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Dear Lucy,

Today you are six months old. I know a lot of parents will say their first six months with a new baby was crazy (and rightfully so),  but I think we have a little more reason to say it. It has been SOME six months, little girl. We’ve had our ups and downs, times when both of us cried for apparently no reason and times when we laughed our heads off because we are so unbelievably witty (especially me). There were lots of times I feared for you, and some times I cried for you, too. But there were many, many more times that we smiled and played and learned together. My whole life is different because of you. I walk a little faster on my way home because I can’t wait to see you. I make time for naps so I can snuggle you. Hell, I do the dishes regularly because I need bottles to feed you. Right now you are sleeping, and I really, really miss you.

After this six-month introductory period, I am fully convinced you are the most amazing person that has ever lived, and I am so, so lucky to have you in my life. C-section, postpartum depression, and multiple heart surgeries be damned–I would not change one millisecond of it, not for anything. And I know for sure that I will always, always love you, more than you can imagine.

I guess we can finally toss the receipt, because I don’t plan on returning you anytime soon. ;)

Love always,

Mommy

This baby, you guys. For real. She is all the awesomeness in the universe bundled up into a tiny, relatively portable package. I don’t mean to brag, but. You know. I kind of do.

This whole nonsense started last Thursday with pre-op testing. They wanted to check her out and make sure she wasn’t carrying any icky viruses or anything, and they needed to take some vitals and some blood. It’s like she knew what we were there for. She cried and cried–I’ve very rarely seen her so upset. And that was even before they wanted to draw blood, which was an ordeal. Luckily she was calmed a bit by being carried in the baby sling, which Mommy had shoved in the diaper bag on a whim. Phew. She took a nap in there while we answered a bunch of medical history questions. It took about 2 hours total, plus an hour and a half ish each way driving. We were all exhausted by then and dreading what was to come.

We had to be at the hospital for her surgery at 6AM Monday. Everyone tried to sleep on Sunday night, but Lucy was the only one who really managed. For some stupid reason we decided to watch the movie Amour that night. It was an okay movie, but totally not the right type of thing for the night before a medical procedure. Lu was allowed to eat until 3:30AM, so the Fathership got up to feed her at 3. Then we slept another hour before getting up at 4 to get ready. I was very proud of myself for managing to pack all my stuff and take a shower and get dressed in under an hour. Nobody else was very impressed with me, but I’ll cut them some slack because they hadn’t had much sleep. We stopped at a Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, which was a comedy of errors, but of course there wasn’t much traffic so we were only 5-ish minutes late to the hospital.

I took Lucy in while Mom and Steve parked the car. Answered a bunch of medical questions, put her in a baby hospital gown. Tried not to barf in anticipation. They took some more blood, but she was generally in good spirits the whole time, which made it easier on everyone. Before we knew it, they were taking her away. I hope you, dear reader, never have to experience the ache of way-too-empty arms after handing off your baby to be taken away for major surgery. I managed to sort of just shut myself down and stopped myself from crying, except for a few rogue tears. If I’d let myself cry then, I think I very well could have cried the whole time she was in the hospital. I just kept trying to repeat what’s sort of become my mantra–we have to do this, there’s no other way, she’s going to be fine, we did all we could.

Luckily the surgery went much faster than we thought it would. The nice smiley nurse we’d had update us for the first surgery came and gave us regular updates. We were in seeing Lu in her room by early afternoon. And when it was all over, we were absolutely exhausted. It was hard to see her hooked up to all those machines again, but she was extubated before even coming to the room, so that was a small blessing.

We got to stay at the Ronald McDonald House again. I can’t even explain how awesome it is to get to stay there. On Tuesday we just woke up, had a cup of tea, and went over to see Lucy for like half an hour. Then we went back to the house and took showers and got ready for our day. And everyone there is so nice, and the volunteers are so great, and the people who bring food… There was even a free yoga class on Wednesday night with an amazing teacher. It just makes life so much better, even when you mostly live at the hospital.

Lucy got better and better every day. She was a bit cranky at times, which is to be expected, but mostly just…amazing. She is seriously an amazing little person. By Wednesday she was laughing a bit at her Grandma–just two days after surgery. Today we got to come home, just three days after. And she came home and sat on Daddy’s lap and watched TV, and petted the cat, and played with her toys, and sat in her swing, and had some formula, and had some diaper changes, and napped on the couch, and laughed and smiled and babbled. Like nothing had even happened. AND she hasn’t even had any pain meds in at least 24 hours.

I’m just blown away. I love her so, so much. And I am unbelievably, inexplicably, boundlessly happy and joyous and excited and thankful that she is all right and this is all over, at least for now. If we’re lucky–and we’ve been so insanely lucky so far–no more talk of surgery for another year or so. Keep your fingers crossed for us. :)

Being a mom changes you. You can’t avoid it. It changes your whole life, your priorities, your schedule. As in a song I like to sing Lucy at bedtime:

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

(It’s from Wicked, the musical ;D) Honestly, I think it’s changed me for the better. And I think, to some extent, it’s because I’m too damn tired to deal with bullshit. ;) I have a new perspective about what’s possible and what isn’t, what’s important and what isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still difficult to find balance in my life between all the things I need to do and all the things I want to do, and money and time and ambition, etc. But it just doesn’t bother me as much anymore. I just kind of roll with what’s going on. (And I’m not naive enough to think this has nothing to do with the medication I’m taking, but as I’ve told several people already–I’m fairly convinced I should have been taking medication years ago. And anyway, for me, that’s part of my mom journey…for better or worse.)

Having a set schedule is working really well for me, too. We have to make a meal plan on Sunday and do all our grocery shopping at once, because it’s a hassle to go out multiple times (and we don’t really have the money to order in a lot). On nanny days I wake up at 6:45, I must shower before Steve leaves at 7:30, then Lu and I go into the kitchen and load the dishwasher and get my lunch together and I leave at 8 (on WAHM days it’s sort of the same, except I make breakfast instead of lunch and probably no shower XD). I work until 5 (ish), get home at 6 (ish) and start making dinner. The dishes and the kitchen are already clean and ready for cooking. The baby goes to bed at 9 (ish) and then there’s internet/TV/cleaning/dick around time until I go and read my book at 10 (ish) before bed. It helps my life make sense, and it helps me not put things off when they need to get done.

So I have a bit of colic. Except when mommies cry excessively for no reason, they call it something else. As if our life needed any more scary acronyms.

The surgery was at 7AM on Thursday morning. We woke up and got to the hospital around 5AM. They were prepping her, so we had to wait outside for a while. When we went in, she was already swabbed with betadine (antiseptic), which meant she was naked and orange from the nose down. We were only allowed to touch her head, to keep from getting germs on her. And she was so upset. She was just sobbing and sobbing, and she flailed around so much that she turned herself all the way around in her bed. I think that was actually the hardest part of all of this for me. She was so sad and I couldn’t do anything for her. Even the nurses couldn’t do anything for her this time, because nobody was supposed to touch her. It seemed to take forever before they wheeled her away to surgery. I was mad because the nurses wheeled her away really fast and I was still walking slow because I was recovering from having my damn insides on the outside. Sometimes they’d disappear around a corner without us and Steve would run to see which way they’d turned. Jerks. When it came time to say goodbye, I didn’t know what to say so I just petted her head and tried not to cry.

We went to a waiting room where they’d told us to check in, but there was nobody to check in with. It made me really tense. On top of being super tired. Eventually some people showed up, and a nurse came in and introduced herself and said she’d be giving us updates. She came to tell us that Lucy was prepped and the first incision was made. While we were waiting it was time for me to pump, and the other day someone had told me there would be a place for me to pump there…but there wasn’t. So they got a pump from somewhere, but the girl who brought it told me to pump in the bathroom…which was public, with two stalls. Um. So eventually they put me in one of the surgery recovery rooms. While I was gone the nurse came and told Steve and Mom that the surgery was over and we’d be able to see Lucy soon. It had gone super quickly and easily.

After the surgery Lucy was transferred to a private room in the PSHU (Pediatric Surgical Heart Unit) at the children’s hospital. The second hardest thing was seeing her after the surgery. She was on a respirator, and still kind of sedated, and there was a tube draining fluid from her chest. The incision site was covered with a bandage, so that wasn’t so bad. But she looked really sad and tired.

Lucky for us, we have a super kid. Over the next two days she recovered extremely fast, and before we knew it they were transferring her to a regular room in the step-down unit. The doctor said he wanted us to stay at the hospital with her overnight to get accustomed to taking care of her, because we hadn’t been able to yet. And after that, we could take her home. In the step-down room she had a portable heart monitor, so we could pick her up and move her around a lot easier. It was really scary to take care of her, even if the nurses were there and everything. They taught us how to draw up her medication and how to mix her high-calorie formula (or, at the time, fortified breast milk). We changed many diapers around the monitor lines she still had, and when it was time to feed her we had to call for the bottle and then give it to her. It was really uncomfortable to sleep in the room–there was one chair that pulled out into a cot, and one recliner. We didn’t get much sleep at all.

The next day the doctor came and said he was a bit worried about her chest congestion, so he ordered an x-ray. Then he said she’d have to stay until the next day just in case. I won’t lie, I was crushed. I really wanted to go home. The night nurse said she would take care of Lucy if we wanted to go back to the Ronald McDonald House and get some sleep, but the idea of leaving her made me feel awful. We’d spent so much time not being able to take care of her, and now that we could we were just going to leave her…? Aside from that, the nurses in the step-down unit have several patients each. The other units she’d been in had pretty dedicated nurses, like 2-3 patients per nurse max. So if she needed something, someone would always be there. But I wasn’t sure how quick a nurse would come running if Lu started to cry in step-down… Steve was really tired, so I told him he could go back to the House with his mom (who had come in by train that morning), but he decided to stay with us instead.

We still didn’t get any sleep, but the next day everyone got to go home! And then the real adventure began…

The following days were spent trying to walk normally again and visiting Lucy in the NICU. Only two people were allowed in at a time, and one had to be a parent. So when people came to visit we had to switch on and off. It worked all right. My mom stayed at our apartment with MJ while we were at the hospital and came back every day to visit me and Lucy. We found out later that during the time she wasn’t at the hospital she was cleaning up our place! It was so nice to come home to a clean apartment. <3

I was able to walk and stand well enough to take a shower on Thursday, my first since Sunday night. Yikes. Eventually I started taking the pain meds at the hospital just because my back hurt from the stupid hospital bed, not because my abdomen hurt so much (although it did still hurt, don’t get me wrong). I was soooo happy when they discharged me that Friday, because it meant I could sleep in a normal bed. (Once I got to a normal bed I switched to plain Advil in a regular dose.)

So many people came around to talk to us at the hospital. Nurses and chaplains and lactation consultants and all manner of people. It was really great, actually. Everyone at both hospitals was so nice and helpful all the time. The social worker came and talked to us every day because she knew our baby was in the NICU. She contacted the Ronald McDonald House to see if we could stay there, since we live so far from the hospital. On Friday she came and told me that the House would be booked up all weekend, so I went and Pricelined a hotel nearby. A few hours later I got a call from the House director saying they had a room available for us, so we ended up taking that instead. Of course Priceline makes you pay up front, so we lost that money. =/ But the Ronald McDonald House, holy crap.

In case you don’t know, the Ronald McDonald House is a charity organization. There are several of them in the US. They provide a place for families who live far away to stay near children’s hospitals. There’s a suggested donation of $10 per night, but nobody is turned away for not being able to pay. I was expecting it to be sort of like a hostel or something, but the place is absolutely beautiful. It’s sort of like a 5-star bed and breakfast. There’s a huge communal kitchen, a library, a playroom for kids, a nice dining room, and a living room on every floor. There’s also free laundry on the second and third floors. At least one meal per day (usually dinner) is prepared by a charity group or charitable people, so there’s often free food hanging around. Plus there is a communal cupboard and a communal refrigerator where you can scavenge anytime. And you can bring your own food and store it in a personal locked cupboard or in a group refrigerator using name labels. I’ve said to many people that it’s the nicest place I’ve ever been that I wish I hadn’t needed to be. It really made it easier for us to be away from home, though. I missed MJ so much, and I missed just being at our place with our stuff…but I wasn’t supposed to do stairs yet, and anyway what would we do at home?

This was a time full of feelings. Usually not good ones. I was worried about Lucy, and so tired and hurty. The hospital is right by the Ronald McDonald House, but I couldn’t walk very far, so Steve and Mom would shuttle me back and forth in their cars for the two-block distance. I was waking up every 2-3 hours to use the breast pump, but not producing very much at all. I would pump at the House, in the pumping room at the NICU, and wherever else they would let me. With the help of a lactation consultant, Lucy and I tried twice to breastfeed using a supplemental nursing thing, basically a tube that gets taped over your nipple so the baby gets milk even though the mom isn’t making enough. I even tried taking a fenugreek supplement to increase my production, but all it did was make me sick. Then the doctor told us he didn’t really recommend breastfeeding right now, because Lucy needs extra calories. So if I wanted to keep giving her breastmilk I’d have to pump all the time and fortify with formula to add calories. (Because of her condition, Lu burns more calories than a normal baby just by existing. Her heart and respiration rates are always high, especially when eating or crying or anything like that. Gaining weight is important because the bigger she is at her next surgery the better she’ll be able to recover.) I did keep pumping until a few days after we came home from the hospital (two weeks), but it started to become impossible to get any sleep or to take care of the baby because I was always attached to this machine. And it didn’t seem worth it…because I would only make enough for maybe one or two bottles (out of eight) per day. It’s a hard thing to give up, and it makes you feel bad. But one night I was sitting there listening to her cry and I couldn’t pick her up because of the stupid pump and I thought fuck this–what does she need more?

That Sunday was Mother’s Day, my first ever. But it was just kind of depressing. I did get to see my baby for a few hours, so there was that. And the staff at the House gave presents to all the moms (a bracelet and some Bath and Body Works stuff). My mom and Carlene both came to visit that day and brought me presents, too. And we went out to dinner at a good Italian restaurant. Still, I kind of hope my next Mother’s Day is…happier.

In the NICU we were allowed to hold her sometimes, and if we were there during feeding time we could give her a bottle. But usually she had to stay in her bed because she was hooked up to so many lines. A lot of times we just sort of watched her sleep. At one point we also took a free infant CPR class offered by the hospital. They told us originally her surgery would be on Tuesday, but because she was doing well they switched it to Thursday. This kind of just meant more horrible anticipation for us, but gave Lucy a few days to get bigger and stronger.

Before we knew it, surgery day was here. =/

To be continued…

Wow, my baby is two and a half weeks old already. I’d say I have no idea where the time has gone, but I do. It will take me ages to write it all out, so here’s a quick summary: sleep deprivation, many hours of “labor”, 3-day liquid diet, unplanned abdominal surgery, 24 hours of waiting waiting waiting, so much breast pumping, scrubbing up to the elbows, recovering from surgery, homesickness, Ronald McDonald House, driving two blocks several times a day, giving my baby away for heart surgery, watching her amazingly fast recovery, different hospital rooms, taking care of her for the night, finally getting to take her home… And then excitement and terror and anxiety and baby clothes…

I’ll try to write about all of these things at some point. Here’s the beginning.

We left the house at about 4AM to get to the hospital by 5. We brought so much stuff it was like we were moving in–which turned out to kind of be true. It took forever after we got there for anything to actually happen, except getting my IV put in, which is one of my least favorite things ever in the world. Eventually they decided to start me on a medication called Cytotec to help dilate my cervix. It’s a pill they put in your cervix, and then you wait several hours for it to hopefully do something. My mom showed up around 10AM. The Cytotec after many hours dilated me enough that they tried another tactic, inserting a catheter with a balloon and inflating it with water. It’s supposed to stay in there until it falls out, but apparently just the act of inflating it dilated enough for it to fall out immediately. It was pretty uncomfortable. I was hooked up to so many monitors and the IV and it was a hassle to get up and go to the bathroom, but I had to go a lot because of the IV fluids. After the balloon they decided to start the meds to give me contractions. Nothing much happened for a while. At about 8PM I decided to get an epidural, which ended up not being as scary as I thought it would be. I wasn’t in a whole lot of pain, but by this point I was starving and tired and uncomfortable, and I had no idea how much longer it would be. The anesthesiologist was a pretty cool guy, so that helped. I mean, he was a kind of weird guy. He reminded me a bit of my boss. Also he’s a pediatric anesthesiologist at the children’s hospital, so our paths may cross again someday. And the nurse I had at the time was probably my favorite the whole time, so she really helped me get through the needle-in-the-spine thing (mom and Steve had to leave to keep the room sterile during the procedure). I had been afraid of being paralyzed from the waist down, but basically I couldn’t feel anything in my midsection but I had at least some feeling in my legs and feet. So I could still move around a bit, although I couldn’t support my weight or anything. It did make me itchy, though.

The rest of what happened is kind of a blur. I slept on and off a lot. We watched stuff on Netflix and HBO Go. People kept coming in and poking me and hooking me up to stuff, etc. At some point they put a monitor up inside my uterus to track the contractions better. The baby’s heart rate started to get wonky every time they turned up the medication too high, so they kept increasing really slowly. They decided to keep me in a sort of holding pattern overnight until all the doctors came back in the morning, which pissed me off. ;) I kept getting more and more uncomfortable in the bed and super hungry and all manner of disgruntled. Sometime Tuesday afternoon I finally told the doula to come, because she might as well even though things weren’t progressing very much. She did help me calm down a bit when I was starting to freak out, though. She and the nurse kept trying to get me to lay in different positions because the baby wasn’t coming down favorably. Finally I managed to dilate to about 9.5 centimeters (out of 10), but the baby still wasn’t coming down right. So the doctor came in and said we’re going to try to push and if nothing happens it’s not going to happen. So we did two big pushes and the baby was still stuck and they told me I needed a c-section. I pretty much lost it. I was so hungry and tired and terrified…I’d never had surgery before. But at this point the baby’s heart rate was going up really high and everyone was alarmed. And she wasn’t going to fit through my pelvis, soooo…this was pretty much our only option. They prepped me for surgery and hauled me away pretty quick after that. Steve went away and got suited up for the operating room. They put up a sheet and an anesthesiologist started pumping my epidural full of stuff until I couldn’t feel anything. I got freaked out because I kept being able to wiggle my toes, which surprised her. At some point during labor I’d started shaking uncontrollably, and it only got worse in the operating room. My arms were vibrating off the table, and I was afraid the rest of me would be too. I don’t know if it was chills or adrenaline or hormones or a reaction to the meds or what. I was shaking so hard it hurt. Steve was able to come back and held my hand and talked to me. A radio was playing, I remember it played Bon Jovi before he got there and I joked that he was lucky he hadn’t been in the room. I think at some point it also played “Sweet Child o’ Mine”–it seemed pretty heavy on 80s stuff. I heard people talking and felt some stuff going on, but I kept wondering when they’d actually start the procedure–up until the minute I heard a baby crying. Lucy Violet was born at 6:02 PM. They took her out and looked her over and everything, and Steve was able to hold her for a minute. I touched her cheek. Then they took her away. Steve had to leave, too. As he was going, his pants fell down. They’d found him the biggest scrubs they had, and apparently they were too big. ;) I got sewed up and taken to the recovery room, where he met me. At some point during labor I’d gotten a fever, and it got worse after the surgery so they pumped me full of antibiotics just in case. I stayed in the recovery room for a while and then they took me to a regular room where I got to see my mom again too.

Usually for c-sections and sick babies they’ll wheel your bed to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to see your baby, but since I’d had a fever I was banned from going there until I was fever-free for 24 hours. It was a super long 24 hours. I made Steve and Mom go and take pictures of her for me. I wasn’t able to move much and I couldn’t get out of bed, so they put these weird things on my legs that inflated and deflated at regular intervals to stop me from getting blood clots. They didn’t really bother me, I found them kind of entertaining. As much as anything is entertaining after all of that nonsense.

Apparently after a c-section your golden ticket to eating regular food is farting. I am so not kidding. Passing gas is a sign that your digestive system is back in working order. You’re only allowed clear liquids until you fart. We finally managed to get me a vegetarian liquid tray (although it had jello…), so that was pretty exciting because it had vegetable broth. I had it for breakfast AND lunch on Wednesday. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast Monday. (If you’re playing along at home, this means I had the magic fart before dinner on Wednesday.)

Wednesday at around 5 or 6 AM the nurse came and had me sit up in bed and dangle my legs off the side. I’m not going to lie, it hurt. This is also around the time I finally started my affair with the breast pump, after having asked about it several times. I would go on to pump for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours around the clock. I could write a whole post about this. Maybe I will…later. ;)

Around dinnertime that night they took out my urinary catheter, so it was up to me to walk back and forth from the bathroom. It was hard, but I did it. A lot. Between the IV fluids and antibiotics I was soooo full of liquid. My legs and feet swelled up pretty bad.

At around 9PM that night I was declared 24 hours non-febrile, so I got myself up and into a wheelchair and we went down to the NICU to meet my baby. Because a lot of babies in the NICU are premature and immunocompromised, everyone who goes there needs to put on a hospital gown and scrub their hands and arms up to the elbows before going in. We would do these things many times over the coming days. But I would’ve scrubbed from head to toe, even my incision site, if they’d asked me to.

Finally, fiiiiiinally, I got to see my Lucy. And I cried happy tears.

That’s all for now. ;)

The day has come. Kind of. They want me to go in at 5AM. That means we have to wake up around 3. I mean, hopefully the traffic won’t be so bad at 4 o’clock in the morning, but…you never know. Best case scenario is 40 minute drive, anyhow.

This feels really surreal. There’s a real baby in there and she’s really coming out. Tomorrow. We’re going to have to be responsible for someone else’s life. Like, a really tiny someone.

I have so many thoughts and emotions right now I’m pretty well exhausted and paralyzed. And yet I don’t think I will sleep ever again. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING HOLY FUCKING SHIT

Sooooo, as the end of my pregnancy looms, I thought I’d share some things I wish I’d known before getting pregnant.

  • You can start having fat people problems (ligament pain, shortness of breath) before you even get fat.
  • You’ll sleep through the first trimester but wish you could sleep through the third.
  • You become a bit of a masochist because as long as your baby is hurting you, you know she’s okay in there.
  • I look totally cute with a baby bump.
  • Congenital heart defects affect 1 in 100 babies.
  • Heartburn is no joke!!!
  • Everything about this experience is terrifying, but I can’t wait to meet her.

I didn’t think there would be quite so many things I’d need to have realizations about and reach acceptance of during this pregnancy. In retrospect it makes sense, even if we hadn’t had our particular hurdles along the way. You always think you know how life-changing events will be, well…life-changing. But you don’t. Anyway, today’s realization is this: Our lives are changing, but we’re still us. Having a baby isn’t a magical cure for folding and putting away the laundry instead of leaving it in hampers. It isn’t going to make either of us like cooking. And there’s nothing we can really do to feel prepared enough. If I have a messy house and a baby, that doesn’t make me a terrible person. That baby just has me for a mom. ;) It’s part of the package. Of course we are trying to do better and establish good habits for the well-being of our child, but change isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s baby steps for all of us, regardless of size. Stressing out isn’t going to help, and it’s not good for any of us.

Today was our last appointment with the MFM. Tests are still all good. They’ll call me on Sunday to let me know what time to come in on Monday. Monday, like, five days from now Monday. Monday when we meet our Captain, ready or not. I keep trying to imagine what Monday will be like, but I can’t. Guess I have to give in to the unknown.

Yesterday was my last day at work, potentially forever. I told everyone I’d see them in July, but I really can’t be sure… It’s impossible to plan what our future will hold at this point. How long will she stay in the hospital? How close together will her surgeries be? Will she ever be well enough to go to daycare with other kids? It didn’t feel like a last day, though. It just kind of feels like I’m going on vacation.

So now we wait. It’s weird not having any particular goals or obligations. Really all I need to do is relax. It’s harder than it sounds. ;) I am terrified of and for this tiny person I’m scheduled to meet in less than two weeks. I’m also kind of excited. But maybe more scared.

We have weekly appointments with the doctor now. Everything seems to be going according to plan. Apparently wandering around spikes my blood pressure, so everyone started making a fuss, but if they let me sit down it’s fine. A few weeks ago at her NST Cap had an arrhythmia and a bunch of people flipped out, but they looked for it on the ultrasound and then did the NST again and she was all right. Now every week I go in really afraid it’s going to happen again…but so far so good. We have another growth ultrasound tomorrow, so we’ll see how fat she’s gotten! ;)

I’m starting to get tired of not being able to bend over…not being able to go shopping without terrible pelvic pain…not being able to walk home from the train station without resting on a bus bench halfway. Tired of feeling like the lower half of my body weighs 500 pounds…like I am constantly dripping something (pee and cervical fluids, woo)…like there is a squirmy bag of kittens kneading my insides constantly.

But it’s all much more bearable at home in my pajamas than it is at work. :) T-minus 13 days and counting!