Babywearing photo session…7 months

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Hey all! Long time no update! My baby is almost 8 months old (already!). Last weekend we had a family photo session at the pumpkin patch. Our photographer is a member of the regional babywearing group so a bunch of us met there and she took photos with us wearing our little ones and breastfeeding.
It was lovely.
Bax is a happy go getter who thinks he should be able to walk already. He has one bottom tooth and another on the way, and he babbles constantly so we’ve been joking that he is Sunny Baudelaire.
He loves animals and Bup and daddy, but lately I am his one true love, and if I’m home, I had better be holding him.
In other news, work is crazy and stressful as we try to get a new building. Trying to stay balanced has been challenging and my house is therefore a mess. But that’s ok.
We are cloth diapering with this baby and I am getting a little obsessed with how cute they are. But also a bit more laundry.
Any of you cd’ing? What’s your favorite? And babywearing? How do you like to carry? I WANT to wrap, but I have no luck back wrapping at all. So we like the ergo and ring slings.

4 months! And who’s a terrible blogger?!

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You guys! Listen! My baby sat up by himself today! Yes. What the hell? Is the proper response. He took forever to get here. He is my last baby. You would think he’d have the courtesy to stay in each stage just a wee but longer so I could savor them all.
But no. Not this guy. He is jumping and bouncing and raring to walk already! He’s babbling like crazy and grins like a fool whenever I, or Bear, or Bup make eye contact. Not for the camera though!
In other news, life is edging along. Bears cancer is still in remission and it looks like the bone marrow transplant is set for his next recurrence. We have a nice reprieve to enjoy this time, enjoy our family, and…dare I say? Consider a career move? This is of course reliant on having something marvelous come up in the area we’d like to live in, but recently there was a posting I can’t help but consider. It’s out of my league-probably three steps up instead of one, but it’s where we want to be and it sounds like a pretty cool opportunity. So…maybe I’ll apply just to have the experience.
But for now, anyway, we are happy enough here. The house projects are almost all done. Here is our porch-all updated and clean.

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And Bup is starting at the (semi) regional Montessori that goes up to 6th grade this fall. He’s super excited about that. Bear has a local job opportunity too. Doesn’t pay very much, but it is convenient and will be no trouble. He also won’t feel tied to it.
So. That’s us in a nutshell. What’s up with you all? ūüėČ

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2 months!

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Time is whipping past. I knew it would so I’m really trying to soak up this sweet cuddly time.
I am back at work part time for a few weeks before I’m at full time again. So far I’m managing to only work my 20 hours but I can tell my staff want to be able to get things back to normal. I, on the other hand, would love to only work part time from now on. Sadly, not possible, but I can dream.
Baby B is adorable and fat as butter. He is smiling a lot now-mostly at me and Bear but if one of the neighborhood kids pays enough attention to him, he will smile then too. We’ve been reading more and he loves Hooray for Fish for the bright colors and broad outlines. He’s much more interested in mobiles now but not so into toys yet.

I’m really loving that it is FINALLY warming up so we can get outside. I went for a walk/ run with my old running partner yesterday for the first time in almost a year. We walked 1.5 and ran a half mile and I felt like I would die! I guess my body needs some time to get back in the swing of things.
In other news Bup is growing like a weed and like me is ready for summer. Hope all if you are having a happy May so far! I know I don’t post as often but I am thinking about those of you heading into new treatments or finally expecting your own little ones.

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1 month old!

So-Here we are, one month gone already! ¬†Baby B is gorgeous and sweet. ¬†He’s starting to be more alert and interested in things around him, including noises–which makes sleep a little harder for all of us. ¬†Generally, he sleeps 2-3 hours at a stretch with one long sleep of 4 hours at best. ¬†He is usually sleeping on me, next to me, in his bouncer or in his swing. ¬†The bassinet is useless. ¬†I’m rereading Weissbluth’s¬†Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child¬†since it helped immensely with sleep training us and Bup 7 years ago. ¬†Sadly, it basically says to suck it up for the first 6-8 weeks so right now it is just review.

In other news, he loves to be held, to bounce and sway and swing.  In fact, he sleeps best in a swing for now, although I plan to begin transitioning him to his crib in the next few weeks when I start back to work part time.  He likes areas of high contrast, so our dark wood ceiling fans against the white ceiling, or the black and white African safari posters we have hanging will hold his attention for minutes at a time.

Breastfeeding is finally improving. ¬†I would say it rarely hurts at all anymore, unless I’m empty and have pissed off my baby shark. ¬†He tends to get a little aggressive then, which is hilarious and terrifying at the same time. ¬†At any rate, he is gaining weight like a champ and was at 12 lbs at his 2 week appointment. ¬†If I put a cloth diaper on him, he doesn’t squeeze into the 0-3 month sizes at all. ¬†Good thing I have drawers full of baby clothes.

Speaking of cloth diapers, that is going so-so. ¬†I’d say we use them 1/4 to 1/3 of the time. ¬†I only have 6 covers that fit him (Thirsties brand for those wondering) but have around 18 cloth inserts. ¬†I found buying the supplies for this confusing at first. ¬†I also have four of the g-diapers covers and two boxes of their disposable/ biodegradable inserts. ¬†I liked the idea of this, but they leave a weird jellied ball substance on his skin when they get really wet, so I haven’t used them as much. ¬†My main complaint with the cloth diapers so far is just the complication of putting them together and getting them on. ¬†Not bad in the daytime, but in the middle of the night, when he’s pooped for the third time in 40 minutes and I’m trying to be quick and quiet, they kind of suck. ¬†So, at night we use disposables, or if the covers are all dirty, or if his outfit will fit better over a disposable…Maybe I will like it better when he is a little older and pooping more regularly/ solidly. ¬†I don’t mind the cleaning of them or any of that, which is what I thought would be the biggest pain.

What else…? ¬†Well, Bup is still doing well with his big brother role. ¬†He mostly acts as a fetcher for me, but will also read to Bax or talk to him, show him toys and that kind of thing. ¬†We are all looking forward to the next stage of social smiles and chatter. ¬†But for now we are loving snuggling this one.

Bax

Bax

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Fear

For some reason, I believed that having another child would dilute my anxiety for Bup’s well being. I thought a second child would force me to relax a little, and by extension I would be a better mother to both.
It turns out that anxiety, like love, can expand and grow with the addition of a new baby.
Instead of relaxing, I find I can torture myself late at night with thoughts of losing Bear to his cancer and bring alone with two boys. Or a gunman taking out Bup’s school. Or SIDS taking this new light out of our lives.
It doesn’t take long in the dark for these dark thoughts to occupy me, because why shouldn’t those things happen to us. If anything, cancer and infertility teaches us that shit happens to anyone. Nobody is immune to tragedy. Why should we get to have every good thing we’ve ever wanted?
In the morning I will remember that the world is mostly good. That for now, my husband and boys are healthy and happy. And that and the sun will be good enough to beat back the fear for awhile.

He’s here! Better late than never!

Well, our unmediated vbac didn’t go exactly as planned!
With a scheduled c-section hanging over my head for Monday the third, starting last Wednesday I decided to do what I could to get our overdue baby moving out on his own. First I started with taking evening primrose tablets to thin my cervix. I also visited a prenatal chiropractor for a pelvic adjustment in order to make space for baby to drop. On Thursday morning I went in to my OB. I was dilated to 1 at 41 weeks so she swept my membranes too. We also discussed my scheduled c-section.
I then went to the mall and walked for about 45 minutes.
That evening I started having contractions that were consistent and increasing in intensity until they were 6-8 minutes apart . I decided to try to get some sleep at 11 or so and was able to fall asleep but then my contractions stopped too.
On Friday morning I was a little disappointed but decided to mall walk again to get things moving.
That seemed to help as contractions started up right after lunch. I also
lost a lot more of my mucous plug. My contractions got steadily stronger until 11 pm when they were 4-6 minutes apart. I also had a pink watery discharge that I thought might be a slowly leaking water bag. We called our hospital and they asked us to come in.
Once we got there, they first took vitals and checked for amniotic fluid. Since it was there they wanted me to stay but they agreed to only intermittent fetal monitoring so we could labor moving around and using the big jetted bath. (with vbacs they generally require monitoring in case there are problems.)
Unfortunately, after that long day of contractions, 11 hours at that point I was only at 1.5 dilation and only 50% effaced. As the night progressed my contractions increased in intensity. By 6 pm the next day though, my cervix was still only at 2. We were obviously frustrated and I was beginning to struggle with managing my pain through natural method. (This was now 29 hours into labor with almost no progression.)
By 9 pm I was exhausted, in a lot of pain, and hadn’t eaten in over a day. I asked for Stradol (sp?) which they said would help me relax between contractions.
I took that and it helped for a while. I was finally able to rest while still using my Bradley method techniques. Unfortunately again, we had very little progression.
By 4 am the Stradol was not touching my pain and I had been in transition for six hours. I was double peaking with contractions and they were 2-3 minutes apart but lasting over a minute each. They checked me and at this point I was dilated to 3-4. I was 90% effaced but my dilation combined with 39 hours of no sleep, no food and continuosly strengthening contractions had me done with my unmedicated plan. I asked for an epidural in order to get some relief. The doctor also thought I had been in pain for so long that my body was fighting against itself and that might be why baby wasn’t descending. I was finally dilated to 6 but baby was high still.
FYI- at this point my “vocalisations of pain” were more sobbing and low screams. And Bear was falling asleep between each one so his coaching was falling apart a bit.
So. The epidural was fabulous after this many hours of active labor. I say this as an advocate of unmedicated births. You know your body best and I had pushed mine too far. Because the relief was so immediate, I was able to sleep for a full two hours. Bear did the same. We woke refreshed and ready to go. Except, of course, that I was still only at 6. My cervix was much “stretchier” and I was finally effaced but the baby hadn’t dropped still. So then we started pitocin (drugs are a slippery slope of intervention but I honestly believe we still made the right decisions.)
The pitocin started contractions back up that I could feel very strongly through the epidural. This went on for 5 more hours. At noon they checked and I had dilated one more centimeter to 7 but was actually thickening. Like my body decided to be done. Baby was staying in. I was actually happy to get going in the csection now as it would mean a final end to 48 straight hours of labor. And those pitocin induced contractions are a bitch.
Now. Wasn’t that a long terrible birth story? But not to worry. You, like us are to be rewarded. Meet Baby Bax. Born after five and a half years of trying to make him, 41 and a half weeks of gestation, and 48 full hours if labor plus major surgery. Way to keep us waiting.

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And the reason my body shut down that birth was that we had a 10lb 8.4 oz baby with a 15 inch chest. He never would have made it the way of the vag. ūüėČ

Still pregnant.

4 days past due. And I know the due date is a guess really, but I am ready to meet this baby already. I’ve been walking a lot. Today I baked labor cookies and ate 6 (don’t judge.). Saw the doctor today and NOTHING. Not dilated, not engaged, only a slight softening to the cervix. I’ve had a few random contractions this week but nothing that goes anywhere. I wouldn’t mind, but I’m on a time crunch here. Doctor won’t let me go much longer for a vbac with such a big baby. She’s giving me until next Monday and then it is caesarean number two, never mind the twelve weeks of Bradley classes we drove an hour each way to attend. In Wisconsin!
Anyway. Getting a little anxious to get the party started. And it is not helping that I am super big so everyone who sees me either looks startled and worried or intensely amused.
Hope all of you are well! Want to share any homeopathic remedies to get me going? (And don’t say sex. I honestly don’t think I could make that work with this giant belly in the way.). ūüėČ

Okay, well I suck kinda.

I think I really thought I would be able to keep up with this, but seriously? ¬†My last post was before Christmas! ¬†Oh well, y’all are still here, anyway. ¬†

Here things are good. We are in week nine of our Bradley classes and I’m really enjoying most of it. ¬†They, like most natural childbirth philosophies, tend to go a bit over the top. ¬†I am obviously there because I believe an unmedicated birth is best and I want to have the tools to achieve that. ¬†I do not need to hear how drugs in childbirth lead to drug addiction and jail. ¬†My parenting (and life in general) tends more toward, let’s do our best to make good choices and give ourselves a little grace if the best isn’t always where we land. ¬†Speaking of that, have you read this? ¬†http://www.renegademothering.com/2014/01/16/hey-hi-i-want-off-all-mothering-teams/ ¬†Hilarious. ¬†And yes. ¬†Me too. ¬†

Along with classes, we are getting ready by finishing the baby’s room. ¬†I had a shower with family which was actually kind of weird. ¬†Only around 10 people showed up. ¬†Among those who didn’t were EVERYONE on my dad’s side of the family, including his girlfriend and her daughter who had originally offered to host. ¬†I don’t know what the hell that was about-if they were offended when I asked that we just do a single family shower and combine? ¬†At ay rate, none of my aunts or cousins came either and I have attended at least half of theirs and RSVP’d when I couldn’t. ¬†I honestly don’t mind at all if they couldn’t make it, but a response would have been nice. ¬†Just weird. ¬†So I spent my shower feeling all paranoid that I had inadvertently offended an entire branch of the family and nobody was telling me. ¬†But, whatever. ¬†The people who came were fun. ¬†In two more weeks, I have my local friends/ work baby shower. ¬†At first I wasn’t sure we should even have a shower. ¬†We have a lot of what we need because I was so reluctant to get rid of things from Bup since I was so sure we would have another baby soon. ¬†But now that Bear has been out of work for two months with his chemo treatment, some of those things I needed to or wanted to replace are adding up. ¬†If my friends and family buy a few onesies, or stock us up on bath supplies, or even just get something cute and fun for baby, it will all help. ¬†And, on the plus side, if they don’t or can’t, we have the essentials so that helps my stress level. ¬†On a lighter note, here is our cat, who seems to believe we suddenly have invested in some fantastic new pet beds.

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Our remodel is still not completed, but after I had a mini-nervous breakdown at the idea of spending another weekend at home while my husband and his dad worked on the upstairs, Bear agreed we needed some family time to ourselves. ¬†So, on Saturday, we hopped in the car and took Bup out to one of the bigger cities where we played at an arcade, had some fantastic food, went and saw a movie and just enjoyed each other’s company. ¬†It was some much needed relaxation. ¬†With my 36 month, wait week, pregnancy discomfort, a constant barrage of company, Bear’s chemo and illness, and this RIDICULOUS f-ing cold outside, I was really starting to lose it. I feel much better. ¬†And, today was another snow/ too cold to operate day for the town, so we stayed home and I actually wrote out our birth plan and packed the baby’s bag for the hospital. ¬†My bag is about half packed as I still need a lot of the stuff I would put in there.

And finally, since I know this is getting to be WAY too long (see, update more frequently and this would not be an issue!) I am going to share our baby name which we finally, finally came to an agreement on this past month. ¬†Yes, the baby who lately feels like a cat tied in a pillowcase is….Baxter Arlo. ¬†I hope you all love it as much as we do. ¬†I keep picturing a toddler wearing glasses with that name, so it may be a little hipster, but that’s okay. ¬†

Hope you all are having a fabulous winter.  I will try to be a better blogger.