Posts tagged postpartum
my iud experience

While I do always want to keep some aspects of my life private, I thought this topic was something I should share, as I was googling the experience of others often.

Grafton and I definitely want to wait a bit for the next bébé, so birth control was on the radar the weeks following Jasper's birth. I hadn't had good experiences with "the pill" before so I knew that I wanted to avoid that. Additionally, since I am breastfeeding that limited things somewhat as well. This brings us to the IUD; I decided to go with the Skyla since it's only for 3 years and a little smaller than the Mirena.

I googled a lot of "side effects", "placement experiences", and "horror stories" (naturally). For the most part, people really liked their IUD's and it seemed like a good fit for me so I made the date to get it at my 6 week postpartum checkup. 

Skip this next paragraph if you're not okay with TMI or cursing.

Holy shit, it hurt to get it put in. I'll spare the full anatomical procedure explanation-google it if you really want to know. Lucky for me (emphasis the sarcasm), my cervix was already closed so my midwife had to get real crafty with her instruments. Seriously, it was more painful to me than childbirth. Not even joking. This kind of pain had no purpose, there was no bundle of joy making an appearance from this, nothin'. I used to get TERRIBLE period cramps, like puking-my-guts-out-in-a-ball-on-the-floor kind of cramps. Everything I read online said it would be like a bad cramp. F*CK THAT. WRONG. Luckily I took an Ibuprofen before hand so the cramps while driving home weren't too bad. The few days following, I got my period (yippee for ovulating so early after giving birth), had some minor cramps, but otherwise felt okay.

I had an appointment scheduled 4 weeks later to make sure it was still in place and everything was okay....fast forward to then: SHE COULDN'T FIND THE STRINGS. yup. gone, missing, not there. couldn't see it. She was a little concerned because I hadn't noticed any pain, so she scheduled me for an ultrasound to make sure it either a) fell out, or b) was still there and it just moved a little.

Well, my ultrasound was clear (I got two different kinds: ladies, you can figure it out), as in it was clear and they couldn't find it. They said it most likely fell out...like what the hell? Wouldn't I have felt that?? When I got home I scoured my house, all over the bathroom, in and around my bed but still couldn't find it. I went outside and was shoveling snow thinking "what the hell? with my luck it's probably lodged in my uterine wall". WHAT DO YOU KNOW-my midwife called me at that exact moment and said she wanted me to get an X-Ray because she was super uneasy about it. I have to tell you- KENDRA JOHNSON YOU ROCK. Seriously the best care provider I have ever had. So, I went to the clinic down the road from my house and got X-Ray's. The next morning I got a call that they found it... floating outside of my uterus by my pelvis.

Because it obviously wasn't where it should be, this meant I needed to get a laparoscopic surgery to retrieve it. Last Thursday I went into the outpatient clinic-it was a fairly easy surgery that I was anesthetized for, only taking about an hour. BTW, that anxiety juice they give you before going into the OR is always entertaining. I was cracking up laughing from the time the anesthesiologist accidentally ran my bed into the wall until I got to the OR doors, then I don't remember anything.

It was a low risk and non-invasive surgery that I had prepared myself for by once again, googling/youtube-ing videos of...the medicine side of all this stuff interests me if you couldn't tell. Anyway, I got one incision about 2 inches long in my bellybutton and the other near my lower left pelvic area. I was sore for a few days, mostly from the gas that they use, but other than that-my incisions are healing well and I'm glad to have this whole ordeal over with. 

Would I ever get an IUD again? Probably not. My experience from the get-go was not great, and I chose the arm implant Nexplanon instead. So far I'm super happy with it and haven't experienced any negative side effects, plus the placement was super easy. Maybe a few months from now I'll have an update on how I like it.

 

I want to stress that this is my own opinion, I am not trained in a medical field and am simply expressing my own experience with an IUD. Perforation from an IUD is rare, your doctor should be your source for medical advice.

squeezing in lunch

As I mentioned in an instagram post a little while back, it's pretty hard to find time to make myself lunch while simultaneously trying to hold Jasper. Usually he's okay for a few minutes if I lay him on his little bear rug, but this also means I have to make something that's super quick and can be hand held. 

This last Sunday I finally decided to make extra quinoa and chicken to use throughout the week, and let me just say-I'm pretty happy that I did! I've made a couple different wraps with it that were super delicious, easy to make, and I could eat while holding Jasper.

I have a few favorite go-to lunches when I'm in a rush, and usually try having my veggies chopped before hand. 

  1. Smoothies- A couple weeks back I bought 'Power Greens' from Costco in the big pack, along with a pineapple, strawberries, and kale. In ziplock bags I added my greens, the fruit, and a few dates. I made about 15 of these baggies and popped them in my freezer, when I'm ready to use one I just blend it with either milk or some greek yogurt. I like to add granola or chia seeds on top as well for added flavor.
  2. Salads- I LOVE a big salad. I could probably eat salads for every meal. I always make sure I have a big container of the 'Power Greens' I mentioned earlier on hand. I usually just add some cucumber and tomatoes on top, but I also like an asian style salad with chicken, mandarins, almonds, and wonton noodles. Goat cheese is another one of my favorite toppings.
  3. Curry Wrap- With the extra quinoa and chicken I made this week I made a super delicious wrap that tastes delicious hot or cold. In a tortilla, I add a spread of a ready made curry sauce, either homemade or a jarred one from the store. I top this with chicken and quinoa. Super good, easy to take on the go.
  4. Quinoa Bowls- YUM!!! I really like these bowls with roasted veggies and topped with garlic or turmeric, sometimes chicken if I want a little more substance.
  5. Tuna Avocado Sandwich- I love tuna. I'm not sure what it is about it, because I normally don't like fish, but I LOVE tuna. I like it with tortilla chips, but I really like it on a sandwich. In a bowl I add a drained can of tuna, a little mayo-emphasis on a little (I hate mayo), and garlic powder. Mix that baby up and put it on some whole grain bread and top it off with avocado.
  6. Hard Boiled Eggs-I try to keep a couple of these babies in my fridge, they're a quick and easy snack that requires little effort.
  7. Zucchini or Banana Bread- Every couple of weeks I make a big batch of zucchini or banana bread. I have 4 mini loaf tins that I bake them in and usually make muffins as well. I keep a couple in the fridge and wrap and freeze the rest. They freeze super well, so when I'm ready to defrost them I just pop it in the fridge.
  8. Apples + PB or AB- Thanks to WIC, I have a whole lotta peanut butter in my cupboard, and sometimes I have fresh ground almond butter from our local Huckleberries Market. A super easy snack that you'll most likely already have the ingredients for.
bed-sharing with baby

I've been wanting to share a little insight on the topic of bed-sharing since Jasper was born and why we decided to share a bed with him.

The day we brought Jasper home we put him in a little bed next to ours at bedtime. Twenty minutes later, he was awake and crying. We put him back to sleep in his bed, only to wake up again and again. We tried the same thing the following night; but by the middle of that night, I was so exhausted I gave in and pulled Jasper into bed with us. I have always known of SIDS, and the dangers of sleeping in "unsafe" environments, so the next morning Grafton and I knew that we needed to have a discussion about it and be on the same page. I didn't want to wake up constantly throughout the night and be so tired that I accidentally fall asleep with him while sitting on the couch.

We have a crib in Jasper's own room, and he occasionally sleeps in there during his naps (even though he doesn't sleep as long as he does in his swing or our arms) but I wasn't ready for him to be all alone at night, and neither was he. The first night we slept with him, he only woke up twice to eat and he went right back to sleep. 

When Grafton and I were talking about it, I figured it best that Jasper sleep on the outside on my side rather than in-between us. Grafton is a pretty heavy sleeper, and even if I wake him up in the middle of the night to change Jasper's diaper he's pretty delirious at first-so I make sure he's really awake before he even takes Jasper out of bed. 

It's pretty incredible how hyperaware I am when we are sleeping; I know exactly where Jasper is, I find myself waking up if I feel like he's being really still. When he wakes up to eat I just roll him enough to latch on and usually fall right back to sleep. 

Another reason why I was okay with having him sleep with us was the emotional aspect. For 9 months, our little Jasper was close to my heartbeat. It's the inborn need for a baby to be touched and held and cuddled. And for me as his mama, I want him to feel safe and not alone at night. I love snuggling with Japer at night, and it's been so rad to watch him grow: he used to just cry at night when he was hungry, now he'll kick up my belly and scoot up to my face to say "FEED ME MOM" and in the morning I get to cuddle with a happy and smiling baby who talks right back to me. Sure, some people might see that as silly-but that's their opinion. I have had several people tell me how we are spoiling Jasper and he won't learn to sleep on is own. <insert a passive aggressive smile and a nod here>. Yeah, OKAY...I'm spoiling my two month old baby by caring for him. Aren't babies supposed to be dependent on adults for a while? 

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Whatever you think of bed-sharing, that's okay, it's your opinion. But we shouldn't be telling one another how to raise our children. Advice is always welcome when asked for, but honestly, I've mostly found the comments made on our decision somewhat insulting. Grafton and I didn't just make an ignorant decision about this. It's a serious decision and we went through all of the variables of bed-sharing or not. For our family, we decided that Jasper sleeping with us was best. I have found many encouraging articles on SAFE bed-sharing or co-sleeping from organizations such as UNICEF and the Lullaby Trust. We don't use drugs and we don't smoke, we don't use sleep aids, and if I have a drink it's usually just one with dinner. I also tuck the blanket that's on me between my legs so they are never on Jasper. 

I think the biggest part of our decision was knowing that we are safely sleeping with Jasper, and we are happy with our choice. 

 

 

it's decided

I finished finals last week, 17 credits with straight A's-not sure how I managed that with missing 2 weeks and having a baby, but I did.

Last March I transferred to Eastern Washington University, changing my BFA in Studio Art to a BA in Visual Art. I had heard great things about EWU and was excited to hopefully finish my studies. My first day of school I plugged my meter for 7 hours since I would be on campus all day, only to get an email as I'm walking into the building that the professor was sick and class was cancelled. So at this point, there was no point in staying on campus until my next class started 4 hours later so I drove all the way back home. My painting class that day was mediocre, and the next day, my drawing class was a total joke. We spent the first 20 minutes drawing different kinds of lines. Literally just scribbling on paper. Mind you, this was a 300 level drawing class so I was expecting it to be as challenging as the 300 course I had taken the semester before at Boise State.

I went home that day irritated. I spent the rest of that quarter basically just existing on campus because my classes were so easy, I didn't even have to try. I hoped that this fall quarter would be better.

Scheduling classes was a little of a challenge, as I needed flexible teachers who were willing to let me register with me missing the last part of school due to Jasper being born. I lucked out; my French teacher was super awesome, and even let me bring Jasper to class with me. There was a new Art History teacher who had previously taught at the University of Washington who didn't even move to Spokane until 2 weeks before school started so I was nervous about his decision to allow it. I was also going to be his only student in the Art History Research course, so the first day of class I introduced myself and gave him the low-down. Daniele was excited for me and Grafton and was more than willing to be flexible with me regarding due dates and missing class (Yes, HIS name is Daniele, he is Italian-like, super Italian). I had the same painting teacher as before, but honestly, I didn't really care what he thought because he didn't do much the quarter before anyways.

So like I said, I finished the quarter this last week, but I had to make a decision about Winter Quarter in November. I really want to continue learning French, but I was feeling so much stress over school I was unsure about continuing so I waited and prayed.

The last two weeks or so, it has become pretty clear that the best thing is for me to stop going to school for now. All the stress about finishing school (which would take about another year, possibly even 2 if I couldn't get into the classes I needed to, because EWU generally only has one time period for each course-it's ridiculous) especially the financial stress was getting to be too much. I went from a full ride at BSU to having to pay almost $2000 per quarter. I was expecting the art program here to teach theories of color, how to stretch your own canvas, framing and displaying your art, I expected to learn different mediums to paint in rather than just acrylic.

I'm not sure if I'll return to school in the future, and honestly, I don't really want to think about it. I want to enjoy the time I have with Jasper, I want to focus on my art and actually make the business out of it that I have been trying to the last 3 years. I know that I'm going to disappoint some people with my decision to quit after 4 years, but I think my mental health and my happiness is more important than a degree, especially since I want to pursue freelance work anyways. I don't agree that the only education you can receive is in a classroom. I have learned more from classes on Skillshare, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube than I have the last 2 quarters in school.

So for now, you'll find me snuggling my baby, happy as a clam and painting.

À bientôt-