Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Braces, Wisdom teeth, and the pursuit of a beautiful smile.

So I did it... July 29th I finally did it. I got braces. I had yet to have any tooth extractions, I only got the top ones in and my rings put around the bottom molars after wearing painful spacers for 2 weeks but I finally had them on. I could finally say, "yes, I am actually going through with this."
Braces were an adjustment, my teeth were a bit sore, dental wax was my friend but they really were not as bad as I was expecting, more just annoying until I adjusted to them. Now I barely notice them...

Those who know me, know what has really been holding me back is wisdom tooth removal and extractions. I am a VERY anxious person. I do not like anything that I have to give up the control of my body. The idea of anesthesia or sedation terrifies me. I don't like to take anything that makes me dizzy or feel loopy, anything that could cause strange side effects. Getting me to take tylenol or heck even vitamins can be a challenge.

Last year I thought I could do it. I went in for surgery and the second the anesthetic started to kick in my body hit me with more adrenaline than I have ever felt, I shot up to the surprise of the doctor and nurses heart racing, uncontrollably wailing and screaming no, no, NO. In one of the worst panic attacks I have ever felt. He had given me enough anesthetic, I should have been sleeping.

SO fast forward a year and a half and after the birth of my fourth baby. I want braces and I want them bad. Being put to sleep doesn't work for me. So I found a Dr. that was willing to do my removals my way. Since I had to have 8 teeth removed ( wisdom teeth + 4 premolars) He agreed to allow me to stay awake and to do 2 at a time. Amazing and compassionate man he is.

The top 2 were a breeze, NO PAIN... I barely felt sore, then again they were just simple extractions as that wisdom tooth had fully emerged. The downside was that I had taken clyndamycin as a preventative antibiotic and got Cdiff from it. The horror that was. I was so sick and fatigued and pooing out pus and blood. I was able to fight it off though and have worked hard the past couple weeks to heal my gut and have been taking the recommended probiotics like a champ.

This past Friday was round 2. The removal of my hardest and most impacted, full bony, wisdom tooth... Dear God, lord in heaven the pain. for 5 days now I have been in agony. It just throbs and aches and tylenol and ibuprofen barely touched it. I sat upright through the night holding my face, desperate to sleep. Night time was the absolute WORST. for some reason the pain would be 3 times worse at night. Me being the pharmaphobic person that I am was too scared to take anything stronger. Yeah, life with severe medical anxiety sucks. I called this morning and got in since it was labor day weekend I had no reassurance... they got me right in, I was healing well and all looked well but some food was stuck in my stitches and I had developed a nasty sore along my cheek. he took out the suture, flushed the wound and I have felt much better. Though, I am still pretty sore.

This makes me so scared to even finish. the other bottom tooth is not even emerged, my top is a little emerged.... I just this pain was worse then the c-section and unmedicated home birth of all 4 of my children combined! These past few weeks have been so rough on me emotionally. to be so sick, to feel so crappy every day. It really gives me perspective for those that live with chronic pain. The empathy I feel is beyond words and "I'm sorry you have to experience that" doesn't even touch it.

I keep reminding myself, this isn't chronic, I will get better, in 2 years when I have straight teeth I will say it was so worth it, the same I look at my beautiful children and think how my terrible pregnancies and childbirth was so worth seeing their beautiful lives. I just need to keep thinking positive.

For now I will continue to baby my mouth and body ( as a little sinus cold is trying to sneak it's way in) and I will keep praying to God that my body will heal well and work with me in these next few weeks while I work through my medical fears and do the thing I thought I would never be brave enough to do. Pursue a beautiful smile.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Postpartum Journal Week 4

This week started out with good intentions. I went to pick up my mother so we could have a week of exercising, good food.

My heart is hurting. I am so tired and my heart is hurting. That feeling like your throat is closing and your chest feels tight. I see a once beautiful, vibrant, woman fade into a weak shell, gasping for life. I kissed her head. I kissed her again with a nanny kiss. I will never have a kiss from my nanny again. I will never hear her call me sugar or baby doll. Days of pot roast and fresh bread, picking up sticks from her yard.... days of coloring books coming down from the top of the closet... days that have long passed. I only visited a handful of times at her other places, the assisted living apartment, the apartment in Lexington... the apartment in Galion, heck even at the nursing home. Life was always so busy right? Yet this past week. The past 4 days.... I sat there, bedside watching her fade from the world. It really hurts. It hurts bad. I am so exhausted. physically, emotionally. so tired.

RIP Nanny


Feelings, feelings go away...

Depression, stop trying to rear your ugly head into my life. Stop making me feel so lonely.

I think I am trying too hard... what does it take to make friends and have people truly love and care for you? I give my money, my support, my love... yet who am I to anyone? Of course, I am not stupid, I am aware that my presence makes an impact, mostly to my family. I am aware I am a necessity in my children's lives. A recent death has shown me that... yet that feeling of being unloved rears it's head. That thought that I am not invited to things, that no one thinks of me, or calls me to share good news or bad.

I've come to accept that I will never be a bridesmaid and I will always be that person people go to last. It just sucks to so badly want to be with people to have friends to care for and people to care for me. I feel like I have spent the past decade of my life in isolation. I have had fair weather friends here and there and the friends that I truly love were always so far and unable to be around. I crave companionship. I have trouble understanding how my husband can stand to be alone. To have no close friends outside of me. We have been each other's main friend... it makes me nervous for our move wondering if I will be able to handle having him for one less hour everyday when I already feel so isolated. Yet this move is supposed to be the solution to my isolation.

 At our last get together we had almost 30 people at our house and it made me so sad to look at them and say... you know, I don't really know you. I can't say I have been to your house, know if you have siblings, I can't say that I know your favorite things, where you work or for some, that I even know their last name. Is that really a friend? When we don't talk outside of a large get together. It's not that I don't appreciate the company but I need more than just acquaintances in my life. I've been alone for so long... is this what I have to expect with adulthood? I'm not even 30 yet. Then again, maybe all these feelings are hormones. Then again maybe all my friends will come out of the wood work and tell me to shut the hell up and that they love me. Maybe this is just post partum depression back to battle me in a different form. I'm trying to cling to the light and not go down this road.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Surviving Postpartum- Week 3

This week actually wasn't too terrible! There were good points and bad points, Points of frustration and tiredness and points of feeling relaxed and content.

Bleeding is pretty much done, just some brown here and there, that's with resuming some house work, cooking and walking. I even went to Kroger and got a huge cart of groceries. It tired me out seeing as it was the busiest I had ever seen it and I had to wait 35 minutes to check out, (it was NYE) BUT I paid a girl $5 to push my cart and load my car for me, so not too bad.

I have had a couple "touched out" spells where I just wanted to put Andew down for a bit and I feel bad because my other 2 little ones have really been lacking on mommy attention and I can tell they are needing some extra love. A little hard at points, especially while nursing.

We have also noticed the past few days Andrew has been VERY fussy... I had forgotten all about witching hours. You know, that point in the day where for 2-4 hours your baby is a fussy, all I want to do is nurse, mess.... yeah. Hard to do much of anything when he is clinging and wanting to nurse like crazy. *sigh*

However, today I did go out and get my hair trimmed, bought myself a capsule wardrobe so I can wear something other than old, been through 3 pregnancies, maternity clothes. I am ready to feel like an individually functioning being again... although I plan to nurse Andrew a full year, exercise, getting out, and doing things that help me feel good about myself are all on my plan to avoid PPD.

Other things accomplished this week, I made a menu for the month to cut down on eating out, and Scott and I got some goals planned for paying off debt, including taking pictures and selling most the crap in our yard sale pile. I also re-opened HBC and got some trees made. The most interesting project though was tie-dying my moby wrap! I love the way the colors came out.

I would say the only real "con" this past week has been my digestion. I have really been having a tough time going to the bathroom. I assume it is because baby is taking up all my liquids and the (let's face it) lovely hemorrhoids from pushing him out have made it hard. I actually went 6 days without going to the bathroom and hurting... yeah... had my first ever enema, that was an interesting experience I hope to never go through again. While things are still slow and rocky (pun intended) Taking calcium mag, upping water intake, eating fiber bars, and 6oz of daily prune juice seem to have started to help.

Here's to hoping week 4 will be better in the digestion department and that Andrew will calm his fussy butt some!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Surviving Postpartum- Weeks 1 &2

I'm going to try to write at least every 2 weeks, keep track of myself and babe and try to see if I can avoid PPD/A by keeping a journal.

Week 1- Well the first 3 days... it was pretty much me going back and forth between, "Come on buddy you got it in your mouth just suck already! Please don't get frustrated." Pulling him away and trying again till we got it. Going on and on... "Isn't he just so beautiful? Don't you just love him? Aren't you just so in love?! He's perfect!!" and feeling dizzy from exhaustion and hating after-pains.

The next couple days I worried, My bleeding was not slowing down, I was gushing and passing gooey strings and still feeling very crampy. I also felt just overly exhausted and continued to stay in bed! I worked at taking care of me by taking little naps and epsom salt baths. Emotionally I was still doing well, I only had one good crying spell and that is because I thought my mom was leaving and I REALLY wanted her to stay. I felt too overwhelmed to care for things on my own.

Day 7- Still worried about my bleeding and passed a clementine sized clot. Freaked out and got a hold of Jill for reassurance... my body needed more time to heal. My bladder would sting and hurt when I peed. Not pleasant, then again I seem to always get that.

After the clot bleeding practically stopped. I started trying to get up a little more. Get my own cup of water, go to the kids room, etc. We even made sugar cookies and icing! Baby steps to getting back in the swing of things.

Day 10- Had 2 decent gushes, I think making my bed and walking around the house more was still a little much. With Azzie I felt amazing the next day and wanted to go all over (and did!) this time things are just going a little slower. I wonder if having mono had anything to do with that. I'm a little irritated that I'm crampy because I need to go to the bathroom but can't. Drank a couple hot cups of Lemon ginsing tea and a big glass of water... hope to get things moving.

The best thing about tonight, I got to take a nice relaxing bath, I shaved, plucked, painted my toes, straightened my hair. I feel a million times better. What's even crazier is that I actually even felt like I wanted to get lovey with Scott... A little too soon for that, but I can't help my hormones! lol. I'm excited and nervous for tomorrow. It will be my first venture out since birth and baby's first car ride. We will finally get to see what it is going to be like juggling 3 car seats in the car. I just pray that everyone is healthy and we don't all come home sick! Azzie and Asher already have a  cough and their voices sound terrible.

Speaking of that, my poor kids miss me, I was out in the living room after getting cleaned up and they were all over me like flies on honey. Especially Azzie. That is one thing I don't like about having such a little baby, they need so much attention and the other little ones don't always understand.

Well, it's after 3am, Ash just climbed in our bed and I am getting tired too. Gonna catch some Zzzz's.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

12-13-15 The Home birth of Andrew Michael Colgan

My last baby, my last home birth after cesarean... the birth of Andrew Michael.

4:37am: Woke up to a mildly painful contraction, went pee and found a little bloody show. Got excited and decided to see if contractions would pick up. Went out to the living room and fussed on the Internet. Same mild contractions kept coming every 6-8 minutes so I knew labor was coming.

6:08am:I called Jill and let her know I was in early labor. She asked if I needed her to come I said, "Not yet, things are just getting going." and told her I would let her know when things progressed or got more painful.

8:37am Jill checks in. I let her know contractions were still averaging 7 mins apart a little more intense but FAR from unbearable. What was unbearable was a my resting position caused an awful muscle spasm in my back. I took 2 Tylenol and some calcium magnesium and broke out the heating pad to help it. (who knew that heating pad would see me through my entire labor)

8:55am My mom and azzie woke up and I had not had a contraction since my back spasm began. I was worried that labor may have stopped.  I went and woke up Scott and Asher and told them to leave the bedroom I needed my labor space.

9:18am Jill suggested I rest and carry on with my day if they didn't return.... 1 minute later they returned in full force.

9:19am I text Jill back, "come" and let her know Amy should probably come too.

9 :23am My back was starting to feel better but still was more painful then the contractions, Amy called to hear how I was, I told her I was hurting but contractions were picking up.

9:38am Tylenol kicked in and my back felt better contractions began to hit every 3-5 minutes and were beginning to really hurt. thank God for Scott. He held the heating pad to my back between contractions and put pressure on my back and hips. EVERY contraction he did that.

Around 10am: Jill arrives, checks me and baby, Heart rate sounds good and I was at a 7!!!  I was amazed. These contractions, while painful, were not NEARLY as  bad as they were when I gave birth to Azzie. I had good 3-4 minute breaks between them and the peaks were not as intense.

Around 10:30am (as it gets hard to tell time when laboring) Amy arrived. I continued to sit and rest. when I could break and stand with Scott and the heating pad and his pressure on my back when I contracted. The heating pad felt so good but was making me hot so a wet cool rag felt wonderful on my neck and face.

10:53am: A contraction hit that made me pushy, My body had taken over at this point. Amy asked, "Cass are you pushing?" Yes, yes I was. We were close...

The next 4 contractions were VERY hard to bear and had me begging God for mercy. I had asked him to please let me get the baby out, don't let me be stuck in such pain. My legs trembled as I stood bent over the edge of our bed and I question my strength to stay standing. I pushed with the next contraction and thought that I had crowned the baby, Instead I had began birthing the sac of waters! I reached down and felt it bulging. My husband said it was the coolest thing to see the baby's head but surrounded in water. The next contraction I pushed with all my might, I kept pushing and pushing and at 11:05am birthed my baby in the caul!!!

It took me a few minutes to get my bearings from pushing, but soon I was on the bed saying hi to our new baby. It still took me a few minutes to collect myself and deliver the placenta but about 15-20 minutes after his birth, I asked Scott to tell me the gender... A boy!

We spent our golden hour together, skin to skin as midwives picked up, ran me a warm bath, and my mom prepared me food. After that hour we did stats. Andrew was 9 pounds 3 ounces and 21 inches long. My biggest baby! He had a head full of long dark hair and was perfect.

After getting cleaned up and checked over (no tears and minimal blood loss!) and letting him meet all his siblings our midwives tucked us in bed and made their leave.

I am so happy to have finished out my childbearing years with such a wonderful birth. God really answered my prayers, my labor was not too long, not too short, not too painful. It was perfect.

Birth stats:
Early labor: 4 hours 43 minutes
Active labor: 1 hour 33 minutes
Pushing: 12 minutes
Time till Placenta: 10 minutes

Total time in labor: 6 hours 38 minutes

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pregnancy Journal Week 37- Why I am scared to give birth again.

Here I sit at 37 weeks. Doing an okay job of keeping my blood sugar in check and under 140, dealing with the daily annoying contractions that get stronger, and the pain in my pelvis and hips from all the weight. I want to be done, but to be honest, I am scared.

I keep having people confidently tell me, I will be fine, I've done this before, I know what to expect... yada yada yada.... but it's just that... I know what to expect and for some reason the encouragement isn't helping.

Here's a list of all the reasons why I am scared to give birth again:

1. The pain. Dear Lord in heaven.. the pain. Natural childbirth is hard and painful and intense. Each child is different, who's to say this one won't get stuck or I'll have another long labor... or maybe I will have another super fast BUT super intense birth like Azzie's I fear baby getting stuck in the most painful stage and me having to deal with the pain for more than a few minutes.... I don't feel like I would be strong enough... I'd rather take a bullet to the head.

2. To go off of point one, I am scared this baby will be large and am worried about it's position since it is facing differently than my other 3 children.

3. This is our last child... what if something happens? Of course leave it to FB to show me photos of dead babies, babies with deformities and all sorts of other issues as I prepare to give birth myself... yeah, that helps my nerves.

4. To go off point 3... if something happened to this baby, we couldn't have another (biologically).. am I okay with that? I know I never want to be pregnant again, but I also know that our family is complete at 4 kids.

5. I already have kids, if something happened to me or the baby.... it just adds more stress to the mix.

6. I am in a new place. I have never given birth here and for some reason that makes me uncomfortable. I almost feel like I would relax more if I were back at our old apartment where I birthed our other 2 children.

7. Did I mention birth was painful?

8. This is my first dry birth. I hope I made a good choice in foregoing the water birth option this time, but again, the change makes me a little nervous. I just don't feel like there is a place here where I would be comfortable in a tub...

9. Impending delivery makes me feel trapped. I feel like I am being forced to do something very unpleasant, the outcome is wonderful, but the process is unpleasant. Like my midwife said, it is like a roller coaster... first you're excited to ride, then you get on and start heading up the massive hill and the closer you get to the top the more you wish you could just turn around... then it peaks... but at the end you are glad you rode... I'm at the peak saying... "where is the emergency exit button?"

10. I keep getting little adrenaline rushes from nerves. You know when you are really nervy and you startle easily? I feel that way constantly, just little adrenaline rushes in my heart. I hate feeling on edge. Being diagnosed with panic disorder does nothing to help my case.

All in all, I just really dislike pregnancy and birth. I don't like how it feels, I don't like feeling trapped. I don't like all the discomfort it brings... I am ready to be done. This next week my goal is to work on fear release and letting go... Wish me luck with that.