This week brought to you by The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I have this book audio version. If you haven’t read (or heard) it I encourage you to.

Stats:

Weeks pregnant: 18 weeks 2 days.

Weight: 188 lbs.

I drank a 12 ounce glass of milk a day (with instant breakfast) for two weeks and THAT happened (I started with the milk because I NEEDED that 20 grams of protein. Pregnant women should get 80-100 grams a day and I was getting about 40 maybe).  I’m trying not to freak out but I will admit… I’m freaking out a little bit. Because I started this pregnancy so much heavier than I am used to being (read: the biggest I’ve ever been) it’s REALLY hard for me to watch the scale climb. I know I NEED to gain weight for the health of the baby overall (or studies suggest anyway) but I wish I didn’t have to. I don’t WANT to weigh over 200 pounds, and I know it’s just a number, I do, but I don’t want to exceed it. That all being said I won’t ignore the scale because I’d rather watch and KNOW what’s happening than just put faith in my body to gain the right amount. Because let’s face it, my body likes CAKE. With the prior pregnancies I’ve gained anywhere from 30-55 pounds and my body seemed to regulate itself pretty well without me paying any attention (40 with Kelsey {started at 138}, 35  with Sean {started at 150}, 30 ish with Owen {started at 155}, 55 with Ella {started at 140, but had been 123 about two months prior, I gained that 17 pounds at Matt’s request}). I think now, a combination of my age and having been pregnant so many times, my body does different things with weight gain so I’m mindful of that.

Gain: +5 lbs total overall (that’s +2, actually 2.5 if I include the decimals, in ONE week. I hadn’t gained anything in 10 weeks so I guess I’m due to gain SOMETHING.)

Waist :  44.5 at the bellybutton

And bust/hips (just for grins and giggles): 44″ and 44″.

Average number of times I get up to pee per night: 4. FOUR.

Size of the baby bean: 9 inches. MANGO.

Weight: HALF a pound!

Other pregnancy related crap:

Emotional crap: It’s been a better week. Ella is still sleeping like crap so I’m still tired making me still emotional but I’m TRYING to not cry every time I turn around. This baby is getting real. And I’m finally starting to feel excited and not just scared of how crazy I’ll be with two little kids and three big ones.

Physical crap: My round ligament pain is up a notch this week. It’s always there but now it’s REALLY always there. Also pelvic pain and pressure. I HAVE 22 WEEKS LEFT. I’m not excited about already waddling and feeling way more pregnant than I am. But I guess being pregnant this many times will do that. Also itchy itchy belly. Ugh. Using coconut oil for that

What I want to devour: I REALLY want banana bread this week. I haven’t made it yet. Sigh.

What makes me want to hurl: not much thankfully

Supplements:  Prenatal (from trader joes). Calcium-Magnesium (with D) pills (2). Papaya enzyme for the reflux/heartburn. It is actually quite helpful. And my friend, the Prevacid.

Activity: Some bike riding. Some walking. I’m parking far from the store and trying to use my stairs more times a day (just going up for no real reason) but I’m ALREADY having a rough time moving around. And the pool is freezing. So none of that.

Boy? Or girl?: Boy. Still boy. STILL. BOY. 2 weeks.

Names: Boy: Maxwell {insert exciting middle name here} Girl: Maggie Anne. Done. Picked.

In other news: Regular kicks now. Regular like every time I sit down I can be guaranteed to feel something. Yesterday I even felt them from OUTSIDE (which is saying something considering my layer of *ahem* padding). I am SO happy to be finally feeling regular kicks. It’s funny because we seemed to have completely bipassed the wiggly, fluttery stage. It’s as if the baby just needed to be able to contact the uterine wall. Now that he (she) can he’s able to put his strength to work in there. There’s a HUGE difference in a 12 week (half an OUNCE) versus an 18 week fetus (half a POUND). SO really that makes perfect sense.

BABY PREP: Diapers WASHED. Also went to the Carter’s outlet and used a 20% off in addition to the 40% they had already marked down to buy two gowns (unisex) and hats and two sleepers (unisex and BOY) and socks (boy). It’s risky buying boy stuff but I did the same with Ella because I was SURE (I had her entire bedding set by 20 weeks because I got it on clearance at target for about 60% off). Also the few Kate Quinn things I ordered came this week. Nightgown. Blanket. Onesie. T-shirt. They are more boy than girl but could work for either. Also a good twitter friend (NEVER underestimate the power of social networking, people) is sending me some diapers (and clothes for Ella) and saving her baby boy stuff for me. Because she’s AWESOME. (and her baby was born last year in March)

Tandem nursing update (BOOBS BOOBS and more boobs. you may skip):

Things are status quo with the nursing. Ella nurses to nap or at night sometimes (if I’m putting her down, I’ve been having dad do the bedtime duty when he’s home) and occasionally during the day just to snuggle or soothe. She’s able to fall asleep without nursing now even if I put her down. I just pay her in the bed and pat her back for a few minutes. It takes a little more time but my hope is that she will at some point soon be able to just fall asleep after being laid in her bed. Her total nursing time is probably less than 15 minutes a day (keeping in mind that even when I had milk a nursing session only lasted 5-10 minutes because of my super fast letdown and presumably her very efficient suck).

 

And here’s the (bare for a change) belly photo:

 

baby baking , second trimester , tandem nursing

This post will start out looking like a sleep post but I’ll get to the point. The last two nights (not coincidentally the two nights I’ve been solo getting up with her) Ella has ended up in the sidecarred twin (‘her’ bed) in our room. It’s hard to think coherently at 1 am but for some reason I felt like moving her in our room was a night weaning failure. At some point real recently (when I was a little less exhausted maybe?) I came to the realization that having her in our room wasn’t a fail if it WORKED. Because she’s been up hourly pretty much for the last almost two weeks.Presumably this is a symptom of teething (PLEASE) because she had been sleeping ok the first few nights in her room.  Anyway in standard night, by the time I get up, soothe her back to sleep, go pee and then get myself back to sleep (which takes a while), I’m only getting 3 or 3.5 hours of sleep. This really helps explain the multiple hysterical breakdowns last week.  Anyway, she has been in there because it WORKS.

And while we’re talking about what works, let me get to the point. I know people blog about this alllll the flipping time but I’m not going to zip my blabbity lip just because I’ve read it 713 times on some other “mom” blog.

RANT COMMENCE: I call myself an attached parent because I meet the definition of attached parenting (you know, according to API). Hmpf. Whatever THAT means. We EC. We do baby led weaning (solid introduction). We co-sleep. I nurse exclusively for an extended period and do child lean weaning. We won’t circumcise. We cloth diaper. I discipline gently. BLAHBLAHBLABBITYBLAH.

But goshdammit if ANY of that should define who I AM as a parent. Because how do I REALLY parent? I parent from my gut. I parent how I feel. I parent to cope. Sometimes I parent to SURVIVE. I don’t feel like I have to constantly talk about how I parent because I’ve been parenting for 17 years and I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt I AM AWESOME constantly screw up. No. REALLY.

You know what the secret of being a good, dare I say it, GREAT, mother is? Oh. No, you say? Well let me TELL you. The secret of being a really kick ass amazing mom is knowing that YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT. I have four kids with a fifth on the way. I helped my stepfather raise my sister after my dingbat mother walked out on her. And what have I learned in 19 years? Well I’ve learned that just about the time you think you have it allllll figured out one of your kids will throw you a curveball and you’ll be like this… SHIT WHAT NOW?!?!

Your sweet little toddler who says please and thank you and shares her toys and never has a tantrum, will one day be 16 and she may very well tell you TO SHUT UP. No, really. It could happen. You may want to strangle her but you’ll recognize that being a teen is hard and you’ll take her phone and then you’ll make up. Likewise, your son who as a toddler threw a tantrum at the drop of a hat and made grocery shopping impossible and made you feel like you WANTED TO DIE? He may just very well kiss you square on the mouth right in front of his group of 13 year old hooligan friends and say, “Mom, I love you. You’re AWESOME.”  It could happen. Really. It happened to me.

Believe it or not, mothering, the most basic and encompassing of all jobs EVER, has CHANGED a lot in the last 19 years. Not the act itself but ALL the stuff attached to it. And why? I’ll tell you why. Lots of reasons but mostly…THE INTERNET. When I had my first baby there were no “mom” blogs or forums or Facebook or *gasp* TWITTER. The only way you could possibly compare yourself to any other mom was to sit face to face with her. FACE. TO. FACE.  And let me tell you, it is infinitely more difficult to feel like you’re doing a better job than someone else when you SEE the 2 hours of sleep bags under their eyes. When you know their husband is having an affair. When you know they have postpartum depression. When you know they can’t pay their bills. When you know thier son is smoking dope or their teenage daughter is pregnant. You could not feel like you were a better parent than them because the filter of the internet did not exist. And you wouldn’t say the things you can say on the internet if you had to look in their eyes when you said it.

I love all the new an awesome ways we can interact with our babies. I love baby led weaning and ec’ing and I loved babywearing and co-sleeping before they were really a “thing” but what I hate is that in SO many ways we are now made to feel guilty for doing or not doing or doing but not doing well enough all of these ‘things’. I MEAN REALLY? Shit.

Example: I EC. Well that is to say I EC by my own standards. We put Ella on the potty when she wakes (but not always) and if she needs to poop (most of the time). Otherwise she wears a (cloth, because I love the environment and I’m BETTER than all of you who don’t. Uh NOT.) DIAPER. I’d EC fulltime if I HAD time. But you know what I have 4 kids. I’m in my car two hours a day. Sometimes more. I’m at jazz festivals and football games and the store. Daily. Sometimes Ella just has to pee in her diaper. She just does. And she’s GOING TO BE FINE. The hardcore EC people would have you to think that I’m not doing well enough. Well they are welcome to come here, be 5 months pregnant, herd my chickens, feed my three dogs and two cats and fish, water the garden, do my laundry, mop my floors, help with homework and take care of my kids while I’m ALONE half the week because my husband works out of town. While they’re at it, they can rub my feet. Oh and kiss my snowy white backside.

I REFUSE to feel like I’m not doing enough. I am doing my BEST. The same thing goes for BLW. I don’t feed Ella purees but if I did, SO WHAT. She’s not going to be permanently damaged. I know this because I gave my first three kids homemade purees, with a SPOON, and they are FINE. And same goes with babywearing. I wore Ella constantly for 5 months. At five months of age she weighed more than 20 pounds. I STILL wore her because it was easier, even though it killed my back. Now I’m pregnant, she weighs 25 pounds. I have a HUGE belly. Am I going to drag her around the mall on my back just because I don’t want to look like I’m not an ATTACHED PARENT. OH.MY.GAWD. I have a STROLLER. And I USE IT.

I was talking with my friend Staci last week (and Staci has one 16 year old child, no babies anymore) and she made this astute observation. She said something like this (totally not quoting) … the thing I see the most with this whole AP attitude isn’t that more people necessarily DO those things for their kids but that there is the competition between moms *to* do those things. How right is that? What kills me is that someone OUTSIDE our community can so easily see what’s happening inside our community. As mothers we are doing the most difficult work, wouldn’t it make sense that we should be lifting each other up? And yet we belittle, berate, judge? Even in ‘friendly’ conversation there is the tone my kid is obviously better than yours or I am clearly better than you. It’s disguised sometimes as ‘information’ and ‘sharing’ but often it’s most  blatantly just mean.

I worked in a busy hospital labor and delivery unit for several years. I left because ultimately policy conflicted too much with my personal beliefs (too much intervention, too little education) but while I was there I noticed one overwhelming thing. Motherhood is universal. Be she white, black, Asian; poor, rich, middle class; intelligent, functionally illiterate; educated in every aspect of birth, not even aware where the baby comes from; the feeling is the same. ALL mothers love their babies (Ok there are some exceptions to this rule but you get what I’m saying). The one universal thing is LOVE. And I believe that while some mothers don’t mother how I mother (and sometimes that hurts my heart) I believe that they are probably usually TRYING. Probably. Usually.

Can we just accept, even if may not be true, that most mothers (at least the ones in our social circles) are TRYING? That they are mostly doing their best?That they love their children and want a good life for them? That maybe their idea of what makes you a good mother isn’t the same as your idea? Can we then take that one step further and use this amazing thing social media to uplift and encourage, to hug and support, to be THERE without being judgmental? Can we accept that even if they don’t parent at all like we do or if they parent like we do but not the same WAY we do that it doesn’t mean their kids are ruined. It just means they are different.

 

Can we? Ok great.

Because one of the other things I’ve learned in 19 years? Competitive mothering doesn’t end up doing anything positive for the kids involved. Nope. All it does is divide us when we need desperately to be united. We need each other now more than ever because this mothering thing? It’s HARD dude. Hard.

 

attached parenting , attachment parenting , mothering , OVERACHIEVERITIS , parenting

This week brought to you by three hysterical breakdowns, one sainted husband and three consecutive hours of sleep. This is a long post because I have a lot to discuss. Nursing. Weight gain. Blood sugars. Emotional breakdowns. All covered today.

Stats:

Weeks pregnant: 17 weeks. ON THE NOSE. Look at me posting on time! Woot

Weight: 186 lbs  A note on gain: After our long bike ride last week my weight popped up 3 lbs. OVERNIGHT. (This always happens when I exert myself. It’s a fluid muscle storage thing). I panicked. I didn’t think about the ride only OMG WHAT DID I EAT? anyway. I’ve done a LOT of research about weight gain in pregnancy. I feel like I should devote a post to it. Suffice it to say NO MATTER your starting BMI (even if it’s >30 which is considered “obese”, mine was 29. Do I LOOK obese? Don’t answer that.) to gain zero weight has adverse outcomes for baby. My goal is to gain 15-20 pounds. I’m probably right on track to do that.

Gain: +3 lbs total overall (I haven’t gained a pound since week 8)

Waist :  35 at the skinny (I’m going to stop including this) 44.5 at the bellybutton

And bust/hips (just for grins and giggles): 44″ and 44″.

Average number of times I get up to pee per night: every time I get woken up. Probably because I am drinking a gallon of water at night.

Size of the baby bean: 5.5 inches SWEET POTATO

Weight: 5 ounces. Whoa.

Other pregnancy related crap:

Emotional crap: I’m not going to sugar coat this week. IT SUCKED ASS. Matt was gone to a big conference in the big City and I was alone and EX.HAUS.TED (because Ella is cutting molars and therefore sleeping like CRAP) but also alone and exhausted while he was getting to have fun. And by fun I mean DRINKING ALCOHOL amd SEEING THE SHINS in concert and running in a hamster ball and staying at the awesome Hilton. I really struggled with this because it’s part of his JOB to have fun (and he works REALLY hard) and he’s not TRYING to make me miserable. It’s not his fault. Really. It just seems to happen. And I assume it’s natural for me to be envious of his getting a break while I get perpetually MORE exhausted, but to have a hysterical breakdown? THAT’S probably hormonal. I’m just guessing. In any case, that was an ugly personal moment for me crying to my husband about how UNJUST AND UNFAIR life is for me right now, but I’m sharing it with you because i want YOU to know that PREGNANCY MAKES WOMEN INSANE SOMETIMES. Totally. Batshit. Crazy. He took over night duty two nights this week with Ella and even though I woke up every time she woke up not having to GET up and stand over her bed made a HUGE difference in my energy and attitude. Not that I don’t still want a martini.

Physical crap: One word: Prevacid. I COULD NOT take it anymore. The reflux was killing me. I didn’t want to eat anything ever. Not that I’m trying to gain weight, because I’m not, but there were two days this week where I just forced food down.  Also my belleh? It’s getting big. Like in the way big. I measure about 22 weeks right now and reaching the floor is a challenge. I’m picking up a lot of crap with my toes. I cleaned behind the fridge and under it and mopped the kitchen on hands and knees. Not sure how much longer I can do that. Also. HEADACHES. Bullshit. Period. Nothing works.

Also, this week I started checking my blood sugar both fasting and 1 or 2 hours after eating. WHY? Well after careful consideration and research I decided that I didn’t feel like one snapshot (the glucose tolerance test) of my sugar after fasting and then drinking something SUPER SUGARY was enough. Nor was it accurate. With Ella I opted out of the glucose testing completely because I honestly don’t feel like it’s super accurate and I know I’m not diabetic. BUT then she was HUGE and my midwife was like wellll hey maybe we should check and I was like wellll  let me think on that. Conclusion: I would rather have a big picture of what my sugars look like than a one day image. Here’s what I’ve found. My fasting sugars run anywhere from 63-85 (70-110 is normal). Postprandial (after meals) runs 85-94 average. I had ONE reading of 113 and hour and a half after I ate a banana. Normal is < 120 1 hour after and < 105 two hours after. Anything > 140 is considered a danger zone. The diagnostic numbers are basically anything higher than 180 at one hour or 153 at 2 hours. WELL, as you can clearly see I am NOWHERE near those numbers. If anything I’m a little on the hypoglycemic side. SO take that. It looks like maybe I just make big babies anyway. That all being said, I AM going to watch what I eat. Limiting simple sugars and carbs (white flour and sugar mostly) and watching my overall gain. But this whole fear factor of OMG YOU’RE A DIABETIC? Bull. Crap.

What I want to devour: I’m not overwhelmed with any “I MUST HAVE THIS” feelings. I’m grateful. Because usually those cravings are for things I should’t eat. I did eat a whole box of Special K red berries this week though. And vinegar-y things. Pickles. Olives. Pepperocinis. YUM.

What makes me want to hurl: not much thankfully

Supplements: Red Raspberry Leaf (2 caps). I haven’t been taking this AT ALL because I can’t STAND the taste of it. Prenatal (from trader joes). Calcium-Magnesium (with D) pills (2). Papaya enzyme for the reflux/heartburn. It is actually quite helpful. And my friend, the Prevacid.

Activity: We took a long hard bike ride last weekend. HARD. With hills. It was rough. I won’t do that again. I’m doing some yoga but need to pull out the DVD to be legit I think. Right now I feel like the stretching and chasing after Ella is enough. I’ve been too damn tired to do much more.

Boy? Or girl?: Boy. Still boy. STILL. BOY. 3 weeks, people. THREE.

Names: Boy: Maxwell {insert exciting middle name here} Girl: Maggie Anne. Done. Picked.

In other news: Um not much to report. I’m obsessing about not feeling this baby move a lot. And when I can’t sit still and GET a movement I freak out and grab the doppler (twice now). He’s in there. Still 136-144 BPM. But I get paranoid. I am assuming this lack of constant kicking is a feature of the fact that my uterus is a CAVERN. I mean it’s 22 weeks huge with a 17 week fetus baby in there. As Matt put it, “He’s kicking into thin air honey.” Probably true. Still worrisome.

BABY PREP: I’m still working on the wool soakers. Bought some little socks and some newborn sized babylegs in boy-ish patterns (75% off yo). Once I know it’s a boy (or girl) I’ll get some gowns and such. Or maybe just grab some unisex stuff from Carters outlet. I sold Ella’s fuzzi bunz since we’re using the prefolds and soakers and with those proceeds was able to buy ALL the prefolds the new baby will need. Plus doublers.  No covers though. I also got two grovia AIO’s for the up to 15 pound stage. I’m planning on knitting more soakers and maybe buying a couple of velcro ones.

Tandem nursing update (BOOBS BOOBS and more boobs. you may skip):

With the milk nil our patterns have changed. Ella nurses to naps and bed (if I’m doing bed duty) and checks in during the day for a quick one or two minute session here and there. I’ve been really reflective this last couple of weeks. Losing my milk was hard. Really hard.  I felt really betrayed by my body. I WANT to nurse through this pregnancy WHY won’t my body cooperate. I felt really guilty and resentful even. I cried a lot and moaned a lot and fretted a lot. But I’ve come to a real place of peace. First: Our relationship as mother and baby has evolved into something new and different. Because there is no food involved in the nursing anymore, it’s about comfort and closeness which is sweet and special in a new way. (To those of you this weirds out… the first time I thought about “dry” nursing it seemed weird to me. Why would you continue to nurse if there is no milk? Well all I can say is that once you’re in that situation your feelings about it might change as mine have. Now I can embrace my relationship with Ella as about more than just food. I hadn’t really considered this before I was faced with it). Second: I have come to appreciate the space in my bed as she learns to sleep without nursing constantly. This hasn’t been easy for me. It felt like a real failure to be forced to night wean, but as I have said before, I do believe things happen for a reason. There is always something to be gleaned from the difficult moments in life. This is one. And with peace and reflection I can see that too. I hope she’ll be back to sleeping with Matt and I soon because we do like the family bed BUT that being said, if being in her own bed works out better for her I won’t push it. Soon enough there will be another little person there and he (or she) needs his (or her) space too.

 

And here’s the belly photo:

baby baking , pregnancy , second trimester

Well it’s Monday and I took the weekend away from the computer to enjoy my visiting sister and take a long bike ride with my hubby and Ella. But here I am ready to update you on how the last three nights have gone. If I can remember.

DAY SIX (Friday): Daddy came home from being away. My relief had arrived (I think for whatever reason I ended up doing most of the get ups anyway, probably because I was just awake first). It’s a bit of a blur now that’s Monday. She went to bed around 9 because we had been at a football game. I know she didn’t nurse all night. I know there were two periods she was up every 10-15 minutes for an hour or so. We did do cheese and meds before bed and at 1 am I changed her soppy diaper in case that was the issue. Also I repeated ibuprofen at 2:30 because I was getting frustrated with the every 10-15 minutes business. The diapers don’t seem to be an issue but she is drinking so much water than she is wetting a TON at night so I’m trying all configurations of nighttime diapers trying to keep her asleep without being saturated. Trial and error. Also trying to not give her a bunch of water but sometimes that’s the only thing that will calm her.

DAY SEVEN (Saturday): Saturday was better than Friday. Bedtime was 8 ish. I made her two eggs to eat at 6:30 because Matt and I were eating late. So she had eggs, cheese, applesauce, some yogurt and some banana for dinner. Quite a bit of food. Neither of us picked her up at all during the night. Just patting was sufficient to get her back to sleep and she didn’t have any real long periods of wakefulness so that was a bonus. She was up at 1 and 3 and 5 and couple of times in between. You can see a real every two hour pattern forming here. Definitely in her light sleep state she wakes and looks for help. We go and give it to her. I guess the next leap is for her to realize she doesn’t need help. From 5 she slept until 6:45 when dad got up with her and I got to sleep until 8. I definitely think how she eats during the day impacts the night sleep. Protein before bed is helpful.

DAY EIGHT (Sunday): Ella went to bed around 8:30. This was the first time dad has put her to bed alone. She had no booby just some rocking and patting. Note: She did NOT eat an awesome dinner. At all. She had some beans, some mandarin oranges and part of a peanut butter sandwich. I may just start feeding her eggs before bed I swear. Anyway… she slept until 10:30 but was able to get back to sleep on her own that time. At 11:30 when she woke dad went in but again was able to get to sleep with just some patting and a little water. Less than a minute. This would pretty much be the theme until 12:30. Up every 10-15. One minute of patting. Back to sleep. At this point I suggested we turn off the monitor. I absolutely cannot sleep laying there waiting to hear her cry. About every other time she is able to get herself back to sleep anyway after a few whimpers. So turning off the monitor (which comes on at every little peep, including every.flippin.train. that passes all night long) was a good call. She slept until around 4. At that point I went in and patted and gave her water (I’m not automatically offering her water. I try to pat first and if she sits back up then I offer the water. Because of aforementioned TON OF PEE). We did that a few times between 4-5:15. From 5:15 she slept until 6:50. Unheard of for her to be in bed that late (though we did have one 7:20 day last week). YAY.

 

So it’s been a week. How far have we come? A week ago Ella was in our bed from 12 or so on then kicking pinching and biting me from 2 or 3 am until we finally would get up a 5. I was sleeping very little in those hours of her restlessness and I was having to lug her with me to the bathroom to pee every time I went (so she wouldn’t fall off the bed or scream bloody murder waking up the whole house, while I was gone). Her bedtime and night routine is consistent except we’ve adding our teething regime and made sure she’s getting food before bed. She isn’t nursing at ALL anymore (at night) and last night she even went to bed without nursing (first time ever, except for once when Staci was babysitting). We went from picking her up and rocking and nursing every time she wakes, to giving her a drink and patting her back to sleep, to finally just patting (with an occasional drink), and sometimes not even having to pat at all just letting her get herself back to sleep. Her naps are consistently 1 or 2 a day (depending on how busy we are) lasting 2 + hours for the first and about 1 for the second (if she gets one). She can fairly easily get herself back to sleep about half the time (even during naps) with only a whimper or little cry out (anything more and I’m in her room in a flash). I am up about a half dozen or so times a night (though dad has done about half the waking the last two nights) but I can’t get myself BACK to sleep once I’ve been up with her so that’s a frustration. We are moving in the right direction though. It’s not HUGE leaps but small steps. The next hurdle would hopefully be just reducing the number of times she is just UP every 10-15 minutes for a couple of hours. I can’t really explain that behavior except to say maybe it’s the teeth. If it is then things should get better soon. If not then I guess we wait it out. There is really no provision in the (Jay Gordon) plan for what to do when kids wake up every 10 minutes. I mean if you’re not crying it out what is your option? You go in. You soothe without picking up and that’s all you’ve got. So that’s what we’ll keep doing.

We are all getting more sleep than we WERE (except dad who used to sleep through most of the night fussing) and moods are improved all around. I certainly miss her being in our bed though so I hope we can get back to that soon. Or maybe we never will. Maybe we will just say ok we did a year and now she’s got her own bed in her own room and the new baby arrives and sleeps in ours. I’m not sure what nighttime logistics would look like with a newborn waking and possibly waking Ella so maybe she is better off in her bed for HER sake. I never set out to co-sleep purely for my own benefit and I have even co-slept to my own detriment but if the presence of a new baby totally disrupts Ella’s sleep then she probably should stay in her own room. We have time to decide.

A month ago I was envisioning this nightmare of me going into labor in the middle of the night with Ella still nursing all night and trying to figure out how I’d nurse her all night and keep her asleep while trying to give birth. Now I know that my body will probably pick nighttime to labor (like it did with Ella) when things are still and the mother part of my brain knows all my kids are here and safe. As I’ve said, as tough as this is, having her at least partly weaned is going to make the transition from one little person monopolizing my time to two much easier. There you have it.

attachment parenting , mothering , night weaning

This week brought to you by an extra two hours of sleep and MILK. Lots of milk.

Stats:

Weeks pregnant: 15 and 5 days

Weight: 186 lbs (fluctuating from 185.2-187.0)

Gain: +3 lbs total

Waist : 34 at the skinny 44 at the bellybutton (minus one up top, plus one below)

And bust/hips (just for grins and giggles): 44″ and 44″. Soooo I’m a square. Awesome.

Average number of times I get up to pee per night: does 10 million sound like an exaggeration?

Size of the baby bean: 4-5 inches (AVOCADO)

Weight: 3-5 ounces! That’s like HALF A CUP!

Other pregnancy related crap:

Emotional crap: We’ll talk about that a little further down…

Physical crap: I don’t want to throw up all the time. Yay. But the reflux. UGH. It’s so bad.

What I want to devour: I can’t really say I’ve had ANY intense cravings. Which is actually really good news.

What makes me want to hurl: not much thankfully

Supplements: Red Raspberry Leaf (2 caps). Prenatal (from trader joes). Calcium-Magnesium (with D) pills (2). Papaya enzyme for the reflux/heartburn. It is actually quite helpful

Activity: I’ve been bike riding when I can. Usually 6-7 miles. I am going to take a leisurely walk soon just to be outside.

Boy? Or girl?: Boy. Still boy. 4 weeks, FOUR.

Names: Boy: Maxwell {insert exciting middle name here} Girl: Maggie Anne. Done. Picked.

In other news: I am really kind of alarmed that I don’t feel this baby moving. Like at all. There have been a few isolated times I *thought* I was feeling something but as soon as I stop to see, no more. Of course. I’m almost 16 weeks which is still early by most standards for fetal movement but I personally usually feel something by now (keeping in mind that the fetus weighs SO very little at this point that for it to be able to produce movement strong enough to transmit through to the uterine wall is still difficult. At 12 weeks? {When I thought I felt my first Ella wiggles…} The fetus weighs a HALF an ounce. That’s half a tablespoon. SO you can see why feeling movement that early is unusual and considered impossible by many OB’s.) Anyway. Here I sit. Reading my journal from Ella i see I wrote that I began to feel regular movement around 16 weeks. And from the outside at 19-20. Also I measure far bigger than 15.5 weeks.20-21 at this point so obviously there is plenty of room in there for the little guy to swim around without hitting the wall. Still because I’m a woman and a mother I sometimes get irrationally frightened. The other night I dreamt the baby didn’t have legs. And then last night I was SURE he must have an abnormality that causes muscle atrophy so he can’t kick at all. Yes. This is motherhood. I also have regular dreams that I forget one or more children somewhere. (As i finished writing this I got 3 good kicks from baby. Sigh)

BABY PREP: I’ve cleaned out the small dresser than used to hold my bras and underwear and socks and lingerie, it now holds baby things (currently a few t-shirts and some unisex onesies that I pulled from Ella’s stuff). This was also the small dresser I used for Sean so it’s been around. It’s only got four small drawers but I don’t suspect we will have a whole lot of stuff for this kid unless it does turn out to be a girl (and even then I just gifted all Ella’s stuff to my new niece Pippa). I’m still working on soakers. We’ve (or I’ve I guess) decided to use them with prefolds (or fitteds) exclusively. I am going to buy a couple of AIO diapers for nighttime (groVia most likely because they are all natural fibers). If money was no object I’d probably buy all groVia’s because they are quite nice but alas it is, and at $22 for the one size it’s a little rich for my blood. I listed all of Ella’s fuzzi bunz on eBay this week and once that auction ends I’ll order the dipes we need with that money. The auction should result in enough money to get them all.

Tandem nursing update (BOOBS BOOBS and more boobs. you may skip):

Well if you follow the blog you know that since the last update things have changed dramatically. My milk is all but completely gone. And I’m sad. Really. Really. Sad. This is NOT how I saw things going. Not at all. Yesterday Ella nursed before morning nap. Once in the afternoon. Once before bed. That’s it. Three times in 24 hours. I’m practicing the “offer and don’t refuse” rule but she is really just SO busy that she just isn’t interested in working for something that is just a lot of work with no milk. She likes to nurse and snuggle and she will do that every now and then but mostly. Not. She’s had a real explosion with walking and language this last week. And she is just busy. So busy. She’s always been a never sit still baby looking all around checking things out (when we go to starbucks with other moms and babies SHE is the baby that won’t sit and eat her banana. She has to crawl all over the damned place) but lately this is really magnified. And I don’t mean she walks into another room to explore and play with whatever toys might be in there. I  mean she walks in the other room, then she walks back where she came from. Then she figures out how to open the stair gate and climb the stairs. Then she’s in the bathroom. Then she’s in the boys room playing with their toys. I want so desperately somedays to contain her to one room so I can rest while she plays around me but she won’t SIT STILL AT ALL. It’s been my experience in parenting that there are two kinds of intelligent kids. There are sit still and quietly observe kids. They don’t make a lot of noise. They don’t demand constant attention. They are content to watch others. And THEN there are the Ella’s.The kids that insist on exploring their surroundings. My 13 year old was just like that. He went to bed late. Woke up early. Walked early. Talked early. Never sat still. Never took the simple answer. Poured over books. Asked a constant barrage of questions.  This is Ella. And not surprisingly, me. Anyway, I feel like while she loves to be near me and to to cuddle, she loves her momma, she’s also balancing that with being a really inquisitive kid who doesn’t WANT to sit still to nurse. Especially if there isn’t milk there.

So where does this leave us (sorry that was WAAAAY off topic)? Well I really want to tandem nurse these two babies. I want Ella to nurse until she’s two for lot of reasons but mostly because my milk is her best insurance of health right now. I also hoped that the tandeming would make the transition to having another baby a little smoother. And? I really just love the idea of nourishing them both. I know this baby is our last (for SURE) and I want to treasure his (or her) infancy but ALSO Ella’s. We opted to have another baby as soon as we did because I don’t want to be having kids into my 40’s (though there is NOTHING wrong with that, I’ve just been having babies since i was 20 and I’m tired, also I want to spend time with my awesome husband before we are 75). So I’m rushing her out of infancy I feel sometimes and I want to hang on to that a little while longer. I hope my milk (or colostrum) comes back well before the end of the pregnancy (varied from mom to mom from 20 weeks up til a week or two before birth).

In the meantime, I don’t know if she’ll wean completely before then. I hope not but what happens will happen and I’m trying hard to embrace that these things happen as the should. Of she does wean then well, it was meant to go that way, and if not well then that. Not knowing what the future holds is hard for a person like me who likes order but I really appreciate the opportunity to learn to trust that things will be as they should. It’s an exercise in patience and faith.

And here’s the belly photo:

baby baking , breastfeeding , operation Baby #5 , second trimester