Velocitoddler || Unisex Baby and Kids Clothes || Made in USA

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Pregnancy/Birth

Birth Plan/Birth Reality

Pregnancy/Birth, Family/LifeTabatha HansenComment
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Labor can look like this

<—That kid was born after gardening, too.

Get through the really fucking painful back contractions while be able to talk to cutie pie Iris in between.

Have a birth tub with hot hot water here to help with those contractions.

Have a short enough labor that I don’t need to go to sleep and wake up multiple days in a row with escalating contractions that eventually slow down and deprive me of all energy, leaving me to have the kid on my bed.

I don’t want another on-my-back labor. I want to have enough energy to have this kid on my own feet or in water. I want to not feel the back pain I felt last time that extended for over six months. I want to not end up with a yeast infection that makes peeing feel like my crotch is being torn open.

I want to have the energy to hold my baby after I have them. With Iris, I couldn’t lift her for days. I couldn’t pick her up because it hurt my back too much. She latched from an upright position and from a side position.

I want to get a nap with Christina and Iris. I want Iris to be there when tiny person is born, and I want her to get to help cut the umbilical cord and look at the placenta and wrap up a new baby and I want her to feel good about the new person in our house.

My people and I got new life in the ground before kid came.  Spring solstice.

My people and I got new life in the ground before kid came. Spring solstice.

We had the kid! I PUSHED ANOTHER PERSON OUT OF MY BODY.

Above is my wishlist for this birth. A second birth at home. How did it compare to my “birth plan”?

  • Getting through the really fucking painful back contractions. I did it, and I figured out how to do it much more gently this time. Last birth, I got through them with pelvic massages while leaning forward onto a wall and then eventually was asked to lie down on my side to get through them since our labor had been so long and I was so exhausted. This time, I did a thing that didn’t seem intuitive: I labored through them with my pelvis fully upright, my body upright, no tilting, no leaning over. Some of them, I sat upright on the toilet for. Others, I knelt and put firm downward pressure on my hips. I also knew from the last birth that my body wants to yell but it also needs to breathe. Breathing in a long, low hum like I’m in theatre camp made it easier to push babe lower into my body and made it possible for me to get through what I remember being the most difficult part of labor.

  • Have a birth tub with hot hot water here to help with those contractions. Had birth tub. Didn’t end up having the baby in the birth tub, but I did get to labor in there for a while in nice hot water. It didn’t slow down my contractions like last time, but I ended up hopping out when I felt too much like I needed to poop** and walked over to the bathroom between contractions. I had a few contractions on the toilet until that became painful, and then I decided to stand totally upright for a while like a crazy person. **side note my wife found it amusing our midwife used a fishnet for to collect poop. ahhh poop.

  • Have a short enough labor that I don’t need to go to sleep and wake up multiple days in a row with escalating contractions that eventually slow down and deprive me of all energy, leaving me to have the kid on my bed. This one didn’t happen. I was in on/off labor from March 18-March 26. Over a week. A couple of those days, absolutely nothing happened, but most of those included about 12 hours of increasingly painful, real contractions that would start in the evenings, stop mid-morning. I fell apart on March 24th from exhaustion and stress. Put self back together, had some orgasms, and kept a thing our midwife said in mind: “Labor needs oxytocin to start and to keep it going.” Rested all day, watched a bunch of Veep in the evening (laughs! oxytocin!) and when I woke up after midnight with no contractions at all, we kicked out Iris to her bedroom. I got some foot rubs, walked around, leaned into yoga ball, and once contractions started regularly happening, my wife and I went into the living room to play Pandemic. Played the entire game hugging into the yoga ball, and by 5AM I started having the urge to push at the tail end of contractions. I called our midwife and had to throw the phone to go hum through another contraction. While my labor did go on for days with me half-dilated (many more days than when we had Iris), when the second half finally happened, it happened in about 6 hours. Kid also didn’t happen on the bed.

  • I don’t want another on-my-back labor. I want to have enough energy to have this kid on my own feet or in water. I want to not feel the back pain I felt last time that extended for over six months. I want to not end up with a yeast infection that makes peeing feel like my crotch is being torn open. Pushed the kid down into my pelvis “I’ve got the weird head lump in my crotch!” while standing up. Labored until I could no longer straighten my legs because said head in my pelvis. Labored more on my knees until I felt the amniotic sac coming out of my body. Held onto the cold edge of the bathtub and forgot how much burning happened as kid’s head came out. Asked if someone was going to catch the kid because I had no plans on catching the kid. Our midwife had to gently ask me to push the kid out because I stopped moving to get over the burning and enjoy the nice temperature. Christina caught kid. Kid born in amniotic sac. Water never broke. Mermaid baby.

  • I want to have the energy to hold my baby after I have them. With Iris, I couldn’t lift her for days. I couldn’t pick her up because it hurt my back too much. She latched from an upright position and from a side position. I could hold my kid. I held him. Couldn’t lift myself, but I could hold him. 8lbs.

  • I want to get a nap with Christina and Iris. I want Iris to be there when tiny person is born, and I want her to get to help cut the umbilical cord and look at the placenta and wrap up a new baby and I want her to feel good about the new person in our house. All of this, but the nap just happened with Christina. Iris hung out with grandma. She was there while I was in the birth tub, giving me a kiss occasionally. She was there when I pushed him out onto the bathroom floor. She was there to help weigh him and she was there to cut his cord and she was there when I got stitches and she has been there for every single diaper change as diaper change helper. She observed that, “We only have one baby but you have two nipples. I think we can have a second baby.” She still feels good. It’s only been a week, but new human week is a hard week.

Felix was born at 7:14AM after what probably wasn’t that much pushing in what our midwife called a “gentle birth.” I said, “Holy fuck it’s a person I can take a nap now.”

Our midwife and our spawn.

Our midwife and our spawn.

I thought, “Oh, we never took pictures of the kid living in my body. Done!”

I thought, “Oh, we never took pictures of the kid living in my body. Done!”

Here’s some dried blood and clots from my insides that didn’t make it onto towels. It’s not that bad!

Here’s some dried blood and clots from my insides that didn’t make it onto towels. It’s not that bad!

Next birth? I am hoping for less days of prodromal labor. Now that we know boardgame-playing and dry comedy and foot rubs up my oxytocin to labor levels, we can just start there and maybe skip the compost-schlepping. Also for some type of relief like a hot compress for my crotch during that head-crowning couple minutes of labor egads that was painful. And legitimately the only pain that happens during labor, too—all other “pain” disappears between contractions, it’s really just incredible pressure. But the crowning, that tore my body a little bit. Compress! Compress! Compress!

Postpartum, Day 6.5

Family/Life, Pregnancy/BirthTabatha HansenComment

Yesterday was the first day in a long, long while stills from my adolescence resurfaced.

It’s likely because I no longer reject the identity of parent, yet the identity of kid doesn’t seem that far off. A half of my lifetime ago. I met my wife at the beginning of adulthood, just as I was saying goodbye to recklessness and half-patched relationships. Before I knew her name, I said to her, “I can look at you,” in the middle of Satellite Coffee, her waiting for a hot chai. I was still attached to my best friend, Steven, I was in a reheated relationship, I texted strangers and I envisioned myself becoming an artist. An art artist, mixed media. A writer. A songwriter. An actor. A creator. I was a mess and I wanted to stay a mess. My wife was still a student and I considered her my equal. We stayed up through the night. Her and my grandma had the same little green car. She knew my counter was a broken bookshelf turned sideways and my car was bumblebee yellow and I knew I would love her the first time I saw her.

The moon during our last labor in 2014

The moon during our last labor in 2014

Felix was born at 7:14 AM last Tuesday. This time around, we played Pandemic. Iris slept until the very end of labor. Christina stared into my eyes again. Iris kissed my forehead. They caught him as I pushed holding onto one of the most familiar comforts of my life: the side of the bathtub. He was born en caul; his amniotic sac never broke and he said hello to the outside of my body still inside of his personal ocean.

We are moms with two kids.

One of them is sleeping sidecar next to our bed, three pairs of socks on to not get cold. The tiny one is wearing a Mumford and Sons t-shirt I cut and sewed into a nightgown. He smells like rotting flesh, his umbilical cord still hanging on and I can smell it through layers of blankets like I can smell the blood coming out of my body. The last time I wrote about birth, I wrote that I felt high for the week after.

I’m still in that week. It’s almost midnight and the tiny kid projectile pooped in the middle of a diaper change, after peeing in the middle of the same diaper change. Iris rolled around on the floor laughing and declared Christina should have been up to experience the poop rocket with us. Come next week, I might be miserable, but this week we learned that cleaning a small squishy penis is way more difficult than labia and I’m just fine with it.

Today, I said, “If the argument is about cleanliness, getting rid of the testicles seems way more clean than getting rid of the foreskin.” Today, I also said, “Soon, that umbilical cord is going to fall off and get lost behind his balls.”

Iris and I baked parmesan buttermilk biscuits today. Felix and I napped three hours today. Iris and I made black bean sweet potato soup today. I wondered where that person is today, the one who wanted to create and not just clothes for kids. It’s April 1st, mine and Christina’s 10th anniversary. One out of three days of my life have been spent with her. What are the things I wanted to do that I still haven’t done? What haven’t I created? What do I still care to create? Do I care about writing, or would I rather read others’? How has my predilection towards self-sabotage shifted my path? Do I care to get back on it? What makes my heart thwap outside of my humans?

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It’s Day 6.5.

My heart thwaps from the mess of charcoal.

Crispy paper.

Sauteeing onions.

Pouring moka pot coffee into warm milk.

Miranda July writing about literally anything.

Remember that I Love You, full album.

The soundtrack to Juno.

My heroes make my heart thwap.

The end of my teenage years.

The last ten years.

Goodbyes.

The shorts I regret not getting.

The shorts I regret not getting.

2nd Pregnancy+Birth Plan (ish)

Family/Life, Pregnancy/BirthTabatha HansenComment

We are in week 32 of pregnancy. Third trimester.

Being a parent, for me anyway, is a little like being buzzed. A saturated version of myself. The best parts get a little better, the worst parts a little worse.

I’ve had this kid for the last six months, and she’s become one of my best friends. She’s short, only a couple feet tall. Her fuzzy head snuggles me at night. I wake up to her face squished up to mine. Sometimes I wake up to her eating my chin. Christina once woke up to a hickey.

I’m thinking about making another tiny thing. Maybe with the next one I won’t smell what people ate the day before.
— Me, the last time I had a kid

I told myself this pregnancy, I would document my experience more thoroughly than my last pregnancy. I haven’t, though. I haven’t documented anything thus far, and I’m in the last two months. When Iris was living in my body, I typed notes every few days from the pos pregnancy test up until 13 weeks. Here’s what I remember.

To begin, the most distinguishable parts of this experience, ones that differentiated this kid gestation from the last one:

  • I thought I might be pregnant because I had a severe booger condition that was not accompanied by actual illness. Constant runny nose. Additionally, my regular PMS-feels weren’t present, like sore boobsies and some chin pimplies. I can't remember whether or not I felt waves of cramps happening, or any cramping happening, which sucks because I know during Iris’ pregnancy I had cramps for weeks and I wish I had something to reflect on so I don’t have to go onto message boards in desperation at two in the morning next time around.

  • I peed on a stick at 13DPO. I didn’t want to get to the point where I was feeling like my period was coming and spent time googling, “early pregnancy symptoms vs period symptoms.”

  • I used an app on my phone instead of tracking on paper, and I noticed a two day temp drop the month I got pregnant. Post O, my temp climbed for almost a week and then fell. It was .5 degrees lower for two days in a row, then spiked up.

  • We got pregnant on I think the 11th IUI. We skipped a couple of months over the course of 14 cycles. There were a few suspected miscarriages where my period showed up about a week late, but I didn’t want to test for most of our IUI-ing because I didn’t want to get addicted to peeing on sticks. In the end, we pushed up our IUI date to Day 17 from Day 16. Next time around will need to chart temps during this point in time better. The pee sticks were positive from Day 14-16. Need to consider OPK+BBT in conjunction next time to hopefully not spend an entire damn year+ trying.

  • My morning sickness was fucking awful this time around, not necessarily because I was really nauseous, but because I was drowning in boogers. I am still drowning in boogers. I threw up last week. The post-nasal drip, allergic-to-my-fetus thing is fucking disgusting and I didn’t have this with Iris. There were days I threw up multiple times a day. I have had to pull into the median to open the car door to throw up. This person inside of me is giving me severe drippy feelings aghhhh. Iris, I threw up a couple of times when I was really hungry and overexerted myself. This person.

  • On the same subject, I didn’t have the magical nose for the length of time I did with Iris. With her, Nob Hill smelled like a giant bag of fermenting farts until after I had her. With this person, I had a few weeks of debilitating olfactory powers, and then it dissipated. My ability to eat all things came back around week 13, but it was pretty terrible for about a month from week 9 on.

  • No aversions, no cravings for the last several months. Also, noticeably, no breakouts. Maybe my body is just much healthier. Maybe there is a person with a penis living in my body. Who knows.

  • My biggest whine is over my hips. I have had hip pain for much longer this time than last time, but no digestive issues. Would rather take my body feeling like it was going to fall through my legs than feel like my food would spill out my face if I lied down, so it’s fine.

  • This person feels less cute in my body than Iris did. Iris lied across my belly for most of my pregnancy, so I could basically hold her from the outside while she was in me. D’art’s placenta is anterior, so I felt their earliest movements weeks later than I felt Iris’. They also have been hanging out in my crotch this whole pregnancy, just poking at my cervix or kicking my ribs always. From the outside, they just aren’t visible in the way Iris was because of that snack pack. As I type this, they are wiggling their arms around my cervix. I have found myself having to roll around a lot more to get them to move out of my crotch and ribs a lot more.

What happens now?

I hang out for a couple months until I have the kid, I guess. I made a checklist a couple months ago that I need to review, and I have MORE checklists from our midwife. I don’t like the permanence of making daily plans in a book, but I do like the feeling of a checklist. Checkliiiiiiiiiiiist. We are planning for my partner’s mom to be here as close to the birth/during/after as possible, because my partner wants her own mom around this time. My mom was present for our last birth. After Iris’ birth with both my mom and sister, I thought it would be better for the whole naked/yelling party to do it as alone as possible, but Christina wants to share the birth of her grandkid with her. Hoping it doesn’t involve some unexpected hospital transfer/birth from hell so her mom can just be like, “Yeah, that is nice not having to leave the house and getting to cuddle with your family all you want.” I should write down what I envision for my birth plan. Hm. Here it is:

Get through the really fucking painful back contractions while be able to talk to cutie pie Iris in between.

Have a birth tub with hot hot water here to help with those contractions.

Have a short enough labor that I don’t need to go to sleep and wake up multiple days in a row with escalating contractions that eventually slow down and deprive me of all energy, leaving me to have the kid on my bed.

I don’t want another on-my-back labor. I want to have enough energy to have this kid on my own feet or in water. I want to not feel the back pain I felt last time that extended for over six months. I want to not end up with a yeast infection that makes peeing feel like my crotch is being torn open.

I want to have the energy to hold my baby after I have them. With Iris, I couldn’t lift her for days. I couldn’t pick her up because it hurt my back too much. She latched from an upright position and from a side position.

I want to get a nap with Christina and Iris. I want Iris to be there when tiny person is born, and I want her to get to help cut the umbilical cord and look at the placenta and wrap up a new baby and I want her to feel good about the new person in our house.

Less than twenty-four hours old, Iris.

Less than twenty-four hours old, Iris.