Sunday, December 19, 2010

8 months


8 months
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
Anna is fairly mobile now, but not crawling. She bum scoots everywhere. I'm surprised that my very active girl is not going forward on all fours, but she'll get up for a couple seconds then collapse onto her belly. She does a lot of whining in frustration when she wants to go somewhere. Anna is constantly squirming, bouncing, kicking. It's no wonder I rarely carry her into a store in my arms. I almost always wear her, since she's such a wiggle worm.

We're still at 2 teeth since she got them 2 months ago. I'm sure I feel a third lump on the bottom gum but it's slow coming up. She loves to lean in for what appears to be a sweet kiss and take a bite out of my chin, leg or shoulder.

One of my favourite new skills of Anna's is the pincher grasp! She can easily pick up puffs and O's and feed herself now. This girl loves to eat too. There is rarely a time where she'll spit out anything she tries or let you eat something without sharing. She sits there with her mouth open, like a baby bird. She is still very much into nursing and loves her 'num nums".

Her babyhood is flying by so fast!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Goodbye Moby

I sold my Moby Wrap today to a mom who tried another style of wrap and hated it, so I hope she'll love the Moby as much and B and I did.

I can barely remember her being this little. B loved to wear her in the Moby and I'm hoping he'll try out the Sling or Mei Tai and maybe like those too. We already know that the Ergo isn't a favorite of his, despite me loving it.

I will recommend the Moby to anyone. I just found that now that she's heavier and longer, I reach for my other carriers a lot more.

I love how excited Anna gets when I wear her. I've been doing a back carry more and more around the house. Some nights that's how dinner gets made!

I just wish I had such comfy baby wearing devices when my first two were little. I had to make due with a ring sling and Snugli.

They're only this little once. Hold them close to you. You won't look back and think, "I wish I hadn't held my baby so much."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

RA RA SHISH BOOM BAH

So Anna has babbling down now. I love listening to her talk. From Ra Ra Ra to happy screams, she's full of all sorts of noises. Even just the silent mouth movements are funny.

Anna is a pretty sensitive baby who scares easily. Daddy's sneezes make her cry. She is also a fairly light sleeper most of the time. Most of her night is spent in our bed as she's still waking up every 2-3 hours to eat.

No crawling, but she moves around by twisting and bum scooting.

I love this girl so much. She is such a joy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teeth!


Teeth!
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
Well, there haven't been huge leaps and bounds since I last posted, but one exciting thing that HAS happened, is that Anna got her first teeth! It took me surprise as I hadn't seen them in the gum before the first one broke through. I just happened to put my finger in her mouth when my friend was talking about her baby getting his first tooth and lo and behold, something sharp was in there!

The first few days of tooth #1 breaking through meant lots of nighttime eating and daytime crankiness. A couple days later tooth #2 broke through. It's been 1 1/2 weeks since they came through and they're very slowly emerging. Teething has also meant a lot of yucky diapers. Anna has become a super pooper, going about 6 times a day.

Her 6 1/2 month stats are 15 pounds, 8 oz. She's fallen to the 50% for weight now. No major growth spurt lately.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

She gets around

As per The Wonder Weeks book, Anna is certainly right on target for the 26 week milestone of "The World of Relationships". We've seen some huge shifts in her personality the past week.

Signs that she's approaching this stage?

- She may sleep poorly.


Naps are few and far between unless she's in my arms and latched on, or in the car or being worn after nursing. Bedtime has generally gotten easier though. She still wakes up after a few hours in the crib, but I'm enjoying the chance to have some "me time" after she's in bed.

- She may have "nightmares".

I've gone into her room many times when I've heard her cry out, only to see her fast alseep.

- She may become shier.

We're seeing some shyness emerge and a lot of extra fussiness. Her cry is ear piercing now.

- She may demand more attention.

She smiles away at any family member, even the cats, hoping to engage someone.

- She may always want to be with you.


She realizes that she's all alone when mommy leaves the room and has a preference to be up in my arms more and more. I have to admit I'm enjoying the cuddly baby that comes with that. I think I should start wearing her around the house more. It's hard to get much done with a baby stuck to you all the time though.

- She may lose her appetite.

Solids are coming along great. We try and offer mostly squished up table food. I have a few purees on hand for when I'm lazy. There has been very little gagging, which surprises me, given her very senstive gag reflex as an infant. Come to think of it though, she lost that at about 4 months or so. So far there has been no foods she's flat out rejected. She's drinking water from a straw cup now too and still loves to nurse.

- She may be listless.

I' ve caught her just staring off into space sometimes. It's wierd to see a baby do that, even though I do it all the time!

- She may refuse to have her diaper changed.

She's super wiggly now.

- She may reach for a cuddly object more often.

I saw her snuggle with a blanket for the first time and start chewing on it, yesterday.

Other exciting developments:

She is figuring out how to coordinate her arms and legs more and more to move her body around. I wouldn't be surprised if she starts to commando crawl soon. She is happiest on her belly where she can move her arms to spin her body around and to pull the blanket closer to bring a toy into her reach.

She sits well at times but I still tend to keep her sitting up time to the carpeted rooms. Her core strength is coming along and sometimes she can lean forward to reach for a toy then bring herelf upright again.

She lunges from my arms on the couch towards the remote. She's grabbing at everything in my hands. Daddy's glasses on his face are a favorite target.

I can't say I miss the newborn stage at all. I'm loving it more and more the older she gets.

Monday, September 27, 2010

First finger food


First finger food
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
Well, Anna is 5 1/2 months old now and just over a week ago, we decided to see if she was interested in solid food. I hadn't planned to until she was 6 months old, but what the heck.

Applesauce was a hit, especially if she could guide the spoon to her mouth. So we went out and bought a booster chair and put her at the table at dinner time. Next came sweet potatoes which she loved to feed herself. Broccoli was ok. Oatmeal cereal mostly came back out. Bananas were yummy. Bananas with chicken mixed in...not so much.

After we started sharing our dinner with her for a few nights, I deicded to skip a night and see if she was happy to just play in her seat while we ate. Big mistake. She got mad! That's when I shared my broccoli with her.

I forgot just how much it sucks cleaning baby and seat up after a meal though. Our booster seat certainly isn't conducive to easy cleaning. If I ever see that Ikea highchair come back in stock, I'm grabbing it.

Sitting up still isn't consistent, but we practice a bit each day. She's really starting to roll, inch worm on her back and reach for things out of her reach.

This past week she's had her first major cold. It hasn't made her too miserable, just wanting lots of nursing and cuddles. Needless to say, I'm tired out each night. We've also kept her in our bed all night while she's not feeling well so I haven't been sleeping well. When Blake gave me an hour of sleep in time, without her in bed, on the weekend, it was glorious.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Feeding the pantry


Preserves
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
This is my 3rd year canning. We did peaches. tomatoes. tomato sauce, salsa, pickled beets, strawberry jam and applesauce.

As well, we froze corn, salmon, beans, blueberries, strawberries, 2 pies and 2 pie crusts. I also want to freeze some cookie dough.

Creativity is coming back

It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally feeling inspired to sit down in my craft room and actually produce work!

Click on the picture to see more new scrapbooking layouts in my "crafts" set on flickr.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I love her more everyday

Anna is now an interactive almost 5 month old who smiles, squeals and giggles. She reaches for things out of reach. She stares intently at things, studying them. She touches items, taking in the new sensations. She plays "shy" when someone smiles at her. She laughs and buries her head into my shoulder. She pulls everything into her mouth for a taste.

Still a bit difficult at naptime but we're seeing improvements at night time. Not that getting her to bed at night was difficult, but I wanted to get her sleeping in her own crib and wanted to see if she could sleep through the night. So far I'm nursing her to sleep laying in our bed then transferring her to the crib. She has a strong preference for nursing to sleep laying down when she's tired, even at nap time. I get to stay up after she goes to bed now and that's pretty cool. Even if she does wake up shortly after I've put her down, I've been getting her back to sleep with belly rubs in the crib. The sleeping through the night thing seems to be a long ways away still, but she is staying in the crib until her first wake up which seems to be about midnight.

Sitting up is coming along slowly. We practice once in a while and she's getting stronger. Some days she's rolling onto her tummy like crazy. Other days she's focusing more on noises and is content to lay on her back. Most of the 'lifesavers' of the newborn days have been put away. (The swing, bouncy seat, activity mat and lay under toys.) She alternates her play time between the floor, exersaucer and chair. We've moved up to size 3 diapers. The 4 months shots were taken well, just like the 2 month ones. She was 14 pounds, 5 ounces at her 4 1/2 month weight in and 25 inches long. This week we're even planning to move her into the next car seat (Graco My Ride 65) as the infant seat is too heavy to lug around and I have someone who could use it in December anyways. Now we just have to get the Ikea highchair to come back in stock and she'll be sitting at table level with us at mealtimes and not on the floor.

Everyday is more exciting and rewarding.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

4 months old


4 months old
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
Each month is getting more fun.

Anna now laughs more spontaneously, especially for Daddy and siblings. She is testing out her voice more and more and is especially chatty in the car. She looks in her mirror on the seat headrest and "AAaahhhhs" to herself.

Her feet are her new favourite toy and when I lay her on the floor to play she's either grabbing them right away or rolling over onto her tummy. Even though she learned front to back roll first, she won't roll back to tummy to back again.

Night time sleeping is pretty good. She sleeps some decent stretches and when she does eat, she barely wakes, latches then we go back to sleep. I've been thinking of transitioning her to her crib so Daddy can get a better nights' sleep. She gets her limbs stuck in the crib rungs sometimes though, so we'll test out some nighttime crib sleeping and see how that goes.

Naps are getting better and most days she will go down for a couple 1 hour naps in her crib/carseat/swing seat that converts to rocking chair.

She is 14 pounds now. The weight gain has slowed down lot.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Feel the burn


IMG_0322
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
Today Anna and I hiked up the hill above Jackson Farm to enjoy the beautiful view of the lower mainland. We went along with new friends Michelle and Ryan and their baby Charlotte and their dogs. It was a bit of an uphill grunt in places, but once we arrived at the clearing at the top of the hill, the view was worth it. We spread out a blanket and ate lunch then the thunder started. The dogs got nervous. We ate a bit faster. The raindrops started. Quickly packed up and headed into the woods to sit out the heavy rain as long as we could. Fed our wee ones on a fallen log with the occasional raindrop falling on us then headed back down the trail for tea and snacks back at Michelle's. Anna got to try out Charlotte's Bumbo and sat well in it happily for a while. It was a good day and now Anna is sleeping.

This was the second time Anna and I have been caught in the downpour while hiking. At least when I'm wearing her she stays fairly dry.

Feel the burn

Today Anna and I hiked up the hill above Jackson Farm to enjoy the beautiful view of the lower mainland. We went along with new friends Michelle and Ryan and their baby Charlotte and their dogs. It was a bit of an uphill grunt in places, but once we arrived at the clearing at the top of the hill, the view was worth it. We spread out a blanket and ate lunch then the thunder started. The dogs got nervous. We ate a bit faster. The raindrops started. Quickly packed up and headed into the woods to sit out the heavy rain as long as we could. Fed our wee ones on a fallen log with the occasional raindrop falling on us then headed back down the trail for tea and snacks back at Michelle's. Anna got to try out Charlotte's Bumbo and sat well in it happily for a while. It was a good day and now Anna is sleeping.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baby Wearing

I recently passed this info on to my cousin, considering her baby wearing options, so I thought I'd blog it too.

Alright, so I have the Moby, Babyhawk and Ergo. Here are my reviews on how they work for me in the 3 1/2 months I've had Anna.

Moby: Very comfy but warm. Takes a bit to get used to wrappng it. Cheapest carrier I own at $60. I love it and Anna would always fall asleep in it. A few different ways to carry baby in it. I tend to wear Anna in lotus position now that she wants to look out, unless she's tired then I face her towards me. Blake's favorite carrier is the moby, if it's cool out.

http://www.mobywrap.com/

Babyhawk Mei Tai: Very easy to use. When baby is little you froggy their legs in it. Can start to hurt your back after long use. A bit pricey at around $100 (I got mine on sale). Anna has disliked this one for a while but seems to be getting a bit happier in it now that she's getting taller and can see out the side. It soft and there's no buckles to worry about. Can wear baby on back.

http://www.babyhawk.com/

Ergo: Anna is getting big enough for me to feel more comfortable to put her in this. Another pricey one (about $130) but way more comfortable to use then snugli or baby bjorn. Baby cannot face out in this one though. Can wear baby on back. A lot of moms love the ergo. I never used it when she was little as I felt she seemed 'lost' in it, but you can get an 'infant insert' to make it safe for little babies. Baby is 'skin to skin' in this carrier and there is no 'pouch' that baby goes in like with traditional baby caririers.

http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/

A friend offered to let me try her maya ring sling now that Anna is happiest being worn when she can look around, but I didn't want to fall in love with another carrier when I've already spent enough. I used a ring sling a bit with the other kids and while I loved it for hands free nursing, it gets hard on your shoulder.

I'm in love with wearing her and feel a bit sad that she's liking the stroller more and more now that she's more aware of the world around her. I hope to try some back carries once she's a bit bigger.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/23956689@N04/sets/72157624606379248/

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mover and shaker

Anna is getting more and more mobile. She loves floor time and is really into rolling over now. Thankfully she just does one rotation so far! Toys are starting to make their way into her hands and mouth. She getting so big *sniff*. She "talks" a little, but not all day long. Laughs mostly come with tickles. I see her as an independant, kinda reserved girl. She will smile for strangers though.

We love meeting up with our new friends. I've gotten to know 4 moms, 3 of whom have babies around Anna's age. It's a lot of fun to get together and chat while the babies interact with each other.

So, that sleep routine? Only lasted the one night. Bedtime is still all over the place, but I'm not sweating it. I do wish I could figure out the secret to getting her to nap in the crib for at least 45 min increments, but I suppose that will come. I hate having a screaming banshee on my hands every morning about 2 hours after she wakes up for the day. She just has to release before she settles down and is ready to nurse for her first nap.

I weighed her on monday and she's 13 pounds 10 ounces now. Hip ultrasound is on friday.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sleep, part 2

So I dream fed her briefly at 9pm when she started stirring and thrashing around, then went down and watched TV and when I came to bed at 11 she was stirring, so I dream fed her again and she didn't wake to eat until 4:40 and got up for the day at 6:15. She started getting cranky at 8:30 and I nursed, then attempted to put her in the crib but she fussed so tried nursing again and put her in the crib. She woke and fussed a little but is now napping in the crib!

So far so good!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sleep routine

I picked up The No Cry Sleep Solution from the library with hopes to start a sleep routine that doesn't always rely on mommy nursing baby to sleep and eventually heading towards less frequent night nursing (which I think is just twice nightly now) and easier day napping.

So tonight, instead of waiting until she got super cranky around 7:30-8:00 and both of us heading to bed for the night, I started getting her ready for bed at 6:30 when she started to fuss. She had not had an afternoon nap today. We got changed and I tried reading her a book in the chair upstairs but she fussed and squirmed so I took her to bed and nursed her. Snuck away and she woke up at 7:15 so I responded quickly before she fully awoke and nursed again. I snuck away and read my book in the chair. When she stirred again after a few minutes, I went to her and rubbed her belly, saying "shhh, night, night " and she went back to sleep.

It's now 8pm so I'll come back with an update on how the rest of the night goes.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

So strong!


IMG_0225
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
In the past couple weeks Anna has gotten stronger in leaps and bounds! Last week she weighed in at 13 pounds and around 24 inches. Yesterday I had the first shirt that I couldn't get over her big ole head.

Just days before she turned 3 months she rolled from front to back and mostly from back to front (her arm gets stuck under her). She laughs but saves most of that for tickle times. One of my favorite things to do is lay her on my lap and 'feed her toes to her'. She giggles away.

No longer satisfied to sit, she thrusts her legs out and stands up. I'm going to get the exersaucer cleaned up so she can start trying short periods of time in it.

This morning her crib aquarium kept turning off and on while she played in there during my shower. I found her turned nearly 45 degrees and kicking the music button with her foot. We're getting the occasional accidental hitting of her musical toys with her hands and feet now.

I noticed today that now that she's scooting and squirming while on her back, a small bald spot has developed. I was wondering when that would come! Still has a mild case of cradle cap on her head that isn't too noticeable so I'm mostly leaving it alone.

Everyone says she looks a lot like Blake. She also has bits of Blake's son and my daughter. He was wondering out loud this morning what she'll look like when she's a big kid. It's funny how it's hard to project what they'll look like in the future, but it's easy to look back on newborn photos of the big kids and easily recognize them.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2 months 3 wks


2 months 3 wks
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
I can't believe that Anna will be 3 months old on the 11th. Time flies!

I'm still trying to figure a lot of her out, read her cues. She's got this whiny tired cry now that's pretty cute. But when she's cranky and tired, she fights sleep and will not nurse until she decides she's ready to. It's so frustrating.

Cooing and smiling are a regular part of her day now. When happy and content, she'll hang out on her play mat or in her crib, watching her mobile, for ages.

Fist chewing and drooling are her favorite activities, as well as staring at her toes. She gets up onto her side so maybe rolling will be her next big skill.

You know how people often say that the baby just felt like they were always part of their family? I haven't reached that point yet. Maybe it's because of the 10 year age gap since my last child and I've grown accustomed to not having a little one dependent on me all the time. I look at her sometimes and STILL can't believe I'm a mom to a beautiful little baby again.

The kids are super helpful with her and love their little sister. I wonder how the tide will turn once she's getting into their stuff!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Getting my craft mojo back

Today baby was patient enough, over the course of the day, to let me finish 4 layouts that I had previously started while pregnant.

I'm getting back into wanting to craft with my free time and it feels good!

Here's a sample:



Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day


IMG_9705
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
I have 2 amazing Fathers in my life.

My dad, Murray who I have lots of fun childhood memories with. Fishing, gardening, goofiness, gentleness, laid-back, silly-stories. That's what I think of when I think of my Dad. I love seeing him spend the same type of time with my own kids and be the awesome grandpa that he is.

Then there's my husband, Blake, who attracted me with his patient, competent, confident ways as a dad. Even though we have both been raising our own kids for 10+ years and step-parenting each other's children, I am excited to be parenting one of our own together and see where this journey takes us.

This is a quick Father's Day project I was able to do in about an hours' time. My Quickutz Silhouette cut out the shapes for the kids to make cards with and the iron-on image to make a onesie for Anna. I embellished the photo frame with a scrapbooking rub-on.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Predictions

Since Anna prefers her right hand to suck on, Blake predicts that Anna will be right handed. Statistically speaking she probably will, but it would be neat for both my girls to be lefties like me.

We both think that her eyes will turn brown. My step-son is the only brown-eyed person in our family. We took out step-son's baby pics and Anna does resemble him in the eyes.

Today she had her vaccinations and her 12 pound weight is 75%, just uner 22 inch length is 25% and her 42cm head is 95%! She's gained over 4 pounds, 2 inches and 7cm in the head since birth.

There's still so much I don't know about her. I know she loves to be snuggled up close to me in our carriers. She's not too fond of the stroller or getting buckled into the carseat. She falls asleep easily in the car. She loves baths and getting naked for diaper changes. Oh how I look forward to the adventure ahead of us.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

2 Months Old


Anna 2 months
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
At our final midwife visit Anna was 8wks old and weighed 11 pounds 7 oz.

She is morphing from the floppy newborn who just cries, poops, sleeps and eats to a less floppy 2 month old who follows us with her eyes, turns when she hears our voice and smiles at us. She likes to lay on her play mat and kick her legs and wave her arms.

I added to my baby wearing collection on the weekend and scored a new Babyhawk Mei Tai on sale for 40% off!

It still feels like she is a non-stop eating machine but that's ok. It makes me stop, relax and enjoy her.

I'm feeling great and usually just get tired by dinner time. I'm even 5 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight now and look forward to getting a pair of zip up pants! That shopping trip will have to wait until hubby is available and can help with baby. I tried it alone and failed.

Naps aren't coming as easily now and she gets really cranky when she's tired and needs help to fall asleep. That's why I love car rides. It's a no-effort nap inducer!

I feel so busy now that I'm home with baby, but it does make the day go faster when we have errands to run. Our town has lots of mommy/baby activities to particpate in.

On the weekend we went on a short trip to see my big girl dance. I was so proud to see her up on stage. My boy and I watched with baby, who was thankfully very good through the performance.

This weekend we celebrate my boy's 10th birthday with golf and icecream cake!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

6wks


6wks
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
I'm finally forcing myself to sit down and post while Anna naps, instead of doing housework.

At 5wks she weighed in at 10lbs 1 oz and had a 600gram weight gain since her weigh in 2wks previous. NB and 0-3 month stuff has been outgrown.

The evening crankies are a usual event that the kids have grown used to. The crying!! It usually starts around 7:30 and lasts an hour or so. I usually relent and take her up to bed to nurse for about an hour or so before she's ready to go to sleep. She sleeps in between hubby and I and while it's nice to do when she's nursing a lot during the night still, I do look forward to having our bed back eventually.

We've been getting occasional smiles for a couple weeks now and look forward to those first laughs.

The dry flakey skin has moved up from her feet to the head now. It's mostly on her eyebrows and ears now. The acne is on her head, neck and chest too.

Nursing is good, even though I have pain in between sessions. The midwife suspects Raynauds and there's not a lot I can do for it, according to the reading I've been doing. Going to try and take my cal mag again and see if that makes a difference.

Now that she's getting more alert during the day, she demands an audience which involves me moving her from my lap, to swing, to playmat to keep her interested and entertained. I tend to not wear her around the house much as I find it keeps me from being able to do much before I get too hot and she wakes up anyways if I'm not moving.

We prefer to bath her in the big tub or shower, over the baby tub.

The kids still enjoy helping out with her and the girls are getting bolder about picking her up if she starts crying. Sometimes I have to say no to them holding her especially if I'm trying to get her to nap.

Overall she's still a pretty easygoing baby.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Almost 2 weeks old!


1 week 4 days
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75
Anna is such a blessing. She's an easy going baby who hardly fusses as long as she's well fed and dry/clothed. Some nights she's in the bed all night with us and other nights she'll spend a few hours in her basinette. She goes anywhere from 2-4 hours of sleep at a time at night and generally has a long alert period in the morning and dinner time.

Her cord fell off yesterday and hopefully over the next couple of days everything will continue to heal up and she'll have a cute little belly button. Her poor skin is peeling like crazy now, despite using some Burts Bees lotion on her every few days after her bath.

Breastfeeding is going a lot better now. The first week was all about cracks and pain but that is getting better even though she doesn't open up wide enough for a really good latch because her gag reflex is very sensitive. Since she's eating so well and often, I've hardly had to deal with leaking or engorgement issues, unlike with my first babies who had a harder start with nursing.

As for my healing, it's much better this 2nd week. I still have a dark, moderate flow of lochia. My bottom seems to be healing well. I've have some incontinence issues which horrified me and makes me appreciate what Blake goes through with his Crohns. Embarassing to admit, but hey, it's something I never heard was possible post partum, so I want to talk about it and make other moms aware. I'm down about 1/2 of my pregnancy weight and am very pleased with how my belly looks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

All cleaned up


All cleaned up
Originally uploaded by sew_crafty_girl75

Anna's Birth Story

April 14th was my due date but I expected baby to come much earlier given my history of 36 and 37 week births. I ended work at 36 wks and sat at home and waited to have her anytime. By 37 wks we had everything ready for our homebirth.

At 37 weeks I had a glimmer of hope when I lost my mucous plug in one big piece, then a few smaller pieces over the next couple of days. I was on pins and needles expecting to give birth any day! I analyzed every little sign of what could be labour and obsessed about going longer than I ever had before. I began to moan about never going into labour.

I had tested positive for Group B Strep and while the midwives were supportive of me declining antibiotics, one of the criteria I had agreed to antibiotics for was rupture of membranes at the beginning of labour. Because the first dose of antibiotics had to be given at the hospital, I knew that we ran the risk of losing our homebirth because of time constraints around administering the dose and getting home before the birth. But, since my water had never broken early in labour, this scenario didn’t seem possible to me.

April 11, a Sunday morning, at 39wks 4days, I woke at 6am to a gush of fluid in my underwear. I shuffled to the bathroom excitedly thinking my water had broken. It was yellow and smelled like urine, so I headed back to bed, dejected and thinking I had just wet the bed. At 8am I went to the bathroom and was still losing more dark yellow fluid in drips and confirmed that it was not coming from where urine would come from! The fluid was also starting to turn a greenish colour so I knew this meant there was meconium in the water and risk had been elevated. I had the midwife paged and Susan called me back, in the midst of another birth at the hospital. She said I needed to come in to confirm it was my water broken and have the antibiotics. We jumped in the shower and arranged for Rhonda to come over and watch Clayton and Faith. Contractions had not started yet and now green fluid continued to slowly drip out. There was no big gush of fluid ever.

We left for Ridge Meadows Hospital with Rhonda still on the way to our house to watch the kids. We arrived around 9am to 2 North (Maternity) after checking in downstairs. We started out in the assessment room and once Nurse Teri checked out my pad and urine, she moved us to a labour and delivery room and hooked me up to the heart rate monitor. I stayed in my clothes, still not in labour yet and not knowing if the meconium would risk me out of a homebirth. (I had forgotten that part of the homebirth manual I had read). Susan came in when she was done delivering the other baby and confirmed to me that we would be staying and delivering in hospital.

As I was getting my antibiotics by IV, the contractions started around 10:30 and were 10min apart. Another intervention meconium in the water had gotten me was ‘continuous fetal monitoring’. This meant the lovely tub room would not be available to us. We called Auntie Angela and said if she wanted to come out to help record the birth, then she was welcome to. Up to this point we had no plan in place about who would be at the birth besides Blake. Contractions started getting stronger. I tried the birth ball and didn’t like it. I stood and leaned over the bed for a lot of contractions while Blake rubbed my back. Nurse Teri had to constantly adjust the monitors to keep them registering properly. Of everything that I hated about having to birth in the hospital, it was the belly monitors they were constantly adjusting, as discreetly as possible and the uncomfortable hospital beds. Contractions were getting closer together, only a few minutes apart. Midwife Susan checked my dilation and I was 4cm. Time became a blur. My eyes stayed closed during a lot of the contractions. They felt like horrible menstrual cramps low in my pubic area. I was thankful that none of the pain was in my back, like with Wyatt’s birth. While on my side for many contractions, Blake tried the Tens machine we had been lent, on my back and I decided I didn’t like it. What did feel good was him doing pressure on either side of my lower back. I joked about wanting the epidural now!

I got on all fours on the hospital bed and when I grunted during a contraction and involuntarily pushed, the midwife asked if I felt pushy and said I was free to push if I felt like this. Part of me was in disbelief that I already felt this way and fearful that pushing time was here. I tried another contraction on my side and didn’t like pushing there so I moved onto my back. Susan checked me and found I still had a cervical lip that she pushed back to dilate me to 10. They got the leg supports put onto the bed for me to use and started to ‘break down the bed’. I was fighting the urge to tense up during the pain and keep reminding myself to relax and let the contractions do the work. I was afraid to push, not liking the feeling and knowing that it took 1 ½ hours to push Wyatt out. I complained about having to push and midwife Susan encouraged me. Ange stood by with the video camera and I gave her instructions on switching to the still camera once baby had come out.

Pushing was long and hard. I felt like nothing was happening. I was getting long breaks between contractions. It was nice to not have too much coaching and I was able to go at my own pace. When I started to get tired and frustrated, they reminded me to use as much as the contraction I could to push, but to take my breaks in between with long deep breaths. As baby’s head got lower, Susan found that it was a bit turned, so the cervix was not getting pressed on properly and dilating. For a few contractions, she would push my cervix back and I pushed hard to move the head down, past my pubic bone. It was a long time before I felt like the end was near. Hair was visible and I touched the head. I had declined Susan’s offer to pull her out and onto my belly when the time came.

Once the head started crowning, I got fearful of the pain. I knew I had scar tissue on my perineum from Wyatt’s birth and didn’t know how that would impact this birth. I cried as pushing got intense. It burned so bad and I heard whispers of ‘it’s a tight fit’ and Susan worked to ease her head out slowly, commenting “here comes the little green (meconium) head”. I complained about my bottom hurting so bad and they encouraged me that feeling was a good thing. Then all of a sudden her head just popped out! A push or two more, the shoulders rotated out and here was a crying baby on my chest at 1:24pm after 4 hours of labour and about an hour of pushing! A few minutes later I had another contraction and pushed knowing the placenta had to come out. The midwife scrambled to be ready for it, declaring "I usually have to ask people to push it out". After the stunned realization that I had, in fact, given birth to a baby, I asked them to check if it was really a girl! Wyatt had bets all along that it could possibly be a boy, despite what the 18 wk ultrasound had said. It was indeed a girl, with a nice, healthy cord, who the midwife guessed to be 9lbs. (I doubted this estimation). She stayed on my chest for a good 45 minutes while they did her assessment and the midwife prepared to stitch me. I had a 1st degree labial tear and was happy to hear that my previous scar tissue had stayed intact! Once I was able to relax in the bed a bit more, she latched on and nursed for a while.

Anna Beatrice Whitelaw weighed 7lbs 15 ounces and was 20 inches long. She had quite the cone head and dark hair. Susan did her newborn check and found a clicking in Anna’s right hip. She phoned Dr. Archer, the paediatrician and he recommended double diapering. When he came and saw her the next day he said we will need to do this for 3 months and follow up in his office. Anna is named for her grandma’s who have the middle name of Anne and we chose Beatrice for the meaning “Bringer of Joy”. It’s also a family name after Blake’s aunt. After 3 ½ years and 4 miscarriages, we have our beautiful little Bringer of Joy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I can haz baby now?

The 'relaxtion mode' of being pregnant on mat leave has worn off into boredom. I'm on my 3rd week of sitting at home, waiting for baby. I'm ready to bring on 'staring at baby all day' mode.

The midwife on call this week came by and did my homevisit yesterday. She said everything I had in place looks great. We had a good discussion about what will happen at the birth.

I'm having trouble keeping myself distracted from constant thoughts of 'when will I go into labour'.

I think I should pull out her Christmas Stocking and keep working on that.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What am I still doing pregnant?

Given my past history of 36 and 37 week births, I can't believe I'm sitting here, on week 2 of my mat leave and 38 weeks pregnant! Maybe I should've stayed at work and tempted fate.

So, in exciting 3rd trimester news, I lost my mucous plug last thursday...and saturday and sunday! I got all excited on Thursday because with W, I went into labour the next day. But, alas, that was not to be the case this time.

The birth supplies have been sitting and waiting to be used, this past week.

I'm finding random nesting duties to take care of, like oooh, the inside of the cabinet doors are dusty, must clean! Other days I just laze around and enjoy the perks of, well, being 9 months pregnant and allowed to laze around!

I'm pretty sure baby dropped yesterday as my peeing sure feels different and I can feel her moving down in my pelvis a lot more. In fact, I was having intermittent back pain all night so we thought I might be starting labour. Nope.

So here I wait, chugging back the Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and today I started 1000mg of Evening Primrose Oil orally. I'm hesitant to um..insert it because of reports that it can cause rupture of membranes and I definately don't want that to happen until I'm in active labour.

Only 3 weeks, give or take until I for sure have a baby in my arms!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Full-term

So here I am at a place I don't recall ever reaching with my other children...I'm sick of being pregnant.

I've developed hemmroids which make it impossible to sleep more than 1/2 hour at a time. Tonight the braxton hicks are hurting, as is my lower back, so either I'm having early labour or have started a new late pregnancy symptom of mildly annoying, irregular contractions.

I'm nauseous but hungry. Tired but insomniac. Wanting to meet this baby, but terrified at the same time.

Stick a fork in me cause I'm done.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Taking stock

Today we finished the last couple of projects in the nursery I really wanted to get done. Curtains may or may not get done but I'm not worried as none of the other rooms in our house have curtains, just blinds! We also got the carseat base installed in the van.

I popped into the birth store to see if she'd have what I need in stock and while I was there I got my Peri bottles and a baby book. Next w/e is when I'll make sure I have the last of the birth supplies ready since I will have 'met the magic number' for homebirth eligibility.

The group b strep swab has been dropped off at the lab.

Right now the last load of baby clothes we have are in the wash, then once again, I'll sort, fold and obsess about whether or not we have enough outfits :)

To get :
- Arnica tablets
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- More towels
- 2nd set of sheets for bed
- plastic sheeting
- some big thick postpartum pads to soak with witch hazel and freeze.
- Chux pads
- baby tub
- diaper pail
- frozen meals from M&M
- gatorade
- popsicles

I really have to find my homebirth supply list which is hiding around here somewhere.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Celebrating

We're a little more ready for baby after my 2 showers last week. I had lovely showers from work and my friends/family. It was touching to see all the effort the party planners put into the events.

My sister finished crocheting a lovely blanket for baby during Sunday's shower then did henna on my belly. I love how my belly is a work of art now! We got the disc with the beautiful pictures my cousin took of hubby and I. Now we need to decide which ones we'll enlarge and frame!

I'm 34 weeks now and the sensation of pressure and baby moving her head around on my cervix is occasionally replaced by an ouchie, stabby, pinching sensation down there. I guess things might be softening up and preparing! I know I'm paying way more attention to things this time as my previous babies' labours took me by surprise at 36 and 37 weeks. One funny thing I've noticed is that she seems to get the hiccups every night around 5pm now.

My hip went out yesterday and the Chiropracter worked a miracle on me. She said my pelvis is very loose. I'm not enjoying having to wake up every 2 hours to pee at night. It's not fair to have to 'practice' before baby gets here!

Looking forward to spending next week at home, relaxing with my kiddos, then I'm back to work for 5 more days before I'm on mat leave!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Closing in

Had my 33wk midwife appt today.

While I sometimes have glucose showing on my urine strips at the Peri's office, I never do at the midwives. Yay!

We talked about the newborn screening tests and she gave me all the forms to accept or decline the different procedures. It was nice to have each test explained for the first time. At this point I'm thinking I'll just do the Vit K injection and PKU screening and skip the Eye Drops. Also, if I test positive for group b strep, I'll most likely decline the antibiotics, unless other risk factors present. We'll see after I talk it over with hubby.

I was reassured that if I do end up in hospital and they need an OB consult, that they tend to use the 2 'good' ones and not the one who's had negative press lately and saw me for my last miscarriage.

Baby was super active and had the hiccups, so the midwife had to measure the heartrate with the doppler for several minutes before she calmed down enough to get a 'normal' baseline of 156 instead of the 180 it was getting up to.

My blood pressure is getting up to more of a normal range now, which feels better. My fundal height was measuring a bit ahead.

I said I was nervous about going early, but she said even if I'm 36+ weeks, they can fudge the numbers a bit.

Tomorrow is my Baby lunch at work and I'm looking forward to some good food and dessert!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I've graduated!

From the high risk ob, that is. My Peri sees no more reason for me to keep seeing him so I'm discharged to just my midwives from here on in!

I'm 33wks on Wednesday. That's only a month away from being full-term! I'm not 'throwing in the towel' quite yet, although I do have many evenings and weekends where I can barely move. The pelvic pain and pressure are increasing.

Baby's room is all painted and ready to decorate. Crib is set up and now it's just up to me to get inspired and start crafting some more.

On Sunday we did a photo shoot with my cousin. Some beautiful pics to remember this special time in our lives. I can't wait until baby is here and we can have photos taken again with all 7 family members! It's been a while since we've had some nice pictures taken of all of us together.

http://www.cindypenner.com/2010/02/cousin-christine.html

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Scary

Why am I thankful that I'm planning a homebirth and am under the care of midwives?

http://www.bclocalnews.com/tri_city_maple_ridge/mapleridgenews/news/84741447.html

This was the doctor that I had to see with my last miscarriage. The one who gave me Cytotec then sent me home to hemmorage on the toilet for 2 hours. The one who saw me come back to the emergency after this then send me back home, only to return the next day for a D&C (which he performed) and a blood transfusion.

Thank goodness this is not the OB that my midwives work with, when necessary. No, that OB is wonderful.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Never want to forget

Having this baby growing in me makes it that much easier to approach the 3rd anniversary of that first baby we lost together. It makes me able to reclaim Valentines Day.

When I'm overwhelmed with life and start to feel cranky and pissy, all I have to do is place a hand on my belly. Feeling her kick, stretch and twitch in my belly makes me smile everytime. I want to bottle this feeling and never forget it.

Baby Girl is so active now that I switched from noting her 'active times' to hardly knowing when she isn't active. Thankfully (for the time being at least) her painful jabs to my cervix have been replaced by her head rolling around on it. That's a wierd feeling! Feet stretch out and retreat when I touch them. It's a odd thing to feel actual body parts making those movements in there. Sometimes I can feel her hard back on one side of my belly. When I lay on my side at bedtime, she really has a chance to stretch out her feet and really go to town.

I daydream about whether she'll be light blond like my babies or darker haired like hubby's babies. Will she be tall or short? Shy or outgoing? What colour of eyes will hers develop into?

10 short weeks is all I may have left with her all to myself. Then I have to share her with the world. Then I get to see her brothers and sisters delight in her. I get to see her proud Daddy's eyes gleam at this new life we've created. I get to gaze down at her sweet face as she nurses.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February

So, now that it's February I could be having a baby as early as next month as I'm term on March 24. I'm really hoping she'll stay in until April!! My mat leave starts on March 19 and some downtime would be nice.

Will my baby be an Aries or Taurus? She'll be born in the year of the Tiger like her oldest sister. If she comes in April, diamond will be her birthstone. My boy is still insisting that 'she' could be a 'he'.

I'm enjoying playing 'poke the baby' now because she likes to stick out a foot? and if I poke it she'll often retreat, then poke back :) I could watch my belly move and ripple all day. One of the wierdeset feelings is when she starts moving as I'm walking around.

Nearly 30 wks now and I'm feeling like I have the hips and knees of an 80 yr old woman. My mind (sometimes) says go,go,go but my body says no,no,no.

In a couple weeks we should be able to start painting the baby's nursery! There have been a number of renos and rearranging in our house that had to happen in order to get a room free for baby.

Shirts are starting to get too small again. Just short enough so I can see the belly panel in my pants now. Hard to believe I've gone through 3 clothing sizes this pregnancy *sigh*.

My work baby shower is this month and I'm pretty excited about that. I have a Babies R Us and TJs the Kiddies Store registry done up and am slowly accumulating outfits and baby gear.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

28wk midwife visit

Had an excellent midwife visit tonight. The only downside is that some political stuff has happened recently and the practice split in half. One of my midwives retired and a new 3rd will be joining the practice soon.

We started having some more in-depth discussions about the birth and at what point we can say "homebirth" for sure. She thinks my Peri will still want another scan to check for growth but everything so far is looking good. Like she said though, things can change right up until labour! I don't need to start gathering home birth supplies until 37wks, since they can't deliver me at home before that. Really, the main thing I need that I don't normally have on hand are chux pads and a plastic sheet for the bed. We talked about labouring/birthing in a tub and the pros/cons of renting a birth tub....which I don't think we'll bother with. I think we'll try and use our own bathtub.

Baby was head down today with her back on my left side. HR was 150BPM which it has consistently been this whole time. My BP was 112/50. Low eh? Weight is up 27lbs and my fundal height is measuring 32. See, I KNEW I had a major growth spurt recently because I've been measuring exactly on before this point.

The coolest news of all? If baby turns breech it's not an automatic c-section!!! Especially since I have a 'proven pelvis'. My old local OB will do vaginal breech births! She assured me not to worry about breech until 34 weeks though.

One thing that does suck though....if I end up testing positive for group b strep, they have to administer the first dose of antibiotics in the hospital and sometimes planned homebirths don't make it back home in time to deliver.

It was an all in all, reassuring appt that answered a lot of my questions. Blake got to meet a midwife he hadn't met yet and have his questions answered too.

I love how laid back and reassuring the midwives are.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sliding into 3rd

I can't believe that Wednesday will be the 3rd trimester already! Seems like just the other day I was hoping and wishing for that baby belly and those first tiny movements. Now I'm contemplating whether or not standing on my head might convince JB to stop pounding on my cervix. She's still flipping up and down.

On the weekend I took step-girl out shopping at Babies R Us because I saw they had the carseat and bouncy seat on sale. We grabbed the Graco Snugride in "Metropolitan" and the Sunny Smiles bouncer seat. We then visited the local baby boutique and got a cute white knit cardigan and a craft book to help kick my butt into baby crafting mode! I also got some paper at the scrapbooking store that will coordinate with the nursery decor.

Sunday was my weekly weepy day and I holed up on my craft room and got to work on baby's blanket. My sewing maching decided to throw a hissy so now I'm left trying to figure out the best was to get the quilt binding on the edges. I will not be defeated!! I also embroidered a hummingbird on a onesie, tie-dyed 3 and still plan on appliquing the remaining 2 I have so far. I will post pics of the projects I've done soon.

The 3rd trimester so far means:
- having to sit spead eagle
- giving up on picking up stuff on the floor
- grabbing onto things in order to roll out of bed or sit up
- back pain by the end of the day

Only 8wks of work left. Holy smokes!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

The elephant in the room

The conversation I've been dreading came up with my Perinatologist today. "Where are you planning on giving birth?"

I had my first bit of pregnancy input from him that I didn't appreciate. He's got the typical OB attitude towards homebirth and the safety of it. I can't wait to see my midwife next week for some positive feedback.

My intention is not to put my baby at harm. If I can birth at home and my midwives feel it's safe, then I will birth at home. If we have any trepiditions about homebirth, then of course, I will birth in the hospital.

Anyways...onto the more positive.

Weight is up 26lbs. I had a bit of sugar and protein in my urine this time. Blood pressure is slightly higher but not high for me. None of this was worrisome to Dr. F. He confirmed that my Glucose Tolerance test came back low and my blood counts are nice and high.

He was able to palpate baby's position and she was head-down with her back to my right side.

Today I am thankful for a supportive husband and a network of strong, homebirthing women I can bounce this off of online. My good friend J has also birthed at home with my midwives. I need positive affirmations from here on in.

To boost my spirits, I stopped by the local birth store and bought myself The Breastfeeding Book by Dr. Sears and tried on nursing bras to figure out my size, which she didn't have in right now.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baby gear

I'm not finding shopping for baby gear to be much fun. It's overwhelming.

I just about pooped myself when I saw the prices of infant carseats. I'd say pee, but what pregnant lady ISN'T already peeing herself a little? Way more expensive then 11 years ago when I last bought one.

Part of me wants the lovely, boutiquey stuff this time around. The other part thinks it's ridiculous to spend gobs of money on certain items.

I just wish there was one store where we liked everything they carried and liked the prices. We just weren't getting that feeling at Babies R' Us and A Baby's World.

At least we left BRU with a crib mattress, mattress pad and a sheet. Picking out that was a feat in itself too!

Ultrasound #4

Went in for an ultrasound yesterday. My Perinatologist wanted to check the uterine/placenta bloodflow and make sure baby's growth was on target.

Well, she was breech and facing away from us, so while they did get all the measurements they needed, we didn't get a face shot or a double check of the sex. At least now I can confirm that when I'm feeling the shots to the cervix, that it's the feetsies that are pounding it. Even though I can't figure out when she has turned, I know she still is turning in there because I'll have a few days of cervix pounding, then it will switch to my preferred upper belly jabs. Even the Peri wasn't worried yet.

Blood flow was great. We could even see the coiled umbilical cord and where it inserts into her belly. She had a tummy full of amniotic fluid and my fluid levels are good. All measurements are consistent with 26wks and weight is estimated at 2.2lbs. It's very cool to be able to see your baby's internal organs like the chambers of the heart pumping blood.

The tech and I could feel her kicking back as she scanned my lower belly.

I didn't get pics, but we didn't really get any profile shots anyways.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Nerves

Well, now that I'm nearing the 3rd trimester and the countdown is on, I'm starting to...shall I say....FREAK OUT a bit.

It's so easy to romanticize pregnancy and cute, wee babies and push aside the reality of what life with a baby is going to be like.

I LOVE being pregnant and am sad about only having 3+ months left. Never again will I experience the amazing movements and unique connection that only the pregnant mother feels.

It's been nearly 10yrs since I've done the baby thing so I'm going to cherish every last day I have with baby still inside me :)