The wonderful Michaela Waisman and Dax Carbon (15 months).
Michaela learned she was pregnant after realizing that her Bikrham Yoga classes were feeling so much hotter. She asked her instructors if their thermostat was broken because she was tired and much warmer than she remembered. A home pregnancy test came back negative so she went to her doctor thinking she was dying. She got the call that a blood test confirmed her pregnancy the day that her husband learned his job was at the beginning of the end and soon after her lawfirm was sold and they decided to move from Arizona to Colorado. She says it was such a blessing because had they known their lives were going to be uprooted they likely would have delayed conception.
Her pregnancy went really well until at 7.5 months she won herself a diagnosis of pregnancy related hypertension. She went from feeling cute and pregnant to being the most swollen person she'd ever met. It also left her with carpal tunnel for six weeks postpartum. Her midwives were wonderful and she was able to carry 8 days post dates when her blood pressure got so high they asked her to come in for induction. The plan was to insert a foley catheter and send her home to sleep in her own bed. Her mother and mother-in-law were at her house cooking and she couldn't wait to get things started so she could go home and eat! Her blood pressure spiked again, however, and she had to remain at the hospital, thankfully her husband was able to run home and bring her dinner. She was woken up in the morning to start Pitocin and went from the person wanting no interventions to the person having them all - a foley catheter, Pitocin, an epidural to help her blood pressure. There was trouble with Dax's heart beat not rebounding and they had wanted to use an internal fetal monitor but they were able to refuse. Using what they learned in their Bradley Classes she was able to push him out and avoid a cesarean.
Dax was placed on her chest and though she had been so eager to find out if he was a boy or girl quite a bit of time passed before she remembered to look and shouted "It's a Dax!" He opened his blue eyes and she was so in love. When he latched she was excited and all the fear she'd had about breastfeeding went away.
Michaela somehow ended up with a massive kidney infection postpartum. She gets chronic urinary tract infections but wasn't able to differentiate that from typical postpartum pain. Her milk was delayed due to infection, so she was nursing every 45 minutes around the clock and was getting pressure to supplement. Her electrolyte balance became off she began shaking and was really sick. She ended up in the ER with her newborn baby but was able to get treated and come home. She was able to sleep well for two hours and woke up covered in milk and relief. Nursing was painful and she wishes people would stop staying it doesn't hurt. She's still nursing and things are going very well. Breastfeeding however, has impacted their ability to conceive again, so while it was easy the first time it hasn't happened again just yet.
The emotions of the 4th Trimester felt similarly to the sobbing sentimental feelings Michaela has with PMS. She cries at commercials and had a difficult time getting through the reading of children's books without being over come with emotion. Michaela and her husband had an agreement that if she ever came to him and said she needed help to take her seriously. So she came to him worried that she needed help because her was having fantasies about strangling her cat who was peeing on the counter, eating the babies things and puking everywhere. He reassured her that the cat had simply turned into a demon that he wanted to strangle too and she was totally fine.
The biggest adjustment however was the isolation. Having just moved to a new city while pregnant she hadn't had a lot of opportunity to meet new people before having Dax and then it was winter. Eventually she found some hiking groups with other moms and was able to meet and get to know other mothers. She's also struggled with losing her professional identity. She was always very corporate and career driven. She's worked since she was 14 years old, she worked in management, she went to law school and giving that all up has been an adjustment. She's recently started working from home but there is a lot of associated mommy guilt and so she's trying to find that balance between being the best professional self she can be while also being the best mom to Dax. She says, "Sometime's you're killing it, and sometimes your kids eating chapstick!"
"There is this weird lie around motherhood that everything is perfect and wonderful and you're supposed to feel complete. That's not true. If you have a child hoping to fill a void that's not going to happen. Because people get so hyped on that there is a lot of confusion with saying that this is really hard right now. I don't like being up scrubbing vomit out of sheets at 3am, I'm really tired and I don't want to do right now. There is a lot of social pressure that you are broken if you feel that way. I feel that you are just human. Everyone feels this way sometimes and it's really important to acknowledge that motherhood isn't happily ever after, it isn't a fairy tale. It's hard and it's rough and it changes everything about who you are."