From One to Two

I will admit I have been pleasantly surprised at how the adjustment has been for us as parents to go from one toddler to juggling a toddler and an infant. This isn’t to say I’d qualify it as easy, I wouldn’t, but I thought it would be so much harder so the bar was set lower. As parents the second time around it’s been almost seamless to fall back into the newborn routine. We aren’t scared about every little thing this time, so we are venturing out of the house whereas with Bud we hardly left until he was vaccinated at two months. Staying cooped up inside with an active two year old is not an option nor good for anyone’s sanity.

Bud has adjusted much quicker than I thought he would and increasingly is showing the sweet, gentle side of his personality more. He brings her toys and books when she cries and shows an increasing interest in her. There has been some regression in behavior (i.e. biting, hitting, more tantrums) but it was mainly in the first few weeks. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad, but our lack of sleep caused us to reach the end of our ropes easier. Bud is super attached to the spouse. Her status as the preferred parent was cemented during my pregnancy when I was too sick/exhausted to do all of the physical work and play that he requires. When she holds Bloom he’ll say “no no no, that’s Mama’s baby. You don’t need to hold the baby!” We’ve been alternating being in charge of the bedtime routine, which seems to have helped some. Lately he’s been calling me by her name- I guess I’m more tolerable when he can pretend I’m her.

Little Bloom predominantly wants me to hold her all of the time. She hates being put down, but sometimes that must happen and when it does it is met with real tears and screams. At 7 weeks she is starting to show more tolerance for the swing. She preferred the rock’n’play which met an untimely death earlier this week when the spouse in a show of strength tried to open it without pressing the release button. We are going to take a shot at a bouncer with some remaining gift card money. We realized how small our house is the first time around with all the baby gear– throw in toddler toys to the mix and you are pretty much stepping on and bumping into something at every turn.

Bud is still going to school full-time despite me being on maternity leave. One, I couldn’t handle the two of them all day; two, he’d be bored out of his mind; three, he loves school; and four, I’m not losing his spot. No guilt. He’s been going in late every morning because no matter what time we wake up we just cannot get our shit together before 9 am. The spouse is beginning to worry how she is going to manage by herself when I go back to work at the end of June.

We are so fortunate that Bloom was a Spring baby, not that we planned it. We are still shocked that it worked right out of the gate on our practice try. We have taken full advantage of the nice weather (and even braved the rainy weather of late) to get both kids out of the house. In the evenings after school Bud loves to rule the court with the neighborhood kids (more like tweens). He’s such an extrovert and made friends by marching right up and joining in on whatever they were doing (basketball, riding bikes or scooters, catching wildlife). Now they come knock on the door and ask if he can come play with them. I think he thinks he’s 10 now. It’s all too sweet.

On the weekends we try to get out of the house before Bud turns into a pumpkin, which happens by 10:30 am. It is not too easy to get two adults, an infant, and a rambunctious almost three year old out of the house. Guess who takes the longest? In seven weeks we’ve gone to the carnival, a horse farm, arts festival, a Spring Fest at the local elementary school, two local farms, the playground, walked around the town’s lakefront, attended several family events, and two or three children’s birthday parties. We’ve even successfully had dinner at a sit down restaurant, which any parent of a toddler will recognized as a huge accomplishment. (We had sworn off restaurants after the Red Robin Fiasco of December 2016). This is already more mileage than we put on in the first five months with Bud. Gotta keep it interesting!

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How to survive with a toddler and newborn.

Wednesday we attempt the biggest feat of all, two nights at the beach. Stay tuned!

She’s Here!

No, I didn’t go 24 days over my due date, I’m just delayed in announcing little Bloom’s arrival.  The last you heard from me I had been sent home at 39 weeks for a false alarm after I thought my water leaked and had some contractions 8-10 minutes apart that stopped shortly after arriving at labor and delivery. I also thought I was going to be pregnant forever, thankfully I was wrong about that.

I did however stay pregnant another week, making it two days past my due date of April 3rd. I sadly went to work on my due date, which cruelly was a Monday. The security guard for my building just shook her head sadly at me and said “I really didn’t think you’d be in today.” Me neither hon, me neither. Monday night into Tuesday morning I had intense pelvic pain and pressure, to the point where I would jump up and have to stand after sporadic shooting pains. I didn’t sleep much Monday night due to the pain so I took a personal day that Tuesday and did all I could to try to induce labor- including having a nice (spicy) lunch date and a brisk walk around the mall with the spouse. Wednesday morning came, no contractions but some minor spotting. I decided to go into work and play it by ear. By 9:00 am, an hour and a half after coming into the office, contractions started. They were between 11 and 14 minutes apart on average. My worst fear was going into labor and being stuck in the city, so after it was clear the contractions weren’t stopping and the spotting was still occurring I decided to leave. I was in my car by 10:15 am and home by 11:00 am. By this time the contractions were any where from 11 minutes to 18 minutes apart. The spouse and I decided to call the OB office by 1:00 pm if the contractions didn’t start coming closer together. I checked in with my doula, walked the dog, bounced on my birthing ball, and had lunch.

Around 1:30 pm I spoke with a nurse at my OB practice; she got me a 2 o’clock appointment for a labor check with the Greek OB who delivered Bud. We grabbed our hospital bags just in case and headed over to the office. 2:00 pm the Greek OB checked my cervix and announced I was 5-6 cm dilated, 100% effaced, and should head over to the hospital because I was going to have a baby today! The spouse texted the doula, and as I scooted off the exam table, my water broke. The spouse, who had apparently not seen my water break with Bud, rushed into the hallway and announced to the OB and nurses “HELP! Some stuff is coming out of her!” They just laughed and the nurse brought in a chux pad to help me fashion a make-shift diaper so I could waddle out of the office with some dignity intact. The spouse frantically texted the doula that my water broke since she knows how fast my labors are, while I called my mom to ask her to pick up Bud from school.

Got across the parking lot to the hospital around 2:40 pm. I’m not sure why they have you pre-register, because they sure do take their sweet time checking you in. A lady who was clearly not in the active stages of labor with amniotic fluid gushing into a chux pad was being checked in when we got there, so we had to wait 20 minutes, 3 or 4 intense contractions, and 2 gushes of fluid before a nurse brought us back. The nurse let us know she was just covering for a nurse who was on her lunch break, but would get us started. We explained I labored fast with my son and I needed to start IV antibiotics asap due to testing GBS positive. She got the IV in painlessly on the first try, unlike the two nurses during my previous false alarm. My contractions were coming closer together- 4-5 minutes apart and I was already having that “I have to poop” feeling that means baby is on her way out. The doula, who must have flown around the beltway, arrived at 3:15 pm and suddenly all was right. I must admit though that I was a little scared because my labor was so fast and intense. To go from mild contractions 10-18 minutes apart for hours to intense contractions coming one right on top of the other in such a short period of time was overwhelming. I felt she was coming and I couldn’t believe it was happening so quickly.

The OB on duty came in and let me know that the change in shift was happening at 5:00 pm and that the next doctor would come in and do my cervical check at 6:00 pm. Maybe 15-20 minutes later at 3:50 pm I was laboring standing up next to the bed and felt the urge to push. The spouse ran into the hall to get the OB and nurse who both thought they would not be on shift for my birth. As they ran in the door, I shouted that she was crowning. Everyone rushed to help me back into the bed. I made it mostly on the bed in a weird diagonal position and two pushes later my baby girl was born, 4:00 pm on the dot. Just one and a half hours after my water broke in the OB office. Like I said, intense.

She was placed on my chest and was absolutely beautiful! I couldn’t believe how tiny she was at 7 lbs 4 oz and 19.5 inches long. She had a little sprinkling of brown hair and wide blue eyes. My mom and sister-in-law came to the hospital shortly after she was born and got to spend some time with us in the labor and delivery room which was nice.

My recovery was not as bad as I remember from the first time. I had two stitches, but not the pain I had the first go around. My dad brought Bud to the hospital the first night, but he was really thrown off so it wasn’t the magical photo op that played out in my mind. What is with a toddler though? The second evening in the hospital, my parents brought him again to visit and he knew what to expect from the night before. He was more interested in checking out the baby.

We got home that Friday morning and started the adjustment to life with a newborn and toddler. This is an entirely separate post all together. 22 days in, I can say that I’m happy, in love, and incredibly exhausted.

False Alarm

Funny how different two pregnancies can be. With Buds my water broke at 38 weeks and 6 days and labor progressed very quickly. I never had an experience with false labor or early labor. With Bloom I’ve been having off and on cramping for a week which I never experienced with Bud. At 3 am this morning I was hacking a little (still getting over my cold) and felt a little pop of fluid. Nothing gushed out like when my water broke, but when I checked in the bathroom it was a clear, odorless wet spot at the back of my underwear- no mistaking it for pee. I also lost some of my mucus plug.

Considering how fast my labor progressed with Bud, the fact that I tested positive for GBS this time and need to get antibiotics, and that a friend almost gave birth on the side of the highway last week– we felt a little pressured not to question and dilly dally. My dad came over since Bud was fast asleep, and the doula met us at the hospital. We were sure this was going to be another fast labor since my contractions were already 4 minutes apart in the car. Well once I get in a L&D room and they start pricking my “tricky” veins a million times trying to get the IV in place, my contractions slow and eventually stop. So I walk my laps around L&D having small chat with the doula. The spouse who preemptively popped a Xanaax passed out on the couch in the room. I bounced on the ball, the doula did some aromatherapy and massage and not a whole lot of action. A few more strong contractions, but nothing consistent and no cervical change after a few hours. The OB offered to induce since my cervix is 4 cm and 50% effaced at 39 weeks, but I declined.

So here I am back at home, one nap, one meal, one shower, and one dog walk later. Not much to report on. Apparently this is normal to experience for days or weeks? Yikes!

38 Weeks

38 weeks and 4 days, 4 cm dilated and the OB says she’d be surprised if I make it to my appointment next week. Needless to say the spouse had her last margarita at dinner tonight and then we did some heavy metal nesting tonight. The crib is now assembled in our bedroom again and I got two more loads of baby girl’s laundry done (mostly sheets, blankets, and clothes from our shower). 

Hopefully I can kick this horrible cold/cough before I go into labor. 

37 Weeks

Three weeks left– down to the wire! My current status borders on miserable. She dropped at 35 weeks, which according to the Internet doesn’t usually happen with your subsequent pregnancies until labor is about to begin. Lies. It feels like a bowling ball is resting on my pelvis so walking is more of a waddle these days. My hips overall feel fine, but a little wobbly at times– like loose training wheels. Last pregnancy it felt like my pelvis was being split in two and my hips were on fire. I have the most pain at the end of the day and overnight. Turning over in bed is not easy and requires a strategic plan to implement. The heart burn is unreal. I consistently make the wrong food choices. I didn’t realize raw broccoli was so acidic.

Other than that things are plugging along. Here is the current checklist status:

  • Bathroom remodel- Complete! My dad worked around the clock getting it finished prior to their vacation. The bathroom formerly know as “gross” is now my safe place. The spouse did a great job painting and deserves kudos.
  • Bud’s big boy room- Complete! This was all the spouse’s handy work. Amazing what some paint, decluttering, and a car bed can do. Well, it’s cluttered with toys now instead of our mess. It’s fruitless to try to organize a toddler’s toys in his bedroom. Bud loves his new room and the transition went well. He understands that the nursery is now his baby sister’s room. I don’t know how much he understands, but I’m surprised every time he correctly identifies that something is hers.
  • Hospital bag- Packed! This was my major accomplishment over the weekend. I even got Bud’s bag for Nana and Grandpa’s house packed. The spouse has to pack the dog’s overnight bag for Nana and Grandpa’s house.
  • Mt. Everest of Laundry Piles- Getting there. It’s been like an archaeological dig; yesterday I unearthed a time period of clothing I had forgotten about.
  • Baby Sprinkle- I was not expecting this, but my sister-in-law with my spouse’s help orchestrated a surprise baby sprinkle with our families. This significantly helped with operation stock up on baby girl clothes. Speaking of which, stay tuned for a special future post titled “Pictures of the Girl Clothes My Gender Nonconforming Spouse Bought.”

There is supposed to be a major snowstorm on the east coast tonight. Flurries have started and I’m having some anxiety about going into labor early during it. Stay put babe, we’re not ready for you yet!

 

 

Quick update to say…

She isn’t breech anymore! Hanging out upside-down on the ironing board and icing my belly worked! Thank goodness, otherwise they would have encouraged me to schedule a C-section. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that she stays this way!

Long Weekend

With temps in the 70’s in mid-February, how could you not have a great 3-day weekend? We stayed local since my dad is still working on our bathroom. Now I know why we put off remodeling our only full-bathroom for so long. It’s been interesting all sharing the half-bath and skirting back and forth to my parents’ house to bathe. Now that the tile is down we can shower. Fingers crossed that tomorrow the toilet goes back in so I don’t have to walk downstairs to pee in the middle of the night (month 8 of pregnancy, you know how that goes).

We did the playground circuit; even discovering a recycled tire playground at the state park we had no idea existed. Bud is a happy kid when he can run free outdoors. His natural athleticism shocks me. The donor was in the army and is a personal trainer, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. Coordination and brute strength are not things that I’m known for.

Today, I had a nice mom/son day with him on my day off. We went to an indoor children’s play space. I just have to brag about how great he did in a wide open space with lots of other children. Even 7 months ago he would have become overstimulated and run around like wild- hitting and knocking down other children in his way. Today, he played with everything there, and interacted with older, same-age, and younger children as he rotated to different stations. He maintained appropriate personal space for the most part, did not grab toys, kept his hands to himself, and easily moved on when some of the older (elementary school aged) boys struggled to share toys and space with him. I’m so happy to see how much his social skills have developed since he’s been at school. The transition to full-time this month has been seamless. Today just goes to show how calm and regulated he really can be when toys are available to him (unlike at that stupid party with the toys hidden under the fitted bed sheet- but I’ve let that go).

To top it all off, during his nap time I treated myself to a solo lunch date. The spouse works from home, so I am very lucky to have been able to do this. There is nothing more serene than having a quiet, cozy lunch by yourself.

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The fireplace was a little too toasty for a warm day, but I couldn’t resist the ambiance.