t it bullshit that the hospitals and classes aren’t teaching soon-to-be mothers about the other option… the dreaded formula feeding option. Give some info on the best bottles, the best formula, how to make a proper bottle and what should and shouldn’t be in formula.

Some of my favorites:

  • Favorite Bottle : Doctor Brown’s  :Lots of pieces to clean but my favorite.
  • Favorite Formula: Hipp (Germany) Semper (Sweden) Baby’s Only Organic (USA)

It would have been nice if the hospital would have given me information on formula. It would have been nice to know that Similac and Enfamil are not as good formulas as they would have you believe.  It would have been nice to know that you should always boil water before you feed it to your baby or mix formula with it. Maybe that will be my next endeavor… getting formula feeding information into maternity wards, letting women know that it is okay to bottle feed by teaching women how to do it correctly. “Free the nipple… from the baby”

When Bradley was about two weeks old she became so gassy and this lasted until we got to Germany. She would scream and then fart weirdly loud for such a tiny human. This went on for a few weeks, until we got to Germany and changed her formula. The Hipp formula instantly changed her gas. She didn’t have any anymore. That’s when I started doing hours of research on formula and what makes it good and what makes it bad. It was crazy how quickly a good formula changed Bradley’s stomach problems. It was also crazy the shit they allow into American formulas vs. European formulas.

Regardless of what some “expert mommies”  think of my views on breastfeeding if it helps just one mom feel better about herself, her mothering abilities and her mothering choices then I could careless what those “expert mommies” have to say about me or my beliefs.

 

The Shit They Don’t Tell You About Being A Mom

Shit They Don’t Tell You
  • Being pregnant sucks, you can hate it and that’s okay. Online you see one Instagram photo after another of baby bumps and women captioning them with an inspirational quote or something about what a miracle it is or how amazing this process is. Don’t get me wrong it is a miracle, the way a body can make a human is an absolute miracle, but it doesn’t mean you have to enjoy it. NOT EVERYONE DOES and you don’t have to feel bad for not enjoying it.
    • The changes in your body suck. Your nipples get huge and gross looking. The veins on your boobs look like the freaking map of Narnia. My thighs started touching together when I walked, so I was constantly pulling my shorts or pants from my crotch. My boobs were the size of honeydew melons (Gross). I was sooooo tired. Not all women get the complete exhaustion I experienced, but I was miserable tired (especially the first trimester.) I got almost nothing done in 40 weeks (expect for making a baby) I became a huge crybaby/crazy/emotional wreck. My skin was sensitive and itchy. My hair hurt to brush because apparently I was all of the sudden tender headed.
  • The absolute WORST part about all the body changes was my sex drive was ZERO. Contrary from what my husband thought and popular belief not all women are horn dogs when they are pregnant. The few times we did have sex it was because I felt so bad for my husband. I mean, if he was telling me ‘No’ all the time I’d be freaking losing it. Sex is one of the best things about a relationship so you can imagine I was miserable. Luckily, I have the most amazing husband who was always very understanding, supportive, loving and never made me feel bad about not wanting to do it.
  • This one was a really hard one for me and for the first month of her life I felt absolutely horrible, but sometimes you don’t immediately fall deeply, madly, my world just stopped, head over heels in love with your child. Now that I am head over heels, deeply, madly, I legit could eat you in love with her I realize that it was okay to feel the way I did. However, I have to admit I was mildly horrified I didn’t have the feelings that so many moms say they have… those, ‘the second I knew I was pregnant my world seemed complete’ or ‘the second I had you everything else didn’t matter’ feelings.  Ya… I didn’t get those feelings. I am jealous of the women who do, but after pushing for 3 hours and being in labor for 21 all I wanted to do was sleep. The next five days were a complete blur. A stressful, surreal blur due to the epidural headache and the muscle relaxers I was on. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my husband.
  • You can never really comprehend what going without a full nights sleep for two months in a row can really do to you. You can’t explain it to someone who hasn’t had a kid and they can’t even imagine what its like. I felt like a zombie. A mad, sad, delusional zombie. (No, it wasn’t postpartum it was strictly lack of sleep. I can be a real crazy when I am tired) My husband had to leave for training camp five days after Bradley was born so it was all me getting up every two to three hours a night. I wasn’t looking at my new-born as a little bundle of joy. (All she did was eat and sleep) I was looking at her as the child that requires all of my energy and is completely draining the life out of me. Once she started sleeping 7 hours a night at about two and a half months old everything changed. I was back to being my normal, mostly good mood self and could really enjoy the new life I brought into the world. (Thank God and special shout out for my mom who would take her one or two nights a week and let me sleep for a good 12 hours and my dad who would watch her while I napped or got errands done.) It really is crazy how your priorities and wants in life change once you have a baby. Sleep is 20x more important and wanted than going out for a night on the town.
  • Breastfeeding sucks. I hated it. I did it for a few days and then quit. It made me feel like an animal… like a cow at the local 4H show. So many people look at me like I’m a freaking crazy person when I say I think breastfeeding is gross. And I get a lot of people who get weirdly offended when I say I don’t like it. (Like why the fuck would anyone get offended because I don’t like breastfeeding?) Do all moms clean their nipples before they let their little one suck away? My boobs sweat, a lot. So that could be unsanitary. It’s okay if you don’t want to breastfeed and don’t like it. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT! No matter what the doctors, nurses or mom shamers say. I can’t even get started on this “free the nipple” shit I’m seeing everywhere or the people who get mad at me because I don’t want to see boobs flopped out in public… It’s weird… You don’t see dicks flopped out with the heads covered like it is okay. You wanna breastfeed? Go for it! I’m not gonna get mad at you for doing it, so don’t get snippy with me for not doing. It’s a personal choice… It’s cheaper to breastfeed so that’s great. (I’ll get to breastfeeding in another post. There is just too much to talk about) 
    • Side note: Do your research on formula. Doctors never tell you about what is good in formula and what isn’t, doctors don’t inform you on anything about bottle feeding which is bullshit. I didn’t even realize I was suppose to boil the water before feeding it to her. No one told me and I was clueless about all things baby. I had to do hours of research about getting the best formula. America doesn’t have much to choose from, but Europe is stocked with healthy, good for your baby formula. (Stay tuned for more info in another blog)
I want to make it clear that Bradley is the most amazing little girl. Half the day I wander around amazed that I could make the cutest little girl in the world. She is a complete blessing and coolest thing I have ever made…. and I make a lot of cool stuff.