An unending cycle of dependence

In February of 2016, my husband lost his job. He had a very good job. It paid well and we were able to pay for everything we needed and have extra left over for fun stuff. We were middle class and I was okay with that. We didn’t depend on any sort of welfare to get by.

As soon as he lost his job, I applied for assistance to make it less stressful. My husband applied for literally hundreds of jobs and I applied for some as well in addition to my design work and art. He went to a few interviews and never heard anything back. After 5 months, he found a job making half of what he had earlier but I told him, “We’ll make it work. We always make it work.” 

So he’s been working for over a month now and he’s make 1/4 of what he normally does so far. The money is gone before the weekend is over with paying bills.

A few days ago, I got a letter from the ODJFS that we needed to verify income. That’s fine. I’m not trying to scam anyone and we send it in. They’re cutting our benefits in half. So seeing our predicament, I started applying for more jobs. Seeing as I have a college degree, I figured I could make more than minimum wage but alas— there are no jobs where I live that aren’t minimum wage.

So I look into daycare.

$500 a week. So I look up child care assistance… by working, I make myself ineligible.

So then I think, “What if we work alternating shifts?”

All jobs in my town seem to require open availability and won’t let me just work one shift and my husband has been working different schedules because of training.

Its a never ending cycle.

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A happy medium

There’s this back and forth in the parenting world and it disgusts me to no end.

You aren’t CRUNCHY enough.

You’re too crunchy, ya hippie.

Your scheduled cesarean is a terrible idea.

You can’t have a natural birth. Drugs are there for a reason, duh.

You aren’t even going to try to breastfeed?

OMG the crap in that formula is going to make your baby retarded.

GMOS?! Eww.

You spend all that extra on organic?

It goes on and on and on.

The biggest competition (for lack of a better word) comes when you see the natural birth advocates versus the medical intervention advocates. Instead of educating each other, they bash and post malignant articles to shun the other side. Its sad. I mean from a personal standpoint, I find that there can be a happy medium between the two. I was lucky and had no complications from my cesareans. Would I wish it upon anyone else? Hell, no. Would I try to talk someone out of it if it wasn’t medically necessary? You betcha. Do I judge their choice? Probably secretly but I will be as supportive as I possibly can. Many people told me that a VBA3C (vaginal birth after three prior cesareans) was not possible. It was too risky and there were too many unknown variables. I did the best research I could with the information I could find and people’s stories and decided for me, it was in my best interest to try and have a TOLA3C in a hospital setting with constant monitoring. I would never do anything to put my baby at risk but it was pertinent for me to try and show other people that it can be done safely and to show myself and those doctors who denied me previously that I’M NOT BROKEN.

It was never about the perfect birth for me. I don’t have a perfect birth. I have everyone’s stories of their perfect births but my perfect birth is one where I am alive and my baby is perfect. Having the vaginal birth is just a perk. When things didn’t go my way with this last birthing experience, I couldn’t allow myself to be upset. I could have died but not because I chose to VBAC but because I had gestational hypertension that required magnesium and me sitting for my entire birthing experience. I was unable to use gravity and wasn’t given ample time before more interventions were used. Pitocin caused a post partum hemorrhage which could have cost me my life but thankfully the medical professionals acted fast and accordingly.

I skipped many of the extra tests during my pregnancy this time. It wasn’t because I felt the need to tell the medical field off but it wasn’t entirely necessary. I had my finger pricked at every appointment.

So when I say, there can be a happy medium where people can birth natural with safety precautions, I mean it. There’s no need for this garbage to continue. People are so set that their way is the only way but its not.

In times like we’re currently facing, we need to band together and be a community together.

77 Days!

In 77 days, my husband and I will welcome our new daughter, Charlee into the world, in an operating room.

Why you ask?

Well, to give the short version, I have never dilated or effaced on my own. None of my babies have ever became fully engaged and even with pitocin, I have only gotten to 3 or 4 cm after 16 hours. My OB has said that if I go into labor before my scheduled c-section, I can attempt to VBA2C. I would love that. In fact, it would make having a 6 year old, 2 year old, and newborn much simpler but I have a bad feeling that Charlee will be as stubborn as the rest of her siblings.

Funny story.

I was talking to my mother the other day about my awesome breast pump (which I still use for Benjamin who has been given exclusively pumped breastmilk for 18 months) and she told me that I shouldn’t be giving him breast milk anymore. He doesn’t need it. I am honestly agitated at her lack of knowledge about it. She didn’t breastfeed any of her three kids. She says its because her “boobs were too small.” Apparently, breast size is in direct correlation with ability to produce.

She also told me to get my tubes tied and to not wear this baby so it wasn’t a titty baby.

(Let’s avoid the lynch mob. FOR NOW.)

When I was a teenager, I promised myself that I would never be like my mother.

I would never put my needs and wants above those of my children.

I would never let my children CIO because I needed a “break”.

A crib wasn’t and still isn’t a place for the baby to hang out.

A baby needing love isn’t impeding on my life as an adult.

I will never lock children in their rooms at night so I can sleep in.

I would never practice their so-called “unattached parenting”.

I was five, maybe six years old and I remember being locked in my room in the morning because I didn’t want to wait for my mother to get up at noon. I am twenty-seven years old and I still remember freaking out and banging on doors and windows because I had no idea why I couldn’t open my door.

I don’t want my children to carry around memories like that. I don’t want them to ever feel unimportant or abandoned by the one person who is supposed to always be there. NO MATTER WHAT.

I chose to be a stay at home mom. That means above all, I am a mother.

Peanut so far

Today I am 26 weeks and 4 days pregnant.

It seems like the days are getting longer and May 15th is so far away it hurts. This third pregnancy has been by far the most physically painful and exhausting of all of my pregnancies and I am seriously ready for it to be over.

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I find myself also very disappointed because I have had three ultrasounds so far and I have only been given three photos. I know I am being a whiner but I have probably twenty of Adison and thirty of Benjamin. I have all the ultrasounds confirming gender with a statement of “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” I am so infuriated that I don’t have any of that for the new baby. All of the ultrasound techs have been rude. My OB has apparently become a mindless idiot and I am frankly not enthused with going to appointments anymore. I have called with issues and get treated like a first time mom. Obviously, if it wasn’t really bothering me, I would not be calling.

He acts like my repeat c section is business as usual and even casually warned me that with each new c section, “it gets a little dicey.”

Vomitting bile that tastes like your grandma’s soap is apparently nothing to be concerned with and every time I get the “yeasties,” I am supposed to drop everything to make an appointment.

I am also supposed to discontinue my trips to the chiropractor.

This baby can not come soon enough.

Unnecessary Cesearean Sections.

As a young, first time mother, I too was trapped into the “Let’s induce your labor the day after your due date” scheme. I don’t understand why so many people are so impatient anymore about letting babies come when they’re ready.

Labor has become over-medicalized. Thousands of years ago, woman gave birth at home with their mothers, sisters, nurses, nuns around and now we have a team of doctors, midwifes, nurses, anesthesiologists, among other medical professionals. Labor is sped up because we are the generation of “I want it now” and that includes our babies. We don’t want to wait and labor and be uncomfortable any longer than we have to. 

When I was 39 weeks pregnant with Adison, I was told by Dr. Tseng that he would induce on the 20th of June. Her first due date for the first seven months of pregnancy was May 30th and from seven months on, it was June 19th. Dr. Tseng didn’t really give me much option to go into labor on my own. At 39 weeks, I was not effaced and not dilated at all. Sadly, after sixteen hours of pitocin and laboring, I was told that I would be getting a c-section and epidural. I was twenty years old, I didn’t know I could refuse and that I could go for several more hours but the doctors wanted to go home. I made it to 4 cm and lots of back labor.

Benjamin was an sort of elective cesarean. I had wanted so desperately to try to VBAC because I guess I felt like less of a mother because I had a baby maliciously torn from my abdomen for the convenience of my medical staff. I wanted to find a doctor who would allow it and after switching doctors four times, I was heartbroken and feeling defeated because I was told that no one allowed VBAC. My second section was scheduled for 39 weeks pregnant and Benjamin came into this world, also violently ripped from the womb. I must say that this section was much more calm and I got a lot more of the things I so desperately missed out on with Adison’s birth. I didn’t have to go to a recovery room and wait for nurses to bring my child in. My husband was able to carry Benjamin from the operating room to the recovery room and I was able to nurse as soon as I was closed up. Much better experience all around. 

I don’t mind c sections but I feel that doctors nowadays are taking so much from woman to convenience themselves. Having a large gaping wound across your abdomen is not fun nor is it an easy recovery. Not all women have help after birth and must climb stairs and must carry things heavier than their baby.

I have so many people I see saying they’re being induced and I want to scream so loud because I know that nine times out of ten, they will have a c section and usually their isn’t a problem. Its just they’ve labored all day and people want to go home.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, c-sections are at an all time high of thirty one percent but I am inclined to think about how much of that thirty one percent are medically necessary?