Posts tagged sleeping

12 Weeks Old (really!?!?)

Reid is big. But his brother was bigger–much bigger. I’m estimating that Reid is nearing 15 lbs, but Daniel was about 18 lbs by this age. My back aches all day long holding Reid. I often question how I did it with Daniel. I held Daniel so much more often than I’m able to hold Reid, but I don’t recall having such an achy back. I could blame it on getting older, but three years shouldn’t make that much of a difference. My neck did hurt a lot more with Daniel–maybe my posture is just different this time and baby’s weight is therefore affecting me differently. Whatever it is, I’m really looking forward to being able to a) carry Reid on my back in addition to on my front,  and b) being able to put Reid down for longer periods of time while he learns to play with toys and sit and crawl, etc.

It seems like Reid is much freer with his emotions in general than Daniel was. He smiles more–he’s been laughing for weeks already. Daniel had only just started to laugh by this age. He cries more–though he’s started fussing more often instead of going straight to crying, which has been a huge relief. I have a feeling that Reid is going to be a very aware and observant child–and probably a very tactile one as well.

My brother Gabe came up from San Diego to stay with us for a few weeks. He wanted to get away from home for a while (he’s 17–you know how that goes!) and we thought it’d be fun to have him stay here with us. Daniel thought having tio here was absolutely the best thing ever. I tried my best to give Gabe some solo time, but it was very tough to make Daniel stay away from his beloved tio for very long. I was glad to have him here to help relieve me of the guilt I feel for not being able to pay as much attention to Daniel as he’s used to. Daniel has been more emotional since Reid was born, so I know he’s feeling affected by the shift, but luckily he’s been nothing but kind and gentle and loving toward baby Reid. There are definitely times when Daniel would prefer if Reid was elsewhere, but he’s never said anything negative about him or shown any contempt for him. Instead, Daniel wants to hold him, kiss him, calm him, watch over him, etc. I can’t wait for the two of them to really be able to interact.

Reid is still a champion sleeper. He only wakes a couple times/night and usually he wakes to be changed and fed and that’s it. And recently, he’s even managed to fall asleep on his own if I put him down in the bassinet we have set up in the living room, or in our bed at night. Tonight was actually the second night that Reid went to sleep without nursing. Of course, both this time and the time before (a few days ago) he’d already been asleep (by nursing), but had woken up when he realized I wasn’t there anymore. Tonight, he did this twice. After nursing him back to sleep the first time, the second time, I took him to pee (he peed with his eyes half open), put on a clean diaper and layed him down on the bed. I intended on nursing him back to sleep again, but he’d already gotten still and had started to close his eyes. So I just watched and waited, and lo and behold, he fell asleep. If I can get him to fall asleep on his own, I will be one happy mama.

Daniel spent the night with Dan’s parents last night, so Dan and I went out for dinner with Reid. It was really nice to be out and not talking about fire trucks or hot dogs. Reid was very quiet and fascinated by all the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. He fell asleep about 2/3 of the way through our dinner, too, so we were really able to feel like we were on a date (except that I had him wrapped up on my chest). We’re feeling like we’re going to need to establish a more regular date night pretty soon now that we have two munchkins keeping us busy. I think we’ll be able to do it semi-regularly by the time the first of the year rolls around.

Tonight, just before I started typing this blog, I heard Daniel laughing in his bedroom (it was 10:30 pm and he’d been in bed since 9). I went in to see what he was doing (he’d already gotten out of bed twice–once to try to find a specific pair of socks in the laundry pile and once to play with his trains). He was just laying in his bed cracking up at nothing apparent. When I asked him what was so funny, he could barely speak as he giggled something about a fork and a sink (I thought he said snake). Turns out he was recalling a Veggie Tales moment when either Bob the Tomato or Larry the Cucumber (I’m not sure which) gets stuck in the sink and uses a fork as a catapult to get out. When I left his room, he told me he was going to dream about that.

I am going to dream about a nice Sunday tomorrow. And I’m going to do it as soon as I publish this blog. I am tired!

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7 Weeks Old

Oh how the time gets away from me.

We figured out at some point shortly after my last post, that Reid cannot stand to have a wet diaper. The good news is that we can now sooth him much more easily than we could before. The bad news is that we’re changing diapers (or taking him to pee) like maniacs. He pees in the sink/potty pretty often, and he poos there most of the time. EC is much easier the second time around–probably due to the fact that I started earlier and that I have much more confidence.

This morning, however, Reid pood his pants big time. The night before, he was very grumpy and couldn’t stay asleep for long without getting angry. I knew he had to poo because he always has to poo at night, and because he was gassy, gassy, gassy. But I held him over the sink and the potty numerous times–all to no avail. But just after he nursed first thing in the morning, he blasted it out. He pood so much! I realized with that poo how little he actually poos in his diaper. It took a lot of cleanup to get his little bottom area clean and it was a foreign experience. He’s pood in his diaper before, no doubt, but not usually a full poo. Usually, it’s just a bit, and I can get him to the potty before the major blast comes. Being an EC mom, it’s tough for me to imagine having to clean up poopy diapers every single day! Even when Reid poos in the little potty, all I have to do is spray it with the diaper sprayer and empty it in the toilet. But cleaning poo from all over his thighs and genitals, while keeping it from getting on the bed or myself (both of which I was unsuccessful at doing this morning) is much dirtier work.

Reid is very free with his smiles these days. He’s also been doing some pre-laughing. Several times now with Grampy, and a couple times with me, he’s squealed a little while we coo’d and ooh’d and aah’d with him. I’m really looking forward to Reid’s belly laughs. I don’t remember when that typically happens, but it has to be in the next month or so, I imagine.

Reid seems to sleep a lot–more than I remember Daniel sleeping. The problem is that during the day, his stretches of sleep are fairly short and sporadic–and he has a hard time being put down. This is changing, though. When I was dealing with sleep issues with Daniel, I read The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and lamented that I hadn’t read it sooner in his life. Now with Reid, I’ve been applying some of the principles from the book already–specifically putting the baby down when he sleeps. I usually kept Daniel in-arms because I was exhausted and couldn’t imagine him waking after getting him to sleep, and because I just loved holding him. Now that Reid is learning to stay asleep when I put him down, I find myself feeling kind of sad and guilty that I’m not holding him as much as I’d like to. But because I need the time without him to focus on Daniel, or to pop a load into the washer, I don’t really have much of a choice.

We have been trying to continue going for walks at least once or twice/week. But the heat is beginning to be prohibitive–especially because Reid usually goes in the sling while Daniel rides his tricycle. Even on days that are simply warm, Reid and I end up covered with sweat. The heat is only supposed to intensify over the next couple months, so unless we decide to start waking much earlier, I think we may go on a summer hiatus from our walks.

I’m getting into the swing of life with two. More accurately, I’m getting into the swing of life with a newborn again. I am actually much more productive with two than I was with one. And I’m not feeling as lazy. Maybe it’s due to my unapologetically drinking a bit of coffee or tea every day. But mostly, I think it’s because there’s more to do. There’s just not as much time for sitting around, so I don’t even get to start. And typically, it’s the starting of sitting around that causes the prolonged sitting around.

In the last couple weeks, I’ve gotten a fair amount of laundry done (the pile is actually shrinking!), I’ve managed to keep the kitchen mostly clean, I’ve assembled a new kitchen cabinet, we’ve had a dinner guest, and I’ve gotten out of the house at least once/day. While I didn’t create a full weekly schedule, I did start making a weekly to-do list. Some of which include cleaning the toilets on Fridays, doing at least 5 loads of laundry/week (not including diapers), and going grocery shopping on Mondays. I think I’ll start adding activities once these few become second nature. So far, these are easy. And just because I’m in the mindset of keeping things cleaner than I ever have before, I’ve been better at putting things away as I use them rather than just putting them down wherever it’s most convenient. I think the next items on my weekly to-do list will be vacuuming/mopping. I do these two things so rarely, they really need to be on the schedule if I ever want them to get done.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow–Friday. Aside from cleaning the toilets (which really only takes a few minutes), I don’t have anything I have to do. I plan to spend some extra time focusing on Daniel. He’s gotten the short end of the stick this week.

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4 Weeks Old

I’ve intended on writing for the last two weeks. But with a newborn, plans just don’t always work out. I’ve been able to keep up with the housework at least as well as I did before Reid was born (which really isn’t saying much). It’s embarrasing how little housework I really did (and do). I’m not sure how other moms do it. I suppose I could limit my time on the internet, but that would really only give me an extra hour or two per day, and at night, when I’m tired and can’t imagine getting up to wash dishes, clean toilets, or put toys away. Mornings are best for me to get things done, but if, by some miracle, I’m up before the rest of the family, I have to be quiet so as not to wake them, so I can actually get things done. That means no cleaning the bathrooms–one is in our bedroom, the other is attached to Daniel’s. It means no laundry–our washing machine makes a terrible noise when I turn it on, and our laundry baskets are in our respective bedrooms, where the boys would be sleeping. I could (and often do) empty the dishwasher, reload it, wash dishes, make breakfast, etc. But then with the making of breakfast, comes the eaters of said breakfast, and then the dishes don’t get done because then we’re into the swing of the day.

I have played with the idea of making myself a schedule and sticking to it–at least for a few weeks or months so I can establish a routine and make some of these chores more habitual. I’ve tried Fly Lady several times, but that just gets annoying. I have adopted some of her ideas, though. I especially like setting a timer for 15 minutes and working on a particular project for that 15 minutes. It’s pretty surprising how much one can get done in 15 minutes when the focus is on that particular thing. I bought Marth Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook, which is really more of an encyclopedia. I read Peter Walsh’s “It’s All Too Much”, and reorganized my kitchen last year–getting rid of 4 or 5 boxes of stuff. I intended on going through the rest of my house that way, but it never really happened.

All this is to say that I had a hard time getting things done before children. Now, with two, I feel like I’m getting the same amount of work done (maybe more!!), but it still feels embarrassingly like I just can’t get it together. My messy house is bothersome, but at least it doesn’t consume me. I feel better when things are tidy and clean, but I don’t feel bad when they’re not (except when our very tidy/clean/have-it-all-together friends come over). One of these days I’ll work it out and things will get done more efficiently. And it is happening, slowly–oh, so slowly–but surely.

Reid is not helping matters, either. He’s turned from a quiet contented baby, to a fussy little butt. At our two-week check-up, Reid’s pediatrician warned that usually that beginning calm is just the calm before the storm (of infancy). I chose not to believe him at the time. But I was shortly proven wrong and he right. Reid’s not fussy just to be fussy, it’s true. But he’s very vocal when he’s uncomfortable or doesn’t like something–especially when he’s tired. When he’s tired, he’s quite difficult to console. He rejects the breast, and won’t stand for anything that doesn’t involve him going to sleep. And even then, he usually protests for awhile until he figures out that he can relax and actually go to sleep while being walked, rocked, swayed, patted, etc.

And now he’s woken up–probably needing a clean diaper and some milk, and wanting to go back to sleep. Daddy is keeping him calm for the moment, but I’m needed pretty immediately. And I only just started writing about baby! I guess I’ll have to put that off just a little longer.

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10 Days Old

The poop has calmed down a bit. I have been calling Reid my little pooper and it is still fitting–but thankfully he’s not unloading every other second at night anymore. The EC is going well, too. I don’t know if he’s making any actual associations , but he poops quite often in the toilet or sink and pees fairly consistently there, too. He should start to associate our cue sound with the act of going in the next couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to that stage.

Tomorrow is Daniel’s 3rd birthday! Dan and I are taking him out for breakfast tomorrow (he loves to go out for breakfast just like his mommy!). Then Dan’s parents are taking him to an indoor playground, then we’re going to The Bahooka for dinner. I’m not sure how I feel about two restaurants in one day with baby Reid in tow, but we’ll see how it goes. We got Daniel a glide bike for his birthday and I am so excited to give it to him. He has a little ride-on car that he rides just like a glide bike–getting a running start, then lifting his feet to glide as far as the momentum will take him. I hope he’ll be able to get the hang of the bike without too much frustration.

We’re throwing him a birthday party in a few weeks. Dan and Sue will be out of town for about a week, then they wanted time to recouperate before the party since they’re throwing it. I just finished designing the invitations this morning and they’ll probably go out in the mail in the next couple days. I’m really looking forward to the party. I just love birthday parties.

When I had Daniel, I remember feeling so overwhelmed with motherhood. I loved it, but I was so exhausted and unmotivated to do anything but sit on the couch and hold/nurse him. My recovery was long, which had something to do with it, but I don’t think I was prepared for how all-encompasing parenthood would be. Now that I’ve been parenting for 3 years, the addition of Reid has been completely different. I adore caring for him–even in my exhaustion in the middle of the night. Whereas I knew I wanted to have more children after Daniel was born, at the time it was just theoretical. Now I wish I could have 5 children, and I mean it concretely. Maybe it’s knowing that Reid might be my last child that makes me cherish him all the more and allows me to fantasize more unrealistically about the future.

On the flip side, thinking about the possibility that Reid is our last child, I’ve allowed myself to imagine a specific family when I think about our lives moving forward. I can put a time-table on my time as the mother of babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers. I can think about what I might do with my time once/if one or both of our children are in school. I can think about projects and games and activites specific to our family size. But even while I am slowly allowing myself to consider a two-child household as a real possibility, it still remains a mystery.

Dan really feels like we should be finished having children. He would have been happy remaining childless. After Daniel, he was happy with just Daniel. And now with Reid, he’s happy with the just the two of them. Of course, he’d be happy to have another child once the child arrived, but the idea of having yet another is really scary to him. Still, it just doesn’t feel right to me to limit our family when it feels like we’ve only just begun. The real conversation about another child can’t really take place yet anyway. Whatever happens, we’re certainly in agreement that a 3-year gap between children is ideal. I probably won’t bring up the possibility of another child with Dan for at least two more years. Who knows what will be going on in our lives at that time. Maybe I won’t want another child then (don’t count on it). And maybe Dan will (ha!).

I have been recovering from Reid’s birth quite rapidly. I’ve felt good enough to do some housework, cook a bit, and go for a walk. However, today I started bleeding again. I must have overdone it this weekend. Today I spent most of the day sitting on the sofa holding and nursing Reid while Daniel played with Sue. My bleeding has slowed down, but it’s still going. I also have passed some bits of tissue. I’m not sure whether or not to be concerned about it. All the resources say to watch for excess bleeding and golf-ball-sized clots–neither of which are happening. But the idea that there are still bits of afterbirth inside me is a bit disconcerting. I’ve left a message with my midwife to call me if I need to worry about it. So far she hasn’t called, and I’m taking that as a good sign given that I have no signs of infection or anything.

Sleeping has been going better. Last night, except for one rough patch, we all slept relatively well. Everyone woke up around 10 AM and all in good moods! Tomorrow, because we’re taking Daniel out for breakfast, we’ll probably need to get up a little sooner than that, so I need to head off to bed. Reid is already sleeping, but I’m sure I can rouse him for some milk with a diaper change.

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5 Days Old

Poop.

Baby Reid poops so much. I can probably count on one hand–okay, maybe two–the number of diapers I’ve changed that didn’t have poop in them. During the day, this is not so bad, but in the middle of the night, when he’s sleeping peacefully and I hear a poop blast, it is so bad. I know changing him will wake him up, but I just can’t justify letting my beautiful little boy sit in his waste. And so, I change his diaper, which wakes him up. I nurse him back to sleep, and, often, he poops again–sometimes while he’s still at the breast. I know this won’t last forever, but I’ve gotten so little sleep the last few nights, it’s starting to get to me.

It seems he wants to nurse every 40 minutes to an hour (sometimes because of the poop/wake cycle, sometimes not) until about 2 am at which point he switches to nursing every 2-3 hours–much more manageable. Last night we went to bed a little after 10, and I we slept for about an hour and half before the nursing/pooping marathon began. Then it lasted until after 3 am.

I’m hoping that EC will remedy the poop business somewhat. When he poops in his diaper, he generally only expels a little bit. But the two times I’ve been able to catch his poops in the sink, he lets out much more–most likely because the classic EC position mimics a squat which is helpful for facilitating the passage of waste.

Reid had his first check-up today. He’s gained 8 ounces since he was born just five days ago! The doctor exclaimed, “That’s unheard of!” Often babies have dropped a few ounces at this point. Not our little Reid. It is possible–even likely–that the little portable scale used to determine his weight at birth was not entirely accurate, but even so, Reid’s rapid weight gain is surprising. Daniel also gained weight quickly. I remember his doctor exclaiming something similar when he was first weighed by them. I think I just have power milk.

Besides our night battles, Reid has been a most lovely addition to our family. He is so easily soothed, and doesn’t mind being put down too much. We are still attachment parenting, but just due to the elder boy in our family, we can’t hold Reid as much without compromising Daniel’s needs. So far, we’ve done a good job managing the two, but when Dan goes back to work, and we can’t tag-team during the day, I think some jealousy issues might emerge. Once I’ve fully recovered from the birth and can be on my feet more, I’ll be able to hold Reid in the Moby Wrap and be hands-free to play with Daniel.

We’re going to try to make it to the park for our EC meeting/play group tomorrow to let Daniel get some running around time. I’ll be able to introduce Reid to some of our friends and sit in the shade outside. I’m really looking forward to it.

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38 Weeks Pregnant

My due date is on a Monday, but I see my midwife on Saturdays. So I’ve been motivated to write just a couple days before I actually get to the next week marker. But it’s close enough, yeah?

Last night I started having some pressure waves that were about a minute long and about 8 minutes apart. They continued that way for a couple hours before I went to bed. Some of them were fairly strong. I didn’t have the “this is it” feeling, but I contacted all my labor support people just to be on the safe side. I had a few more during the night, but nothing regular or consistent. By this morning, they were back to just two or three an hour. I’m still hoping baby waits another week or so.

Margo commented today that baby’s head felt small. Hallelujah if that is true! Daniel’s head was NOT small. It was extremely big, actually. And it tore me up. I was not then and am not now very dutiful in my kegel routine, which is supposed to help to keep one from tearing… but I’m still hoping this little one lets me stay intact.

I tested positive for GBS at my last appointment. Standard protocol in the US is to give intraveinous antibiotics in labor every four hours for mothers who are GBS positive. I’ve declined that treatment. Instead, I’ll use the European protocol which is to wash with an antibacterial wash during labor. I’m also trying to reduce my colonization by taking a megadose of probiotics daily to try to heal my gut (where the GBS bacteria grow), and megadoses of vitamin C and echinacea to boost my immune system and response. I’ve also been using the sliced garlic clove suppositories vaginally. Since these measures take one to two weeks to be effective, I’m really hoping baby stays where he is for the next week. Margo retested me today, but the results probably won’t come back until Wednesday. All I’m hoping for is at least some reduction in the amount of GBS found. If I make it to the next appointment, maybe then I’ll hope that I was able to wipe it out completely.

Daniel has been sleeping the whole night in his own bed the last few nights. Usually he comes to our bed sometime in the night or early morning–which we are glad to let him continue doing if he wants to. But when he stays in his own bed, he doesn’t get woken up by our alarms, and usually sleeps for 30 minutes to an hour longer than he would in our bed. That gives me a peaceful morning. I was actually able to take a shower this morning AND shave my legs! What bliss! And I was able to get dressed, blow dry my hair and make breakfast–all before Daniel woke up. The solo time almost makes me want to wake up even earlier… I get some solo time at night, but I don’t feel like doing anything by then. In the AM is when I have the most energy to tidy up, cook, bake, pay bills, whatever.

I don’t really know what I’m saying. With the addition of little Reid, these blissful mornings will have to wait another couple years to resurface. I guess I should really take advantage and enjoy them while I can!

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37 Weeks Pregnant

I’m two days shy of 37 weeks!

I had my midwifery appointment today. As soon as she saw me, she commented on how baby has dropped. He certainly has! The upside to that is that I can breathe more easily and eat more food. The downsides include pelvic pressure, having to pee constantly, and almost losing my pants as they ride so low.

I’m feeling fairly patient right now waiting for baby to come. I still feel like I have at least another week, if not two, to go before he decides to come. I have been having a lot of pressure waves and they have been getting stronger and more frequent. They are completely welcome as I know they are already dilating me and getting me ready for the big event.

I’ve gotten a lot of things accomplished, but not nearly enough. This week will be a major work week for me getting everything set up and ready for baby. We’ve got all the necessities ready to go–I’m just trying to get all the little stuff taken care of that I know I won’t be able to do very easily after he gets here–I need to catch up on the laundry, change all the sheets, vacuum (which includes getting all the junk off the floors), mop, and deep clean the shower.

I’m so unmotivated to do any of that when I’m tired… and lately I’ve been tired. I’ve been staying up way too late. My midwife slapped me on the wrist for that today. I’m not allowed to let myself get so tired anymore. She says I need to always feel rested since I could begin my birthing time any day now. She told me she doesn’t think I’ll make it to my due date. I’m hoping she’s right. For some reason I keep thinking the 16th will be the day. We’ll see.

Daniel has been a dream lately. He still has his moments where I have to remind myself to be calm and patient, but the tantrums have ceased and he’s becoming more and more independent. He’s also clinging to Dan a lot more lately–which makes me so pleased. I’ve actually been able to go out a few times and stay out as late as I want! Until just a couple months ago, Dan had a hard time getting Daniel to go to bed without me around. But it seems that he’s gotten over that.

I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks and months.

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33 Weeks Pregnant

There are only 7 weeks until my due date. It sounds so much better to say 7 weeks than to say a month and a half. I am really looking forward to this baby with joy and excitement. I only feel a little bit of nervousness and it is mostly related to how Daniel will handle the transition. I am most excited about having a nursling again. I really miss breastfeeding and can’t wait to be able to share that with another child.

I started my Hypnobabies home study class today. I am feeling very confident that I’ll be able to achieve a pain-free birth. And even if I do end up feeling some discomfort, I am sure it will be minimal. I tried hypnotherapy recently with my fear of flying and it worked quite well, despite the fact that I only had one session and only listened to the CD 3 times. The Hypnobabies course is five weeks long, during which I am to listen to at least one of various CDs every day. And then every day thereafter until baby comes.

Baby Reid gets the hiccups every day. Just like Daniel did. And he has very long hiccupping sessions that can get annoying after awhile. And I have been getting heartburn/reflux nearly every day for the last couple weeks. Sometimes it’s so bad it feels like my throat is on fire. And earlier this week, that was coupled with some intensely uncomfortable constipation that affected my entire digestive system. It was painful even to eat. I lost a pound and a half in just two days! Thankfully, it came back a couple days later when I was finally able to recover and start eating properly again.

I’ve had a few bouts of insomnia in the last couple weeks, too. Two nights in a row last week, I was awake for 3 or more hours in the middle of the night. It’s been about a week since my last episode, and I’m praying it doesn’t come back!

I’ll be having a baby shower at the end of the month to which all female friends and family are invited. The term baby shower is a bit of a misnomer in this case, however, since I’m asking not to be showered with gifts. Instead, I’ve asked invitees to bring a gift for a mother in-need–particularly a mother residing at Elizabeth House, a local shelter for homeless pregnant women and their children. There are four women currently residing there who are due in the next few months. Especially now, when charitable organizations are receiving a much lower level of donations than they’re used to, I don’t need to be given a showering of material things. There are very few items that I want to have for this child that I don’t already own, that I should easily be able to get them for myself.

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30 Weeks Pregnant

Wow! Only 10 weeks to my due date–only 7 weeks until I’m considered “full term”. This pregnancy has gone by so much more quickly than my first. I am less anxious about things and have been able to relax a lot more this time around. Also, having a toddler to care for certainly keeps me distracted.

My low-sugar diet has been going well. This time around I’m not stressing over every bite I put into my mouth like I did with Daniel. My meals tend to be similar to what I was eating before–I just make sure not to indulge in the carbohydrates. I don’t really eat sweets, though. Before the high glucose reading, I was eating oreos, peanut butter sandwich cookies, chocolate, ice cream, brownies, whatever–and whenever, too. Now I only let myself eat desserts on occasion, and I make sure they include protein and are reasonably sized. I’ve been enjoying homemade peanut butter milk shakes every now and then. Mmmmm. We’ll see how my diet has affected my sugars this weekend when Margo gives me another glucose test.

Baby Reid has settled into the same position as Daniel was in at this time in the pregnancy. He’s head-down, facing my left side. Back when I was seeing a chiropractor, he told me my pelvis is tilted, or off center, or something like that which was probably the reason Daniel was positioned the way he was. I wondered if future babies would settle into the same pocket. And I guess the answer is yes. I just hope baby Reid figures out how to get himself turned around before labor starts so I don’t have so much back labor this time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how our sleeping arrangements are going to work when baby comes. Currently, Daniel goes to bed in his own bed, but usually climbs into our bed sometime between 1-3 AM. He comes to my side of the bed to get in, and usually just rolls over and goes back to sleep. It is lovely to wake up with him next to me. We start our day with hugs and cuddles. But when baby comes, I’m worried that middle-of-the-night diaper changes and crying episodes will wake Daniel up… and then we’ll have two little boys not sleeping. Also, I’m afraid there will be times when I’ll have just fallen back to sleep after nursing or changing a diaper, and Daniel will choose that moment to climb into our bed–waking me up again. I’m thinking about making him climb in on Dan’s side starting now so he gets used to doing it that way before baby comes. I was hoping by now he’d be staying in his own bed all night. He used to do that occasionally, but he hasn’t for quite a while.

Today Daniel had his first melt-down in a couple weeks. I could tell he was exhausted while we were eating lunch, and could have predicted that nap time was going to be difficult. He complained a bit about having to take a nap, but the real drama came when it was time to take his shoes off. He insisted he was going to take them off himself, but he just put his hands on his shoes and looked at me with that “I’m testing you” look. I told him either he needed to take his shoes off by himself, or I was going to help him. I gave him several opportunities to take the shoes off–all with the same touching/testing pattern. So I ended up taking off his shoes. That set him off like none other. I miraculously stayed calm, hugged him, told him I knew he wanted to do it, but that I’d given him lots of chances to take off his shoes and he didn’t do it. I told him that next time he could take off his shoes by himself. I told him he needed to get into bed and stay there–which he resisted quite violently for a while. Finally I got him to get into bed. I told him he either needed to stop yelling at me, or I would leave the room until he could calm down a bit. I had to leave the room. Every time I went back, I stood in the doorway and asked him to stop yelling at me and to lay down and I would come back into his room. Finally, he just put his arms out to me through his sobs and said, “I just need to hug you!” So I went in, hugged him, layed him down and told him I was so sorry he felt so sad and that I loved him. I stayed with him for a couple minutes until he could relax, then I left the room again so he could nap. When he woke up, the first thing he said to me was, “I’m sorry I yelled at you.” How’s that for a sweet boy?!?!

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22 Weeks Pregnant

Now that the holidays are over, time has definitely seemed to slow down with regards to my pregnancy. I am looking forward to birthing this child and think about it daily. I am hoping for a “painfree” birth this time around. I have been reading about HypnoBirthing and am not quite sure that’s the avenue I want to pursue, but some form of deep relaxation and perhaps meditation will be required. I don’t want to set my standard so high that I am disappointed if I should feel pain, but I am learning just how powerful the mind is, and what it can achieve.

I read recently in “Trick or Treatment” by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst, MD, that the placebo effect is much more than someone misrepresenting how one feels when they believe they received a particular remedy or treatment. People often actually do get better–in a testable way–even if they have only received the placebo because the belief that something was done to relieve their suffering is powerfule enough to actually relieve their suffering. And so it can go with childbirth. If I really believe I can achieve a painfree birth, I may actually be able to achieve it.

I watched a program tonight that I saw a few times when I was pregnant with Daniel. It shows a handful of women who have chosen to birth either at home or in a birth center. As I watched each child be born, I wept and contracted. It was as if my mind, my emotions, or some force was triggering the contractions. But I also contract when I’m playing Tetris, so I suppose I shouldn’t read into it too much!

I will start drinking an infusion of red raspberry leaf in a few weeks to help strengthen and tone my uterus and pelvic floor for labor. I did drink the infusion when I was pregnant with Daniel and had a particularly efficient labor. Correlation does not neccessarily denote causation, but red raspberry leaf is full of vitamins and minerals (Vitamin C, Calcium, in particular), so even if it does no good for my muscle tone, I will still benefit.

Daniel threw a particularly nasty fit a couple nights ago when we were putting him to bed. I have never seen him so out of control. Earlier that day he threw a milder fit about taking a nap (he never actually slept). It seems that on the days he doesn’t nap, bed time is particularly difficult, but it’s never been so dramatic. Today, even after my laying with him for over an hour (trying to sleep myself), he refused to nap, so we were nervous about how bedtime would go. We were relieved that, although Daniel did express some frustrations at bedtime, they were relatively mild and he settled down very quickly.

I’ve been pretty patient regarding Daniel’s tantrums–which are thankfully few and far between–but I’m nervous about how I’ll be able to handle them when baby comes–especially if they result in waking baby or cause baby to be agitated or upset, too. I am hoping that all the patience I have learned from parenting Daniel will spill over into parenting two children. I may get a trial run pretty soon. I may be watching a friend’s baby girl for a couple days/week from February to April. I can earn a bit of extra money and better prepare myself for the tasks associated with parenting two children.

Sleep has been one of the biggest troubles for me–not just in this pregnancy, but in life. It’s not that I have trouble sleeping, I generally sleep well. But I have trouble deciding to go to bed–even when I am exhausted. I learned while I was still in college, that the feeling that I had something else to do (such as school work, house keeping, working) took over my subconscious mind while I was doing anything relaxing or restful (such as reading for pleasure, watching TV, or trying to get myself to bed), and I was unable to fully enjoy the activity. I think that is the feeling that neat-freaks talk about when they say they just can’t stand to be in a messy or cluttered environment. The problem for me is that while I feel that discomfort and discord, it’s not strong enough to motivate me to tidy up. It’s just strong enough for me to feel like I ought not be able to relax.

I have high hopes that before baby is born, I’ll be able to keep our home tidy (it’s MUCH tidier now than when Daniel was born), and that will do wonders for my ability to relax and feel like I accomplished whe I needed to in each day. Please, friends and family, feel free to ask about my progress and help keep me accountable. And if you want to stop by to help me get things in order, I’ll be sure to bake a fresh loaf of bread for you (I finally found a winning recipe…mmmmmm).

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