Madeline Eve joined our family on September 25th. Her due date! She arrived at 10:22 a.m. and weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 19 inches long. We’re delighted she’s here but we’re all still adjusting.
A day or two after we’d come home from the hospital my mom asked me if I liked Madeline better inside or outside. And I answered very confidently outside! This might seem like an odd question with an obvious answer, but I don’t think so. When I was pregnant with Wes I was so excited to meet him. Every moment of that pregnancy was magical to me. But when he arrived, I was totally overwhelmed. I wondered what we’d done and how life could ever feel manageable again. With Madeline, I’d spent my pregnancy planning and fearful. Planning by getting things done and making lists and checking boxes and being very transactional about the whole thing. Fearful about what kind of baby she’d be, if I’d love her as much as Wes, how on earth I was going to juggle the needs of two children all day. But now she’s here and she’s completely delightful. I’m so happy to meet her and have her in our lives. I think I’m still curious about how I’m going to manage the needs to two children once I’m on my own all day, but I’m so much less fearful. It’s really nice to experience these happier feelings after the birth of a child.
Everyone told me your second child comes faster, but I had no idea how fast that could be! Madeline was fast! I really thought I’d have to be induced, and we were scheduled for an induction on the 27th. But at 4 am on the 25th I woke up to go to the bathroom and realized something was going on. I think I knew they were contractions, but I wasn’t 100% sure. Because I was induced with Wes and safe in a hospital, I just didn’t pay attention to my contractions with Wes. Other than realizing that they hurt. When Sean woke up at 5:45 my contractions still weren’t totally consistent, but I did tell him that I thought he’d have to stay home that day. He laughed a me a little bit because he knew right away that we were having a baby. I was still feeling unsure and working under that assumption that I’d be driving Wes to school in a few hours while my contractions got stronger. But I did text my parents and ask them to start driving. And did text my neighbor to ask if she could help with Wes that day. So I started to get things ready for Wes and myself, and then it was really clear we had to go. We arrived at 8:15-ish. I told everyone who would listen that I wanted an epidural. Everyone else seemed to move so slowly. I felt like we were in triage for forever and I wanted to leave and get my drugs so badly. I was 3 centimeters when we left triage. We got to the delivery room and things progressed very quickly for me. I was very uncomfortable. I screamed with my contractions. I did not expect to be a screamer but I couldn’t help it. It’s just what came out of me. The anesthesiologist had to tell someone to close the door, probably so I didn’t scare off the other ladies on the floor. I was really very loud. I told someone I had to push. They told me not to push because the doctor wasn’t there and no one knew how dilated I was. I told them again that I had to push and it was really hard to not push. Again, it seemed like everyone around me was moving so slowly. Finally a senior nurse checked me. I was at 9. The anesthesiologist had been trying to figure out what drug to give me. I did get a drug, not quite an epidural because that would have taken too long. It was so hard for me to stay still for that epidural type thing I was given. Sean told me later he didn’t think I’d be able to do it because I was so busy screaming and moving around. It was hard, but I was scared. An unmedicated birth is one of my biggest fears. But, I did pretty much labor completely drug free because almost as soon as it was in the doctor was there, I pushed three times, and Madeline hard arrived! Just about an hour and a half after we’d made it to the hospital! While I do have very fond memories of my induction for Wes, I really preferred this quick delivery!
And now we’re all pretty taken with her. It’s so fun to watch Sean be the father of a newborn again. It’s not his favorite phase, but he’s sweetly protective. If she’s crying and he’s not already in the room, it’s not long before he swoops right in and comforts her. Wes says he loves her and kisses her and hugs her and “reads” her a book every morning as I change her into her daytime clothes, but he’s putting on a brave face and is being such a trooper. The mom guilt of not enough of me for everyone all the time is pretty tough. Overall we’re happy, but still working through some of the challenges.
Whoa baby, right? Yeah, this outfit doesn’t really hide anything well. BA2 and all the extra is hanging right out there!
Aside from still being very tired some days, I actually feel great lately! It’s like my body understands that the baby is coming soon and wants to give me an extra boost of energy to help me feel okay about that. I may also have some extra energy because Wes is back in school. It’s very helpful not to be standing all morning at a playground every day. It’s nice to have the break. Other than that, it’s been a pretty uneventful week. We’re just mostly ready and waiting now. I understand I don’t get to make this call, BA2 does, but I think we still have several weeks of waiting to do.
The other day Sean came home from work with Breath Right strips. I’m one of those pregnant ladies that starts to really snore in the third trimester. Sean’s been managing it this time with ear plugs, but the other night he heard me wake myself up 3 or 4 times before he put his plugs in. “I think one of the reasons you’re so tired is because your snoring is even waking you up,” he said. So he bought me the stripes so I could hopefully sleep better. And it’s working! I wake up more refreshed! I’m still tired because I’m pregnant, but definitely more refreshed! Yay for Sean! Yay for Breath Right strips. Too bad we didn’t think about this months ago!
I was getting ready a few days after Sean made this purchase and Wes found the strips. He asked if I could help him open one, so I did. I went back to getting ready and then he comes over with the strip on his own little nose! Sean and I love this picture, so I had to share.
I wish I had taken a picture or walked you through what we took to the hospital when I was pregnant with Wes. I don’t remember everything, but I know it was ridiculous. We had three whole bags that poor Sean had to lug around, and we barely touched anything. I think he also had to shove his stuff into a corner of a bag so we didn’t end up with four. They were fairly big bags too. We didn’t touch the diapers or wipes or pads or snacks or so many of the other things the internet told me I’d want but the hospital provides. This time, I’m bringing two much smaller bags. I do have a set of clothes in my bag that I might toss out depending on when we leave and what I’m already wearing when we leave. Even with that extra set of clothes Sean can easily put his stuff in my bag. I like that for this aspect of our hospital visit with BA2 I can say been here done that and we don’t need nearly four bags of things. The rest of this hospital visit I’m sure will be very different than our first. I was swapping birth stories with friends recently and it’s amazing how different birth stories are. I wonder how BA2 will come….
It’s so interesting how 6 more weeks can seem like the shortest amount of time and the longest amount of time simultaneously. As my last trimester started I felt totally unprepared for the end of this pregnancy. But things are falling into place now. We have a plan for what to do with Wes should BA2 come suddenly, her clothes are folded and in a dresser, the books are in the book shelf, all of the essentials for at least the first few days are here at our house. There are still some things to do, but we’re in a good place now. Which is great so I have more time for naps.
As this pregnancy comes to a close I’m reminded that these are my last few weeks of just Wes and me. He’s getting a little clingy, which I think is normal based on discussions I’ve had with some of my friends. It’s really sweet. I get a lot of hugs and kisses and requests to build and play. Even when Sean is home. That’s a big deal. It makes me a little sad. Sad that I won’t be able to give him this much attention ever again, and we won’t be just Wes and me in the same away ever again. But I know that will also be a good thing.
I got over some heartburn this week. It was an easy fix and I should have Googled it sooner. Sean had to do it for me. Turns out laying down after dinner is not great when you’re pregnant. There’s not much room to digest and laying down makes it worse creating heartburn. Maybe I’m not remembering correctly, but I didn’t have any heartburn with Wes and I definitely used to lie down after dinner. I’d also been drinking a nightly glass of lemonade as my “cocktail,” and think that had something to do with it. I was pretty sad to give up the lemonade at first, but the trade off is so much better.
We went to IKEA this past weekend for a dresser and bookshelf for BA2. Sean put it all together and Wes sorta kinda helped me fold clothes and place books on the shelf. Last week I was feeling far from ready for this baby to come, but this week I’m feeling much better.
I don’t have a good excuse for week 29, but I didn’t take a picture. I did take a picture last week but haven’t written because I’m distracted. We started to potty train last week. Potty training is so emotional! I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve felt encouraged and completely discouraged. It takes up a lot of head space. I’m very tired. I’ve decided to think of it as good practice for the newborn days we’re about to head into very soon. I’m hyper aware of Wes’s input and output in a way I haven’t been in a long, long time. And we’re about 8 weeks away from that with BA2. Isn’t that unbelievable that we’re in the single digits?!
I had a Braxton Hicks contraction over the weekend during yoga. At least I think that’s what it was. I didn’t feel any of these with Wes so I don’t have a lot of experience here. I spent some time researching Braxton Hicks and freaking out that it was a sign that BA2 would arrive at 35 weeks instead of on time or later (it’s not, in case you’re unfamiliar. Just a totally normal thing that happens in pregnancy). Sean asked why I chose to focus on 35 weeks. Because it’s 2 away from full term and I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to make freezer meals. He joked with me and helped calm some of my anxieties. That even if she does come at 35 weeks and the freezer isn’t stocked, we’ll be fine. I’m still anxious about so much, because of course, but thank goodness for the balance Sean provides.
I know I skipped week 27. I forgot to take a picture. Week 27 and week 28 were so similar anyway. I’m in the 3rd trimester as of this week! I can’t believe it! This has all gone by so fast!
I’ve had a good month of time. There have been little things here and there, like some carpal tunnel and the need to waddle by the end of the day, but overall the last month has been one of the best. Despite being so hot! I have this recollection that the summer before Wes was born wasn’t so bad. I remember being mostly comfortable (temperature-wise) the whole summer. I forgot that I spent my days in cushy air conditioning. What a different world with a small child that likes to be outside. It’s amazing how hot I can get by just sitting in the sun. And, yeah, how often am I just sitting? It’s worth it though. I’ve really come to love being outside, even if I wish it were a little cooler sometimes. More importantly, it makes Wes so happy!
People ask me often if I think Wes understands he’s going to be a big brother. As much as a 2.5 year old can, I say. It is sweet the way he knows her name and sometimes kisses my belly with the intention of giving her a kiss. He sometimes includes her in his prayers at night and, when asked, says yes of course he’ll be a big helper when she comes. We’ll see about that last one. Wes really likes babies generally and it’s so sweet, but I have no doubt that our transition will be incredibly hard.
In other news this week, BA2 is starting to do that thing where she presses on me with a body part. Like she’s just trying to make sure the boundaries are real and she really can’t get out yet. Her schedule has changed. She used to move a lot in the evening but she’s more active in the morning and afternoon now. All this movement makes it more fun.
For the first time, Wes came to one of my regular doctor appointments. He came to the anatomy scan so he kept asking about whether we’d get to see her on the TV screen and if Daddy would be there. He was fascinated by the doctor and BA2’s heartbeat. And luckily everyone gave him lots of stickers and smiles.
In the elevator after our appointment there was a woman who tried to engage Wes and then said to me how much she missed the days I am in right now. I told her that I’ve been told that before and appreciate the reminder. I really do. That some days can be really hard but I also try really hard to keep this in mind. Because I do have a sense that I will miss this sweet time. This time of random kisses and hugs and “I love yous.” This time of rediscovering very ordinary things through the eyes of a small child. This time of laughter and joy. But when you’re in the trenches of parenthood it can be so, so hard to remember that these days are some of the best. I don’t believe the bad outweighs the good, but the bad days can be pretty discouraging. But I try to remember that I will miss these days just like all of the ladies in the elevators (and there are so, so many ladies in elevators missing these days it seems) remind me. Even as I fret about how I’ll work another baby into all of this. I’ll try to remember and enjoy.