Posts tagged ‘weight loss surgery’

Transitioning…

For the last few days I’ve noticed some hormonal changes, and I’m hoping wondering if this is my body getting close to labor and birth. I’m starting to have night sweats again, I’m breaking out on my face, and I’m getting more crazy with each passing day. I kind of feel like I’m back in my first tri, except with 40 extra lbs. I originally went to the doctor because of the night sweats, thinking I was having some kind of endocrine issue. Nope! Just pregnancy!

I’m so excited to find out if Tax Deduction is a girl or a boy. I’ve gone back and forth so many times in this pregnancy, first thinking it was a boy, then girl for a looooooooooong time, now boy again. I just don’t know. This pregnancy has been a weird mixture of more and less intense than my others. It’s more intense because of my weight loss; I can feel a lot more than I could with all the others, and I’m more knowledgeable about the process. It’s less intense because — duh! — I’m a lot more busy with the older kids. A clerk at Tar*get will say something to me about how it’s getting close and I’m thinking, “Close to what, exactly? Oh, yeah. I’m having a baby.” I feel like not knowing the sex inhibits the bonding I’ve felt with the other kids. With the others, I would think, “Hey, The Informant, how did you like this Thanksgiving meal? Pretty good huh?” but now I think, “Hey baby who might be XX or XY and we’re still not 100% certain on a name, what do you think of…” and by the time the sentence is out I’m totally distracted by something else anyway.

Last night I was having some intense back pain, thinking, “This is it… maybe…?” but nope. I took a bath and went to bed. It was probably from doing “too much” on Thanksgiving. All that cooking, plus I moved a Graco Nautilus car seat from my garage into the house, so that The Happy Mathlete could borrow it.

Next Friday is My Chemical Romance’s birthday and it might be sort of cool if the baby shared his birthday.

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November 26, 2010 at 11:50 am Leave a comment

Open letters RE: Baby Tax Deduction

Dear Dr. Gagner,

It’s me again, the girl who had OBAMA written on her arm in permanent black marker on the day you performed my surgery. In my defense, it was election day, and I was a proud absentee voter. I’m sure you remember how the anesthesiologists whined about my arm being “unsterile” (their word) and threatened to leave me awake while you rearranged my intestines. In fact, that’s probably why my recovery was so freaking painful that I had to all but pay the nurses to score me some dope on a street corner since mor*phine is clearly a total waste of time. Why not just some tylen*ol? UGH.

Anyway, Gagner, I just found out I’m pregnant. I’m 11 weeks. This will be #5 for me and I’m planning a homebirth.

I assume that as a non-American doctor, you are enlightened enough to realize that homebirth is just as safe as hospital birth for low-risk pregnancies. I realize I’m not quite low-risk, but my labs look good and I’m continuing my supplements and eating every ounce of protein that isn’t physically nailed to the ground. I’m even back to drinking those absolutely disgusting protein shakes. SHUDDER.

I’m seeing an OB along with a homebirth midwife, and having growth ultrasounds done every eight weeks to make sure Tax Deduction (due in December) is growing properly despite my malabsorption. If he or she is a little smaller than the four older ones — or at least has a slightly smaller head — I won’t complain. Honest.

Any other suggestions? – Skinny pregnant Mommy Soup

Dear My Chemical Romance,

I love you. Clearly even after four kids we can still find time for each other, since I’m pregnant and all. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I think sometime between January and when I took the kids to Disney World and ended up needing ass surgery, and you had to come rescue the kids and me and drive us home and I took too many painkillers and threw up in a paper bag in the car and the bag tore open and the dog licked up all the vomit and you and the kids gagged and insisted we drive with the windows down despite the fact that it was 45 degrees outside. I’m feeling much better now — and I still love you!

I’m very sorry that the health department wants to shut down our kitchen because it’s “toxic levels of nast.” I’m also sorry that you had to go commando to work twice this week because the laundry isn’t done. (Next time try borrowing a pair of my underwear!) Thank you for coming home from work early because I was having afternoon sickness — and bringing Kris*py Kre*me! Thank you for yelling at the kids when I was too tired to do so and could only wave my arm weakly at them while narrowing my eyes and trying to give THE LOOK.

I hope that in a few weeks, when I’m in my second trimester, I will have some energy back. Until then, I will buy you more boxers this weekend.

xoxox Mommy Soup

May 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm 4 comments

The Old-Fashioned

I love old movies. When Animal and Mineral were about 18 months old, and we went through that phase with twins were you can’t.go.anywhere (twin moms know what I’m talking about) we watched old movies every day. Mostly musicals, like Sound of Music, Singin’ in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and The Music Man. We watched them over and over. (Years later, when my sister-in-law and brother-in-law’s son was a few years old, we asked what we could get him for a holiday or birthday gift. My sister-in-law said he’d like some videos — but she specified not to get any musicals.)

My children consider me old fashioned because I will not get them a Wi*i, DS, Ninte*ndo, etc. We only have two TVs — one downstairs, and one in our guest room. We eat dinner together every night that we’re all home. While I cook, I wear a really cute paisley apron I got online.

I let my kids run all over the neighborhood with their friends, which is not very au current. It hearkens back to my own childhood, when I did the same thing. (Nowadays, I could probably be arrested for it.)

I found out I was pregnant with #5 in much the same old fashioned manner: I went to the doctor because I felt sick, and he told me.

Yes.

Overall, I felt exhausted and unmotivated. I didn’t want to take the kids out. I didn’t want to cook. I didn’t want to blog — obviously, since I didn’t for a few weeks. I actually told My Chemical Romance that I thought I might be having a depression; I didn’t feel sad but I just wanted to sleep.

My first step was seeing the hematologist. I was certain that my general exhaustion and lethargy was due to low iron. I don’t know who was more surprised when my hemoglobin came back at 12.1 — nice and high — him or me. He asked me a few other questions, but we didn’t determine anything, and I left with a shrug and a promise to come back if I didn’t feel better in a few weeks.

Next I called an endocrinologist. I told the nurse my symptoms, and talked about my thyroid issues post weight loss surgery, and she said it sounded like an endocrine issue, but I needed a referral from my primary care provider first.

I saw him the next day. I said, “I’m so tired I can’t keep my eyes open.” I said that after I sat up, from laying down on the examination table with my arm over my eyes, trying to catch a few minutes of sleep. He had me pee in a cup and give a blood sample. Then he came back in and told me I was pregnant.

Yes, I was shocked. Yes, I was surprised. No, I wasn’t planning on being pregnant, and being pregnant after weight loss surgery. No, when I was eating vico*din sandwiches after my recent surgery, I didn’t realize I was pregnant. My cycles have been messed up — forget it, I don’t need to share that much info. I’m pregnant. That’s really all you need to know.

I’m due in mid-December. I’m having a homebirth, although I’m also seeing a homebirth-tolerant OB because of my weight loss surgery. I’m going to have growth scans every two months, which grates my “ultrasound is dangerous” belief, but they are medically prudent. I am going to wear a sleep mask during the scans so I don’t find out the sex.

I’m not quite “excited” yet, but I’m kind of looking forward to doing the things I haven’t done before: not finding out the sex; extended breast-feeding; elimination communication; cosleeping. I’m trying to focus on those exciting things. And, other than the tiredness, I feel fantastic. No sickness, no nausea, no heartburn or indigestion. I feel great.

May 9, 2010 at 11:35 pm 6 comments

Dear Lovey Hart, I am Desperate

Welcome to the April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting advice!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we’re writing letters to ask our readers for help with a current parenting issue. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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(Does anyone remember that book? Kind of a tween romance novel, if I remember correctly, although the title implies it’s about an individual with narcissistic personality disorder who is contemplating suicide.)

I have some parenting questions.

  1. My children are constantly asking me who I love best: Animal, Vegetable, The Informant, or My Masterpiece. The truth is, I can’t answer that question; they all kind of suck! They leave their dirty and clean clothes mixed together so that I’m constantly doing laundry rather than engaging in the dreaded “sniff test;” they don’t always flush and then act all surprised when The Dog Without a Downside eats poop from the toilet; they claim to “forget” whether or not they’ve brushed their teeth; they say I’m mean because we don’t own a Wii, PlayStation, OR a DS; they think McD*nald’s French fries count as a vegetable; they stand over my shoulder while I’m cooking and sneeze in the soup; they want to cuddle with me only when they’re projectile vomiting or having an explosive nose bleed (and I’m wearing a freshly-washed white shirt); and their “inside voices” could raise the dead. In short, Who is my favorite? NONE OF THE ABOVE. (I don’t even like the Dog Without a Downside; who thinks feces is a treat?!?!?!?) How do I answer this question?
  2. Sometimes My Chemical Romance really gets on my nerves. He goes to the grocery store and remembers to pick up his Shr*dded Wheat but manages to forget the chocolate covered Ore*s that are imperative to my mental health, not to mention that he never brings reusable bags despite the fact that we have 80 billion. He often spends long periods of time reading Dungeons & Dragons blogs online but not hanging pictures in the dining room.  He once tried to convince me that Poinsettias were a romantic floral arrangement. My question is, If I switched his coffee to decaf for a few weeks, then changed it to espresso, would he be more helfpul around the house?
  3. My two-and-a-half-year-old stopped nursing a while ago. However, whenever we’re out in public (rarely; I have four young children and try to avoid exposing the world to them) she wants nummies. If I say no, she lifts up my shirt, revealing a lot of extra skin from three pregnancies – one with twins – not to mention a weight gain and loss of over a hundred and twenty pounds. To sum up: In an intimate situation with me, Frankenstein would want the lights off, thanks dear. She never wants to nurse when we’re home – only while at the grocery store or a restaurant or a near-stranger’s house (where I then get labeled as one of those moms, the kind who still nurses her two-and-a-half-year-old, on demand and in public, no less, with a stomach that resembles curdled cottage cheese). Short of liposuction and a tummy tuck, what can I do? I’m not sure Sp*anx are compatible with breastfeeding.
  4. Is there a better response than, “I just can’t keep my hands off my husband,” when well-meaning strangers comment on my huuuuuuuuuuuuuge family? I have four kids, including a set of twins. I’m not Michele Duggar; I’m just efficient.
  5. And another thing, how can I politely roll my eyes when women fawn over My Chemical Romance and the fact that he’s – gasp! – parenting his children? We’re talking about a situation in which a parent is actively parenting his children. It’s not rocket surgery. (And furthermore, they’re usually shoe-less, or wearing shorts and tank-tops in the snow, or a winter jacket in the summer, and they haven’t brushed their teeth since the Clinton Administration. That is the standard we accept from dads, apparently.)

xoxox

Cream of Mommy

2-COLUMN VERSION OF BOTTOM CODE:

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by the end of the day April 13 with all the carnival links.)

April 13, 2010 at 6:00 am 26 comments

Weight Loss Surgery: My ball and chain.

This post was written for Maman A Droit and Breastfeeding Moms Unite‘s Body Image Carnival.

I didn’t have “colorectal surgeon” in my cell phone contacts until after I lost 130lbs.  Prior to that, my only experience with a proctologist was watching Katie Couric’s colonoscopy on the Today Show.

I had other issues though, at nearly 275lbs.  Mostly that I was exhausted and depressed, and self-loathing.  I tend to be harder on myself than I am on others; you might be fat because of bad genes or a really stressful time in your life or a medication that causes you to gain weight but I was fat because I was lazy and had no self-control.

The most difficult part of the decision to have weight-loss surgery was flying the surrender flag.  Choosing to have bariatric surgery meant that I had failed every diet-and-exercise-lifestyle-change-program on the planet.  I was not ever going to call Jenny (again). I was not ever going to attend another We*ight Wa*tchers meeting (again).  I was throwing in the towel instead, and throwing in my lot with a surgeon whose specialty is rearranging the intestines of the morbidly obese.

I had a Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal Switch on November 4th 2008, election day.  (I woke up from anesthesia and asked, “Who won?” and when my mom said “Obama,” I replied, “Really?” and fell back asleep.  She claims we had the same conversation eight times.  I don’t remember.)  I had my stomach cut and a portion of my small intestine moved and connected near my pylorus and duodenum; I no longer absorb much fat or protein in my meals.

My lowest weight, less than a year after surgery, was 129lbs; I’m now between 135lbs and 140lbs.  I wear a size six.

When I was morbidly obese I used to think that thinness would cure all my problems.  I knew in my rational brain that it was a fallacy, but it seemed like my problems always came back to my weight: I avoided intimacy with my husband because I felt my body was disgusting; I avoided making friends because I didn’t feel worthy of friendship; I rarely played with my kids because I had no energy to do so; I spent too much money buying  clothes I hated because I couldn’t shop at normal stores and instead went to Lane Bryant; showering several times a day caused a high water bill; our energy bill was even higher because I was hot and kept the air conditioning going most months of the year.

The surgery and subsequent weight loss did solve some of those issues: I am intimate with my husband, in more ways; I have a lot of friends; I have the energy to play with my kids; I can buy things off the clearance rack at O*ld Na*vy; I usually shower only once a day day.

(Our energy bill stayed high because I was freezing cold all winter.)

However, more intimacy with my husband does not mean my marriage improved; I would not have friends who are fat-phobic in the first place; having the energy to play with my kids is not the same as having the desire to play with them; I still wear the same type of clothes I wore before (shorts or jeans and a solid-colored tshirt or long-sleeved shirt); and there are new problems.

That caught me off-guard.  There are new problems.

I could not imagine a size six would have problems. Apparently I was sizist; what possible problem could one have when one fit into an airline seat properly and only needed to shower once a day?  What else was there to worry about?

But as I typed the words “colorectal surgeon” into a search engine for the first time, I had to admit, even thin people have problems.

Since that first time, I’ve seen the proctologist three times; recently while on vacation with my kids and dog in Florida I had to have anal surgery.  My insurance only covered 80% of the procedure, leaving me with a hefty out-of-pocket bill – and having to purchase a plane ticket to Florida for my husband so he could drive us home. I had taken our four kids (and the dog) by myself on vacation;  I thought I’d recover quickly and still be able to drive us all home on my own. I was wrong — the surgery was intensely painful — and I couldn’t drive for days.  It’s been nearly two weeks and my butt still hurts. This is a problem.

The issues for which I needed a colorectal surgeon are because of my surgery; specifically how my gut reacts to its new arrangement and how I treat my tender, rearranged intestines by what I eat.

There are other issues, too, daily issues: I do not have much good bacteria in my intestines, and bacteria are very useful to a colon.  Just ask the gastrointestinal doctor; another new one on my speed-dial since Obama was elected.  Even though I eat yogurt daily, and take a probiotic, sharing a bathroom with me isn’t fun.  If you do a search for “Duodenal switch” and “bathroom issues” you will get a million sites.  Maybe even my blog.

The leftover skin – the skin I swore I wouldn’t mind, because who cares, it’s just extra skin! I’m not going to worry about that when I’m skinny! – migrated to my mid-section and most days that I don’t wear mom-jeans I look pregnant.  I have been asked by well-meaning strangers when I’m due – this means that not only do I look pregnant, I look pregnant enough that total strangers think it’s socially acceptable to ask me about it.

The first time someone asked, I was deeply offended and proffered a very snarky reply; the most recent time, I simply said I had a stomach condition that causes severe bloating.  Combine extra skin in the mid-section with a body that lacks the hips to hold up pants; combine the occasion bout of bloating with not standing ramrod-straight all the time and you get me, looking like I’ve just finished my first trimester.

I was wrong when I thought being thin would solve all my problems; it solved some, exacerbated others, and created new ones.  There are benefits to physical smallness: I love buying clothes off the rack; I love my underwear drawer full of size mediums and my cute bras.  I feel great: I can run around like never before and jump on the trampoline with my kids, and my treadmill is no longer a towel holder.  My self confidence has increased dramatically.

But in return, I’m married to my Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal switch; it’s with me every second of every day, and unlike the days of diets and exercise this has changed my entire body forever, I can’t ever throw in the towel on my own body.

April 11, 2010 at 11:29 pm 9 comments

Blogging guilt

I was raised Jewish, so of course I feel guilt more intensely than, say, Jesse James or Jack the Ripper.

And, believe it or not, blogging causes me some amount of guilt. Thus proving I could never rob a bank or steal fruit from a grocery store; I can’t even type words on an empty page without feeling bad.

(I’m also a terrible liar. My friend Wii is the smoothest liar I’ve ever seen; once, while sitting in the office of a very prominent criminal defense attorney, she ran into an acquaintance who worked in the same building. The acquaintance, who clearly attended the Cream of Mommy School of Tact, asked incredulously, “What are you doing here?” Wii smiled a very kind, very mysterious smile and said, “Just in the neighborhood.” It was probably her smirk that put an end to that conversation.

Still, if you’d asked me the same question, I would have said the following:

“Who me? Here? Are you asking me why I’m here–” not snarky (for once!); just trying to buy more time “– well, um, I know it probably looks like I’m here to defend myself against committing a crime using this prominent defense attorney in whose lobby I am currently sitting looking very very nervous and guilty and flipping through Charlotte Magazine, but actually there’s another reason why I’m here. And it doesn’t involve a crime. Particularly NOT a felony. I swear. Um. There was this cat. It died. And I had nothing to do with it, but since everyone knows I hate cats with a passion, and because I happened to be the one who found the dead cat and reported it to the police, they think I did it!”

That is verbatim what I would have said.)

But, despite the fact that I do hate cats passionately — my friend Emily’s husband used to hate cats too, and he once told me that while in school he had to dissect a cat and did so “with relish;” I relished that story until he went and DIDN’T DISOWN EMILY WHEN SHE BROUGHT HOME A CAT, AND IS NOW A HAPPY CAT-OWNER, THAT TRAITOR — my guilt is about blogging.

1. If you’re reading my blog, and if you’ve ever commented, I have probably read your blog and not commented. And I feel bad about that.

2. If you blog, and your blog is even remotely funny/snarky/interesting/relating to the following topics: attachment parenting; food; cooking; your family; hating cats — basically if you’re more than borderline literate and have anything to say about anything — you probably have a great blog, that I may have saved to my Google Reader, but I am not caught up on it, and I feel bad about that. Alternately, I am not reading your blog, and your blog is teh awesome, and I feel bad about that.

3. If you’re following me on Facebook or Twitter, I’m probably not following you back, and I feel bad about that.

4. If you are Animal, Mineral, The Informant, My Masterpiece, My Chemical Romance, or The Dog Without a Downside, and you’ve ever needed me to wipe your butt/give you a bucket to vomit into/find you something clean to wear so that the neighbors don’t think we’re exhibitionists, and instead I’ve been blogging and let you walk the dog while naked with little poo-flecks on your rear end, while someone vomits into our pyrex bowls that never get cleaned in the dishwasher, I feel bad about that.

5. If you’re my neighbor, and have seen me wearing my pajamas at 3pm, while my children ride their bikes naked with the dog’s leash attached to their handlebars so she can get some exercise, for heaven’s sake and maybe someone is throwing up into a bowl because I’ve been too busy blogging to take a shower/do laundry/walk the dog/ensure my children are using toilets to hold their bodily fluids — I feel bad about that

The truth is, I love reading — and writing. I’ve loved writing ever since The Evil Fourth Grade — fourth grade! — Teacher Who Shall Not Be Named But Forced Nine-Year-Olds To Write Book Reports Each Week For The Entire School Year assigned her very first weekly book report. I hated doing them — seriously! nine years old! fourth grade! — but I had a talent for writing. And my writing improved. I got a lot of A+ on those book reports; once I got an A- during an off week.

I went on to earn a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.

And yet, until the last few weeks, I’d hardly written in anything beside my journal since I graduated. I was busy getting unplannedly pregnant, with twins, who had Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, then being a single mom of twins; then meeting My Chemical Romance, then getting married; then moving cross-country; then being a wife and mom of twins; then getting pregnant with The Informant; then moving to another state, then being a wife and mom in a really really depressing small town; then becoming a doula; then having My Masterpiece; then being a wife and mom of four kids ages four and under — all while only knowing my husband for that long; then finding My Chemical Romance a job away from the small depressing town, then moving cross-country again, then being a wife and mom and doula in a completely new part of the country; then having weight loss surgery —

And I’m kind of annoyed at myself; I did so much stuff over those years and I never wrote about it. Only imagine what I would have called the town we lived in on the border of Mexico, where My Chemical Romance learned Spanish slang so offensive he couldn’t tell me — me! Only imagine what I would have written as I lost 130lbs.

I almost feel bad about not writing. Looking back, it seems disingenuous.

I’m making up for lost time. I’m here now.

April 10, 2010 at 11:27 pm 2 comments

Homeschool lesson #25233296532: Poetry

In which I use my recent experiences to illustrate three common types of poetry.

Cinquain:

Proctologist

Butt Doctor

Examined my behind

Very tender tissues there

Improving

Haiku:

Rear end floating high

Shining light shows incisions

Doctor says I’m fine

Epitaph — according to this site, an epitaph is a form of poetry!

Here lies Cream of Mommy’s ass-ventures. They began in San Diego, during her pregnancy with The Informant. She felt something sticking out that should instead be in; definitely an anal tumor. However, it was “merely” a hemorrhoid.* After pushing out two more daughters**, and having weight-loss surgery( a Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal Switch), the fun continued in Charlotte, North Carolina. This time, she employed the use of a colorectal surgeon, and thus had her first experience paying a doctor to worship at the High Temple of Ass-In-The-Air-Under-Bright-Lights. Next she took her show on the road to Florida. While on vacation, rather than sip a Mai-Tai on the beach, she wore My Masterpiece in a Mei Tai — which had absolutely nothing to do with anything, except that it gave her the opportunity to use the phrase “mei-tei” twice in one sentence, which may be a blog record. Thinking she may have yet another “mere” hemorrhoid, she opted to see a doctor. Although staying in the vaulted, gated residence of her parents in an affluent neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, she could only get an appointment with a colorectal surgeon in the seediest of neighborhoods in Miami.  Of course. The doctor who performed his version of an ass-ectomy — markedly different from the type of ass-ectomy that would be performed by the surgeon in Charlotte, apparently — continued the chain reaction of events: from ass pain, to pain in the incision of the ass; completely different, and leaving her to wonder if the surgery itself was worthwhile at all, save for the good drugs. Now, thanks to copious amounts of pain-killers, as well as sitting on pillows, she is on the mend and believes the ass-tastic adventures of Cream of Mommy are dead.

*Only people who have never had a hemorrhoid can say “merely” like that.

** Folk wisdom says that pregnancy with a daughter steals her mother’s beauty. I believe that pregnancy with a daughter steals her mother’s blissful unawareness of her own ass and the subsequent pain and discomfort that can happen down there.

Stay tuned for more homeschool lessons: Science! History! Economics!


April 8, 2010 at 9:27 am 5 comments

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About Mommy Soup

Wife and homeschooling mom of five, including my Christmas Day homebirth baby. Not Catholic, Amish, or quiverfull; we just like to... you know!

Writing about my interests: natural pregnancy and birth; attachment parenting; cooking; baking; homeschooling; green living; human rights; child passenger safety; dog training, and life after weight-loss surgery.

In my free time I try to figure out how I can promote world peace while wasting time on Facebook.

NaNoWriMo 2010

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