As most of you know, I had complications with my incision. The right side felt hot to the touch while still in the hospital. I also felt a hard lump under that side. I mentioned it to doctors and nurses a few times but everyone told me not to worry, that it was most likely scar tissue. We went home without them doing much other than visually checking my incision.

A few days after we came home from the hospital, we realized it wasn’t scar tissue. My incision opened and started to drain in the warm spot with the lump.

The Daddy and I packed up baby and headed to triage. There, the resident stuck a very long cotton swab into my abdomen and swept it side-to-side to make a larger hole. You know what really hurts? Having a fresh incision opened up with a q-tip. The Daddy calmed me down by whispering in my ear and the attending physician held my hand and stroked my arm. Then they pressed on my abdomen to expel the contents of the abscess that had formed underneath my incision. Quite a bit of blood and pus drained out. The spot that had been sore and painful for a week felt better immediately.

Then they delivered the bad news – The Daddy would have to irrigate the wound morning and night, and then using one of the same long cotton swabs, he’d have to pack the hole in my incision with a special gauze tape that looks like a shoelace. This would need to be done until the wound closed. We’d need to irrigate so that infection didn’t pool in the open wound. The packing was to wick out the moisture, for the same reason. With irrigating and packing supplies and a 10-day script for Clindamycin, we were sent on our way.

For about a week, The Daddy did the irrigating and packing. I’m not a very good patient though – I freak out when I feel like I’m not self-sufficient – so I eventually took over. Below the cut is an explanation of the process, and some pictures.

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It’s been a little over a month. A lot has happened since then.

We’ve gone from this:

9-month belly


…to this:

Timing contractions during our planned home birth

…to this.

Cesarean Section

After a 50-hour labor followed by a 2-hour cesarean section, we have a beautiful and healthy baby girl. I’m still recovering physically and emotionally. The labor process was not what we had expected at all, though I suppose it never really is. I hope to update more in the future – I’d like to do a couple of posts about the labor and delivery process, the aftermath, and a post about getting and being pregnant with PCOS. It’s hard though, juggling being a new mother and a patient, so it’ll probably be awhile.

When I found out about this pregnancy, I went straight to PCOS/infertility forums for first trimester support. I learned very quickly that when you’re infertile or fertility challenged in some way, it’s taboo to talk about the bad sides of pregnancy. Everything is happiness and rainbows! Our babies aren’t just babies, they’re miracle babies! Pregnancy is beautiful no matter what happens! Those aren’t stretch marks – they’re tiger stripes! Ok, ok. I get it. Babies are awesome. Pregnancy is a magical thing. You know what, though? It’s also really gross, and I’m tired of being told that I’m a bad person if I complain. After 8 long months, I have complaining to do.

The last 4-6 weeks of pregnancy bring indignity to a whole new level. I thought about suffering through this portion of the third trimester in silence due to aforementioned infertility taboos, but I feel like the silence must be broken. I’m sorry. This is gross, but I need to get it out there so I can laugh instead of cry.

Things that have been said in our house today:
“We must never speak of this again.”
“What exactly are your butt problems?”
“I’m not sure it’s ok for that part of me to bleed.”
“We can leave after I email my midwife about my, uh, anal disturbances.”
“I’m going to leave my boob out all day. My nipple feels like fire.”

Yesterday, we spent 15 minutes at Target weighing the pros and cons of maxi pads vs Depends and then deciding on what size and absorbency of pads to get after I refused to go down the adult diaper path even though they’ve been strongly recommended by women I know who had to suffer through both heavy postpartum bleeding and incontinence. I figure if we have that problem, we’re overnighting things from Amazon. And I will be checking the “this is a gift” box so that I don’t get suggestions based on my history of buying adult diapers. Pregnancy isn’t pretty. It’s just not.

After leaving the “feminine needs” aisle feeling very unfeminine, we headed on over to the aisle full of products for my previously mentioned anal disturbances. First thing I saw in that aisle? A pretty young woman quickly stood up, averted her gaze from the Tuck’s medicated pads she’d been eyeing, and started pretending to compare fiber supplements. It’s ok, honey. I understand. I do the same thing. Since my last shred of dignity was left behind somewhere between the Depends endcap and the wall of Always, I dove right in to loudly weighing the pros and cons of medicated wipes vs pads and Tuck’s vs Preparation-H vs generic. The pretty lady beside me seemed relieved, as she was able to stop wasting time at the fiber pills and resume her hunt for the perfect butt medicine. For those dying to know, I went with the Target brand witch hazel and aloe wipes, economy size. She got the Tuck’s.

This is how it really is, people. It’s not all crib assembly, nursery pictures, gently cradling a blossoming belly in maternity photos, baby showers, and shopping for adorably tiny clothes that make you cry when you hold that soft, sweet fabric up to your face. I mean, there’s that, too. Sure. But all of that is sandwiched between the half hour I spent naming my hemorrhoid (his name is Roy), the long trip to Target, and emailing my midwife to ask when a bleeding ass warrants a trip to the doctor. Speaking of hemorrhoids: as tempting as it is to get a mirror and check out what’s going on down there, don’t do it. Now I’m grossed out AND I have to think up a name for the second one I didn’t know was down there.

Nipples. Oh god, the nipples. They feel like someone chewed them up like pieces of bubble gum and then lit matches under them.

Heartburn. That’s back. It went away during the second trimester but in the third, you get all hormonal again. Progesterone and relaxin, they kinda loosen everything up. You get burpy and burny. The baby grows and presses into your stomach and that increases both of those things. You get to make fun decisions after a meal like, “Do I want to hold in this painful burp that’s making my heartburn worse, or do I want to burp and get relief but risk vomiting?” That’s a decision I make after almost every meal, which is partly why I snack a lot these days. I have to plan meals around heartburn so I can go to sleep at night. Indian food? Can’t have it after 5pm or I will never sleep.

What else is there? Oh, right. The post title.Waking the baby. Progesterone also causes gas. Lots. Of. Gas. I woke the baby, you guys. I actually farted so loud that I woke up my sleeping fetus. She startled awake with a jerk and then kneed me in the bellybutton and kicked me in the rib. No fucking joke.

Remember when I thought not reaching my feet to clip my toenails was my biggest problem? That was cute.

Lots has changed in the last 3-4 weeks! The biggest change? I am no longer seeing a perinatologist. I’ve always felt deep down that I’m not high risk. I’ve had a very easy pregnancy and my only issues are endocrine disorders that are under control. I made the decision a few weeks ago to ditch the peri and finish out my pregnancy with midwife care. She comes to my house! I get my blood pressure taken on my couch! The difference is mind-blowing. I can’t fully express the magnitude of the change without finally going back and publishing some backdated PTSD and hospital entries. Gah. I will someday, but not yet. They’re not deep or dark or anything; I just don’t want to deal right now. On to bullet points.

  • When I sneeze, my bellybutton pops out. WHAT?!
  • The area below my bellybutton, previously free of stretch marks, has blossomed into what looks like a toddler’s art project. Pink and purple scribbles all over. All of the pregnancy apps talked about stretch marks appearing in the second trimester. If you make it into the 30-something weeks with no stretch marks, don’t expect to stay unmarred. They can strike at any time! Most of mine have appeared in the last two weeks. Some appeared overnight. Seriously. I had fewer stretch marks when I went to bed last night.
  • Baby still doesn’t have a name. We are bad at names.
  • Baby has started dropping. I don’t feel that bowling ball pressure lots of women talk about. For me, it’s only been awesome – I can breathe and eat again!
  • So. Many. Baby. Things. We finally caved and bought all of the things that we need. This doesn’t include carseat and changing supplies:
  • Third trimester lesson: parenting starts in pregnancy. Nothing is about me anymore, I’m tired, and I have no time for anything. 99% of the time, I’m ok with that. The other 1% stings a little but that’s ok.
  • 2-7 weeks. That’s all that’s left. Oh god.
  • A lot of people ask me how I’m doing. A LOT. I thought that this stage of pregnancy would be annoying, but it’s not! It’s nice to know that people are thinking of me and wishing me well.
  • To answer the “How are you doing?” question: I’m doing great. Overall, I feel better while pregnant than prior to pregnancy. Crazy, I know.
  • The exception to feeling better: I now wheeze going uphill/up stairs and my pelvis feels like it’s being pried apart by a crowbar by about 7pm on days when I’m active, which is still most days. It hurts less than my daily ovary pain when not pregnant though, so even pain-wise, I’m still getting benefits despite crowbar crotch.
  • Stretch marks are equal parts sad-making and fascinating. Part of me is having trouble accepting that I will have a permanently marred belly and part of me feels a sense of pride when I look down at them and trace the new marks with my fingers.
  • The other day, I decided to see if I could figure out where the baby was in my uterus. I accidentally pushed her head down into my bladder. Add that to the list of things that make me pee a little.
  • Sometimes, my boobs leak. Hopefully that means they’ll work. More on boobs later.
  • I CAN SEE THE BABY MOVE. She moves the most when I’m relaxing, so it tends to coincide with evening TV-watching. The Daddy gets a lot of “What did s/he say? Can you rewind that?” during our favorite shows.
  • Speaking of The Daddy, he’s an amazing partner and soon-to-be dad. I seriously can not imagine any way in which he could be better throughout this process.
  • My belly, it is huge.

Apparently ‘not working’ for me means ‘doing everything in the house while The Daddy watches NYPD Blue’. This isn’t a significant other rant – it’s commentary on how I fail at relaxing. Day 3 of being off work and I’ve assembled a six-drawer dresser and changing table, reorganized all of my clothes, removed the suspended closet doors and tracks from the guest room, made 2 batches of ice cream for baby party next weekend, made us breakfast in bed, cleaned the kitchen 2x, made dinner for us and a friend, gone to brunch, did baby and grocery shopping, and planted some new succulents. Relaxation? What?

Every time I sit for more than a half hour, I start to panic and go over my to-do list in my head! I need a lobotomy and a bowl of ice cream.

Call me crazy, but this 3-hour glucose tolerance test is kind of nice. I’m sitting outside the hospital in the sunshine, nice breeze, low 60s, and a nice view of the city. You can’t see in this picture but the Golden Gate Bridge is off in the distance. 3 hours of forced relaxation – I’ll take it.


I just got home from our growth ultrasound. I feel very smug after baby measured exactly to the day again. The first hospital I went to kept insisting I was wrong when I told them to go by a late ovulation date rather than LMP. So far, every single u/s has been dead-on my date! She’s in the 44% percentile now, estimated 2lbs 11oz, and the doctor said if she stays on track and I have her around 39-41 weeks, to expect 7-7.5lbs. For my vagina’s sake, I hope she’s right.

Last Wednesday, I started the third trimester. Though the first trimester seemed to drag on forever due to bad care and the nearly overwhelming fear of miscarriage (women with PCOS will understand), now the days never seem long enough and I feel like I have a never-ending list of things to do.

There are also a lot of things that I want to write about and I either haven’t had the opportunity or I’ve gotten tongue-tied and given up halfway through an entry. On that list: PTSD and pregnancy, my experiences at the county hospital, transferring to a birth center, and being in and out of high-risk care. I’ve decided to publish some of the unfinished entries since they’re topics that are important to me. Even though I’m not able to fully verbalize some of the issues I’ve been having, I want to have a record of those experiences however incomplete that record may be. I will probably post those soon, though they’ll be backdated to when I started them since that’s when they were most relevant.

I also want to do some fun posts – nursery progression, art we’ll be hanging, gifts friends have given us…Yeah. I need to get on that. I’m kind of in a funk right now, so I’m posting this here in the hopes that putting it out there will motivate me to actually do some of this stuff. We’ll see how that goes. I’m really good at procrastinating.