Thursday, April 15, 2021

So, What's the point of shopping in-store anymore?

 Okay before any of my small-shop owners have a heart attach, I'm not really talking about small shops. Because they tend to place a higher value on their customer relations. This rant is dedicated to the chains. Specifically the Anthropologie's of the retail space. 

Let's talk about the HUGE brick and mortar that is the Anthropologie-BHLDN-Terrain-Terrain Café, in Palo Alto. Pre-COVID, this ginormous space was always filled. Post-COVID, understandably, the space is devoid of the hustle and bustle...

Anthropologie-BHLDN-Terrain-Terrain Café, Palo Alto
[photo from TripAdvisor]

On a beautiful, warm, Spring afternoon like today, Anthro is normally a no-brainer if you're shopping at Stanford. But today, as I entered the Palo Alto store, an employee, red-faced through her mask, was in tears...distraught...little did I know that was going to set the tone as I walked in.

The place always seemed big, but it's a bit overwhelmingly depressing now. With hardly a soul in there shopping. Usually half the point of going into Anthro is to peruse all the things, which was my intention, but I wasn't feelin the good shopping juju. 

Then, the store couldn't accept a return of a new with tags dress I got in the mail just the day prior. Specifically, the reason cited was it being from Anthro's wedding line, BHLDN. Those HAVE to be mailed back. No iffs, ands or butts. Doesn't matter that I bought the dress from Anthropologie. Doesn't matter that the receipt said I could return it in-store. Doesn't matter that it was a BHLDN-tagged dress being returned to an Anthro that has a BHLDN within their store. They've got a strict, super inconvenient policy. Good fucking grief. 

Policy is policy. I get it. I get it because I worked retail. And I just so happened to work for Anthropologie once upon a time. So I know how unpleasant it is to have to let down a customer over a policy you have nothing to do with. I was great at my job because I always knew how to let down a customer. Because they will undoubtedly be disappointed, but you can try to avoid anger. I used to always act like I was more offended by the policy than the me, it worked every time.

"You know what, personally I don't like the policy either and I can't do anything BUT let me get my manager and see if there's any way we might be able to do something for you." .....that was my line. 

And it worked, give or take a few exceptions. But it defused situations. Whether or not they could be remedied. When the customer thought I cared, it made a difference. D U H. Basically, I treated people how I wanted to be treated as a customer. I was a fucking gem of an employee. 

And today I was reminded how rare those gem employees are. 

Of all the shit to worry or complain about in the world today, yeah, I chose this. This is my rant.

What's the point of shopping in-store anymore? Because I found it hard to find a reason this afternoon. Shopping in-store today required me to get dressed. Pack up my kiddo. Drive to the store and stroller-up said kiddo. ALL of this was not an issue because we were excited to get outa the house on this gorgeous day and do some shopping. 

Kiddo saddled up, mommy masked up, we head in to shop. Delilah hates the mask just as much as I do and rips it off of me, so at least from the stroller, she can't do anything other than voice her disdain. I literally cannot blame her. But I digress. These are the small sacrifices we make to go out in the world post-COVID. I quiet her with crackers. All is well. I'm determined to make the best of this.

Annnnnd 10 minutes later? I'm like why the fuck did I even bother leaving my house today, Ya know? Why go through all the trouble, to just walk out of a store with a nasty taste in your mouth. Like, is that the vibe Anthro's going for? Again, What's the point of shopping in-store anymore? It's not like I can try anything on. The fitting rooms are open at some stores but not at this particular one. Which is to their detriment because this is one of their largest stores and their sale section was loaded! Because no one's shopping IN-STORE. And they certainly don't seem to care too much....and if they don't care, why should I? 

So, here's my experience in a nutshell: I walk in to a store masked (still? fml). No background music playing to entice the shopping vibes. An employee in tears (poor girl...been there). A strict "no in-store return" policy on a brand new item, with tags. An employee who needs a lesson on finessing her way out of said unpleasant store policy. Everyone looking pretty miserable. Ummmmm....ew. Get me the F outa here.

So, What's the point of shopping in-store anymore?

Shopping at home this past year has been pretty convenient. I can shop in my swimsuit from the backyard, while the baby takes a nap. I'm at home so I don't have to cover my face like a bandit. Feels nice to be able to breathe unobstructed whilst shopping. I can order all the sizes, try them on in my closet, and return what doesn't work. Printing return labels at home doesn't require me to fandango with an employee who hates her job. 

It's a pandemic. And everyone's in a mood. I get it. Some of us have been through more than others. But with that said, when you go to work, you learn to check your attitude at the door.

And if these brick and mortar behemoth's, like Anthro in Palo, want to keep their doors open, they should take a page out of Target's playbook! 

Something I noticed, right away, when Targets fully opened back up, was they were actively welcoming people back in to the stores to shop. The employees were seriously nicer and more pleasant than I had ever seen them. Literally welcoming us in...Can I help you with anything....Stay well....Enjoy your day...blah, blah, set a fucking TONE

Target realized that people hate having to shop with a mask. It's an impediment to breathing. It sucks. It's inconvenient. And a morbid reminder of the times. So, the employees STEPPED IT UP. Like I said, I've worked retail, so I know that this enthusiasm on their parts was definitely putting in the effort. 

But it showed. 

And it was appreciated. 

I was welcomed. And mask be damned, I still shopped and pleasantly-so because there was an effort being made to bring people in. 

You might think I complain about some random shit sometimes, but I think this one's a goodie. Because at the heart of this rant, it's about treating people how you want to be treated. In life and business. At home and at work. It's how you remain successful and maintain relationships, with friends and customers.

"To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do." - John Adams.

It's simple. Get a clue.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Baby Stuff for Dummies

Yup. Baby stuff. For dummies.

Don't be offended or hopeless. I too was a dummy and still am in many ways when it comes to babies. Delilah being my first one, I'm definitely a novice. Lucky her.

Over the course of this past year, (Yeah, Delilah's already one) I've been surprised and simultaneously honored that some of you feel I am enough of an expert to send me questions and even ask me for tips. And I have been all too glad to share what products I have and use and what I recommend.

So, I thought I'd round up some of my personal nursery basics. From the furniture we got Miss D to some of my favorite toys, beginner stroller and even the best bathtub seat around. It's pretty much all here. Links provided, naturally. Any link that takes you to items listed in my Amazon storefront are items that I earn a small commission on, as an Amazon influencer. So, thank you in advance for facilitating what I do which is to always find you the best deals on the things we've got to have.

Happy Baby-Shopping & Saving!

Love, Mrs. Gehrels

If you made it this far, then you're in for a pretty decent treat. Nothing I love to do more with this blog than treat my readers to awesome giveaways.....

so, CLICK HERE to be taken to the MOMMY & ME GIVEAWAY POST.



The Mommy & Me Giveaway

I've done a lot of fun giveaway's in my decade of blogging. But I can say with certainty that a mother-baby-themed giveaway never seemed like something I would do.

My how things change....

Over the course of this past year, I've been collecting all sorts of goodies that I felt would make one helluva gift basket if you're heading to a baby shower. Something I noticed when I was accumulating things for my baby was that MOM'S are more often than not left out of the gifting. EVERYTHING becomes about THE BABY. duh.

The year I discovered I was pregnant, my birthday and Christmas turned into preemptive baby showers where basically nothing was for me. I swear I'm not complaining.

Anyway, me being the present-loving, dote-on-ME type, I decided I wanted to do a giveaway that focused more on presents for MAMA. Mom has needs and wants to, remember? Mom likes STUFF too, remember?

NOT TO MENTION....I know quite a few mamas who had to cancel their showers because of the pandemic. Some chose to have Zoom or FaceTime showers. And some just gave up on the idea altogether because we are literally living in crazy times. I gave birth 2 weeks into the first international lockdown, so I get it. This is for YOU. Because you deserve it.

Let's talk about WHAT all I'm giving away!

Pampering yourself takes on a whole other meaning when you're pregnant and postpartum. I'm including one of my favorite shower gels. a few things to simplify tossing your hair up.  safe gray coverage for your roots, without leaving home. bath time essentials. sheets masks for your face and your tata's! I know much good stuff for Mom.

And then, I tossed in a few things for your diaper bag. ALL diaper bag-sized. PLUS one very fun sippy cup for your little. Like super fun. Like maybe when your kiddo isn't using it, you might casually take it for a

1. The Ritual of Sakura foaming shower gel by RITUALS.

2. A chic black/white striped shower cap by Kitsch.

3. A giant scrunchie by Blushing Lavender.

4. (2) giant resin, tortoise-shell hair clips from Amazon.

5. A box of Magic Root Rescue root coloring kit in medium brown by L'OREAL.

6. A bag of Dead Sea salt bath soak (for Mom's) by HONEST.

7. Lavender face + body lotion for by HONEST.

8. Sweet almond shampoo + body wash by HONEST.

9. Neck & chest Age Defense Cream by Gold Bond.

10. Face sheet mask by Common Labs.

11. (8) Cabbage breast patches by TNTN Mom's.

12. (2) Sweet orange & vanilla shampoo + body wash (sample size) by HONEST.

13. (2) Fragrance-free face + body lotion (sample size) by HONEST.

14. Dreamy lavender bubble bath (sample size) by HONEST.

15. Disposable diaper pail by Munchkin.

16. Baby wipes by Seventh Generation.

17. Diaper rash ointment (sample size) by Boudreaux's Butt Paste.

18. A very fun wine goblet (sippy cup) provided by DADTHAT.

And everything comes stuffed in one of the rope baskets I'm always collecting from Target. They're perfect for the nursery or for yourself! Enter Giveaway below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Marijuana & Pregnancy - for those who need some relevant real talk.

If you were on Google, researching like a madwoman. And landed on this post. Well, lucky you. Seriously. Consider yourself lucky. Because I'm going to be 1000% honest. I'm going to tell you MY ACTUAL experience. And it took place in 2020. So, not only is my experience reliable, more importantly, it's recent.

I wanted to open this post with a disclaimer of sorts because when I was pregnant, and looking for resources on smoking weed while pregnant, I was at a loss. 

Every account I came across online was either super dated - sorry, but your experience from 2011 just isn't comforting when I need current laws factored in. OR the story was from a girl's sister's friend's mom's, not exactly reliable.

Yes. I smoked while I was pregnant. Marijuana? Yes. Cigarettes? Hell no. Just to clarify. In case you're already chomping at the bit to judge. If you already have a preconceived negative notion of how you feel about this topic, then I suggest you move on.

If you want some fucking real talk, no judgement, then you're in the right place.

First off. I just want to say. My child is an absolute ray of sunshine. And perfect in every way. Just kidding. She shits and screams and spits up just like the best of them. My point being, Delilah is a normal baby in every way. She is healthy. She is smart. She is loud. She is hilarious. And she actually is a little ray of sunshine. And according to her pediatrician, she is advanced.

Delilah - 4 months old.

Guess smoking weed while I was pregnant wasn't as detrimental as the surgeon general and naysayers would have you believe. Mind you, the surgeon general does not have an issue with you being prescribed opioids while pregnant. 

So, before I was pregnant, I smoked weed to chill out. To quell anxieties. To zone into a project. To write. To help me sleep. To cure a desperate hangover! Most significantly though, I smoke weed to help keep migraines at bay. I don't get your average migraine. If only mine were relegated to just throbbing pain and throwing up, I get special migraines - migraines with aura. Aura can be experienced as bright spots in your vision, like stars, but not as alluring as it sounds. My particular experience with aura is half of my body goes numb. Only one side. And it's weird. One of the first discoveries of this was when I sliced through my tongue while I slept. And I had no idea. Because I couldn't feel it. Good times. Yeah. Migraines with aura are a tale for another post.

Basically, weed is not something that has ever held me back. I often prefer it over a cocktail for the simple reason that I have control over my actions and the only aftermath of smoking a good joint is I'm going to sleep really well.

So when I got pregnant, unexpectedly, I felt like I needed to clean up my act for obvious reasons. Wanted to give this babe the best chances. I knew 2 basic things about being pregnant: Don't drink and don't smoke. 

First trimester, I suffered. Although migraines had all but disappeared, I was sick to my stomach. So sick. Morning sickness for me lasted all day. And I did what everyone tells you to do. And honestly, it worked pretty well. I would keep boxes of mini saltines at my bedside with a bottle of water. As soon as I woke up feeling nauseous at 3am, I'd stuff my face with saltines and drown myself in water. The trick was just to fill myself up as much as I could with something bland like crackers so I could push through the nauseous feeling and go on with my day. It worked, usually.

Second trimester things changed. Duh. Pregnancy is a fucking trip. Every day is something new. And it's just a game of  "Do I go to the hospital for this or don't I?" 

My migraines returned. And they returned with a vengeance. This was actually something that had been lightly discussed with my gyno. Sometimes women with migraines get worse and this was something I was concerned about. When a bad migraine hits, I take a cocktail of Rizatriptan (instantly relieves nausea & can help relieve migraine pain), Excedrin Migraine for the pain and a sedative, Promethazine, which calms me down and eases me to sleep.

Pregnant...can't take my usual go-to pharma-cocktail...what the hell am I going to do. I got a second opinion from another gyno who felt that, with the exception of Excederin, it was safe for me to take my usual meds. I felt otherwise. Both of my gynocologists clearly resisted having to give me the okay but felt that if my migraines persisted and were only getting worse, I could take my meds. My main gyno actually recommended I come in for a shot of Dilaudid - an opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain.

And that's where I decided to take matters into my own hands. I loved how my doctors were ready to prescribe opioids to calm my symptoms but somehow, marijuana was taboo. It's laughable really. 

In reality, I wasn't able to take any pills because as it was, when a severe migraine hit, I wasn't able to keep down anything. Not food. Not water. And certainly not any pills. I started to lose weight instead of gaining it and the last thing I wanted was to end up hospitalized from malnutrition. I needed to handle my situation the best way possible. 

And so towards the middle of my second trimester, I started smoking little bits of weed to stop myself from dry heaving in the mornings from morning sickness. It cured my nausea. Quelled my anxiety which was at an all-time high during my first pregnancy. And it fueled my appetite which was so important! It allowed for me to eat all the things. And I was happy. FINALLY feeling hungry AND being able to keep the food down was literal happiness. Something pills would NOT have accomplished.

And while marijuana didn't always help with a couple of my worst migraines, it definitely helped keep them at bay in general. 

My child did not suffer from my smoking small amounts of weed while I was pregnant with her. Although, according to the Kaiser-appointed psychologist I was forcibly paired with while I was pregnant, my child potentially faced any number of issues....

I cannot tell you how annoying it is that Kaiser pairs you up with a psychologist when you get pregnant. She's nosy. She asks you questions that are, "Do you want this baby?" "Are you happy about being pregnant?" And my favorite assertion of hers, "If you smoke marijuana, you are risking miscarrying and if your baby survives, she's going to probably be deformed or have any number of things wrong with her..." 


Her job is to scare the bejesus outa you. Smoke weed while your pregnant and you're risking your babies health! And if you're willing to risk her health, that means you're a bad mother! And if you're a bad mother when does social services step in....

My gyno literally told me in the most casual way, to "lay off of it a little" as I approached my due date. Mainly because I wanted clean breast milk. However, my gyno never at any point tried to disway me from smoking marijuana. I also told her I drank it in tea form. Again, never any reproach from her.

But, per Kaiser bullllllshit rules, my gyno has to inform this psychologist who was younger than me and my husband. Had never been pregnant herself. Didn't have experience with severe migraines or migraines in general. And spoke to us in this silly little voice that one uses when talking to preschoolers. She asked us questions at our first encounter that we found beyond intrusive. For example, where we live and the size of our home and the size of our baby's room is really none of her business. And yet, there we were. What was supposed to be a nice trip to see our baby's anatomy scan tuned into an unscheduled interrogation with a cop, er psychologist. 

Take note, Kaiser appoints all pregnancies with a psychologist. Her job is to root around your private business to look for problems to report back to social services. That's what her main job is. However, she masks this by saying she is there for you to provide you with resources for your mental health. If my mental health was at stake, this psychologist would be the last person I'd want to go see. Unrelatable and condescending don't do it for me, Kaiser.

This psychologist gave me all the bad vibes. Besides making me feel like I was a bad mom for consuming small amounts of marijuana, she had me under the impression that I HAD to see her for scheduled appointments to check on my mental health, and basically her taking notes to hand over toooo, to who? Who exactly? Enough was enough. No one can force you to see a doctor when there is no need, as I finally decided to confirm with my gynecologist. 

Literally an email was sent after a family pow-wow. My husband was pissed and so were my parents. All of whom were on board with me smoking weed over taking opioids during a pregnancy.

My gynecologist was quick to respond to my email and assuage concerns.

I was not a case that would be of any interest to social services. We live in CALIFORNIA. Marijuana is legal HERE. And that changes everything. The small amounts I was smoking were of no interest to her and she assured me it was really of no concern to the psychologist either. Psychologists are looking for more deep-set issues. Domestic abuse. Alcohol abuse. Drug abuse such as prescription pills, cocaine, heroin. Fucking serious stuff. Marijuana doesn't fit the bill in California anymore. NOT so for other states ladies. So, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. 

39 weeks pregnant & ready to pop!

In the end, I basically told the appointed psychologist to go kick rocks. For real. She tried to push appointments on me in order to "educate me" on the effects of marijuana. Mmmmhmmm...someone who had never smoked herself, guaranteed. And her only knowledge of it is what the surgeon general recommends. Another person who's only interaction with marijuana is what someone else has told him is "fact." 

And while my doctor doesn't openly condone usage, because she legally cannot, she also doesn't deny its benefits. Keep in mind, I stopped smoking weed into my 3rd trimester to ensure clean breast milk.

So, in a nutshell:

Did I face any legal repercussions for ingesting marijuana? NO. 

Was I tested at any point during labor & delivery? NO clue. Doubtful.

Was my baby tested? Again, NO clue. But I doubt it.

Was there any threat of having my child removed from me at birth? Hell NO.

Did the nurses ask about drug use? OF COURSE.

Did I answer them truthfully every time? ABSOLUTELY.

Did any of the nurses care when I said I smoked weed, drank infused tea? NOPE.

Was my baby born without complications? Yes.

Any complications since birth? Not at all.

Anatomy scan looking perfect.

I sincerely hope this answers some questions! Keep in mind my account is from that of a Kaiser member. And that's generally how it goes across the board for Kaiser in California. They drug test everyone, no matter what. They test your urine and they don't tell you. When they send you to the lab for all sorts or preggo testing, marijuana is definitely one of the tests.

They test specifically for marijuana because its usage among pregnant women is on the rise. More women than you think are resorting to marijuana to ease pregnancy woes because it actually works to ease more than just one symptom. Curing nausea while calming your evermore anxious mind and giving your appetite a's only a matter of time before they finally stop giving mothers shit over using it. 

If you have any questions, leave them here at the bottom and I'll definitely try to answer you to the best of my own knowledge and experience. I promise it's firsthand, not I heard from a friend of a friend kinda crap.


Labor & Delivery - March 24, 2020.


Monday, August 3, 2020

Hello Baby!

Sitting down to type because I finally have a few moments. Weird to say that now considering I used to have ample time only a year ago. Copious amounts of time to dedicate to this website and to MYSELF. 

But here I am. Mother of 4 months to Miss Delilah Maria. And honestly, I still don't believe it. I can't believe she's here. She actually belongs to me. I'm in charge of keeping another human alive. Omigod. How did this happen? Well, I know how she happened. But still. It blows my mind, and her father's. 

July 26, 2020 - 5:27pm.

I think maybe the mind blowing is due to the fact that we were never careful. Together since Summer of 2015. Married Spring of 2017. And not once in that time frame were we ever careful. Naturally, after some time we definitely made appointments to make sure we were all good. Maybe there were issues we didn't know we had. So, after we got the "You both are fine and fully capable of having children," confirmation, we decided we were not interested in alternative methods of conceiving.

October 21, 2017 - 6:33pm. Chris & I taking the train home after cocktails in the city.

Naturally, we looked into IUI's and IVF. Made an appointment or 2 and consulted with a specialist. And pretty quickly decided it wasn't for us. The truth was neither of us felt that we wanted children bad enough to go through these invasive procedures. 

We decided that if we were both healthy and capable, if a baby was to be a part of our future, then it would happen. If it was meant to be, it was meant to be. Maybe not on our preferred schedule or timeline, but it is what it is. And if it wasn't meant to be, then I'd be writing to you about my new Chanel bag right now instead. Ha!

January 1, 2020 - 1:01pm. 

And so, Chris and I went about our lives. I mean the man was about to cave and buy me a convertible when we got the crazy news. Seriously! We had been looking into getting me a new car and I had convinced him a convertible would be so much fun! Right? Literally, there we were at our fave little Mexican restaurant, drinking margaritas and Modelo Especial's, discussing my convertible...only to go home, take a freakin' random pregnancy test and find out I'm pregnant.

After about 4 years, there I was, preggo. And of course we didn't believe it. I mean I had actually bought the pregnancy tests as a joke to play on my bestie because we were taking off for a weekend in Vegas.  AND I thought it would be funny to text him a positive pregnancy test before we, that obviously backfired big time. lol.

July 19, 2019 - 7:17pm. We are freaking out.

I still went to Vegas. And did a lot of pool lounging and shopping instead. No complaints actually. It was nice. Other than the fact I was beginning to get bouts of nausea. And weird cravings. I mean there we were in Vegas and I made Kimmy make a pitstop at a CVS so I could buy beef jerkey and Doritos. Yummmm.

July 21, 2019 - Pregnant in Vegas.

And that set the pace for the next nine months.

My first pregnancy. So of course it was anything but uneventful. Nine full months of waking up almost every day wondering what new mysterious ailment would cause me a newfound anxiety. The thing is, when you're 36 and this is your first time being pregnant, it's fucking terrifying. I literally felt like a character out of the movie Alien. With this foreign thing growing inside of me and just making me sick. Unmotivated. Tired. Anxious. SICK. TIRED. ANXIOUS. And totally unlike myself. It's a strange feeling.

Suddenly I was just too tired to get dressed and take my usual outfit shots. Which is something I love to do! So, that was depressing. Too tired to care about my outfits or keeping up with the website. Which explains the year-long hiatus. On the other hand, I never really minded growing bigger and slowly not being able to fit into things. That was kinda fun. Watching myself grow and eating whatever, whenever with TUMS for dessert, of course. I mean there were days where I wasn't so amused by this sudden weight gain (I got up to 160 lbs at the time of delivery). But it's all good. 4 months postpartum and I weigh about 135 lbs. Still work to be done. Nothing like a pandemic to procrastinate weight loss.

October 10, 2019 - 3:53pm. Squeezing into a swimsuit I bought right before I found out I was pregnant.

I never invested in maternity-wear other than a pair of pregnancy leggings to accommodate my growing stomach, a couple supportive tank tops and a slip - ALL from Blanqi Supportwear. A brand I highly suggest you check out. The items I purchased carried me throughout my pregnancy and postpartum. AND they wick moisture. AND they're so, so comfortable. AND this is not an advertisement. I will link the exact items I bought in an upcoming post on ALL the baby stuff I suggest.

December 19, 2019 - 9:09pm. Living in those Blanqi leggings.

Getting back to the whole unexpected pregnancy was rough. With that said, I realize that there are pregnancies way more difficult than mine. But for me, it was rather unpleasant for the most part. I was not a fan of sharing my body with this little someone who I didn't know. And she had the audacity to make me sick and tired and feeling anything other than my normal fabulous self!  *breathe, breathe*

December 9, 2019 - 10:02am. Home after another scare & subsequent ER visit.

Then, there was the bleeding. The spotting to use the proper terminology. When you don't know any better, like me, you assume that pregnancy means no bleeding for the next nine months. Not so. And while every pregnancy is different, mine had plenty of spotting. Some brought on by intercourse, which is normal, and something we didn't know until one of our many trips to the ER.

March 4, 2020 - 4:28pm. Getting to know the nurses well at this point.

But then there were times where I bled for no apparent reason. I bled when I overdid it one day trying to get Christmas shopping done. I bled when I started feeling super overwhelmed because Chris decided to remodel the house the entire nine months I was pregnant. Take note: remodeling whilst you're pregnant is not something I recommend. AT ALL. Stress makes your body do all kinds of shit. Especially when you're pregnant.

So, when you don't know any better, you automatically assume it's a miscarriage every time you see blood. I probably had this thought at least once a week. I swear. Some women spot in the very beginning and stop all together. And some spot all throughout their pregnancy. And I was one of them. I finally, finally stopped thinking I was miscarrying somewhere towards the end of the 2nd trimester. But the fear and paranoia for me were pervasive. I am thankful for the friends who answered my worried texts, sometimes with graphic photos attached, and for their advice. I was just scared. Scared to lose something we never thought we'd have. 

Side note: I never took any baby classes or labor classes. They're suggested, of course. But around the time I would have signed up, Coronavirus triggered a nation-wide shelter-in-place order. And therefore I was unable to attend any workshops. NO BIGGIE LADIES! I watched classes online which are available. They gave me an idea of what to expect. But in the end, didn't need them. 

Ummm...while it's on my mind. When your pregnant friend says to you that she's just over it. She's sick and tired of being sick and tired. Don't and I repeat do not tell your pregnant friend that she needs to stop and "enjoy this time."  The thing is, your pregnant friend would really love to enjoy this time. But as she pointed out, she's SICK and TIRED. and that makes things really hard to enjoy. 

Instead try one of these, a "I'm sorry this is so miserable for you right now." And "I can't imagine how you must feel." Or a "Don't worry sweetie, this too shall pass. And when it does, we're going to drink mimosas till we pass out."

These are all far better options than urging someone who's miserable to enjoy feeling miserable.

I would also like to say that while pregnancy was miserable, labor was literally a breeze for me. Everything I had feared was for nothing. I realize I'm so lucky to have had such an easy experience. Being my first time and all. AND not to mention, we were in the middle of one of the worst pandemics the world has seen. 

We checked into Kaiser Santa Clara around 7-8pm in the evening with no problems and a practically empty hospital, thanks to Coronavirus. Miss Delilah was born at 2am. With epidural, all things are possible. I love you epidural. I felt NO pain. Not once. Only pressure like you're squeezing out a soccer ball out of your vagina. And it's SO WEIRD. It didn't hurt but the sensation of feeling her head right before it popped out is INSANE. The incredible wooooosh feeling when the rest of her little body slipped right out. And the same wooooosh feeling when the placenta and after-birth come out. Lot's of crazy sensations, but never once was I in any pain. Also, in case you were wondering, contractions, for me, were very uncomfortable. But I found them manageable. 

March 24, 2020 - 2:20am. Life changed forever.

March 24, 2020 - 2:20am. Hello Baby!

I had a minor first degree tear. Which at the time of labor felt like no big deal. That epidural was hiding the true pain that would come in the next few days. The epidural wore off just as I was being loaded into the wheelchair and wheeled out to the car with my little honey. I still had no idea of the pain that was lurking. Just waiting for me once I got home and settled.

March 25, 2020 - 8:17am.

So, nobody tells you what happens after. And I think it's because none of us really think to ask. It's like we're all so consumed with the lead-up and the actual labor. And for some reason I was under the impression that that's where the buck stopped. In the labor room. My mom always said, "labor is the biggest pain of your life and as soon as it's over you feel nothing. No pain." Fucking lies. Lies I tell you.

I spent the first 2 weeks postpartum wishing I was dead and buried. I'm not exaggerating. I was in so much pain I would just sit and cry and cry. Crying because I couldn't pee without screaming from the pain of the stitches dissolving. And I mean SCREAMING. Chris had never heard or seen me like this before and I know it was terrifying. I cried, more like sobbed, because my sciatic pain was so unbearable that every time I sat down, I shrieked from how hard I had to bite down to withstand the pain. Sciatica was something that settled in during my first trimester and unfortunately only got worse postpartum. 

March 28, 2020 - 12:26pm. Delilah is 4 days old. This is real life.

All of this pain made it sad and difficult trying to nurse and deal with a newborn.  And I quickly understood why everyone was so concerned as to whether Chris and I would have help in the beginning - till we got the hang of things. Which let me tell you, as a new parent, those first 4 weeks are the most difficult and trying, both on you and your partner. Know this and don't feel bad when you're feeling exasperated and at your wits end. 

My mom lives down the street and so does my sister. I am very lucky to have all the help I need. 

Eventually, all the horrible pains I had melted away. And not a moment too soon. My babe needed her mama and the immense pain I had been going through made me almost useless to my newborn.

Again, friends who know just know. But if you don't know, this is yet another time where it is ill-advised to tell parents that they should really try to "enjoy this time."

May 4, 2020 - 5:31pm.

Cry when you need to. Scream if you want to. Preferably when the baby is at grandma's. This is no time to be waking sleeping babies. Not even for your postpartum temper tantrum. Trust me on this. You'll thank me later. SLEEP when they sleep. Do not try and do what I did and clean house every time they close their eyes. This incessant habit of mine to keep everything spotless was exhausting and painful. Because of course, I was trying to do too much too soon. Just rest. REST.

May 20, 2020 - 11:53am.

Rest because peaceful moments will now be far and few in between. Rest because you've never known exhaustion quite like this before. Rest because your life has changed. And this new life is different. And selflessness is the name of this game. Because it's all about her now. Her needs come before yours. And even though it's weird and different and tiring, you love it. You'll love giving every ounce of yourself to this little person...but if you're like me, you might not love it at first. And that's okay. I'm 4 months in and just now realizing how much I love it. How much I love her. 

May 27, 2020 - 6:11pm. Delilah is 2 months old.

We've still got a long ways to go in getting to know each other.

And I can't wait.

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