Category Archives: Pregnancy

Happy Birthday, Cayia June: A Birth Story

I love love love reading birth stories. You can read Porter’s here. I’ve been writing Cayia’s birth story over and over in my head, and I’ve written bits and pieces here and there when I’ve had a few minutes, but I finally had some time to put it all together. Looking back, the whole experience seems surreal, like it didn’t actually happen to me. It’s hard to remember all the details, but I wish I could have recorded it all so I could replay it in my mind whenever I’d like. 

My due date was May 31. Even though Porter was four days late, I never thought in a million years (forgive the cliché) that I would have a June baby. I was already 2 cm dilated at my 35 week appointment. At my 37 week appointment, I was 3 cm dilated. At my 38 week appointment, I was 4 cm dilated. I know dilation doesn’t always mean anything, but the baby was already really low and I was already feeling a lot of pressure in my pelvis region. Due to all of these things, I was so confident that Baby Blythe #2 would appear sometime in May.  Of course, she proved us wrong, and decided to arrive two days after her due date.

On the evening of June 1, I started feeling a few very mild contractions. They weren’t forming a pattern, and they weren’t very painful. I went to bed feeling fine and woke up a few times throughout the night with a few more mild contractions, but I was always able to fall back to sleep.  Between 5 and 6 a.m., I woke up to some more contractions, but again they were very mild. However, they started forming a pattern (about 9-10 minutes apart) so I thought maybe I was in the beginning stages of labor. I told David what was happening and I got out of bed at 6 and jumped in the shower (just in case this was the real thing.)

I obviously couldn’t time them while I was in the shower, but by the time I got out, it seemed like they were easing up a bit. I continued to time them, and was disappointed to find that they were all over the place. While they were consistently between 30 seconds to a minute long, they were ranging anywhere from 3 and a half minutes apart to 12 minutes apart. Patterns would form, but only for short periods of time.  They were increasing in intensity, though, so I decided to get ready and eat breakfast. I knew that if I really was in labor that it would likely be my last meal for awhile.

By 7:30-8:00, I was getting really frustrated because the contractions were getting worse, but there was no consistent pattern. I was told not to go to the hospital until my contractions were 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute for an entire hour. I was worried that if I went to the hospital that they would send me away saying that I wasn’t in labor. Finally by about 8:30, I was in enough pain that David convinced me that we should just go. I was already 4 cm dilated, so I knew that my labor was likely to be a lot faster (or at least I hoped.) Plus, I knew that second births in general tended to be quicker. David said, “I’d rather us get there too early than too late.” I knew that after my labor with Porter that I wanted an epidural, and I didn’t want to miss that opportunity.  My sister was in town, so we got her situated with Porter, I hugged Porter goodbye, David packed our bags in the car, and we were on our way.

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I took this selfie with Porter right before we left.

When we arrived at the hospital around 9:00 a.m., we were immediately led to a labor room and to our surprise it was the same room that I had Porter in. Not only that, but the same doctor was on call, and we even had the same labor and delivery nurse, Tina. With Porter, I had two different nurses due to a shift change. We adored our second nurse, and we were thrilled to have Tina help us again.

I got gowned up and hooked up, but I wasn’t admitted immediately. My contractions were still all over the place and were not holding a consistent pattern. When Tina checked my cervix, I was still 4 cm, so no progress was made.  So, we decided to wait a bit to see if things progressed so that I could be admitted or if I was to be discharged and sent home.  My contractions were getting more and more painful, but they were still manageable at this point.

Around 10:30, Tina checked me again, and I was dilated to 5 cm, so it was apparent things were progressing and I was in true labor. My contractions were getting closer together, too. Around 11:00, I was officially admitted and I made my request for an epidural. Up until this point, I couldn’t have an IV and the epidural could not be ordered because it wasn’t certain whether I would be staying. Shortly after being admitted, Dr. Murphy came in to break my water, and at this point, I was around 6 cm. It was discovered that the baby had had a bowel movement in the womb (just like Porter had—which is common when babies go past their due dates) so it was determined that NICU would need to be on board when the baby was born.  Minutes after Dr. Murphy broke my water, my contractions significantly intensified and grew closer and closer together. David held my hand through each one and assured me that I was doing a good job.  As Dr. Murphy was leaving the room, she said, “Well, I think we’ll have a baby around dinner time.”

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I posted this picture to announce that I was in labor. This picture was obviously taken in between contractions, and thank goodness for Instagram filters. 

Tina started an IV, and we were told that it wouldn’t be long before I could receive the epidural.  When it had been almost an hour, and my contractions were getting more and more intense, I finally asked if I could have some pain medication administered through the IV to take the edge off.  I only had to wait a few minutes before receiving the IV pain medication, and I immediately felt some relief. It was around this time that according to David I had a “mini breakdown.” I started to think about Porter and couldn’t help but to feel bad for him. I couldn’t stop crying because I felt like Porter was going to be mad at us for giving him a sibling. I know he’s still young enough that he’ll never remember when he was an only child, but I still felt bad. David assured me that he wouldn’t be mad at us and that he would love his baby brother or sister. I also talked to my sister at some point during this mini breakdown and she, too, assured me that Porter would be fine.  Shortly after receiving the pain medication, I suddenly felt like I was going to get sick.  I felt extremely nauseous and had to slow down and control my breathing in order to prevent from throwing up.  Finally around 1:00 I received the epidural and I felt immediate relief. My Dad also showed up around this time to bring David lunch.

Around 1:30, I started to feel some pain. I thought it was weird because after receiving the epidural with Porter, I didn’t feel anything. It was enough pain that it was making me uncomfortable, so we called Tina in. She gave me a boost in the epidural (I can’t remember the official term she used). We waited for a bit to see if that would help, but the pain and pressure I was feeling just kept getting worse. Around 1:45-2:00ish, we called Tina in again. She emptied my bladder and hoped that it would relieve some of the pressure I was feeling. It didn’t really help, so she checked my cervix to discover that I was about 7cm. Throughout all this, I had a group text message going, as I was trying to keep my close friends updated. I looked back at the text message and I had sent a message at 2:06 giving my friends the update that I was at 7cm.

The next bit is kind of a blur. The pain and pressure I was feeling kept getting worse, and while I couldn’t feel my contractions, I was in quite a bit of pain. When we first arrived at the hospital, we didn’t bring our belongings up, so we sent my Dad to the car to get our camera. In the short time that my Dad was gone, we called Tina back in because with the pressure I was feeling, I just felt like something was wrong. She checked my cervix again, and said that I was already 10 cm. She said “Okay. Let’s have a baby.” She then called NICU and the doctor and told them it was go time. My Dad came back with the camera and David told him what was happening and sent him on his way.  David made a few quick calls to other family members to keep them in the loop.

At this point, some other people came into the room to prepare for the baby’s birth. One of the nurses was Taylor, a girl whom David and I went to high school with.  Taylor and I had been in contact for a few days, and I was so glad that she was going to be there for the actual birth.

During my next contraction, Tina had me push. I couldn’t feel how effective the push was, but I wasn’t very confident (as I pushed for over 2 and a half hours with Porter.) I asked her if the push did anything and she said, “Oh, yeah.” Taylor and Tina assured me that I was doing a good job, and I remember feeling grateful for their encouragement. Tina made another frantic call to NICU and the doctor and told them that they needed to get there. At my next contraction, Tina had me push again and told me that she could see “this much” of the baby’s head. She held up her two hands and formed about a four inch circle. I couldn’t believe the baby was so close. She told me that I absolutely could not push during my upcoming contractions and that “This baby was coming out.” She made one more call and told NICU and the doctor to get there now. It was difficult to not push during my contractions, as I had the extreme urge to do so. As I couldn’t push, I sent a quick text to my friends at 2:33 to announce that I was 10 cm.

Finally, Dr. Murphy showed up and she quickly scrubbed in. As another contraction was coming, we prepared to push again. I pushed three times during that contraction. After the second push, Tina yelled at me to look down. The baby’s entire head was out, and after the third push, at 2:56 p.m. the baby was completely out. Someone quickly put the baby on my chest, and my head was spinning because I couldn’t believe everything had happened so fast. Later David told me that Tina announced that the baby was a girl, and while I worried that she may have ruined it for David, David told me that just seconds before he had seen for himself. David also announced it was a girl, but I apparently didn’t hear either of them. I was so focused on looking for myself that I completely tuned out everything else around me.  

I was not surprised to see that the baby was a girl, as that is what my gut was telling me throughout my entire pregnancy. In fact, towards the end of my pregnancy, I was so convinced that it was a girl that I started referring to her as Cayia in my head. 

Someone (I don’t know who) asked if she had a name. I announced that her name was Cayia June and someone whisked her away to hand over to NICU. All I could hear was “Hi, Cayia June!” and “Happy birthday, Cayia June!” and “She’s beautiful!” I was crying and trying my best to see what they were doing, but my head was still spinning. I do remember hearing Cayia crying and I also remember seeing them suction out her nose and mouth.  David kept saying how much she looked like Porter, and I couldn’t agree more. It seemed as if they were exact clones of one another!

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Porter just minutes after birth (12/28/12)

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Cayia just minutes after birth (6/2/15)

As the NICU was taking care of Cayia, David was snapping pictures. They announced her birth weight as 7 pounds 10 ounces, which was Porter’s exact birth weight as well. Her length was measured at 20 inches (so just ¾ of an inch shy of Porter’s length.) Cayia also earned 9’s for both of her Apgar scores (just like Porter had.)

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After what seemed like forever, Taylor asked if I wanted to do “skin to skin” and I said yes. They finally brought her back over to my chest, and I tried to memorize every inch of her. I absolutely couldn’t believe she was here. While it felt like I was going to be pregnant forever, it all seemed worth it, and I couldn’t believe how much I already loved this little tiny human. When I was pregnant, I wondered how I could love someone as much as I loved Porter, but somehow, it’s possible.  

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David made a few calls, and some of our family members didn’t want to know the gender/name until they arrived at the hospital. Some family members wanted to only know the gender, but no one wanted to know the name until seeing the baby.

Within an hour and a half or so, my Mom, David’s parents, my Dad and my sister all arrived. They weren’t all there at the same time, as there was some trading off with Porter. We stayed in our labor room for a long time (Taylor was spoiling us!) and just enjoyed this beautiful new addition to our family.

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 Cayia June, we are already so in love with you! 

To read a little about Cayia’s name, go here.

 

 

What’s in My Hospital Bag for Baby #2

Now that I’m just about 38 weeks, I thought I would put together a quick “What’s in My Hospital Bag” post. My bag has been pretty much packed for about a week and a half, but I will have to throw some last minute things in there once it’s time. 

When I was pregnant with Porter, I packed way too much in my hospital bag, so I tried really hard to be picky about what made its way into my bag. There are a few items I left off the graphic, but this covers the essentials. 

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ONE: I love these maternity yoga pants from Old Navy and I’ve worn them a lot during my pregnancy. They are really comfortable and will be perfect for my hospital stay. These are currently on sale, too! 

TWO: Cheap flip flops are a must for the shower and just walking around on the cold hospital floor. I also packed some fuzzy socks, too. 

THREE: I plan on changing out of the hospital gown as soon as I can, and an open cardigan will be a must. The one I have is very similar to this one from Forever 21. 

FOUR: I packed this comfy sleep tank as a backup option. I might also wear it on my way home. 

FIVE: I plan on breastfeeding again, so a nursing tank is an absolute essential. I like these Gilligan & O’Malley tanks from Target. 

SIX: A nursing bra is a must, too. I used this Gilligan & O’Malley sleep bra from Target with Porter and I loved how soft and comfortable it was.  If you’re interested, my all time favorite nursing bra for everyday is the Bravado nursing bra. It’s worth every penny. 

SEVEN: I’ve been wearing this Merona maxi dress lately, and I decided to throw it in my bag at last second.  It will likely be hot out when we leave the hospital, and it will be nice and flowy and not restricting at all (not to mention easy to dress myself in!) It’s not maternity, so I hope to wear it post baby, too. 

EIGHT-TWELVE: I packed the normal toiletries such as a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and all that good stuff, but I also made sure to pack some other things that I didn’t think I could go without. Because I likely won’t be able to get out of bed very easily, I packed some Simple face wipes so that I could easily cleanse my face.  I know that I won’t be feeling or looking my best, but this Jouer Moisture Tint will help me feel like I look at least a little bit presentable for any visitors and eos lip balm will be nice to have on hand during labor and after. Lately I’ve been using a few drops of argan oil as my moisturizer at night and I’ve been loving the way it’s making my skin look and feel. Plus, with the dry hospital air, I know my skin will need the extra moisture.  Finally, dry shampoo will be nice to have (just in case my recovery makes it difficult to shower right away.)

THIRTEEN: When I was recovering after having Porter, one of my friends who works as a labor and delivery nurse suggested using Tucks pads and it made such a difference! This was not something that my hospital provided me (unlike that awesome mesh underwear) so I made sure to pack these, as I’ll likely need them again. 

FOURTEEN-FIFTEEN: Motherlove nipple cream is the best nipple cream I tried (and I tried several.) My hospital gave me some regular lanolin, but I didn’t care for it. I swear by Motherlove and will use it this time around as well.  Even though my milk most likely won’t come in while I’m in the hospital, I also packed some disposable nursing pads to protect my nursing bras/tanks from getting all greasy from the nipple cream. Once I get home, I will use these bamboobies nursing pads

SIXTEEN-SEVENTEEN: Baby won’t need much, and the hospital will provide all of what he/she needs during our stay, but I did pack an aden + anais muslin swaddle blanket as well as a gender neutral going home outfit. I also have a girly headband and a boy knot hat to complete the outfit (not pictured). 

EIGHTEEN: And to hold all of these goodies, I’m bringing the Holly Bag that BabyHighpants was so nice to send to me. It’s perfect for all my hospital gear, and the quality is amazing. This is the second BabyHighpants bag I’ve owned, and I couldn’t be more impressed. Right now the bag is 20% off, too! 

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Baby Blythe #2, we’re ready! 

 

Why Pregnancy Turns You Into a Toddler

I’m recycling part of an old post that I wrote when I was in my third trimester while pregnant with Porter. The original title was Why Pregnancy Turns You into a Three Year Old, but since I have a toddler, not a three year old, I thought this revision was more accurate. I’ve also added some new commentary (in italics) and some new reasons as well. 

The title of this post speaks for itself. Now that I’ve made it to third trimester, I feel knowledgeable enough to write such a post. The following are reasons why I now feel like a three year old toddler instead of a twenty-eight thirty (ugh) year old woman:

Reason #1: Pregnancy makes you feel like you could possibly pee your pants at any moment. Pregnancy makes you pee. Any pregnant woman or mother will tell you that. By the end of a woman’s pregnancy, the amount of blood in her body is almost 50% more than before getting pregnant. This extra blood and fluid is processed through the kidneys and bladder causing you to have to pee a heck of a lot more. The growing uterus also adds pressure on the bladder as well. As a teacher, I don’t get to go to the bathroom whenever I feel like it. We have ninety minute classes, so I have to wait quite awhile. Even if I go between every class during passing period, I usually have to go again within ten minutes of the next class starting. Likewise, there have been many times when I will go to the bathroom a few minutes before David and I are planning to leave the house, only to run back to the bathroom before actually walking out the door. This is still so true. I’m not sure a toddler actually feels like he is going to pee his pants, but you get the idea. 

Reason #2: You cannot eat a meal without getting food all over yourself.This is what bibs are made for, people. However, I don’t feel like it would be appropriate to go purchase a bib only to wear it myself while eating my lunch at school. (Plus, would it even fit around my neck? Probably not.) My friends may not care about the bits of food and saliva falling out of my mouth, but the new guy filling in as a maternity sub? Yeah, he probably cares. Too bad he’s seen this happen already. In fact, David will tell people that this is one of the biggest changes in me since getting pregnant (aside from my growing belly, of course). I am not a particularly messy eater, but for some reason, nothing makes it into my mouth without falling all over my face and clothing first. (Side note: This is particularly frustrating when you feel like you are starving all of the time.) I thought I was safe with this pregnancy, as it hadn’t really been a problem for me, but in the past few weeks, I’ve been having a hard time getting food to my mouth. There have been two times in the past week when I show up to my last block class with stains on my shirt from whatever I was eating that didn’t quite make it to my mouth. 

Reason #3: You cry over spilled milk. Okay, I haven’t actually cried over spilled milk, but pregnancy has made me cry over stupid, meaningless stuff. I’m not really a crier; I never have been. Even the movies that make “everyone cry” usually don’t make me tear up at all (unless we’re talking about The Notebook, because the first time I saw that, I was hyperventilating. That was circa 2004 when it came out in the theaters. Ask David for that story.) Anyway, pregnancy hormones do all sorts of crazy things to the body, and apparently making you cry is one of them. Yesterday I cried because I stepped on a hanger in the closet and it broke (true story.) I wouldn’t say this is as much of a problem for me this pregnancy, but there have been some moments when I’ve cried or gotten worked up over something that really wasn’t a big deal. Now that I have a toddler, I can attest to the fact that toddlers do cry about the smallest, most insignificant things. Porter is an expert at throwing temper tantrums and is getting good at dramatically throwing himself onto the ground (His favorite place to do this is at the entrance of Target when he realizes that I  actually expect him to sit in the cart.) 

Reason #4: You want to eat dessert before dinner. I haven’t had MANY cravings during pregnancy–I still have thirteen weeks to go, so maybe that will change–but I definitely crave SWEETS. I’ve been tempted to eat an entire batch of brownies for dinner. (Disclaimer: I’ve never actually done this.) This is really funny to me because I don’t actually remember craving sweets with Porter, but apparently I did! I am craving sweets BIG time with this pregnancy, and it’s pretty much all I want to eat. I’ve definitely spoiled my dinner a time or two. Again, now that I have experience with a toddler, this is pretty accurate. There was a night a few weeks ago when Porter refused to eat dinner and he spent a half hour crying and screaming about cake. 

Reason #5: You cannot tie or buckle your shoes by yourself. I have reached the point in my pregnancy which makes it really uncomfortable for me to bend over. One thing I took for granted pre-pregnancy? Tying my shoes. I know it seems ridiculous, but if my shoes have ties or buckles, it is absolute misery trying to get them on and tied/buckled. I often give up and then David will come and help me. He will make a good Daddy. (Side note: Can three year olds tie their own shoes? I have no idea.) Porter can take off his shoes pretty well, but he can’t put them on very well, so this is pretty accurate, too. I’ve been trying to wear a lot of slip on shoes to prevent this problem, but there are some that are still tricky to get into. 

Reason #6: You wake up in the middle of the night–sweating and in a panic–from the most horrible nightmares, and all you want is to be re-tucked into bed. Before I got pregnant, I heard a lot of people talk about pregnancy dreams, specifically nightmares. I never thought they could be that bad, but I take it all back. I still have normal dreams every once and awhile, but usually my dreams are actual nightmares. One time I even woke up yelling and crying, and didn’t calm down until David had his arms around me and was able to convince me I was dreaming. Pregnancy hormones are brutal. Why can’t I dream about rainbows and puppies and Ryan Gosling? Pregnancy dreams are so messed up. I’ve had some pretty weird dreams and I’ve definitely had some nightmares, too. While Porter can’t verbalize if/when he’s had a nightmare, there are nights when  he wakes up and he just seems scared, so I’m going to say that this one is pretty accurate, too. 

Reason #7: You constantly feel sleep deprived, which causes you to sleep like crazy or not at all. I don’t think that three year olds constantly feel sleep deprived, but they do sleep a lot, right? There will be days when I feel like I could sleep for twenty-four hours straight if someone let me. And then there are other times when I wake up in the middle of the night and for the life of me cannot fall back to sleep. Sometimes I even wake David up, so that he can snuggle me. “What’s wrong?” he’ll ask, and I’ll tell him “I can’t sleep.” When I was little, I remember waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. When I was really young, I’d wake up my parents and climb into bed with them. When I got a little older, I’d wake them up and they’d ask, “What’s wrong?” and I’d say “I can’t sleep.” I usually didn’t get the sympathy that I hoped for and was sent away with a “Go back to bed.” I am constantly tired, which I’m sure all pregnant women can say as well. As soon as I put Porter to bed, I feel ready for bed myself. I usually don’t get in bed immediately after putting him to bed, but I usually am in bed and at least reading a book within an hour or so. I do feel like napping a lot (especially on the weekends), but I’m not sure if this can be said of a toddler. Sometimes Porter takes a great nap and other times he spends an hour reciting his ABC’s and kicking the wall. 

Reason #8: Sometimes you talk and make no sense at all. I consider myself to be a pretty intelligent, competent person, but pregnancy has not made me feel that way 100% of the time. There have been many times when I’ll be talking and in the middle of my sentence, I have no idea what I’m saying. Sometimes my students have to remind me what I was talking about, and sometimes they had no idea what I was talking about in the first place. Other times I think I know what I’m talking about, yet I’ll say something totally insane and not even realize it. One weekend afternoon David and I were sitting on the couch, and this conversation took place. “Hun, why don’t you go take a nap? You are really tired.” “No, I don’t want to.” “Why not?” “I want to be able to fall asleep yesterday.” “Yesterday?” “Yes, yesterday.” I meant that I wanted to be able to fall asleep that night, but yesterday made complete sense to me at the time. There have been hundreds of conversations like this. I imagine that it’s kind of like when a three year old talks nonsense. I forget what I’m saying all the time and I know I repeat myself a lot (especially to my students) because I can’t remember if I’ve already told them whatever it is that I want to tell them. Porter definitely has a lot of garbled speech and sometimes he asks me the same question or says the same thing over and over and over again. 

Reason #9: Your bodily fluids increase (especially fluids coming from your nose). Now, I cannot actually say that three year olds have more fluids coming from their noses than the typical child or person, but they always have snotty noses, right? Well, SO DO I. I feel like I am constantly blowing my nose, because it is constantly running. I have no idea if this is actually attributed to pregnancy or not, but I noticed it quite early on and it hasn’t stopped. This has definitely not been an issue with this pregnancy, but who knows, it could have to do with the time of year, too. Porter does constantly seem to be sick, and he has a runny nose most of the time, too. 

Reason #10: People are constantly acting like your parents and checking up on you. This is definitely a good thing, and it’s nice to know that people care, but sometimes it can be pretty humorous. One time at school one of my students said to me, “Mrs. Blythe, you shouldn’t be lifting that!” What was I lifting? A stack of library books that definitely was not that heavy. My mom called me a few weeks ago while I was snacking on some chips and salsa (this HAS been one of my few cravings). Chips are obviously loud and over the phone, they are even louder. She asked what I was eating and when I told her, she said, “I hope they are low sodium chips.” I kind of ignored her comment and continued on with the conversation. A few seconds later, she said, “Well?” and I said, “Well, what?” “Are they low sodium chips?” “No, mom, and I’m a grown woman! The baby is fine!” See what I mean? Eight months ago she wouldn’t have cared about my sodium filled chips. For the most part, this hasn’t been as much of an issue this time, probably because people know I’ve done this once already. 

And now for some new reasons:

Reason #11: You want to eat the same thing all the time. This kind of goes with reason #4, but as I said, I have constantly been craving sweets. I’d be perfectly happy feasting on Lucky Charms and brownies. While Porter doesn’t necessarily want to eat sweets all the time, he definitely has his preferences. Right now, all he wants to eat are waffles (faffles) and he asks for them constantly. 

Reason #12: Sometimes you’re grumpy for no reason. My emotions seem to constantly be changing. I’ll be happy one minute and upset the  next, and I don’t even know why. Porter definitely changes his emotions at the drop of a hat, too. He’ll be fine one minute and crying the next. I swear sometimes Maggie just looks at him the wrong way and he starts crying. There are many days when I pick him up from day care and he throws a fit because he doesn’t want to leave. Once we get in the car, he’s fine and starts talking about the trees or the houses or about the fact that we’re going home and he gets to see Maggie soon. 

Reason #13: Your mind is running a million miles a minute. I feel like there are a million things on my mental to do list. Everything seems urgent and there are way too many things that I feel like need to be done RIGHT THIS SECOND.  It drives David crazy. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep because I’m too busy thinking about a million things. While I’m not sure Porter’s mind works in the exact same way, I can say that he is constantly changing his mind. He’ll ask for juice and once I get it for him, he’ll start crying and say “No! Water!” He is also notorious for asking for a specific show to watch on tv and then he’ll change his mind as soon as we start to turn it on (we have a lot of different shows recorded on DVR.) Just this morning he asked for Olivia, Piggy (Peppa Pig), Zoomi (Umizoomi), and Pirates (Jake and the Neverland Pirates) all in about four seconds. I know it’s probably bad that he knows the names of all those shows, and we do try to limit how much he watches tv, but we are guilty of letting him watch it sometimes. 

Reason #14: People are constantly making sure you’re eating enough. This wasn’t an issue for me during my pregnancy with Porter, but for some reason with this pregnancy, people LOVE to tell me that I’m too small and that I must not be eating enough. It may seem like a compliment, but it really doesn’t feel that way. My doctor assures me that I’m measuring exactly as I should be and that all is well. But, the same can be said for Porter. There are many days when he refuses to eat whole meals, and I worry that he’s not eating enough. I swear, there will be some nights when all he eats is one bite of peas and two bites of pasta for dinner.  When I talk to other toddler parents, it seems like I’m not alone in this battle. 

Reason #15: Your growing body makes it hard to find clothing that fits. As I am in the final weeks of this pregnancy, getting dressed up every day for work has started to become a challenge. We are currently experiencing the same thing with Porter. We don’t have much clothing that fits him really well right now, but I don’t want to buy more pants when in a month, it will be too warm to wear pants at all. If we knew that this baby was a boy and that we’d get to reuse all of his clothing, I wouldn’t hesitate, but since the baby could be a girl, I don’t want to buy stuff that may be worn for only a few weeks. 

Reason #16: People are always up in your business. When you’re pregnant, you get pretty used to people being all up in your business ifyouknowwhatimean.  It’s the same with a toddler. I’m constantly sniffing his butt and pulling back his pants to check his diaper. 

And because I hate publishing a post without pictures, here I am a week ago at 35 weeks!

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Big Brother and Big Sister Books: Preparing your Child for a New Baby

One of the things I’m most nervous about with baby #2 is how it will affect Porter. I know he will be a great big brother, but I’m worried about his adjustment. Porter is such a mama’s boy, and I know he’ll likely feel jealous and won’t entirely understand why I can’t give him 100% of my attention.

Porter loves books. One thing I knew I wanted to do in order to prepare Porter for his new brother or sister was to read as many “big brother” books as possible. I found some that I really like, and I do think they are helping to prepare him. He seems to understand more about the baby, and I’m hoping our transition from a family of 3 to a family of 4 will be a little easier as a result!

Big Brother and Big Sister Books

My New Baby: While this isn’t my favorite of the bunch, I still think it’s a good book to help introduce siblings to the idea of a new baby. It addresses the fact that babies eat and sleep a lot, and it even features the baby breastfeeding.  

One Special Day: A friend of mine bought me this book when we found out we were pregnant, and it’s such a sweet book!  The main character is a boy named Spencer who is strong (as a bear), wild (as a tiger), and loud (as an elephant). He’s all those things, but on one special day, the day he becomes a brother, he has to be gentle, too. It has great illustrations, and Porter likes to make all the animal noises. 

You Were the First: This book is my favorite. It made me cry the first time I read it.  I would say this book’s main goal is to  make the sibling feel special which I’m sure can be a rare feeling when there’s suddenly a new baby around.  Anyway, it leads through all of the first things that a first child gets to experience. You were the first to smile…to laugh at the dog…to coo when we sang to you…to lay your head on our shoulders…to teach us how to be parents. Then at the end of the book, it says “One day there may be a second or a third…but you will always be the first.” It’s so so sweet.

Best Ever Big Brother: Porter loves books with flaps, so I knew this would be a nice addition to our collection. It’s short and sweet and to the point, but that’s okay. It highlights the things a baby does versus the things a big brother (or sister) can do. For example, “My baby brother drinks from a bottle. But I can drink from a cup.”  There is also a Best Ever Big Sister version. 

I’m a Big Brother: This book is really cute, too. It starts with  “Someone new is at our house,” and it celebrates the excitement a big brother/sister should feel when a new baby arrives. It highlights things babies can’t do, like eat pizza or ice cream. It explains why babies cry (“Babies cry to tell us something.”)  I also like that it features the big brother helping out (and feeling proud of being a good helper.) After we read this book, Porter always says, “More brother?” because he wants to read it again. There is a I’m a Big Sister version of this book, too. 

 Happy reading! 

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