Friday, June 20, 2014

The ugh and gah and the eek of the last week (7QT)

I'm gonna open with this, so'n I don't skeer y'all away.

Can you see that enormous cranium?

Almost TWO whole inches bigger than any of my other kids' heads.

that there was a 14.75" head upon birthin' 

Now.  The things.  The things that are not good but rather bad.  Bad and wrong.  Badong. The things I promised to tell you about yesterday.

Last Thursday, I realized that Mary had the chicken pox.  If you'll consult your calendars, the smallest man-child was a mere 1 week old.  And my two eldest girls were at performing arts camp.  And my husband was at work.

So I hauled my 1 week postpartum self and my four youngest children, one of whom was one week old and one of whom had chicken pox and the oldest of whom is a 6 year old boy and the last of whom was (and still is) Cecilia, to the doctor's office.  And then all of us back again.  And then generally tried to do ALL THE THINGS the next day including baking cookies, doing laundry, setting up a huge mural sized piece of paper for the young ones to paint upon all whilst trying to soothe a newborn and a toddler with chicken pox.

 Do you know what that resulted in?

Wait, some of you may want to skip this take, if you are especially queesy or don't like "body stuff."

Okay, so all of that foolishness resulted in actual bodily organs which should only ever be on the inside of my torso trying to exit out of my torso, not urgently thank God, in the same manner that the baby exited.  Ahem.

So that was bad.

And I called my midwife and my husband, not the same people and not at the same time, and I was crying and trying to stay lying down and imagining all the horrible things that were going to happen once I was hospitalized and rushed into emergency surgery.

But I wasn't hospitalized because the prolapsing wasn't very severe and my midwife was able to manually put everything back into place.  I KNOW.  WHAT IS THIS?  SOME KIND OF FREAKY SCI-FI MOVIE???



I was sternly reprimanded for thinking that one week was sufficient recovery time, was instructed to quit lifting anything that weighs more than the baby, and to try and not be on my feet as much as humanly possible.  Purgatory, friends.  That is my definition of purgatory.  No. Me. Gusta. Because what about the ladies with the babies while working out in the fields who keep working?  WHAT ABOUT THEM AND WHY AM I NOT LIKE THEM???

So fine.  I will try to do all these things and everything will be fine.  Fast forward to Wednesday of this week as I sit on the sofa nursing my baby feeling like I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the sit around at home tunnel and something on my rib cage starts to itch.

And I look down and I swear to you I almost started crying.  Again with the crying. Because RASH.  Weird rash that itches so badly.  And then on my neck too.  Lawdy lawdy.

It went from looking exactly like shingles at first (which resulted in yet another panicked telephone call, this time to our family practice doc) to spreading over my entire body in a matter of hours, down my arms, onto my hands, into my ears....everywhere.

Which is when Tommy and I were like "oh my gosh, what if it's not shingles and it's hives instead?  Please let it be hives, sweetbabyjeezus!"

You know what's weird?  Praying that your body is covered in hives. I mean think about that for a second.  Perspective is weird, amiright?

Then I coated myself in calamine lotion, took a Benadryl, and prayed that I wouldn't wake up with my eyes swollen shut.  And I didn't!  The rash, as a matter of fact, was almost completely gone.  It started flaring up again later that afternoon, but I got myself antihistamined real quick because ain't nobody got time fo' dat.

And there ends our tale of postpartum woe that has nothing at all to do with the sweet baby that is napping so peacefully, allowing me to finish word dumping all over you.

Now, we wouldn't want this entire thing to be about me whining, so let's have some of me ranting instead.  Yes, let's.

 Who stands like this?  No one stands like this.  Not a one.  I feel like I need to never even think about buying this brand of swimsuit just to punish them for making her do that with her arms and torso.  Like, really?  "Hey, we're gonna not get a super duper rail thin model to keep those 'regular' women happy, but then we're going to make her turn herself inside out to really sort of try and hide the fact that she's not emaciated.  And hey, can we get some photoshop action up on those thighs while we're at it?  Kthxbye." 

Well, I'm just a barrel of monkeys today, aren't I?  Go check in with Team Whitaker, hosting for Jen, for more sprightly, less creepy takes on the seven.

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  1. I had the organ exiting thing happen.!!
    I'm glad all worked out. So sorry your dealing with so much.
    The weird thing is the hives have happened too and it is a sign you are over doing it. Your future self will thank you for taking it easier now - we are NOT those women in the fields which I think are actually some fable perpetuated by evil people....I believe they existed about as much as I believe in the tooth fairy.
    *hugs* and take care! I hope chicken pox heals up quick.
    The baby is just precious!

    1. Oh my gosh...the field women aren't real! That's what it is. That's got to be it. Because this is just not working right if they are. Which they aren't. Because you are a genius!

    2. I'm pretty sure she's right. Every actual culture I've read about the childbirth customs of, actually has a long lying-in period. In some of them the other women in the village nurse the baby for you so you can just sleep!

      Now women in slavery did get right back up and back to the fields .... but a lot of them died. I would not recommend.

      The advice I hear is, a week in bed, a week on the bed (you are allowed to sit up), a week out of bed but not working, and then a week doing a few things but not much, and then you are allowed to be back to normal. Which is delightful advice if you had that whole village of other women helping you. Each time I have had one week with my husband home, and then EVERYTHING myself. It's miserable and so unfair, but at least I *know* it's justified to feel that way and I am not *supposed* to be accomplishing anything.

    3. 40 days is the traditional rest time for women here in Spain. Today, legal maternity leave is 4 months, but the first 40 days are for the mother, so if the baby dies (God forbid), the mother still gets 40 days of maternity leave.

    4. Coming from someone who "back to the field"-ed her way to a cystocele (go ahead, Google it, I dare you) AND a stage 4 uterine prolapse, I HIGHLY recommend the whole " taking it easy " thing. Seriously. Go lie down. It's totally not worth it. The years later I'm still not totally back to normal...

  2. Glurg! A prolapsed uterus us something that I have only heard about in All Creatures Great And Small, as in Not. In. Humans. I am so glad it was fixable without surgery. Ouch. And hives ! Thank God it was hives, not shingles !

  3. O my goodness. Only you could make a prolapse sound so incredibly entertaining. I just love you and the way you write but I am so sorry for everything you've been going through!!! Get thee some great series on Netflix and marathon yourself right on that couch, woman.

  4. So glad you are feeling better! That must have been pretty scary!

  5. In my world, doctors don't want to see poxed children because it just spreads to the whole office. Maybe a round of chicken pox is what it takes to make you settle down and not expect anything of yourself! Everyone just needs to lie around reading books and watching tv. As little cooking and cleaning as humanly possible. Rest, rest, rest, woman! :-)

  6. Oh. Crap. This is probably weird to say, but I'mma say it anyway: Praying for your lady business and all it's immediate neighbors. Hope everything gets back to it's ordained place and stays there.

    Also praying that no one else gets the pox. *shudder*

    No one can hang in there like you! Keep on keeping on, lady.

  7. Here's the thing: All those women working in the fields one week postpartum? A lot of them have prolapses, and horrific lacerations and fistulas and mastitis and sepsis and...and a lot of them die. A lot of their babies die. We're just...really fortunate to have access to certain things, like generally decent medical care and indoor plumbing. For which we practice gratitude and humility and compassion for those who don't. So...this is no weakness on your part. Take care of yourself! <3

  8. My first baby was 14.5 inch head and my last was 15 inches so I know what you feel like. Hives can be from stress too soo....
    And humans have gotten bigger over the years so I like to think they had smaller babies and then worked in the fields so it aint the same.

  9. Wish I knew you in person! I'd gladly have helped out. You need to grab your phone and get some other Mommas to help you out. THEY WOULD BE GLAD TO, I assure you. I have been through some horrible, awful, no-good days (chemo) and people HELPED ME. It was difficult to let them help me, but it was also kind of amazing. REST. Just rest. Please.

  10. How on earth did she get Chicken Pox in this day and age? Poor kid!

  11. Goodness, that creepy lady picture isn't the first kind I've come across. I'd urge you to check out the velociraptor tights I came across on pinterest:
    Instead of doing work I'd suggest moping around trolling pinterest for other photos to make fun of :)

  12. I thought I was having a rough week (Dear Tooth #4 in my baby's mouth: COME OUT AND STOP MAKING US ALL MISERABLE.), and then I realized nobody's had to come stuff my uterus back into my body. Fabulous week over here.

    Also, I had a really smooth birth, all things considered, and still managed to have some complications that would have led to me dying on the spot if I'd given birth 100 years ago. Those peasant women are rarer than you might think.

  13. Oh wow, poooooorrrrrr.
    But yes, you have to rest. You have to. Think of all the poor women out there who are looking up to you as their role model.
    It's about being an example to others.

  14. I had a prolapse too!!! I'm typing and smiling, not because it's awesome (because it aint!) but because YOU...a real live person had it too and are doing the unthinkable- talking about it! It is a wretched and unholy experience and it just sucks sucks sucks. But, apparently having lots 'o kids all back to back will do that to ya. Who woulda thought?! (I totally was thinking the same The Good Earth thoughts as well because I felt like a big fat failure for not being able to run a marathon and chase my other babies right after) Glad you're on the mend!!!

  15. My kids got the pox when my youngest was three weeks old. Middle son decided to do it up BIG by getting a nasty cellulitis type infection in one of the pox on his next and had to be hospitalized for a week in isolation. Tiny baby not allowed in isolation. Mama had to stay with middle son and trust grandma and wonderful, loving friends from church with tiny baby and older son (also with the pox). Middle son was released from the hospital on IV antibiotics and visiting nurse. The first nurse visit came while my wonderful, loving friends were visiting/bringing dinner/still helping with other kids. She pulled up and there were 30 people in my house... she was partly shocked, partly amused. I went back to work two weeks later and was relieved to be back at work full time! The pediatrician said that tiny baby would not get the pox because he had my immunity but he did, albeit a very mild case. End of first novella.

    Second novella: I worked with several Vietnamese ladies. In their culture when a woman has a baby the mother and mother in law come and stay and mommy doesn't leave her bed for a full month. A MONTH! She stays bound to allow her tummy muscles to heal and they do other things that are kinda weird to me but that made me realize that the idea of women giving birth in a rice field and going back to work are not so factual.

    That is all. Sorry you've had a rough week. Next week HAS to be better, right?

    1. That pox would be on his NECK not his next. (typing after ambien is a bad, bad idea).

  16. So you've had chicken pox, right? Of course right, because you were worried about shingles. Well, the cool thing about having had chicken pox is that you are now nursing that cute baby with your milk that has chicken pox antibodies. So he isn't going to get it. Not while he's nursing.

    I know this because you know, milk and super stuff, but also because I had the chicken pox as an adult. Oh yeah. Big fun. Especially because our two kids got it at the same time. (No chicken pox vaccine back then.) They were almost 2 and almost 4 at the time. All three of us had pretty bad cases of it. Then I got pregnant right after the chicken pox. And when #3 and #4 got chicken pox, they barely got anything. So you with your milk all full of chicken pox antibodies are preventing Little Chunk from getting it! Go you!

  17. Listen up, Dwija! You lay on your back, feet flat, knees bent, hips up, and squeeze and hold everything up where it's supposed to be for a count of 10. Then do it again. A few times after every time you pee. My insides came a bit further down than optimal after baby#5. Did the exercises, no problem with babies#6 and 7. The midwife did have to push back on something while baby#8 came out! But I was SUPER good after that one. Sat for a week. Didn't leave the house for two weeks. Took me 8 tries to learn. My backside HURT from sitting so long. But it was worth it. Really and truly. You have to remember that your body has been through A LOT this past year and a half.

    And while sister#3 was born at home back in the 70's, sister#2 and I stood there watching, covered in chicken pox. In July. In California. That baby sister never did get the chicken pox. But I'm jealous. I wish my kids got it for real.

    You're going to be fine, but let this season be what it is - a time to rest. Your body will thank you :-)
    Blessings and every good bit of healing prayers sent your way.

  18. Ummm... that's terrifying. But also probably exactly what I needed to read because while I don't anticipate chicken pox, the chances are pretty good that I will try to do something too much too soon after this baby is born. Did I mention we are set to move all our stuff to a new place two weeks before my due date? But not actually move ourselves in until directly after baby's born? Yeah. So I needed to read that. Because I don't want anything... falling... out of anywhere.

  19. God bless you and yours for good health and happy souls in your home this summer!

  20. Whoa. I didn't know that was a thing. The exiting, I mean. Of the, um, organs. I'm so glad you didn't have to have surgery and so sorry you had to deal with allthethings!! And I can't believe that you made me laugh in your writing about it :)

  21. Wow, Dwija! What a week! You're in my thoughts and prayers!!

  22. Prolapse here, too. After #4. Because I jumped right back into parenting the others and doing all the things. Learned my lesson!! Also, can you ship Mary down here? My best friend would like her 5 and 2 year olds to get some chicken pox, since she opted out of the vaccine.....!

  23. Man, having a baby is no joke, huh? Also, the chicken pox?? THAT WEEK? I would have been flipping out.

  24. I only discovered your blog about a month ago...but I.want to be your best friend. Is that weird??? Loved this post.

  25. Prolapse sounds horrible. I already feel bizarre down there after pregnancy. I bought some Lelo Kegel balls which have been really helpful for making me actually strengthen that area. Regular kegel exercises get done very half-ass by me, so if you're in Camp Lazy Kegel Exercises too, these weights/balls are very helpful. After one hits 6 weeks, of course!

  26. Oh my goodness, how awful!! That makes me put my stress over moving next week into perspective! One thing is for sure- Edel can't come soon enough! :)

  27. I take back all of the thoughts rightthisveryminute that I had that sounded like "Where is Dwija and why has she left my interwebs life!?!?" Because woah baby, that is seriously a seriously serious couple of weeks ya got goin' on there. Take it easy, and take care of YOU! Prayers and love to you and your sweet family.

  28. You do notice a correlation between the Miraclesuit model of today and the women working in the field with newborns of yesteryear, yes? -E

  29. Wow!! You almost beat my record of nogoodterribleawful post-partum occurences! But now, on top of the UTI, bird mites, lice, and RSV, I have thrush in my left breast. I think being a woman IS purgatory, quite frankly. Keeping you and yours in prayer for peace and health!!! And yes, take it easy! I know it is so hard when it looks like your life is about to unravel if you don't get up and DO something about all the chaos that is happening around you, but somehow God will work it all for your good. I think I'm seeing some good coming out of the frustrating stuff that is happening to me and my family, but I need a bit more distance from all of it (i.e. dear God please cast out this demonic thrush into the nearest swine herd...) before I can exultantly claim such biblical truth in my life.

  30. I don't do anything after I have a baby. I'm SO paranoid about prolapse.
    I know this might not be possible for everyone, but for 4 weeks (yes a whole month), either my husband takes a vacation, stays home, and does everything (except breastfeeding) or we hire help for a month.
    Now, we are NOT wealthy. But, once I know I'm pregnant, we set aside as much money as possible for 9 months and then blow it on one month of hired help. If we're lucky, my husband has 30 days of vacation saved (though this happens only if our kids have more than a year between them, lol) so we don't have to worry too much about paying someone. But, we still save the money for a future pregnancy.
    Now, I don't lie around in bed for 30 days. But, I don't do any cleaning, cooking, driving, etc. I'm basically on a babymoon and the other kids have to fend for themselves. Just kidding. ;-) They just spend more time with their dad and very relaxed, gentle time with me. We don't have a TV, so this usually involved loads of board games. The best is when I have a baby in the summer, then we set up some elaborate water slides in the yard, and they will literally be out there all day. We just have to throw food at them and then hose them off before they come in for bed.

  31. We had a bout with chicken pox, coconut oil was the cure. I applied to the first outbreak and gave a tablespoon a day to everyone else. It was kept at bay.

    Nothing like some postpartum humility. Continued prayers for your healing and some much needed rest.


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