My guest post contributor today is Hannah Stern at The Baby Buy. I’ve probably known Hannah for about 6+ years when we first started writing on a website called PNN. What a great group of women landed there! It was truly an amazing experience and even though it ended, we still found a way to keep in touch. Hannah is a truly hilarious person and passionate about life. Many a time I would read her blog and find myself beaming from her insight and choice of words. I am honored that she would drop a post in my inbox with just hours to go before delivering her baby boy. I hope she names him after me.
Hannah is currently a stay-at-home pregnant person, but hopes to return to the working world as soon as her baby decides to emerge. She continues to document her pregnancy trials and tribulations on her new blog The Baby Buy. The hilarity ensues there. Stop by and say hi!
This is the story of how my cat knows what breast milk tastes like, and why I am considering installing a Slip ‘N Slide in my vagina. There is some necessary backstory, but I’ll try to be quick about it.
I’m pregnant. You can tell I’m pregnant by the disoriented and glazed look in my eyes, the constant stains down the front of my shirt of food that didn’t survive the journey from the table to my mouth, and the fact that I look like I unhinged my jaw in order to swallow a baby Blue Whale. And while I have almost always been one of those girls who knew I wanted to be a mom someday, let’s just say the journey hasn’t been exactly what I thought it would. At some point, I believe that most women who have been pregnant come to an unspoken agreement NOT to share the horror stories… but I’m going to do just that.
Because I’m a giver.
Let me backtrack: I am THRILLED to be pregnant. It was exceedingly difficult for my mother to get pregnant. As a result, she was one of the first women in the US to have Artificial Insemination, which in turn, produced me (way to go, Science!!). I blame my hatred of the cold weather on the fact that I had to be frozen BEFORE I was even born. So when I complain about pregnancy, mucus, or the fact that I can no longer make any sudden movements, take it with a grain of salt. That’s my caveat. Back to me complaining (I’m Jewish; it’s what I do).
Finding out that my husband and I were pregnant was wonderful! We were thrilled! But then that wears off…
In my first trimester, the chorus sang out, “Oh! Enjoy it! You’re pregnant, but you can still fit into your clothes! It’s a MAGICAL TIME!” These people are what I like to call “liars.” You know what’s magical? Going out to dinner with friends, and excusing yourself to spend 30 minutes staring into the unblinking eye of an Outback Steakhouse toilet. That’s the magic I experienced. When they ordered a slice of chocolate cake for me (CHOCOLATE. CAKE. People!!), I stared at it longingly while my stomach yelled, “DON’T YOU DARE! Here, let’s pretend you just rode a rollercoaster 5 times in a row. How’s that working out for you?” Way to be a jerk, stomach.
When my second trimester rolled around, the chorus changed its tune to: “This is where you start to look pregnant, and people congratulate you, and you can start eating whatever you want because your morning sickness is over! MAGICAL TIME!” And as much as I hate to admit it, it was kinda true. My acne cleared up, my morning sickness was gone, and I was treated to shopping trips with my cousins who were thrilled to help me pick a whole new wardrobe. I felt the first flutters of movement in my belly, and had my first sonogram.
…but because I must have slapped a few kittens in my past life, it didn’t end there. No… now people wanted to TOUCH me, like my belly could provide them with the winning lotto numbers if they just stroked it. And not people I know and love; random strangers on the street, in the parking lot of Whole Foods, at the mall. One woman stood in front of me for not less than three minutes while I was on the phone with my husband, waiting until I got off the line to come at me with her hand outstretched like I was a ride at Disney World. Being from Brooklyn, I thought she was going to mug me, so I did what any sane person would do: I sneezed on her.
Gross? Yes. But she backed away clutching her (now possibly infected with Ebola) hand, and left me unmolested. For future reference, I have found that most people don’t like to be sneezed on… it’s a great deterrent. Don’t judge me.
And now we come to this, my final trimester. As of this writing, I am officially seven days past my due date. Bad enough that my ankles are so swollen that most of my shoes don’t fit (as if I could even reach my feet right now!), but now I’m getting The Calls.
“Where IS he?” asks my dad.
“Can’t you just GET HIM OUT, already?!” yells my mom. I am forced to inform her that, short of installing a Slip N Slide in my vagina, I have to wait for our Peanut to make his own way out.
“Even my NEIGHBORS are wondering what’s taking you so long!” nags my stepmother.
“Are you STILL pregnant??” sings the chorus of pretty much everyone else. And I’ve gotten some advice on how to start labor along. Everything from Blackberries, sex, masturbation, spicy food, non spicy food, long walks, short walks, no walks and just relaxing, baths, showers, dancing, climbing stairs, jumping (because being nine months pregnant, people suddenly believe I am an Olympic athlete), Castor Oil (I spent four hours in the bathroom from that… I don’t recommend it unless you have a day to kill, and you hate having any control over your bowels), and finally, nipple stimulation.
“Well, that might do the trick!” Says my doula with the ever-present hint of hope in her voice. So, banking on my very last option, I borrow a breast pump from a friend and decide to get to work.
Here’s where things go horribly wrong.
Because it’s borrowed, there are no instructions. That means that I am sitting in our bedroom with possibly the most complicated piece of equipment on the face of the planet earth, aside from the Hadron Collider – and I bet those jerks at least had SOME instructions, and it’s all supposed to go on my nipples. There are valves and tubes, and something that looks suspiciously like an extra Ikea shelving piece. I sat there for 20 minutes putting it all together. Finally, I fired that bad boy up, and………..absolutely nothing happened. It turned on, don’t get me wrong, and it sounded like I had set up an oil rig in our bedroom, but nothing was coming out. I thought back to my days in Sex Ed… no, I was pretty sure that the milk came from the BREASTS. Double checking… yup, the pump was ON my breasts. I sat there for another five minutes before I decided enough was enough, and if this thing pulled any harder on my nipples, I might actually do some damage. So, with a choked sound of frustration, as my cat shot me looks of judgment/ considered the merits of a nap on our bed next to me, I plucked both pumps off my breasts…
…and shot colostrum half way down my leg, and onto my cat’s nose. You’d think I had thrown a bucket of water on him, the way he ran out of the room and down the hall! I put my shirt back on, and found him pawing frantically at his face.
“Oh my gosh, drama queen! It’s just boob juice!” He gave me a look that pretty much told me he was calling Animal Welfare on my projectile-shooting self.
“What just happened?” Asked my husband as he walked into the room.
“I hit the cat with colostrum.”
“I don’t… what? I didn’t think those things could hit TARGETS” he said, looking pointedly at my chest.
“It’s a magical time, dear.”
Thanks again, Hannah! Hope that little guy arrives soon!