Eleanor 4/5ish Months

OK 6.  She is actually 6 months…Okay almost 7.  Nevertheless.  I have diligently (sort of) taken her photo every month for historical purposes.

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Eleanor 4/5 Months

Weight. 12 Pounds

Length. 23 inches

Diaper Size. 2

Clothing Size. 3-6 months, still fits some 0-3 months

Likes.

  • MILK! Milk is da bomb.  Formula will so.  Sometimes.
  • Jumperoo
  • Ms. Tia (Nido guide at the little Montessori School)
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Dislikes

  • The car (yep still)
  • Being left alone
  • Getting her nose wiped.  Although she is fine with the blue snot sucker bulb

Firsts

  • Intentional roll over
  • Foot/Arm/Appendage caught in the crib

 

A Tale of Two Births

They say that no two pregnancies are never the same, and the same goes for their deliveries.  I have done this twice and the two experiences could not be more different.  Even though the result was two very similar looking adorable smushy babies.

Ike’s Birth Story.

I was completely certain that once I hit the official “Full Term” date at 37 weeks that Ike would be arriving at any moment.  I was ready.  The carseat was installed, the crib was setup, I toted that stupid hospital bag with me in the car for a month.  I took walks and ate a whole pineapple every single day.  When my due date came and went I arrived at the doctors office as soon as they opened at 40 weeks and 1 day to ask “WHAT THE F MAN!? You people promised me a baby, not extra time to gain a pound every day! Do something about this please and bring me a milkshake on your way back.”

The doctor examined things near the exit ramp and told me “well, it doesn’t look like anything is going to happen any time soon” at which point I began to cry because seriously, What the F man.  She added quickly “we may as well go ahead and schedule you for an induction, it can be as early as Tuesday”.  “Yes! Are you sure there aren’t any openings tonight?”

I officially was admitted two days later, in the evening.  I was given a suppository and a sleeping pill and was told to eat a good breakfast in the morning.  The next day around 7am I ate the good breakfast and the nurse put in the Pitocin drip.  Then?  A whole lot of NOTHING!  I got an epidural, the doctor forcibly broke my water, and then? STILL NOT A DAMN THING.  Finally, 14 hours later it was time to push.  And push I did, for three hours.  And what happened? Yep NOTHING AT ALL!  I think Ike had taken a firm hold of my uterus walls in his very first full rebellion and he was not letting go!

Eventually his heart rate began to slow and he showed some signs of distress, so off to the operating room we went.  I had not even considered having a cesarean birth in all my infinite readiness over the past four weeks.  Whoever said that you don’t feel pain just pressure has clearly never been through the procedure.  It hurt, it made me nauseous, and I was wracked with anxiety because they put up a curtain and whisper things on the other side.  You can’t see and you can’t hear, you can only feel, a lot of “pressure” that feels an awful lot like someone is ripping a human being from your body.  Oh yeah.  That is what they were doing!  It seemed like a lifetime, but I think the whole thing was over in under a half an hour, because at 4:25am on November 22nd, 2013 Ike made his entrance.  And from the yelps and squawks I could hear he was none too happy about it.  Isaac brought him over and showed me briefly and then I have a gaping hole in my memory.  The next thing I remember is being in recovery and being the most thirsty I’ve ever been in my life and being denied anything of substance to drink.  And I remember shaking, uncontrollably.  But there in the corner in a chair was Isaac and the most tiny baby Ike, I remember that image as if it were a picture I looked at every day for the past two and half years.

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Ike November 22nd, 2013
7 pounds 13 ounces
Five days late

Eleanor’s Birth Story.

Because I had done this before, I was not anxiously awaiting baby girl’s arrival.  I had made peace with her March 7th due date although I said I wouldn’t be at all upset to meet her a little early (around the time the maternity shirts start shrinking).  I said that, but I didn’t pack a bag, put in a car seat, or do really much of anything.  My baby “sprinkle” shower/party was pushed out  to the end of February due to a freak snowstorm here in Georgia. I went all round and uncomfortable and ate three cupcakes on the way home and proceeded to take all the baby clothes and items and put them on top of the pile of things that I had every intention of organizing and washing and such.

In the wee hours of the morning on February 23rd, a Tuesday, Ike had made his way into bed with me.  I kept waking up, I assumed from toddler appendages poking my wide-set body, but in the morning it was clearly contractions that were waking me up.  I never felt non-pitocin induced contractions before.  I sort of glanced at my phone to see what time it was and forgot by the time another contraction came.  I got Ike ready for school, then they started getting pretty painful.  I still didn’t have the wherewithal to actually time them accurately, but I did have the good sense to ask someone else to take Ike to school.  I called the doctor and said I thought I might be in labor and he suggested we make our way to the office and check it out.  I was admitted about 30 minutes later.

I had made it pretty clear to the doctor that I wanted very much to try for a VBAC.  He suggested we go ahead and get the epidural early and go full tilt on the pitocin to see if we could encourage baby girl on out. All the lovely drugs were doing their things within an hour.  I spent about four hours in labor and the doctor returned and informed me it was time to push.

He brought in about six people and unfolded the bed into a stirrup/catchpan/examination table contraption.  I think I pushed for maybe thirty minutes and he said “stop, she’s coming on her own.”  And before I knew it I was holding that pink, slightly miffed, tiny little girl.  I have no gaps this time.  I remember the stitching and the newborn exam and most acutely the prompt removal of the epidural needle.  When I came down off the meds I felt like I had been hit by a bus, or more like a bus had been driven through my body!! I briefly thought, maybe a c-section wouldn’t have been such a horrible idea, but then baby latched and nursed before the doctor had buttoned everything back up.  And the recovery was soooo much easier.  Slightly grosser, but worth it.

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Eleanor February 23rd, 2016
6 pounds 13 ounces
Two weeks early

Happy 4th of July

We heart patriotic holidays!  The somewhat brief but solid unity that surrounds our nation on these days is becoming more and more rare and something to be cherished.  The flags that line our neighbors yards, the gathering of masses for parades and salutes and celebrations.  If nothing else, we are all grateful as a nation for the sacrifices of those who made it possible.  Also there are so many adorable patriotic outfits for the littles.

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We celebrated the 4th in our usual low-key ways.  In the morning we hung out at our favorite park with Pawpaw before he headed back to Louisiana.

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In the afternoon we swam at a friend’s pool and enjoyed watermelon and barbeque and visiting with all the littles.

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We skipped the fireworks and will likely continue to skip them for the foreseeable future.

I have some personal qualms with fireworks and will likely continue to avoid them whenever possible.  Ike is more or less in agreement with me, being that he has always been rather sensitive to loud noises.

Fireworks are beautiful displays and a wonder to watch.  The problem is the audible similarity that they bear to a battlefield.  Holidays like the 4th of July and Memorial Day are meant to honor serve men and women and thank them for their sacrifice to ensure our freedom and pride in this nation.  However, service men and women who have given the ultimate gift in serving in the line of fire often return home with severe PTSD as a result of their experience.  The sounds of fireworks akin to bombs and gunfire can often set off episodes of traumatic fear and anxiety in our veterans.  These brave countrymen (and women!) have given so much so that we can have and celebrate these patriotic holidays, far be it for us to create any more suffering to them by the way in which we choose to celebrate.

This is my soapbox PSA and only my opinions and views.

Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow

Ike’s hair has become a major part of his little identity.  This is in large part due to my attachment to said hair, but lately it is becoming more and more about his attachment to his hair.  As in, it is his hair and he loves his hair.

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It is becoming more undeniably chaotic every day.  We have a variety of hair care products especially for Ike that rivals what you see on a teenage girl’s vanity.

IMG_3004(Yes I let my child color on the bathtub walls, I also bribe him with chocolate to bathe)

So I have been trying to gently broach the subject of perhaps getting a tiny trim.  His answers have remained the same, simply NO.

“Ike do you want to get a haircut?” “NO!”
“Ike do you maybe want to trim just a little bit of your hair?” “No”
“Ike maybe you’d like to go and see one of your friends get a haircut? I hear they have a car-chair?” “No”
“Ike what if mommy just cuts this much (shows him an inch of hair between fingers)?” “No”

When asked why he doesn’t want to cut his hair his response is usually, “It’s my beautiful hair” or the less articulate “don’t touch mah hair!”

Nevertheless, it is July in Georgia and as someone with an abundance of hair on her head I can attest that something must be done to save my child from heat stroke.

Ike went to my hair stylist (so now in addition to a collection of headbands, curl milk, wet and dry brushes and special gentle curl shampoo, Ike has a hair stylist).  I prepped her by asking for her to 1. Do no wet his hair, he hates that 2. Do not even show him scissors, he will run 3. Be as quick as possible, he has the attention span of a gnat.

He did very well in the chair, although it was clear from his face that he was not enjoying it one bit.

The result was wonderful and after the initial “where’s my hair?” concern he grew to like his braids quite a lot and is already asking when he can get his hair done again.

 

Ice Cream Dreams

It’s HOT down here in Georgia.  I don’t mean like mildly uncomfortable better put on some shorts hot, but like stay in the house with air conditioning because it’s not safe to be outside hot.  H.O.T. HOT!

Summer heat waves mean lots of swimming and pool time and lots of cold treats.  Since I am not stupid enough to take a newborn AND a toddler to a pool by myself (or without an army of helpers) we have been mostly sticking to the cold treats.

Ike isn’t complaining.

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Downtown Scoops Ice Cream Parlor, Fayetteville, GA

Eleanor on the other hand has many opinions about this.
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“Hey, doesn’t he have to share with me?”

 

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“Dude, you have to share with me! I am your baby sissy!”

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“Baby Sissy Who?”

 

Eleanor 3 Months

Ok, so she’s technically still 3 months for like a few more days.  And to be fair the photos were taken at least 2 weeks ago.

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Eleanor Two Months:

Weight. 10ish? Pounds… There’s no Ped appointment for 3 months.

Legnth. ? Again no doctor, second baby, sorry dear

Diaper Size. 1

Clothing Size. 0-3 months

Likes.

  • MILK whichever vehicle is fine, but get in her belly!
  • Chewing her hand
  • Joining in discipling her brother

Dislikes

  • The Car/Car Seat/Anyone mentioning the car
  • Being put in a baby-holding device where she can’t see anyone
  • Sunshine

Firsts

  • Laughs
  • Coos
  • Rolls over (not on purpose)
  • Airplane Ride!

Fears

  • The Car/Car Seat/Anyone mentioning the car

Eleanor is definitely warming up to her big brother, and him to her.  He gives her lots of hugs and kisses and she no longer shrieks in terror.  Great work children!

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The Struggle is Real

My first week back to work was last week.  I remembered feeling so painfully sad to have left Ike when I went back to work from my first maternity leave.  And I felt that same pain of separation when I had to leave Eleanor.  I also remember feeling anxious about pumping at work, but I felt prepared this time.  I have learned so much more about breastfeeding since Ike was a newborn.  I am an old pro…

The feeling I didn’t remember when I went back to work last time is overwhelmed! 

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There’s work.  Obviously there’s work to be done, I have returned to WORK!
Then there’s also all the work that didn’t get done before the baby came.  Because obviously that just sat around the whole time I was on leave and suddenly needed to be dealt with the moment I returned.

There’s mornings.  There is so much more to deal with in the mornings now.  Ike stayed home with my mother his first year, so I didn’t have to do anything or take him anywhere, and I came home and the laundry was done.  Now suddenly there’s toddler bags to be packed and bottles to be made (washed AND made) and blankets to launder.  And all that stuff plus my work stuff plus the pumping stuff PLUS the two children have to make it in the car before we can even begin our day.  Oh and they both probably need to eat first too.

There’s pumping. Three times a day at work.  Make milk tea every time I pump, because am not pumping as much as she drinks.  Push pumping session because meeting has just been scheduled.  Don’t forget the tea!  Go back into the building and get the milk you forgot in the fridge.  Lol pumping was the one thing I thought I was prepared for.  I have not yet forgotten any of the parts or supplies I need…I am sure that will happen next week now that I’ve put it out there.

Then there’s evenings.  Have to leave work by 4:30, pickup children, listen to the little one scream all the way home.  Get home.  Calm baby.  Change toddler from underwear to pull-up.  Convince him to go potty. Feed the baby.  Make dinner.  Bathe.  Bedtimes.  Dishes.  Laundry.  Bottles.   Lunch.  OMG it’s 11pm.

Wake up at 5am and start again.

It’s overwhelming and discouraging because most of the time I feel like I am failing at all of it.  But then I see these faces, and they are just fine.  We are all just fine.