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That Thing That Everyone Does But No One Wants to Discuss

Hi Mamas!

Pregnancy is a time where your body is going through some epic changes. The geography you once knew is history and this cute little alien parasite is making itself right at home. Things that were once easy may not be so easy. You may have to start paying extra close attention to certain things before it gets way out of hand. What am I talking about here?

That’s right. We’re about to have an honest conversation about pooping: the good times and the bad times. 

Pregnancy constipation. We know it. We (don’t) love it. It happens to almost all of us. We’ve all been the one sitting on the toilet just wishing you could poop. Like please, please, pretty please, just come out. I don’t physically have room for a jam-packed bowel and a baby to be in there all at once. So, here is a list of things that can help when all the berries and spinach and prunes are not doing a thing.

Keep in mind that I am not a medical professional and you should definitely talk to your doctor if you are having some serious blockage issues. Also, I’m not getting anything in return for talking about the following items. They are just things that worked (or didn’t work) for me and are now in a handy list for other mamas and mamas-to-be who may be miserably stopped up.

-A Stool softener (like Colace).

The directions say take 2-4 tablets at night before bed and that should get things moving in the next 12-24 hours. Personal experience…. 2 did pretty much nothing for me so naturally, I was like “Two was a bust! Let’s go big!!” and downed 4 tablets before bed.

Fast-forward to about 10am the following day. Let’s set the stage. I am at work. Small office. Thin walls. Everyone’s at their desks which are conveniently placed right across from the bathrooms which are a single room per potty. So not a whole lot of privacy. Okay action.

10am and I’m sitting at my desk and feel “the urge”. And I don’t mean the relieving urge of things moving towards the exit. I mean the panic-inducing urge of a waterfall crashing through your bowels. The one that makes you RUN, cheeks clenched, to the closest toilet and barricade yourself inside.

After an eventful 30 minutes and an admonishing text from my nurse sister (“FOUR??? You never take four!!”), things subsided, and I was able to return to my desk all while carefully not making eye contact with any of my coworkers.

DON’T TAKE FOUR.

-An osmotic laxative (like Miralax).

When the exit ramp is backed up and traffic is at a standstill, dump a capful in your morning coffee and drink away. People see the word “laxative” and instantly think “poop my brains out”. With osmotic laxatives, this is not the case! They are very minimally absorbed by your digestive tract and just follow the intestinal course through you, pulling water into your guts and making everything a bit softer and looser.

Since this laxative works by pulling water into your poo, you need to make sure you drink plenty of water with this one.

No crazy stories here. We’ve always gotten along great!

-Milk of Magnesia.

This is my go-to, I-need-an-intervention solution. For those times when all-of-a-sudden you realize you haven’t pooped in a week and you’ve been eating like a starved dog. Yeah, this’ll fix you up. It can also f*** you up… Enter a friend of mine, B. B had been complaining of stomach cramps and constipation and was just miserable. We were advised (by a medical professional) to go get some milk of magnesia (MoM) from the pharmacy and plan a night in while it did it’s thing. So, B and I head to the store to get supplies. This store is about a half a mile from B’s place of residence. Easy drive.

We get there and go find the MoM  and read the label. It says it should produce a bowel movement in a few hours to a day or so. Great. B buys the bottle and we head back to the car where B proceeds to drink a dose. Takes a few hours to work, right? B lives less than a half-mile away right?

WRONG.

This is the night when parking at B’s place all-of-a-sudden becomes a problem. Like someone was throwing a crazy party and invited everyone and their brother. Our five-minute excursion to the pharmacy turns into a 30-minute hunt for parking followed by a 20-minute walk back to B’s.

I think it’s safe to say that that 20-minute walk might’ve been the longest and hardest 20 minutes of B’s life.

Moral of the story: if you opt for milk of magnesia, TAKE IT WHEN YOU ARE ALREADY HOME AND BY A TOILET.

-A squatty potty.

Otherwise known as the best invention of all time. This thing is magic shaped into a little plastic stool. Basically, it’s a platform that fits around the base of your toilet. When the Browns are heading to the Superbowl, bust the squatty potty out, and put your feet on it so you are in a supported squatting position, booty hole over the toilet, and let loose. This puts you into a better position for laying logs, and GOOD NIGHT, you will be shocked, and be honest, slightly impressed at what comes out of you. This, in my humble opinion, should be a bathroom staple for everyone at any time. Pregnant, postpartum, none of the above. Its great for everyone.

Awkward conversation? Yes. Affects everyone? Yes. Entertaining to hear someone else’s poop nightmare? I hope so. Best of luck, backed-up mamas!

-Erin

Complain away, my friend

Hi mamas!

I am sitting here at the corner of VERY pregnant and not ready to not be pregnant.

About two months ago, I was walking across a parking lot on my way to my car and, out of nowhere, my crotch LIGHTS UP. I’m talking shooting pain straight up the middle and down my legs. In that moment, I thought, “THIS is was they mean by lightning crotch.” Good night, it hurt.  And it kept hurting. And then the next week, I started having extreme sciatic pain down my left leg. And then the lower back pain started. And before I knew it, I was limping around in an exaggerated pregnancy waddle and could barely put pants on in the morning. My dear husband was oh-so-kind and helped me quite a bit: going up and down stairs, taking my pants and socks off, getting me off the couch (or, heaven forbid, FLOOR), etc. T assisting me with every day things became so commonplace that my 18-month-old son started mimicking T and tried to help me off the floor. Very sweet but not super effective.

Anyway, all this ended up being diagnosed as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, or SPD. This is where your body does too good a job of relaxing all those ligaments and your pelvis gets out of alignment. Specifically, the cartilage between the two halves of your pelvis get very angry right at crotch level and is exacerbated by activities where your legs are spread and weight-bearing (squatting, picking up a kid, getting down to the toilet…), you have all of  your weight on one foot (stairs, walking, putting pants on…), you push anything (stroller, grocery cart, closing a door…), and my personal favorite, rolling over in bed.

While I am still dealing with this, chiropractic care has been my life-saver and has relieved a huge chunk of the pain I was dealing with every day. More on that later.

The point here is that pregnancy can be hella hard. Morning (all day) sickness, ligament pain, stretching skin, constipation, tight clothes, giant belly. It all can be SO HARD to cope with. Throw in a huge amount of extra hormones and you have a serious recipe for a mental breakdown, cue the floodgates.

There is a thought that I have seen travel amongst mamas experiencing these insane symptoms and changes. Some of these specific mamas have had a hard time getting pregnant or a hard time staying pregnant. Some of these mamas have an unexpected pregnancy. Some planned it all out. Some are any combination therein. The thing I hear is this notion that they should only ever feel grateful for their pregnancy. They feel guilty for even contemplating a negative word about a pregnancy symptom like it will somehow erase some of the love they have for this growing bump.

Let me go ahead and lay it out: YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS.

Pregnancy can suck. It can be so hard to cope with. That is the honest truth. And verbalizing your discontent does not, I repeat DOES NOT, take away any bit of the love or excitement you have for your pregnancy. You are growing a human. A HUMAN! That is freaking amazing and your body is doing some serious work.

I think letting out those negative emotions is good. Talk about them. Find someone to commiserate with.  Keeping it all dammed up, terrified of someone thinking you aren’t grateful for your baby, can be detrimental to you, mama. Find a person who understands and will let you talk and complain and vent. Don’t know anyone? Holler at me. Girl, I’ve been there. I am there.

Your body is a master artist creating a perfect work of art. Your brush hand is going to cramp up, your back will get sore from sitting at that canvas. Does talking about the pain in your finger or the stiffness in your back take away from the glory of the artwork? No. No it does not. Your pride and joy in this little life you’re creating is not damaged by hating the backaches and the exhaustion. Your love for your developing child is not diminished by a whine about how much your belly itches or your boobs hurt.

You, mama, are allowed to complain about pregnancy. You, in all your life-giving glory, are allowed to complain. This is hard work.

-Erin

First Things First

Hi fellow mamas!

My name is Erin and thank you for checking out my blog! A little about me and my intentions here… I am a mom of two: a one-year-old son we’ll call H and a daughter due soon we’ll call E. I have been happily married for almost three years to my husband, T, and we have been through a lot of major life changes.

As you have already assessed, I am PREGNANT. Like really pregnant. While being pregnant, we have bought our first home, moved to a new state, and both T and I have started new jobs. Like I said, major life changes. This is my second pregnancy and these two munchkins will be less than two years apart. Pregnancy, birth, and navigating motherhood dominate my thoughts. Throw in friends and family around my also being in baby mode and it’s fair to say that it is constantly at the forefront of my brain.

By trade, I am a scientist. Data, statistics, proven results. That is my wheel-house. I am not (was not?) driven by my gut or intuition. To me, pregnancy was going to follow right along with all the apps and blogs and books out there. (trust me, I read most of them) We’d go from a blueberry to a watermelon and *insert some screaming about eating forbidden fruit* BAM! Baby. Done and done. Then head home with our bundle of joy and live happily ever after, milk perpetually flowing from my breasts and boundless love and contentedness pouring from my soul like the nurturing saintly mother I am….

And then none of that happened. There were so many things that no one ever told me about pregnancy and birth. And there are so many things no one told me about motherhood! Whether its hilarious or heart-breaking or disgusting or downright embarrassing, my goal is to shine some light on those things a get them out in the open. I have no doubt that I am not alone in some of these things and I hope you’ll tag along, learn, and contribute to this blogging expedition into the unknown part of motherhood.

-Erin

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