My Little Vampire

What’s that little hint of white on the top left side? It’s proof that Banana is a vampire. Not as if we needed more proof, as ever since he got those two bottom teeth his favorite thing to do has been to crawl over to me and bite whatever body part is closest to him.

That is actually only the first one, which has been through for almost a week. I already see a teething pattern emerging. Tooth #1 pops through seemingly by random. No grumpy baby, just an appearance of a tooth. But it’s more than a tooth–it’s an ominous prediction. It’s a subtle hint that my life is going to go to complete shit for the next few days. And by golly it did. 3-4 days (Probably more, I’ve lost count, no sleep) of night wakings where he would just cry, clinginess in the daytime, random screeching out of nowhere. Babies are fun.

But the storm has now calmed. As of this morning (Peanut’s birthday, happy birthday Peanut!), I see the second tooth just poking through the gums. Explains the decent night sleep I got last night. And now I’m left with a cute little vampire.

A Simple Countdown to Baby

Rewinding a bit to before Banana was born. Once I got to around my third trimester, I decided that my girls could use something visual to understand when the baby was going to come. Every week Peanut would ask how big the baby was now (comparing it to fruit and vegetables) and she loved to hear about development, but I thought they could use something of an actual countdown. I remembered that a while back someone posted about a chain they made for their kids on my birth group (an extension of a mothering.com due date club) so I decided to try it out.

So this is what we made:

A simple paper chain. I took construction paper and cut out strips, then wrote numbers for the weeks on them (up to 41 weeks, as I assumed given my past births that it would be right around there that Banana would be born). I let the girls color them and then we taped them together and hung the chain up on the wall. I also wrote on their calendar (more on that soon!) the number week we were starting with a star around it so we would remember to cut the link off the chain.

Every week Peanut and Twig took turns cutting off a link of the chain. They really loved it! We did it so that we were cutting off the number for the week we were starting (so when I was officially 35 weeks, we’d cut off the 35) and it helped them remember what week we were on. Peanut especially enjoyed physically cutting off another week and seeing the chain get shorter and shorter.

If I were to do it again, the only difference I would make would be to do some signifier of being “full term” from 37 weeks on. Maybe do all those ones in a specific color? Then I think it would have been even easier to see when the baby could be born. I’m also happy that we ended up going less than 41 weeks because we never had to cut off the last link and wonder why baby wasn’t here yet. So if you’re unsure of when baby will get here, I would over-shoot it and go 42 or even 43 weeks with the chains.

It was really fun to do the countdown to Banana being born and find another way to involve the big sisters in his pending arrival. Let me know if you try it out! What fun ways did you help your kids countdown or prepare for their new sibling’s birth?

Sunday Surf – Adjusting to a New Normal

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI’m joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

Banana is 3 weeks and 3 days old! Wow time is flying. He’s already looking and acting less like a newborn and more like a baby.

And as a family we’re getting back into our routines. Every morning my husband drops Peanut off at school (after either I get her ready or he does if I’ve had a rough night with Banana and need to sleep more). Banana usually sleeps all morning, either on me or in the swing, and I play with Twig and get her ready. Then at 11am we go pick up Peanut from school, spend some time at the park or running errands or just hanging out at home. Lunch around 1-1:30, then naptime (thankfully Twig started napping again) and quiet time for the girls, Banana usually naps here too (even sometimes in the bed with Twig for a while). Usually Peanut gets some mama time after she finishes quiet time (an hour) and before Twig wakes up from her nap (usually 2 hours) and we read books, play games, and do her homework. Then more playing and daddy comes home at five, we eat dinner and hang out and/or watch a show as a family. Obviously weekends are different, but it still follows the general formula.

The adjustment is going much better this time than when Twig was born. I’m sure that’s in large part my lack of postpartum depression, which is still baffling to me. I’ve had a lot better support this time around, especially from my husband and in-laws. I’ve still felt a little bit overwhelmed and a few times I’ve gotten that barely keeping my head above water feeling, but I think that’s normal for this time period. I’ve also been getting a decent amount of sleep most nights (yay for breastfeeding and co-sleeping!), though Banana having a minor cold through a wrench in the works for the last few days. Even then it hasn’t been terrible. Anyway, on to the surf!

The magic way I get crabby evening baby to sleep.

I got bangs!

Peanut just adores him.

25 Ways To Ask Your Kids “So how was school today?” Without Asking them “So how was school today?” at Simple Simon and Company. We’ve been using some of these and it’s working really well. I’m still getting used to Peanut being in a school that doesn’t have a one way mirror window. We especially like to use #1 thus far.

13 Great Things to Say to a Sleep Deprived Parent at Belly Baby. This list is great! I love that it has so many positive reinforcement messages for the parents. When parents, especially first time parents, are constantly told that their baby shouldn’t need to be held so much/needs to stop using mom as a pacifier/should already be sleeping through the night it undermines the parents’ natural instincts. Telling someone how wonderful and happy their baby is and how they’re doing a great job can make all the difference.

5 Things Not To Say To A Woman With Postpartum Depression — And What To Say Instead at The Huffington Post. Like I said, I’m not suffering from postpartum depression this time (yet. knock on wood), but this is great information to have for anyone who is around a mom who does have PPD (which is likely you, as something like 10% of moms have it). I especially like the one about how your symptoms are not you, but just your symptoms. I think it would have been nice to hear some of these things after Twig was born (and thankfully I didn’t hear any of the bad ones!).

And a funny little video Things You Can’t Do When You’re Not a Toddler.

Banana’s Birth Story

40 weeks 0 days

After having tried everything reasonable (chiropractor, acupuncture, acupressure, massage, long walk, sex) to have another 20th baby, I had given up. Around 10pm, I had sex (which is also how Peanut’s labor started) and I felt crampy and had contractions after, but none of this was out of the norm for what had been happening for weeks. I joked that if I went into labor the next day (after having tried so hard to get our third 20th baby), I would be pissed. My husband jokingly said we could fudge the birth certificate.

I went to bed around 11pm and woke to contractions every so often, but that also wasn’t out of the ordinary lately. I don’t know how often I was contracting and they weren’t intense enough to take me out of my sleepy haze.

At 2am, I woke feeling really crampy and needing to pee. When I peed, there was some blood that was enough to drip, but not mucusy, so I figured it was just from the sex. I also figured the crampy feeling was just from the sex, so I heated up my rice pad and laid back down in bed with it on my uterus. That helped the crampy feeling, but made it clear I was also contracting. Still not much different than what’s been happening for weeks, so I stayed in bed and tried to go back to sleep.

Relaxing with some needles in my arms and legs.

Around 2:20 or so, I realized that the contractions were getting more intense. I was still skeptical, but decided to move Twig (who had come to our bed sometime before I woke up) into her room and tell my husband (who was sleeping with Peanut in the girls’ bed) to come into our room. I told him I didn’t really think that it was time, but that he should come sleep in our room.

Standing made the contractions much more intense though and it was starting to become clear to me that it was, indeed, time. I had a few more contractions on the bed on all fours (my midwife said that laboring on all fours would help prevent the cervical lip I had last time) and then told my husband it was time to call the midwife.

At 2:56 he called her, but from my perspective it seemed he was doing it more as a precaution. She had told us that she would rather come out ten times for false labor than miss the birth. I heard him ask her on the phone if there was anything he should look for to see if she should be coming and she asked if I wanted her to come. I said yes and she said she was on her way. He also called his mother who was on duty to watch the girls while I was in labor and she also headed this way.

I tried being on all fours during contractions on the bed, but it wasn’t comfortable, even when I rested my head on the bed. So I laid on my side on the bed and had a few more contractions. During one of these I felt the baby move down and started feeling an urge to push. I told Curtis as much and he called the midwife again to see if she was close, that was at 3:26. She said she was just a few minutes away. I really wanted to get in the tub so Curtis asked if I could and she said yes, so I climbed in. I had told him earlier to make sure it wasn’t too cold, as it was with Mere’s birth, so he erred on the side of hot. It was too hot though and I said so right when I got in, but once I had my legs in I couldn’t get out, so I just dropped onto my knees. He added some cold water with the hose and I had a couple more contractions in my standard position of all fours resting with my arms and head on the side of the pool. I still felt the urge to push, but kept from actively doing it.

The midwife arrived and my husband climbed in the pool to sit in front of me and hold me. I asked the midwife to check me because I didn’t feel like it could already be time to push. She checked and said listen to your body. I actually asked her if that meant it was okay to push (I wanted direct confirmation) and she said yes. So I pushed with the next few contractions and then I wanted to feel how close the baby was, which was almost crowning and still in the sack. I asked my husband where the girls were and he said his mom was trying to wake Peanut up (she’s a really deep sleeper). I told him to get them in here and he yelled to his mom that it was time now. She was finally able to get Peanut awake and they came in just a few minutes before the baby was born.

I pushed another couple times and felt the ring of fire, but pretty much pushed through it until the baby’s head was out. At this point I think the midwife saw another possible shoulder dystocia because I felt her manipulating the baby. I pushed again and the baby came out, sac still completely intact! That’s two babies born in the caul! The girls both yelled “it’s a boy!” He was born at 3:40am. My husband, with Peanut and Twig each holding onto his hand helping, cut the cord (his first time!).

I just cried and kept saying “we have a boy!” and things of that sort. He was absolutely covered in vernix, despite being two days “late.” He didn’t cry though, so the midwife told me to start rubbing his back. He let out a little cry, but still wasn’t breathing right, so the midwife stuck a tube down his throat and sucked out the excess fluid in his lungs. She later said the fluid probably didn’t come out because the birth had been so fast.

After that he started breathing better. She told me to wait to nurse until we were out of the pool just in case. I wanted to birth the placenta in the pool though, honestly just to avoid the possibility of getting my bed all gross, so I waited and held him. Once the cord stopped pulsing, I pushed out the placenta and then we got out of the tub and nursed on the bed. We finally got our boy.

Gideon James
August 21st, 2014 3:40am
9 lbs 4 oz
20.25 inches long
14 inch head circumference