Tag Archives: ready to have a baby

She Says… Emmett’s Arrival

Before I launch into the story of how Emmett decided to come out and play, I want to thank you all for your amazing outpouring of love and support and congratulations. Benjamin and I are so thrilled to have the little guy on the outside of my body rather than the inside, and it is incredible to know there were/are so many people thinking of our family during this exciting time.

So. The story.

Well you all know where we were the night before the due date. I was at the hospital NOT actually in labor, despite the contractions coming every 5 minutes. I was angry, frustrated, embarrassed and generally aggravated at the world when we were sent home in the wee hours of the morn on my baby’s due date. After a few hours of sleep I woke up and felt horrible. I was crampy and uncomfortable and my emotions were running high. I decided to take a much-needed sick day from work, which I almost never do. To get my mind off of the labor-that-wasn’t, Benjamin and I decided to head to Ikea to pick up the last few things that we needed for the basement renovation. I figured I could walk this baby out in the air conditioning, if nothing else.

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All of a sudden, while walking through the kitchen and dining chair section, I felt a contraction that stopped me in my tracks. I had been feeling them all morning, but this one was pinchier and sharper and made me stop and hold my stomach. Ugh, these “false” contractions really suck, I thought, and carried on with my shopping. A few (short!) minutes later, another one. Worse. And I was pretty sure I had just wet my pants. Spoiler alert — it wasn’t pee.

My water had just broken in Ikea.

Thankfully not the waterfall I experienced with Owen, but just enough so that I was 100% sure that’s what it was without leaving a puddle on the concrete floor below. Benjamin was in a different department and there was no cell service, so I kept shopping, knowing that we’d meet up at checkout. Well, I kept shopping in about 3 minute segments, and then I’d try to play it cool while I breathed through a contraction. Once I started timing them I realized shit was getting real FAST. They were 3-4 minutes apart. I abandoned our cart and told Benjamin we had to leave. Like, RIGHT NOW. The only problem was that we needed to pick up an order from a nearby warehouse. It was the whole reason we had driven to Ikea, so we decided to do it as fast as possible while I timed contractions.

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I think my contractions must have rattled Benjamin, because he got lost on the way to the warehouse. On some REALLY bumpy roads. I would grip the car door handles, breathe through a contraction, and then read the timing aloud (1 minute long, 3:30 since the last one). The distance between the contractions was shrinking, and they were definitely getting worse.

Thankfully we found the warehouse and I told Benjamin to RUN while I called the doctor. I actually had an office appointment scheduled in a few hours, so I called to ask them if I should go to the office or the hospital (like… is it real NOW?!). I must have sounded really under control, because they advised me to come to the office and they’d check me there. About 1 minute after leaving the warehouse with our furniture in the trunk, though, I KNEW we were not going to the doctor. We were heading straight to the hospital. And all of a sudden I was a little scared about even getting there in time. I was thankful I had thought to throw the labor bag in the car “just in case”.

We got to the hospital and when the midwife checked me, the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and felt like they were coming on top of each other. 5cm dilated, 100% effaced and head ready. And changing FAST. I was already making noises I didn’t recognize and having an out-of-body experience due to the pain, so the nurse immediately set to work getting me fluids so I could get an epidural. It seemed to take forever to get the necessary bloodwork done and questions answered in the antenatal area. I felt like the baby was about to fall out on the floor and I could barely breathe before the next contraction started again. Benjamin was stuck answering while I nodded and shook my head and thought I was going to vomit. By the time they put me in a wheelchair to take me from antenatal to labor and delivery, I was a full blown caricature of what a woman in labor looks like in the movies.

Once we got to the labor & delivery room things are a bit of a blur to me. I was completely blinded by the pain and it took every fiber of my being to squeeze my eyes shut, breathe/scream and focus on not breaking into a million little tiny pieces. I heard voices and saw faces, but all I could really hear in my ears was my own breathing (and the strange wails that were apparently coming out of my mouth, though they sounded nothing like my voice). After what seemed like another eternity, I got the epidural. In the next few minutes while we waited for it to kick in, my body decided it was ready to push.

Apparently I was going to experience the joy/beauty/pain/agony/euphoria/horror of natural childbirth without necessarily intending.

Prior to this experience, I would have thought that pushing was the worst part of all. The climax. The big finale. But honestly once I started pushing I was immediately present again. Laser-focused. Eyes open. Breathing. Kicking labor’s ass. It felt weirdly good, after all of the drama of transition. And I don’t think that was the epidural speaking, since it really didn’t have a chance to kick in at all.

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10 minutes later, Emmett Howell entered the world.

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Very purple and quite stunned by the speed of his arrival, but perfect in every way. The midwife put him right on my chest and Benjamin and I laugh-cried and stared in awe at this beautiful little person.

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Welcome, little one.

She Says… False Alarm

I was sure that yesterday was going to be THE DAY. I know I’ve been saying that for the last two weeks, but when I awoke yesterday at 4am with pretty strong contractions coming 7 minutes apart, I was beyond excited.

I kept an eye on the clock while we got up and did our normal morning routine. Benjamin had a conference call so I was hanging solo with Owen for some of the morning, and we decided to meet a friend at a nearby splash park/playground. The contractions continued while I was there (and the heat made me want to die) but I wasn’t really timing them and figured I would “just know” if they turned real while we were there. Benjamin met up with us after his call and took Owen home so I could get a pedicure. One last pre-baby pedicure! I asked her to go to town on that massage in a last ditch effort to get these contractions going. Alas, it didn’t have any effect.

By mid-afternoon the contractions were getting worse and were more like 5 minutes apart. I called the midwife on call and she said I sounded “too fantastic to be in labor” and to wait it out. I agreed — the contractions were NOT doubling me over in pain, but I’ve also heard many stories about women whose labors caught them off guard because they were not all that painful in the beginning.

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I timed them while we made dinner and put Owen to bed. When he was asleep I did 30 minutes on our elliptical (very slow, no resistance… it was just too damn hot to walk outside!). Slowly but surely the contractions went from 5 minutes apart to more like 3 minutes apart. By 10pm the midwife and I agreed I should come in — 3 minutes is no joke!

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Once we got there they hooked me up to a monitor to see how the little guy was doing. He was doing great; perfect heart rate levels and accelerations/decelerations.

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My contractions, on the other hand, went back to about 5 minutes apart and felt less strong than they had at home. A check revealed that I was still 3cm dilated and 80% effaced (almost exactly what I was at my appointment last week). The midwife said I should rest for 30 minutes and then walk for 30 minutes and she’d check me again.

So we did a bit of this…

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and a bit of this.

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Thank you to everyone who tweeted, emailed and Facebooked me encouragement during that time. I needed it! And it definitely kept my spirits up while we were waiting to see what was going on.

Unfortunately the baby had other plans, as the 2nd check showed no labor progress. A little before 1am this morning, ON MY ACTUAL DUE DATE, we were sent home.

Now we’re home. I’m exhausted. My body feels like it was in a car accident — my muscles are achy and the contractions have not stopped. I’m emotional and frustrated. I can’t believe we came home without a baby.

I know I’m not the first woman in the world (or the last!) to go through a false alarm. Prior to last night I always thought “those women” were weenies who couldn’t handle pain, and who thought that Braxton Hicks contractions were “real”. Boy was I wrong. There is NOTHING false about false labor. Oh how different this labor is from my last one.

Here’s hoping we’re back at the hospital very soon and we don’t come home without the prize. Also? I apologize to anyone who has to come into contact with me today — I am not in the mood for you.

She Says… A Race to the Finish

Major work of all kinds going on in our house this week.

MY JOB
Yes, I’m still working. From home, these days, so I really can’t complain too much. I’m mentally and physically quite DONE with sitting in front of a computer, but every day I am more and more certain that I’ve completed everything I need to complete to be able to have a stress-free maternity leave. Well, free from work stress, at least. So although it’s annoying to still be on conference calls (and fielding all of the ridiculous “Haven’t you had that baby yet?” comments), it’s keeping me busy and it feels like I’m still accomplishing things, even though delivering a baby isn’t one of them.

As soon as we head to the hospital… I’m out!

THE BASEMENT RENOVATION
I haven’t given too many updates about our basement renovation but it is going really, really well. We “broke ground” right after Memorial Day and the project was estimated by our contractor to take 4 weeks. I know those estimates usually need to be cushioned by a few weeks, so I was expecting 5-6 weeks, which meant the job would finish about a week before my due date. We had one setback (completely our fault, not his) that made us lose about 1.5 weeks, so the fact that we’re finishing up early next week means that the contractor was actually right on with his timeline. That almost never happens!

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Essentially, since we are taking up our guest room for the baby’s nursery, we wanted to add a bedroom and bathroom in the unfinished space in our basement (half of it is currently finished, and half is unfinished storage space, but it all has full height ceilings) so guests can come stay and have their own space. While this is nice for them, it’s REALLY nice for me, so I don’t have to worry about guests waking up my kids when they go to bed at night.

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As an interior designer who missed her calling (or, rather, dropped out of design school when I realized I wasn’t going to make any money for the next decade while I studied architecture, and likely didn’t need that degree if I wanted to do this as a business later in life), I was in heaven picking out paint colors, carpet, tile, bathroom fixtures, etc. Remember this design tv show-esque weekend? Awesome.

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And now we are nearly done. The plumber is down there today finishing up the toilet and shower and sink hook-ups, and all that’s left is a bit of painting and some carpet that’s going in on Saturday. Inspections early next week and then it’s ready for our first guest — my mom, who is going to come as soon as she gets the call that the baby is on his way! I am so thrilled I can barely contain myself.

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I definitely thought we’d have a baby by now, but the last few days of watching all of this come together has been a wonderful distraction.

LABOR
Oh, friends. So many “signs of labor” going on, I honestly can’t believe we’re not in the hospital yet. I had a midwife appointment on Wednesday and she confirmed that I’m now up to 3cm dilated and 75% effaced. She stripped my membranes for good measure (even though she doesn’t usually do that until 40 weeks and I was just over 39 weeks).

A few hours before my appointment I started having some pretty serious contractions that were coming every 10 minutes from 1pm until about 9pm. I thought maybe the membrane-stripping had been at the PERFECT time and would tip the scale and send me into active labor, but alas, when I got in bed at 10pm they were more like 20 minutes apart and not quite as regular. Another good night’s sleep (which is great, except that I was anxious to wake up in the hospital and not in my own bed). Thursday I had a similar experience of very regular (and pretty painful) contractions all afternoon, and then by bedtime, nothing. I guess I should be thankful that I’m getting the nights “off” to sleep, but I’d really rather things just get real and get moving.

Today, not so many contractions but some other, uhh, lovely symptoms, that I won’t go into detail about since friends and family are readers now :)  Suffice to say, if you’ve been pregnant before, you’ve “lost” this as well. So that plus a lot of cramping gives me hope that maybe I won’t be going back to work on Tuesday, and maybe this baby WILL arrive before his due date after all. But we shall see.

So. Now the race is on. Which will be finished first… the baby or the renovation?

She Says… Old Wives’ Tales

When your baby bump gets as ridiculously protruding as mine is right now, people start making all kinds of stupid comments to you about when the baby is coming and/or how many babies are in there.

Scratch that… I’ve been getting comments like that for the last month+ since my belly has been hugemongous for a while now.

Generally I don’t mind the commiserating smiles from other women, but enough with the you-think-you’re-so-hilarious jokes, especially from men. A few weeks ago I was in an elevator at work and a guy said, in a stupid voice, “You’re not gonna do anything funny in there, are ya? I mean, I played baseball but I was never a good catcher. Looks like that thing is about to fall right out!”. Hardy har har. Thanks dude. And that was a few weeks ago.

I’m slowly but surely creeping closer to that moment that I [luckily!] never hit with Owen. That moment that most pregnant women hit near the end. You know which one I mean. The “get this baby out of me” “I am so DONE” “I will try anything to induce labor” moment. Most hit this point long before 39 weeks, especially in the midst of a heat wave like we’ve had around here recently, so I’m patting myself on the back a little for still feeling relatively good and positive at this point. But still, that feeling is niggling at me and I can feel myself succumbing to it a little more every day.

As such, I’m in that slightly crazed period of Googling (and thinking about trying) anything that I’ve heard might maybe kinda sorta get labor going. There are thousand upon thousands of old wives’ tales about seemingly unrelated things that will get labor going. To be honest I only believe very few of them. But hey. I’ve only done this once before… so what do I know?

Confession time. Here are the things I have tried:

  • Red Raspberry Leaf tea. This doesn’t actually bring on labor, but it supposedly stimulates your uterus to get you prepped and ready. Tastes fine, is a nice water alternative, and my midwife said it can’t hurt (but cautioned me against drinking too much lest I have lots of unnecessary contractions).
  • Evening Primrose Oil. Again, not a labor stimulant but apparently can soften the cervix. Taken orally and vaginally. Midwife said it can’t hurt, but likely won’t do a whole lot for me since I’m already almost 100% effaced.
  • Eating dates. Some study (with a very small sample size) came out that indicated that women who ate 6 dates every day for a month prior to labor had a higher likelihood of their water breaking and labor moving quickly. I just started munching on dates 2 days ago, so I may have missed the boat on this one, but hey, they taste great and have lots of good fiber!
  • Sitting on an exercise ball. I replaced my desk chair with my exercise ball about a month ago. Now I do it while watching tv or playing with Owen (it’s very cute to see him pushing it around the house for me so I can sit down). It’s far more comfortable than a chair and my hips seem to like being splayed out to make room for my belly. Not sure if it’s helping prepare me for labor, but it’s more comfy than sitting on anything else.
  • Walking. When it hasn’t been too hot out, I’m still walking to pick Owen up from daycare, take him to the playground, etc. My midwife says there isn’t much merit to this, especially for a 2nd baby, though, so not to stress if it’s too hot and not to tire myself out by walking unnecessarily.
  • Swimming. I’ve been in a pool a few times over the last month and swimming in a local pond twice in the last two weeks. Since “swimming” right now means wandering around in the water making sure Owen doesn’t drown, I’m not really going to say I’ve given this a good shot.
  • Massage/acupressure. Got my first (and only) prenatal massage last Saturday and I asked her to hit ALL of those acupressure points that are usually avoided for pregnant women. The massage felt AMAZING, but it’s been 4 days, so I don’t think it had any effect on bringing on labor. We also have a foot/calf massager at home that I’ve been using while we watch tv at night. Again, it feels awesome, but I don’t think the massages are doing anything to get me closer to delivery.
  • Sex. Tried it a few times. ‘Nuff said.
  • Nipple stimulation. Again, not much to say here. Didn’t bring on extra contractions for me the way many women say it does. Didn’t feel all that great either. No thank you.

Things I have not tried, but have read about:

  • Olive Garden’s eggplant parmigiano and/or salad dressing. Google it, it’s a real thing. But it’s not on my list of things to try.
  • Castor oil. Ugh, I’ve heard awful horror stories about using this, and many of them do NOT end in labor. Not on my list.
  • Eating spicy food. I had super spicy Chinese food the night before my water broke with Owen, so I’m definitely game to try this again! Just haven’t had the opportunity (as Chinese takeout is not something my gluten free family members can try, or something that’s very good for my gestational diabetes).
  • Pineapple. Apparently lots of fresh pineapple contains some enzyme that puts women into labor. Unfortunately that would spike my blood sugar, and frankly I don’t have the time or energy to be prepping fresh pineapple (and canned/juice doesn’t have the enzyme).
  • Acupuncture. I tried acupuncture when trying to get pregnant with Owen and had a positive experience. I’d be willing to try this in a few more days as we get closer to my due date and induction date, but I don’t have a local person I know at this point, so it would take some planning.
  • Bumpy car ride. Worth a shot, but I have been busy working and taking care of Owen the last few days.

Anything else I should try? What worked for you? (Side note: I know most of these things are probably completely fabricated, and I fully realize that my body, like everyone else’s, will go into labor when it’s good and ready. Still, it’s fun to think about what could be done to get things going, and it’s funny to read about the silly things people will do when they are desperate. Help a sister out!).

She Says… All In Their Own Time

Yesterday I was at the grocery store and I got a call from Owen’s school. Usually a call from that number means Owen is being sent home sick or there was an accident they want to warn me about before pick-up (read: Owen has some huge gash across his face because he jumped off of something on the playground, etc.), so I always cringe when I pick up. But this time was different.

Owen’s teacher said, “Owen, do you have something exciting to tell Mommy?”. His little voice got on the phone and said, “I WENT PEE PEE ON THE POTTY AT SCHOOL!”. His pride was palpable. My 39-week pregnancy hormones got the best of me and I was wiping tears from my eyes in the cereal aisle as he told me what a big boy he was and how he was ready to wear underwear all the time at school.

WOOT WOOT!

As you may remember, he made the decision to be in underwear at home many months ago. The switch went off and he was jazzed about his Thomas the Train underwear and that was that. No pushing or prodding from my side. He just… decided. But, he also decided at that time that he WOULD NOT go at school. No sir. He came up with every excuse in the book as to why not. Recently we had gotten to the point where he said he would go “when the baby comes out” because then he’d “be bigger, like a big brother”. I was cool with that timeline, since I wanted the decision to be his and his alone, and not to be a deadline I was pushing. And he’s not even 3 yet, so I felt like we had lots of time for him to come around to this particular milestone.

But then yesterday he woke up from his nap dry (which he almost always does now… maybe that means we’re almost ready to move onto Phase 2 of potty training? I have no idea. For now I’m sticking with diapers for sleep time so that we’re not asking too much of his little body) and his teacher asked him if he wanted to go on the potty. He politely declined. Then she said that if he DID go on the potty, he could call Mommy and tell her the exciting news. That changed his mind entirely, and he went on the potty all by himself and couldn’t wait to call me.

And so, just like that, I feel like we’ve entered a new phase. No more diapers (except while sleeping). Though I wouldn’t have pushed it just because a baby was on the way, I am pretty happy to have Owen’s latest milestone come right before the baby. One less thing to worry about.

Speaking of being on their own timeline… Baby #2 seems to have no interest in coming out to play. I’ve had all of the telltale “labor is coming” symptoms on and off for the last week, but still, no baby. I’m tired of working and tired of not being able to call anyone lest they think I’m in labor. Still, I am thankful that my body feels relatively good. But that is definitely waning. I can tell.

Two weeks ago (right around when I started saying, “Any minute now!”. Ha.) I got this fortune in my fortune cookie:

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That has been my philosophy planning for this baby, and, more specifically, for the complicated situation that is going into labor with another kid at home. So far I’m doing really well on the first part (WE ARE SO PREPARED, COME OUT NOW, BABY) and really, really trying to also do the second part. It’s not in my nature, as a super Type A planner, but it’s also not in my control. There is something remarkably relaxing about that. Though I WANT this baby to come out, like, now, there isn’t a damn thing I can do to make that happen.

My fingers are still crossed that he’s going to come this week, though. Before his due date. Or his scheduled ejection date. I really don’t want to go that route.

But he’ll come in his own time.

She Says… Babywatch Update

Or, rather, lack of an update.

38 week appointment with my midwife indicates that the baby is actually farther back “up” than he was last week. Ummm, wrong way, little guy! She swears up and down that this is not bad news or a sign that labor is far away, but it’s hard not to be at least a little surprised by that news. She says that if I had been walking around a bit before my appointment that he’d probably be engaged in my pelvis more than he was, so there’s really no correlation to the way he is positioned and when my labor will start. I asked her if I should be doing more walking to get him down there, and she said no, no, no. Especially since it’s like a bazillion degrees outside. Apparently subsequent babies don’t really need to engage the way first babies do, and “dropping” is not a milestone that actually indicates labor is on its way with 2nd or subsequent babies. Walking may bring on more contractions (which I’m already having very regularly), but won’t necessarily bring on labor.

Still… wrong way, kid! Turn around and see the light!

Same amount dilated and effaced. Head down. Very soft cervix and “toward the front”, all very good things, but no change from my 36 and 37 week appointments.

I’m starting to feel a bit silly for putting everyone on high alert for labor and then… nothing. But really… it COULD be any day! Really! Still! I’m not just crying wolf!

Or, you know, 2 1/2 more weeks. And a possible induction. To be honest I hadn’t even really listened when my midwife and doctor had discussed that with me a few weeks ago because I was all, “Oh, I won’t get there! That’s not going to happen!”. With every day that passes I’m working on opening my mind to the possibility that it could, though I’m still hoping that it won’t.

She also says the baby is not big (which is a big concern for women with gestational diabetes). She estimates just under 7lbs right now. Owen was 7lbs 5oz and born right where I am now (38 weeks and change), so I’m thinking that’s probably a pretty good guess. However, I’d love for this little one to get as big as he can (bigger babies often eat and sleep better!). Another reason for him to keep cooking? We’ve got about another week of work on our basement renovation before it’s ready to receive guests (like my mom who is coming as soon as the baby is born).

So… I’ll give him another week or so, then I’m ready to get this show on the road. Are you listening, little one?

She Says… Red, White and No Baby

Well, Owen was wrong about when the baby is “popping out”. No baby today (you know, unless I go into labor in the next few minutes and have a baby in under 3 hours) .

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(Don’t judge my fashion, y’all. There are VERY few items of clothing that still fit around my belly).

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Still, we had a wonderful, if very, very hot, 4th of July.

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Parade and all. (Side note: I hate to be a scrooge, but parades are LAME. Even when they are “great”, they are just not really my thing. Sure, the fire engines were cool and all, but the waiting in between acts? In the burning heat? Yeah. Not so much. Or maybe I was just a bit crankier than normal this year carrying around a full size child in my stomach.)

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We also invented a new backyard game aptly called “water slide”. It’s awesome.

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And then the pregnant lady’s favorite part of the day… we relaxed in the air conditioning, did puzzles and read books.

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Unfortunately Owen’s prediction about when his little brother would arrive was not accurate. But I have to say, I’m still glad for one more day with my little buddy.

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She Says… On Becoming a Big Brother

To the one who first made me a mother,

Your life is about to change. Any day now. Dramatically. We’ve been preparing you for this day as much as possible, talking about babies and how fun it is to be a big brother and how you’re going to teach our baby all kinds of things. And you are all smiles and dimples and twinkling eyes; you always say just the right things (“I’m gonna LOVE my baby brother. I’m gonna teach him how to eat and swing on the swings. I want him to sit next to me in the car. I’m gonna kiss his feet and hold him.”). You’ve been asking me for weeks when he will come out so you can play with him.

But really? Really I know you have NO idea how this is going to rock your world.

Frankly, none of us do. And as thrilled as I am for this next big adventure and for this tiny baby to become part of our family, I am also sad. I’m sad that it won’t just be you and me anymore. That I won’t be able to wake up in the morning and climb into bed with you and chatter away without also thinking of someone else who needs my attention. I’m sad that the afternoons where I can wake you up from your nap and say, “What do you want to do this afternoon, buddy?” may be few and far between. I’m sad that there will inevitably be times when you need me and I just can’t be there because there is another little person who needs me too.

For almost 3 whole years it’s been you and me. Daddy too, of course. The three of us have so much fun together. But there’s something special between you and I that started the second you were placed into my arms. The moment that I realized I was a mother and it was all thanks to you. It was built through those long nights of nursing and rocking and tears (for both of us) and strengthened as I learned the patterns of your breathing and the signs of when you were sick and what foods you liked and didn’t like. As you’ve gotten older I hear my own voice in yours, and I see myself in your tiny face. I know what you mean even when your words fail you and I know how to make it all better when things fall apart.

You’re my little buddy. My sidekick. My partner in crime.

I know that doesn’t have to change. You will always be my buddy. My sidekick. My partner in crime. I will always be here for you, no matter how many other people need my attention. I know we’ll both have some adjusting to do over the next few weeks and months. And that’s a little scary. But I also know that although it may not feel like it right away (or maybe it will!), I am certain Daddy and I are giving you one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive.

I hope that you and your brother grow up side by side, hand in hand. I hope that you teach him everything you know… because that is a lot. You are so wise beyond your years. You are inquisitive and hilarious and thoughtful. Honest with your emotions. Outspoken. Opinionated. I hope you can be there for him when no one else is, and I hope he does the same for you. Sibling love is such a special thing; it’s a bond that can’t be broken.

There may be times that he knows you even better than you know yourself; trust him then. There may be times when you wish he wasn’t around as much as he is or that he would just leave you alone; try to understand that these times will pass and you will want him by your side again soon. There may be times when you think you know better than him because you are older; open your mind to the possibility that he can teach you some things too. Love him unconditionally, no matter how he loves you back. And please cut Daddy and I a little slack as we learn how to do these things too.

I love you so much and I know that you are going to make the best big brother. And no matter what, you’ll ALWAYS be my first.
Mommy

She Says… Silence

Silence does not = baby.

At least not around these parts. If you were reading back when Owen was born, you’ll remember we blogged from the labor room and pretty much live-tweeted Owen’s birth (ok, not really, but we kept everyone updated with progress reports and leaked the first few pictures). So to those who have messaged and emailed and checked in hoping that I popped the baby out since I didn’t blog yet this week, unfortunately the answer is no. Not yet, at least. I’m still pulling for Owen’s prediction of the 4th of July.

That said, I am still feeling pretty comfortable (you know, aside from the very uncomfortable things about your body getting ready to have a baby) and I’m thankful that I can still gallavant around town with Owen on scooter rides (him riding, me walking) and taking him to the playground. Even in the heat. Benjamin has been around more than usual as we’re both slowly but surely finishing up all of the work we had scheduled to do before the baby arrives (I’m working right up until my due date, but still want to have most/all of my projects wrapped up by the end of this week in preparation for whenever things start happening) and we’ve had some very, very fun “final” days as a family of 3.

Aside from the nights when I’m up with pretty painful contractions and false labor (3 nights so far in the last week), I’m sleeping pretty well. Last night in particular I got over 8 hours and woke up feeling so thankful that the baby gave me that precious gift before he arrived. It’s a feeling I know I won’t have very much after he arrives :)

Like so many other simple pleasures, I’m soaking it all in. Enjoying every minute with Owen. Marveling in his every move and giggling at the hilarious things he says. I do this even when I’m not counting down the days until his little brother arrives, but there is something so special and bittersweet about these last few days (weeks?!) before our lives change dramatically. I’m sad for how his world is about to be rocked, but I’m thrilled for how much joy his brother will bring our family and for him to experience the awesomeness of sibling love. With every transition in his little life he has far surpassed my expectations, and I’m certain that adjusting to his new baby brother will be the same.

Owen has no school this week (it’s the only week all year that they close) but I didn’t want to “waste” my maternity leave by taking vacation days. That means we’re balancing Benjamin and I tag-teaming working from home and still participating in some of the family fun activities we want to do before the baby arrives. Alas, between that and timing the crazy contractions I’ve been having, that means little time for blogging. But rest assured, when there’s baby news to share (even just “we’re heading to the hospital” news!), you’ll hear about it!

And, if there’s no baby news soon, I’ll start writing about something else. I promise.

She Says… Check! Check! Check!

I know, you’re probably all bored of me talking about impending labor. Because, really, in theory I could have 3 more weeks of talking about impending labor. But honestly, it’s pretty much all I can think about these days.

In the back of my mind, I’m mentally checking every thing I do off of a running list… which inevitably leads to a barrage of questions and reminders that rotate through my mind for the rest of the day.

  • I just did the laundry. That may be the last load of laundry I do before we have to head to the hospital and be gone for a few days. Does Owen have enough clean underwear if the grandparents don’t do laundry again? Are there clean sheets and towels for those who will be in our house while we’re gone?
  • I just went to the grocery store. If I don’t get to go again, do we have enough gluten free food for Owen for a few days? What about easy dinners for when we return from the hospital? Is the kitchen organized such that whoever is taking care of Owen knows what he can and can’t eat?
  • I’m running a training at work today and tomorrow. A training I wasn’t really sure if I’d be here to run. It’s the last in-person thing I need to do at work before I go on leave. Is my desk clean? Can my colleagues find what they need while I’m gone? Does everyone know how to cover my work while I’m out? Can I make it through Friday with work-appropriate clothes and no dramatic story of my water breaking while commuting?
  • The basement renovation was stalled for just under 2 weeks while we figured out a particular heating issue. Now that it’s figured out we’re in the final stretch. Plasterers are there today putting up walls. Will they be ready in time for my mom to stay there after the baby comes? If not, where is she going to sleep? Will there be construction workers traipsing through my house while I’m trying to re-learn how to breastfeed my newborn? Was this a terrible idea?
  • Just got gas in the car. Is that the last time I will get gas? Don’t let the gas tank get below 1/4 tank! Which car is the labor bag in? Remember to leave the other car keys on the counter for whoever is staying at home with Owen.

I’m in that stage where every phone call I make, whether to my husband or my mom or my siblings is met with “Are you in labor? OMG, don’t scare me like that”. Apparently I can’t call anyone until I’m on my way to the hospital.

Contractions seem to have slowed over the last few days. Or maybe it’s just that they are much harder to notice when I’m busy hacking up a lung, who knows. And, since the baby dropped over the weekend, I weirdly feel less pregnant than I did last week. I even managed to paint my toenails last night. Impressive, right?

Last night I actually thought I was going to have to head to the emergency room… but not for the purpose of having my baby! I got another one of my bloody noses, but instead of stopping easily like normal, this one just kept going and going and going. Like, for over an hour. I called the urgent care line at my doctor’s office and they gave me some tips for stopping it, and said if I tried all of those things and it still didn’t stop, to call back. Well, I tried them all. Twice. The blood flow slowed a lot but didn’t stop, but I was hesitant to call back and have them send me to sit in the ER all night when all I had was a light bloody nose. By bedtime it was pretty much stopped, but not entirely, which made me nervous to go to sleep (I had visions of waking up covered in blood, or choking while laying down… all lovely images, no?). In the end, though, I survived without even a drop of blood on my pillow, and seem to be breathing normally today. Thank goodness.

Another crisis averted… something else to check off the list!

What was the “thing” you wanted to complete before going into labor? I’ve been thinking a lot about how babies often seem to know when the right time to come would be. For me, right now, I think the right time would be late next week. Owen has predicted the 4th of July… so maybe he’ll be right. Hopefully I’ll be healthy by then and ready to welcome this baby into the world without coughing on him.