Tuesday, January 30, 2018

one week

My toddler is eating packaged items way more than I usually allow. He's getting away with things I would never let him do because I am exhausted. He's had a lot of electronic time. But he's also had a lot of one-on-one daddy time; going shopping and to the park! He's learning to love a sister and share his nursies (and his mommy) with another tiny human. He is doing wonderful and although I think he had the most adjustment and made the most sacrifices to his way of life with Rebekah's arrival, he is also the most relaxed and his happy attitude makes everything easier. I love seeing his smile as I take care of his sister and hearing him talk about Pokemon (his newest obsession). I love seeing him help me by bringing me water, blankets, wipes. And I love still making time for him, hard as it is right now.

How am I? Overwhelmed with love and tired. Swamped with feeling I am not enough. I am not enough for one child, how can I ever be enough for two? But oh so blessed. Reuben is such a wonderful big brother, and Rebekah is adorable and cuddly. My hormones are raging with her beauty. I am nursing a lot, eating my weight in keto food, and resting as much as I can with a house to run. My husband has cooked dinner every night since she was born. He's done the dishes, he's held our children. I am in awe of him--he's honestly come so far in caring for us! Reuben's birth was hard because I didn't know how to ask for help and he also didn't know I needed it. Now he is helping without even me needing to ask and holding both our kids so I can shower and I feel so loved and supported. I couldn't dream of better help through this postpartum period.

How is Rebekah? Well, her umbilical cord has fallen off, she's gained two oz and is growing. I look at her and just marvel at her tiny, dependent soul and can't believe she is mine, that she came out of me and that I get the privilege of raising her. I also know that my husband has to go back to work next week and somehow I have to make this parenting thing work with two kids and a house to clean. Pray for me guys, I don't know how I am going to do it all. I get stressed even thinking about it! Also, we need to figure out bedtime because it's all messed up. My toddler has been staying up late and refusing to sleep when he usually does because of all the excitement around Rebekah's arrival. Daddy has taken over his bedtime routine and there have been tears because a little boy misses his mommy. Pray he settles in to daddy putting him to bed soon, or we figure something else out!

My heart is full, and my days are even fuller. May God give me the strength and the determination to make it though the next year and the fortitude to take good care of my tiny family.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Week 120

One Year Ago, Week 68
Two Years Ago, Week 16

The week I went to the ER for vomiting, dehydration and stomach pain. Also the week before Christmas, and the week before our last vacation as a family of three. Baby girl is due in 5 weeks! Not looking forward to that ER bill, but glad I and Rebekah are okay.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Rebekah's Birth Story

So I gave birth without medication yesterday at 2am. I was in labor for only three hours from the moment my water broke in bed to crowning. I could not have done it without my husband and doula and without surrendering to myself in a way I never have before.

I've posted in here before about my last birth experience and how I felt ashamed for panicking and choosing an epidural when I gave birth to my son. I have struggled since that birth with feeling like I let myself down, that I wasn't a "good enough mama" to go natural, and that I wasn't "real of enough woman". I no longer feel that way. Honestly, giving birth without medication the second time somehow allowed myself to forgive myself. Actually, forgive isn't the right word. I have a whole different perspective of my first birth because of my second. I no longer feel I need forgiveness or even that I did anything wrong or made wrong choices. I keep crying about this too, birth emotions/hormones are wonderful things, hah. I feel like there are things now that I actually liked about my medicated birth! A few days ago I could not have said that.

And, I feel like there are things I liked about my non medicated 3 hours super birth. I feel like they were both hard and tough and that no matter what kind of birth you choose, there are hills and valleys and fire and brimstone and times where you loose yourself and times where you run at it with all you got and times that you cry out to God to save you or for someone to help you because what is happening to your body is bigger than anything you can imagine.

I used to feel shame over choosing an epidural and I don't any more. I don't feel anything about it but pride that I had a baby. I feel the same way about my non medicated birth. Both times I had a human come out of my body and both times it broke me spiritually and mentally and physically and brought me beyond what I thought I could ever handle and showed me beautiful and scary things about myself.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Reuben vs Rebekah

Can't you tell they are related?

I'm over the moon in love with them both.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

She's Here

Rebekah Kathyrn arrived yesterday morning at 2 am, after only three hours of labor. She's beautiful and we are tired, but in awe.

Crochet Baby Earflap Hat Pattern

Cute crochet earflap hat for infants through 3 months. I used worsted weight yarn and a 4.5mm crochet hook. You can download the PDF pattern here or watch the videos below!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Week 119

Short vlogs this week. This was two weeks before Christmas, I was sick, Reuben was learning a big lesson in patience, and I hit 35 weeks prego. Also, Rebekah is no longer breech (thank the Lord) so I have stopped worrying about breech birth and c-sections. So many milestones, so little time.

One Year Ago, Week 67
Two Years Ago, Week 15

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Boob Design Nurisng/Maternity Clothes Review

I bought nursing clothes! These are from Boob Design, an eco friendly and sustainable nursing wear (and maternity wear) company. Most of the clothes are organic cotton, with some wool and lyocell thrown in. I love them, the ethics and the clothes! I was so excited to find a fair trade company that caters to nursing and maternity clothes.

I didn't buy any nursing clothes with Reuben, and that's okay. First of all I didn't know if I was going to be able to nurse--how could I comprehend I'd end up nursing for TWO YEARS?! This time I want to make nursing easier on myself (since I'll be chasing a toddler too). That's why I decided to buy some easy-to-nurse in outfits. Also, Reuben was born in July. I kinda just set around my house with no clothes on, trying to learn how to latch him. Rebekah is due in January. I hate the cold. Nursing sweaters are a must!

Enjoy the review video. I go over the customs charges (these clothes are from the EU) and sizing issues I found when ordering. All in all it was a pleasant experience and I hope to order more from them if we can afford it!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Week 118

It snows, I hate pregnancy, and I dye my hair. What else is new?

One Year Ago, Week 66
Two Years Ago, Week 14

Saturday, January 13, 2018

38 Weeks

Well, I'm so close to the end! Only two more weeks until my due date! Ahhh! I keep thinking with a smile that maybe she will come today, or tomorrow. That maybe this night is our last night together as a family of three. I really am excited--which is different, since I had a lot of anxiety at the end of Reuben's birth.

I reread this post that I wrote when Reuben was 38 weeks and  I couldn't feel more different this time around! I feel ready and calm, confident and expectant. I don't feel swollen. I'm sleeping well, and feel energetic most of the time. Maybe those feelings will come at 39 weeks, or 40. But I am trying to be positive and soak up the time I have left with my son Reuben and husband before everything changes again!

This pregnancy has been so different at yet at times so similar. I am looking forward to holding my little one soon!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

I bought all Ethical "Fairtrade" Shoes

My shoes fall apart every season. Every fall for many years I've been buying cheap shoes and regretting it! I have wide feet, so my toes always get pinched and the cheap plastic "leather" always looks horrible by the next year, making me have to shop all over again. Actually for awhile I've been buying the same pair of black shoes on Amazon just because I hate shoe shopping and I at least knew they would last me one season.

This year I'm turning 31. And I'm tired of my shoes not fitting and falling apart. So, I decided to do something different: buy all ethical fair-trade shoes and see how they last, see if the quality is higher than my fast fashion splurges. I donated all but two pairs of my shoes (they were all falling apart/pinching my toes anyway) and decided to buy 3-4 pairs of shoes to replace them, giving me six pairs of shoes total instead of the nine pairs I had previously. I realize I could live easily with four pairs of shoes but I went a bit overboard... I don't really need three pairs of boots, but oh well.

I also gave myself a budget of $500-700 that I saved all by myself from my YouTube money and Christmas/birthday money! And I researched each brand and came away with shoes that not only are extremely high quality, but that I LOVE. And they go with everything! 

In the video below I show some of my old shoes, the two pairs of shoes I kept, and the four pairs of ethical fair trade shoes I bought. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 8, 2018

37 weeks

I'm so close guys! The third trimester has been such a blessing for me: I feel like I'm used to being pregnant and have a good schedule down. I am still a little nauseous randomly, and I've thrown up a few times too--but nothing like the first trimester. In the picture below, I am 36 weeks with Reuben on the left and 36 weeks with Rebekah on the right. I can tell that I gained more weight in the first picture for sure, not that it really matters--I just want a healthy baby. But I do feel less swollen and more normal this time around.

How much weight have I gained? I've only gained 20 pounds so far. With Reuben I gained 50! I feel good. 

The gestational diabetes thing has also become more manageable. I still panic every time but I have some coping mechanisms to get through testing, and my numbers are good so my anxiety is down. I'm also right to the end--only a few more weeks and I can hopefully but the blood glucose meter away in a box.

Rebekah is looking good. She turned vertex (no longer breech) so that is behind me (I mean I guess she could turn again but she hasn't and I feel good about it). My GBS test was negative and that's a load off my mind.  Everything is ready--my bag is packed, Reuben's bag is packed for the friend he is staying with while I am in labor. I got my bag ready since I don't have a gradual labor-- it starts and it STARTS. I won't have time to pack (well, unless it's different then last time) a bag while I'm screaming in pain. So, everything is ready. All I need is for her to arrive.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Week 117

The week I found out Rebekah is breech. I hope she flips. Panicking about it didn't help me have a smooth week!

One Year Ago, Week 65
Two Years Ago, Week 13

Friday, January 5, 2018

Rebekah's Blanket

I finished Rebekah's baby blanket! I love it. I made it from a lovely pure alpaca yarn (the purple) and a wool yarn (the pink) to be super warm for her this winter. It's soft, very cozy, and wonderful! I can't stop touching it. Now if only she would arrive!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Going from Bedsharing to Cosleeping

There is a lot of controversy around where you let your child sleep. I think it's ridiculous. I have bed-shared with my infant and also cosleept and I can tell you there is nothing scary or unsafe about either of these options! The actual truth is that there are safe and unsafe ways to prepare an infant's sleeping area no matter what method of sleep you choose.

Are you bedsharing with baby in your bed? Don't use a lot of pillows, and use one or no blankets. Know yourself and how you sleep. Or have your chosen cosleeping with baby in your room? Cosleeping is different than bedsharing in that while baby is in your bedroom they have their own sleep area. Well, if cosleeping, don't put a blanket on your child and make sure their space is free of toys. Want your kid to have their own room? Same applies to cribs; no blankets or toys in the space. I don't get why people think having a baby in your bed if you choose is unsafe or "less safe" than any other option. It's just sleep, and people have preferences. The idea is to be safe about it no matter where your kid passes out.

Reuben bed-shared with me since he was born. I mean, he was the infant who didn't sleep so I needed to do what I could to make sure I slept. Sleep is important; I wasn't about to have mental health issues over sleep deprivation when I could easily get more and better sleep bedsharing! I'ts now been two years he has slept with me.

I knew I wanted to transition him to his own space before our new child was born, and this video details how I went from bedsharing to cosleeping with no fuss, no tears and in only one week. Reuben loves his crib now, and most nights he sleeps for 8 hours by himself!

Monday, January 1, 2018

My Mom Goals in 2018

Goals are hard enough in the new year--add in a family, pregnancy and a toddler who needs to be potty trained and I am surprised I had enough time to write this blog post.

1) Find a diaper bag that is both cute and functional, big enough for everything but not cumbersome or bulky or annoying to use (why do some have so many pockets?) (why do some not have enough pockets?) (the struggle) (I've spent too much money trying different bags and hate them all)

2) Not yell at my toddler (or goals that are not going to happen) (because I'm human) (and little tiny people know how to push buttons) (and I'm human)

3) Find some kind of self care/ cleaning the house / spending time with the husband balance without mentally or emotionally crashing or spiraling down into crippling anxiety from the stress of managing a life with little people in it. I really struggle with this. Either my house is clean, but I'm totally whiny because I didn't remember to take time for myself. Or I spend time with my husband because I love him and he sometimes gets the short end of my attention because cooking, cleaning, laundry and toddlers...but I've noticed when I do spend time with him, I struggle with feeling guilty about what I "SHOULD" be doing (aka cooking, cleaning, laundry and toddlers). I feel like I can't win and I want to try and figure this life-mom-but still my own person thing out.

4) Not feel like a tragedy or a failure if I "do nothing all day" but keep the kids alive. and myself. Survival days are rough.

5) Shower alone. (can you hear my manic laughter) perhaps this goal should just read "shower".

6) Maybe actually make some time for my friends. I miss having friends. Life takes up so much time just trying to survive that making time for friends is kinda impossible. And that is sad--because motherhood can be very isolating and friends would be nice. If only they didn't require time. Or effort, because sometimes I have none left over. And I really miss my friends.

Anyway these are more just things I am acknowledging I am struggling with as I am 37 weeks pregnant and mom to a feisty two year old. I don't know what the next year will bring but I am trying to look forward to birth, postpartum, and raising another human. I want to think I can handle it all, but I know without God, friends and family I would not be half as good a mom as I am.

Here is to 2018. What are your goals?