Where Have I Been?

I started this blog over a year ago for the wrong reasons. I didn’t really care about the content that I posted — I wasn’t passionate about it. To be honest, I’ve grown to hate writing. Everything that I type leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Writing used to be my escape a majority of my life, but when my depression set in and became more prominent, I stopped. All the creativity that used to flow through my head constantly just packed it’s begs and skipped town.

My PPD comes in waves. I’ll be down and useless for a month or two, and then I’ll have an okay week. But then the tides of depression slowly creeps back up and swipes me off of the cliffs when my back is turned. I’m tired of falling victim to my mental illness. I want to fight back and it’s taken me a long time to figure out how to do that. Sometimes it made me depressed just thinking about how I was going to even begin to deal with my depression. It was a vicious, never-ending cycle and I am choosing to break it. Yes, there will still be bad days, bad weeks, but I’m no longer letting it cripple me. I’m not letting it take away from my happiness and I refuse to let it affect those that I love.

I am stronger.

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11 Things Nobody Tells You About Getting a Cesarean

The tugging.

Before they start the procedure, they will most likely explain to you the process and sensations that you will be feeling. As they pull the baby out, they will put an immense amount of pressure right below your ribs and you might just feel as though an elephant is sitting on your chest. When they began tugging, I swear that my entire body was being viciously jerked around, when in all reality – it wasn’t.

The shaking.

One of the side effects of the spinal block is shaking. You might begin shaking while in the OR, or you might be like me and start shaking once you’re in the recovery room. Wherever you end up being when it starts, it is intense. The more you try to make it stop, the worse it gets. And it doesn’t help that the OR is freezing cold. It took two people to hold me down while I was shaking just to get an accurate blood pressure reading.

The kneading.

Women that have normal deliveries often tell about the rigorous kneading that the nurses come and perform every hour after birth to make sure that you’re bleeding properly. Let me tell you that they definitely still do this for c-sections. Only it feels 10 times worse, because not only are they making sure that your uterus is bleeding properly, they want to make sure that your stitches aren’t bleeding and that you aren’t clotting. Putting the band back on also doesn’t feel that great, either.

Sneezing. Coughing. Laughing.

Anything that involves using your abdominal muscles, it is going to hurt. Bad. When I had first heard of this, I thought nothing of it. I thought that the pain would be bearable and I’d be fine. I was wrong. The nurses will tell you to place a pillow over your incision to brace it and make it a little bit easier on you, but I promise you this only helps a very little amount. With my luck, it seemed as though when I shouldn’t be coughing was when I choked the most. Every time I took even a sip of water, I choked on it. You don’t know whether to keep coughing or just hold your breath until it goes away – which makes you want to die.

Getting up for the first time after surgery.

I don’t even want to think about how bad it hurt again. My stomach felt as if I was being stabbed by multiple knifes from the inside. It took 3 people to get me out of my bed and into the bathroom. The minute that I stood up, I was convinced that my insides were going to spill onto the floor. (Obviously this would never happen, so you’re safe.)

The swelling.

Oh my God, the swelling. You will get an awesome leg massage from the time you go into surgery until probably the next day. These devices are called sequential compression devices (SCD’s) and they’re meant to promote blood flow and reduce the risks of clotting. Once the nurses take these off and you see your legs/ankles, you will feel like you’re walking around on water balloons. Worse than when you were pregnant.

The first shower.

You’d think that the first shower after giving birth would feel heavenly, and you’re right – if you didn’t have a c-section. After getting up for the first time after surgery, which was enough pain as it is, you are then put into a standing shower and told to wash yourself off. Of course you want to use hot water, but that ends up burning your fresh stitches. So, you’re forced to use lukewarm water, which still hurts.

The first bathroom trip.

I was told multiple times that once you have a vaginal delivery, pooping for the first time can be very difficult. I thought that since I was having a cesarean, I wouldn’t have to worry about it. I was wrong, yet again. Peeing for the first time burns like hell. But pooping? I was in the bathroom for over 45 minutes because all of the medication that they had given me had made me constipated. You also cannot strain yourself, so I’m sure that you can only imagine.

Your newly found numb spot.

Everything from the bottom of your belly button past your scar will be numb/tingly. Touching it will give you a very weird sensation. Weird is the only way to describe it. Its most likely that your feeling there will be affected forever.

How awesome that belly band is.

Seriously. I don’t know how people would get cesareans without this thing. It holds everything securely in place, making getting around less painful. It also can speed up the healing process and help everything move back into it’s place.

The spinal migraine.

If you’re lucky enough, you may have dodged a bullet and never got a spinal migraine. However, if you’re like me, the spinal block caused you the worst constant migraine of your life. To the point where your neck, arms, and back will be stiff and laying flat on your back will be your only relief. Luckily, mine went away within a week, but some women have to get a blood patch in order to close the hole that the needle left. Make sure this is a last resort before you go having blood injected into your spine.

Asher’s Arrival: My Labor and Delivery Story

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this blog, which is not what I wanted to happen. Living in the middle of nowhere with shit internet access is really taking it’s toll on all of my technological hobbies. Sad face.

I missed all of the opportunities while I was pregnant to write about this journey, but my boy is finally here and it’s time that I write about it.

When I was around 32 – 33 weeks pregnant, we were told that my baby was breech. Meaning that he was head up and nowhere near my birth canal. I had roughly 7 to 8 weeks to try to get him to flip, but I just couldn’t. Finally, my doctor recommended that we try External Cephalic Version, which is a procedure in which the doctor tries to flip the fetus/baby from outside of the womb. No luck with that. He got stuck half way and just wouldn’t flip because he didn’t have enough room. I remember crying while my baby’s father held me in the hospital room after my doctor had left after the unsuccessful procedure. This meant that my chances of getting a cesarean where higher.

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Weeks passed and my son still hadn’t flipped, lo and behold I was scheduled for a C-section. It took a long time for me to accept the fact that I wasn’t bringing my son into the world the way that I had initially wanted. Honestly, knowing the exact hour that he’d be making his appearance into the world was more unnerving than calming. Knowing that I was going to be sliced open stressed me out.

January 30th was the date that was given to me, coincidentally it’s also our dog’s birthday. The night before surgery, my boyfriend surprised me with a king suite in a nearby hotel. I took a relaxing bubble bath the night before, but even the most comfortable bed that I’ve probably ever had the privilege of laying in didn’t help me get any sleep. I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 5:30 AM. Running on only 4-5 hours of sleep, we left to go get ready to welcome Asher into the word.

When we arrived, the nurse gave me a gown and a ridiculous amount of sterilization pads to wipe myself down with. Once I was done, I was told to lay in the bed as they hooked me up to an IV, which took the nurse at least 4 minutes of digging to find a vein. Knowing what was coming was the worst part. My anxiety started to kick in and I couldn’t get comfy in the bed. My belly started itching because of all the alcohol that it was wiped down with. I actually ended up scratching my belly so hard that I made myself bleed. After what felt like an eternity of waiting, after the nurse came and said “it’s time,” everything moved at what seemed to be hyperspeed.

We all walked down to the OR (operating room), which was freezing cold. Micah, my boyfriend, had to wait before he was allowed into the room. As soon as they walked me in, they made me sit on the table. My L&D nurse came and comforted me as the anesthesiologist stuck me in the back with the spinal block, which was more of a weird feeling rather than pain. My toes started to go numb and I actually wasn’t even able to get onto the table myself — I had to be lifted.

Finally after they had the catheter in and everything in place, Micah was able to join me. He stayed right by my head the whole time, holding my hand and stroking my hair. It was all such a surreal feeling. The ceiling was reflective, but luckily the giant light above me blocked what was happening to me from my view. However, I was still able to see what tools they were grabbing.

After only a few minutes of cutting and rigorous tugging, we heard a small cry. My eyes immediately filled with tears as my boyfriend looked at me and said: “Do you hear that? That’s our baby — That’s our son.” I couldn’t stop crying and it’s a feeling of bliss that I will never forget. Nine months of carrying him, getting cut open, it was all worth it. I noticed that he only cried a few times. When the doctors pulled him out, he started crying before they could get him all of the way out. Meaning that he inhaled more amniotic fluid that was already in his lungs.

Thanks to the ceiling, I was able to see them take my newborn baby boy over to the warmer and attempt to get him to cry. I was able to see his full head of hair through it. They brought him over to me and put him on my chest. I wasn’t able to fully see his face, but I knew that he was the most beautiful little boy in the world. My time with him and his father was cut short as they took him to the infirmary in order to get more fluid out of his lungs and clean him up.

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After I was stitched up, I was wheeled to the recovery room where I sat for about an hour. One of the side effects of the spinal block is severe shaking, which I could not stop for the life of me. I actually had to be held down by a nurse and my boyfriend just to get an accurate blood pressure reading because I was shaking so bad.

Even though recovery has been a long road and I still have a long way to go, I wouldn’t have it any other way. My boy is happy and healthy and I honestly have forgotten all of the pain that I endured the first week of his life in order to bring him into the world. I may make a separate post about how hard recovery was, but for now, I’ll leave this as my labor and delivery story.

Asher Laine Hicks arrived at 7:49 AM on January 30th, 2017. Weighing 7lbs and 12 oz, measuring 20.5 inches of pure perfection. I love you, my son.

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Mysterious Baking Skills Appear?


Before I got pregnant, and I mean way before. Before my son was even a thought in my mind, I had a knack for ruining absolutely everything that I baked. Every Christmas while I was decorating the tree, I’d have a batch of homemade cinnamon sugar cookies in the oven. However, they were never necessarily good. It was just a way to get my pent up holiday cheer out. And it was a sad, sad way. They were the flattest and hardest cookies you would ever see, and would taste starchy.

Cake mix in the box didn’t even stand a chance against me. I would end up doing something wrong. I had officially given up Baking. I was convinced that I was incapable. The funny part is, I was actually a cake decorator in a bakery for a year and a half. I could decorate extravagant wedding cakes, but I couldn’t bake a cake!

A week or so ago, a huge storm slammed into the west coast. It brought rain all weekend, and we anticipated on losing power. We stocked up on candles, batteries, flash lights, and even canned food. And I decided to get into what the season is all about. Baking a pie with a warm fire going as it rained cats and dogs outside sounded heavenly to me.

Since I’m not skilled with Baking, I picked up some pre-made pie crusts and canned apple filling. I figured that it was going to burn or just turn out completely disastrous. But along with pregnancy, I mysteriously gained motherly Baking skills. This pie was so sweet and flaky to eat, especially curled up and reading a book. I couldn’t help but share the lattice top I did with the cute little pumpkins and ribbons. However, I can’t take all of the credit considering nothing was homemade! Thank you, Pillsbury.

With love,

Natasha. ♥

A Formal Introduction

I’ll admit, for a while I’ve had my eyes on this blogging stuff. I’d always make one every time I was inspired, and then dump it before I got too far. Whether it was lack of motivation or just plain boredom, I have racked up a graveyard of incomplete blogs. However, hopefully this one is different!

My name is Natasha and I’m twenty years old, residing in a rural farming town in Southern Oregon — yep, I live on a farm. Well, it’s more of a ranch. My family consists of my amazing boyfriend/unofficial fiance, our German Shepherd Reptar, and our amazing little boy Asher who is due February 4th, 2017! Being a first time mom, I’m not quite sure what to expect, and I’d love to blog/document my experiences along the way. Maybe they will make someone smile, give them something to think about, laugh about, or even gain some experience of their own. I’m a super-mom in training.

 

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Although Asher isn’t quite here yet, his daddy and I wanted to make sure that he still got to celebrate with us! So of course it was only fair that we picked up a pumpkin, for our little pumpkin!

We went to one of the local farms in our area, and it was a little on the expensive side! (We didn’t plan on it costing so much, but every second was worth the pennies we spent.)

We enjoyed a lonesome and romantic hayride — really! We had the entire trailer to ourselves! Just us and the farm man, which got awkward at times. But he had the cutest little mixed Yellow Lab that accompanied him on his pumpkin patch runs! We also plunged into the corn maze. Unfortunately, it wasn’t haunted. But the sounds of the children enjoying themselves and running blindly through the maze made us so much more excited to be parents.

The farm had a stand where you could purchase anything that was all grown/made right there on the farm. It doesn’t get much fresher than that. The stand had everything in season that you could ever think of. Pumpkins, big and small — even teency weency little baby size! And not to mention, every kind. Watermelons, honeydew, cantaloupe, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes… the list goes on and on! And these were all at a very low price, so of course we helped ourselves.

I can’t wait to bring Asher here next year and let him waddle through the pumpkin patch and pick out his very own pumpkin! He may get muddy and covered in dirt, but kids will be kids and that’s certainly nothing a warm bubble bath and some love can’t fix.

With love,

Natasha.