Monday, December 30, 2013


I can't tell you how sad I get around 8:30pm. Just knowing the bed time is nigh and soon Tyler will be asleep and I will be awake. The night is lonely when things go wrong. Like when your baby gets a chunk of your boob off and you're bleeding. It's hard to physically move so even when your tailbone feels like it's disintegrated and you might have bed sores and milk is dripping everywhere but both adult size towels you have in the bed are already soaked... And you just lay in the blood and milk and sweat and after a good full body cry and yell whispering "I don't understand!" Then you can look in the dim light of the lamp with a shirt and yoga pants draped over it and see your baby fart smiling. And his dimples. 

It's also lonely when Tyler leaves for work.  But at least I can text people. And at least people are updating on Facebook at that hour. I got an hour of sleep last night and when I woke up it was only 12 something am. I was so sad. I just hate to be alone. But then sometimes it's ok. 

Tyler said he is worried about me, mostly I think because I seem sad. I'm pretty somber. But as soon as I can comfortably wear a shirt, I plan on being very happy. 

We went to the Pediatrician today and she is awesome. So is Leon. It was exhausting though. Thank goodness Hannah went with me. 

I told Tyler that I always feel stress. Even when I sleep I'm worried that his poop will stick to his balls. My upper back feels like there is a knife in it. 

I asked Tyler to make me a bourbon and ginger ale. He said he would be glad to and that I deserved it. That made me cry. I didn't even have time to eat today  hardly. I got a cookie down (paleo awesome stuff that Tyler made) while I had Leon on one boob and pumped the other in a hovering position to help remove some clogs. My legs fell asleep. 

For our 5 year wedding anniversary we are going to costco and buying the expensive things we never buy, like nuts and liquor. We are both excited about this. 

I'm ok. I'm not depressed. I know this is just how it is. Just being honest about my state. It's hard. And nothing can prepare you for it. 

In the mean time, my baby is growing up fast. He doesn't look like he just came out anymore. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Breastfeeding: a very descriptive post

I used to see my sisters breast feeding their babies when I was 14 and I couldn't wrap my mind around it. Boobs were sex things and supposed to be shoved together, not dangle apart with milk dripping down the belly. I was totally (and understandably) disconnected from the animal instinct that comes with being a mama. Partly because I was young, but also because AMERICA - the place where there is soft porn on billboards but breast feeding in the open is not family friendly. Anyway. 

After I had Leon, I was still quite traumatized by my overly bloody birth, the fact that my nether regions were stretched out, and my boobs were painfully and horribly massive - similar to those of a blow up doll. But I don't think you can order a blow up doll with scabby, bleeding nipples. The horror of looking in the mirror, the inability to wear a shirt, the pain that comes when the heater kicks on or when you get chilled, the ache that takes place while you sit on the couch and try to smile while your family laughs about stuff but you don't know what, and the shear dread that sits on your shoulders as you count down the minutes to when you have to feed your baby again - All of these things were the first two and a half weeks of postpardom. 

Slowly you start to find the shirts that are super absorbent and those that are not. You learn to wear a cardigan to bed so you can at least keep your shoulders warm. You sometimes remember to thank God that at least you have milk to feed your baby. When they eat for an hour and take a three minute break, and want to eat for another hour... Thank God. A starving baby is one of the saddest things to behold. 

Last Sunday, my sweet tiny boy stopped latching. It was stressful. Tyler and I both cried. I had so much milk, which I was apparently drowning him with. So he'd latch for 3 gulps and pop off of there. After 6 hours of trying, my raw skin wanted to give up. I finally fed him with a syringe, but he ended up losing 6 oz. and I swear his little skinny baby alien skin got thinner. 

I called a lactation consultant and paid an extra $50 for her to come to my house. Is it legal to drive shirtless? With a baby in the car would probably make me a sex offender. All this time I've tried to avoid things like bottle feeding, using a nipple shield, a passifier, or even the little mittens so he wouldn't scratch himself - all in the name of things being the way they are supposed to be. Babies cry - passify them with skin to skin or breast milk or a diaper change. Don't cover up their hands because of sensory such and such. And so on. 

I'm here to say that I stand by that stuff... But damn it, God made people smart. If your baby won't eat, try a shield. If their face is covered in scratches, put something on their hands. And if your husband is at work and you need a shower but letting your baby cry while you shower makes you cry and stress out, use a passifier for 5 minutes. There is a balance. 

I will never judge a woman who does everything she can to feed her baby. It's important to be present and make informed decisions. And it's hard. It's so hard. And while I lay here blogging from my phone with milk oozing from me, know that my cardigan is super absorbent, and that my wrinkly little monkey of a baby is full and warm on my belly. And he was fed through a plastic shield. It doesn't make me less of a mama or love my child less. I still birthed a baby like a lioness. No, I did not beat my chest and feel like I could climb a mountain after, like I've heard so many women say. I hardly crawled to the bathroom. But slowly as things begin to move in the direction of balance, I'm like hey... HEY! Come see this cute thing I made! Mountain climbing isn't really for me though. But I do think it's all about "moving in the direction of," even if you havent quite struck balance. 

I guess my thought is that nothing goes the way we plan. Or maybe it does sometimes. Just stay alive (both of you) and kiss your baby 100 times a day. Let them sleep on your belly. Pat their bum. Put your nose on theirs. And feed them. 

Today between long feedings, all I wanted was for him to sleep so I could like, trim my nails and put pants on. He finally drifted off after eating for a good hour, and I just couldn't put him down. I stared at him. Then I fell asleep with my face an inch from his. When I woke up he was staring at me with his dark eyes and little baby bird mouth open, ready to hit the tit again. 

I'll end with this side note. People talk about what's going on in their lives. When I started to write this, the only thing I could write was about breast feeding because currently it's all that I do. I've had the issue with moms before that I don't know how to talk to them because all they talk about is mom stuff. Well, such is life. This blog will mostly be about mom stuff. And perhaps those moms had an issue with me because all I knew how to talk about was work or yoga. Anyway... I am working on meeting people where thy are. I hope you'll do the same with me. And perhaps sometimes be like, "Shannon. Go read a freaking book. You're boring." 

Someone doesn't like being the baby spoon
Eating his blanket for a sec because I needed a 2 minute timeout
Ah, sleep. And my new L bracelet that I love, from Anthro. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

I knew babies ate a lot. But I didn't know it was constant. All night long. All day. I'll get a 15 minute break here and there when he falls off. And currently Tyler is trying to sooth him while I regain a bit of humanness. I showered and put on deodorant. 

I know newborns aren't supposed to cry it out. But 20 minutes. I just need 20 or so. Probably less. What a neat skill to be able to eat and sleep at the same time. Neat. 

Things are getting better. I told myself I'd never complain about him eating again. So. I won't. I'm so glad he gets his food from me. And what a miracle really. Ah he just calmed down. 

Well. I'll be done now. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our life now

Well. I sit on this couch a lot. And feed him a lot. Speaking of feeding him... Breast feeding is hard. Really hard. I prepared so much for labor and birth. I'm glad I did (even though it was basically out of my control). I thought, "I'm tired," when I looked at breast feeding books. Figured it would just work out. Well. It does eventually, after lots of tears and pain and frustration and prayer. 

My hair never dries. I shower (or takes a whore's bath - ask Grandma D if you don't know what this is) and my hair goes up immediately. I'm either feeding him or holding him or something. I totally get people cutting their hair when they have kids. In the mean time... I'm scared of getting moldy hair. Haha. Gross. 

I'm so slumpy now. I gots to get some abs. 

Leon is asleep and I must get things done now. Merry Christmas Eve, my friends. 


Usually around 3 or 4 am Tyler takes a turn :)

The face he makes right before I shove my boob in his mouth. 

The face he makes when he's thinking about boobs. 

Complete exhausted from boobs. 

The End. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Well, my incredible birth teacher said many times that "it can take a woman up to a year to integrate her birth story." I like to tell Tyler that in a deep, whimsical voice. And then we laugh, but not too hard since my muscles are shot. But I imagine the gritty details getting typed out will at least help. Here it goes...

Wednesday, December 11 at 5:23am I rolled over to go pee again. I heard a loud pop and I thought it was my hip. My first thought was, "Oh my gosh, I just crushed my babies head," but when I stood up my bones did not shatter. And I had some pretty damp unda-briches. I went to the bathroom (my birth teacher also said that denial is the key to get through labor) I thought "Oh, I lost my mucous plug." But alas, as more and more fluid poured forth, I realized (but did not acknowledge aloud) that my water had broken. And then I pooped for thirty minutes straight.

If you didn't realize yet that I am going to give every detail I can remember... well, now you know. I'd think I was done pooping, get up to go back to bed, and have to sit right back down and poop more. By 6am, Tyler was home from the gym and I was done pooping. Contractions, little baby ones, had started. I knew this because I had much more intense ones in the prior weeks, some lasting all night. I said, "I think my water broke." Tyler said, "Don't you just know?" and I said, "No, it's just like that in the movies. Plus, I think I'm not sure if it broke or not because I'm just me." I told him to go to work, because I envisioned this taking days. I called my midwife at 6:30am though, to tell her this was legit. I told Tyler to stay home.

In the next four hours, I transitioned. I first threw up the tastiest smoothie Tyler has ever made for me and then a bunch of water. Tyler had a nice 5 gallon bucket for me lined with a trash bag. Part of this time I spent on my left side in bed - I'd contract and grip the bed, Tyler would hold my hand, I'd vocalize a bit, and then sleep between contractions. I had wild dreams. I dreamed I made baby wipes for friends and they hated them. Also motorcycles. Contractions were 1 minute long and started at 2.5 minutes apart... then moved to 2 minutes apart pretty quickly. My midwife arrived at 10:30am, but didn't check me until 11:00am when she told me "I think you're good to go." It took me about a half hour to realize she meant push, so of course I double checked with her how dilated I was and what exactly she meant by "push."

I started out slow. All together pushing for 2.5 hours, but didn't really start to push hard until more than an hour in. I asked my MW later why I took so long - she said she wanted me to figure it out. She kept saying "push all your energy down to your butt," and man, I know now what the groanings of childbirth sound like. Tyler kept saying "Shanny, you're a beast." I think I may have been a little scary.

About 45 minutes from Leon coming out, they told me to reach back and feel for his head. It was about an inch inside, but again, I made her double check that it was actually a head. It felt like a wrinkly brain. From that point on, every contraction I would reach back and feel my pushes moving him down, but man, his head was stuck there for a while. When he came out, I apologized to him for giving him an alien head. Turns out his little hand was up by his face, just like it is right now as he sleeps next to me. Once I pushed his head out (oh the burning) his whole body wriggled free. I had been on all fours, and I think I stood up onto my shins, they handed me Leon, and Tyler was behind me holding onto me. My legs were beyond exhausted at this point. I was delivering the placenta and holding onto Leon. Tricky business. I said, "I think I'm in shock," and then passed out for just a few seconds. Tyler caught me and the baby, when I came to I heard someone say "That was scary," or "You scared us." Something like that.

They laid me back on Tyler and propped my feet up. They put me on oxygen, gave me three white pills that do not chew/swallow easily. I took them down with some OJ. My friend Lisa who acted as my Doula fed me a bowl of oatmeal. They gave me a shot of pitosin in my leg, three more white pills, and then some stuff to hold under my tongue - all of these things to make my uterus contract and slow the bleeding down. We had learned in our birth class that eating a piece of your placenta can really help stop hemorrhaging/bleeding. So Tyler blurts out "WHAT IF SHE ATE HER PLACENTA?" At this point, there was (to me) a very slight sense of panic in the room, but we still joked, and I was being fed oatmeal like a child while I looked at my wet little baby. So we tried it. I said, "Can you at least rinse it off?" They did. It was like slurping down a little baby fish. Yerm.

After about two hours on the floor, they helped me scoot my body more onto the blanket I had delivered on and they drug me across my house to my bedroom. They were going to put me in bed, but I slowly got up and did it myself. Everyone present was my midwife, her partner, my doula, and Tyler.

I had to pee in the bed that night. It happened three times. So. Much. Pee. The third time, my body just did it without me even having a say. Poor Tyler changed the pee pads. He was amazing. He had to change all of the baby diapers. I wasn't supposed to walk for 24 hours... but I did. Oh, and I wore fashion panties, which is how my MW refers to adult diapers. So cute, she is.

I sang to Leon when he came out. I had forgotten about it until yesterday. I sang, "go to sleep, little baby. Go to sleep little baby, hm hm hm hm hm hm hm hm, don't need nobody but the baby." There are so many verses to that song. I get them all confused, but I've been singing it to him for the past few months. He came out crying, no cord wrap that I can remember.

Between contractions I'd sit back on my heels like Child's Pose legs and just hang my head. My neck and throat hurt so bad from vocalizing and head-hanging that I was sure I had Meningitis, but I didn't tell anyone. What a weirdo I am.

Here are some pictures that were a little too intense for Facebook (in my opinion). Enjoy?

Tyler was such a good coach. He would say, almost in shock, "You are so strong."
I think I would be a good pushing coach, maybe. Terrifying, but good. 
My sweet man watching our boy come out
A real live baby
Oh yeah, I forgot about the oxygen part. After an hour on the floor, I asked Tyler how he was doing. He said he was so uncomfortable. Ha. What a nice guy!

After they dragged/drug me to the bed :)
fresh baby. He looks just like Tyler here. 
exhaustion finally hit the next day. My MW got all the dried blood off of me, but forgot to take one of my socks off (I was freezing) so the next day, I was quite shocked to remove the sock and see my completely bloody foot. Childbirth is gross! and Cool. 
little drunk milk mouth
almost a week later, I could put him on my chest (almost) painlessly. No one told me how taxing engorgement could be - physically and emotionally. I looked like a blow up doll. 
one week birthday milk hangover. We party hard over here.

So, a few more things. Advice, things I learned: 1) be around encouraging people. 2) just make it to one week, and then look back and go "wow, I lived." I did that this morning. I'm alive. So is my baby. We're doing it. We did it. Praise Jesus.

Leon is so sweet, and a good baby so far :) We named him after every old man out there named Leon. They usually have good stories to tell. His middle name was Tyler's Pop's name. Granville - pronounced like "anvil." You can say it with a hick accent. It's fun. But you don't have to.

And I guess that's all I have for now. Thanks for caring about this story and wanting to hear it. 

Love, Shanny. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I've been mopey. Yesterday was pretty mopey, and today started out mopey. The dogs have been pretty bad, mostly due to it being cold outside and getting crazy inside. They knocked down my Christmas tree twice and broke a majority of the homemade ornaments... which I spent a decent amount of time on, and was also in a really bad mood while I made them. 

So, now the tree looks like poop and I'm thinking of just taking it down. Or it can stay. I don't really care anymore. The couch is covered in dog hair. Gross, I know. They normally don't get up there.. kind of.. but man, when it's too cold to play outside what else can I do. I feel like a mean mom. I yelled at them when they knocked the tree over and put them in their crate. Their crate is supposed to be a safe place where they sleep and love. I made it sad. 

Tyler truthfully asked me if we could get rid of Russ. I said no. Then he said, "Ok, what about both of them?" Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. No. In two years, they will have settled down, my child will love them, and we will not be able to imagine our lives without them. I know this. I just need to chill out and breathe and have a baby. Charlotte is seriously so needy. Russ only always wants to play. This is our life. 

This morning I made breakfast for Tyler. I make breakfast off and on, but I never form the sausage patties myself. I only cook bacon because it can be done completely with a fork. Well. I made the sausage, and I ate it. And now I think I want to be a vegetarian again. Guh. It's so gross. 

I went back to bed and slept. I got a text, I told the person how mopey I was and they said "take a shower and put some makeup on." So I did. I feel better. I'm so busy waiting to have a baby that that's all I'm doing. Waiting. No need to shower, I'm just waiting. No need to get out of the house. I'll just sit here and wait. I could be waiting for another month. I know! Yesterday I said I wasn't impatient. Well. 

I'm making cheesy quinoa bites that I found on pinterest for dinner tonight. It's just a side. We're going to a friends house. I'm going to have Tyler make some baked sweet potato "fries," and he mixed up an amazing cocktail for our Gospel Community Christmas party the other night. Ginger ale, Bourbon, and OJ. 

Anyway, I made a list of things to do, so I best get to it. Also, I love the Christmas presents I made. They're just cute, sitting there on my table. I wish I could post a picture of them .

Monday, December 9, 2013

I'm teaching yoga this morning for a business in Chesterfield. Then I have two classes left at BBY, and I'm done until about 6 weeks after the baby is born. Wacky.

We had a Christmas party last night with our Gospel Community. We did a beverage exchange/rob your neighbor. I got cocoa, and Tyler promptly told me that I lost. He wanted me to steal his beer from someone, but I chose to open a new gift. It was the richest thing I've ever drank. And now we have 49 packets of cocoa, so come drink it.

So last week when I started to get sick and then I slept for 14 hours... I didn't have water during tht 14 hours, and then I met my friend and thought "Oh, a little coffee won't hurt." So after I was severely dehydrated and contractions kicked in, I drank water like normal, but I probably needed an IV or something (I'm not being serious). I taught class that night, came home to hang out with friends and bounce on an exercise ball. The contractions hurt, and it was awkward. What do you do in that situation? I was trying to be in denial, but at the same time I knew I wasn't in real labor. "Oh, sorry I'm not listening to anything you're saying because it feels like my hips are going to explode," or "sorry I'm bouncing on this ball like a freak, I think my baby is crowning." It's just weird. Then I went to bed and slept off and on through contractions until they stopped at 4:30am. It was frustrating, mostly because I knew deep down it wasn't time... but I wanted it to be.

So anyway. People keep saying "you're about to have a baby!" and I'm like "Yeah, who knows. Maybe not. Maybe this is just the way I look now." I don't say that, because that would also be very awkward. But a small part of me thinks I will never have a baby. Some mornings when I wake up and don't feel like my bladder is about to explode, I wonder if I'm still pregnant because my belly feels smaller.

Anyway, he or she will come. I know this. But I'm not expecting it anytime soon.

I got nothin cool to say

Friday, December 6, 2013

New kick

Ok, I'm on a new kick. It's called dry skin brushing, and it works with your lymphatic system to remove toxins. I have read about it (helpful book on the Kindle, sisters/mom) and I just watched a short video. The woman on the video says that she's seen this technique change eye color from dark to light, or even brown to blue, just because of how much it detoxes the body. I've done it two times. My skin feels nice, it makes me feel refreshed afterwards, and it just feels nice...

A few of the benefits of dry skin brushing: 
Detoxifies the skin 
Stimulates blood flow 
Cleanses lymphatic system 
Removes dead, dull skin cells on the surface of the skin 
Stimulates and strengthens the immune system 
Stimulates hormonal and oil producing glands 
Tones muscles 
Assists digestion 
Relaxes the nervous system 
Skin becomes softer and smoother 
Skin brushing is like a gymnastic workout for the circulatory system and skin

So there you have it. 

I was starting to get sick yesterday afternoon. Achy head, neck, and upper back. So I juiced, took garlic and vitamin C, and made some Oatstraw Tea. Went to sleep at 7:45pm, woke up to eat and say hi to Tyler at 7am, and then went back to bed until 10am. Lots of sleep. It was nice. I feel back to normal now, except that my hips are hurting a great deal, like the dull ache plus period crampiness that I had when I was having contractions a few weeks ago. This child moved down some more. I'm the queen waddler now. Something just feels different. I teach tonight and both classes tomorrow... should be interesting!

The end. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's spitting ice here. I taught 6:30am Rise and Shine at the studio. Sometimes I pray that no one will come to the early AM class, but three people showed. If I lived farther away, I wouldn't go (as a student). I live three minutes away though. So it's just too easy, even with an icy windshield.

Guys, I'm not scared. I told Tyler that my fear of giving birth is at the level of fear I had as a freshman in high school, nervous about going to college. Birthing this child feels like it will never happen, and I'm not impatient. I feel like I'm in a decent place mentally and emotionally.

Though, I bought this DIY stuff to make for people for Christmas and it didn't turn out as planned after I'd already complete five of them. FIVE. I threw a silent fit in my brain and Tyler stuck out his bottom lip for me. Ah well. I'll try again. But, this is why I just don't do this stuff.

Anyone have restless leg syndrome when they were pregnant? It's terrible, but I'll live. It reminds me of when I'd get a cut and my mom would put peroxide on it and I couldn't hold still. Ya just can't hold still. Have I already said all of this?

My obsession with coconut oil continues. It just occurred to me that coconut oil has calories. I should be checking on that.

Never fails - as soon as I say to myself, "Wow, my skin isn't looking too bad," I get four zits.

I have to share that I love our Pediatrician. She is a sweet woman from India, and I feel like she is a wise grandma. I love her. She's very well-rounded and I want her to be my friend.

Ok. Nothing offensive said. I'll be done now.

Monday, December 2, 2013

37 weeks

Leslie, MB, and Jenny - thanks for your kind words. And it's true, no matter how this baby gets here, it will be sweet. And Jenny, Tyler has been "naturally prepared" (that was the name of our birth class) and I think he will be so awesome. I don't think he knew what was coming before we took the class! A good dose of healthy fear, and knowledge, goes a long way :)

My brother just left. He called me Saturday afternoon and decided to come visit. Got in around 9pm, we stayed up until 11. I taught classes the next morning and he attended both. Tyler came to the second class and we went to lunch after. Not a typical Sunday morning, but fun nonetheless.

We watched This is the End on Sunday afternoon - do not waste your time. Maybe three funny parts (as funny as those guy are) and then just drawn out stupidness. We made beef stew and ended the evening with Lars and the Real Girl.

I've been making Christmas ornaments for the tree. They're black and white. All of them. I didn't have any other paint, and who goes to the store? Not this girl. I ran out of string to hang them, but I'll get more today.

I have some things on my list to do today. But I keep finding myself drifting off into thought about laying on my stomach and wearing whatever pair of pants I want. I'm excited to do a juice cleanse, and have an Old Fashioned... but not at the same time. All of these things I haven't been able to do for a good part of 8 months. I'm telling myself, right now, that I will always be pregnant and that this baby will never come out. That way, IF it does, I'll be pleasantly surprised. Tyler said he wants me to be pregnant constantly. Um. We shall see about that.

Right now the baby seems to be chilling. He was still for a while, but now pretty movey again. I think he shifted down because I've been peeing a lot more and waddling more. My round ligaments are kind of killing me. I jogged from the car to the yoga studio (1. is that allowed? and 2. it sucked) and after about four steps I was like, nope. I'm 37 weeks and 3 days. I imagine I've got two weeks left.

Well. That's it.