Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Turning Two and Other Stuff

Agatha is now officially TWO! I can hardly believe it has been two whole years since I became a mother to that sweet little girl. She makes me laugh every day and is obviously the smartest two-year-old to ever live. I am so grateful to have the privilege of being her mommy.

That's not to say there aren't tantrums and fits and sassing. There is. But not too much.

We celebrated the big day with family and a few friends. Here is a beautiful picture Agatha's uncle John took of her attempting to blow out the candles on her cake from Yum! Bakery.

Our big gift to her this year was a tricycle. She can barely reach the pedals, so we got one with a push bar so we could help her along. She calls it her motorcycle and loves it!

Cloth diapering is going really well with Oliver. We won a year of diaper service from Do Good Diapers, so we use the prefolds and covers they provided during the day. They pick up the dirty diapers once a week and drop of clean ones. It is really easy. At night we were using disposables until recently. We started using our own stash of cloth at night and it is going really well. I have to do a very very small load of diapers every other day. We are still using disposable wipes because Agatha is still in diapers and we use disposables for her. Sadly, the daycare we use does not want to use cloth so we will have to use disposables there. Although I have a plan to show her how easy they are and hopefully she will change her mind.

Here's our happy guy! He started smiling yesterday but I haven't been able to get a good shot of the grin yet.

Agatha is doing really well with him. She wants to kiss him a lot still and that is about the extent of her interaction with him. She does request "No Oliver!" sometimes when I am holding or feeding him but she gets over it quickly. I love our little family but time is moving much too quickly for my liking!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oliver Linden

Oliver Linden is here! He arrived on June 9 at 11:30 PM. It was an incredibly quick and easy delivery. If you are interested in the details, keep reading!

Oliver Linden Hall

Saturday, June 8, Chris, Agatha and I had a wonderful time at the neighborhood celebration that was happening in the park across from our house. Agatha went in her first bouncy house, rode a pony and got a balloon and an ice cream cone. It was a pretty big day. I'm really glad we got to spend that special time with her since her brother would be arriving the next day - a week early! Later that evening, we headed to downtown Minneapolis to celebrate my niece's graduation from her Medical Assistant program. It was lovely to see a few of my brothers and sisters as well as my niece and nephews.

Sunday morning, Chris took Agatha to a kids in-store performance at The Electric Fetus. I took a ginormous nap and waited for my mom to come. Agatha's daycare was closed for two weeks, so my mom had been up watching her, since I was still working. My mom had thought about coming into town on Monday morning, but I had a midwife appointment scheduled for 9:00 and she had my car. So, she decided to come Sunday afternoon.

Around 4:30 or so, I was picking up the house a little and had what I considered to be my first contraction. My mom showed up around 5ish and I had another contraction soon after that, but nothing major. We just hung around for the next few hours and then Chris and I decided we had better get our bedroom set up for the little guy. (Procrastinate much?) After Chris and I did the initial rearranging, my mom and I gave the room and closet a good cleaning and organization. I also finished packing my hospital bag. During this time, I was having contractions fairly regularly. They weren't terribly painful, I would have to stop what I was doing and breathe through them but they were manageable. Then I noticed it was almost 7:30, so I decided I had better make dinner. My mom and I made dinner and I sat on my exercise ball at the table. I decided to call the midwife at that point, because the last few contractions had been 7 minutes apart. I left a message and my favorite midwife, Carrie, called me back about ten minutes later. I was so excited that she was the midwife on call. I had seen her for most of my prenatal appointments and secretly hoped she would be the one to deliver my baby. I told her I would be at the hospital in about an hour.

At that point, it just made sense to wait until we had given Agatha a bath and put her to bed before leaving, so Chris bathed her and we did our normal bedtime routine. I had to stand while Chris read to her - standing was the only way I could work through the contractions. They were getting more painful, but my standing and breathing technique was working really well for me. I remember being in the bathroom at one point and getting a contraction and yelling, "Time it!" through the door. My mom thought that was pretty funny. The only really, really painful contraction I had at home was when I was sitting down when one started. I tried to stand in the middle of it and it was extremely painful. I think we left for the hospital soon after that.

Minutes before leaving for the hospital.
Chris and I said goodbye to my mom and left for the hospital. I was not looking forward to the ride since, as I said, I was managing the pain by standing straight, not sitting. When the first contraction in the car came, I said to myself, "Draw the pain up, breathe the pain out." That became my mantra and really worked for me. hilariously, Chris got on the wrong road on the way to the hospital and we drove in a big circle for about five minutes. Soon enough, though, we arrived! At this point, contractions were about 3 or 4 minutes apart. We had to stop in the parking ramp while we were walking in for a contraction to pass. A group of people passed us and said, "Good Luck! Congratulations." which I thought was pretty funny.

Once on the labor and delivery floor, I got admitted to triage. I was admitted at 10:18 PM. They told me they wanted to monitor me for twenty minutes and I said they'd have to do it standing up because there was no way I was laying on a bed for twenty minutes. The nurse agreed and hooked me up. Soon my midwife and her assistant, who was training to be a midwife, came in. Her assistant checked me and said I had bulging waters, the baby was at -1 station, I was fully effaced and dilated 8 centimeters! I was in shock - Chris and I were hoping I had progressed to 6 centimeters but 8 was crazy! At my midwife appointment the previous Monday I was 3 cm, so I was just hoping to be more than that.

They decided to move me to my room right away and continue the monitoring from there, while they filled the birthing tub. We got to our beautiful room and I went to the bathroom and then was hooked back up to the monitors. They started filling the tub and fiddling with the temperature. The L & D nurse and midwife assistant were very encouraging and calm while I labored during the monitoring. Chris was amazing, rubbing my arms and reminding me to drink water. My midwife was out of the room at the time, taking care of a repair on another patient, so her assistant was an amazing asset to have.

I was finally able to get into the tub at a little after 11:00. The first contraction I had in there was very uncomfortable. I was really nervous about laboring in the tub since I was managing so well out of the tub, but I decided to try it. After the first contraction, I tried a different position, basically laying flat, floating in the tub. That was a lot better. After about three more contractions in the tub, my water broke. The assistant said the contractions would get a little more intense after that. She also asked me to be more vocal about how I was feeling, since I was laboring in almost complete silence. I would talk in between the contractions, but during them I just closed my eyes and breathed. I had three more intense contractions and then felt an incredible urge to push. I told them that and they immediately ran over to the intercom and asked for a delivery team. My midwife finally got to the room - she was very surprised that it was my room she had been called to.

I definitely lost my cool when it was time to push. I remember saying, "It hurts! It hurts!" and that I couldn't do it. The pushing was much more painful than the contractions. Luckily I only had to push three times. The first push had him crowning, the second delivered his head and the third his body. He was here! And he was perfect.

Having a water birth was a wonderful experience, even though I was only in the water for about 20 minutes before he was born. Chris said he looked down into the tub and saw Oliver kind of floating peacefully there waiting for the midwife to scoop him out. He scored an 8 and 9 on his first and second APGAR tests, the staff told us water  births usually get sixes or sevens, so he was very healthy. Final stats were 6 pounds, fifteeen ounces, 20 inches long. Head was 13 inches around. I had no tears or repairs needed - thank you, Oliver! Eight minutes passed from when my water broke to when he was delivered - 1 hour and 12 minutes after I was admitted to the hospital! I feel like my recovery was so much faster this time. I really liked being able to walk around immediately and I felt pretty much back to normal by the time we left the hospital.

I had wanted to get my placenta encapsulated again this time, but the staff accidentally threw it away. There was some confusion as to whether I had wanted to keep it or not, and it turned out to not be a big deal. I took some of leftover pills from when Agatha was born for a few days, but in the end decided I didn't need them.

Our time at home (three weeks already!) has been really great and Agatha is a wonderful big sister. We are enjoying getting to know this little guy - he's a keeper!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Conversations with Agatha

Toddlers can be pretty funny. At least I think mine is.

*Brings me a bottle of salad dressing*
Agatha: You open?
Me: What are you going to eat it with?
Agatha: Um…my mouth!

*We are singing Old McDonald*
Me: And on that farm he had a…
Agatha: Queen!
Me: Okay. What does a queen say?
Agatha: “How do you do?”

Me: Agatha, what should we name baby brother?
Agatha: Um…Farts!
Me: Really? Farts?
Agatha: Yeah. Barney Farts!

*After purposefully knocking all of her markers and crayons off her drawing table*
Agatha: Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!

*Feeding her dinosaur some macaroni*
Agatha: He love it!

*We are pretending to sleep on our bed.*
Agatha: Wake up, little boy!

*While pulling my shirt down.*
Agatha: Happy birthday, dear boobies! Happy birthday to you! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

What's going on

Just some random things to record:

Baby numero dos is growing big and strong. The 20 week ultrasound showed his kidneys were slightly enlarged, so I had a follow up ultrasound at 28 weeks. At that time, his right kidney was showing up as normal but the left one was still enlarged. We will have another appointment at 32 weeks and see what it shows then. I am not too worried about it, the little bit of Internet research I did seemed to indicate this is pretty common and not serious.

That being said, there are only 11 weeks left before this little guy makes his arrival! We have almost everything we need, thanks to generous friends and leftovers from Agatha. I have a few things to purchase, and I will probably start doing that soon, but our house is so cluttered with toddler stuff that I don't want to bring more into it.

Which brings me to the idea we may need to send Agatha to my mom's for a weekend so Chris and I can purge a bunch of crap from our many, many storage rooms. I am so nervous about leaving her. Chris has been away from her for a few nights due to work trips but I have never been, and she has never had anyone besides Chris and I put her to bed. She loves my mom and step-dad so much, though, that think it would be harder for me than her.

Another fun thing that is happening is Agatha is going to start swimming lessons later this month. I am so excited for her and bought her a new little swimsuit and flip flops. I am not looking forward to being 8 months pregnant and in a swimsuit but that is the way it goes.

Once the new baby comes, we plan on enrolling Agatha in a music class so she has some one on one time with Chris and me. We will take turns taking her and try to get a babysitter once in a while so we can both go. That won't be until later in the summer, though.

That's about all that is new in my world right now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Pacifier

After I wrote about Agatha being weaned from breast-feeding (and using a pacifier in the morning to comfort her instead of nursing), she got incredibly attached the the pacifier. She started wanting it all the time, whether she was happy or sad, upset or bored. It got to the point that we put it on our nightstand before bed so we could give it to her right away in the morning. We only had three pacifiers in the house so if we weren't able to find one, it was torture.

Let me say, I don't think there is anything wrong with using pacifiers. Studies show that they lower the risk of SIDS when used in infants. They obviously can be of great comfort to kids and great sanity savers for parents. However, I didn't think it was a habit she needed to pick up at 18 months old, since she had never been strongly reliant on them in the past and because this is the age a lot of parents try to break the habit.

But it was hard not to give it to her. She started learning new words every day and one of those words was "pacifier" (pronounced "pwier" by Agatha). She wasn't using one at all in day care and we still didn't give it to her at nap time or bed time, but she asked for it a lot while awake. Once she had it for a few minutes and was content, Chris or I would sometimes slip it out of her mouth without her objecting and hide it for a few hours. It was just getting to be too much of a crutch for her.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I said we were going to stop. Chris and I talked to her about it and let her know that starting that Saturday (a week ago Saturday), she wasn't going to get the pacifier any longer. I'm not sure how much she understood but I figured we owed it to her to be up front.

On Saturday morning she asked for it upon waking. Chris was up with her that morning and she whined a little bit but was easily distracted by breakfast. She asked for it a few times throughout the day and cried a little when we told her, "We don't do that any more." But she soon forgot about it.

And it really hasn't been that bad. I think that Saturday was the worst day and since then she has asked for it a handful of times, mostly when upset about not being allowed something else she wants.  For the most part, she seems to have forgotten about it. She did see a picture of herself with the pacifier in her mouth and said "Pacifier" this morning, but it was like she was just pointing out an object she recognized.

So, one week and two days pacifier free. Next up: Potty training!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Random Thoughts

I recently rearranged my kitchen cupboards, and MAN, do I feel better! I feel much more organized, I'm using space wisely and I'm not constantly having to drag a chair into the kitchen to reach something I use all the time. It was way overdue.

We found out we are having a BABY BOY! I am so excited and have been having so much fun looking at boy clothes online. Um, clothing designers really decided stripes are the way to go for boys' clothes, huh? I am also working on designing/decorating what will be Agatha and this baby's shared room. They will move into the room that Chris and I currently use, and we will move into Agatha's nursery. Her nursery is quite tiny, but we will make it work.

I have been trying to cook extra on the weekends and freeze meals for the week. So far it has gone really well, and I love being able to pull something out of the freezer and have it ready in 15 minutes with no work for me. Something other than a frozen pizza, that is. I have been getting a lot of good ideas from Dinner: A Love Story and hope that my lovely husband gets me the book for our 10 year anniversary/Valentine's Day. So far most of the recipes I have tried have been a success, but a few were not (mostly to pregnancy food aversions).

Agatha is just a ball of fun right now. She is talking so much and learning new things every day. I think we have to start discussing potty training soon, since she is telling us when she has dirty diapers and is semi-interested in the little potty we bought for her.

She makes me so happy.
The pregnancy is going well. I feel good and haven't had many problems. A few weeks ago I could barely walk thanks to my right hip and tailbone being out of whack, but physical therapy helped that and now I feel mostly normal. I am 22 weeks right now, it feels like it is flying by.

20 weeks

And that's all, folks.