Pregnancy Update – 39 Weeks

39 Weeks

For all of her hurry to be out in the world a few weeks ago it now seems that this little girl has decided she is very content to stay where she is. (I, however, have been growing a little less content with this arrangement as time goes on.)

Zoe continues to be an active baby. Sometimes, especially in the evening, it looks like I have a couple of squirrels chasing each other around and around inside my belly. I feel like I am literally about to pop.

I had really hoped she would come last week as I am uncomfortable with the doctor I’m pretty much stuck with due to our insurance situation. Last week she was away on vacation, so I did a lot of walking and tried to encourage things along. The doctor’s vacation came to an end yesterday so now I’m just hoping that when it happens it is at night on a day that my doctor is not the one on call. I do feel better about the whole situation than I did a couple of weeks ago though as we have hired a doula to be there for the birth. I met with her a couple of weekends ago and she seems like a perfect fit for our situation.

So now we just hurry up and wait. The birth plan is written and copied. The bags are all packed and sitting by the door. Zoe’s car seat is installed. My brother and his wife are now visiting ready to take care of Eli when we have to leave for the hospital. They are also spending gobs of time with him now affording me a lot of pre-labor rest. I actually napped over 4 hours over the course of the other day! My husband’s siblings are also at the ready to help out with the little feller. He’ll be having such a good time that maybe he won’t even notice that I’m gone for a couple of days.

Sitting in my very cluttered work space.

Sitting in my very cluttered work space. Not a whole lot happening here these days other than the occasional sitting. ¬†ūüôā

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Pregnancy Update- 35 Weeks

It looks like the end may be in sight a little earlier than I thought it would be. Saturday morning as we were on our way to Lowe’s to pick out the new bathroom vanity to replace the one damaged in the flood I began having contractions. I had started having what I assumed were Braxton Hicks contractions a couple of days earlier, but these ones were coming regularly every two minutes. So after a call to the doctor it was back to the hospital. Once laying down there they slowed to every ten minutes but remained regular. I was given a shot to stop them and checked to see if I had dilated (I hadn’t), before being sent home on bed rest.

On Monday I went in to see my OB and the monitor showed I was still having contractions, although I wasn’t feeling them, and had signs on a “irritable uterus”. An exam showed I had dilated a small amount over the past couple of days and that the cervix is soft. I was told that it was a few days too late to get the steriod shot to speed up lung development, and that at this point if I go into labor they won’t try to stop it. I am not on strict bed rest, as in I could go and sit on the couch if I wanted to (not that we have one in the hotel) and I can get up to do what needs doing in the bathroom.

Since then I’ve found that the contractions come back if I get up to do much of anything. Today has been the most intense day so far contraction-wise and I am now feeling pelvic pressure that is new. I’d really like little Zoe to stay inside a few more weeks, both for her own development and because I’d prefer to have a home to bring her home to, but I suppose if she begins her life post-hospital discharge in a hotel room it won’t be the end of the world and will make for a more interesting personal story in the long run.

Of course, it is entirely possible she will hang out where she’s supposed to be for a good long time still regardless of the contractions I’m experiencing now, but it seems to me that perhaps little Miss Zoe is itching to see the world!

The Bump, 33 Weeks

33 Weeks

I’ve not taken many pictures of this pregnancy, but here is one from last week. Although I feel huge and awkward I am actually so much smaller this time around than I was with Eli. The only other picture I have was taken last October when we had our family photos taken for the Christmas cards. Ironically, I felt huge and awkward then too, but when I saw the photo I realized it was all in my head. I didn’t post that picture then because I felt so silly about my own perceptions¬†ūüėČ

Eli is eagerly anticipating his little sister these days. He loves to rest his head on my belly in hopes she will give him a bit of a boxing in the ear. She often complies.

A recent conversation with him went more or less as follows… “That baby getting big? Baby coming? My friend coming soon? Baby be nice.”

Of Plague and Flood

Things have been a bit quiet here on Folk Haven for the past two weeks. That’s because they have been anything but here in our household. On January 2nd we received what I am hoping is not just a taste of what 2013 has in store for us, but rather we are just getting all of the badness out of the way at once. When I was in high school the lunch ladies had a sign posted that read “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day.” I hope our current situation is just our proverbial frog.

Let me explain… On January 2nd, I threw a load of laundry in the wash and left the house with Eli for a walk to the park to enjoy the balmy mid 60 degree temperatures. While we were still at the playground I received a call from my husband who had just arrived home to find water all over the floor. He asked me to try to pick up an extra mop from the neighbor on the way home. I envisioned arriving home to maybe an hour’s worth of clean up.

Instead there was standing water about 3/4″ deep throughout almost every room in the house. We utilized every towel as well as our mop and the neighghbor’s. My husband hauled wet personal items like the bean bag chair into the sun to dry and eventually there was nothing else that could be done immediately. I took Eli and collapsed into bed for a much needed nap.

Less than an hour later Eli and I both were abruptly awakened as he began to vomit vigorously all over himself, me, the blankets, sheets, pillows and the one bed undamaged from the flood. It was the beginning of his third and most serious bout of the stomach flu in a month. He continued to be unable to keep anything down, and to soil many pairs of pajamas and various bedding items all afternoon and throughout the night. And since there we were without clean towels for bathing or a washing machine my husband spent the evening running multiple loads through the machines at the neighborhood coin laundry while I tended to one very miserable little feller. As he huddled over the toilet the light in the bathroom died… not the lightbulb, but the light, some electrical problem in the wall. Thankfully Eli isn’t afraid of the dark as we visited the dark bathroom many a time more that night.

We quickly got a replacement washing machine and after a couple of days Eli’s flu ran it’s course. As he had already had it twice before in the previous weeks (or so we’d thought) I thought I must be immune to this particular strain of the virus. Um,.. uh… NO. By Saturday evening I was definitely the next to play hostess to the bug. I was sick and losing fluids just about every way possible all night long and by morning the resulting dehydration had led to contractions. Sunday was spent in the hospital getting IV fluids and anti nausea medications. Thankfully the contractions subsided quickly and after about half a day I was released to rest at home.

By now we were 4 days post flooding and I was beginning to smell mildew. We had been unable to dry out the carpets at all and the laminate floor in most of the house was showing damage. With everything else going on we hadn’t been able to start the process of calling the insurance. Actually, initially we had thought we were uninsured for this type of damage. Fortunately, we do have coverage and Monday morning we began the process of taking action to address the damage.

We have to replace all flooring in our house except the tile in the dining room and kitchen. Walls in the two bathrooms have to be partially replaced as well. As our condo was built pre-1980, asbestos testing had to be done before any work could be started. We found that almost all of the samples collected tested positive for asbestos, so beginning this week an abatement company will have to come in and contain each room ¬†in plastic and remove the mastic that covers the entire cement slab under our existing flooring. To allow them access to get the work done we have to pack up every room and clear it. As our insurance doesn’t cover this service we will be doing it “musical chairs” style, shifting everything from room to room until the work is finished. Obviously it will be impossible to live here while all of this is going on.

I am now dealing with all of this quite a bit better than I was a few days ago. It has been exhausting to say the least. I am in full nesting mode as I enter my 33rd week of pregnancy, but instead of getting everything ready for the baby we are packing up everything and shoving it to and fro. I sincerely doubt any more sewing for the baby will get done at this point. Eli gets more unnerved than many children by disruptions to his environment. This has all been quite challenging for him as his “house is broken”, he isn’t allowed into his room for safety’s sake, and we will soon be living away from home. We’ve been experiencing many more meltdowns that are of greater duration than we have before as he tries to regain some sense of control amidst the chaos.

I am trying to look on the positive side though. We do have insurance coverage, which is no small things as the bill for this laundry misadventure is looking to be over $10,000. This could have occurred while I was completely overcome by morning sickness, or during the time I was on bed rest. It could have occurred right when the baby was being born and we were bringing her home from the hospital. Instead this is the week that extended family is away on vacation and can offer to let us stay in their nearby condo. Another family from church has graciously offered to let us stay with them if we are still out of our home after this week. Although this has been a challenging time for Eli, it could be so much worse. I am proud of the adaptability he has shown, and in the moments when it is more challenging it is still a good learning opportunity for him in dealing with life when it is not as one would wish, and for us as we continue to hone our parenting skills. We also could have lost much more personal property than we did. Above all else, no one has been injured, and we have a home to call our own, no matter how damaged it might be.

As the old hymn says:

“When peace , like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Horatio Spafford- It Is Well with My Soul (1873)

If though this all I can only learn to better live genuinely holding the attitude described in this hymn. The story behind it is actually quite amazing (and makes my personal circumstances seem trivial indeed).

Big Butt Baby Pants

IMG_8784 In preparing for little Zoe’s arrival I’ve sewn up some of Made by Rae’s Big Butt Baby Pants. They are hopefully roomier and will make fitting the fluffy-bummed cloth diapered baby into clothing a little bit easier. I’ve liked this pattern for a long time and have enjoyed seeing the many versions of the pants made up by other people. I’ll warn you that a person could conceivably die of cuteness seeing Inder Love Folk Art’s owl version of these pants seen here, or these here (especially the red ones with the mushrooms and woodland animals on the butt). These pants look so much better with an adorable baby wearing them!

Green and Blue Big Butt Baby Pants

I tried to take the lazy woman’s approach by using sleeves off of old shirts and I think I actually created more difficulties for myself than if I had just followed the pattern exactly like a good girl. Live and learn… I know I’ll be making more of these (and at least I didn’t have to hem.) I actually even bought a few fat quarters of fabric that I thought would be cute for these pants. (If you follow this blog you know that I almost always use only reclaimed fabric. I’m cheap frugal like that.) The blue above is one of them and the rest still are waiting to be sewn up.

Striped Big Butt Baby Pants I plan on embellishing some onesies to go with these pants, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’d better not wait much longer as I’m now at 31 weeks and I know the rest of the pregnancy will go by quickly as I try to get everything done!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, jembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do, Keeping It Simple,  An Original Belle,

I Should be Mopping the Floor, The Dedicated House ,

A Round Tuit,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities , The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Kammy’s Korner,

Home Stories A to Z,  Crafty Confessions, Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination Tuesday, Take-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin, Heart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable,  Lil’ Luna, Someday Crafts, Whimsy

Wednesday, Whatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, 

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous, Diana Rambles,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands, Hello Weekend,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Pregnancy Update

The little one continues to grow steadily and is VERY active. Today we are at 27 weeks. I began bleeding a little bit on Friday though and the doctor directed me to go to the hospital. There monitoring showed that thankfully there are no contractions. I stayed¬†overnight for continued monitoring as a precaution. I am now home again, but on bedrest. Previously I had been on restricted activity, such as no heavy lifting, because of a marginal placenta previa. I had hoped it had moved by this point, but since I began bleeding that would seem not to be the case. I am now allowed to get up to use the bathroom, but shouldn’t even sit at the table to eat.

Being monitored for contractions.

Being monitored for contractions.

I was on bedrest for a month with Eli’s pregnancy as well until the partial placenta previa migrated to a safer location. It was much earlier in the pregnancy though. I’m finding it much more difficult this time around in that I now have a toddler to take care of, and it is happening¬†right in the thick of all of the Christmas preparations. I had so many projects on my sewing list between gifts I wanted to make and clothes the Eli needs now and the baby will be needing soon enough.

Yesterday I was up more than I should have been. Today, I’ve been doing a bit better, and tomorrow I’m sure I’ll do better still. It is hard to stop your life on a dime, when you weren’t expecting to need to do so just yet. When I have been up it has been to get some things organized so that I can have work to do with my hands as I rest, and to put things Eli needs where he can have more independant access to them, such as the pack of diapers down on the floor instead of up on the shelf. He has been great at fetching things for me that I need and being as helpful as a little boy can be. My husband has taken on the lion’s share of all there is to be done as well as his regular work. I am so glad he works from home these days. My sisters-in-law have also been wonderful:¬†Jacki has been¬†taking Eli back and forth to school, running out to the craft store and produce market for me, and coming to take Eli out to play; and Susan, who is an incredible cook, has sent over yummy food that we have just to heat up. At a time when I am tempted into a funk over this unwelcome development, I find I don’t have to look too far to see how truly blessed I am. Of course the most important blessing of all is that right now this baby inside me is still doing just fine.

Eli slept the entire time I was being admitted and checked out.

Eli slept the entire time I was being admitted and checked out.

I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be getting done over the the duration of Operation Bedbound. On one hand I have more time now, and now that I’m slowly figuring out my husband’s old laptop it looks like I will still have computer access. On the other, I have to see how streamlined I can make the process of photgraphing and downloading pictures, etc. Not that my photography tends to be spectacular anyway, but for now I may have to be content with flash photography with the bedspread as a background. Then there is the issue of all of the projects I had slated to accomplish and share here being mainly things that require the use of the sewing machine.¬†That, of course, remains a big no-no.

My plan thus far is to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but haven’t had the right circumstances… learn to knit and crochet! Using YouTube I’ve already learned to cast on and begin knitting. I’m about 1/3 of the way through my first washcloth! Not exactly blog-worthy eye candy, but I’m very happy about it. I hope to quickly learn other stitches and how to read patterns. Then it’ll be off to the land of all cuteness, knitted baby clothes! I’m also planning to try my hand at crocheting this baby hat. Jacki gave me this lovely crochet hook that is the perfect size for the project this morning.

My first knitting project and new crochet hook.

My first knitting project and new crochet hook.

My other focus will be sewing felt food for Eli. He will be getting a play kitchen for Christmas and will need some food to prepare in it. I think it will be a lot of fun to wade through the many felt food tutorials I’ve pinned and sew away. Maybe I’ll be able to work out and share a few tutorials of my own.

My apologies to the many people who have commented on other posts here at Folk Havenover the past few days for not responding. I read them all, and appreciated them. Now that I can use this laptop I hope to keep on top of these things a bit better again.

Reversible Bubble Pants

I’ve been doing so much sewing lately to get ready for the little girl we expect next March. ¬† Since a second, very in depth ultrasound (thanks to my “advanced maternal age”, such a lovely phrase, don’t yo think? no? me neither) confirmed that indeed she is a she, I’ve begun sewing girly stuff! (Thankfully all of the important stuff they were looking at in the ultrasound seem just fine!) She does seem to be a modest one though and really made the doctor work to determine her gender, first crossing her legs and later by covering her privates with her hand. But back to the sewing…

I posted that I’d be focusing on cloth diaper accommodating pants, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. These first couple I’m going to show you I just love. They are Reversible Bubble Pants from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated.¬†(This is the same book that gave me the pattern for the baby nightgowns.)If these won’t cover a fluffy bottom and still leave room for mobility I don’t know what would!

On the left are the 6 – 12 month side, 0 – 6 months on the right. Right now they seem huge, but babies grow so quickly. I plan to make at least one more pair in the 12 – 18 month size, and then may make second pairs in each size as well after that.

Both pairs of pants ¬†were made from cast-off knit clothing. This pair is in especially pre-loved fabric. I had a wonderful art teacher in high school who made a big difference in my life. My senior year she had a shirt that was made from fabric almost identical to the outer fabric on this pair of pants. A couple of years after graduation I found a dress in a thrift store that reminded me of her and I couldn’t help buying it. I’ve never been one to wear dresses often, but on the fairly rare occasions that I did this was my go to dress for about 6 years after that. When I pulled it out of my closet a week ago I could see it was really hopelessly out of date in style (I’ve worn it perhaps twice in the past 10 years) and had picked up a stain or two along the way. I just had never gotten rid of it due to the sentimental nature of the dress. Cutting it up to make pants for my baby though was easy! I can’t wait to see my daughter in this fabric, and have some more left over that will doubtless become other things for her to wear. (The lining fabric was from a t-shirt. I couldn’t avoid a bit of the printing on the front of the shirt which you may notice at the top of the waist band in the photo. It won’t be visible when worn though, and although these are reversible pants with all seams hidden between the two layers, I’d always want the special fabric on the outside anyway!)

And here is the rear view… Yep, plenty of room for a well padded little tookis!

Thanks for reading!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

jembellish clothes upcycling page

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds, C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities , The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Tasteful Tuesday, Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, The Kurtz Corner, I’m Topsy Turvy, Tip Junkie,

Raising 4 Princesses, The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin,

Jembellish Clothes Upcycling Project, Tuesday Baby Link Up

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable, Someday Crafts, Lil’ Luna,

Whimsy Wednesday, Whatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, Threading My Way,

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Release Me Creations, Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama, 2805,

Just Winging It

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Eli Contemplates the Baby

ruby love

Photo license CreativeCommons noncommercial use.

When I first became pregnant I didn’t talk too much about the coming baby with Eli. I didn’t want him to begin feeling resentful of his coming sibling for the loss of nursing or the fact that I wasn’t doing much of anything with him anymore. Eli was simply told that Mama was sick. I did explain a couple of times that he couldn’t leap on my stomach when I was laying down because there was a baby in there now, and my husband and I would occasionally discuss the coming baby in his presence but that was about it.

Now however, I’m feeling much better, my belly’s starting to pop, we are nearing the pregnancy halfway point and baby talk has increased exponentially. Eli is becoming quite fascinated and excited about the whole thing. At least a couple of times a day he tries to peer in my belly button to catch a glimpse of the baby.

He also frequently commands “Baby out!” complete with a sweeping hand motion like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. I explain to him that we have a long time more to wait and show with my hands that my belly will have to get bigger, and bigger, and BIGGER before the baby inside is big enough to be born. This always produces a round of giggles on his part. He thinks I’m joking… just wait, if this one is anything like he was I’ll be waddling around with what looks like an impossibly large ¬†beach ball strapped to my front before we’re done.

I’m not sure if he’s excited about the baby coming for the sake of having a sibling or because he’s been told that when the baby comes Mama’s milk will come back as well. I don’t know if he will still want to nurse by that point but right now he’s pretty keen on the idea. He’s already designated which side will be for the baby and which side will be his. As he is a polite young man, he did assign the baby’s before his own.

Because for so long I stayed home to rest while he went out to play or run errands with his Daddy now Eli asks a number of times before leaving the house “Mama too?” He loves it when we are all together. Yesterday after the usual “Mama too?” as we were preparing for a fun trip to the Barnes & Noble he asked “Baby too?” I assured him we wouldn’t be leaving the baby behind.

I asked him if he thought the baby would be a boy or a girl and with no hesitation he proclaimed her a girl. When asked what he thought her name should be he answered “Baby.”

Sewing Again… Pajama Bottoms

Please excuse the fact that my blog’s appearance may be changing fairly frequently for a little while. I’m feeling the need to tinker, but am slow and inexperienced so it may be ¬†a while before I settle upon something I absolutely love and decide to stick with.

I finally felt up to rescuing my sewing machine from beneath her 4 month layer of dust this past week as thankfully it seems that most of the morning sickness has fled! Eli has been in rather desperate need for more pajama bottoms for quite a while now. In fact I had cut out the pieces for the green pair just before I got sidetracked by early pregnancy. I’m using the pattern for the Kickin’ Back Sweats found in Sewing For Boys. (The green pants were made from a men’s t-shirt and the blue from two men’s button down shirts with incurable cases of ring around the collar. On the back side of the blue pants I used the pocket from the printed shirt as a back pocket on the light blue side.)

It turns out Eli was just fine waiting. It has been so hot lately that he’s been sleeping in shorts and, as you can see in the picture, these size 2/3 pants are still rather large on him… 4 months and pre-recent-growth-spurt ago they would have been way too huge! I’m glad they are on the large side though because I’m sure these will see him through next Spring even if he continues his incessant rapid rate of growth.

My boy is growing up in more than just stature! Whereas before he’d run away from me whenever I’d try to get him to try on something I’d just sewn for him, now he is so excited to do so. Also, he will now actually stand there and let me take his picture! No more chasing a little whirl-wind taking 237 shots just to get one that isn’t blurry of the newest Mama-made project. Best of all, as soon as I helped him pull the pants up he turned around and kissed my cheek! Really, there is no better thank you. ūüôā

And for those who’d like a sneak peak at the little one… Here she is last week at the end of her 15th week of gestation. I say “she” as the doctor was 75% sure that’s the case. It is still early to tell gender though, so I’m not getting rid of Eli’s more boyish baby clothes and any baby sewing will stay pretty gender-neutral until after a more definitive report next month (if the baby decides not to be too bashful.)

Letter to Eli, 29 Months

Dear Eli,

Oh my beautiful boy, what a challenging month this has been! I think it is safe to say that it has been the most difficult month we have experience together from both of our perspectives. And while I would give almost anything to have been able to make it easier for you, still, I’ve got to say that you have astounded me with your resilience.

Your Mama is growing you a sibling that will be born right around the time of your third birthday. Both your Daddy and I are so pleased, as we have wanted you to have a sibling’s life-long companionship from the very beginning, but weren’t completely convinced it would be possible. So many people have commented to me already that you are going to make a terrific big brother, and they are so right! You have ¬†incredible sensitivity and a heart overflowing with love for those around you. I can’t wait to see the shape that will take as you forge a relationship with your new brother or sister over the years to come.

The temporary downside of this pregnancy however is that it has come complete with all the morning sickness Mother Nature can dish out. I’m quite familiar with it as it took up residence in your poor Mama for the first 4 months of her pregnancy with you as well. We are praying it doesn’t feel as inclined to stick around quite as long this time.

This has meant a quick succession of great losses for you. As I am barely able to lift my head from the pillow for the greater part of most days you have lost a playmate. You’ve never been one to like playing by yourself, yet the best I can do now is watch you and comment on what it is you are doing as you do it. It’s just not the same. There have been no art projects or cooking sessions, no going out to visit friends in the neighborhood, few tickle sessions, and much, too much, TV.

I can no longer carry you in your beloved Ergo. Not only do I not have the energy, but as I am also usually light-headed and unsteady on my feet, the last place you should be is strapped to my body. This also means that I’m not carrying you in my arms much at all either. One good side to this though is that you are learning to cuddle. You have always craved physical contact, but unless there was nursing involved, it had to be with the one holding you standing up. Now that you will snuggle in along side me for a good cuddle while reclining it’s become a much more relaxing experience for me!

The biggest change in your life though has been that we were forced into weaning. I had always planned that you would be able to nurse as long as you felt the need. I dreamed that you would grow up with sweet memories of the time you spent feeling safe, secure and so very loved nursing in my arms. I had read up a lot on nursing through pregnancy and then nursing a toddler alongside a newborn. I know it is very possible and a wonderful experience for many that choose to go that route with their family. But for me this morning sickness is too great an obstacle. It is so very difficult for me to eat and I am losing much too much weight. Not only was I unable to take in the extra calories that are required for the pregnancy and the additional calories needed for breastfeeding, but the act of nursing itself made the nausea beyond unbearable, further decreasing my ability to eat and keep down food. Initially, we decided just to night wean as at that point the worst wave of illness generally caught me during the very early morning hours. You and Daddy moved into your room to sleep leaving mama with the “family” bedroom (and master bathroom!) to herself. It took 14 nights for you to accept the idea of sleeping without chi-chi. It broke my heart to hear you cry for me and to be unable to respond to you, but your Daddy was with you, loving and comforting you the whole time. As the morning sickness has become even worse we eventually had to stop even your daytime nursing sessions. This has also been difficult, but not nearly so much as the night weaning. You now have accepted that “chi-chi is broken” and you don’t ask anymore. I am so sorry, Little One, but please know that I sincerely tried my hardest to keep going. I would never have done this this way if I had any other choice.

But because of all of this you are learning to sleep! Most nights now you are only up once begging to eat. Other nights you sleep all the way through. Getting you down without nursing still remains a challenge. Naps only happen if Daddy takes you out in the car in the afternoon. You go down and sleep through the transfer into a stroller and your father gets a couple of hours to work on his laptop or do some reading in the air-conditioned Barnes And Noble Cafe before you wake up. At night,¬† initially you would just go an go and go until eventually you’d crash wherever you happened to be, which was often on the bathroom floor.

Now you will occasionally go down lying in bed next to one of us, or with a story in bed with Daddy, but that is still rare. Most often it still takes Daddy holding you and dancing slowly as he sings to you. You are very specific that this has to take place in a certain spot in the living room. Sometimes it feels like baby steps, but considering you were still often up six times a night just a few months back, you really have made a lot of progress. Eventually you will learn how to negotiate that release that takes you to the Land of Nod independently.

In many areas you have been becoming increasingly independent. Probably the most often heard phrases in our home these days are “Eye-yai (Eli) do!” and “My turn!” And oh the tragedy if your father or I should accidentally preform a task that you think should be yours… even if it is something you’ve never shown interest in doing before! While not always convenient this drive of yours towards independence is helping you to grow rapidly in all sorts of skill areas.

I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been letting you play with the iPad far too much to keep you entertained while I am unable to engage with you the way I always have before. You really love using YouTube. Your favorites are TuTiTu videos, episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (you don’t seem to care what language it’s in so we are hearing a lot of Eastern European cartoon voices lately), and most of all videos by Dan Zanes and Friends, especially All Around The Kitchen and House Party. You can’t watch the music without strapping on your guitar and playing along. You also now will switch between an acoustic guitar and the electric guitar as appropriate (even when playing along with music on the stereo). You think all guitars should be plugged in now so you’ve rigged up ways to attach the vacuum cleaner cord or the cord to an old Skype headset to your guitars before you begin to play.

As I am writing this to you a bit late it’s getting difficult to remember where one month ended and the next began in terms of what you’ve been doing lately. Especially since we are lacking photos this time around I think I’ll stop here. I’ll be writing to you again really soon.

Thank you for all of your patience, help and understanding this past month. I know it has been difficult but you have done a marvelous job of adjusting. I am so, so proud of you!

As always, I love you very, very, very much!

Mama

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