Showing posts with label 2nd Baby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2nd Baby. Show all posts

Labor Anxiety

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(This was the bump about a month ago.  Yeah, I'm a lot bigger than that now.)

As most of you know, my labor and delivery with Gwen was quite an adventure.  For the first few hours it seemed to be a pretty normal labor - then within the span of 45 minutes or so I went from having contractions 12 minutes apart to being ready to push.  We live about an hour away from our hospital, and I ended up giving birth in the back of an ambulance!  You can read the full birth story here.

In general I'm not too concerned about not making it to the hospital again.  My whole labor was about 5 hours or so, and that would have been plenty of time to get to the hospital if I had left at the first contractions - the problem was that I waited until they were about 7 minutes apart to call my doctor, and by then it was too late.  If I just leave at the very start of my labor this time, I'm pretty sure I'll be fine. 

(I'm still planning on keeping some old towels and a blanket in my car for the last few weeks of my pregnancy, just in case, but I'm fairly confident that I won't have to use them.)

I've never felt overly anxious about labor and delivery in my past pregnancies.  Mostly because I was of the mindset that I'll just deal with whatever happens at the time, and I don't think about it too much.  That has been a pretty successful strategy for me, and in a lot of ways I'm doing the same thing this time.  I'm not particularly anxious about how things will go, mostly because of the push-it-to-the-back-of-my-mind technique I've perfected.

However, occasionally I'll be surprised by a little anxiety when I think back to my delivery with Gwen.  It wasn't because my experience last time was particularly painful - it was more because it was a bit traumatic in an emotional way.  When things started progressing so fast, I was scared.  When I got in the car and felt blood and got that urge to push, I was terrified.  I didn't want to have my baby in the car!  In the ambulance I was still afraid, until I decided (by necessity) that this baby just wasn't going to wait until the hospital and I pushed.

When we came home after having Gwen, I had ever-so-slight anxiety for the first couple days just walking through my house, because I was remembering.  Remembering how I fell down on my hands and knees for a contraction at the top of the stairs and realized they were down to 3 minutes apart.  Remembering going through transition while I was sitting in our room.  Remembering kneeling beside my bed and freaking out because I felt so much pressure and my mom hadn't arrived to watch Wyatt yet.  It didn't last longer than a day or two, but it was a weird experience.

This past Christmas I had anxiety because I kept having these labor flashbacks.  I really wasn't remembering the pain - I was more just remembering my emotions.

But whenever I start to feel anxious about it, other things come to mind as well.  

Such as how nice it was to have such a fast labor.  Such as how amazing Derek was through everything.  

Such as how I screamed out my prayers for the Lord to help me, and how I know He was with me then.  How He let me know when to push.  How He took care of Gwen and me so that there were no complications in the ambulance.  How we are both okay (and have a great story to tell to boot!).

And then I don't feel anxious anymore, I just feel thankful.  I know that if labor doesn't go like I expect this time (which, from past experience, it probably won't), we'll be okay - because the Lord will be with us, just as He always is.  Whatever happens.

More on specific concerns with this baby's labor and delivery, and our plan, coming up!

Update On Gwen

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(Please request to follow my photo blog and then click here to see more pictures of my sweet girl!)

Even though I'm no longer doing monthly updates for Gwen, I wanted to post on some of the things she's been up to!  It seems like so many new things have been happening with her this month.

The biggest thing is that she has learned how to stand up! On the 6th she stood up for a good 10 seconds all by herself, and then a few days later on January 9th she all of a sudden figured out how to push herself up from a sitting position to a standing position.  It was so weird because it all happened in a matter of days!  She's been standing for longer and longer periods of time - the other night I was putting the kids to bed, and I came back into the room and she was just standing there, as casual as can be!  We usually clap and tell her good job, and she gets this huge, proud grin on her face!  Then she sits down.  

Since we've been clapping so much while she's standing she learned to clap her hands, and she's really into it now - it's one of her favorite things!  She has really gotten into peekaboo, and thinks it's so fun.  The other thing she loves to do is shake her head "no".  I think she thinks it's some sort of game - I tell her no, and then she shakes her head and laughs!  She usually listens and stops doing whatever she's doing, but I'm not so sure it's from obedience as it is from distraction by "the no game".  One of these days I'll have to make sure she knows that "no" is serious, but I don't have the heart to yet.  It's too cute to watch her get excited about shaking her head.

She got another tooth in in the last few weeks!  Her upper left lateral incisor.  Also, can I just say that I love the gap between her two front baby teeth?  I think it's adorable, and so Gwen.

She has formed a serious attachment to one specific blanket.  The other day I had to wash it and she was distressed the whole day.  She would not nap until we gave it back to her.  It surprises me that she picked that blanket, because somehow I thought she would gravitate toward her softest blanket, but it has to be that one.  It's pretty cute.

She has been giving kisses more and more.  When she wants a kiss she presses her lips together (actually it's more like pressing her lower lip over her upper lip), and then she goes "mmmm".  It's so cute, and she'll do it at random times, wanting me to kiss her.  I love it!  Sometimes she'll lean in to give me a "kiss", then lean back, then do it over again - it's our little game.  I love it so much!

She  learned to say "uh-oh" on January 2nd, adding to "mama", "dada", and "dog" ("da").  She also started saying "doll", but it sounds exactly like her noise for "dog"!  I know she means doll though, because she is referring to her dolls when she says it.  "Duck" may also be a word, but it sounds like "doll and "dog" too, so I'm not sure.

She is still really into cars and rumbles her lips for a car noise, but she has also started showing an interest in her dolls!  She gets a big smile on her face when I give her one of her baby dolls, and she loves her Glow Worm (which kind of looks like a baby doll).  In fact she seems to be forming a little attachment to her Glow Worm too.  It was the only thing that calmed her down at all that day I had to wash her blanket.  I think she likes it so much because it lights up and plays music.

On Sunday the 19th she took two steps without any assistance!  I can't believe how fast she is picking this up.  It's what comes from having a big brother to keep up with I guess.  She'll be walking before I know it.

My Baby Doll girl is growing up.

Winter First Birthday Party!

 Last weekend was Gwen's first birthday party!  As I've mentioned previously, I went back and forth on themes for a while.  Having a birthday right after Christmas makes it a little tricky to me - I wanted it to be wintery and fit in with the season, but without being Christmas-y.

I finally settled on a "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things" theme!

For those of you who are not familiar with the song, it's from The Sound Of Music, and you can read the lyrics here.  

I tried to incorporate as many of the things from the song into her party as I could!  We had:

-Brown paper packages tied up with string.

-Whiskers On Kittens, Bright Copper Kettles, and Warm Woolen Mittens candles, from Yankee Candle (which I already happened to have).

-Snowflakes "that stay on my nose and eyelashes" (actually they just hung from our chandelier and her birthday banner).  I made the mosaic snowflakes with Wyatt several weeks ago.

-Sleigh bells, which I strung along with the balloons and spread onto the table for decorations.

-Schnitzel with noodles (otherwise known around here as Chicken Noodle Soup - I was just trying to think of something with noodles in it).

-Crisp Apple Strudel muffins (which I thought were going to be a disaster when the first batch flopped - thank goodness for the mason jars to make them look pretty!  I just baked them straight in the jars).

-The weather even played along and we had a "silver white winter" that will eventually melt into spring!


Overall it was a really fun and easy theme to do, and I'm really happy with the way everything turned out!  

If you have any questions about any specific elements, let me know.  Aside from Gwen's birthday banner, I made the rest of the decorations, invitations, etc.

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We had a really nice time, and Gwen especially enjoyed her birthday cupcake!  It was nice to be able to celebrate our sweet girl with our closest family and friends!


Punch recipe here.

To see cake and present pictures, head on over to my photo blog.

(If you aren't a follower of my private photo blog you'll have to request an invitation here first.)

One Year Ago

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1:01 AM.

That was the moment I first saw you.

When the contractions started the night before, I was so excited.   You were coming!  I was finally going to get to meet you, and maybe my secret wish would be fulfilled and you would be born on your daddy's birthday.

Fast-forward five hours, and I was surrounded by strange men, careening down the highway in an ambulance, bawling my eyes out and screaming in pain.  You were coming.  And this was not how I envisioned your birth.  I was terrified.

They wouldn't let your daddy ride in the back with us.  He was so worried and rode the entire way to the hospital with his neck craned, trying to see me and help me. I heard his voice between contractions.

At some point the Lord took away my fear, and I just knew.  You had to come now.   So I gave one final effort, one final scream. . .

And then you were here.  And in that moment when I looked down and saw your sweet little face, your little arms and legs curled in so tight, all the fear was gone.  I didn't remember the pain.  

You were okay.  I was okay.  You were here.  And you were so beautiful.

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It could have turned out so different, Sweet Baby, and I know Jesus was watching over both of us. 

They wanted to clean you up before I held you, but I was too impatient - I reached over and snatched you away while they were still trying to wipe you down.

I held you.  You opened your eyes and just looked at me.

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I was the most blessed woman in the world.


Today is Gwendolyn's 1st birthday.  I can't even believe it's been a year already.  She is such a blessing from the Lord, and what a joy she has been to us! 

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Her life outside the belly started off in such a dramatic way, but what I love most are the little, seemingly insignificant moments we have had together over the last year.  When she cries her rolling cry and quiets when I pick her up.  Her little chuckles.  The way she blinks her eyes hard at people when she's happy.  Little arms stretched out to me.  Her four little teeth that show when she grins.

These are the things I treasure.

I feel so blessed to have Miss Gwen Ruby as my daughter.

We love you more than we can say, Baby Girl!  May you (and your daddy!) have the happiest birthday today.


Mama and Daddy

It Is Not The Same

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If I had to pick one thing to tell moms who are expecting their second baby, I would say don't expect things to be the same with your second baby as they were with your first. 

I think most moms kind of have a handle on the idea that their second baby might be different from the first in a general sense.  They know their children might not have the same sleep habits, eating habits, personality, etc.   But I think one area where this can take moms by surprise is how they feel right after their baby is born (stick with me here).

If you were at all like me, that moment when you met your first child face-to-face lives in your memory as one of the most powerful moments of your life.  Looking at that sweet baby that you carried nine months and realizing that they are all yours - and you are responsible for their little life.  It's exciting.  It's scary.  It's new.  It's overwhelming, that rush of love and emotion that you feel.  I think some moms expect that same exact rush of emotions with the second.

In some ways, it is the same way when you meet your second child for the first time.  It is still one of the most powerful moments in your life.  The love still rushes over you.  But it's not exactly the same.  With the second, you aren't as scared.  With the second, bringing home your baby is no longer an entirely new thought - you've done this before.  You know what you are doing now.  It will be a different mix of emotions.

Will your second baby change you?  Absolutely, but not in exactly the same way as your first.  They'll change you in a different way than any subsequent babies as well.  Every child will be a little different, and that's a good thing.  It keeps you growing.

When you met your first baby, you were a brand-new mom, still trying to figure out what that meant - now you are already a mother.  You are more comfortable with this whole process.  It is different because of it, but it is no less beautiful.  

Don't put expectations on those first moments based on your experience with your first.  Meeting each new baby is a unique and powerful experience in it's own way - appreciate each first moment for what it is without the comparison.   Every time you first lay eyes on your child is indescribably and equally special.  Treasure it.

Gwendolyn At Ten Months

Miss Gwen is 10 months old!  That last month seemed to go by really fast . . .

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Lots of exciting stuff this month:

-Gwen started to "cruise" along furniture a little bit.

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(Not along furniture, but she gets around the floor pretty good too!)

-Gwen started saying the word "hi".  I know it's intentional, because she only makes that noise when someone is looking at her, or in response to someone else saying "hi" to her.  It's adorable!  She still says "mama" and "dada" too, but I can really tell "hi" is intentional (I'm not always sure about the other two).

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-She is sleeping much better.  This is exciting to me!  She actually slept 9 hours the other night.  In a row.  It was magnificent.

-This is technically in her next month, but on the 28th, she got her first tooth!  It's so weird, because I checked her gums the day before and there was nothing, and then I checked them on the 28th, and there they were!  Actually both the bottom teeth came in at the exact same time.  After months, and months of chewing on things, crying for no reason, and random, mild teething fevers, her teeth are in!  I'll miss her gummy smile, but I also can't wait to see her little grin with two little teeth showing.

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I'm not sure if I put this in her 9 month update, so I'll put it here - Gwen is about 18 pounds now (47%), and 28 3/4 inches long (85%).  Long and skinny.  Head circumference is 17 1/2 inches (65%).  She is in size 3 diapers (still haven't gone back to cloth because of that horrible rash), 12 month clothes, and size 3 shoes.  

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We've been working on learning "no", and she's actually doing really well - I'll tell her no when she is about to touch something she shouldn't or crawl somewhere she shouldn't, and she'll usually stop.  Sometimes I have to intervene, but I think this is good practice.

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She and Wyatt still have a great relationship (except the occasional tension on sharing toys), and Gwen loves her big brother.  She is always watching him to see what he's doing, smiling at him, or climbing on him (which he thinks is funny).  He's always watching her too, and making sure we don't forget her when we go places.  He likes to make her laugh, and then he laughs too and asks "Is that funny Gwen?"  Gwen also copies things Wyatt does - she already knows how to play with cars.  The other day I even caught her driving Wyatt's truck and making a "rooooom" truck sound!  Poor child needs some girls to play with, but I love that she wants to copy her big brother.  It's adorable.

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Peekaboo is still tons of fun, and she loves to give and receive kisses.  Anytime she gets attention she's happy.  Being held upside down is also one of her favorite things!  If you want to make her smile, just tip her upside down and she's all giggles!  

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The other week at the corn maze my dad was winking at Gwen, and she was trying so hard to wink back!  It ended up being more of a blink/eyelid flutter, and it was so cute!  Ever since then if she's really excited or happy about something she does that same blink/flutter.  I love it!

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She has disowned pureed baby foods, and really only wants finger foods now.  Green beans cut up into pieces are her favorite.  She ate a whole can of green beans in one day a couple weeks ago!  She also likes carrot pieces and toast torn up.  I've been too chicken to try dairy yet, but we may do little chunks of cheese in the next month or so.

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She loves bath time and gets upset when I take her out of the bathtub.  Our bedtime routine is really short - basically I give her a bottle, take her to her room and pray with her, attempt to sing her a song (she usually laughs at me or ignores me - she's just not a very musical baby, at least not right now), then I lay her down and give her a blanket.  She grabs onto the blanket with both fists, pulls it up under her chin, and sticks her thumb in her mouth with the blanket touching her face.  She won't go to sleep without it.  I think she might have picked up the blanket habit from Wyatt, and It's so cute!  By the middle of the night it's been discarded, but she'll go right down as long as she has her blanket.

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My Sweet Miss Gwen,

You are such a little doll!  I still can't get over aha t a gorgeous little baby you are.  Your hair has started to curl the longer it gets, and I love how it curls around your ears and neck.  You are so fun.  I think you would be thrilled if I could just sit and start at you and talk to you all day and I wish I could.  Your face lights up whenever we have some time with just you and me, and I love it.  I love seeing your little grin.  

I'll play with you by turning you upside down and kissing your cheeks and chin, and sometimes when I bring you right-side up again you grab my hair and give my a slobbery baby kiss back.  It's my favorite.

I still get up with you about once a night.  Usually I'll give you a bottle, change your diaper, and then just set you down on the floor and lay down and stare at you.  You stare right back at me while you are eating.  The other night when you decided you were done with your bottle you just set it aside, turned over toward me, stuck your thumb in your mouth, and you were instantly asleep.  I don't think you even woke up when I picked you up to put you back in your crib a few minutes later.  It sounds so simple to type it out, but I just fell in love with you a little more right then.  You were so relaxed and content to be right there next to me.  So peaceful.  

You melt my heart every single day, Sweet Baby.  I love you!


Gwendolyn At Nine Months

Gwendolyn is 9 months old!  That is so close to a year.  She is officially an "older" baby, and I can't believe it's been that long already!

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Right now she's in 12 month size clothes - we pretty much just skipped 9 month clothes altogether.  She's in size 3 shoes, and size 3 diapers.  We're not doing cloth diapers at the moment because she has a horrible diaper rash that I need to talk to her doctor about when I take her in for her 9 month appointment.  I'm also very curious to see how much she weighs now!

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This has been an exciting month for Miss Gwen. On September 2nd Gwen pulled up to her knees by herself!  Then just a couple weeks later, on September 17th, I came upstairs from putting Wyatt down for a nap.  I had the baby gate closed, and when I came up Gwen was standing up against the baby gate, just bawling her little eyes out!  I think she pulled to her feet and didn't know how to get back down!

 Since then she's gotten very good at getting up and down against all of our furniture though.  She's not really taking steps yet, but she loves standing (while she's holding onto something).  She looks so proud of herself when she pulls up on something.

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She has also started crawling on all fours more instead of doing her inchworm/lunge crawl.  I think the lunge crawl is on the way out.  This makes me slightly sad, but I'm glad she's learning so many new things!  

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For months Gwen has been eyeing our food whenever we sit down to eat.  She'll reach for our plates, and sometimes she watches us eat and makes a chewing motion with her mouth.  This month I started giving her more things that she can actually gnaw on, like mum mums (rice cookies), and puffs.  She loves it.  I think she feels like such a big girl when she is eating more chewable food.

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(Ignore the food smudge on the Bumbo that I clearly did not take time to clean off . . .)

She is also talking a lot more this month.  She has a lot of consonant noises now, and it's fun because she tries to copy some of the noises we make.  I taught her to say "mama" a couple months back - I'm not quite sure if she associates it with me or not, but when she's upset and she sees me she'll cry "momomomom".  Or when she is happy she'll sigh and then say "momomomom".  I love it.  Derek taught her to say "dada" the other day though, and she got it immediately - and now I have a hard time getting her to say "mama"!  Derek was just humming/singing a song to her the other day, and she started to copy the noises he was making then too.  She's definitely becoming more vocal.

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She lets us know when she's not happy - she knows how to screech.  She sometimes gives this "I'm-being-dramatic" cry, and it sounds like she's rolling her tongue while she's crying, like a vibrating noise.  The other day my dad said it was her Chewbacca cry, and I realized that's exactly what it sounds like!  It's super cute.  Ever since then when she cries like that Derek and I secretly smile at each other, because it's so funny and so Gwen.

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She is very into her toys right now.  Unfortunately she also gravitates toward anything Wyatt is currently playing with.  We're practicing sharing.

Everything, and I mean everything, goes straight into her mouth.  Wyatt's plastic toy animals?  Mouth.  Dog chew toys?  Mouth.  My necklace?  Teething toy.  Dog food?  She thinks it's people food (I've had to remember to put it up every morning or she'll eat it!).  Piece of lint?  Yummy.  I have to watch her like a hawk.  I do not remember Wyatt trying to eat everything like this girl does.

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I am happy to report that she has gotten past the wake-up-evey-two-hours phase that we suffered through last month!  I still cannot figure out what caused her to sleep so horribly.  I am just glad we're over it, and praying that she'll stay with more solid sleeping habits!  She's waking up once a night now, which is so much better.  No way am I complaining about that!

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No teeth yet.  I thought for sure a tooth was about to pop through when she wouldn't sleep all those nights, but there's nothing.  I'm just enjoying her gummy smile while it lasts!  I love gummy baby smiles, and Gwen gives huge ones!

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(This picture is blurry, but I loved her smile in it too much to not include it.)

Her personality is just so cute.  I love how she's getting to the point where she'll play with me and laugh with me.  She loves peekaboo right now!  Her new thing this month has been shaking her head back and forth (like to say "no"), and then stopping and waiting for me to laugh.  I think she's doing it on purpose to make me laugh, and it's so cute!  She loves to be dipped upside down, and she cracks up laughing!  She grins when I tilt her upside down and kiss her chin. Her newest thing is making a clicking noise with her tongue (another things Derek taught her), and she thinks it's so fun when you do it back.

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She's been giving me more baby kisses this month.  She loves to play with Wyatt.  This sounds awful, but she and Wyatt will throw their heads back against their car seats and then laugh at each other when they do it.  There is nothing I like more than hearing my babies giggling together from the back seat!  I love this age.

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My Beautiful Gwendolyn,

You are such a joy, Gwen Girl!  I can't believe you are getting so close to a year old!  You are growing so fast.

This month with you has just been fun.  

Daddy loves it when he picks you up, because you will put your hand on his shoulder and pat him with your hand.  It's so sweet.  You love your dad and I can definitely tell that you sleep better when he's home.

I love how you always have a smile for me, and how content you are just to sit or stand near me and play.  But you light up when I tickle you, or kiss you, or talk to you.  You just love our one-on-one, face-to-face time. I love it too.  You are so precious.

You've never been one to sleep in my arms much, but you've fallen asleep with me on the couch a few times this month.  I love feeling your little breaths going in and out.  You tuck your feet in and you just look so peaceful.

In one of the Anne of Green Gables books, Anne's mother writes that she loves her baby best when she's sleeping, and even better when she's awake.  That's how I feel too.  I love you awake, asleep, happy, crying, and everything in between.

Love you always, Sweet Girl.

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